Faymonville used their FALCO software to help Smiths move a 144-tonne excavator

South Wales Heavy Haulage specialists, Smiths Heavy Haulage, recently completed the movement of a 144-tonne excavator on behalf of DSM Demolition Group in Birmingham. The impressive load had to move from Cambridgeshire to the West Midlands after an earlier contractor realised that the load was just too big for their 3 bed 5 lowbed.

Smiths Heavy Haulage were able to compete for the job due to their recent acquisition of an 8 row Faymonville Combimax trailer with beam bed. It wasn’t all plain sailing to start with, as it was clear to Simon Griffiths, Director at Smiths Heavy Haulage, that his own Combimax still needed a couple of ‘extra’ axles. Mr Griffiths explained; “The machine is well known in the industry with a lot of guesses as to just how much it does weigh. We worked on an estimate (stripped down) of 150,000kgs, with the Faymonville ‘FALCO’ computer software we were able to put the machine onto our Combimax and define how many axles would be needed to transport the machine and the exact position that it should be loaded. It quickly showed us that we needed two additional axles, to turn our existing trailer into a 4+6 configuration. We firstly contacted Faymonville’s UK distributor, Peter Dougan of Traffco Limited to see if they or Faymonville had anything in stock, as we needed the additional rows of axles quickly, to meet the client’s delivery schedule of four weeks. Faymonville could offer us a very quick turnaround of six to eight weeks, but this was going to be too long, so after consultation with Traffco we approached John Vaughan of Vaughan Plant Haulage in London. We knew they also had a Faymonville Combimax, so asked John if we were able to rent two axles from them. Vaughan Plant Haulage were excellent and we agreed to get the axle lines collected, then we had to fit them into our existing combination, which was very straight forward due the Combimax modularization philosophy. We ordered a couple of additional steering rods from Faymonville and they arrived within two days, so we busily got about fitting the additional two axles to our existing trailer. We were pleasantly surprised just how easy and effortlessly it all went together.”

With everything laid out on the FALCO software supplied by Faymonville and the route planned, surveyed and notified through ESDAL, the VR1 approval was obtained and the job could commence. The loading was very straight forward and within 2 hours of arriving on site the machine was loaded on the trailer, secured and was ready to move.

“The route, like a lot of jobs of this size was fairly straight forward up until the last three or four miles. We passed along the A14 and M6 at an average speed of 28mph, accompanied by a back-up truck and two escort vans. It wasn’t until the last three or four miles where we had some very tight corners to negotiate but, being able to complete the transportation with a gooseneck rather than a drawbar meant we could keep the overall length down to a minimum.” Continued Mr Griffiths. The job was completed within time, budget and considering the complexity of the move, without any hiccups!

Simon Griffiths could not praise the Faymonville trailer enough: “Once we had sourced the additional axles, we knew the job could be done, we were surprised with the ease in which it was all completed.” Said Mr Griffiths, “sometimes you are told that it is easy to connect different axle lines from different trailers and although you want to believe it, you can generally find it not to be the case. I have to say though that the Combimax certainly lived up to its billing and coped admirably with the task at hand.” So, what did Simon Griffiths believe the all up weight of the machine to be? He concluded “we believe the gross weight was 210,000kgs, less the weight of the truck and trailer, plus chains etc. we reckon the true ‘stripped down’ weight was 144,000kgs.”

This was certainly a huge jump on the initial weight advised to the first contractor that was asked to move the machine, as he was told it was 110,000kgs and with this in mind it was no surprise he could not move the machine on his trailer!

A true testament to the modularization concept of the Combimax product.

“Define your transport need and configure your trailer solution” was never more evident with this particular job by the South Wales operator Smiths Heavy Haulage.

For more information: www.faymonville.com