Truckstar Festival 2013 – Assen, NL

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I went to the Mecca of all truck shows and came home and the blog promptly crashed and I’ve been unable to write anything about it on the blog….until now. I finished work on the Thursday evening and hot footed it up to my old work to pick up my truck for the weekend, I had the 141 and my wingman for the weekend was Mr James Cartwright who took the slightly more comfortable 143. Any way we loaded up the trucks and headed off to Harwich for the evening cruise to the Netherlands. Very enjoyable it was too. When we arrived at Harwich we had to put on our yellow vests incase we got run over, then follow the yellow lines to the check in. Then the jobs-worth on the desk bluntly refused to let us buy Vignette for 2 trucks on one DKV card! Idiot. It seemed that we were not the only ones heading out on Thursday night as we were soon joined by Doyles amazing 8×4 Scania tipper and a well lit tractor unit also from Doyles.

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I think in this little write up I’ll concentrate on the show as a whole weekend away and then i’ll do some truck based write ups in the next couple of weeks, just to drag it out a bit. So once off the Stenaline boat in Hoek and we popped round to the Tekno museum. As the museum is only open to the public on Saturdays we were pushing our luck a bit, but as the Dutch are clearly the best hosts in Europe the lady on reception said yes come on in. It was either that we said we’d come all the way from England or it was James good looks that got us in! The Tekno museum is a must for any of you model collectors. They have 1 of every model they have ever made on display and also a small selection of models for sale. I managed to found a very familiar Scania 141 model on display……

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Anyway off we went north up through Holland to Assen. Just over 3 hours and plenty of heavy heavy rain we got to the Assen TT Race Circuit. Plenty of waving and hooting as we got closer. That’s when you really begin to realise that it is only the UK that treat trucks and their drivers like scum. In Holland we were treated like true professionals and James and myself tried to keep up to the expectations! When we finally arrived the rain was just clearing, having followed us the whole way up from Rotterdam. We reached the check in trailer and were greeted by a very happy and very soggy Dutch women who was happy to see us and give us all our wrist bands and bits before pointing us in the direction of the track. The old-timer section of the show is in the pit area on the inside of the track, so you have to drop down and through a tunnel under the track. The path through the tunnel is always lined with people taking pics and listening to the engine noises! So an obligatory honk of the horn and I floored the old V8 through the tunnel. She may be 30+ years old but EGV 565T still sounds awesome. In my opinion the raw-ness of the 1 and 2 series V8 Scanias is unbeatable. It wasn’t til we arrived at the parking area that we found out James in N500 HCW was actually booked in to the heavy transport class so would be parked slightly further along. I asked if we could park together and with a call on the radio and a “no problemsch” reply they parked EGV and N500 side by side. We got out the cabs and instantly melted in the humidity, unfortunately this stayed for most of the weekend. The little tin cab of the 141 gets rather warm, for those you haven’t had a night out in one. Best thing to do is open all windows and sun roof, and just lay very still, the cab gets very hot during the day! The parking area so filled up with some amazing old-timers including a couple of great Irish trucks. One from the lovely old brothers from Mackin International (after a few beers the stories of the golden days of Irish trucking were soon flowing!) and also the well worked but still legendary Astran 143.

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The rest of the day was spent wandering round looking at all the trucks arriving. Due to lovely lack of Health and safety and men in hi-viz vests thinking they are GOD, I nearly got a Peterbilt in the back. I was taking a photo one way when James told me I better turn round, this is what I was greeted with….

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…he was busy reversing into his parking space. No one telling us to move or closing the lane. In Holland I think the UK’s over the top Health and Safety culture is replaced with some thing called common sense. It was there all weekend, or not if you like. You are left to your own devices and what a refreshing change it is. Now to James and myself watching trucks with a few beers is like watching game of football. So we spent Friday evening sat in the main stand on the pit straight watching all the trucks. Before it got too busy all the drivers were waiting at the bottom of the straight, letting it clear before letting rip and roaring up the pit straight. I think this was best summed up with 2 awesome Scanias from French operator STH. The big brown Longline keep steaming up the straight followed by the red Tcab. The red Tcab was like an over excited dog chasing their owner, although i’d much rather hear the V8 roar than the yap yap of a little dog any day. The following pics were taken on the straight up to about 2300hrs, when the straight was still full of trucks arriving and waiting to be parked up round the circuit.

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While we were sat watching the evenings arrivals it was pouring with rain and a thunderstorm was busy rumbling away. While the storm was busy flashing and banging we noticed that Mammoet had been busy setting up their mobile cranes, only in Holland!

The love of trucksl goes on and each night at the show, all the trucks are ticking over with all the lights on for all to enjoy. A great time for taking night shots. I had a few tips on how to best use my camera and hopefully you’ll agree that they aren’t too bad either. If you want truck doors opened or closed you just ask and the drivers oblige, people walking round see your taking a photo on a tripod and they either stop and watch, take their own photos or walk round you. If you ever feel like a bit of a plank in the UK for taking truck photos, in Holland you don’t. Its normal.

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I could post them all up here, but I took some thing like 900 photos all in all. The show is just amazing it really is. If you’ve never been before you have to go. Even better if you can enter a truck and spend the weekend there. Over the weekend we just wandered, watched and drank (sensibly of cause children!) and enjoyed the great hospitality on offer. Including a BBQ and beersch all night on Saturday all for €15. This was all thanks to Arie Spaansen and Anton Brouwer. Mr Brouwer has a drop body that opens up to be a V8 Scania bar and that’s where we spent our night. Listening to what can only be described as the amazing taste in music the Dutch have and the intermittent playing of a V8 Scania sound effect that made the ground rumble. Awesome. Brouwers gorgeous Scania 140 rigid.

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What a great view for a BBQ…..

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Any way I think you get the idea just what a great weekend the Truckstar Festival is. Over the next few weeks I will put some more photos and blogs up to show you what there was. Really there is just too much to put up here, even this blog has taken over 2 hours to put up. I’ll leave you know, but if you want to see all my photos from the weekend then please click: HERE

 

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