The Waiting Game

Written by Tudor Services: We are almost at the end of one of our most frustrating experiences in transport and possibly the longest post Brexit delay for any company so far. I would like to be very clear that this was not our customers fault in any way but the importors fault. 22 days in total from the load arriving in Santander port to the truck boarding a ferry back to the UK with the load having never left the port.


Five different agents from the UK, Spain and even one from Portugal as well as a Spanish transport company that we work with were consulted to try and get this load into the country and with pretty much no feedback from the importers the whole time.
It was hard trying to find out exactly what was delaying us. As it turns out the importer had adopted an attitude of burying their head into the sand expecting the paperwork to sort it self out and they will get their goods in the end which of course there is no possible way of this happening as their are documents that have to be signed by them with a notary meaning there is no way around it they cannot have an agent or anyone else to do it on their behalf.
So this affair started when we got off the boat on the 3rd of February the boat was like a ghost ship going out with no more than 12 trucks on board which is unusual for this route. The driver was not allowed to stay in the port overnight so was allowed to leave without the trailer where he parked at a well known stop in Hoznayo 15 minutes away. When he arrived there were several other trucks there without their trailers who had been there for several days and as some eventually got cleared to leave some had to wait a few more days and every time a boat arrived more trucks would turn up to fill the spaces left by the person who had been waiting before them. After waiting for seven days we decided to leave our trailer in the port and borrow a trailer from a Spanish company so the driver could come home and returned a week later to return the loan trailer then to head back to Santander to see if we could finally push the trailer on through with some fresh agents involved who eventually got to the root cause of the hold up and they explained to us that the importer is doing absolutely zero to assist and do their paperwork that they are legally obliged to do if they want to import the goods.


Very frustratingly on the 22nd day the truck is now boarding a ferry back to the UK loaded with the goods all for the sake of something that would have taken the importer half a day maximum to get sorted. The ferry coming back is absolutely packed to the rafters as the case is that bringing goods to the UK is still reasonably easy and smooth but as many like us are finding exporting to the EU can be a very different matter. To say we are annoyed would be an understatement at the moment.
Again I want to point out that our customer has been great the whole way through and has been doing everything they can to try and get to the bottom of this mess and has taken care of us and kept us informed along the way.
I’m sure the remainers are ready to chime in about Brexit and though these new measures are here because of Brexit it is not the root cause of the issue with this load this is down to overwhelming incompetence and unprofessionalism on the importers part.
However this ordeal will not deter us from the international transport market as this is the doing of an individual not a country or industry as a whole and although there are some hurdles to deal with now with new paperwork and guidelines it’s nothing that cannot be learned and streamlined with the right attitude from the people involved.

European Boat-MAN – Part 2

Monday 11th January – Woke up at 0730, two other trucks, low loaders, had arrived in the night ready for a busy and cold day loading. I’m up and dressed and start on setting up the truck with timbers etc, ready for my loading spot. Crane rocks up at 0800, gets set up and is on with loading the German registered Glogau Yacht transport R730. These are some seriously sized boats going out today, 5m wide and upwards of 13m length! It takes them longer to get out of the gate than to actually crane the boats on. A Polish low loader is up next, another 5m wide and super long boat loaded and another 20 minutes to get out the yard. I get the go ahead to come in and get in position by half 9, loaded and secured down by half 10, all going well so far. We’re 3m wide and 4.3m high so the marker boards and beacons go on, now it’s just the usual waiting around all day for them to finish their last jobs on the boat. Meanwhile my next important job is swapping alcohol with my polish electrician mate, Grappa for him and Vodka for me! Time ticks by but, unbeliveably and also unprecedented, I get the green light to leave by midday, so just an hour to wait for my 24h to finish and then on my merry way at 13:30. Being Convoy Cat 1, there aren’t too many rules to hinder my journey, unlike the German and Polish low loaders who are running at cat 2 and 3, they will have to wait until 22:00 to leave, have escorts and a whole host more regulations to adhere to. I run up to exactly 4h30 just  into Germany, take a quick break then carry on west to the AS24 just before Hannover. I’m heading Belgium and Paris way on the return leg, as its ever so slightly quicker. With just over an hour left on a 9hr drive, I keep on and make it to an Autohof (the only places in Germany with space at that sorta time) on exactly 9hrs drive! Its 23:30 now, so straight to bed for me. 738Km done.

