STONEYWOOD HAS BEEN RECOVERING VEHICLES AROUND THE CALDER VALLEY FOR OVER 40 YEARS, BUT THE THREE MEN WHO FOUNDED THE COMPANY HAVE NO PLANS TO RETIRE JUST YET, AS ON SCENE FINDS OUT.
The Upper Calder Valley area has arguably some of the most spectacular scenery in England. In the heart of the Pennines, there are rolling hills and atmospheric moorland, as well as the highest motorway in the country, the M62.
While this may make for picturesque driving, it also means the roads are often narrow, steep and with deep verges, all waiting to catch out an unwary driver. And there are plenty of these, as the team at Stoneywood can confirm.
Stoneywood recovers all types of vehicles, from the smallest motorcycle to the largest mobile crane, according to general manager Lee Exley. “We’ve even done some river recovery for fallen trees, and sunken plant on peat bogs up in the moors,” he adds. “We’re the sort of place where usually, if someone rings up and asks if we can help with something, the answer is yes. We’ll find a way to do it somehow.”
IT MIGHT BE RELATIVELY SMALL IN SIZE COMPARED TO ON SCENE's USUAL FARE, BUT THE IVECO eDAILY IS CERTAINLY ONE MIGHTY MINI WHEN IT COMES TO ITS TOWING CAPACITY, PULLING OVER 153 TONNES RECENTLY TO SCOOP A NEW GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS TITLE.
The Iveco Daily’s 3.5-tonne towing capacity has seen it become a staple of fleets needing to lug generators, diggers and other large items from site to site. But as the world enters the new zero-emissions age of light commercials, is the all-electric eDaily still up to the task?
It turns out that the eDaily is every bit as capable as its diesel sibling – including in the towing department. Its ladder-frame chassis not only neatly stores its modular batteries without cargo volume intrusion, but also provides the strength to tow up to 3.5 tonnes. While its official towing figure is unrivalled at this point in time, Iveco wanted to know just how strong its latest model really was. And what better way to do so than to take on an official Guinness World Records title for towing?
Breaking or setting a world record isn’t as straightforward as you might think. There’s a huge amount of planning involved, incorporating everything from geographical gradients to the physical task itself.
HE MIGHT HAVE MEANDERED HIS WAY INTO THE BUSINESS AND STARTED OUT ON A WING AND A PRAYER, BUT ON POINT RECOVERY OWNER JOSH HENRY IS SHARPLY FOCUSED AND THOROUGHLY COMMITTED – AND IT'S PAYING DIVIDENDS, AS ON SCENE FINDS OUT.
“I had no intention of doing any of this,” Josh Henry, owner of On Point Recovery, tells us. And it’s clear he really means it. “I was doing building work with my dad and my brother – I was the oldest brother, so I was sort of set to go on and be in charge, I suppose.” This was back in 2017, he tells us. “My whole family came from a building background – my dad, grandfather, uncles, everyone. And they’ve all done well from it.”
Josh is talking to us from his office in the village of Arborfield, just off the M4 in Berkshire, near Reading and Bracknell. It’s a great spot to be in if you’re a recovery firm; between the M4 and M3, a stone’s throw from the M25, and within easy reach of the A34 corridor to the West Midlands, up through Newbury.
DJ RECOVERY IPSWICH IS NEW TO THE RECOVERY MARKET IN THE SUFFOLK AREA, BUT IT IS QUICKLY MAKING A NAME FOR ITSELF, AND AFTER JUST TWO YEARS IS EXPANDING, TAKING ON TWO NEW VEHICLES AND LARGER PREMISES. ON SCENE REPORTS.
A lot can happen in two years. Back in 2021, James Wigmore and Daniel Johnson, two long-standing friends, decided to take the plunge and start their own recovery business as they could see a gap in the market for a company that provided high levels of customer service at a reasonable price.
Since then, DJ Recovery Ipswich has forged a good reputation for service in the Suffolk area and gained contracts from leading insurance and breakdown companies. And now, the company is taking on new trucks and is set to occupy larger premises to deal with the rising volume of work.
There is, of course, no shortage of recovery companies covering Suffolk, but by providing a quality service with high standards of customer service, the two men have carved their own niche in the area.
GRAHAM WARD FIRST GOT INTO RECOVERY AS A BIT OF A HOBBY, BUT 50 YEARS LATER AT THE AGE OF 72, WARDS OF BURNLEY IS STILL GOING STRONG AND HE HAS NO PLANS TO RETIRE.
Back in 1973, a young man by the name of Graham Ward finished his apprenticeship as a mechanic, passed his City & Guilds, and wasn’t entirely sure what to do next. “I thought, I’m better off working for myself than someone else,” Graham tells us. “So I set up on my own, in a little garage close to home, and went on from there.” A friend of his wanted some scrap vehicles moving, and he was towing the odd car in as well. “Recovery was just a bit of a hobby, really,” he says.
Fifty years on, Wards of Burnley is still going strong, as is Graham himself. Handling everything from motorcycles to artics and even the odd bit of plant when the need arises, the firm also has a police contract covering Burnley, Padiham, and parts of the M56 and A56. Based between junctions 9 and 10 of that motorway, Wards now has around 12 vehicles in regular use. Graham himself, meanwhile, is still on call 24/7 despite being 72 years of age.
THEY'RE STILL BLACK, THEY'RE STILL ROUND, AND THEY'RE STILL CRITICAL TO VEHICLES OF ALL KINDS – INCLUDING THOSE USED IN THE RECOVERY SECTOR. BUT TYRE TECHNOLOGY HAS ACTUALLY COME A LONG WAY IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, AS ON SCENE REPORTS.
Not so long ago, tyres, were just tyres – black and round and designed to keep your vehicle rolling down the road, regardless of their position on the vehicle or trailer. Experience would tell you roughly how long they would last and when they were damaged or worn, you would replace them – perhaps after re-grooving and re-treading had extended their life further – before starting all over again.
As tyre technology expanded, manufacturers were able to tailor tyre characteristics according to their use – on-road or off-road, with tread characteristics designed accordingly. “I can remember the mid-1980s when the level of sophistication was just not there,” says Steve Howat, general manager – technical services at Continental Tyre Group UK. “Basically, 11R22 tyres were on the steer axle, on the drive axle and even on the trailer; just one tyre size and pretty much just one pattern – a zig-zag. That was the level of sophistication.”
LOCATED BY THE SIDE OF THE OLD A74 IN SOUTH LANARKSHIRE, WESTON'S RECOVERY HAS A LONG HISTORY AT THIS FASCINATING LOCATION, ALONG WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART RECOVERY EQUIPMENT TO DEAL WITH THE SPRAWLING TERRAIN AND VARIETY OF ROADS IN THE REGION. ON SCENE REPORTS.
Connecting directly to the M6 at the Scottish border is the A74M, which turns into the M74 at junction 12, Douglas. The reasons for the motorway changing numbers are unclear, but it’s known that at one time there were plans for it to become the M6 when the pair were linked. This only happened recently, however, with the final three-lane section between Gretna and Carlisle being completed in 2008. By that time, everyone seemed to have got used to the idea that the M6 would end at the border, and that was that.
Located right at the switchover between A74M and M74 is Weston’s Recovery, a family-run company that has occupied its site just south of Abington in the small village of Crawford since 1980. Boss Bill Weston, age 76, has lived here for 60 years and you can see the house his parents originally bought from the back of the yard. Today, the road the garage sits on is called the A702. It was originally part of the old A74, which 60 years ago had only just routed traffic around Crawford.