Mar, 28th

Don’t forget escort vehicles for abnormal loads

Escort vehicles play an important role in protecting abnormal loads – which can include very large vehicles, but also in some cases where appropriate, wide loads that overhang the bed of the vehicle on which they are transported.

In any case, unusual road vehicles can benefit from having escort vehicles to help them navigate challenging routes and to alert other road users to the need for extra vigilance or a wider berth when overtaking. A prime example of this might be a vehicle that takes up only slightly more than one lane on a motorway; escort vehicles can alert other drivers to the fact that part of the second lane is also blocked, to avoid passing cars or trucks clipping the edge of the load.

Chris Bennett escort vehicles are maintained to a high standard and carry all of the appropriate equipment in line with current legislation, both to reduce the risks of an incident occurring and to deal with the situation if a fellow road user fails to respond to the warnings. We provide the drivers for all of our escort vehicles, and they are fully trained and well versed in the Code of Practice for escorting unusual loads, as laid out by the Highways Agency.

Our service doesn’t just cover the journey itself though – our escort vehicle drivers are also able to assist when loading and unloading the main vehicle, and are experienced in using power-steered trailers too. Chris Bennett escort vehicles can be hired on a daily basis to help protect wide loads and other abnormal heavy haulage shipments.

We can also advise on liaising with the police on any extremely large loads or particularly challenging routes, where you might need road closures and diversions, or police assistance in controlling traffic at busy junctions while a slow load makes its way through. Not all large loads need abnormal vehicles – we may be able to recommend a heavy haulage truck from our fleet that can carry your shipment without any need for escort vehicles.

To find out more about our fleet and how we can help get your goods safely from A to B on the most appropriate truck, with suitable escort vehicles for wide loads, contact Chris Bennett Heavy Haulage today.

Posted in Escort vehicles |
Feb, 22nd

Road haulage organisations look to a post-Brexit future

The two major road haulage organisations, the RHA and the FTA, have both been looking ahead to the post-Brexit era of the UK’s logistics sector, in anticipation of prime minister Theresa May triggering Article 50 to formally begin the country’s two-year negotiation period to depart from the EU.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, pointed out that current customs rules mean that “it’s as easy to deliver from Milan to Manchester as it is from Manchester to Leeds”.

His organisation is calling for the Brexit negotiations to protect the security of the UK food supply, and referred to the recent lettuce shortage as “the tip of a dangerous iceberg on the horizon”, although this was caused by poor weather and crop failures, and not by border controls.

Some 30% of UK food comes from the continent, and while the RHA is not suggesting that supplies will be cut off completely, they are warning that delays could instead mean perishable food does not get into the UK as fast.

Of course, the UK’s own road haulage network will not be directly affected by any outcome of the negotiations, allowing haulage firms to make sure essential supplies continue to reach all parts of the country, whether that means Manchester, Leeds or the further reaches of Great Britain.

Meanwhile the Freight Transport Association has taken the opportunity to call on the government to cut fuel duty by 3p per litre in order to relieve the tax burden on road haulage firms post-Brexit.

James Hookham, deputy chief executive of the FTA, said that doing so would help to support the domestic UK haulage industry, which has a direct value of more than £1 trillion each year.

UK haulage firms are responsible for as estimated overall £121 billion of gross value added to the nation’s economy each year – and by cutting fuel duty by 3p per litre, Mr Hookham argues that this would encourage an increase in trade opportunities.

While it is impossible to predict how the negotiations will conclude, especially before Article 50 has yet been triggered, it is clear that the industry’s largest representative bodies are taking the chance to focus on not just the risks, but also on the potential positives in the form of reduced taxation and new trade deals.

Posted in Road haulage |
Jan, 13th

Beat the winter with low loader hire

Following a week of traffic incidents involving high-sided heavy haulage vehicles, it’s a good time to put low loader hire in the spotlight as an alternative way of transporting appropriate goods from A to B safely in all kinds of weather conditions.

Because they do not have high solid sides, low loaders can often be used in more adverse weather conditions than other heavy haulage vehicles, and even relatively tall cargo should be less affected by strong winds than a solid high side on the trailer would be.

