GIDDINGS AND CUNNIFF CROWNED 2018 MRF ST TROPHY CHAMPIONS

Trojan-Mek is pleased to congratulate James Giddings and Sion Cunniff on being crowned champions of the 2018 MRF ST Trophy Challenge, following their success at the recent Trackrod Rally Yorkshire.

The Trackrod Rally Yorkshire was final round of the BTRDA Rally Championship, as well as the final round of the 2018 MRF Tyres ST Trophy.

James and Sion have led the championship since the 2nd round, but another class win on the last round, the Woodpecker Rally, boosted their chances so much that finishing 3rd place or higher on the final round would see them take the winning title.

Following the rally, James commented,

“We are so happy to have finished the rally in 1st place! We started the rally as championship winners and to have finished 1st in class again just tops it all off!

I would like to thank my sponsors Fordpad Ltd, SAR Recycling and Trojan-Mek Limited for all of their support and dedication throughout the whole year! Without them I would never have had the chance to compete in this championship and prove that we can win!

I would also like to say thanks to all of the title sponsors, especially MRF tyres for their support on and off events throughout the season.”

As a result of winning the championship, James and Sion have been given the excellent opportunity of stepping up a level and driving a Fiesta R2 car for the following season.

Trojan-Mek now looks forward to continuing to support James and Sion into their next season and wish them every success.

Top Tips for Moving Heavy Machinery and Equipment Safely

Many businesses often don’t think about moving heavy machinery as a big deal, however as heavy machinery moving experts, Trojan Mek can tell you, moving even the smallest piece of kit can be hazardous if you don’t take the right precautions.

When it comes to moving heavy production line equipment, it really isn’t worth taking the risk of a self-move, and the only solution is to engage a heavy removals specialist, but for smaller machine moves, many owners decide to self move.  Here are some of the things you need to consider before you ‘pick up and go’:

 

plan moving heavy machinery

Plan before you start moving heavy machinery

It’s easy to look at a space and see how things fit together, but aim to think beyond ‘what fits where’.  Think about workflow – what processes come logically before and after that machine, the less unnecessary movement between tasks will result in the most efficient environment for your team to work in.  Not only will this result in higher productivity, but it will also prevent accidents and injuries by reducing unnecessary traffic through the operating area.  Also, before you move a machine, check that there is an appropriate power supply in the new location, and that the floor is suitable to take it’s weight.

 

things to remember before moving heavy machinery

Don’t forget about the machine operator

It sounds obvious, but when measuring to see if a machine will fit in the new location, measure the space – and don’t forget to allow for workspace AROUND the machine as well.  That industrial machine may fit nicely into the corner, but someone still needs to be able to get in the space and operate it.  Remember they could be stood there for long periods, so don’t make the space too tight.

 

avoid hazards when moving heavy machinery

Remove any obstacles before moving heavy equipment

Again, it seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people decide to reorganise their workflow and start moving machinery before ensuring they have a clear path between locations.  People carrying or moving heavy equipment often can’t look down, so be their eyes beforehand and keep the entire route clear.

 

safety concerns when moving heavy equipment

Think about potential risks and hazards

Before starting to move machinery it’s important to assess the potential risks regarding the machine.   Here’s some things to think about:

  • People can be struck and injured by moving machinery or ejected material. Parts of the body can also be drawn in or trapped between rollers, belts and pulley drives
  • Sharp edges can cause cuts and severing injuries, sharp-pointed parts can cause stabbing or puncture the skin, and rough surface parts can cause friction or abrasion
  • People can be crushed, both between parts of the machine moving together or towards a fixed part of the machine, wall or other object.  Two parts of machinery moving past one another can cause shearing
  • Parts of the machine, materials and emissions (such as steam or water) can be hot or cold enough to cause burns or scalds and electricity can cause electrical shock and burns

Planning ahead and thinking through the risks will greatly reduce the chance of injury, so be sure to conduct and carry out a detailed risk assessment or obtain one from your supplier.