Tuesday 12th January – 0800 and up, I wander into the Autohof to make use of the facilities. I pay for the privilege of a space to park and at a cost of 14 euro for just 9 hours, I don’t feel like i’ve had a bargain, but needs must I suppose. Its absolutely pissing down and I set off at half 8. I make my way down to Wuppertal and across to Dusseldorf, avoiding traffic at Cologne. Heading down the 44 now, I clear Germany at Aachen and i’m into Belgium. I make it past Liege and pull up on 4h28. (as you can tell, I don’t like to waste minutes and with the least amount of stopping as possible!) I’m heading for Paris now, but its early evening so its not an ideal time for the worst city in europe traffic wise. I pick up some more diesel in Vemars Total, the last services on the A1 before gay Paris. I had thought about staying here for the night but, its rammed at half 5. I head on and use the A104, finding space in a services, luckily! Its half 6 and i’m on 8H45 and i’ve covered 702km today.

Wednesday 13th January – I’m doing well for time this week so I take an 11h break and i’m up and on the road at 0530. I continue around the 104, then pick up the a4 into Paris as the traffic is still pretty quiet. A86, A6, past Rungis and I’m clear of Paris within an hour. I run out my 4 and a half and pull in just north of Poitiers on 4h25. I chill out for 45 minutes and then do a further 1hr30, stopping for some lunch. Out the corner of my eye I spot a tudor services Merc parked up in a services south bound on the a10, then via FB later see it was in fact the owner himself en route to spain and being questioned by the gendarmes! Other than that brief excitment, its a very quiet and boring drive between Paris and Bordeaux. There is no traffic at Bordeaux again and I run my time out as far I can get to Spain. It runs out at the last services before the border and I’m on 9h56 driving time. I make use of the car bays again as it’s a tad busy being evening in a french services. Good quiet day and 842Km covered.

Thursday 14th January – Still doing really well on time and also as we’re not able to arrive in Lisbon until friday morning, I take another 11hours off. I’m across the border at Irun again in the dark, no police at all this time and pull in for diesel at the as24. I do 2 hours more, which gets me to Miranda do Ebro, I stop for a break and take some pictures as its particularly cold and snowy here! By chance, while I was up in Poland, they had another disruptive amount of snow but I’ve managed to skirt it again! The rest of the morning is almost all in freezing fog, it takes a long time for the sun to make it through the clouds and finally at 11:30 it actually feels like day time! I make it to the As24 by Salamanca on 3h47 for the last fuel stop. I have a bite to eat and start the last 4h to home. Unfortunately, now the sun is up and burnt through the clouds, I’m driving straight into it for the duration of the last leg, which really plays havoc with in cab temperatures and also ones eyes! All good though, PT-ES border crossed without worry and just the hilly, absolutely dead road down to home. I park the truck just near the house at 17:15, on a respectable 9hr38 drive, 826km. Its 15 degrees down here, so a walk with the Wife and the dog, a bbq to follow and its time for bed. 

Friday 15th January – I’m up and away down to Lisbon at 03:30, arriving in the Marina just after 5am, Lisbon like most cities, has a curfew for abnormal loads and only permits them into the city between midnight and 6am. I found out the hard way that they do enforce it, so I follow that rule now! There are no cars blocking the entrance this time and the security guard is on hand to open the gate for me. I catch a couple of hours more sleep, and wake up at 8. Unfortunately I can already see that the tide is on its way out, which means that unloading the boat is going to be delayed somewhat. My fears are confirmed and the boat is booked to be lifted off at higher tide circa 2pm. I spend some time having breakfast with the bosses and helping with some maintenance on the existing house boats we have down here and the time soon passes. Finally we get down to business, slightly later than planned but all goes well without any hitches. The new owners are there too, to watch their investment hit the water. I’ve had 9hrs off by now so I finish tidying up the truck, strap down and hit the road home. No dramas on the last stint, just under 2hrs back to the house including a quick stop for a new air duster and pressure gauge. I make it home just within daylight, a 9 day trip complete and not far off 7000km.      

