Question: How do you get a 13-metre long, 1,000 mph car through a five-metre doorway?
Answer: With a MOFFETT M8, of course.
Moving awkward shaped, long, and heavy loads in confined and narrow spaces is something that is second nature to Arthur Spriggs and Sons, specialist haulage contractors based in Tewksbury, Gloucestershire, in England. So when they agreed to become the Logistics Product Sponsor for the Bloodhound SSC (Super Sonic Car) project, they knew that the biggest challenge they faced was exactly how they were going to move the 13-metre long, 3.5-metre high supersonic rocket and jet-propelled Bloodhound replica car. However, they knew just who to talk to in order to source the right lifting equipment: Hiab’s MOFFETT team.
The Bloodhound SSC project is the latest exciting endeavour run by Richard Noble, Project Director, and Andy Green, Driver, owners of the current land-speed record of 763.035 miles per hour, achieved with the Thrust SSC in 1997. The Bloodhound SSC is the ultimate jet and rocket-powered car, which is designed to travel at over 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 kilometres per hour), and will attempt to break the current land-speed record in 2015 at Hakskeen Pan in South Africa.
When Arthur Spriggs and Sons took on the logistics sponsorship for the Bloodhound SCC, it was Hiab’s MOFFETT team they turned to, who specified and supplied the MOFFETT M8 truck mounted forklift used by them to move the replica car on and off the transporter they use to convey it around Europe and beyond into schools, colleges, universities and exhibition halls as part of the Bloodhound education programme. The Bloodhound education programme includes a range of activities and curriculum resources for primary school level to university undergraduate level students, and uses real-life data and examples from the Bloodhound development project to inspire the next generation of aspiring scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
"We have been using MOFFETT truck mounted forklifts since 2003, when we undertook a contract to deliver six-metre long UPVC extrusions for one of our clients," said Chris Spriggs, Managing Director of Arthur Spriggs and Sons. "We approached Hiab’s MOFFETT team for a solution to this handling problem, and now use their machines in many areas of our business to move things ranging from bathroom equipment to motor cycles."
"Whenever we have a new business opportunity that requires materials handling equipment, we sit down with Hiab’s MOFFETT team and specify the correct machine for the task," continued Spriggs. "So when we agreed to become the Logistics Product Sponsor for the Bloodhound SSC project, which entailed delivering the exhibition models and related equipment to shows and schools around Europe, we knew we needed a highly specialist piece of equipment, that could be easily maintained out in the field, to handle it all."
John Bailey, National Accounts Manager, Hiab Products in the UK, explained: "After reviewing what was required, we specified a MOFFETT M8 35.4 truck mounted forklift because of its lifting capacity, and its unique automatic multi-directional system that allows it to drive forwards, backwards and sideways, so allowing Chris Spriggs’ team the flexibility to move the 13-metre long car through very narrow doorways, such as you would find in a school or an exhibition hall."
The M8 35.4 is a lift truck and reach truck in one package, and can handle loads of up to 3.5 tons, even if it has to ‘reach forward’ to pick up heavy loads in front of its wheels. It is the specialist truck for transferring long, heavy loads in confined spaces, yet is compact enough to fit onto the back of almost any truck or trailer.
"Having seen the replica car at our factory in Dundalk recently, which was also seen by employees and their families, and children from seven local schools, the level of excitement generated by this unique car has inspired both young and old alike to take an interest in technology and engineering, and be amazed at the possibilities it generates to go beyond anything we know today, said Michael O’Reilly, Product Manager, TMFL Product Business, Hiab.
Keith Quigley, Vice President, TMFL Product Business, Hiab, added: "We also took the opportunity to show local students around Hiab’s factory, engineering department, and machine testing facility, to demonstrate the impressive capabilities of the MOFFETT truck mounted forklifts, and show how the MOFFETT M8 is a central part of the logistics operation for the Bloodhound project. Inspiring young people to become interested in the fascinating world of engineering is very important to us, and I think the students were sometimes surprised at the sort of projects we get involved with as a normal part of our everyday business."