View Full Version : Semi urgent request from a pongo (no joke)

1st May 2009, 15:31
Hello folks
I don't often come on here because, well, to be truthful, I'm a pongo. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not here for a slanging match of crab v pongo, I'm here on an errand of mercy. Basically, I need your help in transporting a piece of equipment from Ooooop North to Darn Sarf.

I have a bunch of mini-crabs (University Air students) who are cycling a 24-man/woman cycle round my local airfield for the Help for Heroes Charity but are having trouble returning it to its home FOC in Great Dunmow from Merseyside.

If anyone has contact with any of our wonderful RAF guys and gals in the Colchester area, car transporter companies or just anyone willing to carry a jalopy with the following dimensions:

Weight 3.5-ton, size 12.2m length, 1.9m width and 3.1m height.

I would greatfully appreciate it.

The event is scheduled for July but a swift response would be appreciated.

If anyone can do or knows someone who can do, please email me on [email protected]

Thanks in advance


1st May 2009, 15:53
Dave, Welcome!
I know lots of pongos, and this is a very worthy cause.
Have you tried Eurocar? They regularly reposition vehicles around the Midlands, as do probably most hire companies, though your beast sounds a bit larger than the normal?
How did you get it there, when you say 'you are returning it'?
Does it come apart? The height seems to be pretty tall?
Can't they be sponsored to cycle it there!

1st May 2009, 16:22
You really need a flatbed artic trailer for that, pref a low loader to save craning it on/off. Large plant movers are your best bet. Try the RE - they are the only mil types to have that kit.

1st May 2009, 16:26
3.5 tonnes? Is it made of girders?

1st May 2009, 16:43
Whilst marvelling at how the heck they even managed to get a 3.5 tonne machine moving, and aside from the eminently practical suggestion of sponsoring them to ride it back, I wonder if Eddie Stobart might be willing to help in return for loads of publicity?
I know they are developing a base at Southend Airport which not too far away from destination, and they also have a fairly large base oop narth somewhere, so it might be something that wouldn't mightily inconvenience them...
Just a suggestion, I have no connection and certainly don't want to find some burly truckers (crabs, pongo's or minicrabs for that matter) on my doorstep if this isn't a helpful suggestion!!

1st May 2009, 16:55
:confused: I'm lost. What does this thing look like?

1st May 2009, 18:27
I'm lost. What does this thing look like?

Something like this I imagine ?

24 seat cycle (http://www.christie.nhs.uk/press/2001/19092001.aspx)


1st May 2009, 18:41
How is it being carried Oooop North??? Well, its being delivered by the company that makes it. However, they WILL NOT pick it up - it's down to the Students to return it. Apparently the Committee arranging the ride have asked their contacts near Gt Dunmow but they are preparing for 'Stan.

There's some good suggestions there, chaps (dare I say, a few more than my crowd on ARRSE). The Stobart one in particular.

That's near enough what it looks like...pretty big isn't it?? and they're going to pedal it around the airfield for 8 hours...(what it's like to be young, eh?)

I'll keep you up to date with the progress of this challenge and when finished I'll pop some photos on.

Thanks for everything so far.


Ken Wells
1st May 2009, 19:53
I have a very large horse box how wide it the bike as the box is

Just over 5' by 9' if not i can borrow a trailer!

just give the dimensions.

I travel from Ainsdale every week back down south.

I presume it will be from RAF Woodvale, I used to teach there in the '80's.

Rob Newman was the Co then.

1st May 2009, 20:32
size 12.2m length, 1.9m width and 3.1m height.
size 40 feet long, 6 feet 3ins wide, 10 feet 2 ins high

Probably too long for a standard 40ft trailer and check that height - have you swapped height and width? If so then you won't get it into any standard-width truck (or even on a low-loader, unless it runs under special types . . .
How come it is so high?

Ken Wells
1st May 2009, 20:41
Dace ; Is it being delivered on a trailer and by who?

I could always liaise with them.

1st May 2009, 21:18
12.2m = 38 feet-ish. All other dims are irrelevant in face of that. You require a forty or forty four foot artic flat, preferably a low loader or at least with a beaver tail to load & tip the vehicle. The weight, width & height of this is not important - your job is defined by the length of the the thing.

With that in mind, look up a few specialists. Hallet Silbermann in Hatfield, Leicester Heavy Haulage, Flegg Transport of Northampton or Rapitrans in Sussex. I'm in the game & there is a load of rubbish being talked on this.

