Scottish Snow Plough Part 2

A relative lay in on Wednesday 30th March, up and onto the Northlink Ferry for 0815hrs ready for an 0845hrs departure and a steady and pretty calm crossing to Stromness, as you can imagine in the winter in can get a little blowy and fairly choppy but no issues for our seasoned owner drivers. actually the only complaint was they didn’t chain Van der Nunn down at the front, which meant he could have left his bull bar on for the trip, image is everything!

Once onto mainland Orkney, it was a steady trip across the island, through Kirkwall town and out the other side. Kirkwall airport is situated to the east of the town. On arrival at the airport the trucks were asked to unload near the airport equipment sheds where the current snow equipment is housed. As you can see their is quite change is the vehicles, the old Fodens and Mercedes have given near on 30 years service, they must have seen some weather in that time! Our intrepid explorers were told that the old trucks are being auctioned off, but sadly I’ve not managed to find them listed anywhere. I’d be keen to know what they go for, if anyone can shed any light??

Through my work, we did learn that only once the airport staff started to put the new equipment in its new home, did they realise that the new trucks were too tall for the shed that’s housed the old trucks. The new truck is lower than the height limit given in the tender, so I’m guessing someone at the airport needs a new tape measure as well as a new snow plough!

Empty and ready to roll by 1530hrs it gave the drivers a bit of time for a drive around as the ferry doesn’t sail back to Scrabster until 1645hrs. Of course there is always time for a photo opportunity and I have to say the pilot of S60 EGN is getting the hang of photos…..

Down into the depths and back on board for the 90 minute cruise back to Scrabster. An almost empty boat meant there was time to take in the amazing g views and coastlines, such as the Old Man of Hoy. Once back on the mainland our pair headed south for reloads not a lot coming out of Scotland at the moment. MWT had an over height, open top container pick up on the wafer deck and Tony was empty back to Hull for a load of tractors.

The second snowplough has already been delivered to Inverness Airport, this coming week the truck for the Shetland Isles leaves Suffolk so that should be another blog in a few weeks time.

Pooltransporte with MATI-Trans MAN(s)

More little MAN TGL’s I’m afraid, but if you cant appreciate them by now, then maybe move along. As always these little beauties seem to appear in my Facebook feed, I see them on the road or better still, regular bloggers find them out and about on the roads of Europe. This time, it was a couple of photos taken by Murray Grant at Gieselwind Autohof of the truck below taking a little break in the Germany sunshine.

Having looked then up on the internet and found they have a Facebook page, Click HERE, looking through the photos and reading the info, the Austrian company do what they say, Pooltransporte. Borders are no boundaries it would seem for a quality swimming pool and with a decent array of trucks, trailers and plenty of mini artics, you can have your new pool delivered anywhere in style.

Click the link here to go to the company website: Mati-Trans Pooltransporte

Whether an artic with a specialist lowboy or a little rigid with a trailer, making a great looking combi, they all suggest a company that is a leader in the service they provide and also are incredibly image conscious. The trucks look awesome kitted out with lights, lightbars, headboards, air horns, metallic paint, a great livery and finished off with private registration plates!

Scottish Snow Plough Part 1

When anything logistics wise comes up at work, it usually comes my way to help or advise or even to sort out. So when the conversation comes about on getting four big 4×4 snowploughs plus equipment to various destinations in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, I have to say I was a little unsure how things would pan out. I really needn’t have worried as top owner driver Mike Tasker, MW Tasker Haulage, was already on the case backed up by probably the best abnormal load company in the UK, HC Wilson Transport. The first of the four snowploughs was destined for Kirkwall Airport in the Orkney Isles, in the north of Scotland. Tasker was already employed to do the job of bringing the trucks and ancillary equipment from southern Germany to Barnsley. The ancillary equipment consists of a full 13.6m flatbed load, so essentially it’s a two truck job. My involvement originally started with the leg from Barnsley, north.

Two loads you’re thinking and Tasker is on wafer bed duties, who’s on the flat bed?? Yep you guessed it, the man who operates Mike Tasker’s last truck, the one and only Tony Nunn, Van Der Nunn, Twin Tag Tony, the owner driver of EGN Transport fame, yep you all know him. V.d. Nunn has subbed for HC Wilson himself in various capacities as long as I’ve known him and has always been as professional as anyone else on the Wilson fleet, Tony certainly isn’t just about the tyre shine, he can walk the walk as well. So the ancillary parts were loaded on a flat bed in Wilson’s yard, Tony collected that and met Mike, who had gone ahead with the wafer bed. Both drivers met in Barnsley to load the truck, Tony helping Mike with the job in hand. Once loaded, both black trucks, with red trailers and yellow loads, started the drive north towards Scrabster for the ferry to Orkney.

