When empty, Sep normally ran it with a tandem axle pole semi-trailer but the guys who had been involved in round timber work (like Sep) were the pioneers of extendable trailers and / or dolly work.
Looking at some of the loads Sep carried on ‘Lady Mary’, you can see that on many occasions the semi trailer isn’t actually connected to the tractor unit. Instead it’s simply positioned under the back of the load as a form of independent bogie. And the ‘pole’ is simply tied up under the load to give added stability. Using this technique meant there was almost no limit (apart from practical constraints of course) as to the length of load Sep could carry.
Longest lengths the Foden probably shifted were some 96ft long steel piling bars that went 270 miles from Middlesbrough to the new power station under construction at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex. Move those same bars today and it would still be a good test for man and machine. But when you bear in mind what sort of road structure we had 60 years ago (where very few towns were by-passed) never mind the fact that the Cook trailer wheels couldn’t be steered at all, these moves just seem incredible.
But it was to be long loads like this which Sep built his reputation with – even though there was the odd fright. In total, Sep – and ‘Lady Mary’ – moved 15 concrete beams out of Dow Mac’s Tallington works cross-country to St Athans in South Wales. Each weighing off at 22 tons, they were 74ft long and became a fairly routine job. However, one day when stopped in Ross-on-Wye – and still under Police escort – a woman drove straight under the concrete beam load without touching it and totally oblivious to what she’d done. “Apparently the Police officer with my Dad was so shocked” recalls Donald, “ that when he went to chase after her, he spun the back wheel on his motorbike and then fell off.”