Wilson Wednesday with Willis

I’m not going to harp on about the CV but what has been nice is that for once, along with many other unsung professions, truck drivers have actually had some recognition and limelight. This can only be good for our industry although knowing how fickle the UK can be, as soon as the virus has past we will all be the pain in the arse we’ve always been! That said those who are still trucking about are in one way or another doing vital work for the UK’s people and economy. Also for those who run their own trucks you need to try and find new work avenues and try to keep the wheels turning to keep the company going, essential work again in my book. All in all those who can work and those who can still try to do their “normal” job have been going about their business with quiet roads and less people about to cause any issues, if only the clear road thing would stay once it’s all over! We can but hope. Along with many other hauliers, HC Wilson Transport have, as ever, tried to adapt and keep on keeping on, so here’s a little blog by driver Ady Willis on a recent run to Germany during “lock down”.

Day one 31/03/2020.

We sailed from Felixstowe to a regular destination in Holland, Vlaardingen, with a load to Germany. Once we arrive in Holland, did our passports and ensured the trailer was at the correct running height, we were away. A very quiet road network, with very few vehicles all the way to Germany, where we refuel the vehicle.

Very quiet roads through NL & D.
Coffee time!

Once we’ve fuelled up we travel for a little while longer until suitable parking is found for a coffee. Even with the roads quiet some services are still not easy to access due to inconsiderate drivers. We continue to our delivery point and rest until the morning to unload. Happily we seem to be experiencing alot of politeness in the current pandemic. I’ve noticed only hand full of people in Europe not keeping to social distancing rules.

Once unloaded we head 250kms north to collect a nice new harvester to bring to back to the UK. We once again have very quiet roads from Germany back to Rotterdam. Highly unusual especially in Germany, we have seen virtually no enforcement officers on the road at all, I have only seen one in 4 days!! We get our nice shiney harvester on and secured down. We head in the direction of the ferry in Rotterdam.

Unfortunately there was no space to ship back due to restrictions on driver numbers. So I was able to relax for the rest of the journey and with 90% less traffic I was able to find some parking without the normal stress of wanting to go in services but having to be very careful as other vehicles usually block the services and abnormal load areas. During this trip I’ve noticed that service areas seem to still be open more in Europe than the UK.

We finish our rest and next morning we are back to the harbour in Rotterdam to get ferry. We are now experiencing only one driver per cabin and this is making it slightly more difficult for hauliers to get ship bookings, but 100% better for driver. We arrive in the UK and travel straight to Lincolnshire and deliver the machine. It’s offloaded and prepared for work and its then off to work straight away due to the increase in demand for UK grown produce, perhaps a plus side of the virus.

A good blog for your first one thank you Ady, not once did I say “Watch yo talking about Willis!”. It sounds pretty clear that the virus is having a huge impact across Europe and just perhaps the vast majority of the public are adhering to each countries lock down rules. Also perhaps there are just a few small silver linings to the huge dark clouds of Covid-19. Written with the kind permission of Simon Wilson.

Wilson Wednesday – European Volvolution

I could have titled this blog many things, but I had to get another Wilson Wednesday on the blog for all the regular fans. Thanks to Volvo Trucks UK we can have a WW with a slight difference. Buying a Volvo will have been a big decision for HCW, especially as they haven’t ever bought a new one before. The last two they had in my early years at HCW we’re both acquired 2nd hand I do believe. I low height 6×2 and a low height 4×2. When I heard Simon (Wilson) had decided to order a new Volvo I have to say was a little surprised. Saying that all operators need to keep manufacturers on their toes and if one can supply a truck better suited to the operators specific requirements then their isn’t a lot that can be done. Over to Volvo;


Well-known industrial and plant fabrication carriers, H.C. Wilson Transport Ltd. of Suffolk has ordered its first new Volvo truck; a high specification FH-540 8×4 Tridem tractor unit, supplied by Ian Reed, Area Sales Manager at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia.

The Globetrotter XL 3,900mm wheelbase Tridem Pusher Axle tractor unit is powered by Volvo’s D13K engine, producing a maximum of 540hp. The FH was ordered with an I-Shift Crawler gearbox containing a direct top ratio of 19:1 and a deep multi speed reverse gear with a ratio of 37:1. A gearbox-mounted retarder also provides a substantial secondary braking system. The final drive tandem single reduction axles carry a ratio of 2.83:1.

The vehicle is rated for maximum 90-tonne operations, but will predominately work in the 55 to 60-tonne weight brackets. Both the front and pusher axles are nine-tonne air suspension units, the latter contributing to a rear bogie capacity of 32-tonnes.

