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As an offsite manufacturing expert and engineer with over 20 years’ experience developing offsite businesses, processes and products, Trevor Richards, Operations Director of Cogent Consulting, discusses logistics and the crucial factors with the design and manufacture of volumetric modules.

1 Due to its positive impact on cost, programme, quality and safety, modular construction has gained considerable momentum – the new Industrial Strategy mandating the use of offsite technology on a range of publicly financed construction initiatives – is just one of the driving forces behind innovations in this rapidly developing sector. The offsite manufacturing arena is an exciting place to be and we are seeing more inward investment than I have witnessed in decades of working within the industry. For many, volumetric modular is the ultimate expression of offsite manufacture. The more that can be achieved in the factory, the better and safer the process becomes overall, but transportation parameters must be factored into the equation. Transportation Parameters Volumetric module sizes must be determined by balancing the width, length and height with transport restrictions and the cost of haulage


and installation. The size of any load classed as ‘abnormal’ can be exceeded, however this brings in to play further regulations. This will result in either notifications to the authorities or an escort vehicle accompanying deliveries. An abnormal load is a vehicle that has any of the following characteristics – weight of more than 44,000 kilograms (43.3 ton), an axle load of more than 10,000 kilograms (9.85 ton) for a single non-driving axle and 11,500 kilograms (11.32 ton) for a single driving axle, a width of more than 2.9m and/or a rigid length of more than 18.65 metres. Loads may overhang the end of a trailer, but once this exceeds 2m, additional notifications are required. In relation to transport specification, a standard UK flat-bed trailer is 13.5m long. It is generally accepted that a load should not extend beyond 1.5m from the end of the trailer bed and an allowance needs to be made between

the load and the trailer headboard to ensure adequate manoeuvrability can be achieved. Any transportable load with a width exceeding 2.9m up to 4.3m, requires two clear days notice to the police in order to be moved. For a width exceeding 5.0m up to 6.1m, in addition to two days notice to the police, a report form needs to be sent to the Highways Agency. Depending on the load being moved and the route taken, in addition to the notifying the Police and Highways, advance warning may also need to be given to bridge and structure owners such as Network Rail. UK Legislation does not contain any requirement for an abnormal load to be escorted. However, legally enforceable standards exist for the notification of abnormal load movement to both Chief Constables and the Highway Authorities. The police are not responsible for ensuring the safe operational passage of abnormal loads on the roads – this is


Profile for Radar Communications

Offsite Magazine - Issue 15 (January/February)  

Offsite Construction Industry News, Offsite Awards and Futurebuild Preview plus much more

Offsite Magazine - Issue 15 (January/February)  

Offsite Construction Industry News, Offsite Awards and Futurebuild Preview plus much more