Leaving Barnsley on a Monday lunchtime a few weeks back, the owner driver duo made it as far as Berwick Harbour for the first nights stop. An early start (0400hrs) on the Tuesday saw the pair carry on up the A1 to Edinburgh and then onwards to the A9. For those who haven’t been there, the A9 snakes it’s way all the way up the east side of Scotland from Sterling/Perth all the way up to Thurso on the north coast, it’s worth putting on your list of roads to drive, especially in the late spring as the colours are changing and the snow is only on the mountain tops!

Both the photos above and below are on the A9, you can see just how beautiful it is. The photo below was taken just north of a town called Latherton, where you turn left off the A9, onto the A9 to carry on still further north.

Tuesday was a long day, the pair ended up with a very well earned evening off and some very pleasant parking in the coastal town of Thurso, just a couple of miles from Scrabster and the ferry to Orkney.

Not such an early start on the Wednesday morning, as the mini convoy only need to travel the couple of miles to Scrabster harbour to meet the Northlink Ferry to Stromness in Orkney, that sailed at 0845hrs. A very empty harbour looking at the photos, not quite the hustle and bustle of the ports on the opposite end of the country! Part 2 of the trip on Orkney to delivery will follow in a few days time. Thanks to both Mike and Tony for the regular photos and updates during the trip, #twintaggingalong etc.

Kristiansand-MAN

I always wondered what the rich people of Europe spend their money on, but now i know……… Green Houses. At least that’s the impression I get from Steve Marsh’s last few decent Europe trips. A few weeks back you will remember we were trying to find a farm in mid-Spain in El Mappo MAN and then more recently Marshy has been up in Norway delivering yet another fancy green house to Kristiansand. A trip to Norway is always exciting (I would imagine) and none more so than when you learn a new route to avoid going up and through Oslo. Many moons ago, I remember booking my first truck onto the Horten to Moss ferry and since then I stupidly assumed that was the only way to avoid the Norwegian capital. Wrong. Marshy used and told me of the Drobak to Drammen tunnels. Our friends from Norge do love a tunnel we know that, but have you ever driven the route? Some of you will use it regularly I’m sure. I guess it is probably a cheaper alternative to the ferry, but a few more miles round. Still always good to learn something new. Speaking of which where is that famous tunnel in Norway that you all stop at it the middle with a big layby and blue lights in the roof, know where i mean??

Once tipped in Norway it was empty back to Germany for a reload back to the UK. On the way down there was plenty to keep Marshy amused, not just the #littlebigcabclub member spotting, this 12t Atego from Romania was spotted at the ferry terminal in Helsinbourg, but also the Extra Dick Hamburgers the Danish sell for Saturday tea time. No that is not a spelling mistake. Crazy Danes!!

Painting of the Gr814

It’s now been a year since she’s been in the UK, MOT’d, registered, taxed and now the show season is nearly upon us I really want to get her painted and I know I’ve asked you all before for your opinions. Their is a great NG1633 that has been restored in Germany by the great Holger Hahn and I have to say that I want to turn the Gr814 into a bit of a mini me if that’s ok with Holger??

Here’s the plan;

The cab and roof deflector currently silver, both painted in Sky Blue RAL5015.

Front bumper only in Astral Silver which is MB9735.

Cab steps, front wings, chassis and fuel tank in Deep Black RAL9005.

Wheels – undecided.

There is reasons behind the choices that make sense to me at least. I’m all about keeping the truck original to its year of manufacturer 1989. The only blue available in the UK price list for that year is RAL5015 Sky Blue, that’s the cab and roof deflector sorted. I like the contrast of the silver bumper on the 1633, so it makes sense to use Adastral silver for this, as this is the colour of the cab currently and the colour it left the factory as. It also then keeps the original colour on the truck. This leaves the chassis and front wings. I like the black front wings on Holgers truck and as the chassis has been Deep Black (was known as Jet Black) since new, again it makes sense to keep it the same, keeping it original. I have to say although it looks good on the 1633 I’m not a fan of the factory standard chassis colour that both MB and MAN used to use and I’m not sure it will work so well on the smaller chassis on the 814.

If any body shops are reading this and want plenty of publicity and mentions for the next 12-24 months and want to paint the truck for free or as close as, please get in touch. I see it like a demo kitchen, get it for virtually nothing but it then becomes a physical advert for your work and I’m sure I can get your company name on the truck somewhere. To be discussed if you fancy the challenge.

Tekno TRUCK DESIGNER!