Our low loader hire services give you access to a versatile fleet of extendable and semi low loaders, flat bed trailers and beam trailers too – which together should cater for a broad range of different needs, without you facing the cost of buying a vehicle of your own.

With up to six and seven axles per trailer, this is road haulage built for extreme conditions, and should be able to find enough grip on wet and even icy roads, ensuring that your deliveries stay on route and on schedule even when your competitors cannot get through the weather conditions.

We don’t just offer flatbed trailer hire; we also have rigid flatbed trucks available from 18 feet to 30 feet, with front or rear mounted cranes, and with the option of a beaver tail truck body.

Combined with the on board winch or crane, a beaver tail truck should be easy to load securely in relatively poor weather, and may potentially prove useful in recovering machinery that has become bogged down in soft ground and has proved difficult to dig out using other means.

If in any doubt, just ask and we can advise you on the best vehicle for your needs, both in terms of the job you are aiming to carry out, and the conditions under which you expect to be working.

Posted in Road haulage |
Dec, 30th

No worries for road haulage on smart motorways

The north-west has one of the country’s most detailed motorway networks, sitting at the crossroads of the east-west M62 and the north-south M6, and this puts the region’s cities like Manchester in prime position to provide road haulage services.

Combined with motorway-standard ring roads and the nearby M1 just across the Pennines, there’s a lot of hard shoulder alongside the live lanes of the region, and in recent years an increasing amount of work has been done to turn those hard shoulders into temporary live lanes on ‘smart’ motorways.

This is especially significant for road haulage operators, as heavy haulage vehicles typically occupy the ‘slower’ lanes of the motorway, and so are more likely to use the hard shoulder when it is open to traffic; likewise, haulage firms are also the biggest beneficiaries when work is done to ease congestion at peak times.

But with more hard shoulders being used as live lanes – leaving nowhere for broken down vehicles to come to a stop out of live traffic – the Freight Transport Association has stressed that this is not actually a major concern, as breakdowns can happen in live lanes anyway.

Malcolm Bingham, head of road network management policy at the FTA, said: “FTA recognises the importance of looking at the safety aspects of vehicles coming to a halt in a live lane, but this is something that could happen even with a hard shoulder as vehicle faults can occur anywhere, and there must be a system to deal with such occurrences.”

The FTA is urging the government to ensure drivers are educated on the correct way to use smart motorways, including the full correct meanings of electronic signs like the Red X symbol displayed over a closed lane, allowing car drivers and heavy haulage vehicles alike to use the modern motorways as intended, to reduce congestion and allow everyone to reach their destination faster and safely.

Posted in Uncategorized |
Dec, 19th

Crane trucks safely lower and remove Christmas trees

Our crane trucks are a great option when it comes to lowering and removing Christmas trees once the holiday season comes to an end.

Many of the Christmas trees on display in outdoor public spaces are real, and even those that were felled from a forest just before being erected in their new home will have lost some of their condition by the time it comes to taking them down.

This makes it even more important to take precautions when lowering them and transporting them away for recycling and disposal – something our crane trucks are ideal for.

For the largest trees, our lorry mounted crane vehicle has a more than sufficient capacity of 65 tonnes and a vehicle length of up to around 45 feet, making it easy to drop your Christmas tree from its current position with a good amount of control, and then take it away on the trailer.

Our smaller rigid mounted crane vehicles can carry up to 10 tonnes and a length of around 26 feet, ideal for smaller Christmas trees or to lift and remove sections of trunk if your tree has already been lowered and carved into smaller chunks.

We have a range of other road haulage vehicles too, so if you have other Christmas fixtures to transport – for example, Christmas decorations or lights that are also due to come down as the holidays draw to a close – we’re likely to have the right kind of vehicle for your needs.

It’s unusual for Christmas haulage contracts to involve oversized loads but we can accommodate those too, if you have any extremely large items to transport, with our fleet of escort vehicles to help keep your cargo safe from passing traffic en route.

