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LION Trackhire: The engineers who have “historically solved every challenge imaginable”

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Indeed, the company is ranked among the UK’s fastest-growing businesses and turnover and profits continue to grow at a steady pace. And why not? Their impressive engineers have gone on to do amazing feats, such as moving a whole ancient church in one piece to enable a 50 ton vehicle to cross sinking marshland and protecting the 2009 London Olympic running track from 200 ton cranes. But what, exactly, has led to such impressive growth?

Brand manager Mark Tennant attributes LION’s growth to their amazing engineers who are “all experts in their field” and have “historically solved every challenge imaginable”.

“Our teams smile when they say they operate with military precision and to a degree it’s true,” he adds. “Our engineers have designed virtually every aluminium track panel in use today (the old versions, used by our competitors) and after five decades of development, we now have the latest design, LIONtrack. It has the most grip, it is dual-sided for medium and heavy duty use, it can assist large vehicles climb 1:3 inclines and 1,200 ton cranes access unstable terrain. It has been independently tested in Germany where certification is essential.”

The process sounds complicated, whereby the product has to perform two major functions, with guaranteed success because failure could mean injury to pedestrians or damage to property. 

“A portable roadway must protect the traffic travelling upon it, be that pedestrian or vehicular and just as importantly, protect the ground beneath it. Our operation is only part of a project’s process so we must be punctual and efficient, we shouldn’t inhibit or cause disruption to any of the site’s other activities.

“The product is constructed from 100 per cent recycled aluminium, the third largest natural material on earth. It is 100 per cent recyclable again without any loss of properties and lighter than many materials. Plastic roadways are not fully recyclable, weaker and a good proportion of plastic ends up in our oceans. Aluminium’s value doesn’t depreciate and so makes us a very sustainable investment,” Tennant explains.

“Our engineers are experienced in engineering the right solution based on a site survey to assess how we ourselves access the site to install a solution. We then assess the ground, often undertaking cone penetration tests to understand it’s stability. We then plan how the proposed ‘traffic’ will access the site and have often had to remove street furniture or relocate trees when irregular loads such as wind turbine blades or large boats or even whole building are transported.

“And distribution of weight is a key factor in stabilising the loads and minimising disruption the ground beneath. We have installed ‘virgin’ panels with membrane underlays using a small rubber track machine where the ground has a delicate eco-system such as coastal marshes. John Robinson, Dale’s father and founding father of the industry disguised trackway as runway to stabilise a feature film’s air crash scene where the explosions and destruction of the plane and airport building only had a ‘one-take’ chance of capture. So when we say were are the experts, unlike our competitors, it isn’t an empty claim.”

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