Scottish Snow Plough Part 2

A relative lay in on Wednesday 30th March, up and onto the Northlink Ferry for 0815hrs ready for an 0845hrs departure and a steady and pretty calm crossing to Stromness, as you can imagine in the winter in can get a little blowy and fairly choppy but no issues for our seasoned owner drivers. actually the only complaint was they didn’t chain Van der Nunn down at the front, which meant he could have left his bull bar on for the trip, image is everything!

Once onto mainland Orkney, it was a steady trip across the island, through Kirkwall town and out the other side. Kirkwall airport is situated to the east of the town. On arrival at the airport the trucks were asked to unload near the airport equipment sheds where the current snow equipment is housed. As you can see their is quite change is the vehicles, the old Fodens and Mercedes have given near on 30 years service, they must have seen some weather in that time! Our intrepid explorers were told that the old trucks are being auctioned off, but sadly I’ve not managed to find them listed anywhere. I’d be keen to know what they go for, if anyone can shed any light??

Through my work, we did learn that only once the airport staff started to put the new equipment in its new home, did they realise that the new trucks were too tall for the shed that’s housed the old trucks. The new truck is lower than the height limit given in the tender, so I’m guessing someone at the airport needs a new tape measure as well as a new snow plough!

Empty and ready to roll by 1530hrs it gave the drivers a bit of time for a drive around as the ferry doesn’t sail back to Scrabster until 1645hrs. Of course there is always time for a photo opportunity and I have to say the pilot of S60 EGN is getting the hang of photos…..

Down into the depths and back on board for the 90 minute cruise back to Scrabster. An almost empty boat meant there was time to take in the amazing g views and coastlines, such as the Old Man of Hoy. Once back on the mainland our pair headed south for reloads not a lot coming out of Scotland at the moment. MWT had an over height, open top container pick up on the wafer deck and Tony was empty back to Hull for a load of tractors.

The second snowplough has already been delivered to Inverness Airport, this coming week the truck for the Shetland Isles leaves Suffolk so that should be another blog in a few weeks time.

Scottish Snow Plough Part 1

When anything logistics wise comes up at work, it usually comes my way to help or advise or even to sort out. So when the conversation comes about on getting four big 4×4 snowploughs plus equipment to various destinations in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, I have to say I was a little unsure how things would pan out. I really needn’t have worried as top owner driver Mike Tasker, MW Tasker Haulage, was already on the case backed up by probably the best abnormal load company in the UK, HC Wilson Transport. The first of the four snowploughs was destined for Kirkwall Airport in the Orkney Isles, in the north of Scotland. Tasker was already employed to do the job of bringing the trucks and ancillary equipment from southern Germany to Barnsley. The ancillary equipment consists of a full 13.6m flatbed load, so essentially it’s a two truck job. My involvement originally started with the leg from Barnsley, north.

Two loads you’re thinking and Tasker is on wafer bed duties, who’s on the flat bed?? Yep you guessed it, the man who operates Mike Tasker’s last truck, the one and only Tony Nunn, Van Der Nunn, Twin Tag Tony, the owner driver of EGN Transport fame, yep you all know him. V.d. Nunn has subbed for HC Wilson himself in various capacities as long as I’ve known him and has always been as professional as anyone else on the Wilson fleet, Tony certainly isn’t just about the tyre shine, he can walk the walk as well. So the ancillary parts were loaded on a flat bed in Wilson’s yard, Tony collected that and met Mike, who had gone ahead with the wafer bed. Both drivers met in Barnsley to load the truck, Tony helping Mike with the job in hand. Once loaded, both black trucks, with red trailers and yellow loads, started the drive north towards Scrabster for the ferry to Orkney.

Leaving Barnsley on a Monday lunchtime a few weeks back, the owner driver duo made it as far as Berwick Harbour for the first nights stop. An early start (0400hrs) on the Tuesday saw the pair carry on up the A1 to Edinburgh and then onwards to the A9. For those who haven’t been there, the A9 snakes it’s way all the way up the east side of Scotland from Sterling/Perth all the way up to Thurso on the north coast, it’s worth putting on your list of roads to drive, especially in the late spring as the colours are changing and the snow is only on the mountain tops!

Both the photos above and below are on the A9, you can see just how beautiful it is. The photo below was taken just north of a town called Latherton, where you turn left off the A9, onto the A9 to carry on still further north.