 

things to check before moving heavy equipment

Will you invalidate warranty by moving heavy machinery yourself?

If you damage equipment during a move, you risk injuries to staff and interruption to production.  Even if a move looks easy, check whether the equipment is supposed to be moved without the manufacturer’s advice.  What looks like a very simple move across a room can become very expensive with precision equipment – an emergency callout from a specialist to fix damage from moving would often cost far more than calling a specialist moving company in the first place.  If in doubt, give the supplier a call.

Before a machinery installation, your supplier would have done a complete site survey and project managed every step to make sure the machine installation went smoothly.  You’ll probably find if you read the small print in their contract, any moves need to be overseen by their team or a similarly qualified person.  During the decommissioning process, machine and equipment match marking, aligning and levelling all need to be given due consideration and expertise – so don’t forget the dumpy level!

 

check load stability before moving heavy machinery

Assess the weight and height, plan how you are going to control an unstable load

As heavy removals specialists, we always plan.  We don’t just look at the logistics, we also know that moving heavy machinery can mean an unstable load in the air if not planned well.  Stability during the move is crucial.

We will use tools like cranes, forklifts, pallets and hi ab vehicles as needed, but our approach is not ‘what’s available’ but ‘what do we need’.

You can’t start moving heavy machinery with  ‘here’s the equipment, what’s the job’ approach.  What feels quite light when pushing is often a different matter altogether when lifting, especially over distance.  You need to think about the height as well as the weight.  No matter what tools you use to do the heavy lifting, the load needs to be kept stable while in the air.  It goes without saying you definitely shouldn’t be carrying it between a few of you in the hope nobody drops the ball, or in this case, your expensive equipment… think about backs (and toes!).

 

dont overload when moving heavy machinery

Hiring a Vehicle for your move?

You wouldn’t hire a drill if you need a hammer – and moving heavy machinery (or even moving a production line) is a similar matter.  If it’s just relatively light or general haulage, we can hire a curtain sided truck with a forklift (great for deliveries too!).  However, why not have a chat with our team?  We’ve been moving machinery and helping businesses with factory relocation for over 40 years, and we’ll be happy to advise on the right vehicle for the job.

It could be that our hi-ab hire service or our machinery moving team would get the entire job done faster, saving you time and cost, as well as removing additional stress.  We can also install machinery at the other end.    Our being Safecontractor accredited means you can be confident that your move will be in safe hands – leaving you free to manage your business and operations.

If you are planning a machinery move, a quote from us costs nothing.  While we’re quoting, our team may suggest options or possible solutions you hadn’t thought of, so rather than just taking the plunge, why not give ‘the machinery movers’ a call as part of your planning process?

Heavy Haulage Specialists Trojan Mek welcome prospect of Heathrow Logistics Hub for Wales

Representatives of Heathrow Airport last week visited Tata Steel Shotton, which has been shortlisted by Heathrow Airport as one of the shortlisted sites for four planned logistics hubs to widen the supply chain for the Heathrow Airport expansion, with the aim of ensuring the extensive build programme is resilient, sustainable and cost effective.

The regional hubs will also ensure the economic benefits of the Airport’s expansion are spread more evenly across the UK, and Welsh Economy Secretary, Ken Skates is keen to ensure that Wales is home to one of the hubs.

Mr. Skates says:

“Wales really would be an ideal location for one of the Heathrow Logistics hubs. Our proven track record in construction and manufacturing, our readily available and highly experienced supply chain and our skilled workforce all  make us a perfect choice.. this project offers huge opportunities and I am committed to ensuring that the Welsh Government does all it can to bring one of the hubs to Wales.”

 

Lord Deighton, Chairman at Heathrow Airport said:

“A new Heathrow runway will unlock up to 8,400 new skilled jobs and underpin up to £8bn in growth from construction through to increased tourism and exports for Wales. Exploring the possibility of locating a Logistics Hub in Wales is a key part of our commitment to the country as part of our Statement of Intent with the Welsh Government and we’re looking forward to seeing first-hand what the country has to offer.”

