MAN in Black – Part Deux


I featured this little MAN TGL the other week after @steviebloke met him at Bestlogs yard in Chichester. The truck belongs to a German Bestlog subbie by the name of Patrick Pralat, so I emailed him to ask a few questions and I got just a few answers. Here’s his reply;

Danke for the compliment. Sorry, I’m not by twitter. Stevie can make more pictures if he want, I have no new pictures. Inside looks the MAN normal. Original Radio blaupunkt 2x 5w speaker is out. Now is a multi media Alpine inside, little office with internet, GPS, printer, scanner, laptop/tv and so on. The Alpine has 300w, 6 speaker, 1 woofer with bluetooth handsfree. Sorry for me bad english.

Best Regards

Even though it’s a short answer it gives the idea that it isn’t just another run of the mill 12 tonner. I’m surprised none of the Photographers in Dover and the Kent area have spotted it yet, not that I’ve seen anyway. In MAN in Black I mentioned that Patrick can winch the trailer up inside the truck body when not required to save length and more importantly road tolls. This photo was taken by another Bestlog driver @patsmithf1. If you spot a Bestlog truck or the black one then please send me a photo to or tweet me @truckbloguk. There is more Bestlog action to come in the next week or so.


Mr Wilson’s Wednesday


A Wilson Wednesday with few words. These few photos came from one of the Wilson brothers, the quieter one of the 2 is the expert planner of the delightful red fleet from Suffolk. Just because he doesn’t write a blog and plaster himself across the internet like other bosses of high profile fleets, Mr Wilson is definitely a bit of a spotter and is definitely proud of his fleet. I often used to spot him take a sneaky photo on his afternoon yard walks. His spotter knowledge is amazing and his mind is full of priceless info, although my mother had to remind him of some ACH knowledge during a conversation they once had! Anyway here’s to you SW, thanks for the photos.












Centurions #8 #9 #14


Above are 2 very lucky owner drivers and no doubt very deserved too. On the left with the Olympic blue 143 500 is Maxi Mehrlich and on the right with the white 143 500 is Gorden Ardren. As you are probably all aware by now I’ve been trying to gain as much info on Scania’s original 100 special edition Centurion trucks as I can. This latest flurry of information comes from an excellent source, none other than Nagel Langdons own commercial director, Patrick Griffiths. This is what Patricks first email said;

A couple of corrections for your Centurion list.

J4 MJM was purchased through Langdon Industries Ltd by owner driver Maxi Mehrlich hence the J4 MJM. Copy of the original sales invoice is attached. We dug out a copy of this only a few months ago for the current owner.

J2 GLA was purchased through Langdon Industries Ltd by owner driver Gordon Ardren hence the J2 GLA.

J981BYA was purchased through Langdon Industries Ltd by owner driver Derek Champion. J981BYA it was a Scania R143 MA 4×2 R450 in white.

Myself or Patrick haven’t managed to find a photo of J981 BYA when it was new, so if any of you have then please email it me; – I did managed to find this photo of J981 but I don’t know whose photo it is or who owned the truck at the time, but I’m guessing it might be Plymouth owner driver Peter Orr. There is a slight question mark as to whether this was a 450hp or 500hp when new.


The truck details are as follows;


#8 Scania 143 500 Topline Streamline 4×2 Tractor – new to Maxi Mehrlich – now owned and fully restored by Dessie Mackin at Mackin International in Ireland. Above is the original invoice for the truck. I have cropped out the figures but I will tell you that it was between £60-£65,000 before VAT. I don’t know why but I was a little surprised that there is no mention of the edition number on the invoice. Before and after photos as follows;



#9 Scania 143 500 Topline Streamline 4×2 Tractor – new to Gorden Ardren – the truck has in the last few years been fully restored by Ashley Pearce and is now living in Ireland under the ownership of Donnell & Ellis. I have to say I helped convince Ashley Pearce to repaint the truck in Scania’s 3 Series pro-mo colours of blue with pink strips after giving him some posters an brochures. What a claim to fame! See below for its current condition.