Tuesday was a long day, the pair ended up with a very well earned evening off and some very pleasant parking in the coastal town of Thurso, just a couple of miles from Scrabster and the ferry to Orkney.

Not such an early start on the Wednesday morning, as the mini convoy only need to travel the couple of miles to Scrabster harbour to meet the Northlink Ferry to Stromness in Orkney, that sailed at 0845hrs. A very empty harbour looking at the photos, not quite the hustle and bustle of the ports on the opposite end of the country! Part 2 of the trip on Orkney to delivery will follow in a few days time. Thanks to both Mike and Tony for the regular photos and updates during the trip, #twintaggingalong etc.

Centurion List – The Final 4

J727 TRO – 113M 360
J606 UOE – 113M 360
J5 LOS – 143M 500
J949 EDS – 113M 400

So what will come first 100 trucks on the list or a publisher??!

In the mean time we are now down to 4 confirmed Centurions we don’t have numbers for and amazing we have 4 empty spaces on the Centurion list. Is it a coincidence or have RP and myself (and all our informants) just about got 96 other trucks right?! Well there is a good chance as all the others are based on plenty of evidence, each number backed by at least 2-3 facts on the truck.

The above 4 trucks are all genuine Centurions, we know that for sure. Amazing we can’t get anyone with any concrete evidence on what number they were. I have even been having contact from Chris Kelly at Keltruck and even he can’t find any evidence of what number J606 UOE was and he drove it out to eastern Europa on an aid mission!

J727 TRO in Cambrian Pet food livery, but it does look a little tired in that photo.

J606 UOE. Well photographed and was a demo, but what happened to it after? Did it end up with a repaint and on the SEAS fleet after they parted company with #100? Just a thought.

J5 LOS. Perfect looking 143, we know a lot about it and have original photos from the owner before and after sig writing but no number!

J949 EDS. Had quite a few owners including Thomas Douglas Haulage from Glasgow. Still no one knows the number.

The remaining 4 numbers in the Centurion list we can’t allocate to a truck or a reg number are: #037 / #043 / #054 / #068.

No need to go over old ground but if you know anything on these 4 trucks or a Centurion number rings a bell as you’ve seen a certificate from Scania in a transport office, please, please let us know. Comment below or email me; ben@truckblog.co.uk

…..now where the yellow pages…. P for publisher….

Manton European Freezer Freight Part 12

Here we go again! K414 KNW must want me to own her I reckon. I spotted this truck way back in the 1990’s in Braintree (not Spain!). As a lad she caught my eye and looking at the photo above you can see why, perfect looking motor in my book. See my original post from 2011 by clicking HERE.

After I posted my original blog, I had loads of feedback and ended up with a load of photos from Rich Tilford. Rich used to paint Manton’s new vehicles when they arrived, in the companies infamous yellow and green livery. It just so happens that Manton bought this truck either as an ex demo or second hand – would be good to have this clarified just because please. As it needed a full paint job, Rich’s steady hand was used and you can see above and below the before and after photos, good job Rich!.

Then recently my photo was shared on another Facebook group saying the photo was taken in Spain. To be fair I wish I had been in Spain rather than an industrial estate in Braintree, but not sure my BMX would have got me that far. Sparing any names for the embarrassment, i put said person correct and as with most good truckers, there was a fair bit of banter and mickey taking and it turns out we all agreed it was Braintree. bearing in mind the photo was the 1990’s, I would have thought the beloved K414 KNW may have been long consigned to the scrap heap or a life in the Middle East. Please prepare yourselves for further posts on this “never say die” truck as it has been bought and rescued by well known Suffolk haulier, Matt Gregory Transport Ltd. Matt commented on the Facebook post saying, not to worry she has been saved and will be returned to her former glory. Not only that, she had been sitting 8 miles from my office until Matt found her. Now wouldn’t it be cool to have her back in Rich Tilfords paint shop and returned to the green and yellow! That said she will look awesome in MGT’s resplendent shade of yellow, so she will once again be a very eye catching, stand out the crowd truck. I’m already looking forward to the next lot of Manton info and the update on the restoration process.

