PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO

The PETRONAS Team De Rooy IVECO set off yesterday (3rd January) from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the prologue of the 2022 edition of the world’s most extreme rally race, the Dakar, which returns to Saudi Arabia with a new route. This first day took the participants to Hail, covering a total distance of 834 km with a 19-km mini-special that gave them a taste of what is to come. The route will cover a total of more than 8,000 km, of which 4,300 km of Special Stages, taking drivers into new landscapes and across vast expanses of sand, where they will tackle all sorts of sandy terrain, on tracks and chains of dunes and canyons. It will challenge them with a jumble of tracks that will require their best navigation skills to avoid losing their bearings.

The Team is taking on the extreme terrains of the race on board two IVECO Powerstar and a Trakker. For the tenth year, IVECO is the official supplier of the team, providing vehicles, engines and spare parts. All the IVECO trucks feature IVECO Cursor 13 engines with up to 1000 hp of power specially engineered by FPT Industrial.

IVECO’s history with the Dakar Rally race dates back to the very first edition, in 1979, when it started providing support trucks, and continued through the 80s with the PAC 260 and 190 models.

The cooperation between IVECO, Petronas and De Rooy Team began at the Morocco Rally 2011, when IVECO won with a Trakker, kicking off an exciting journey that has led to two victories in 2012 and 2016 in the Dakar Rally.

Manton European Freezer Freight Part 12

Here we go again! K414 KNW must want me to own her I reckon. I spotted this truck way back in the 1990’s in Braintree (not Spain!). As a lad she caught my eye and looking at the photo above you can see why, perfect looking motor in my book. See my original post from 2011 by clicking HERE.

After I posted my original blog, I had loads of feedback and ended up with a load of photos from Rich Tilford. Rich used to paint Manton’s new vehicles when they arrived, in the companies infamous yellow and green livery. It just so happens that Manton bought this truck either as an ex demo or second hand – would be good to have this clarified just because please. As it needed a full paint job, Rich’s steady hand was used and you can see above and below the before and after photos, good job Rich!.

Then recently my photo was shared on another Facebook group saying the photo was taken in Spain. To be fair I wish I had been in Spain rather than an industrial estate in Braintree, but not sure my BMX would have got me that far. Sparing any names for the embarrassment, i put said person correct and as with most good truckers, there was a fair bit of banter and mickey taking and it turns out we all agreed it was Braintree. bearing in mind the photo was the 1990’s, I would have thought the beloved K414 KNW may have been long consigned to the scrap heap or a life in the Middle East. Please prepare yourselves for further posts on this “never say die” truck as it has been bought and rescued by well known Suffolk haulier, Matt Gregory Transport Ltd. Matt commented on the Facebook post saying, not to worry she has been saved and will be returned to her former glory. Not only that, she had been sitting 8 miles from my office until Matt found her. Now wouldn’t it be cool to have her back in Rich Tilfords paint shop and returned to the green and yellow! That said she will look awesome in MGT’s resplendent shade of yellow, so she will once again be a very eye catching, stand out the crowd truck. I’m already looking forward to the next lot of Manton info and the update on the restoration process.

It’s a New Year MAN

Spare a thought for all the lorry drivers who had to work over new year said a small article in one the papers. There was me wishing I had a reason to get away from the chaos of kids and big family do’s over the festive period!!

Our regular blog favourite Steve Marsh was in Dover in the early hours of New Year’s Day getting on the boat to Dunkerque and off to Germany, no rest for the wicked as they say!

Having managed to get himself most of the way to Aschersleben, Germany on Saturday after a good run. It was time to park up until today where Steve has cleared customs in Aschersleben. Having waited nearly all day today for clearance, Steve is now on his way to Hannover for first delivery tomorrow after a delivery to Munich was cancelled. Then it’ll be back to Blankenberg for another drop and on to a reload. A nice quick trip to get the new year going, Marshy spends a lot of time in and out of England. Often on routes to Ireland as well as mainland Europe. I really should give him a plug as he is the best in Express work and dedicated hot shot loads. If you have such a requirement please call him as he or his team of dedicated subbies will genuinely give you unrivalled service.