 

Six Welsh Government promoted sites located in Shotton, Cardiff, Deeside, Newport, Ebbw Vale and Bridgend remain in the running to be one of four Heathrow logistic hubs located across the UK.

Once selected, the four logistic hubs will be the location for the offsite construction of the infrastructure for Heathrow’s third runway with each of the hubs expected to deliver huge numbers of jobs and a major economic boost within its area.

 

Bill Duckworth, Tata Steel site manager at Shotton in North Wales, said:

“Our site already produces the best building system products available and would make an ideal choice for one of the proposed Heathrow extension Logistics Hubs. This would present an ideal opportunity to work hand-in-hand with Heathrow not just as a hub, but possibly as a major supplier too.

“We have the land, the road, rail and sea links to the rest of the UK required by this landmark project and – most importantly – the belief to see what this can mean for the economies of Wales.”

 

Director Leighton Price of Heavy Haulage specialists Trojan-Mek welcomed the news, but said one of the South Wales locations would make more sense:

“I applaud the Secretary’s decision to champion Wales as a great location for one of the Heathrow Airport expansion hubs, although in our opinion, one of the South Wales locations would make most sense. 

“While Trojan-Mek already cover the Shotton area, South Wales has the benefit of easy access to South Wales ports, and is conveniently close to the Severn Bridge with a direct link to London via the M4.  The region already has a wide range of logistics businesses, who support South Wales’ manufacturing and construction expertise.  Logistics companies are used to servicing many of the large businesses in the area.  

“However, even if it’s in Shotton, winning one of the hubs would be a great coup for Wales and I am pleased we have the Welsh Government’s support. This won’t only benefit Wales economically, but will showcase our expertise to the rest of the UK.”

Giddings and Cunniff take their first ST Trophy rally win

Winning duo, James Giddings & Sion Cunniff, sponsored by Trojan-Mek

Congratulations to James Giddings and his co-driver, Sion Cunniff, on taking the trophy in the latest stage of the 2018 MRF Tyres ST Trophy.

The event saw the running of the Rallynuts stages, with 7 registered crews entered to fight for top honours. It was held in Builth Wells, making it the “home event” for Swansea driver, James.

James, who is also Manager at Swansea-based metal recycling firm, Fordpad Ltd, said,

“I am so happy to come away with a win today. The car has run faultlessly and I’m happy with the way Sion and I have managed to settle into a good rhythm with the pacenotes. I really think we can fight for the top this year!”

After their win on the recent Rallynuts Stages, James and Sion now lay in first place in the 2018 MRF Tyres ST Trophy as well as in the Group N3 production class.

Trojan-Mek are proud to be long-standing sponsors of James and his rally car, and wish him and Sion great success throughout the remainder of the competition.

5 rounds remain in the 2018 MRF Tyres ST Trophy, with the next round The Plains Rally on the 12th of May. The rally is based in Welshpool and uses some of the same iconic stages as the world championship round of the Wales Rally GB.

You can view James and Sion in action from the latest round soon on the ST Trophy youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-hBGF3ILCE02MCWARlv7Tw/featured

For more information about the championship visit: http://sttrophy.blogspot.co.uk/

For more information about Fordpad Ltd visit: https://www.fordpad-metals.co.uk/

 

Trojan-Mek Machinery Movers call for more clarity in logistics ahead of Brexit.

Trojan-Mek Director, Leighton Price, spoke to Welsh Business News after the FTA revealed that they had still not been notified of any plans for logistics and transport when the UK departs from the EU.  Like many operators, Leighton is concerned about the lack of planning and complete unawareness of the challenges that the logistics industry could be facing.

Leighton told Welsh Business News that the matter was particularly complicated for heavy haulage specialists like Trojan-Mek:

“If our loads have to be offloaded for checks, it won’t be a two-minute delay – heavy haulage can’t be offloaded quickly.  We need clarity now, because if we need to invest in more vehicles and additional trained staff to cope with additional delays, we need several months to acquire additional heavy transport vehicles and even longer to find skilled, professional staff.  We simply cannot do that overnight.”