Great 2 part blog thanks George @. Can never get enough of drivers diaries as I’m not out there doing my own. Please send another as and when you want to. Also if any of you readers are keen, then feel free to email me, long or short with some photos and I’ll happily publish them on TBUK.

Peterbilt 579EV Climbs Pikes Peak

Peterbilt Motors Company is excited to announce that the Model 579EV is the first zero-emission,battery-electric, Class 8 truck to successfully reach the summit of Pikes Peak.

This significant achievement demonstrates the superior performance of the 579EV and its integrated battery-electric technology. Along with over 110,000 real-world miles on the Peterbilt EV fleet of trucks, this feat further proves that the 579EV is ready for real world, customer operations today. The significant achievement was captured on video and can be seen at https://youtu.be/dJLiFUf1h6w.

Peterbilt tackled the challenge of climbing to the top of Pikes Peak, or “America’s Mountain”, to highlight the 579EV’s excellent power capabilities and drivability, even under extreme road conditions and cold temperatures. The most famous mountain road in the United States, the ascent to Pikes Peak’s summit at 14,115 feet has an average grade of 7% and incorporates 156 turns over the last 12.42 miles.

Over a 3-day period, the 579EV made the journey up Pikes Peak multiple times with ease, each time using the recovered energy from regenerative braking on the descent to recharge the high-density battery packs to repeat each climb with ease.

​“The performance of the Model 579EV while navigating to the summit of Pikes Peak was nothing short of amazing. Handling the 156 corners was made easier thanks to the lower center of gravity provided by the battery location on the 579EV,” said, Darryl Oster, Peterbilt assistant chief engineer.

“This is a huge moment for Peterbilt and everyone who has worked countless hours to bring this truck to life. Being the first battery electric powered Class 8 truck to conquer one of the most iconic roads in North America is just the beginning. Peterbilt is leading the charge on commercial vehicle electrification, with three distinctive EV configurations available for customer orders today in a variety of applications,” said Jason Skoog, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president.

Pickfords Atkinson View Line

It’s not often I blog at the moment and even less often do I genuinely get sent decent blog material at the moment. Bucking the trend is this awesome little restoration article I have been sent by Sophie Gower from Pickfords. Happy reading bloggers;

A rare heavy haulage vehicle from 1970 has been restored to its original Pickfords livery by Logistics Consultant David Batty. David currently works with road tanker specialist Abbey Logistics and this project has been completed in his spare time away from the company and his other commitments..

David spotted the vehicle in a scrap yard in Stoke on Trent seventeen years ago and realised that it was a rare find. There were only approximately 200 Atkinson View Line’s manufactured between 1968 and 1970 and Pickfords acquired twelve of these vehicles to add to its heavy haulage fleet between 1968 and 1970. The Atkinson View Line was, at the time, a revolutionary design, designed to work on heavy haulage fleets such as Pickfords.

The cab was the first of its kind and revolutionary at the time, as it featured a distinctive one piece front windscreen giving greater visibility and improved safety. One of the reasons Pickfords chose this lorry. As a driver at the time, the Atkinson View line stood out among other lorries and was a highly sought after vehicle among drivers and was seen as quite a status symbol at the time.

David acquired the View Line and spent seventeen years restoring the vehicle to as near as possible to its original specification.  He researched and found the original build sheet from the Atkinson factory, sourced the distinctive Pickfords ‘Oxford Blue’  paint colour and matched the original Pickfords Clarendon font to complete the restoration.

The restoration consisted of a completely rebuilt cab, along with all the main mechanical items such as engine, gearbox and axles getting overhauled and now working as good as they did the day the lorry left the factory. 

David shared the results of his work with Pickfords. Managing Director Mark Taylor said  “This is an amazing piece of work,  so much care has been taken to restore the vehicle faithfully and it’s a credit to David’s hard work and commitment” 

The vehicle is fully road legal and David plans to exhibit it at shows and events across the U.K.in the coming years – so look out for one of the UK’s most iconic lorries back to its former glory, and on the road again!