“We’d previously bought our four axle tractor units from Holland, but this requirement is now better served through a dealer local to our business,” states Simon Wilson, Managing Director at H.C. Wilson Transport Ltd. “Volvo were genuinely interested to quote for such a vehicle and having a factory built four axle tractor unit was also a bonus, saving on purchase cost and delivery times.”

A Jost cast fixed fifth wheel, steel front bumper and Dura-Bright EVO alloy wheels are also included the specification.

Simon explains, “European work makes up two thirds of our total business and the regulations around German axle weights drive our choice of four-axle tractor units. I’m not a big fan of really big engines, but we have to balance power outputs and fuel consumption levels with terrain traversed and higher operating weights. We operated some early Volvo FHs that were sourced as used in the mid-1990s, but this is our first Volvo ordered new. We’re feeling our way with the vehicle at present and it’s early days. However, there’s been no complaints from the driver,” he adds.

Special Scania – For Sale!!

Te Koop – Zum Verkauf – Till Salu – Per la Vendita – Pour la Vente – Para la Venta!!!

This very rare, very unique, very well loved Scania R560 is now for sale, due to a new replacement. The long list of spec is as follows; 

LHD V8 560 euro5

3.1. M wheelbase 

2 pedal automatic with overdrive 

Scania Retarder

Clutch still 100%

Brakes linings

71% 72%. F

70% 67%. M

83% 84%. R

1 owner from new

6×2 twin tag all on air

Special Types 

Front Axle – 8t air. 385/65 

Middle Axle – 12.7t air heavy duty 315/70 , 

Rear Axle – 8.3t air twin wheel 315/70

Alcoa Dura bright wheels centre trims on all wheels

Heavy duty Twin chassis 29t tractor 

Gross train weight 72,000kg

Low air slider 1150mm 

Full infill + between wings 

Rear lockers (easy removed )

Fuel 710ltrs NS 

320 ltrs OS

SB side skirts 

Change over box (exhaust)

Topline cab

Full BWS body work

Computer + 2x pto prep (this is needed if tipping gear/ crane/blower is ever fitted with auto box)

Air horns

Night cooling (not water) 

Twin sets of beacons

Head bored

Deep sun visor 4 spots

Running lights

Fogs 

Rear work lights x4

NATO + split charge 

Engine heater (plug in)

Fuel heater

Rear batteries (new )Cab scania black/grey 

lockers both sides

Both side lux seats

Full leather lux pack including large dash display 

Piano Blackwood/ leather steering wheel

Large bed 

Top bed 

Water night heater 

Microwave 

Fridge/freezer 

Coffee maker 

TV + sat

2din radio

CB

German toll

Side pockets rear (scania)

4 sets of keys 

Full scania service from new 

1 driver apart from 3 rescues bk to yard 😂

Registered Nov 2011

557,000 km

If you serious about this vehicle it comes with a big price tag but is one of a kind! Needs a new home soon but happy to wait for the asking price. Please email me; ben@truckblog.co.uk and title your email “Tasker Scania”

Heavy Weight Modelling

  
Speedbird Promotions are delighted to unveil it’s first exclusive model for IMC Models to the UK market and what a terrific choice to launch the range with! It’s been the talk of the truck forums since it’s launch onto the road two weeks ago and we are honoured to bring the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 8 x 4 with a Nooteboom 6-axle MCO-PX Lowloader in the livery of Scottish Heavy Haulage experts, West of Scotland Heavy Haulage.

 Commemorating their 70th Anniversary this year, West of Scotland Heavy Haulage decided to partner with us once again on the strength of our quality and service reputation that we delivered on through the success of the MAN TGX heavy haulage model produced last year. Just like the MAN, the model will be delivered in a specially branded West of Scotland 70th Anniversary Gift Box and accompanied with a limited edition certificate.

The unique collaboration of IMC with it’s range of Nooteboom trailers in 1:50 scale and Tekno with it’s highly detailed range of tractor-units guarantees to offer collectors the ultimate combination of one of the most highly detailed heavy haulage scale models money can buy!

Expected release date of this model is in time for Truckfest Scotland 2016 with an estimated retail price of £159.95 including free UK delivery.

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! 

Wilson Wednesday 

  A little Wilson Wednesday just for a change. It was a bit of a last minute one but even so a few photos to keep you all on your toes. The bright red trucks of HC Wilson from Elmswell spend their weeks pounding the roads of the U.K. and Europe. For those who might be unfamiliar to WW, it’s a feature I’ve run since I once worked for said red trucked haulier. So starting us off is a photo from one of the Wilson brothers themselves. Simon Wilson is a secret truck spotter and I’m sure he has a vast collection of photos that he keeps to himself most of the time. This picture is of R60 HCW loaded in the yard with a chunky-spud of an excavator. This load looks like a UK job rather than an export/import.    First up on the road is driver Slim Godfrey and Doris DAF. Above is the export, an extendable load out to the Netherlands and then below is today’s reload and import from Germany back to the UK.

