July 22, 2019

How Big Was Your Biggest?

All of us in the haulage business know that there’s a certain amount of prestige attached to the size of our loads. So when it comes to haulage work, the bigger the better! Am I right?

But if you regularly, or even occasionally, travel through the Dartford Tunnel in the course of your haulage work, you’ve got a lot to live up to if you want the bragging rights…

A Bridge Bound for Southend

Drumroll lads and ladies because there’s been a record-breaking load pass through the Dartford Tunnel recently, with a footbridge measuring a hefty 41 metres disappearing in one end and coming safely out the other. As the longest ever free-flow load to pass through the tunnel, if you want some context, that’s close to the length of five double-decker buses! How’s that for a day’s haulage work?

Major Detail Makes for Minor Delays

The operation to transport the footbridge to Southend (Essex) was a collaboration between Highways England, the Essex Police and the very clever folk at the Dartford Crossing Connect Plus Services. With all that brainpower in action, by all accounts the job went off without a hitch and traffic only needed to be held up for an incredible three minutes. Now that’s precision handiwork!

Big, Bigger, Biggest

The Dartford Tunnel (which is actually two tunnels) sees around 185,000 journeys a day and it’s quite often used for the transportation of oversized or dangerous loads that aren’t allowed on the motorways. While this latest was the biggest to date, there have been some pretty impressive forerunners to the operation.

Some previous massive loads include:

  • A 28-metre-long fuselage of a jet airliner on its way from Leicester to an RAF museum in Shropshire.
  • An electrical transformer the size of a house, weighing in at 232 tonnes headed over the Dartford Bridge to Buckinghamshire.

A Job Well Done

While we can’t help but be impressed with these stats, a shout-out of recognition really must go to not just the drivers, but also the people behind the strategic planning of such mammoth operations to ensure they cause as little disruption as possible to the rest of us on the roads. Well done!

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