Retro Show – The Social Part

Another weekend and I’m back at Londra Camp or perhaps even the Hotel National in Belgrade. Loads of the best retro trucks in the UK and a growing number from Europa and all the kings of the road you could ever hope to meet and listen to stories from. The shows this year have become more and more social but combine this with trucks from my childhood and once again an awesome weekend was had by all. For me meeting these Kings of the road is what it’s all about, the stories they can tell, the places they have been and the trucks they have driven, my generation can only dream. To name a just a few people I stood and chatted/listened to this weekend;

  • Charles Russell
  • Roland Simey
  • Nick Bull
  • Karl Skilton
  • Andrew McDevitt
  • Kevin Mackin
  • Paul Rowlands
  • Baz (if you know you know!)
  • and of course one of my true hero’s still out and about on the road………
  • These men all need dictaphones and books written about them or by them, Mr Coghill you need to get on with it! As I said in my Truckstar blog, sadly I wasn’t able to enjoy the golden era but chatting to these knights of the road you can get a real idea of the adventure, hardship, bad times and of course good times they endured. For any young drivers of the current modern generation, can you imagine being told to go to Pakistan from London?? No? just to add to the adventure there was no sat-nav, no road maps or readable signposts once past Turkey, for that matter not many “roads” either. One of the best quotes of the weekend from a certain Charles Russell went something like this;
  • “When I was a young owner driver with just one truck, my pal Ralph had his own truck too. I met him on his way back from his first trip to the continent and do you know what he said?? That continental work isn’t for me.”
  • – The Ralph in question was of course a certain Mr Davies. Just brilliant but unless you take the time to talk to these men then you never get to hear such awesome tales.
  • The show itself was once again a triumph. Lee Herbert and his team put on what was the best retro show I’ve been too, that said next year is the 10th anniversary so I can’t wait for that already. Get the date in your diary, next years Retro Truck Show is from September 11th to 13th 2020. There seemed to be more restored/retro trucks than ever before. The quality of these trucks gets better and better and there is definitely more types of truck, not just Volvo and Scania. Renaults, ERF, Iveco eight wheels MAN’s and even a Fiat all being restored back to their former glory. As it goes there was only one Transcon that was at the start of its new life and very much need a good polish! I’m sure there are more Transcons about that could come along next year but after one of Roland Simeys stories I’m not so sure….
  • If you are a truck enthusiast then the retro show is for you. It’s run by truck people for truck people. Evident that the man who runs the show is a gas engineer but grew up with trucks and loves trucks. All who attend are truck mad and as there are no prizes to be won it just shows that all trucks are there as their owners are proud to show them and just do it for the trucks and love of diesel! Not a lot of feed back from those I spoke to other than more trucks the merrier. Perhaps the one thing I did hear from a few people was, there were a lot of new trucks there again. Don’t get me wrong I love seeing them and being able to compare the same make 30 or 49 years apart is a pretty cool concept. I am guessing there is an element of a few new trucks make up the numbers but then again what do you class as a retro truck?? I fine line for the organisers to think about but for me personally I don’t think it is far off perfect at all.
  • LowRider Friday

    Do you drive a low height tractor unit??

    There seems to be more than ever about at the moment. I want to do a Lowrider Friday tomorrow so get sending over your photos please. You can get me on all the normal channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagramme or good old fashioned email! Come on LowRiders let’s see your trucks, I’m guessing most will be 4×2’s but extra points for 6×2’s!

    First T-High Ordered in the UK

    Road marking and haulage specialist, Tim Doody Limited, has taken delivery of the company’s flagship vehicle, the first right hand drive Range T High to be ordered in the UK.  Liveried in Tim Doody’s distinctive new bright yellow branding, the T520 High 6×2 tractor unit, supplied by Renault Trucks dealer Border Trucks, is an addition to the company’s fleet of 22 vehicles and was ordered to meet ever-growing customer demand for its services.

    A flagship vehicle with real driver appeal was at the heart of Managing Director Pat Doody’s purchase decision, as he explains: “We’d been after a flagship for a while, and our driver, who has been with us a long time, wanted the T High in right hand drive as soon as it came out. The two T cabs on the haulage fleet are performing well, so I immediately contacted Stephen Whitehead at Border Trucks to place the order – and am delighted that we were first in line!”

