B.W.R. (Transport), Essex

B.W.R. (Transport), Essex – who can tell us anything about this company? A friend of the blog and blog contributor for that matter, is busy writing a top secret book and needs a little help.  B.W.R. are a company that were photographed alot through the 1980’s as they ran what I think was an all/mainly Volvo fleet. These two photos were taking by David Scarff and I know David took a few more of the red, white and blue Volvos. The only clues about the company are they must have been based in or around Basildon and both trucks have a Basildon phone number on the cabs. Please leave a comment below if you can shed any light, or email me; ben@truckblog.co.uk 


My Best Truck of 2014

For me this is the best truck I have seen in 2014. It might not be the newest, it might not be most practical for most of Europe and it certainly won’t be everyones taste but for me, spot on.


If you live in the UK and haven’t been to one I strongly advise that you make 2015 your first trip to a European truck show, the standard of trucks is amazing. I can’t deny that the trucks here in the UK are getting better and better but the Europeans just seem to have it right, they all look good. To me the best trucks have always been out of reach of what I could afford or achieve and the T560 is no different. We all joke about winning the lottery but a Tcab would be very close to the top of my list. It’s blue, it’s got two sets of pipes, it’s got a subtle custom interior and enough lights to make it look good but not over the top. As with anything I would make a few subtle changes as I’d want to put my mark on it.


2014 has seen a big rise in the blogs popularity through all mediums, the Facebook page, twitter and the good old fashioned http://www.truckblog.co.uk website. I’m not going to link to any of those this time round as I’m sure you all could do with a break from the ruthless links and plugs for the blog. I have no idea where the blog will be in another 12 months, hopefully you’ll all still send me stuff, photos, info and the odd piece of trucking memorabilia to decorate TBHQ and I’ll keep bugging the TV companies in the vague hope they’ll see that we need Truckblog TV!

Hopefully I’ll be visiting, Truckfest Peterborough, Crowfield Truck Rally, Gathering of the Griffin, Retro Truck Show at Gaydon, more than likely (and hopefully) Truckstar Festival at Assen as my foreign trip, although I have heard on the grapevine that there is quite a convoy of English motors heading to the International Trucker & Country Show held at Interlaken, CH. I have always wanted to go James?? Finally if the offer is still there then I might just make it to Belfast too.

Anyway thank you for following and thank you for making the blog what it is, without your contributions I’m sure you’d all be bored silly of 143’s, MAN TGL LX’s and Mercedes-Benz photos! As we all do secretly say now and again Keep on Trucking!


Martyn’s Maiden Mercedes-Benz 2028LS


As some of you will by now be aware I started working at Orwell Trucks Mercedes Benz at the beginning of July. Having always worked in transport and l haulage a move into trucks sales seems to have been a good move. When you start at any new workplace it seems there is always a “Martyn Beverly” character some where in the company. Mr Beverly is a quiet man who has learnt his trade from the ground up, he still earns his keep by supplying all the large fleets of East Anglian and beyond with the Mercedes Benz commercial vehicles. The wealth of knowledge Martyn has for MB trucks and vans having worked for Orwell Trucks for over 30 years is amazing. A couple of days sat with Martyn can teach you more than reading any brochure or book or even going on an MB training course. As we clearly have a shared interest in trucks I was keen to let Martyn see some of David Scarff’s MB truck photos, especially ones of local trucks. The above photo was taken by David Scarff outside Fred Archers yard one Saturday morning in the Mid 1980’s. As soon as Martyn saw this photo he said he sold the truck to Archers. Cue the flood gates for plenty more info and all I could want to know about the story of this particular truck. I asked Martyn to write down what he could remember so below is just that…….

With the impending introduction of 38 tonne GCW artics on 5 axles in 1983, operators with fleets of tandem axle trailers and 2 axle units, need a 3 axle tractor unit to comply with the new legislation. Some truck manufacturers had a problem as they nothing developed to meet this requirement. Luckily Mercedes-Benz already produced a suitable vehicle in Europe which could easily be modified to suit the UK market – Enter the 2028LS.



