Big Boys Toys

I have a son who is 5 years old and for a couple of years now he has been the proud owner of a Bruder Toys fire engine. It’s a big bugger and takes up a fair amount of space but what I really admire are the working parts. The turn-table ladder extends up to over a metre, the stabiliser legs extend out and take the weight off the wheels and best of all there is a fully functioning and usable water pump that shoots water out of the long rubber hose. If there was a small fire in our house I have no doubt that this machine would easily cope with the emergency. If you watch the first video above then could easily be forgiven for thinking that it’s a promotional video about the Arocs range by Mercedes-Benz!

This leads me nicely onto another chance mention of Bruder Toys I had on a training course at work. One of our top trainers who works with people all across the UK and is is regular liaison and consultation with those at world headquarters in Germany, made me aware of the Bruder videos and was quite insistent that I have a good watch. Now I’m please to say that following Mr Nick Smiths advice, my son and I spent the best part of 30 minutes (father and son bonding time of course Mrs Blog!) watching through loads of videos on the Bruder YouTube channel, including the tractor and combine harvester ones, you’ve got to have a look. Not only are they big boys toys in the true sense of the phrase, they really are, or could be a useful working truck! If only they came radio controlled, now there’s an idea Bruder, then you really could have a fleet of working vehicles to help with the gardening or building jobs. The cement mixer can even pour out its load and the gritter below does actually spread grit out the back, what more could you want?? Oh you want it big enough so your gorilla hands don’t stop you playing, well as the 8 wheelers are over half a metre long I don’t think you’ll have an issue.

It just so happens that I have a birthday coming up in the next couple of weeks and for the first time in a good while I think I will have something affordable that I actually want on my birthday list. For boy or girls, for truck lovers, young farmers or what ever, I strongly recommend having a look at Bruder. If I get one for my birthday then I’m sure said truck will last for a good number of years and will get a few metres under its wheels on family jobs and beach holidays! Great work Bruder, now how about the radio controlled versions??…….

 

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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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Holidays are Coming!! Well Coles T-cab is…

Coca cola truck

I had a tip off this week that a Coca Cola Christmas truck would be making an appearence today at my local Sainsburys in Colchester. The store is about 500 yards from my house so I thought i’d pop along and get a snap afterwork only to be reminded by Mrs Blogger that I am out this eveing and won’t be coming home til after the truck has left. The photo above is one of 2 trucks on the Coca Cola Christmas truck tour. For full details of what stops are left on the tour, click HERE to go to the tour map. I would just like to say I do not know the people in the photo, they must have been next tin line to have their photo taken with the truck.

Coca cola truck

Yesterday I saw a photo on Facebook of the 2 trucks parked together and being an eagle eyed truck spotter I noticed the 2 registration numbers; V8 GNC and BU03 ZVC. To some of you they might not mean a lot but i recognised them to be Coles & Sons of Banbury’s, 2 Scania T-cabs. So after a little insider knowledge (thanks to a certain ex T-cab driver) he confirmed my suspictions.

Coca cola truck

Coca cola Truck

Crikey! Can you imagine it, 2 of the best know airbrushed trucks in the country, V8 GNC being the one covered in artwork from the film Convoy. How Gary Coles plucked up the courage to have cab wrap applied to his pride and joy i’ll never know (but I have a rough idea!). I think more importantly put yourself in the shoes of the poor chap who’s task it will be to “un-wrap” the trucks at the end of the tour…..Good luck and a steady hand required me thinks!! Any way the trucks are covered head to toe in lights, just like the Americn trucks on the now legendary TV advert. I have to say they look quite good and judging by Mrs Bloggers comments, there were plenty of happy kids at Sainsburys this evening.

Coca Cola Trucks by Will Pringle

Because Mrs Blogger has had such a bad day, yet she still managed to get a photo for her beloved husband, I must put it on here as a form of Christmas dedication to my long suffering wife. So here it is and please bear in mind it was blowing a gale, she had our son in one hand and was carrying shopping and still managed to get this quick snap, thanks Wife x

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For those of you who are even sadder than me, just to confirm that the trucks are Coles & Sons and have only been cab wrapped and not resprayed the only evidence I can supply is this rear view of the cab. If you look carefully, the panel between the stacks and the cab looks like a temporary arrangement and also you can still see the lovely blue of Coles trucks on the side air deflector. I guess it’s just to much faff to try and cover the honeycombed back of the Scania side deflector, fair play. The truck looks great and is fairly certainly bringing plenty of Christmas cheer to Supermarkets all over, just another treat / way to wind your kidies up before Christmas. Once again spare a thought for the un-wrapping man, i guess how well he does will depend if the trucks do the same again next year!!