If needed please email Steve at; cab@stevemarshexpress.co.uk

Or visit his website for full contact details; www.stevemarshexpress.co.uk

Trucks of The Year 2021

It’s been another funny old year and I haven’t actually done many shows sadly. There have been plenty of new trucks about despite the various cancellations and seemingly endless restrictions, and a lot of shows were still able to go ahead as they were outside. My annual trip to a foreign show was once again put on hold, but hopefully next year I can take my own truck abroad for the first time since UJN 509V back in 2009! Anyway I digress. Trucks of Year really comes following the week in trucks idea, which despite contrary belief first came about on TB and not elsewhere. I wanted to point out a few stand out trucks for me this year in the hope you will all share photos of some of your favourites too in the comments below.

I’ll start with Coles & Sons New Old Skool. Coles never disappoint and they really are no show ponies, they spend a lot of time abroad and do a lot of high profile work. For me I found this truck to take Coles back to their roots and back to the family business colours, but at the same time wowing us all as always. Just for info the Coles & Sons page released the first photos and videos of the truck back in January this year and have since had over half a million views, most of which came in the first week.

Next one worth a mention is this Volvo FH V1 restoration my Bert De Mooij and Bert De Mooij. I love the Retro Truck Show in September and for me this truck is 100% what it’s all about. The retro trucking scene is for trucks that have been restored and put into the glory of years gone by, perhaps with a modern twist. If we cast ourselves back to 1993 when Volvo launched the version 1 FH, this truck would have been spot on for a Dutch flower truck. Not over the top by any means, just clever use of paint (of course it’s Dutch!) and a few accessories that are easily accepted as being period. It looks spot on for me, love it.

©️Tim Andrew

Next a couple of personal favourites. The above Actros Edition 2 special Edition with all the boxes ticked is an amazing truck. Once again MB Trucks are pioneering the way with technology, which whether you like it or not is coming now the majority of manufacturers are now copying and offering similar. This Actros is my favourite new truck delivery of the year. Everyone loves new truck day, but perhaps because of how passionate Wilkin & Sons are about Mercs or perhaps because it was the first Edition 2 on the road in the UK, for me my favourite work related truck.

Next up…. The Gr814. My own truck, bought and imported from Germany in February. I love little sleeper cabs, I love mini tractor units and when I bought my first truck in 1997 I couldn’t afford an 814! This has had two owners since 1989 and has done a genuine 260,000km from new. It has nearly all the available factory options from the time, which really just leaves me only to do a little titivating and then hopefully get it painted before 2022’s show season.

Next a proper big hitter and a worthy truck of the year mention. This DAF by Paul Cecil is simply awesome. Even if you’re not a DAF fan, or a fan or green trucks you have to appreciate this Gloucestershire beauty. I don’t know Paul too well but we have the odd chat and I remember a few years back at Assen, Paul saying the truck was in build and was having a few paint issues, but those have all been overcome and the result I’m sure is exactly what Paul and family were after. One thing to remember is that building a show winner takes time and patience people. That said it is a hard working truck, it covers all of Europe on a regular basis and is cleaner than nearly any other truck you’ll see. It is also clearly appreciated by the European show circuit too, picking up trophies at both the Nordic Trophy and the Powertruck Show in its first year. Well done Paul.

Attention to detail.

For me I think this is my truck of the year 2021. A boy hood dream and poster truck for lots of us. I have been doing the Centurion list with Richard Payne and hopeful of getting a publisher for ‘22, but finding out this truck was being restored back to its original glory and then seeing her in September will take some beating. I have spoken to Michael Taylor during the restoration and was also privy to seeing the artwork being done by Matt during the painting process. I have even spoken to John Philips and he is over the moon with it too. The truck is as good as I’d hoped, the attention to detail is everywhere. Note the Keltruck mudflap’s have the 1991 phone number not the current one. I also love the artwork, we all know Matt is a true artist and should be recognised in the art world for his masterpieces. I also like that the artwork is a modern take on the original, as in the images aren’t quite as they were in 1991 but are Matts take on them. A real dream truck for me and once again well done to Michael and all involved, I really look forward to seeing again in 2022. They say you shouldn’t meet your hero’s…… certainly not trucking true in this case.

