Products & Services

Richard Seal

How do we deliver a multi-million pound engine safely across Europe to Airbus in Toulouse? 

We call on the skills and knowledge of our partners CEVA Logistics UK who are trusted to safely deliver our engines to customers all over the world. 

Richard Seal, a driver with over 30 years’ experience will be delivering this first customer engine to Airbus. 

“Two days before any delivery I wash and clean the vehicle and prepare for a trip of up to 10 days.  Then, on the day of despatch, I help the team in the Customer Delivery Centre load the engine onto the trailer.  The engine is a metre wider than the trailer, so making sure that it’s precisely positioned and that the weight is evenly distributed is really important.  We chain it down and photograph the load, checking for any issues before sheeting it over to protect it for the journey.

Along with my escort vehicle, it takes four and a half hours for us to drive from Derby to Portsmouth for the ferry, at an average of 50mph.  In Europe it’s a very different story. Under French law, we’re only able to use ‘A’ roads with a maximum speed of 40mph as my load is so wide. We can’t drive at all from midday on a Saturday until first light on a Monday morning, with even more restrictions during the holiday months of July and August.

We have to take the load through lots of small villages and I’m always on the lookout for road signs close to the kerb, buildings and overhanging trees.  An escort vehicle is required by law due to the width of the Trent XWB and he plays an important part in escorting me to Toulouse.  The escort also acts as a second pair of eyes on the road helping spot potential hazards en-route.

I’ve already delivered a couple of the Trent XWB test engines so I’m getting used to it, but it’s a big engine.  It’s challenging to say the least but really enjoyable.  Wherever we go, people know just by looking at the vehicle who we are. People know Rolls-Royce and I feel very proud."