My Best Truck of 2014

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Take The Long Way Home

Bands Transport, Louisianna, USA.

In response to the last blog on Marshy doing along trip in a short space of time, the very next day I got an email from Trucker Bob of Louisiana, USA. The land of long straight endless roads, ideal for long distances in short spaces of time. Trucker Bob hails from Winsboro, Louisiana and emailed to tell me of a regular job he had for his trucks a few years ago. For those of you who dont know your American states, I will be using the wonderful Google Maps link to show you the rough route across the US.

Bands Transport, Louisianna, USA.

Trucker Bob used to run a few Freightliner trucks under the name of BandS Transport. He used to have a regular long distance 7 day run that he used to complete. Bob is proud to say after 9 years of doing the run, he had no log book problems with the law. Bob said this about the run;

“We were very lucky to have a super account which was a dedicated run from Winnsboro, Louisiana to Boise, Idaho then back to New Orleans and home to Winnsboro, Louisiana. Around 4300 miles round trip. We had to make the turn around in 7 days, averaging 625 miles a day or 1000 Km, as a solo driver. Legalish is a
great term you used …. In the event of bad weather or special conditions we could get extra time. In the US most states allow trucks to run 70 mph and out west we can run 75 mph (120 km per hour) and I am sure my driver pushed that. We hauled rolled paper up and onions back. Sometime in the winter up north we would put a propane bottle
and a burner for heat then down south open up the vents to cool the
onions (and dry them if the trailer sweated).”

Now in my book that sure is good enough for the short long trip pile! I think even Marshy would struggle to keep up with that. Have a look at the map below to see where Trucker Bob and his Freightliners used to haul ass!!

Finally BandS trailers always had the slogan; “Take the long way home” on the rear doors. Bob says; “I always thought I was headed home when I left the yard.” A good philosophy I think, surely once your trip has started your ultimate goal is to get home again. I like it.

Bands Transport, Louisianna, USA.

 

Mid America Truck Show 2001 (for Lisa Kelly!)

Those of you who follow truckbloguk on twitter you might well have realised that we are now being followed by, Ice Road Trucking royalty, Lisa Kelly. After I tweeted her (ooh-er!) to see if she’d follow the blog, she duly obliged. So as an odd dedication, I thought i’d do an American truck based post and as yet I don’t think I have ever said to much about my Mid America Truck Show Experience.

Back in the year 2001, when I was a mere whipper snapper, I went to my one and ony American truck show to date. The Mid American Truck Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Part of the main reason for going, other than my slight enthusiasm for a truck, I went out to meet with Panelite. Now for those of you who are saying, Whooooooo?? Panelite were the leading US aftermarket light supplier. You know all the extra orange lights US trucks have, most of them were down to Panelite. At the time the company was run by the founder and his wife, but in the last few years, due to family differences the company is no more, very sad. I am told by a very reliable source that the rights to production and all other copyrights have been bought by a Canadian company, so hopefully the products will be back on your American shelves before long. The reason I went was, at the time I had been talking with Panelite about starting a European dealership as this was something they were supposedly keen to do, but due to many reasons, not that i really understood them all, it never happened. Shame. Look how successful Kelsa and Spot-On have become.

Here are a couple of the then, Panelite show trucks.

Mid America Truck Show 2001

Mid America Truck Show 2001

Mid America Truck Show 2001

I did think on the way to the show, how would they light the trucks up to show the lights. At that point i hadn’t seen trucks plugged into the mains before, once again I guess the American started the trend. One of each of the main American truck’s were represented, such as the Kenworth, Freightliner and Peterbilt above, all kitted out with every possible stainless steel accessorie that you can imagine. The rest of the show was just a impressive as the Panelite stand. It was just amazing really, for those of you who just think its another truck show, your wrong. All I can suggest is that at some point you make the effort to get yourself to the US of A for a show and I highly highly reccomend the MATS.
Out side the is the Truck Beauty Contest. This is really the same sort of standard of trucks as you get at the Nordic Trophy. The trucks were just amazing. Everything was polished stainless steel and great paint jobs. The owner drivers must put so much effort in, they deserve a trophy each! This was the first place I saw wooden floors inside truck cabs! This Kenworth was a prime example of the standard.

Mid America Truck Show 2001

Mid America Truck Show 2001

Mid America Truck Show 2001

As over here, an awful lot of owner drivers have their own trailers and these too are treated to the custom treatment. The highlight of these trailer’s, for me, are the quilted effect rear doors, just wicked, although I imagine following along behind them with the Nevada sun shining at its peak, must test the best of sunglasses!!

Mid America Truck Show 2001

A chunky spud of a tipper.

Mid America Truck Show 2001

Last of all for those of you haven’t been to the States, one of the best things about travelling about the Interstates is seeing thr trucks in their natural environment. In a lot of states cars still have lower speed limits than cars. Most American trucks will purr along at 70 or 80mph. So you can be driving along and all you can see in your rear view mirror rapidly gaining on you are sights like this;

Mid America Truck Show 2001

Mid America Truck Show 2001