Be prepared to pay a commercial rate starting at 500 and heading north depending on the complexity of the job. Given the average haulier makes about 1-3%, don't think you're being mugged, but do remember Tesco when you write the cheque! You'll be subsidising their negotiating power.

green granite
1st May 2009, 21:27
Boat transport companies?

1st May 2009, 21:34
Do your sums.
12.2m is exactly 40ft.
As G-CPTN asked, isn't there confusion between width and height?
3.1m = 10ft 2in height seems odd, and as a width, it's again limiting.


1st May 2009, 21:35
Nope. Dunmow is inland, so haulage is unavoidable. You could float round to the port of Tilbury which is realistically the nearesn capable lighterage, but that would involve a large circumnavigation of the British isles & then incur heavy handling charges. The economics won't work.

Same reason rail loses to road. Lorries do door to door without transhipping. Best you can hope for is to try and load a southerner empty in the north on a backload rate. this is typically fifty percent of an outbound rate & that knowledge bought me the mansion & sportscar I own today.;)

1st May 2009, 21:38
Christiaan, always nice to be told by an outsider how things work in my business!

12.2=40' ok, no problem. Have you factored stillage, blocks, straps & binders? Thought not. Forty four foot artic it is then. Sod it, let's get a trombone & go accompanied & notified, no?

1st May 2009, 21:44
Boat transport companies?
Nope. Dunmow is inland, so haulage is unavoidable.
I think the suggestion was 'companies that transport boats' (by road).

1st May 2009, 21:48
I would forget Southend. The bird that can carry that is unlikely to be able to use SEN.

1st May 2009, 21:53
Christiaan, always nice to be told by an outsider how things work in my business!Apologies....
Just my engineering upbringing... and endlessly having to deal with metric/imperial between Frenchies and Brits...


1st May 2009, 21:58
No problem, thirty years in the business...:ok:

Boat co's maybe, but you will find they run specialist trailers that amount to articulated stillages. The thing either fits or it doesn't. Boats are a predictable shape. 24 man cycles aren't. Something like this is known in the trade as either IDW or ugly freight. IDW means irregular weights & dimensions & ugly freight means ugly freight. No one wants it, it's a pain in the arse, and is charged accordingly.:E

1st May 2009, 22:14
No idea if they have a trailer quite long enough but I recall that the organisersof the War & Peace show down in Kent War & Peace Show 2009 - Home (http://www.warandpeaceshow.co.uk/) have a sideline (or it may be business associate???) doing heavy haulage of AFVs.

I wonder if they might be willing or able to help, considering that this is in aid of Help for Heroes? Probably worth a call if nothing else.


1st May 2009, 22:19
Yeah, a ring around is always the way forward. If you get stuck, pm me. I can always whip out the RHA yearbook....

1st May 2009, 22:24
Information from a professional:-
A "normal" curtain sided or box van trailer is 13.6mtrs long. 9ft 6ins internal height (call it very nearly 3mtrs) and 2.5mtrs wide. Give or take a couple of millimetres here & there.

There are taller trailers if needs be, or a flat trailer.

It's the height that's a killer (and dubious IMO):-
The Christie - Press release -19th September 2001 (http://www.christie.nhs.uk/press/2001/19092001.aspx)

1st May 2009, 22:27
9'6" is more or less what is known as a 'Tallboy' in the trade. If normal is the measure, you can bank on 8'6" for a tautliner trailer. 13.6m is again at the far end of the scale, but in fairness, common these days.

1st May 2009, 23:03
Find out how those 'interesting' people tow smart cars behind their campervans and do the same?

1st May 2009, 23:04
I can't quite see why the company delivering it can't hang around for 8-10 hours and then take it back again, especially if they are going to get some publicity out of it???

However, if they really can't be persuaded then ....

... could the good lads and lasses not use some UAS initiative and while the driver is round the back offloading the cycle thing, let the air out of his front tyres. Then tell him that they've called the repair people but they will be a couple of hours arriving ... and in the meantime take the bloke down the pub and get him ratar$$ed so he has no option but to hang around ... :}

2nd May 2009, 00:04
As G-CPTN asked, isn't there confusion between width and height?
3.1m = 10ft 2in height seems odd, and as a width, it's again limiting.

Could it look like this which would explain the height?


If so then - perhaps it might simply be possible to unbolt the banner structure? Then surely you'd have something that would fit in standard trailer?

2nd May 2009, 02:15
Could you pick up just one end (ie the front wheels) with, say a tow truck, and trail the rest, with a 'long load' sign on it somewhere?

