Behind the shed

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Used vegetable oil from chip fryers and restaurants is helping a light haulier make the streets of Bath a cleaner and greener place. Eco-warrior Chris Pawson started his haulage firm, Transeco, just before Christmas, and the more people hear about his green haulage concepts, the more they are warming to his business.

He said: “An idea like this appeals to any green-thinking business. A lot of people have told me that they think this is a fantastic idea. For me it is important that it runs on this fuel because although I want to run a business, I wanted to ensure it was ethical and environmentally friendly.

“To me, doing this in Bath and around Bristol makes real sense because both areas are very green thinking.” The idea for the company was hatched after Mr Pawson, a refrigeration engineer, spent time learning about alternative technologies and power sources at a Welsh energy centre. During his time at the North Wales Renewable Energy Centre, he learned that once diesel engines had been professionally adapted, they could run on vegetable oil.

The oil is carbon-neutral, puts out no major pollutants when run through an engine and, because of the high temperature at which it is burned, gives off no significant smell. Unlike other vehicles fuelled by vegetable oil, they also make no contribution towards global warming. Fired up by the proposal, Chris took his concept to Business West and the Bristol Enterprise Development Fund for backing.

They approved it and he got hold of a Citroen van, converted it, and bought enough filtered vegetable oil to keep him going for a while. In November, he finally started up the business.

So far, most of his jobs have been sub-contracted by other haulage firms. But now he is targeting green-minded businesses that want to make use of an eco-friendly haulage company directly.

Eurotunnel, has carried 10 million trucks since 1994. The 10 millionth truck belonged to the Spanish company, Capitrans, from Murcia province in the south east of Spain. Driver José Antonio Martinez, said: “I have been on the Spain-UK route for nine years, doing eight crossings a month through the tunnel. The service is excellent, the welcome is great. But for those of us who are transporting fresh produce, it is the crossing time, the frequency of departures and the ease of use that make the difference.”

On 10 March 2005, Eurotunnel also broke its own record for volume with 6,506 trucks carried in one day. With its fleet of sixteen truck-carrying shuttles, Eurotunnel offers road hauliers a departure every ten minutes at peak times, with 250 departures each day.

Mack has sponsored a Ready Mix Driving Skills Challenge during this year’s “World of Concrete” show. The event was held in the Gold Lot outside the Las Vegas Convention Centre on the 17th-19th January. The competition was open to any show attendee with a Commercial Drivers Licence. Contestants drove Mack Granite Axle Back models equipped with mixer bodies through a maze of skill challenges. Drivers were awarded points based on his or her expertise.

To the sceptical art-critics among you thinking that all modern art is a load of rubbish, South London won’t be the place to go. Eight Dennis dust carts in South London [pictured]have been given a modern makeover from their usual grimy grey’s and greens and have been painted by local artists in zebra stripes, jungle foliage, colourful African motif’s and others.

Artist Gabriela Szulman, who is exhibiting her work on a cart says: “This is a great project because the art is getting seen by so many more people than if it was hung in a gallery. I’m not precious about where my art goes. The most important thing is that people are able to enjoy it.”

The project run by Southwark Council is intended to change people’s perceptions about modern art and interacting with their community. Culture boss Columba Blango said: “We hope this project will provoke questions about the art and encourage people to visit the wealth of art on display in galleries, studios and at local arts festivals.”

MAN ERF is challenging Road Haulage Association member companies to enter their best HGV Class 1 driver in the RHA Driver 2006 Challenge. The overall winner will receive a £750 cash prize, plus an all-expenses paid three-day trip to Malta in May for the RHA Conference as guests of MAN ERF. The winners will be presented with their prizes at the Commercial Vehicle Show in April. The three winning employers will be hosted by MAN ERF at a unique day with the Williams F1 team. Entrants will be asked to complete a questionnaire comprising 30 technical questions on every aspect of their job.

Twenty drivers will be selected to go forward to a grand final to be held at the Transport Research Laboratory on 1 April 2006. Entry forms and questionnaire can be downloaded from: – –

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