The Crusher

It was Wednesday evening and on a Wednesday in the summer timetable the ferry arrives at 17:00 having sailed out to Barra and returned. Nothing unusual in that as it happens week after week. It was a beautiful sunny evening. {Let it be known that on Monday and Tuesday the Isle of Tiree was the sunniest place in the UK.)

MacLennan’s Lorry reversing down the linkspan

As we made our way past the pier office and marshalling lanes we noticed that in the lane dedicated to commercial vehicles there was an articulated lorry towing a large stone crusher. We decided to head down the pier approach to watch the ferry berth.

Cars and lorries came next

For normal there is little in the way of traffic from Barra which means the outbound vehicles and passengers can be boarded quickly. This was not to be the case on this occasion.

MacLennan’s articulated lorry reverses onto the linkspan

First all one of MacLennan’s lorry reversed onto the linkspan and proceeded to the car deck. This was unusual and appeared to indicate that the ferry would not be berthing bow first, rather stern first at Oban. The lorry was followed by the cars and vans which proceeded as normal – but apparently were garaged in such a way as to drive off the stern at Oban. MacLennan’s articulated lorry then unusually reversed down the linkspan and was followed by the Coll traffic which normal has to reverse down the linkspan.

Experience tells

Next the CRUSHER advanced towards the old pier to enable it to turn and reverse down the linkspan. The problem was its length. It must have taken about 15 to 20 minutes for the operation to be carried.

The Crusher

It had to be seen to understand just how complicated the operation was.

The tractor unit
Let the action begin
Patience and good brakes required

The sound of air brakes being applied could be heard again and again.
There was no room for error.

You cannot get any closer than this

We managed to catch some of the action on video.
It had to be an abridged version!

To watch the action click here or on the video

The MV Clansman ought to have departed the pier at 17:25. As a result of the complicated manoeuvring to reverse the crusher onto the linesman the ferry did not depart until 17:46.

The lashings are applied to the Crusher

Congratulations are due to ALL
involved in the successful operation
including the driver, pier staff etc.

The Ramp is raised

In order for the Coll traffic to be off loaded at the port the Crusher would have to drive off there and up the linkspan. Then once any Oban bound traffic from Coll was on board the Crusher would have to reverse down the Coll linkspan and back onto the car deck.

A delayed departure

This is ‘Life on Tiree’

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