    Equipped with all mod cons, including luxury leather and ventilated seats, TV, fridge and microwave for a comfortable life on the road, Tim Doody’s T High, with its fully flat floor and interior height of 211cm, has been very well received all round. Pat says: “The driver absolutely loves it, he’s out Sunday and comes back Saturday and finds it comfortable and quiet. I was surprised at how big the truck is, it feels gigantic when you’re inside it.  As a flagship vehicle, it’s certainly getting plenty of attention when it’s out on the road.”

    Pat is also impressed with the T High’s fuel efficiency: “It’s usually pulling big high trailers transporting plastic bottles from the local factory, and we’re getting over 10mpg on these light loads. On 44 tonnes, it’s just under 10mpg and it’s only been on the road a few weeks, so we expect more as it runs in.”

    While Tim Doody takes care of the six weekly checks, all other R&M is undertaken by Border Trucks, whose service support was also a factor in vehicle selection.   “With seven Renault trucks on our fleet, we know we can rely on Border Trucks, they’re really responsive and that makes all the difference.”

    New RHD Range T High Demo’s are here!

    Finally the long awaited Magnum replacement has arrived here in the UK. Up until now you could only get hold of a 4×2 LHD version but after much demand (so its said) Renault have launch a RHD 6×2 version. Here’s the press release from Renault Trucks UK;

    The first ten Range T High dealer demonstrator vehicles have arrived in the UK!  Featuring the striking livery based on a design theme by Daniel Beddoes, winner of Renault Trucks’ #X-Tractor social media competition. Each of the ten tractor units has its own unique identity that links it to the Renault Trucks dealer that it will call home.

    “Daniel’s livery theme of the Union Jack flag, combined with UK motorways and landmarks, was a stand-out winner for the #X-Tractor judges, which included industry professionals and journalists as well as colleagues from Renault Trucks,” commented Alex Williams, Marketing Communications Manager, Renault Trucks. “We have transformed Daniel’s original idea into a stunning suite of head-turning vehicle liveries that perfectly sets off the new flagship model to the Renault Trucks range.”

    The ten Range T Highs were officially launched at Renault Trucks’ recent Dealer Conference, where each dealer was given the keys to their demonstrator vehicle to drive home.

    Supporting the arrival of the first Range T High demonstrators to the UK, Renault Trucks will be running a series of social media competitions based around the trucks in addition to the landmarks and motorways that make up their distinctive liveries.

    For more information about the new Range T High visit :  www.range-t-high.co.uk

    For Sale: 500hp Magnum

      
    I’ve always banged on about Renaults legendary, flat floor pioneer the Magnum. Often wondered if Magnums should be a pop-one-in-the-back-of-the-shed for a rainy day type truck or if they will disappear and become just figment of our imagination. I guess only time will tell. In the mean time if anyone wants one that’s in good condition but with no current MOT, look no further;

    • Renault Magnum 500bhp
    • Reg 01/03/2007
    • 800,000kms
    • Auto gearbox
    • Alloy wheels
    • Fridge
    • Sliding 5th wheel
    • Light Bar
    • Large Fuel Tank
    • £6,000 + VAT

    Message or email me if you want me to put you in touch. For work or just to get your hands on a future retro show favourite!

      

    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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    R.I.P. Magnum: 2010 Magnum “Route 66” Limited Edition

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    With its “Route 66” operation in Spring 2009, Renault Trucks combined two legends: the brand flagship “King of the Road” Renault Magnum and the famous Route 66 which crosses the United States from Chicago to Los Angeles. In the autumn of the same year, at Le Mans, Renault Trucks presented a Magnum decked out in the colours of Route 66 during the 24 hour Truck Race. As a result of the public’s enthusiasm and the interest generated by this vehicle, Renault Trucks decided to launch in France a Magnum “Route 66” limited edition with specific exterior decoration, exclusive upholstery and superior equipment. A Magnum designed to blend the excellence of Renault Trucks with the American dream.