Trucks of The Year 2021

It’s been another funny old year and I haven’t actually done many shows sadly. There have been plenty of new trucks about despite the various cancellations and seemingly endless restrictions, and a lot of shows were still able to go ahead as they were outside. My annual trip to a foreign show was once again put on hold, but hopefully next year I can take my own truck abroad for the first time since UJN 509V back in 2009! Anyway I digress. Trucks of Year really comes following the week in trucks idea, which despite contrary belief first came about on TB and not elsewhere. I wanted to point out a few stand out trucks for me this year in the hope you will all share photos of some of your favourites too in the comments below.

I’ll start with Coles & Sons New Old Skool. Coles never disappoint and they really are no show ponies, they spend a lot of time abroad and do a lot of high profile work. For me I found this truck to take Coles back to their roots and back to the family business colours, but at the same time wowing us all as always. Just for info the Coles & Sons page released the first photos and videos of the truck back in January this year and have since had over half a million views, most of which came in the first week.

Next one worth a mention is this Volvo FH V1 restoration my Bert De Mooij and Bert De Mooij. I love the Retro Truck Show in September and for me this truck is 100% what it’s all about. The retro trucking scene is for trucks that have been restored and put into the glory of years gone by, perhaps with a modern twist. If we cast ourselves back to 1993 when Volvo launched the version 1 FH, this truck would have been spot on for a Dutch flower truck. Not over the top by any means, just clever use of paint (of course it’s Dutch!) and a few accessories that are easily accepted as being period. It looks spot on for me, love it.

©️Tim Andrew

Next a couple of personal favourites. The above Actros Edition 2 special Edition with all the boxes ticked is an amazing truck. Once again MB Trucks are pioneering the way with technology, which whether you like it or not is coming now the majority of manufacturers are now copying and offering similar. This Actros is my favourite new truck delivery of the year. Everyone loves new truck day, but perhaps because of how passionate Wilkin & Sons are about Mercs or perhaps because it was the first Edition 2 on the road in the UK, for me my favourite work related truck.

Next up…. The Gr814. My own truck, bought and imported from Germany in February. I love little sleeper cabs, I love mini tractor units and when I bought my first truck in 1997 I couldn’t afford an 814! This has had two owners since 1989 and has done a genuine 260,000km from new. It has nearly all the available factory options from the time, which really just leaves me only to do a little titivating and then hopefully get it painted before 2022’s show season.

Next a proper big hitter and a worthy truck of the year mention. This DAF by Paul Cecil is simply awesome. Even if you’re not a DAF fan, or a fan or green trucks you have to appreciate this Gloucestershire beauty. I don’t know Paul too well but we have the odd chat and I remember a few years back at Assen, Paul saying the truck was in build and was having a few paint issues, but those have all been overcome and the result I’m sure is exactly what Paul and family were after. One thing to remember is that building a show winner takes time and patience people. That said it is a hard working truck, it covers all of Europe on a regular basis and is cleaner than nearly any other truck you’ll see. It is also clearly appreciated by the European show circuit too, picking up trophies at both the Nordic Trophy and the Powertruck Show in its first year. Well done Paul.

Attention to detail.

For me I think this is my truck of the year 2021. A boy hood dream and poster truck for lots of us. I have been doing the Centurion list with Richard Payne and hopeful of getting a publisher for ‘22, but finding out this truck was being restored back to its original glory and then seeing her in September will take some beating. I have spoken to Michael Taylor during the restoration and was also privy to seeing the artwork being done by Matt during the painting process. I have even spoken to John Philips and he is over the moon with it too. The truck is as good as I’d hoped, the attention to detail is everywhere. Note the Keltruck mudflap’s have the 1991 phone number not the current one. I also love the artwork, we all know Matt is a true artist and should be recognised in the art world for his masterpieces. I also like that the artwork is a modern take on the original, as in the images aren’t quite as they were in 1991 but are Matts take on them. A real dream truck for me and once again well done to Michael and all involved, I really look forward to seeing again in 2022. They say you shouldn’t meet your hero’s…… certainly not trucking true in this case.

My son took my picture next to the truck I had on my wall as a boy.

Manton European Freezer Freight Part 11

Well once again the magical world of Manton European has reared its very interesting head. In fact this is an additional line, as since this blog was planned to be published, last night, another Manton blog was created and will be published soon enough. Back to this one…..

