The seasons are advancing! In the world of off-site static caravans this means we’re running out of days which will bring optimum conditions for getting your static caravan on private land, before the worst of the weather sets in for the winter.
But we don’t mean ‘optimum’ for us – we’re happy to go the extra mile for our customers whatever the weather – but it’s the weather that’s starting to dictate siting conditions. Overall, there are (at least) three very good reasons why it’s better to get your static transported and sited before winter …
#1 Soft ground vs heavy weight
For many of our customers who want to put a static caravan on private land, part of the transportation to the site includes ‘off roading’ onto land rather than roadways. In some incidences this can be just across a short space, such as the length of a garden. If that’s the case, we can usually use a lighter vehicle such as a 4×4 to manoeuvre and push a static across soft ground and into position.
But often, the transport and siting services we are asked to provide involves rural and even agricultural locations, which means gaining access to the site along lanes and even a cross a field (or two). In these cases, getting the caravan to its site can be a problem once the weather turns and ground becomes sodden. This is because of the overall weight involved.
Let’s look at some of the average numbers …
- Our rigid vehicle used for transporting static caravans weighs 9.5 tonnes.
- The articulated truck and trailer we use weighs 12 tonnes.
- The average weight of a static sold and transported from our yard is between 5 and 7 tonnes.
So a static caravan delivered on our rigid could mean a combined total of up to 16.5 tonnes, whilst the articulated truck and trailer plus static caravan could potentially mean a combined weight of 17 to 19 tonnes.
The ground underneath such enormous weight has to be sufficiently dry and hard to be able to bear these combined loads, otherwise there are problems.
Already this Autumn 2019 the UK has experienced some extreme rain and flash floods, which means that ground which may have otherwise been OK for taking the weight of a heavy vehicle are fast becoming too wet for weight – with rural lanes already churned up by vehicles, and fields waterlogged and impassable for heavy vehicles. Even if the vehicle can get onto the field or location, it can’t always get back out again, as reported recently in Somerset.
#2 Road closures = diversions + disappointment
All our processes and services are set up to minimise risk and disappointment for our customers. We organise our transportation and delivery of our heavy, abnormal loads in compliance with the Highways Dept and the Police. This means applying for a Movement Order which directs us to a specific route and time-frame for delivery. Although having a movement order is of great benefit to everyone it does mean that, even if your static caravan is being delivered to a hard ground area, it may be subject to seasonal delivery and problems:
- Road closure – movement orders specify a route which allows for the size and speed or our abnormal loads. If a road is closed – for instance due to localised flooding, or because pump trucks make the roads impassable- then this can mean significant delays on delivery.
- Diversions – road closures usually mean diversions for all traffic. But because the movement order specifies a particular route, it may mean that the diversion route is not suitable, making delivery and siting impossible for the time being. And of course the longer the delay, the further into the season and the worse the weather becomes …
- Disappointments – this time of year offers a mixture of both weather warnings and weather windows, depending on how you are siting a static caravan on private land. In your own garden or plot, it’s not always necessary to put down hard-standing, although some of our customers like to prepare the ground first with this or other groundwork. When foul weather prevents groundwork preparations, we’re often asked to delay delivery (by the way, we don’t mind, just ask us) but it does sometimes mean that your own timeline for getting your static sited has to change, or even be postponed until better weather – delays which lead to disappointment.
#3 Hard ground vs siting for services
It’s not just wet weather that can cause siting problems. A period of cold weather could mean that lthough we may be able to get the static transported and sited for you (subject to ice weather warnings, if its that cold) but you may experience your own difficulties with connecting up services such as gas and plumbing if the ground is too hard for working for connection.