A Day in the life of a Heavy Haulage Operation by Chay Gibbs

By Guest Blogger Chay Gibbs

A Day in the life of a Heavy Haulage Operation by Chay Gibbs

This month, one of our clients gives his insight into his role as the Transport Manager of a company specialising in abnormal loads:

1.       What is your name and position at the company?

 Chay Gibbs from Vaughan Plant Haulage Ltd


2.       What does your job involve?

My job involves the day to management of compliance of our 18 vehicles. This includes management of Drivers as well as ensuring our on-site maintenance team and workshop have everything they need to keep our fleet roadworthy. A big proportion of each day is also dedicated to submitting/ routing movement orders for each Abnormal Load we are asked to move. Currently we are averaging 20 of these each day so it does require a lot of time and attention to ensure we are not only getting routes approved, but routes that are actually achievable for our drivers.


3.       Do you think the Heavy Haulage Industry has changed in the last 5 years? If so – how?

In short yes. In recent years, the industry has had to battle with driver shortages, rising equipment lead times and ever rising costs. This has seen numerous hauliers in this sector pack up all together. In the last 12 months there has been a huge push on the enforcement of Abnormal Loads which I believe is adding even more pressure to hauliers in the heavy haulage industry. Not to mention absolutely crippling businesses with police embargo times meaning vehicles are stood up more than actually working.


4.       What steps have you taken to stay ahead of the increased monitoring by the relevant agencies?

 We have implemented checks for both office staff and drivers to ensure that no abnormal loads are transported until everyone is completely satisfied that the loads are safe, correctly secured, marked, and approved to move by all relevant authorities. We have invested well over a £1,000,000 in the last 18 months on trailers to ensure we always have the right trailer for the job. Both for moves in and out of C&U Regs.


5.       Any advice you can give to other operators?

 I personally find that in the last 12 months there has been huge pressure from customers to move plant and machinery without movement orders as customers usually do not want to wait either 2 or 5 clear working days for permits to be approved.

As I write this now, I can see 6 lorries parked up in the yard with no work. I am 100% confident that if I was prepared to move machinery at short notice, without permits, I would be looking at 1 perhaps 2 lorries in the yard.

So, my advice to other operators is to be firm with customers. If you are stopped without a valid permit it is highly unlikely that anyone other than yourself is going to be stood with you when the TC is looking to throw the book at someone and I can assure you that your customer will have already been onto another haulier to do what you now cant. The industry as a whole needs to stand firm and collectively push back on customers who are not prepared to wait. Eventually all of the non-compliant operators who will move without permits will be caught and then machine owners will have no choice but to use compliant operators.

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