City & Surburban

A very few of you may know my idol, the retired Mr Martin Beverley. When he called in at the office last week he very kindly bought an envelope of photos with him. Martin worked for Leyland back in the 1970’s and this little selection of photos was awesome. As is the way with Martin he told me plenty of info about each truck and as ever his knowledge still knows no bounds. This lovely Leyland Marathon stood out for me. The colours of City & Surburban Truck are quite distinctive but I have to say that I’ve never seen one before and I don’t know anything about the company. Martin seemed to remember they could well have been south Essex of East London based.

The big Leyland had a TL12 Mandata engine in it fitted with a turbo to give it that little extra to help it stand up to the Swedish invasion! I’m told that partners with the TL12 was a 9 speed Fuller Road Ranger gearbox with a cable shift. Martin also pointed out the additional spare wheel. This was an option so it may point at a bit of distance work along with the big sleeper cab.

If you can tell us anymore please do. I can’t quite see the address or phone number on the side of the cab but I’m sure one of you will know plenty. Please leave comments below.

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SCOOP!! Actros UK Special Edition???

Is this the face of a new Mercedes-Benz Actros Special edition???? As far as I know MBUK are one of the only nations in Europa not to have released a special edition and now the “new” Actros has been in the UK for just over 5 years so the time may be upon us! Yesterday I spotted these sister trucks at a well known UK body builder. Me being the Actros fan I am I couldn’t resist taking a couple of snaps. They are GigaSpace 6×2 tractors wearing the big 630hp badge with, side skirts, painted cat walks and some fancy livery. I can’t imagine they are for an operator so hopefully we’ll be seeing something about it in the press very soon. I’ll have one please, although I can’t decide between the black or silver!!

South West England to South West Australia

You’re young, You’re truck mad, your dad’s truck mad, you drive a truck, your dad drives a truck, but you live in Taunton. Not exactly the home of UK trucking or indeed road train trucking, so what do you do??……. Yep that’s right, head off to warmer climbs where big trucks roam free across the endless expanse of dirt tracks, tarmac, desert, rainforest and what ever else is in between, you guessed it, Bristol sorry, sorry I meant Australia of course! If you want to see some big trucks and get to work with big trucks why not do as our man in Kangaroo country has done and sign up for a farming team in Oz. Young Jack Rigby is truck mad, having an owner driver for a dad, did Jack ever stand a chance of having a career doing anything else? No of course not, every Owner Drivers child wants to grow up like their dad don’t they???

Not scared of a gear stick like many new/young drivers are, or indeed hardwork, Jack has been hard at it with his team harvesting Australia’s crops and getting to ride and also drive some absolute beauties. As is the case these days in Oz, there seems to be a real mishmash of American type and European type trucks. Luckily for Jack he’s tried all of them and none better than the triple trailered Kenworth above. The beauty of this all is that Jack can utilise both his agricultural skills and truck driver skills all in one. Just listen to that engine grumble away, you can virtually feel the ground shaking as she picks up speed. Time to give Jack a pat on the back with those gear changes, as you may have noticed he’s not using a clutch pedal. As Jack is at an age of post gear lever trucks here in the UK it’s nice to see a young whipper snapper with such great skill. I think just one little missed gear is perfectly acceptable considering.

Lots of European trucks over in Oz these days. Traditionally big American trucks have always been most popular but these days it seems to be much more of an even split between American and European trucks. The team Jack is working with are clearly fans of European trucks as they have a good number of Volvo’s and some ageing Scania’s still in use. If I know Jack a little then he’ll be keen to try as many as he can and hopefully he’ll collect enough photos and tales of the Australian roads and farming that he’ll write some blogs himself when he is back in Blighty. Due to licensing the tidy Volvo below with a single trailer is one of Jacks regular seats.

1,000,000th Peterbilt

DENTON, Texas – January 10, 2018 – Today Peterbilt Motors Company announced the production of the 1,000,000th Peterbilt vehicle. The Model 567 Heritage rolled off the assembly line at the company’s Denton, Texas manufacturing facility. “The production of one million trucks is a proud moment, and the Model 567 Heritage embodies this historic occasion,” said Kyle Quinn, General Manager, Peterbilt Motors Company. “The styling and durability of the Model 567 Heritage gives customers the industry’s most modern, technologically advanced and versatile truck. Inside and out, this truck commands attention.” Peterbilt is the class of the American commercial vehicle industry, providing premium-quality, and unmatched longevity since 1939. Peterbilt’s state-of-the-art Denton facility opened in 1980 with the production of the Model 359. Today, customers look to the brand for its tradition, distinctive styling, low cost of ownership, integration of technology and class-leading uptime, all supported by a strong and extensive dealer network.