 “Furthermore, with many of the international factory relocations we undertake, 12 months is the bare minimum for planning.  Our aim is to provide an expert service to our customers who rely on us to advise them on what permits will be required.  This could prove a real challenge, when the Government haven’t given logistics professionals any guidelines to work with at this stage, even though Brexit itself has created an increase in enquiries for factory relocations to the EU.”

The FTA summed up the mood of the industry perfectly:

“How can business be expected to trade without transport?  That needs to be uppermost in the minds of negotiators as they move on to talks about the future relationship with the EU. “

For now, machinery moving is running smoothly.  We’d like to see this continue post-brexit.

Severe Weather Warning covering South East Wales – FTA Driver Safety Advice

With severe weather warnings currently in place across much of the county, including South East Wales, please see the link below for the FTA’s advice for Operating in snow and ice:

http://www.fta.co.uk/policy_and_compliance/road/drivers/driving_safety_advice/operating_in_snow_and_ice.html

Current warning in place as follows:

Met Office Red Warning Snow and Wind

Area Affected South East Wales, Devon

Between 15:00 Thu 1st and 02:00 Fri 2nd

A spell of heavy snow and blizzard conditions is expected. The snow will be accompanied by very strong easterly winds leading to severe drifting. Some places could also see significant ice build-up due to freezing rain from later on Thursday evening, most likely in the south of the area. Long delays and cancellations of public transport seem highly likely. Some roads are likely to become blocked by deep snow, stranding vehicles and passengers. Long interruptions to power supplies and other utilities are very likely to occur, along with damage to trees and other structures due to heavy snow or ice.

FTA Members are reminded that there are further Amber Met Office Warnings and the latest information can be found at https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather

 

Overcoming Obstacles in Heavy Equipment Lifting – A Case Study

Numerous constraints can be encountered when businesses are moving, relocating and installing industrial equipment.  These challenges are especially difficult when heavy equipment lifting is required in confined spaces.  Typically, access to removal site and final point of machinery positioning is hazardous and difficult to manoeuvre.

However, this is the exactly type of situation that Trojan-Mek are experienced in overcoming.

A high volume paper converting company recently contacted our machine moving team to provide a solution to an awkward, heavy equipment lifting problem – here’s how Trojan Mek were able to overcome their challenges.

 

The Challenge:

The manufacturer was approaching a production shutdown where New Drive Control Panels were to be installed, to replace existing Drive Panels.

The company needed a heavy equipment lifting solution that could also work in a confined space.  Five panels weighing up to 1.5 tonnes each needed to be lifted to a height of 6 metres to access the control room, then moved through a small doorway, where the panels were to be fitted.

Site constraints meant that limited space at ground level greatly reduced the lifting options.

Access, safety and project timings are always vital, but now needed to be assessed and managed effectively in line with site limitations.

 

 

 

 

The Solution:

Trojan-Mek were called in to design a solution that could overcome all the obstacles and ensure a speedy installation with minimal downtime.

Our consultants designed and built a raised platform to fit a 7 tonne Fork Lift Truck, on which the panels were placed.  The bespoke steel fabrication was designed to specific measurements and was 1 tonne in weight, so total weight lifted by the fork lift was 2.5 tonnes (panel and platform).

Of course, when moving heavy machinery at height, safety is paramount.  Handrails were incorporated into the design allowing operatives to walk on the platform when removing the control panel (with skoots) at the 6 metre level.

Project scope involved moving the panels from storage, lifting them into the control room, then relocating them to temporary storage areas until the electrical supply was disconnected, allowing the old panels to be removed and exchanged with the new panels.

 

The Outcome:

Using this method with the bespoke steel platform, the new electrical panels were positioned safely and successfully, and all redundant equipment was removed within a 12 hour time frame.

It’s just a typical example of how Trojan-Mek solve machinery moving challenges.