  
Next is top Wilson Subbie Mike Tasker and his delightful Scania R560. A true owner driver machine, all the bells, whistles and creature comforts and I would stake a claim that it is probably one of kind here in the UK. The spec list is huge and uses Scania’s vast experience of heavy transport to produce a truck that gives  Mr Tasker a truck capable of any job that HC Wilson give him. This is a fairly modest reload from the Middle East….sorry the Middle East of Germany!

It’s not all Germany UK work, although reading this blog you could begin to think so. Driver Geordie and his truck, European Charger, have been on UK work today, running about delivering new CAT machines from Purfleet to Cannock. Looks a treat!  

Thanks to all the drivers who took part, we mustn’t leave it as long next time!!

 

Gathering of The Griffin 2015

  Griffin Gatherings come round but once a year, well down in Ipswich they do anyway. For those of you who have been hidden under a rock for the last few years, you’re probably the only people who are unaware of the worlds largest gathering of Scania’s and as far as we know it is the only single marque truck show in Europe. Whether you’re a Scania fan or not it is an impressive sight to see 110+ trucks all in the same place wearing the same badge.   The show is held at the Orwell Truckstop on the A14 at Ipwsich on the last weekend of September. The gathering of trucks is open to anything manufactured by Scania, last year was a first in that there was a truck from every generation of Scania production from a 65 to a 0 series right through to a brand spanking new Golden Griffin R Series, definitely a one off event. This year the plan is the same as normal, more trucks than the year before as this shows the word is spreading and the interest is growing, this year will also see the first Dutch truck at the show, so clearly the word has crossed the North Sea.    

 This year the show has grown well beyond last years number and is still rising. So far there are more than 55 first time entrants so they will be plenty of new Swedish metal to look at. There are some well known trucks coming too, the gorgeous blue Tcab from Longthornes will be making a welcome return, the stunning moving memorial that is Afgan Heros will be there as will the huge, brand new, red Longline driven by Phil Lane from Stuart Nicholl Transport.   

 Officially the closing date to get your Scania entered for this years show is the last day of August so you haven’t got long. The reason for the early closing is that the organisers arrange the parking so that all trucks are parked with others of the same generation, i.e. All 2 series together parked in a row. This is good for two reasons, it’s great to see all of them parked with the others of the same age and also it means you can’t all park with your normal group of mates which makes for a far more social event! The idea behind the show is  If you want to enter it will cost you £10 that’s it. All I ask is that if you enter then please make sure you come!! If you do want to enter please ask for a form on the Griffin Gathering Facebook page or email gotg37@hotmail.com or leave a comment below with your email address and I can send you a form myself, so hurry up, more the merrier. What’s my involvement? I love old Scania’s that’s what, 143 and before are just awesome. My own opinion and plenty won’t agree but as a boy growing up there was nothing I wanted more than a 2 or 3 series V8. So now I have the pleasure of Sponsoring the Best 3 Series in show. See you there people!

  
 

Wilson Wednesday…..WOW!!



Wilson Wednesday is back! Back with bang as well, a lot of entries this week from a lot of HC Wilson’s drivers including the illusive but awesome Arnie in R80 HCW. Now Arnie has a bit of a reputation for not hanging around for much so I was dead chuffed to get his photo in today, although please note that R80 seems to already be on its way out of its own photo! Seen here in France today heading down to Belfort. 



Next up is the “White Wilson”, WIL2217 driven by Matt Lamb. Seen here in Wilson’s yard loaded with Caterpilar D6 heading upto to Cannock. Seeing as it’s the only white truck on the fleet, Matt is often mistaken for being an owner driver, but I can confirm he is a fully fledged, long serving Wilson driver. The Scania R620 was already heavily customised when Wilson’s bought it off the South Wests original owner driver Tim Rigby, but driver Matt has added his own touch and keeps the red wheeled V8 is tip top condition. 



N5 HCW driven and co piloted by husband and wife team, Dave and Sue Ramm. Quickly, happy belated birthday to Sue. The big Scania R580 was on relative locals today but never the less still earning her keep and pulling some big machinery about south Essex and North Kent. The lump below is and industrial press weighing in at 110,000kg and standing at 4.38m tall, it was slightly more taxing than the 15,000kg piece above. 





Above is SW51 HCW driven by little Terry Alderton. Seen today on UK manoeuvres from Felixstowe to Pershore. Looks to me like this was lifted from a flat rack onto to Terry’s trailer as that’s clearly not Terry’s high standard of sheeting!