Personalize a miniature model? That is now possible! Tekno Gifts – part of Tekno Collectables – launches a special tool in the webshop that allows you to create and order the trailer of a blank miniature model completely according to your own design.

The truck designer offers you the opportunity to have a DAF or Scania 1:87 trailer designed and printed according to your own ideas. You can add your own photos as well as text in an endless number of colors and symbols to your design via the truck designer. How exciting is it to surprise your best friend or fellow truck lover with a self-designed Tekno model?

The birthday of a nephew, a colleague who is retiring or the birth of a first (grand)daughter: with the truck designer you can design their dream trailer.Of course the truck designer also makes it very accessible for business customers to create (a larger volume of) a truck from their own fleet to scale. Tip from us: a unique, self-designed model is a good alternative for a business gift or as a token of appreciation to the staff.

The truck designer is not to be missed in the menu bar in the webshop or can be reached via this link: tekno.nl/truck-designer.html. After you have given your creative mind free rein and we have received your order, your unique, self-designed print will be applied to the miniature model by hand by employees of the Tekno team in De Lier, The Netherlands.

Have fun designing your own miniature truck!

Strictly limited: The new Actros L Driver Extent+

The Actros L Driver Extent+ further enhances the Mercedes-Benz premium truck and definitely makes for an unforgettable driving experience. The new special edition model is striking with its exclusive design and first-class comfort. A driver’s dream, strictly limited to 150 units.

The name speaks for itself: That’s why the model’s front panel flap features Actros lettering in elegant dark chrome. In addition, a badge visibly identifies the truck as an exclusive Driver Extent+ and limited special edition model. 

The truck features exclusive decals in matte gray. This adds color highlights under the side windows as well as on the sun visor, side trim and front. The cab color can be freely selected.

The black closed panel makes the front of the vehicle more expressive and the illuminated Mercedes-Benz star even brighter.

The four round, roof-mounted headlamps keep everything in view and improve visibility for drivers in all weather conditions. The lights with energy-efficient LED technology have been installed in the sun visor. The front and rear axles are fitted with wheel stud covers, rear axle caps and wheel nut protection caps. These are available with black paintwork or in high-quality stainless steel. The closed aluminum frame covers offer two additional step plates and complement the standard steps.

The illuminated entrance badge with Mercedes-Benz lettering and the stainless steel entrance steps on the driver’s and front passenger’s side ensure the safest possible and most suitable entry into the exclusive special edition model.

But Driver Extent+ doesn’t stop on the outside: The ambient lighting with a total of 138 LEDs ensures pleasant, indirect light in the cab and can be individually adjusted in color and intensity.

Another special feature is the pod coffee maker. In true style, it fits in with the Mercedes-Benz design in the vehicle’s interior and can be easily stored in the cup holder thanks to its handy size.

In addition, the CabLock anti-theft device provides increased protection for drivers. The system can be locked and opened independently of the central locking system.

EL Mappo MAN

A week ago my good old pal Seniór Marsh messaged me to say if you’re not busy this evening then can you have a look on Google Street View for this address near Madrigal, Espania. Seniór Marsh had an address and some directions both of which to be fair didn’t give much help as to the final delivery point for the little MAN to find. To give some context, Madrigal is in the mountains due west of Madrid and due south of Salamanca. Anyway the basics came down to; Finca Santa Zita, 2.6km south of Madrigal de la Vera. Not much to go on, so I went old school and got onto Google Earth and started measuring out some distances (while sitting on the sofa in Colchester!). Spanish pop quiz; what does “Finca” mean in Spanish?

Having measure out 2.6km on the map, I basically came up with the map above. On the right of the EX384 as we look at the map, you can see two long tracks to what could both be described as “Finca’s”. Depending where you look Finca means Farm or Estate. I gave Seniór Marsh the above screen shot showing him both options. My thoughts for some reason, leaned towards the lower red mark as the entrance on Street View had this Llama/Alpaca/Deer sign…..

Not much to go on but as El Marshó had to be there early to meet the offloading team, by the wonders of modern mapping, we had narrowed it down to two options within a few hundred metres of each other. Job done and El Marshó happy enough for somewhere to aim for, hotel MAN drew its curtains and I went back to another re-run of Open All Hours on DAVE.

I woke on Friday morning to the above picture from Amigo Marshó, now I’ll leave you to zoom in on the signs……. Good team work right there, especially as I was nearly 1200 miles away. Perhaps modern maps aren’t so different from old school paper ones, but I think it could have been a different story if The only option had been twat-nav sat-nav as the shipper had given the wrong postcode! Tipped and off to his reload, Seniór Marsh was off to Marcilla just south of Pamplona to reload 2x 300kg vibrators for the UK. Nuff Said.