Haulage firms around the county brace for Storm Doris

Jack Richards & Sons items being loaded ready for delivery at the depot in Fakenham. Picture: Matthe

Jack Richards & Sons items being loaded ready for delivery at the depot in Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Haulage firms across Norfolk are bracing themselves and their drivers for Storm Doris as she blows through the county today.

Gusty winds such as those expected through the afternoon present a problem for high-sided vehicles – more so than high winds at a steady velocity.

Matt Starling, director of Starlings Transport – which operates from bases in North Walsham and Great Yarmouth – said high winds were one of the most challenging conditions for hauliers.

'If there is a constant wind the driver can feel that and they know when to pull over and park up. Gusty winds can catch a driver out.

'We tell them to use their discretion, to monitor the situation and if it deteriorates, we tell them to stop and wait.

'It makes not difference if it is an urgent load – safety of the driver and the public is paramount.'

He added that the closure of bridges to high-sided vehicles was affecting some journeys, although no drivers had reported serious problems so far.

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At Jack Richards & Sons in Fakenham, drivers receive training on how to cope in windy conditions.

Driver trainer Adrian Hooper said there is a procedure for drivers to call in to the transport planners if they feel the wind would make continuing their journey unsafe.

They also teach a technique for drivers with empty vehicles to pull back the curtains and attach them securely to the rear doors of the trailer, which allows air to travel through the vehicle and prevents it from being buffeted.

Mr Hooper said: 'When you are 15ft 5in high, and the sheets are shut, the winds can blow you over if they are high.'

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