Where is she now??

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VRT 238X – where is she now I wonder?? I’ve been running through my last batch of photos from David Scarff an came across this delightful Scania. I know it’s a known truck and there are photos of it about but to me this is a cracker. It really gives a great example about the golden years of UK Continental trucking, the years when the trucks from the UK used to go everywhere. I think this Scania 142 was know for running to Hellas but in sure you’ll tell me better. I searched for it on the DVLA vehicle search and it says it’s not been taxed since 22nd September 1999 and it also says it’s not been exported (although I don’t believe that section of the search!). The colour is listed as multicolour too, so if she is still in the UK then who knows where about’s it is? Who was the last known owner? Any answers then leave them below please.

New MAN on the block!

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A few posts ago I put up Steve Marsh’s last trip out in his old faithful GB05 STE, his ageing MAN TGL 12.210 tilt that has served him well, but as with all ageing European cruisers, GB05 had to be replaced to take advantage of lower toll prices and meet higher emissions standards that are required across the EU and beyond. Read the last post (ha ha) by clicking HERE.

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Above you will see a couple of photos of the new motor GB14 STE killing time on a Saturday afternoon in Hull waiting for the Hull – Europoort boat. The new ride is once again a cracking little Tonka from the stables of MAN, it’s a TGL 12.250 this time. A bit more horse power, a Euro 6, 250hp engine attached to a KUDA high roof conversion. Marshy opts for the higher KUDA roof over factory fit LX cab from MAN as the KUDA option gives a little more headroom and also you have to say it does look the part being that bit higher. The truck is fitted with a Euroliner style rigid body fitted with a sliding roof and slash proof curtains and is one of only a handful of rigids registered in the UK with full TIR certification. Now don’t ask Marshy about the body build and the MAN dealers involved in this complete farce of a build, for let’s just say it took a year from order to handover and over 2 weeks for a PDI and tacho calibration, dealer standards MAN UK?? Duty of care?? Disgraceful. Another story for another day I think. Anyway so far so good and it would appear Marshy has ended up with another little stunner, a real head turner I think. If you see it on the road try and send me a photo, as yet I’ve not seen it in the flesh although my time will come……sooner rather than later I hope!

So the first trip to mainland Europe started with a Saturday load up in Hull and a Saturday night boat to Europoort courtesy of P&O Ferries. I’m told that it’s no longer a party boat on a Saturday night! Here’s the rest of the first trip;
Sunday: Drove to destination near Koblenz. Waiting at Venlo border before crossing into Germany at 10pm Sunday evening.
Monday: Tip Koblenz and drive to Paris for reload.
Tuesday: Load Paris & Oostende, then drive to destination near Bournemouth for 1st drop.
Wednesday: Tip goods from Oostende in Bournemouth and goods from Paris in Stockport. Through Lymm truckwash then a quick Bury – Warrington load.

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Photo above unloading near Koblenz with tailift. Photo below was taken somewhere in France while taking a tacho break on the way to Paris.

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It looks as though GB14 has carried on where GB05 left off and is already getting to grips with life in the world of international light haulage and express deliveries. I know there has been a trip across the Irish Sea for GB14 too, another very regular destination for Steve Marsh Express over the last year. I’m hoping as time goes by that GB14 will feature on the blog as much as GB05 and that the truck will find itself and it’s pilot, Mr Marsh, ticking off European countries and islands month after month much like before. If you see Marshy give him a hoot and a wave and try to get a photo in between. I’d love to see your photos of the little MAN as would Marshy.

Christmas Gift Idea

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Something for your Christmas list….. A perfectly timed release for this years festive season, is this own account Autobiography of an Owner Driver from Southampton by the name of Chris Nicholls. I got this on email from Chris over the weekend;

“For 23yrs between the late seventies and the early nineties I was an owner-driver working out of Southampton and traveling both UK and Europe. I have spent the last 2 yrs writing about my experiences in a book entitled THERE AND BACK A JOURNEY AROUND MY LIFE. This went live on Amazon 48hrs ago. Tonight I have been informed its 76th in its catagory of about 160, FOUR places above JAMES MAY. If there any lads out there stuck on a loading bay or having a night out in some cold lay-by and require a good laugh, this book could be the answer.”