770 Swedish Horses

Introducing the new Scania V8 range
• Four new V8 engines and powertrains offer fuel savings of up to 6%
• 530, 590, 660 and 770 hp – a line-up of unsurpassed V8 power
• Low internal friction, updated turbocharger and smart auxiliaries
• Updated aftertreatment system and performance
• Longer and heavier trucks offer increased transport efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, both with or without biodiesel fuels
Scania’s new V8 engines not only offer record level power but vastly improved fuel efficiency as well. The total savings can reach up to six percent – or even more – under the right conditions, when the new G33 gearbox is included in the powertrain. Fuel savings of that magnitude make a huge difference of course, both long term for the climate and here and now for the haulier.
“While shifting to fossil-free transports, we all must do everything to improve our current solutions,” says Alexander Vlaskamp, Executive Vice President, Head of Sales and Marketing. “You cannot let your house burn down simply be- cause a new one is under construction. The transition must be seamless”.
The fuel savings are the result of extensive fine-tuning and development by Scania’s engineers, involving technologies in the fore-front of internal combustion engine development. Among them, and provided by more than 70 new parts, are reduced internal friction, higher compression ratios, improved aftertreatment-systems and a new powerful engine management system (EMS).
While future, electrified transports are on top of the agenda, the world still depend on transports carried out with trucks powered by internal combustion engines – and that is why Scania’s new powerful V8 engines play such an important role.
“A typical long-distance truck in Europe covers around 150,000 kilometres per year,” says Vlaskamp. “A reasonable saving on markets where longer and heavier combi- nations are permitted can be up to 3,000–4,000 litres annually for a truck with our new V8 – a tremendous achievement in every respect”.

Most spectacular and of certain interest in the new V8 generation is the 770 hp, 3700 Nm top-of-the line version – probably the most powerful, factory-built truck engine in production today. Where and when is all this power asked for?
“This is, of course, not for everyone, but we see a growing demand for trucks capable of handling GTWs of 60 tonnes and above, especially for road-going combinations,” says Vlaskamp. “The fastest way to increase transport efficiency is with longer and heavier truck combinations. The added fuel for a heavier vehicle is compensated by the greater payload capacity. The CO2-per-tonne calculation is favourable, and in addition there is the opportunity to run your Scania V8 truck on renewable biofuels”.
It is natural that trucks with Scania’s V8 engines are highly in demand in countries where greater GTWs are permitted – particularly in the Nordic countries. But also countries such as Italy and Spain (and certain markets outside Europe) are fond of V8s, due to hilly terrain with many steep and challenging roads.
“We have a clear picture of where the first 770 hp trucks will start making a differ- ence,” says Vlaskamp. “There is a strong rationale for ordering such a truck. These customers are looking for the best total operating economy, well aware of the fact that more payload means better efficiency, increased revenue and higher residual value. But I know that some of our customers also will become extra heartened by the sheer joy and emotion of operating such a magnificent working tool.”

Actros Edition 2

Actros Edition 2: limited special model with a “wow” effect

Whereas with the new Actros F, Mercedes-Benz Trucks especially focuses on customers who mainly want the greatest possible functionality from a commercial vehicle with the three-pointed star, the Actros Edition 2, which can be ordered from January 2021, caters to an entirely different target group: innovation-loving professional drivers and self-driving hauliers whose truck is their home and who place great value on individual style and high comfort. Actros Edition 2 drivers have a strong emotional bond with their vehicle, which is more than a working and driving machine to them. With the special model, hauliers enhance their company’s image while also holding a trump card against the current shortage of drivers.

Up to 40 additional options for interior and exterior as well as design elements from Edition 1 give the Actros Edition 2, limited to 400 vehicles, an unmistakeable character. The result: a premium Actros with a “wow” effect and features that highly distinguish it from the series models of the internationally successful model range.

Driving, working and living in a luxurious environment

A whole range of equipment features highlight the Edition 2’s sense of luxury. Among these, the stylish interior boasts a dashboard and door handles covered in nappa leather, several interior parts in a carbon-fibre look as well as a roof hatch with ambient lighting. The new home screen in the Multimedia Cockpit’s primary display as well as the Edition logo out of polished and brushed aluminium on the passenger side are also real eye-catchers. The top bed comes with bedding and has a width of 900 millimetres. An all-around curtain – almond beige on the inside, black on the outside – ensures privacy in a stylish way. This equally applies to the curtain with the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star in front of the bed.