My son took my picture next to the truck I had on my wall as a boy.

Outback Explosion

Always good to hear from the other side of the world even if it is a quickie. Ex HC Wilson’ Sunnis Martin Minshall is these days trucking about over in Australia. Ozzie trucks always look like they have done or could do a good days works, this one looks to have done a good few days work judging by the little bit of road dirt!!

This Kenworth does do a fairly impressive job. Marginally less hazardous in the wet season perhaps but even so carrying 52 tons of explosive emulsion is not for the faint hearted. This 2 trailer trip was Queensland – Northern Territory – Queensland. Thanks for pics Martin, looking forward to the next snippet.

Manton European Freezer Freight Part 11

Well once again the magical world of Manton European has reared its very interesting head. In fact this is an additional line, as since this blog was planned to be published, last night, another Manton blog was created and will be published soon enough. Back to this one…..

I had an email from a Alasdair Cowan, who has recently bought a classic race motorbike to restore and get back to its glory days (much the same as MEFF Part 12!). Alasdair is trying to find old photos and any information on the bike as it was in the above photo so he can get it back to how it used to be. If anyone knows the current where about’s of Dave Manton, would they mind of ask Dave he minds getting in contact with myself and I can pass on Alasdair’s details. Interestingly, when I was sent a load of photos from Rich Tilford, there was one of a Scania rigid, painted up in race team colours. Not unusual to have a company supplying transport or a vehicle for a race team, so I didn’t ask any further questions. As was the nature of Manton’s livery, the green and yellow stands out from the crowd, where ever it goes. Did you see the race team anywhere, are you secret biker?! I wouldn’t worry I’m not about to change to Bikeblog, this only gets on to the blog due to the Manton connection.

Taken by Rich Tilford.

Make Christmas Day, Poppy Day

This years must have Christmas gift for all of you, must also be the first stage of becoming a European mega trucker. The one and only Grace mate Poppy, best known as just a Poppy Air Freshener. If you go to a European truck show then these little beauty’s are in all the show trucks and for good reason. They are long lasting and smell good. Depending on your favourite, there are a load of flavours to choose from, my favourite is the very subtle Vanilla.

I’d never been able to find them for sale anywhere apart from Holland, but now you’ll be very pleased to know that they have been in stock in one of the UK’s leading truck accessories companies, KUDA Automotive, for the last 4 or 5 years. KUDA may not be the official importer but they have been selling Poppy’s the longest. Yep here in the UK you can buy your own Poppy and not have to order and wait for it arrive from Europe – awesome. Not only can you buy the normal glass jar version but KUDA also stock a good selection of the card versions. If you want a decent gift or want to give your loved ones a decent idea for a gift this year, then click the following link to go straight KUDA’s Poppy page, where you can order online.

Go on, click HERE FOR POPPY’s.

One Last Hurrah

My Actros Claudia in Meer, Belgium.

My driving career was short lived by some standards, 10 years just about, from the age of 18. I worked hard, did the miles and certainly did the hours. 7.5 tonner then onto a 40t tractor unit, England, Wales, Scotland, northern France, Belgium, Holland and just into West Germany that was my lot. That said as a boy that’s all I wanted to do, so here I am 14 years off the road and I still miss it when I get the chance to reminisce. To be fair the reason for the blog was to fill the void life on the road left, hence using you lot and your quips to get my daily fix. Good days and bad days, long days everyday, punctures, cancelled jobs, debtors and traffic delays, all the downsides that are enough, on a bad day, to make you want to give up being an owner driver or small haulier. The next day you get up, clean pants, brush your teeth, start a fresh and try again. The day goes well, some money made and no broken light lenses. Rose tinted glasses are not something I relate too, but being on the road is a lifestyle not a job. A lifestyle I lived and loved but totally appreciate the hardship that adding in a wife and kids would bring to the party.