Coca cola truck

Below is the same truck in it’s non Coca Cola guise. Have you seen these trucks this year? If so why not email me the evidence; ben@truckblog.co.uk

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East Coast Truckers Charity Convoy Under Threat

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Now, if you live any where in East Anglia then you are probably more than aware of the East Coast Truckers Convoy. If you don’t know what the convoy is all about, here it is; This convoy is all in aid of charity and has been going since 1986. In its 25 year life the convoy has traveled 1700 miles, contained 2200 trucks, carried 2300 children, been seen by 1,875,000 people and now the Convoy is likely to be axed due to red tape. Around 80 trucks take children with special needs to Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park and Great Yarmouth for the day. Thousands of people line the route from County Hall Norwich to the seafront at Gt. Yarmouth via Pleasurewood Hills. It makes the children’s day to see everyone waving them on from any vantage point en route. The ECTC needs your support;

Click HERE to go to the online petition page and add your name.

Now to get the details right i am going to copy and paste the words from the East Coast Truckers Chairman, Rob Billman;

“On the 16th of May I attended a meeting with NCC, Norfolk police and the highways agency. Nothing unusual. A meeting that I would attend every year before the Convoy. It was at this time that I was told that Norfolk police could not supply an escort group for the convoy anymore. But they were willing to work out an alternative solution. They’re solution was for an 85 truck convoy to depart onto the roads of Norfolk with no escort meaning that the convoy would have to obey the highway code. This would cause chaos. This would also create risk of other road users getting caught up within the convoy creating a risk to the safety of the trucks and the precious cargo they would be carrying. To add to this, this would have the potential of extending the journey times excessively, thus causing undue stress on the children. I said that I would not allow this to happen.

So the bottom line was that I said, no police, no convoy. I have a duty of care to all those involved in this event, I saw no other option. Various other issues were brought up within this meeting regarding health and safety, the fact that the convoy stands with a 25 year accident free record apparently doesn’t count for much. Many phone calls were made between myself and Norfolk police over the next week. On the Saturday evening, I called a meeting of the Charities Trustees and guests. This meeting was to discuss my decisions and the way forward. A final plan was formed for one last attempt at trying to get this years convoy a police escort group. We had to finalise a plan, the media were already on the case and I was due in at Radio Norfolk on the Monday morning.

At 3pm on Sunday the 22nd a final agreement was made between myself and Assistant Chief Constable Wilkins. We finally had a convoy for this year. The limitations are as follows;
Each truck will only carry :1 driver, 1 child, 1 carer. No exceptions.
A maximum speed limit of 30mph
A fair result I think.

Rob.”

So there you go, now you may be thinking this all sounds like fun, but what is it like actually out there on the road with the convoy, well here is a video, not only does it look very well organised, but you have to admit it is an impressive sight too;

Right, what the ECTC needs you to do is, add your name to the online petition to keep the convoy going. To read more click HERE to go to the petition’s website. Why should such a successful event that raises thousands and thousands of Pounds for charity also become a victim of our great Country’s endless side show of red tape, ruining good things for good people?? This convoy just cant end, this year it is safe, but without your signatures of support there is a real danger that the 2012 convoy won’t take place, so please register your support.
Click HERE to go to the online petition page and add your name.

One for the Kids (or the grown ups!)

Are the kids getting  bored? Broken all their new toys already? How about doing some good old cut and stick?? I stumbled across this Dutch website, Click Here, where you can print out paper cut and paste truck models. There are a couple of UK firms including an Astran Scania 141. Get printing and get the kids sticking and hopefully impress the wife that you’ve occupied the kids for another 10 minutes! (unlikely). When you click the link above it takes you to a page where you can choose which truck you want, then above the big picture on the right, it gives you an option to click the truck or trailer, this then takes you to another page where you can do your print out. The only thing is you may need is extra flaps to stick the different sides together, but still its a bit of fun! If you, sorry your children make one, why not send me a picture to put on here, the address is; ben@truckblog.co.uk

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