Get in touch as soon as possible with any enquiries as the holiday period can be extremely busy with different people working different days or taking time off – and we will always do our best to work around any days on which your own offices are due to be closed.

Posted in Uncategorized |
Dec, 02nd

Black Friday puts reliable road haulage top of the tree

With Black Friday out of the way, the peak period in the run-up to Christmas is officially underway, and that makes reliable road haulage essential for any last-minute deliveries in December.

The colder weather and often wet or windy conditions can pose more of a threat to heavy haulage vehicles that are not well maintained throughout the year.

Last year, research published by RAC Truck Rescue showed a third of road haulage firms struggled with reliability, and 45% viewed maintenance and repair costs as a significant burden, with only fuel costing more overall.

Matt Dallaway, head of RAC Truck Rescue, said: “Consumers expect prompt and reliable delivery of the items they have bought online and fleet operators will be preparing for the extra pressure that comes at this time of year.

“As such, they need to ensure their vehicles are fit for purpose and that they have the right cover in place to mitigate the impact of any unexpected breakdowns.”

But maintaining a healthy heavy haulage fleet in the first place is preferable to relying on breakdown cover, and at Chris Bennett Heavy Haulage we are committed to keeping our vehicles on the road all year round.

Our franchise-maintained vehicles are kept in good working order, so that they are ready to face rainy days, snowy roads, and whatever the season throws at them during long-distance deliveries.

Thanks to our one truck, one driver policy, our hauliers are familiar with their vehicles, so they have a better chance of knowing when something is going wrong – and fixing it before it gets any worse.

Our own welders, fabricators and technicians are fully trained and equipped with an on-site workshop for running repairs, and we keep all of our vehicles on the move as much as possible, both to meet customer demand, and to reap the benefits that come from keeping engines ticking over in all conditions.

Posted in Road haulage |
Nov, 22nd

Book early for Christmas heavy haulage

In 2016, we have been celebrating the 40th anniversary of Chris Bennett Heavy Haulage – not to mention the 50th anniversary of Chris Bennett himself starting work as a steersman at Keogh’s of Wilmslow.

As the weeks of this celebration year approach for us and local authority offices closing for the festivities… It’s time to look to the future, but it’s also a last chance to book heavy haulage for Christmas deliveries, with the days fast running out.

Heavy haulage in particular needs to be planned carefully in advance, to avoid any low bridges, narrow roads or weak ground, all of which means it’s not something you can leave to the last minute to arrange.

In extreme cases, road closures and escort vehicles – even involving the police if necessary – might be required to get your load the full way from A to B.

This is all subject to the harsher weather conditions of winter, which can lead to unavoidable delays and the need for backup plans and our most rugged of heavy haulage vehicles.

And of course, it is one of the busiest times of year for many industries, whether due to a seasonal surge in sales and activity, or just the hurry to get everything finished before the Christmas break.

If you still need to arrange road haulage for Christmas, the New Year or the first weeks of January, get in touch as soon as possible to make sure we can help.

Remember too that the Christmas break can make it more difficult to contact all of the necessary authorities to arrange routes for wide loads and escort vehicles, so again, the sooner the better.

With everything sorted you can rest assured your deliveries will make it on time, leaving you to relax during this holiday season and enjoy any time off you plan to take.

Don’t forget that you can call us all over the holiday period by calling 0161 406 8466 for all your haulage requirements.

Posted in Haulage firms |
Nov, 07th

Chris Bennett crane vehicles make light work of lifting

Our crane vehicles are designed to make light work of lifting all manner of materials on to and off of the truck, for faster deliveries and less manual handling.

Every crane vehicle we supply comes complete with a national plant certified driver, fully trained on operating the vehicle and its crane, so you can carry out lifting operations with confidence.

We keep all of our crane lorry vehicles on the move – maximising their uptime and ensuring reliability while on a job.

Chris Bennett are able to provide crane lorry vehicles for general purposes, as well as recommending specific vehicles for applications ranging from mining and construction to emergency services use.

Our fleet includes 26-foot rigid vehicles with front and rear-mounted cranes, each with a carrying capacity of up to ten tonnes and a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 26 tonnes.