In 1982 Mercedes Benz decided to bring a single vehicle over to the UK to assess its suitability. I saw a picture of it in a Mercedes company brochure under the heading “An intriguing development for the future”. During one of my many meetings with Fred Archer, I told him about this truck and he was very interested as he had seen them whilst on his travels through Eastern Europe. I investigated and found out that this vehicle was at the Mercedes vehicle preparation centre at New Millerdam near Wakefield. I asked asked if I could borrow it and much to my surprise they said yes. Our driver Brian Booth picked the vehicle up and bought it back to Ipswich so we could have a look at the spec as there were no Data Sheets available.
– Left hand drive (enormous steering wheel!)
– L type sleeper cab with twin bunks
– Red orange cab
– Red oxide colour chassis
– Jost sliding 5th wheel
– MB 14.6 litre naturally aspirated V8 engine. 276hp.
– Fuller roadranger constant mesh 13 speed gearbox. 4 speed + range change + splitter on top 4 gears and a crawler. Very unusual as it would have normally been a ZF Ecosplit.
– 12R x 22.5 tyres
– Centre axle permanently steered with air suspension above a steel spring load transfer device.
– Rear axle. Hub reduction, full four bag air suspension with in cab level control
– GVW was 20,330kg
– 3,750mm outer axle spread – the prop shaft was as thick as a telegraph pole!


I took the vehicle down to Fred (Archer) and hitched it onto one of his trailers and we went for an extensive road test around Ipswich, after which Fred definitely wanted to buy it – if the price was right of course! I went away and got the numbers sorted and Fred ordered the vehicle. No records exist but I reckon it was around £30,000. This truck was very unique as it was the first of this model ever to be sold in England.


To prepare the vehicle we fitted the snorkel front air intake, a radio, cab heater, rear wings, alloy cat walk / fuel tank (from GB Engineering in Wisbech), sun visor, full chassis and cab paint and finally it was sign written by Rod Chapple using a good old brush and paint. When finished and delivered to Fred we did a photo shoot with one of his trailers all around Martlesham Heath and pictures were taken off the bridge over the A12. The driver was a chap called Mick Dade who had worked for Fred archer for some time (Mick Dade eventually worked for IST in Harwich as Transport Manager.



You can’t ask for a better write up than that all off the back of one photo. The other photos here are all copyright of Martyn Beverly and as ever please respect the copyright. Fred archer must have been impressed with the big German as I found another David Scarff photo of an A reg MB 2028, only visible differences being it’s right hand drive and no snorkel!


There are a few more old photos in the archives so you never know we might be able to get a few more snippets of the good old days from Martyn and Orwell Trucks back catalogue. Off you go driver, happy trucking……….


Mass David Scarff Photo Collection Upload

Volvo's (214)

You should be aware by now that I am very slowly scanning David Scarffs very large photo collection. Its taking ages but today I finally found the quick scan button for my scanner, so I ploughed through nearly 500 photos in just about 2 hours. As usual I found some absolute belters.

Volvo's (83)

Approx 400 photos were Volvo and approx. 100 were Whites. I don’t think I will ever get bored of scanning photos and I don’t think I will ever get bored of an F12 Globetrotter!

For David Scarffs Flickr page click HERE.

Or if you want easy access to all the different manufacturers sets, then click HERE.

Volvo's (50)

White Trucks (66)

The other awesome thing about all these photos taken from the 1970’s and 1980’s is everything that is going on in the background. I have no idea on how many twin wheel  Transits and Bedfords I have seen and also just look at the price of a litre of diesel….35.9p!!