Another R480 Topline below driven by Nick Garlick. I bet Nick was dead chuffed to see the delivery point for his packing cases was near the Dead Sea. Unfortunately it’s only going as far as Felixstowe although I know Nick would have been more than happy to take it overland, it’s only 22 ton and 3.3m wide, a boys load. Well if Nick had started heading east it would have made a great tale. I quoted on a number jobs out to Turkey and even Azerbijan in my time at Wilson’s. For me that’s when it all start getting romantic, big red truck heading east, crossing the Bosphorus into Asia, dust in your air vents and cook ups with the locals, random animals in the road, oh the romance of the road!………………..Pity nick was only heading to Suffolk.



Above and below is part time driver turned office Waller James Cartwright out and about in HC Wilson’s gracefully ageing V8 HCW. More packing cases heading for Felixstowe, at least the UK seems to exporting something. The big case stands at 4.05m high on the floor so one of Wilson’s super low step frames was required to keep it under the UKS height limit of 5 metres. Wheels need a polish JC!





Above and below we have 2 of Wilson’s finest engaged on importing packing cases this time. Both loaded from Felixstowe to Melksham at 4.25m wide. As you can see they were escorted by an accompanying van as the law dictates for all loads over 3.5m wide in the UK. Both Doris DAF and the European Charger have their own Facebook pages, so click on the links and like the pages to start following their activities. Great photos taken by driver Steve Pattison below, with the moody skies against the red trucks it almost looks a bit arty. 







Not all the trucks are on UK work, two of the big boys are out on the continent bringing a pair of transformers back from Germany to Hertfordshire. N50 HCW is a 150ton GVW tractor unit driven by Graham Daniel and WIL 2580 is a 250ton tractor driven by the one and only John Stocks. WIL 2580 is a bit of legend in my own book. The best part of my time at HC Wilson saw WIL 2580 tramping to and from Austria with 90 odd ton of cargo on her back every few weeks. Bearing in mind every time she entered Germany from Austria both truck and trailer had to pass a German TÜV test (MOT type test carried out by the Germans) at the border before the long run back up through Germany, this truck has well and truly earned her name of European Giant. 



Two great photos of N6 HCW driven by Garreth Rowlands, loading out of a multi million pound development in London SW18 today. Great photos showing the dismantling of a tower crane, note the chap in his high viz right above the counterweight at the top of the tower crane. Some view from up there I reckon. N6 is one of the newest vehicles on the Wilson fleet.  The truck is an R560 V8 Scania, which by day looks like another in the long line of red trucks with the big white “W” on the front. But by night she looks a real treat, LED lights to the front, a fully lit big white “W” on the front grill, rear cab perimeter lights and a smaller red “W” mounted at the top of the back of the cab. 

Escort driver Sully sent the photo below in today. Three of the Wilson trucks loaded here in Immingham heading to Lesmahagow, Scotland. All loads over length and over width. 

Last but by no means least we have 3 photos taken by Simon Wilson himself. I have to say they are pretty good photos SW. Especially good is the one of N7 HCW below. A good looking truck with a well matched  trailer and load, all colour coded too. Even though they weren’t all taken today the following 3 photos were taken by Simon Wilson himself. In my book that covers any technicalities over not being out on the road as they are all his trucks anyway! 

Great photos all round today and a big thank you to all drivers who participated, as always it’s much appreciated. 









The Kings of Heavy Telly

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Hi Ben,
Would you like to spread the news that KINGS HEAVY HAULAGE have had a TV series made about them and the first program goes out this Friday at 9pm on Quest?

Here are more details…………………. We need as many people as possible to click the youtube link: HERE
KINGS HEAVY HAULAGE – WE’RE GONNA BE ON THE TELLY !!

On Friday 20th February you see the team here at Kings starring in our very own reality television series – SUPERTRUCKERS.
Find us on the Quest Channel (Freeview 37, Sky 167, Virgin 172)
Click the link below to see our pre-titles on YOUTUBE

CLICK HERE – CLICK HERE – CLICK HERE – CLICK HERE

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Kings Heavy Haulage are here to show you just how they earned the name ‘Supertruckers’ in this brand new Quest series. In each of the episodes the team are confronted with challenges of logistics and logic as they negotiate weird and wonderful objects around the familiar settings of the motorways of Britain.
SUPERTRUCKERS premieres every Friday at 9pm from 20th February.

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For the team at Kings Heavy Haulage, no job is ever too big as the 25 strong team haul awkward, colossal and abnormal loads up and down the country.The six-part observational documentary follows Bristol-based, family run business, Kings Heavy Haulage as the truckers test themselves both physically and mentally in their quest to deliver difficult loads. The series is brought to life with the lively characters who are some of the most experienced truckers in the business.

Kings Heavy Haulage, Loads Safer!
Tel: 01179 824824
email: sales@kingshaulage.co.uk
www.kingshaulage.co.uk

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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