The highlights of its exterior include, among other things, exclusive side wall decals with a star pattern, the “Edition 2” lettering in the lacquered sun visor, the Actros emblem in front, the Actros lettering on the upper side of the cab’s back wall, four additional LED spotlights in the sun visor as well as three LED working lights behind the cab. From the side, the stainless steel entrance steps are especially noticeable. The rear axle caps are also stainless steel, with protective wheel nut caps. Additionally, an illuminated Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star with black aperture and several decorative grille elements in dark chrome also comes as standard, while the headlamp surround is darkened.

The Edition 2 is offered for all two- and three-axle variants of the current Actros generation with GigaSpace and BigSpace cabs as a left-hand or right-hand drive. The cab paint is freely selectable and can be tailored specifically to the customer’s company colours, while the vehicle front is always painted in moonstone grey metallic, which ensures a high recognition value.

The Edition 2’s series equipment contains the following six packages:

  • Safety Package with a number of active driver assistance systems
  • Comfort Package with LED ambient lighting, shaving mirror, refrigerator and many other amenities for comfortable living
  • Driving Package with leather steering wheel, electric sun blind and more
  • Sight Package with, among others, bi-xenon headlights, rain sensor and LED rear lamps
  • Media Package with sound system, notebook holder, additional 12/15 V socket
  • Extra Line with LED position lights in the MirrorCam, LED indicators and Welcome Light

In addition, the Actros Edition 2 also comprises individually configurable service packages such as the new, mileage-based service contract Mercedes-Benz CompleteMile as well as made-to-measure leasing, financing and insurance solutions.

Excellent security features and tailored connectivity

Mercedes Benz Trucks’ goal with the Edition 2 is the same as its goal with the current Actros generation: to contribute to accident-free traffic and advance toward the vision of fully accident-free driving by utilising active safety assistance systems. For this purpose, the Edition 2 is equipped with the emergency braking assistant Active Brake Assist in its fifth generation (ABA 5), the optional Active Drive Assist (ADA) for partially automated driving (SAE level 2), the standard MirrorCam that replaces main and wide-angle mirrors as well as the Sideguard Assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection available ex-works. In conjunction with these assistance systems, the further developed Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) is also impressive. The system not only saves a lot of fuel, but is also a relief for the driver on rural routes.

The driver is shown the activities and functions of systems such as ABA 5, ADA or PPC in the user-friendly Multimedia Cockpit, with its two colour displays forming the centrepiece of the Human-Machine Interface (HMI). In addition, further HMI innovations such as the display of the next navigation event in the primary display or the total weight of tractor unit and trailer are also included. For PPC, the kilometre display is no longer shown as a bar diagram but in absolute values, and the battery status is also displayed.

If you decide to purchase the interactive Multimedia Cockpit as an upgrade to the standard version, you also receive fast access to the Mercedes-Benz Truck App Portal. This enables haulage companies to harness the new opportunities of connectivity and equip their vehicles with efficiency- and comfort-enhancing apps such as telematics services from Fleetboard or third-party providers. The new logistics application HABBL from Fleetboard Logistics is new here. This software enables you to easily integrate trucks from your own fleet as well as from subcontractors into the dispatching process, provide assignment data and therefore facilitate communication with the drivers: Everyone involved in the transport process – driver, dispatcher and end customer – always receives the required information. This increases process quality while creating a high level of transparency

The Beast of BeneLux

In the wonderful world of Mercedes-Benz and the family network across the world of Daimler Trucks, we sell a huge variety of different marques and models from Freightliner to Western Star, to Bharat Benz and the vast array of FUSO chassis available, I have to say I still think the best of the lot is the new Actros / Actros 5 / MP5 or how ever you prefer to call it. There is also a loyal following of truck sales staff across the world that we get to meet and talk to via social media these day and I can’t wait to see how my Australian colleagues get on with MirrorCam on their road trains and also how long it will be before Freightliner catch up the Actros on fuel. Anyway I do digress slightly, so back to the top. I have come to know a salesman from Mercedes-Benz BeneLux who by all accounts sells some belters and has already clocked up 30 SLT’s, those are the heavy haulage tractors. So when Geert Groeninckx messaged me and asked if I can keep I secret of course I said yes! Luckily now the secret is out and I can share these photos with you. This is how Mercedes-Benz Trucks roll in Belgium and Luxembourg……..