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    The “Route 66” limited edition asserts itself as the obvious choice for long haul
    assignments. It will delight the many enthusiasts of decorated trucks and the American dream – which everything about this unique vehicle evokes. First of all, the exterior decoration with its metal grey colour, typical of American tanker trucks, the
    winged Route 66 logo on the doors, the specific “Diamond Brite” aluminium rims, chrome plated radiator and air tank, and much more. Everything in fact, to ensure that this Magnum attracts even more attention than usual on our roads! The dream goes on inside the cab, with its exclusive anthracite grey upholstery fabric and a red Route 66 logo echoing the exterior decoration. In terms of equipment, the Magnum Route 66 is fitted with the very best available to make swallowing up the miles as pleasant as possible – even if they are French kilometres. This includes the Optidriver+ gearbox, the Excellence Pack with a CD MP3 Bluetooth radio, under-bunk refrigerator, Multipass cab and swivelling passenger seat. On the mechanical side, the Magnum Route 66 is available as a 4×2 tractor with a DXi 13 Euro 5 engine and three ratings for customers to choose from: 440 hp, 480 hp or 520 hp.

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    A legendary truck and a legendary road… nearly 20 years after its first appearance on the market, the Renault Magnum has pushed back its limits at the very heart of the United States on the famous Route 66. From 3 to 13 April 2009, it made its mark on history by becoming the first French truck to cover this route. All the way from Chicago (Illinois) to Los Angeles (California), it swallowed up 3,620 km of asphalt as it passed through the most celebrated towns in the United States, carrying two drivers
    specially selected for this amazing challenge. Furthermore, Renault Magnum has won great favour among long haul transporters for its onboard comfort and also its performance. It travels throughout Europe from north to south and has become the reference motorway vehicle, particularly in Spain, as well as playing a major role in the process of opening up Eastern European markets. And in the US, from the great industrial metropolises around the Great Lakes right through to the east coast via Las Vegas, Route 66 offered a real challenge to France’s “King of the road”.

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    The Old Continent and this “New Frontier” country both use environmental standards to control traffic, but these regulations are, of course, different! The US 07 Standards are just as stringent as the European Euro 5 Standards, in a country where oil is reputed to be in abundant supply. A correspondence therefore had to be established between the two standards, something which Renault Trucks engineers had never been asked to do before! Because of technological differences, the maintenance of European mechanical units meeting the Euro 4 standard was not possible in America, since AdBlue, the additive required for the SCR depollution technology chosen by Renault Trucks, was not yet available there. To provide its vehicles with the day-to-day assistance they would need, Renault Trucks France had to take along a supply of the major standard parts subject to wear or breakage. In the end, 3,600 km of Route 66 covered in 7
    days were no more than a stroll in the park for a vehicle designed to supply the same performance with flawless reliability for more than 100,000 km a year.

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    The three Renault Magnums came to book their passage on a transatlantic vessel
    between Le Havre and Baltimore. This was all about the passion of transport, particularly for drivers. Sitting proud behind the wheel of a piece of machinery that weighs over 40 tons makes you one of a select band of truckers from a different world, with its own codes and a unifying passion for the road and trucks. Renault Trucks is there to help its drivers on the road through its repair garage network and its assistance vehicles which come to drivers’ aid 24 hours a day, as well as during Grand Prix truck racing events and through a customer relations programme based on the Truckdriver’mag magazine and website. It was in fact Truckdriver’mag that organised a draw to choose the two winners for this operation during the 24-hour Le Mans truck race in 2008: Eric Mortiz and Jean-Patrice Bullot. Throughout this unique adventure, they were assisted by the brand’s demonstrators in France, driving experts who help customers every day to get the most out of their vehicles. Aboard these 3 Magnums which crossed the 8 States of Route 66, drivers, customers and employees, all passionate about trucks and about the Magnum, lived the most memorable journey of their lives together. Beside them, an entire company, plus its distributors and repairers, followed this unprecedented adventure with emotion and pride. Through them, the whole of the French transport world rejoiced to see the French flag flying for a while in the land of Uncle Sam – in contrast with the heckling it sometimes gets at home. It was a moment of grace for Renault Trucks and the French haulage industry in general, proving to the rest of the world that it and its hauliers see a long way beyond difficulties and national frontiers.

