The Race to The Finnish Line – Day 10

Day 10 – Monday 11th of March 

Alarm goes off at 0600 feeling refreshed after my day of in Tallinn. I open the curtains to see that it’s been snowing all night so I hope it’s not been to heavy and cause any delays today. It turns out I’m not the only one who’s a long way from home as I spot this Iranian truck waiting to check in for a boat to Finland just before I set off.
It’s a easy going even with the snow coming down and makes the scenery very nice on the drive. I eventually make it out of the snow after a couple of hours. I stop at the Latvian border to get my road tax, just as I’m setting off the snow starts coming down again.

Then I head south on the A1 towards Riga running right along the coast of the Baltic Sea. Next stop is the Lithuanian border where I stop and fuel up and get my road tax once again. I set off on the A10 heading towards Kaunas then on towards Poland, as I’m pulling out of the garage the snow is back! I get to a place called Jeziokri just over the border and park up for the night in a TIR park have a bit of tea in the restaurant and a quick look around the truck store at all the toys before getting back in the truck to go to bed and you guessed it, it’s snowing again so looks as if this weather is going to be following me back to the UK I think.

Weekend in Marbs??!

Everyone’s pal Russell Oliver was down in Marbs at the weekend, as much as The only way is Essex, Marbs is the place for Essex-ers off the telly box to go on their holidays so I hear! I’m not sure boss man Michael Lacey would be too happy if one of his monster V8 Scania’s was parked under the Marbella sign for too long. I’d be worried about all the young UK folk thinking it was the night bus back to Brentwood!!!

Anyway seeing Russell’s photo made me wonder how many of you lot have taken a photo in the same place, I’m certain at least two Owner Drivers have taken a photo in the same place. Photos please, either email me, comment, Facebook or Tweet your motor parked up in Marbs please Barbs!

I wish I’d been too…..

As a driver I never did enough European work. I always wanted to take my 7.5 tonner all over Europe but back then the opportunities just didn’t arrive. I was kindly offered various odd jobs through Kevin at Delamode but they never seemed to fit between my regular UK jobs at that point. The photo above was my very first trip to Europe at 18 for DFDS delivering herbal stuff to Boxmeer, NL. Look at me, couldn’t take a photo but living the dream! I did various other trips to Belgium and Holland with the 7.5tonners but not enough and certainly not to all the countries I wanted to get to. I have always wanted to drive to Scandinavia and got close to a once a month contract delivering rave suspension parts from my home town of Braintree to Stockholm but again it didn’t quite come off.

My perfect destination would have been something like Interlaken or perhaps even Cadiz. All of us must have destinations you wanted to get to but never have, even those who are regulars on the long distance routes, you must have, perhaps more specific destinations you want to get to. Of course when I had my tractor unit I would have loved the opportunity of Turkey or further afield but I made do with weekly trips to Belgium, Holland, Germany and the odd little bit of France. Of course doing the Middle East would have been on my list but realistically in my time it was dying out. Of course going to Doha like my Uncle Dick Snow did would have been awesome, following in the footsteps of those drivers would have been amazing. But most of the places I realistically wish I’d got to would have been in the little trucks. In no particular order my top three places I wish I’d got to in any of. The trucks pictured would be;

  • Interlaken, CH
  • Cadiz, E
  • Guernsey, Channel Islands

So here’s the question, be honest as you can be, and no matter how far you have been where have you always wanted to get to?? Near or far I’m not fussed but I’d like to know. Karl Skiltons answer will be interesting I’m sure and I know the three Matthews will have interesting answers too! Come on, “I wish I’d been too…….”

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!

Lowrider Friday – Part 2!

So plenty more here to look through, I’ve received a few more since Part one. Plenty of Volvo, DAF, Mercedes-Benz and a few Scania. All high profile UK companies in this lot and all still doing continental. A fair reflection on how UK international transport has changed, all but a few doing other things instead of general haulage. As mentioned in Part 1 there is plenty of material in this lot for more blogs. Please comment below and please do scroll down to see everything. Drivers on this page please message me for your free TB sticker if you want one!