White Trucks (42)

Camiones Espanoles – Entonces Y Ahora

David Scarff 230213 (161)

Recently at work we have been loading quite a few Spaniards back to Spain or back to Paris so they load from the french markets and then head back to Spain. Also recently I have scanned the next batch of 750ish photos from the David Scarff collection. What is the link I hear you ask?? The answer is that some of the haulage companies that Scarffy used to photograph back in the 1980’s are still the same firms that I am loading back to the continent. How many Spanish truck spotters can say the same for the British firms still running to the sun and back. Two Spanish firms that are still doing the run and providing our super markets with year round goodies such as Strawberries, Broccoli and of course those gorgeous Spanish oranges, are the names of Campillo Palmera and of course Transportes Caudete. I’ll start with Palmera.

The livery on the original Pegaso above has developed into the livery on the trailer behind the Magnum below. I think you can see how its developed. The Magnum has the trailer livery that I know and recognise as being Palmera, with the Palm Tree logo on the back doors. Where did the Palm tree come from?? Was it on the back doors of the Pegaso? I’m not sure.

Campillo Palmera - Renault Magnum

TB on The Move with Campillo Palmera

But you can see the livery on the Magnum has moved on a bit and as an outfit the truck and trailer show the earlier livery and the newer livery. These days the new Campillo Palmera trucks still have the Palm tree on the side but the overall livery is much more of a European logistics company rather than a classic Spanish haulier. This doesn’t mean they don’t still look good! The new black cabs are smart and I guess these days with air conditioning, climate control and roof top coolers, the cabs no longer need to be white to reflect the sun and keep the heat down in the cab. Even so it’s still good to see the company are still going and are still coming to the UK for our enjoyment in all respects!

Spainish Iveco


Now as for Transportes Caudete, they still have a fairly traditional livery that is very close to how its always been. Red tractor units and white Spanish looking frigo trailers. Much the same as British hauliers the Spanish used to favour using their own trucks, like the Pegaso, the Spanish Seddon Atkinson. But now due to the demise of these small manufacturers, the Spanish, like the rest of Europe, use the same as everyone else. Although Renault and Iveco seem to be the favourites for these 2 hauliers, we have had a couple of new Volvos come in for Palmera.

Most of the Caudete fleet nowadays are Iveco with a few MAN. This Iveco was only a week or 2 old as the tyres were still immaculate and had that look of brand new tyre about them (good description huh!). The driver was quite happy with it.

David Scarff 230213 (162)

David Scarff 230213 (163)

As you can see the Caudete trailers have remained very much the same. Old and new just having what they need to have on them, the company name and what they do. The older trailers do look more continental but again this is down to the improvements in modern trucks I think. There is no longer a great need to keep water and food on the side of the trailers as a modern truck cab has plenty of room for storage inside. I do still like the idea of a water tank on the truck some where, there’s nothing like a cold wash to cool you down or wake you up!

David Scarff 230213 (185)

The one thing that is missing on the modern trucks is the 2 light up sign boards on the top of the cab. The yellow square one and the yellow triangle with the blue background. As I understand it these used to be some thing to do with the ferries, but I need one of you lot to tell me more please? Email me, ben@truckblog.co.uk or leave a message below.

Hopefully more Then & Nows to come, thanks to David Scarff’s collection of photos. It’s possible to find photos of everything, so a big thank you to Mr Scarff and I look forward to the next batch to be scanned (the wife’s not so keen on the idea!). For those whho didn’t get it, the blog title is “Spanish Trucking – Then & Now.”

Somebody Knows This 111

David Scarff 230213 (712)

As some of you know I am slowly scanning many of David Scarffs photos and let me tell you there are 1000’s! Quickly flicking through the latest batch, this Scania 111 stuck out like a sore thumb. Taken as it was approaching the bottom of Jubilee Way, Dover heading for a boat. What i’d love to know, like many other photos in Scarffies collection, is who’s was it and what happened to such a good old girl. Surely it was an Owner Driver? FOO 146T, a Scania 111, 6×2?, and what a paint job, very smart for its day. A roof rack full of kit and some super smart “Bus” trims on the wheels. A very clean and tidy frigo box behind, actually you could be forgiven in saying that both truck and trailer look fairly freshly painted. Unfortunately I can’t quite make out the drivers face, so it’s down to your expert knowledge. Leave your comments below or send me a quick email: ben@truckblog.co.uk and hopefully we can name who ever was in charge of such a good looking girl. According to the DVLA the truck ran out of tax back in 1990, so another lost to the big scrapyard in the sky. T reg vehicles were launched on the road in 1978 and the reg FOO was originally registerd in Chelmsford, Essex………..Over to you……….