The book is currently available for downloading as an e-book onto your Kindle, if your cool enough that is! Click HERE. If your like me you’ll have to wait til mid December and buy it in paper book format. I for one have put it on my list from the rotund man in the red suit, so hopefully if I can behave for a little longer, I might just get my copy for Turkey Christmas day.

Journey MAN reaches Journeys End

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Well known to all the regular blog readers, here she is on her final delivery to mainland Europe. After 9 years service and 987,000KM under her belt, GB05 STE is seen above delivering to a new French Connection shop in Grenoble, France. I don’t think Steve Marsh could even begin to work out the amount of times he has driven GB05 over French soil but this the final trip was a nice little run to finish a fairly glamour career. This last trip started from Marshy’s Warrington base, with a run down to Leicester for 2 pickups, on to Purfleet for a 3rd collection before heading to Dover and then onward to Grenoble and the delivery point. Once empty it was time for a top up from the local Carrefour (see below),back up to Amiens to reload for Ellesmere Port, just a stones throw away from Warrington and home. A steady 2800KM later and the curtain was down on GB05’s European days. To say Steve and little MAN TGL have been some places is almost an understatement, having covered hundreds of thousands of miles together……..

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Rep, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Isle of Man, Italy, Luxembourg, Majorca, Malta, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Tenerife…….oh and the lsola del Giglio off the Italian Coast, you know the one where the captain parked his cruise ship on the rocks!

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The days of Europe now over, there was still one more trip involving a ferry left to complete. Start, Warrington, load Worcester for same day delivery to Belfast and Newtownards in Northern Ireland. A typical job for Steve and GB05 STE completed with no fuss, pretty well the same since she was registered back in November 2005.

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Finally Steve made the decision to update the ageing TGL for a newer Euro 6 version. It’s taken a year to put GB14 STE on the road (that’s another story!) but now she will be Steve’s new workhorse and GB05 is up for sale and available to go to a new home. If you have any genuine interest in buying Steve’s old steed then please email Steve; marshy@stevemarshexpress.co.uk or you can leave a comment below with your phone number and I can pass it on. Not a lot more to say other than I’m sure Steve will agree that GB05 has been a good truck in general and I’m sure Steve will be pleased if GB14 is as reliable. I’d like to say a thank you to GB05 as it’s the truck that got me and Marshy in touch and it’s also the truck that have given MAN trucks a lot of social media coverage as both the truck and Steve have developed quite a fan base here on the blog. IA blog on GB14 STE will follow soon.

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Kerbey Motors 70th Anniversary Model

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I’ve had this delightful model announcement in from Ben Lord at Speedbird Promotions, the UK arm of Tekno if you like! Have a read and get ordering;

We’re delighted to announce a new Tekno model that will be released next year. Commemorating our 70th anniversary, we have commissioned Speedbird Promotions and Tekno to produce a replica of our flagship Scania R-Series Streamline truck. Packaged in a luxury display case, these models can be purchased from us for £109.95 including postage. All of these will be accompanied with a limited edition certificate that will be signed by Bim Mountain. The model is due for release in Summer 2015.

If you would like to reserve one of these, please e-mail models@kerbeymotors.com​

Queen of the Outback

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What an awesome looking rig! I think Australian trucks looks more imposing than the Americans, as in general the cabs sit higher due to the nature of some of the roads and tracks across the outback. This K’whopper is driven by a trucking mad woman called Clare. Last night I was Tweeting into the future and Clare was tweeting into the past. It was getting on for midnight Saturday night here in the UK but it was early Sunday morning down in Australia. I was lazing on the sofa watching the TV while @clarebear455 was trucking along some where 1200km north of Perth in Western Australia, the wonders of modern technology! Clare drives and polishes the gorgeous looking KW for her boss and who can blame her with such a fancy looking rig. The road train is powered by a 650hp Caterpilar power plant, pulling 3 articulated trailers, weighing in at approx 135,000kg and around 55 metres long, at this size Clare can still truck along at 100kph. Here in the UK it’s a different world entirely, max length is 18.75 metres on a drawbar (rigid truck with a trailer), 44,000kg on 6 axles, limited to 89kph. I know where I’d rather be, I’d happily swap 1000 cars on the M25 for 1000 kangaroos! If your on twitter follow Clare by searching for; @clarebear455