In celebration of the momentous 1,000,000th truck, Peterbilt recently conducted a search for its ultimate SuperFan within the United States and Canada. From the 1,200 entries submitted, Peterbilt will choose the SuperFan to be gifted the Model 567 Heritage during a ceremony at the upcoming Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) as a way to thank our loyal enthusiasts, customers, drivers and dealers for their roles in Peterbilt’s success. “One million trucks is a fantastic milestone and is a testament to the hard working Peterbilt employees from 1939 to now,” said Leon Handt, Assistant General Manager of Operations, Peterbilt Motors Company. “We wouldn’t have been able to grow our brand without them.” Peterbilt Motors Company, located in Denton, Texas, has a global reputation for superior quality, industry leading design, innovative engineering and fuel efficient solutions, and is recognized as the “Class” of the industry.

Small Town Southern MAN

Once again our man Steve Marsh has been celebrating the seasons festivities with a run to the sun. I knew Marshy was heading south between Christmas and new year as most years the cheaper Eastern European competition goes home but the jobs still need doing. The destination was Marbella, Spain and the delivery date was December 29th. Honk honk lets go Christmas trucking! As ever, Steve Marsh or as I like to think of him, the original Logistical Magician, started the New Year run by reloading on December the 22nd in Deeside on his way back from Holyhead and a trip to Ireland. This gave Marshy the chance to enjoy some roast turkey with the family before setting off on Boxing Day (avoiding turkey overload) for Douvres and then southbound and down for Marbella.

Above, the number 1 member of the #littlebigcabclub is unloading in the glorious Spanish sunshine on Friday 29th December, the little MAN may only be a 12 tonner but she regularly clocks up the same miles as her bigger brothers. Having tipped the logistical magician loaded 1/3 of a load from Marbella itself before starting to head north. Being the new year weekend a driving ban was due to kick in in France at 10pm on the 30th for 48 hours, so having made good progress The Marsh MAN got all the way up to Haute-Garonne just south of Toulouse before running out of time. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were spent in the services before running up to a small village 80 miles north of Toulouse to load two farm machines for Lydney in Gloucestershire, UK. I say this even though, Steve sent me the below photo asking “Notice anything slightly unusual about my reload?” I don’t think it’s worth me asking you to put your answers on a postcard, your right the reload dims were clearly lost in translation. Never mind, where there’s a Steve there’s a way! Loaded in Morlon-le-Haut on the 2nd January. Deliver first drop the farm machines to Lydney on Thursday 4th January. Back North on Friday to deliver 2nd drop to Warrington. Empty Warrington back home to……Warrington. Change of pants and socks, weekend at home, load at Bromborough Monday then onward to tip Amsterdam today (Tuesday 8th January). Who knows where the reload will be, but knowing Marshy it’s not likely to be any further from Amsterdam than Schipol!

Русский йойо

Here he is again, our man Mat or as he is now known at work and at home, the Russian specialist. Since we last heard from Mat at the beginning of November he has managed to slip in another trip to Mockba just to finish the year off. Such is the mad world of showbiz, Mat was off to do two dates for one of the UK’s biggest pop/rock stars and a performer that is well known world wide. I guess with such a celebrity at the top of the tree there is the purse available to fund such a trip. This time Mat loaded half a load in London then out to Switzerland to load the second half. Having loaded he travelled up to Hamburg for the first of two performances. From the Hamburg arena it was over to Hamburg airport where Mats load was flown out to a gig in Libya. While that was going on Mat had to hot foot it up to Moscow (empty) to meet the plane to reload and take the equipment on to a venue and Mats final venue of the year in Moscow. As they say their in no business like show-business!! After the Moscow gig all there was for Mat to do before he could finish for the year was to run back. Oh yea, run back from Moscow to London via Switzerland. All in a few days work for Mat and in all honesty as we could all predict the only difficulties with the weather and conditions was once he was back here in the UK. In fact the mud on the trailer was mostly from a visit to J26 Truckstop on the M25 on the way home to Suffolk. It is fair to say that Mat is beginning to make this international lorry driving game look some what easy. Russia is but a motorway trip away for those with know how and those who aren’t phased by bad drivers, poor roads, bandits and winter weather. Perhaps as Transam Trucking use Mat for most Russian trips and also as Mat has made Moscow a regular run this year, has led to Mat getting his second Russian number plate in his windscreen. What I want you all to tell me is what the number plate says. Please leave your answers in the comments box. Here it is…..In fact those of you who leave the best suggestions will be in the running for a TB sticker! So that’s it now for Mat until the new year, where he starts at the end of January on a UK tour for a comic Druid! As is the way with real drivers, those who love the job, Mats eyes lit up when he told me the longest leg of the tour is a run from Glasgow to Truro. As we both agreed, unless you are a fish truck or ex Brian Harris driver, there aren’t many who have done this particular route. I for one look forward to more trips and tales around Europe and beyond in the big black DAF next year. I think Mat said he had visited 24 countries this year. This includes Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, all of Scandinavia and of course Western Europe, bring on 2018 is what I say!