 

Nestle Factory relocation could be ‘tip of iceberg’ as manufacturing ‘Brexodus’ predicted

Nestle recently announced they will be relocating production of their Blue Riband chocolate bars to Poland ahead of Brexit, and industry pundits are predicting EU factory relocation to increase as Brexit looms closer.

Nestle’s announcement drew heavy criticism, but industry experts at foodmanufacture.co.uk say they expect other food manufacturers to follow as pressure of sterling, exodus of skilled EU workers and the prospect of a hard Brexit continues to bite.

The automotive sector is also worried about UK manufacturing jobs.  Only last week, the Daily Post reported that Witter Towbars, who supply towbars to iconic British brand Jaguar Land Rover, is looking into a possible factory relocation to Romania – with the loss of 94 North Wales production jobs.

Leighton Price, Operations Director for Trojan-Mek, said:

“All these moves look like an opportunity for global factory relocation experts like ourselves, but actually we’re proud of our British manufacturing heritage and we’d encourage UK producers to look at all the options, including relocation within the UK instead.

“We can help any business with a factory relocation, whether national or international, but we can also help UK businesses reduce haulage costs and improve accessibility to more remote locations, reducing the need to move.  We advise businesses to take a look at where savings can be made before upping sticks to the EU – and even if the EU seems the best option, consider all the options and potential pitfalls first.

“For example, post-relocation, Nestle will have to import Blue Riband back into the UK, as UK snack lovers are product’s biggest market.  Future import costs could be the snag – who knows what duties and complexities will be introduced post-Brexit?  The move may not prove as cost effective as they expect.”

“There is definitely room for manufacturers to make savings without total production site relocation, especially in terms of haulage.  Indeed, we recently expanded our haulage fleet which will deliver better efficiency and access for our clients in Wales and the West Country, which has also improved access to lucrative London markets for our construction clients. 

“Our ability to work closely with OEM’s on behalf of UK based production sites can also help to achieve cost effective installation, decommissioning and movement of specialist machinery and equipment.  Post-Brexit, like now, we will continue to provide transportation, machinery installation and relocation solutions, and will be happy to assist in factory relocation in any aspect – but our customers can rest assured we are not going anywhere, unless it’s on their behalf!”

TROJAN-MEK DELIVERS GROWTH IN SOUTH WALES CONSTRUCTION SUPPLIES MARKET

Following the growth of its South Wales operation, Trojan-Mek Limited has teamed up with construction materials supplier Wetherby Building Systems and made significant investment in its fleet, with the introduction of a new 26 tonne lorry to service hard to reach areas of Wales and the West Country.

As long term haulage supplier to Wetherby Building Systems, machine moving and transport firm Trojan-Mek collaborated with Wetherby to introduce a new 26 tonne curtain side wagon into its fleet. Catering to Wetherby’s successful depot at Bridgend, the new dual-branded vehicle is fitted with a two tonne moffett fork lift truck to allow mechanical offload and enable deliveries to be made to previously difficult to access sites.

The addition of the fork lift truck also provides operational and cost efficiencies to customers, with quicker loading and off-loading times, turnaround time is reduced on-site, while its ability to travel over rough terrain further saves time when trying to move product around a construction site.

Commenting on the new addition to the South Wales fleet, Leighton Price, Operations Director for Trojan-Mek, said: “Not only will investment in the new vehicle fortify the working partnership between us and Wetherby Building Systems, but will also enhance Trojan-Mek’s capability within the Construction materials distribution market, and improves our capability to relocate smaller manufacturing machines and electrical control panels for numerous customers.”

Customer Services Manager for Wetherby, Mark Arnold, added: “Since opening last year, our South Wales depot is going from strength to strength and we are continuing to invest in the facility to ensure future growth.

“The investment in the new vehicle will open up new opportunities as we will not be restricted in the sites we can deliver to and can supply our EWI solutions to projects throughout South Wales, the West Country and into London.”

Visit Wetherby Building Systems

Trojan Mek and Wetherby Building Systems 26 tonne lorry 26 tonne lorry partnership with Trojan Mek and Wetherby Building Systems