by Graham Lockwood - BLOODHOUND SSC Product Sponsor

You’ve all watched that program on Channel 5 called “Ice Road Truckers” Well I have to say, it isn’t that difficult driving a 44 ton truck on ice, you should have tried driving in Scotland earlier this year. That M8 of theirs was nothing but ice .


Now “Bloodhound Truckers” there’s an idea. After all, Andy Green keeps telling us that driving in a straight line isn’t as easy as it would appear and having watched a number of potential Land Speed Record holders on the Bloodhound Driving Experience, maybe he’s got a point. But have you ever tried to reverse a 16.500 meter, 44 ton articulated vehicle 1200 yards down a tight and twisting access road, avoiding a dozen parked cars, lamp posts, post boxes and gate posts to a fancy new Science and Engineering Academy hosting a Bloodhound Event. With over 200 pairs of eyes watching and waiting for the driver to make a mess of it. ”.


Want to try it ?

I thought not. It all starts with an e-mail from an event host asking how big is the show car and how big is the van delivering it. VAN! Are you kidding?
Bloodhound SSC is 12.800 meters long, 2.800 meters high and 2.200 meters wide. Fortunately, the show car is just small enough to fit inside a standard size semi trailer. I say just fit inside a semi trailer, we still have to remove the nose cone from the front which means someone has to climb inside the show car armed with a torch and a 13mm spanner. The rear tail fin also has to be removed which means the same said person also has to climb up a pair of steps, carefully, and I mean carefully, balance themselves with one foot on the top of the steps and the other knee on the rear fuselage of the show car, carefully, holding the tail fin whilst someone else unbolts the fixings from inside.


Believe me, the show car doesn’t fit inside a van

So several e-mails and phone calls later, after the host having had a couple of sleepless nights wondering how the heck we’re going to get the show car in place, undamaged and on time. The Bloodhound artic turns up on site and has to negotiate reversing down a tight access road which bends to the left then to the right before bending to the left again, passing between two gate posts which are the width of a truck and a couple of layers of paint wide. Throw in several park cars just to make life interesting and to provide something soft for the artic to hit thus cushioning the impact. And all this, before the driver has had time for a cup of tea.
Ok, the artic’s in place and is ready for off loading. Now the show car doesn’t have real wheels or an engine to help position the car. Instead, we have to use a fork lift to lift the show car out of the trailer and carefully lower it down onto a pair of dollies. Picture this, a £100,000 giant airfix model, 12.000 meters long (because the nose is missing) weighing in at 970 kilograms being lifted by a fort lift truck with the steel forks only 1.500 meters apart. Scary stuff especially when you factor in the wind.But hey, we’ve never dropped it yet.

So, we now have the show car safely on the dollies, all we have to do next is get 6 or 7 strong lads to push the car off the road, or car park, through a door and into an exhibition hall, sports hall or in most cases left outside the reception area because it’s too big to go through the posh revolving doors.

Once we have the car in position, a pair of trolley jacks are used to lift the car off the dollies and slowly lower it down to ground level. The nosecone and the rear fin are bolted in place as previously described and The Bloodhound Show Car is given a quick polish. She looks magnificent, just like the real thing. Right, whose turn is it to get the brews?

Oh yeh… Then there is always the issue of off loading a
£5,000,000,  (that’s five million) EJ200 jet engine.
It’s heavy, fragile and doesn’t take too kindly to being dropped.
This is when the fort lift driver starts to sweat a little and everybody else decides to go for a long walk or they pretend that their mother has just phoned up for a chat.
Still we are trained professionals and like I’ve said, we haven’t dropped
anything yet…..

So if you happen to be travelling down the motorway or just passing through a town and you just happen to see the Bloodhound truck, give us a toot on your horn, flash your lights and give us a wave.

We’re always happy to see you and besides, it may be your turn to get the kettle on!!!



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