Our lorry-mounted crane is for more heavy-duty applications, measuring 40-45 feet and with a capacity of up to 65 tonnes and a GVW of 44 tonnes.

Finally, our rigid front-mounted crane vehicle with beavertail body measures in at 30 feet and a GVW of 32 tonnes, with carrying capacity of 12 tonnes.

This, like our other beavertail trucks and low loaders, has a ramp-like rearmost portion to make it easier for smaller vehicles, mobile equipment and materials secured to trolleys to be wheeled directly up the ramp and on to the trailer.

Combined with the powerful front-mounted crane, this gives you a versatile choice of how to move materials, equipment and vehicles on and off of the trailer as needed.

If you are in any doubt as to which vehicle suits your job the best – or even if you need a lorry crane at all – give us a call and we will be happy to advise.

In circumstances where a lorry crane is not the right vehicle for the job, we will offer a more suitable alternative selected from the variety of other lorries and escort vehicles in our fleet.

Posted in Crane Vehicles |
Oct, 24th

London report highlights challenge of road haulage in cities

It is becoming increasingly difficult for haulage companies to make deliveries in city centres, as evidenced in a recent report looking at the obstacles to road haulage in central London.

The survey from the Freight Transport Association revealed that 96% of the capital’s haulage companies find it more difficult now than five years ago to deliver to central London locations.

Many of the obstacles they face are common to the nation’s largest cities – from restrictions on delivery times, to congested inner city roads.

Natalie Chapman, head of policy for London at the Freight Transport Association, said: “Delivering in an ever-growing city is a huge challenge but HGVs remain the most effective way of getting goods in and out so it’s vital to ensure this is done safely, cost-effectively and with consideration for the environment.”

She suggested a relaxation of rules governing night-time deliveries, and enforcing existing legislation on HGV movements, rather than introducing new rules for haulage firms.

Of course road haulage is not just about local deliveries within city centres – and long-distance routes can encompass high-speed motorway stretches too.

But in many cases, it is the ‘final mile’ of collection and delivery that proves most problematic, and reliable road haulage firms will always work carefully to complete every yard or metre of their routes as efficiently as possible, without unnecessary delays.

The survey found road congestion to be the biggest threat to effective movement of road haulage vehicles – even more so than rules and regulations.

Compliance schemes were close behind in London, while the challenge of looking out for vulnerable road users was equally close in second place.

Together, this paints a full picture of the obstacles road haulage firms face from all directions when delivering in major cities – from pedestrians and cyclists, to large numbers of cars on the roads, to rules and regulations handed down from above.

Posted in Freight companies |
Oct, 10th

Beaver tail trucks help with autumn haulage

Beaver tail trucks (also known as dove tail trucks – more on that below) are one of those specialised road haulage vehicles that can really come into their own on autumn haulage tasks.

At any time of year, beaver tail trucks make loading and unloading easier, with a built-in manual or hydraulic ramp that allows smaller vehicles and wheeled machinery to roll straight on or off.

But in the autumn months this is even more valuable, making light work of wet ground, and in some cases making it easier to load equipment on softer ground where a separate ramp could be less stable.

With a beaver tail truck, the ramp is right there as part of the vehicle, so you always know you will be able to load or unload when you need to, with less setup time.

So what is the difference between beaver tail trucks and dove tail trucks? It’s one of those debates that rages on in haulage companies up and down the country.

The short answer is that many people use the terms to mean the same thing – so in common conversation, a dove tail truck is a beaver tail truck and vice versa.

Officially though, a beaver tail truck has a ramp section that moves – meaning it can be lowered all the way to the ground with no need for a separate ramp at all.

But on a true dove tail truck, the ramp is fixed, meaning a standalone ramp section will normally need to be put down to bridge the rest of the gap to the ground.

Either vehicle can of course be hugely useful in the right circumstances – as can all of the specific types of vehicles haulage companies use.

Call on us for all of your autumn haulage tasks, and we will be happy to advise on any particular vehicles we think would be best suited to your job.

Posted in Haulage |