Scania 141 – HVF 520V


Back in August I reported on a Scania 141 cab I had delivered to Canacraft in Suffolk, if you missed it you can search for it on the blog by typing “Wrecked to Riches” and hitting enter. The idea is that Howard at Canacraft is going to put HVF 520V back to its original spec of a 4×2 tractor unit rather than a 4×2 recovery chassis. I have a fair history for this particular truck, but not through any effort of my own. As many of you know I have been lucky enough to be given album after ablum of 70’s and 80’s truck photos taken by David Scarff. HVF 520V is a truck that has spent a lot of time in and around East Anglia, having had a long career at MRCT (the chicken people!) and also a career before MRCT at local haulier DA Garnham. I have managed to find from the thousands of photos in the Scarff collection this right gem of HVF 520V in full MRCT colours at Scania in Stowmarket, I did think there was one of here heading down Jubilee Way into Douvres but its only a 111 not a mighty V8.


Any way having put up “Wrecked to Riches” up on the blog, as seems to be the way, I received an email…..This time a fascinating email full of info from an ex driver of said Scania 141. Now to me this makes the blog all worth while (although these days I don’t do the blog half as much as I’d like to!), I put stuff up on here purely what interests me and now and again what might interest some of you. What I love is the romance of trucking (as GW will testify!), I like the life story of a truck and these days a trucks history/pedigree can even increase its value on the 2nd hand market. So to find pics of this truck in its original guise, to seeing it in its current sorry state, to then hopefully seeing it in a few months time, back to a tidy decent truck, makes it all worth while. The only thing that can add to the icing on any cake is a few extra sprinkles, in this case an email from ex driver Gilbert McClusky. Mr McClusky said the following on his email;

“I have just seen the picture of HVF520V in its current sorry state!! and I’m glad that somebody has rescued it for restoration. I worked at MRCT for about 10years from the early eighties to the early 90’s and if you google “HVF520V” you will find a couple of pictures I took on the Thetford road near Garboldisham in about 1983. I also have a couple of others kicking about. The unit was originally new to DA Garnham and Sons of Diss and came to MRCT second hand. After being resprayed It was driven originally by Denis Carlton then Timmy Riches and finally by Melvin Farrow up to being converted to a recovery truck by Mick.. Garnham??? (Sorry surname forgotten) at the MRCT workshops in Stuston Road Diss, in about 1991 or 2. As a 4×2 unit it was a phenomenal machine compared to the 111’s that all the other lads were slugging around in. A lot is obviously written about the Scania V8 and how good they were / are. As far as I can recall we didn’t touch that engine in the 10 years I was there, and I doubt very much it was touched as a recovery truck!. As with most 140’s and 141’s The only weak spot when in the hands of “fleet drivers” were the gearbox range changes and especially half shafts which could break very easily if not treated with respect. The cab had 4 resprays from being in Garnhams colours when new then the cream and red in about 1982 ( As per my photo) Then it had a further respray into white and red in about 1987 – 1988, finally being done for the last time in the blue and white as you have in about 1992 or 3.”

So good to hear all this info directly from the horses mouth. All ex drivers are welcome to email me, ben@truckblog.co.uk ,  and tell me your stories, knowledge and what ever else. Photos to accompany any info is perfect then at least we can relate to what kinda trucks your talking about. Hopefully I’ll soon have some photos of HVF 520V restored and ready for another owner. Just to finish off, Mr McClusky mentioned all other MRCT drivers were “slugging around in” Scania 111’s, so to anyone who’s in the slugging gang, I found a photo of sister truck HVF 521V, which was in fact a Scania 111.