The Wonder of The #littlebigcabclub

If you haven’t worked out yet that the best trucks on the road have 6 stud wheels and a space/sky cab then I’m not sure you’ve been reading the blog long enough! 😉

Since I had my little MAN back in 1999, I’ve loved little trucks with big cabs, not just standard sleepers. Most are engaged on interesting and or long distance work and like mine used too, often clock up as miles as their bigger brothers and sisters. I have now started a new Facebook group called #littlebigcabclub purely for the big cab versions. Manufacturers offer big cab sleepers such as Iveco, Mercedes-Benz or MAN Straight from the factory, the rest need one of the many aftermarket options from UK or European suppliers such as Hatcher Components, KUDA, Spojkar or PONY.

This delightful little MAN TGL 12.180 LX belongs to FCL Event Logistics Ltd. It’s been so busy since it’s arrival it’s running undercover as there hasn’t been time to get it sign written. She’s been loading next to my work so I had to pop round and have a look. Partly for curiosity as I still want to buy another one myself and also because I wanted to see the rearranged interior with a proper “big truck” under bunk fridge. I want one. I spoke to Phil the driver and he loves the truck, it just so happens I messaged FCL and they were happy to tell me a little more and also allow a TB sticker on the back end. I’m honoured, thank you FCL! #tbonthemove

Here’s what FCL had to say;

“Hello, she is one of our growing fleet, we have 18 trucks with various sizes from 7.5 ton trucks to 45 ft Mega trailers. We supply trucks for events all over the UK and Europe. The 12 tonner which you have seen is new to our fleet and therefore doesn’t have a private plate and is not sign written yet. She will travel throughout the UK and Europe delivering Audio visual and lighting to corporate events or exhibitions. It will also go to festivals and arenas plus private events etc.

We would be more than happy to have a TB sticker on her. Many thanks”

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Scania Restarts V8 Sales & Production

Scania has begun the challenging pro­cess of reducing its backlog of truck and industrial and marine engine orders. The backlog was built up after a delivery and order stop caused by a lengthy strike at one of Scania’s main casting suppliers. 

“This is probably the worst disruption that has hit our company in many decades when it comes to supply disturbances,” says Alexander Vlaskamp, Senior Vice President, Head of Scania Trucks. “I really would like to thank our customers for the great patience and understanding they have been showing during this dire situation. We at Scania are now doing everything in our power to reinstate a normal situation and deliver V8 trucks and engines worldwide as soon as possible.”

Scania has now secured a small but steady initial supply of the engine blocks that are the foundation of the V8s built in Södertälje, Sweden. Produc­tion disturbances of this magnitude create all kinds of logistical challenges though, and it will take some time for Scania to deal with the backlog.

“There will still be uncertainties for some weeks before we have the whole picture and can ramp up our production,” confirms Vlaskamp. “But we are starting now, and will increase gradually with the aim of confirming a correct delivery schedule during the next few months for existing orders. We will successively open up for new orders. This whole situation came at a time when we were extre­mely busy producing new V8 units and I can only say how sorry we are that this had to happen to Scania’s loyal customers.”

The V8 engines for Scania’s new truck generation, and for its industrial and marine applications, are produced in Södertälje. The truck engine range consists of four different versions, with power outputs ranging from 520 hp up 730 hp, and to more than 1,150 hp for marine engines. Scania’s first 350 hp V8 engine was launched in 1969, and the legendary engine will turn 50 years old next year.

Truckblog’s Mooiste Truck van Nederland 2018

This is not Truckstar’s official Mooiste Truck van Nederland this is my own choice!!

Out of all the trucks in the line up my favourite has to be the Scania from JQ van der Meer. I know you all think I’m a Scania man through and through but to be honest that change at the end of 1995. There’s not a lot a like more pre-1995 than a grumbling old 3 Series but since then, hmmmm they have been ok. The problem with the Next Generation Scania is it just isn’t a good looking truck. Having spoken to loads of fans they all feel the same, unless the paint job is spot on it just doesn’t look great. Walking around the Truckstar Festival it is plain to see that our Dutch colleagues love a coat of paint and in my opinion none more so than the grey and black of this Scania. We all agree the current fashion for trucks is “less is more” and this is that in every way. No metallic paint, no artwork, no over the top interior but also no where near a standard interior either. Attention to detail and flat paint that’s the way forward for me!

The amazing interior is quite natural? It’s not over the top, just deep brown leather much like a classic luxury car, brown switches and sumptuous brown leather seats and button leather panels, all of which adorn the cab in a completely non-invasive way. Once again Special Interior from Holland have worked a little piece of magic into this one which complements the rest of the truck perfectly. I know it’s a far cry from being a standard motor but it certainly isn’t in any way in your face, I could see myself doing a days work in it at least!

It probably helps that it isn’t an S-Line cab, flat tops are the coolest. Roof rack, air horns and exhaust stacks are all painted black and red. As I say the beauty is in the detail. Both on the exhausts and horns, the inside of the pipes are painted red with black outers. Headboard, beer crate and I love a pair of 2/3 Series side light stalks. A slightly deeper sun visor, Swedish style running lights and all these coated in deep, flat grey paint with subtle red pinstripes. I’m not sure an “understated custom truck” is possible as it’s an oxymoron in my book but now the less the Dutch can achieve most things in custom trucks.

As with all the Super Trucks, they have matching trailers and JQ’s trailer has continued the same theme throughout. The whole thing matches perfectly, even down to the underside of the chassis, the wheels and tool boxes. The other thing that does it for me is the slightly different axle spread, love it! The final piece of the European show truck is the night light show. Again I’m all for plenty of lights as I prefer most trucks at night, but they have to be done properly. You have to be very careful not to over do it and add too many that it just becomes a mess. Classic straight lines, with orange to the side, reds to the rear and white and orange to the front. Add a couple of spots, flashing beacons and original red interior lighting and bingo!!

All in all, this truck ticked all the boxes and it just seemed different to the rest. Plenty of simple detail, good lighting, good looking trailer and that’s about all you need.

Well done to JQ van der Meer, you are the winner of Truckblog’s Mooiste Truck van Nederland 2018.

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Truckstar Festival 2018

It’s taken me a week to recover! This time last week James and myself were waking up a little tired and possibly hungover! I have no idea how it was a week ago already. Once again our Dutch colleagues surpassed themselves with their hospitality and friendliness. We met lots of old friends and made plenty more new ones. As we go with a Scania 141 from company Wilson we are in the Oldtimers part and it gets better and better.

This year we were joined with some more English Trucks and we were even able to all park together making an English display! Anyway there will be plenty more to come from the show over the next few weeks.

If you have the time then please look through my photos, I actually took a few which aren’t half bad!!

Click the following link to see my Truckstar 2018 Photo Album.