#14 Scania 143 450 (May have been a 500hp?) Topline Streamline 4×2 Tractor – new to Derek Champion – now owned by Shropshire Forrestry Contractors as far as I’m aware. The last photo I have of it was when it was with its last owner Neil Johnson. Again if you have a recent photo of it since Neil Johnson had it please email me a copy;


Thanks again to Patrick at Nagel Langdons for the info and photos. Hopefully it’ll lead to more info about more Centurions. I think it’s amazing that the 3 Langdon Owner Drivers trucks are all still on the road and we can trace there where about’s as I know how difficult it is proving to find out info about some of the others.


Doing a Double Dutch


In the last week I have been sent a couple of decent DAF photos. If you want to get technical DAF do have approximately a 16% market share of the European heavy vehicle market so it’s not surprising that you see one on two on your travels. The one above was a top spot it has to be said. Blog favourite Steve Marsh spotted this white DAF in Dublin port, nothing unusual about a white DAF in Dublin I hear you say. The reason it’s a top spot is that the Space Cabbed XF105 is over 3200KM from its base in Casablanca. I have no idea what he was loaded with coming to Dublin from North Africa but I’m guessing it was clothing, well why not?! What I’d love is for it to have reloaded is a full load of Guiness bound for warmer climbs. Marshy was driving in Dublin port and spotted something different about the truck, on further inspection it turns out it is from some where different. I’m fairly confident there have not been many trucks from Casablanca to Ireland although I guess it could be a regular run?? With a lack of photos on the social media sites I think it could be more of a one off trip.


Next up from not so far away, is another blog favourite, Transam Trucking. This one was spotted on the M25 in Essex near the QE2 bridge by Dodgy Dave. Nothing too out of the ordinary in a big black Transam Trucking DAF truck I know but have another look…….this one is the little short one axle trailer. This makes it almost a mini artic I guess, so top spotting Dodgy!

Spotted something a bit different from the rest?? Then why not share it on the blog. You can email me; or you can post your photos on the TB Facebook page, just search for in the Facebook search bar.

Hold The Front Page


Who else’s diary has a front page line up like that?! Uncle Dick Snows that’s who’s. It’s kept a rulers length from my head every night and I have to say hardly a week (or a day, Mrs Blog would argue) goes by without me flicking through the pages of the 1969 diary Uncle Dick kept. I never met him as he was always away but I knew why he wasn’t there and I think he’s partly to blame for my crazy obsession with bloody old trucks! If you want to read one of the trips in the diary then all you’ve got to do is buy a copy of Ashley Coghill’s book; The Long Haul Pioneers, all about the history of legendary Middle East trucking company Astran nee Asian Transport.

And now the important bit…….


Over to Sophie Baker-Britton to tell you all about it;

Hi There,
We at Walker Movements hope you’re having a great week and have managed to catch some of the summer sun before it all goes downhill and the rain begins to pour yet again!

Below, you’ll see an infographic we’ve been working on all about the life of a lorry driver, broken down by numbers. As we researched, we began to realise that if you’re not a trucker, you can’t really begin to understand how tough life on the road can be, particularly when it comes to looking after our health!

We discovered that a whopping 78% of lorry drivers aren’t getting their 5 a day, and that 28% of lorry drivers are obese or morbidly obese, which isn’t that hard to comprehend given that we spend an average of 1,040 hours a year on the road.

Given our findings, we wanted to share these with you and offer a couple of tips for remaining safe and healthy on the road.

1) Avoid the trucker cafes! Okay, nip in for a coffee when needed – but when it comes to those fry ups and other greasy treats, try to avoid them at all costs. Keep a few healthy non-perishable snacks such as dried fruit and almonds in your wagon to avoid stopping off for a snickers!

2) Use your resting time wisely! You need a good sleep that’s for sure, but try to work in a little exercise too. A walk around the area you’ve stopped at (provided it’s safe to do so) to stretch out those legs will not only give you time out of the cab, it will also help to keep the waistline in check.

It may be tough on the road at times, but let’s face it, would we rather be cooped up in an office all day?!

Have a great week all and enjoy this infographic from the guys at Walker Movements.

Wilson Wednesday – Geoff Special


He’s back!! (For one week only?? Who knows) Geoff and Daisy DAF have taken a break from there holidays and this week they are putting in a shift or two. Not to over do it HC Wilson gave Geoff a steady export that was just over length. At 1.5 metres over length from the North West out to the Netherlands dear Daisy and her ever-tanned pilot should have a nice little run out to the land of Cloggs and Cheese.