TB Truck of The Year 2018?

Aren’t I predictable???! After everything I saw out and about last year and at all the shows in the UK and of course the trucking Mecca which is the Dutch Truckstar Festival, I come back to a true classic and of course as you all know my all time favourite truck – a 143 Streamline boogie. Yea, yea I know there are 10 or 20 trucks I couldn’t have chosen but this caught my eye late in the year and it’s just perfecto! I also like what Truckstyling Lunteren did to achieve their piece de resistance.

Most of us want our own classic truck to take to shows, to live and care for and to make into a truck that perhaps was slightly before our time. This goes for all of us, Volvo, DAF, MAN, Mercedes-Benz are all now at the various oldtimer shows, but the number of 20/30 year old trucks available is dropping every year. So if you can’t find the classic you want what’s your only other option?? Yep, build one.

Find a donor truck, in this case a rigid chassis with a boogie lift. Get the gas axe out and start cutting. I have no issue with this what-so ever although I’m sure some of you aren’t keen on trucks that aren’t original. Think of it like this, most want tractors as they are smaller and easy to keep, where as a long rigid chassis is to big for most to house. This in theory would then mean we have a load of decent rigid trucks that are just going to waste, so why not make the most of what’s left and turn a rigid into a tractor? Great idea!!

I spoke with Truckstyling Lunteren and they told me a few of the basics about what went on and this is the summary;

“I can send you some foto’s of the project. We start at september 2017 en we finished augustus this year . The truck was a long chassis. We cut it and make a trekker.”

So after a year and a bit and lots of hard work they ended up with this gorgeous black beast. Will they sell it?? Unlikely unless they are offered a huge crazy price then they make think about it! Having made such a classic, that is the ultimate less-is-more truck I’m not sure I could bring myself to sell it either. The paint work is awesome and has a showroom finish to it and the interior is not crazy but gently styled with a bit of black and grey leather, in keeping with the trucks original colours.

All in all I can’t think of a better looking 3 series, or in fact a better looking truck. I am in love and I apologise to all you non Scania fans, but you can’t deny that this is a cracker. Well done Truckstyling Lunteren, if my numbers come up on the Euromillions then you will get a silly offer for it!

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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.

Maggie’s from Wiltshire

I’ll never get bored of doing the blog as long as I keep receiving the odd email, once in a while that contains an absolute gem! I’ve always asked and I will keep asking for you to send in anything truck related and thankfully some of you still do, please keep doing so. This particular email came from Francis Whiting who previously has driven for H.T. Transport from Westbury in Wiltshire (GB). Having received the above photo from Francis of an amazing line up of Maquirus Deutz trucks parked up in the yard around 1980ish I asked a little more and got a little more back. Francis said;

Hi Ben, I worked for  H.T. throughout the 70s and early 80s, it was my first driving job, starting on a 7.5T box van. After passing my HGV I progressed on to artics and general haulage. This is a very grainy photo of the first sleeper cab I drove, taken in Rotterdam in 1978, happy days! Francis.”

Grainy or not, I’ve said it before, I’m not sure these photos would create or suggest such a nostalgic feeling if they were crystal clear digital photos that we all take today. Agree or disagree??

Anyway, thank you Francis it’s always a pleasure to see and hear of firms that are new to me. The beauty of the blog or perhaps I should say, the romance of the road is the amount of hauliers we used to have here in the UK turning a wheel with a great looking fleet. Probably talk of Wiltshire with a fleet of Maggie Deutz’s but may be not so familiar to those elsewhere. If you have any little snippets to share, hopefully with a grainy photo or two, please do email me. Most of you silver surfers can manage an email these days so don’t be shy, my email is; ben@truckblog.co.uk

Wanted: Ex Sally Line Employees

Wanted: Ex Sally Line Employees. I’m on the hunt for ex Dover or Ramsgate employees who may well be still in touch with and who knew lots of the other employees during the 1980’s and 1990’s. If you know anyone please ask them to make contact with me please. You can leave a comment below or message me how ever you wish but I have a new of enquiry I want your help with please.

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.

Lottery Win Needed to Restart Retro Fleet!!!

How many driver application forms will I need to send out?? For those not in the cool club, I run the ACH page on Facebook and recently the interest has gone through the roof. Loads of ex ACH employees on the page and also loads of photos which is what it’s all about. Those who were there and part of it can reminisce and for those of us who weren’t can enjoy what we missed out on. It’s a true fan page and I have to say it’s a pleasure to have started such an enjoyable page. 

Anyway that’s not the reason for tonight’s blog. I’ve been on a bit of a retro mission the last few months, enjoying lots of 80’s and 90’s that seem to be appearing from various companies and drivers. Now as a retro truck fan I’d love to put a retro livery truck on the road, my choices would be a Ralph Davies truck in the famous black and red or probably more uniquely the beige and black of ACH. If your going to do this wouldn’t it be awesome to find an ex ACH truck to restore and then put a trailer behind. Hard work and impossible you may think…..aha well running the company page means I get to hear about the lost and found department!


As it stands right now I know of two tractor units that are still taxed and on the show circuit and three box trailers that are still bearing the beige paint work. Admittedly two of the box trailers do need new chassis to sit on but it’s a start! The Volvo above is F81 HFC and is still taxed and on the road in Ireland. The picture above in white was taken at a truck show in Ireland back in 2015 but I’m sure I’ve seen it in some show photos this year. I have to say that it is still in very good conditio and looks like it would just need a coat of paint. I know some of you won’t agree but just imagine rubbing it down and fining the original paint underneath. As we all know the main stay of the ACH fleet was Volvo and Scania so I was very pleased to see a reader post on the page today, showing one of the 143’s at the Shropshire truck show last month. Apparently she now resides in Mid Wales, does anyone know the owner?? This really got my brain working overtime as both myself and my truck show buddy, JC have talked over a late night beer about rolling up to the Oldtimers section of the Truckstar Festival in Asset in a pair of ACH trucks……perhaps that dream isn’t a million miles away, if only the lottery numbers would come in!


Why does it all come down to money?! All I want is show truck, Richard Branson can you lend me some cash please? As I say the trucks are both still on the road and being kept running but sadly the dream comes to very rusty and slightly wheeless hurdle when we talk about the trailers. I know where (lots of you know where) Euro 94 is sat, a tri-axle box that has been sat for a good number of years, but at least it still has wheels and a chassis. I say this as the other two trailers haven’t faired quite so well, they are now used for storage but have been lifted off their wheels and put on the floor. Hey ho, I’m sure one of you has the skill set to get the majority of the wriggly tin back on something towable. 

There can’t be many firms that are no longer around that still have a number of vehicles still around. I know all the ACH trailers got taken to France after the Norbert Dentressangle buy out as there are photos on the Facebook page. In fact a friend of mine bought a couple of the tilts, fetched them back to the UK where he cut them down to flat beds and sold them to Russia. The very same friend claims he still has the tilt cover some where, but as yet I’ve not seen it. You know who you are! 

If only the dream could come true and these five could get back together. The truck show trips would be unbelievable but it did get me wondering how many drivers I could recruit if I put them both back to work?? Who’s in? It’s 2017, who wants to join up to drive an F12 Globtrotter and a flat top 143 to Europe and back for me?

Do you know of any other ACH vehicles that are still about? Please comment below.