PEKAES, a leading logistics operator, transported historic vehicles to the site of the 74th battle for Monte Cassino anniversary celebrations. Armoured vehicles flying the colours of the Polish II Corps added splendour to the celebrations which took place between the 16th and 18th of May in Italy. The undertaking was executed for the Independence Foundation, thanks to financial support from the Office For War Veterans and Victims of Oppression as well as Lubelskie Voivodeship Marshal's Office.
This was not the first time that PEKAES had to deal with such an interesting logistics challenge. For example, in the past the operator transported a children's playground to Spain or an 80 tonne cargo for an aluminium can production line to Romania. This time, the unusual job entailed the transport of three World War II armoured cars (a US Scout Car armoured personnel carrier, a US Willys Jeep the symbol of Allied troops and a British Daimler Dingo reconnaissance vehicle). The vehicles were transported from Lublin to Italy and back for the celebrations held between the 16th and 18th of May. It took three days to travel the route, approx. 2100 km each way. Particular care was necessary during the undertaking on account of the material and primarily the historic value of the carried vehicles.
- With such unusual jobs, appropriate preparation and planning of the entire operation is key. This includes accurate scheduling, issues associated with loading and unloading as well as the transport means and methods. In this case, there was no room for error when it came to punctuality on account of the fixed programme for the celebrations. Absolute safety of the vehicles was also paramount. As one of the vehicles weighed more than 6 tonnes and had a wider wheelbase, guaranteeing efficient loading and unloading was very important. We had all the arrangements, including precise driver work scheduling perfectly planned down to the finest details - says Maciej Bachman, PEKAES President
A semi-trailer with a tarpaulin and additional protection (against the elements) was used to transport the vehicles. Such a solution entailed the necessity to devise a loading and unloading method. Standard ramps are not strong enough to support the heaviest vehicle and using a loading platform in Italy would require the necessity to engage third party warehouses, which would be quite problematic for each party. On the other hand, the journey from a potential unloading site to the vehicle assembly area under their own power would generate additional costs and incur the risk of mechanical breakdowns en-route. That is why PEKAES decided to arrange special ramps used by diggers and machinery of similar dimensions and to adapt a semi-trailer for their safe and robust application. In this manner, an optimal solution for a transport job with such requirements was found.
- Transport of our armoured vehicles to celebrations associated with an anniversary of the battle for Monte Cassino went according to plan. We had no reservations when it came to their safety. And that was mightily important for us , as the vehicles represent enormous historical value - they were acquired from private collectors in Western Europe, they all took active part in World War II - admits Krzysztof Bielak, Independence Foundation Member of the Board, Head of the Historic Education Group.