The press release from Our BeneLux friend reads as follows, this is a direct translation into English and I will follow it up with the words for our European readers too;

Last Thursday, some customers and prospects of Mercedes-Benz BeLux were introduced to the sporty AMG range at the Circuit of Zolder during the Petrolhead Days. During the break, our new show truck also had the opportunity to drive a few laps. 🤩

Thanks to Olivier Dekens “OlliVision” and Ivan Tarantsov Photo for these beautiful pictures!

Afgelopen donderdag maakten enkele klanten en prospecten van Mercedes-Benz BeLux kennis met het sportieve AMG gamma op het Circuit van Zolder tijdens de Petrolhead Days. Tijdens de pauze kreeg onze nieuwe showtruck ook de kans om enkele ronden te rijden. 🤩

Bedankt aan Olivier Dekens “OlliVision” en Ivan Tarantsov Photo voor deze prachtige foto’s!

If you fancy a new Actros in LHD that will give you some of the best MPG or KM/Litre then the truck is still for sale. Remember it doesn’t just look good, it has world leading technology to make this the safest and most advanced truck on the market, as a 4×2 it can be stage 3 autonomous. It’s just this one looks better than most of the rest! What an awesome looking truck, 4×2 tractors still look proper to me especially when being chased by a couple of AMG’s!

Right who’s got the phone number for Silverstone…….

Happy Convoy Day!

Melissa : Why do they call you the Duck?

Rubber Duck : Because it rhymes with “luck.” See, my daddy always told me to be just like a duck. Stay smooth on the surface and paddle like the devil underneath

Melissa : But they’re all following you.

Rubber Duck : No, they ain’t. I’m just in front!

Rubber Duck : Here’s the plan: When we get to the pass, we’re gonna put on our fish costumes, pass out the Vaseline® an’ an extra ration o’ rum for the men. That should do it.

Peterbilt 389 Pride & Class Package Returns

A little bit of news across the water. I’ve been doing a lot of US Trucking during lock down. Watching lots of YouTube videos and done a bit of searching for used American trucks. There is still a massive fascination with the American metal and trucking across all 48 states, anyone want a driver??!! @Peterbilt do you need someone to drive one of these around the country for you???! Have a little read of this press release if you’re keen on a new Pete’ this could be the one for you;

Peterbilt Motors Company is proud to announce the return of the Model 389 Pride & Class package due to popular demand. Introduced with a limited production run in 2014 and 2017, the Model 389 Pride & Class package’s unique styling and touches of understated elegance truly set this truck apart from all others.

​Key external features of the Model 389 Pride & Class package include a highly polished hood crown surrounding a classic style louvered grille sheet, a brightly polished hood spine, chrome hood side accents, and polished hood fenders. The side of the truck is accentuated with polished rocker panels, bright cowl skirts, battery box, fuel tanks, and trimmed mud flaps. The iconic exterior look is finished off with a polished exterior sun visor, bumper, exhaust stacks and an exclusive Pride & Class emblem on the sleeper.

​The distinctive features of the Model 389 Pride & Class package continue on the inside of the truck as well with a luxurious Platinum Arctic Gray interior, charcoal dash top and Blackwood-finish trim accentsthroughout the cab. Premium black leather seats are embroidered with the Pride & Class logo on the headrests and go nicely with the black, luxury carpet lines found in the spacious cab and sleeper. Bright gauge bezels, a special steering wheel and Pride & Class emblems on the dash and accent trim round out the interior experience.

“The Model 389 Pride & Class package takes a place amongPeterbilt’s most iconic trucks. With unparalleled performance and distinctive design, it furthers our proud tradition of providing trucks with industry-leading styling, quality and value,” said Robert Woodall,Assistant General Manager Sales and Marketing.

The Model 389 Pride & Class is available now for order through Peterbilt dealerships.