“We have our fingers in a lot of pies, and cover quite a large cross-section of industries,” said Nick Gingell, business operations manager at Kings Heavy Haulage (Bristol), explaining why the specialist haulier has been able to remain relatively busy during these trying times.
“Plant and machinery is part of what we do, but we also do quite a lot of military, aviation and gas and electric too, so as some work dropped away, others picked up,” he told Commercial Motor.
Kings prides itself on finding solutions to problems, something it has been doing a lot of during the COVID-19 pandemic. A great example of this is the work it does with the military. Some of the loads it moves require double-manning, which clearly poses a problem at the moment.
“So we put our heads together, and came up with a solution,” said Gingell, who explained that the answer was for drivers to team-up with employees from the same household. “For instance our sales manager, whose son has had to finish university, can go out in the same cab,” he said. “We also have a couple of drivers whose sons work for us in different roles. The MD’s sons work in the business too, and live together, so they are able to double-man. And my father does double-manning with me if I have to go out.”
Gingell said great care has been taken to keep drivers safe, and all are issued with hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. As an additional precaution, drivers are no longer allowed to swap trucks unless a vehicle has been parked-up for over 72 hours. “It’s the only way to be sure,” he said. “We have nobody with it [Coronavirus] yet, and we don’t want to take any risks. We are doing everything we can to keep these lads safe. We need them driving.”
In addition to servicing its usual customers, Kings has also done some work specifically around COVID-19. It recently supplied some extended trailers, free of charge, to a haulier involved in setting up one of the Nightingale hospitals. Additionally it has moved refrigerated trailers to help make a temporary mortuary in Cornwall.