Matthew Johnson’s first new truck holds some special memories as “firsts” often do.
Another Actros friend, Dominic Newby, would be heading for Hellas as his memory lane.

For those who are still on the road perhaps plenty more years service than I have, maybe it brings some form of closure and perhaps you do feel like you’ve had enough and want a change of lifestyle. I can fully understand your train of thought, but take one piece of advice, coming off the road is not easy and for some staying on the road must be easier. Much like a member of the armed forces coming back to civvy street, it doesn’t matter if you’ve served a minimum 3 years or 25, you still get help returning to “normal” life, this could be something I can relate too. There is much to be said about being your own boss and being able to do your own thing to a degree. As an employed office worker you are in the same place at the same time pretty well everyday of your working career and that for me is hard to comprehend. Luckily these days I do get to move around East Anglia daily and pretty much at my own discretion. I do still get further afield as well and that is always welcome and if I’m really lucky a night or 2 in a hotel. It’s still not the same as being out and about all week (or two) in the lorry and I Mrs Truckblog will agree, I still very much miss it. Life off the road is no easy journey, trust me.

Tom Bloore would very much like one last trip to Espania in his old MP1 Actros.
Kermit can’t decide, but I’d suggest which ever stops still long enough for you to get onboard!

All that said, it got me thinking about the rose tinted days and how much I’d like one more trip out in my old Actros. Perhaps a trailer out to Meer (B), reload for Frechen (D), reload for Oostende (B) and then another trailer back to B, NL or D and another reload back to the UK. If I could, I’d happily take Claudia (the Actros!) and I know I’d thoroughly enjoy it. Who doesn’t like getting back inside onboard an old flame for one last hurrah!?!

Luke at Tudor Services would like another go in his first truck, this gorgeous MAN.
Paul Creggan opted for his beastly F16 as it made him smile everyday he drove it.

If you could have one more trip in one of your favourite trucks, which one would it be and where would you go?? A few good old boys (need some girls if there are any reading) have sent a few photos already and I have to say they are spot on in matching the thinking behind this blog. Please comment below and post a picture, we all love the romance of the road at some point in our careers otherwise we would never have got out the yard for the 2nd time. Whether it was a form of escapism, for the adventure, the money or even just that you loved cracking on to Macon, even you will have a favourite steed that reliably (or not!) took you up the road. Now get posting and let’s enjoy the trip down Remembrance Avenue as we reach for the flowery sunglasses, we are allowed to enjoy the good times you know, not just dwell on the bad ones.

Stuart Bell would take his DAF. They covered most of Europe and spent weeks away together. Happy days.

Claudia is Back!

1

Briefly! I managed to log back in to a very old email account, that to be honest I thought was somewhat obsolete. I found an old folder full of old picture messages I had emailed myself, while out and about in my truck around the UK and Northern Europe. Long before the days of doing everything on our phones we had to keep things simple and send photos via email rather than download, upload, ping, Tweet, Facebook, MySpace or what ever else you can do these days.

2

I think I have seen them before and perhaps I should have been bothered to look through my Flickr photos to see if I have them already as they do look familiar. Not to worry though as these were very happy days and we all love a blast from the past. Even though these were 2004-2007 I can remember where they were all taken as I’m sure we all can, funny how I can remember everywhere I’ve loaded but struggle to remember the neighbours names!

3

So starting from the top, photos as follows;

1) Boughey Distribution in Deeside. A full load of detergents. Bloomin heavy but a good tip and would happily tip you early if they could. Shower available.

2) Although I can’t remember the name, this was the big roll place on Trafford park. Loading 5x 1 ton toilet rolls. A great load once it was on although usually had to wait a fair while to get loaded. What’s the name of the place people?!

3) Unloading a full load of scaffold boards at Beaver 84 near Small Heath, Birmingham. I remember loading this myself out at Wurselen, Germany. The Germans weren’t impressed that I wouldn’t load dripping wet timber to the roof at the front of the trailer as it meant leaving 2 packs off.

4) Parked up solo outside my sisters old house, no idea why or what the occasion was though, Claudia had a shine on though.

4