You'd get away with that down here.

2nd May 2009, 09:38
Well, its being delivered by the company that makes it. However, they WILL NOT pick it up

It is very unlikely that the manufacturer itself will be handling the logistics.

When the delivery arrives, why not have a quiet word with the driver and ask him what company he works for.

When you want to get rid of the thing, call up aforementioned company.

Job done.

2nd May 2009, 09:55
Why wasn't it designed and made towable in the first place? :confused:

Can it be modded now?

2nd May 2009, 10:15
It is very unlikely that the manufacturer itself will be handling the logistics.

Huh? Any reasoning behind that??:confused:

2nd May 2009, 10:25
It shouldn't be too hard, Forget.

It's a three wheeler. If you lifted up the front wheels on a tow truck, the 'girder' should be strong enough to support about 1/2 the weight of the girder.

You'd have to lift the front wheels to tow it, I think.

2nd May 2009, 12:43

Huh? Any reasoning behind that??

Erm yes, common sense.

This is 2009, not 1949.

Logistics is a very expensive business, both in terms of what's required to keep a fleet going, but also all sorts of Health & Safety (manual handling ....etc.) and Insurance requirements.

The worldwide logistics market is very well developed, particularly in Western countries. There are lots of very large, very experienced logistics companies ... both mainstream e.g. TNT, UPS etc., as well as a variety of specialist companies (e.g. those that only handle palletised consignments, or cars, or weird shaped metal contraptions such as those being discussed here).

It is very, very, unusual to find anyone handling their own logistics in this day and age.... it's normally much more cost effective to outsource it !

P.S. Just to prove my point, and to give an aviation twist, even Airbus outsource their logistics....


2nd May 2009, 13:18
This is what you need:-
Queen Mary Trailer at RAF Stafford kept in working order

2nd May 2009, 13:32
Queen Mary died years ago.

Why don't you simply ASK for volunteers from the hordes of heroes
that frequent this particular web-site?
I'm sure that many of them would be prepared to abandon their
Ppruning chairs for a couple of days to take turns to PEDAL the
thing back to it's home? (I'd even think about it myself.)
Any other Ppruners interested????

Might involve a few stops at "Ale Houses" on the way. Where others
may be "Press-ganged" into service, for a small charge(?)

Just a thought. Norm.

2nd May 2009, 13:46
Thanks for that Mixture, I'll try to remember it on Tuesday morning when I return to my logistics business!:rolleyes:

It is very, very, unusual to find anyone handling their own logistics in this day and age
That is utter rubbish I'm afraid. Plenty of companies run their own fleets. All of the major supermarkets for example run significant fleets alongside 3pl and 4pl

If you're in the business, you should consider leaving it as you don't seem to know what you're talking about. With respect of course.

2nd May 2009, 14:03

I'm not going to take up your offer of a public argument.

Let's return to the original poster's requirements.

I hope you will agree with my original reply to his posting, in so much that his needs are best handled by a professional logistics company.

Also, a novelty bicycle company is hardly going to be running it's own fleet, is it Sprog !

This will give him the insurance, risk-reduction and peace of mind required that he won't get out of a pub handshake agreement. (unless he's very lucky to meet the right person in the pub :cool:)

2nd May 2009, 14:23
I made no such offer, it's simple really, I've made clear in this thread that I own a logistics company & am in a position to offer professional advice and yet unqualified opinions fly in from all directions. I wouldn't deign to tell a builder how to put up a shelf!!

When all is said and done, any company succeeding in haulage in 2009 is by definition professional and well run. You would still, today, earn more putting your money in the bank on average than you would running lorries inthe UK. So with that out of the way, how do you choose one to do the job?

In my experience customers are all the same, they want Rolls Royce service at Ford Escort prices. Why shouldn't they? it's a competitve market, so go and get quotes. Make sure that whover you deal with is a member of the RHA or the FTA, anyone not willing to stump up the few hundred quid for membership of a trade body is not someone with whom I would deal.

Be aware that nearly everybody trades under RHA conditions of carriage. This has two main implications; firstly that if you do not pay your carrier, they may exercise a lien on your goods and secondly liability is fixed at 1,300 per ton. If your big bike is worth more than that, you will have to negotiate with the haulier as they will need to extend their goods in transit insurance to cover the value of the item carried.

Therefore get quotes & be prepared to pay upfront. As an individual or group with no checkable trading record, you are unlikely to be offered any credit.