    First Range C for Concrete Mixer

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    Cardiff-based P&T Woodruff Haulage Ltd, contract haulier for Hope Construction Materials, has taken delivery of the UK’s first Renault Trucks Range C430 X Load 8×4 with a McPhee Mixers (Glasgow) 8 cubic metre concrete mixer. Supplied by Renault Trucks Cardiff on a five year contract, the Range C, with high roof sleeper cab and lightweight pack including aluminium wheels, fuel tank and air tanks, is an addition to P&T Woodruff Haulage’s fleet, reflecting strong trading conditions in the construction industry. The Range C, in Hope Construction Material’s distinctive white and purple livery, went on the road in April, operating across the South from Wales to Kent, servicing Hope Construction Materials’ network of ready-mixed concrete plants. This is the third Renault truck on P&T Woodruff Haulage’s fleet and follows the very positive experience of owning and operating two Renault Premium Landers.

    Commenting on the decision to purchase the company’s first Euro 6 truck, Joint Managing Director of P&T Woodruff Haulage, Tim Woodruff says: “The customer service we’ve received from Renault Trucks Cardiff with the two Landers has been superb. The Landers are ideal for the work we do, with no breakdowns, and the warranty and back-up has been brilliant. As business is booming, we needed to increase our capacity and the Range C was the natural choice. Normally we have a standard sleeper cab but because we are travelling further afield and need more flexibility we have specified a high roof sleeper cab with in-cab comfort extras.”

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    MBT’s Range T’s

    Renault Range T's

    I was beginning to wonder when they would start becoming popular. The new Renault Trucks Range T has been around for a little while now and you see quite a few out and about on the roads of the UK, I’ve also noticed quite a few photos appearing of European ones on the internet. It seems to me that everyone who hasn’t driven one says they are no good and those who have driven one, well, they don’t really say much. That says to me that they have quietly enjoyed themselves. I know this as that’s pretty much what I thought after going to the ride and drive day Renault Trucks UK put on at Millbrook Proving Grounds. I can’t actually say there was anything un-likeable about the truck. Oh I lied, the one thing I did think about the trucks were that the mirrors did seem to feel pretty big in the window if you know what I mean. That aside I good truck.

    Well known Kent firm Online MBT have recently taken delivery of 3 new Range T trucks. To give them their full title, the new trucks are Range T 460.26 6×2 TML E6 tractor units. It would seem that my thoughts on the new trucks are shared by Online MBT’s Conrad Garrett;

    “Whilst I have had good experience of Renault trucks and know them to be reliable and fuel efficient, my drivers were initially a little more pensive – so I let the trucks do the talking. On their first run, the Range Ts pulled like a train over Mont Blanc, they didn’t skip a beat. They are quiet, comfortable, have a great gearbox – all round they’re a really nice bit of kit and the drivers are completely won over.”

    I think Online MBT are one of many fleets who will soon be snapping these Renaults up. I said at the launch that they would be a big hit as a fleet motor and I think I might be right. Those who drove the Premium used to say that if it had a Scania badge on everyone would buy them. So this time round perhaps people should just admit they are guilty of liking the new Renault. Online MBT are that impressed with the new motors, that these first 3 trucks could be joined by a few more as the year goes on. Commenting on the decision to introduce brand diversity to the 200-strong Online Group’s fleet of tractor units, Conrad Garrett says:

    “The Range Ts are the first Euro 6 trucks on our fleet, so it’s very positive to see them already returning 9 miles to the gallon and improving every week as they loosen up. This is an excellent result for the first month on the road and we are confident that the fuel returns will improve further over time. We are looking to replace up to 60 more tractor units this year across our three depots in Dover, London and Cologne, and if the Range Ts continue to perform at this level they will certainly be on our list.”

    Perhaps Renault have got it right this time round, but the hardest thing to do is change operators and drivers pre-conceptions. If those who have them admit to liking them, then others will start to believe the hype. Like I said I can’t say anything bad about the ride or comfort of the truck so for me it’s a thumbs up. If I had a fleet it would seem to make sense. The mirrors might be a bit on the large side, but that really isn’t a bad thing and the front grill needs some getting used to, but again that is the way of modern trucks isn’t it?? Think new Volvo. Forget the Premium and forget the Magnum (RIP) they are gone, be French, think French, think new thoughts and try the new trucks from Renault.

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