Wilson Saturday??!

It’s been ages since we did a classic Wilson Wednesday, so I thought we’d have a little teaser to see the response. As an ex Wilson, what they get upto still fascinated me, even having helped moved everything from steel rolls, to boats, to plastic planes and everything else in my time in the traffic office. These days things are still much the same. 60% of the work is to and from Europe and as I’m sure is the way with most sectors of international haulage, imports are big and exports and few and far between. Even so some regular jobs are still ongoing. Above is Jon Pryke, seemingly an HC Wilson lifer! Loaded from Germany and heading to Ireland. In my time at Wilson’s I spent lots of time trying to get Jon to start taking photos and then trying to get him to take photos where you could actually see the truck. Now I have to say Jon takes some of the best photos on the fleet.

Next up with GT, Geoffrey Tarbun. Who doesn’t like Geoff? Who wouldn’t want a Geoff on their fleet?? Never moans, always smiles, nothing is to much of a problem. Then again if we all spent as much time on holiday as Geoff then we’d probably all have the same attitude to work! A nice easy load for the new DAF above, a load of JCB’s from the yard to Port. HC Wilson have a long history with JCB and at one point we’re doing more loads out the factory than Brit European. Legend has it someone wasn’t happy with red trucks delivering yellow machines…..but who knows.

Number 1 subbie, Mr Tasker. Not quite a lifer but defiantly a fully qualified Wilson. Now back to having just his own truck on the HC Wilson fleet, the heady heights of his fleet got to a total of four trucks at one time. By my calculations I think the current steed is number 8 or 9, but I’m sure MWT will tell us other wise. Loaded with a good size tree in Belgium and heading for Oxfordshire.

Finally in our teaser is the 2nd new DAF, driven by Ian “Slim” Godfrey. Once again another driver who has been at Wilson’s for 15+ years. It must say something about the job or the company when you have so many long service employees on one fleet. I have to say I didn’t get any load details on this one but I’m happy to publish such a great looking load! loaded from NL to Bristol. Apparently an airport sprayer. With the two new DAF’s having only been on the fleet for a few months there has been lots of talk about the new diagonal stripe from the back of the cab to the top corner of the window. Any thoughts???

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.

Truckstar, Assen – Day 4


Day 4 (Sunday) the last day. A late night last night but I’m glad I slept in the truck, I think I may have drowned judging by the lake we woke up to. Anyway the rain cleared and another pleasant day followed. As is becoming the norm, on the second day at the show proper we walk the other half of the track and see the rest of the working trucks. The idea of parking all trucks around the circuit (essentially a circle) means that you don’t miss anything. If everything is parked up in different sections and different areas it’s very easy to miss something, perhaps some of the U.K. shows should take note. As you don’t miss anything you find all sorts, ex show winners, everyday trucks and also the odd golden oldie. Although we were parked in the Oldtimer section, there are still some working that obviously park with the working trucks. The red 143 was adoreable! If Father Christmas is reading this, then I don’t need to write my letter this year. 



The rest of the day was spent wandering the main show trucks and also around the manufacturers stands. I’m not a big Iveco fan but they did look a treat sitting in the sun. Just to clarify the only reason I’m not so keen is down to an old dog I used to drive a few years ago, nothing against the new ones! Most of you will have worked out that I’m a fan of the MAN TGL LX, also a fan of old Scanias, 1995 backwards and also a very big fan of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros. Knowing  a fair bit about them they aren’t a truck that regularly gets pimped up, before you all comment yes I know there are a few. But in general there aren’t many so what a pleasure it was to find one. A GigaSpace with 630hp on tap. Very subtle in black with some well placed orange stripes, a nice set of fuel tanks and lockers on the chassis making use of the limited space, a few lights mixed in but best of all a pair of 7 or 8 inch straight exhaust pipes up the back of the cab. I had to sit down.


As it’s the last day of the show we packed up all of our stuff back into the little cab of the 141 and waited for the 1630hrs exit. We had to get away sharply so we had the best chance of getting back to the boat. This was of course fine, a good run with 1980’s tunes on the radio and the sun beginning to set (although we all know the sun never sets on a long distance lorry driver!) and a co driver feeding me sour pastimes and hanging out the window taking photos! These will follow at some point. As is customary in the Netherlands thousands and thousands of people come out on Sunday evening to watch the trucks leaving the show. The devices on the motorway way are packed, people sitting in parks and gardens waving and thousands on bridges over the motorway virtually all the way back to Utrecht, that’s about 160km. I can’t do it justice but to see this many people enjoying watching trucks come pass is almost mind blowing. I think I struggle with it as trucks are so hated in the UK it’s just an alien concept. Anyway a good run back and a good shower and hot meal onboard Stena Brittanica saw out what can only be described as my best non-family weekend of the year. If you’ve not been but you like trucks, I know you do otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, then get yourself out to next years Truckstar Festival, it’s just awesome. TB out. 

Truckstar, Assen – Day 3


Day 3 (Saturday). Where do I start? Not such a good nights sleep in a leaky tent but hey ho. Up, shower, breakfast then off to walk one half of the track. For those who don’t know Assen is a famous race track and there are about 2600 trucks parked all the way around the edge. It’s always a bit of a mission but well worth the gentle walk to see all the working trucks. As with most shows there are all sorts, smart, different, polished and some not even cleaned but they are all here for the same reason, to have a good laugh with your mates. 


Walking round you realise how different this show is to anything we have in the UK. Every body brings cabins, bars and portaloo’s and what ever else to make a little camp to be the base for all the fun. Half way round we stopped for a beer and currywurst which is much needed by that point. 


After the walk the afternoon was spent wandering around the trade and manufacturers stands. I have to say that I’m not a huge Volvo fan but the Royal Edition did float my boat. Metallic Browns and a one off brown leather and suede interiour. Too much brown? no not really it just looks right, to top it off it is a rear bogie lift too!

When night falls the show takes on a second life. All trucks in the show truck section have lights on and engines running. We all know trucks look as good at night as during the day if you get the lighting right. There really are to many to mention and show you but that just means you’ll have to come yourself one year. Here’s a small selection but I will do more over the next few weeks. The night finished at some ungodly hour with a beer and a pot noodle back in the cab. 

Truckstar, Assen – Day 2


Day 2 (Friday). Off the boat after a few hours sleep and the convoy of two headed North. The idea was to stop at De Lichtemis near Zwollé for lunch. This was fine, a good run up meant we made good time until we got stuck at a nasty accident for half an hour or so. Not to worry the traffic cleared and we pulled into our lunch stop behind the well know fleet of Verbeek. You can’t fault these trucks in anyway they are delightful. Mr Verbeek claims he does it all for the love of the truck. Good man. 


After lunch and driver change, I was in the pilot seat and bearing in mind the slight issues we had encountered with the clutch/high range, I have to say I think I’ve still got it!! We got to the circuit at Assen around 1330hrs and joined the queue to book in. Booking in done and a bit of shining about we were parked up and left with nowt to do but have a beer and a chat with the Dutch. Nice. 

The rest of the day passed without many incidences, a few beers, a walk about and lots of talking with various trucker types meant it was soon time for bed and the tent. Walking round the show trucks is an experience you can only truly appreciate by coming to the show. The effort drivers put into making their trucks look good is only emphasised when it gets dark. It’s one thing having a good looking motor but it’s another thing having a motor that looks right in the dark. Various interior and exterior lights do the trick of course but as we all know it’s a fine line between too many and not enough. There are very few trucks here that haven’t got the balance right. 

Truckstar, Assen – Day 1


I left work late yesterday! Typical I had a busy day trying to get stuff done before a couple of days away. I got Wilson’s yard for 1830hrs chucked all the stuff in the cab, beer in the coffin mounted on the chassis and off to Harwich for the boat. On the way down to Harwich we got overtaken by a couple of show mates with their lovely Volvo. We’ve met a few times at Assen and to be fair it’s well worth their trip from the Isle of White to NL. 


Arrived at Harwich and as has become the norm we didn’t get onboard til 2300hrs. Not a worry with a host of others all heading out to the show, it rather nice to stand in the dock with a big group of UK drivers, just like the good old days! 


As always the few Dutch trucks waiting were delightful and the drivers friendly. They all wished us well for the weekend and a pleasant trip, who said romance of the road is dead?? GW?

Mega Wilson Wednesday

   

We haven’t done a WW yet this year, so bows a perfect week to start this year off. To start us off these first three photos of WIL 2580, a real workhorse of a truck. See here loaded with a 90 odd ton box loaded from the Midlands for delivery this week out to the Netherlands. To do this type of work week in week out year after year not only requires a great truck but and a great trailer and of course a great driver! Thanks John. 

  

 John Pryke out in WIL 2217, on locals and returning some empty flat racks back to Felixstowe docks early this morning. Followed on by office staff number 1, Graham Wilson out and about getting his hands dirty in Doris DAF. I say hands dirty I mean an urgent load that needed to be covered from Chelmsford to Ely. Still more of a load than I have done in the last 2 years!
  
  

First of today’s Wilson subbies are a brace of Hewicks Haulage tidy Scania’s both pulling flat racks from Felixstowe upto the North East. Is it true you can only be a Wilson Subbie if you drive a Scania?!? 

  

Above and below is office staff 2 also out on the road today. James Cartwright on a couple of locals. Above some loaded from the HCW  yard at Elmswell upto a building site somewhere west of Norwich. Then after lunch (photo below) reloading another flat rack from Felixstowe and back to the yard. 

 

  
Above is N5 HCW a 150 ton Scania 8×4 tractor unit driven by husband and wife team Dave and Sue Ramm. Loaded here near Liege, Belgium for delivery upto the English Scottish Borders. Again not an easy job when your loaded with a vehicle that measures 8.05ML x 3.00MW x 3.91MH and weighing 31t.   

 

Taking a little break from it all is the most relaxed Subbie you’ll ever meet. Mr Tasker is seen here today with his unique Scania parked at Zuzenhausen (20km SE of Heidelberg) in Germany waiting to reload tomorrow for the UK. 

  

Next up is N9 HCW and pilot Little Terry Alderton. Seen here at P&O Ferries in Liverpool docks this morning, waiting for the ferry to Dublin. You may notice Mr Taskers second truck, driven by none other  than Colin Waters. Clearly Colin wasn’t as keen to catch the ferry as Terry. 

   

Above and below is Gareth Rowlands in N6 HCW. Reloaded in Aberdeen with agricultural trailers for delivery back down the east coast of England. If only all tips could be dragged off by a monster tractor!

  

 
The only drawbar on the fleet at HCW is W100 HCW, an A frame drawbar that is. Driven by the man that is John Franks. Now I can happily reverse an artic trailer anywhere you tell me without much fuss but Franksy will do the same with an A frame drawbar trailer and still make it look easier.  Loaded with 2.80m wide buildings in the UK for delivery today in Denmark. 

  

Last in today is Daisy DAF and driver Geoff. Nice to see Geoff at work, I am told he was taking a break from his holiday schedule to keep his hand in at the driving thing. At no point do I remember Judith Chalmers driving a truck so you’ve got one up on her Geoffrey!!

Thanks to all drivers who got involved today, lots of good photos. I started this in good time this evening but as I am now finishing it’s almost Wilson Thursday!