I had an email from a Alasdair Cowan, who has recently bought a classic race motorbike to restore and get back to its glory days (much the same as MEFF Part 12!). Alasdair is trying to find old photos and any information on the bike as it was in the above photo so he can get it back to how it used to be. If anyone knows the current where about’s of Dave Manton, would they mind of ask Dave he minds getting in contact with myself and I can pass on Alasdair’s details. Interestingly, when I was sent a load of photos from Rich Tilford, there was one of a Scania rigid, painted up in race team colours. Not unusual to have a company supplying transport or a vehicle for a race team, so I didn’t ask any further questions. As was the nature of Manton’s livery, the green and yellow stands out from the crowd, where ever it goes. Did you see the race team anywhere, are you secret biker?! I wouldn’t worry I’m not about to change to Bikeblog, this only gets on to the blog due to the Manton connection.

Taken by Rich Tilford.

Keltruck Turns 40 in 2023

Its not very often i get an email that makes me go “Is that the actual…..” – in this case the actual Chris Kelly, current Chairman of the largest independently owned Scania Distributor in Europe. Now, we do have a mutual interest and Mr Kelly actually came to me in regards to the Centurion List, but if i scratch his back, he will try and scratch mine. Next year, 2023, Keltruck will be turning 40 and there are plans a foot to celebrate this with lots of media coverage and retro trucking references, etc. Really a celebration of the last 40 years and how they got to where they are today.

Mr Kelly has asked the following: “Could you post on your blog that Keltruck Scania is approaching our 40th anniversary in 2023 and we’re collating as much archive material as possible for potential inclusion in our anniversary celebrations? We’d be particularly delighted with any photos of Scania vehicles in Westmid livery. Westmid was a transport & truck rental company founded by my father, Chris Kelly, prior to founding Keltruck Scania in 1983. Westmid was a Scania operator and purchased many new Scania vehicles during its existence which is what led to the relationship between my father and Scania (Great Britain) Limited and Scania AB (Sweden), ultimately leading to the award of the Scania franchise and therefore a significant part of our company history. We’d therefore be delighted to receive any Westmid Scania photos and any Keltruck Scania company history photos as well.”

The above is followed by the offical bit, you may well see this in other other media channels or online over the next few months as we head towards 2023;

Keltruck Scania will turn 40 in 2023 and as we prepare to mark another major milestone we’d be delighted to receive any Keltruck Scania history photos. In particular we’re interested in receiving any photos of Scania vehicles in the Westmid of Wolverhampton (‘WESTMID’) livery (Westmid was Chris Kelly’s company prior to founding Keltruck in 1983). Below is a recently restored 142, back in the Westmid livery.

Please post any photos/negatives, along with your details, to:

Ria Kelly, Keltruck Limited, Kenrick Way, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B71 4JW.

Please e-mail any scanned photos, etc to info@keltruck.com using subject ‘Keltruck Scania company history’. We’ve been sent this (below) screenshot of a Westmid Scania but can’t find the photo online anywhere in order to download it. We’d be really grateful if someone reading this website is able to point us to it:

Always happy to help anyone find photos or info on old trucks of any marque. I am sure that everyone who has ever had any dealings with Scania in the UK will at some point have come across the Keltruck name. Myself, i seem to remember my dads Business Post trucks coming from Keltruck…. Anyway i await my Keltruck’s goody bag or even better Centurion number confirmations!

Centurion List – The Final 4

J727 TRO – 113M 360
J606 UOE – 113M 360
J5 LOS – 143M 500
J949 EDS – 113M 400

So what will come first 100 trucks on the list or a publisher??!

In the mean time we are now down to 4 confirmed Centurions we don’t have numbers for and amazing we have 4 empty spaces on the Centurion list. Is it a coincidence or have RP and myself (and all our informants) just about got 96 other trucks right?! Well there is a good chance as all the others are based on plenty of evidence, each number backed by at least 2-3 facts on the truck.

The above 4 trucks are all genuine Centurions, we know that for sure. Amazing we can’t get anyone with any concrete evidence on what number they were. I have even been having contact from Chris Kelly at Keltruck and even he can’t find any evidence of what number J606 UOE was and he drove it out to eastern Europa on an aid mission!

J727 TRO in Cambrian Pet food livery, but it does look a little tired in that photo.

J606 UOE. Well photographed and was a demo, but what happened to it after? Did it end up with a repaint and on the SEAS fleet after they parted company with #100? Just a thought.

J5 LOS. Perfect looking 143, we know a lot about it and have original photos from the owner before and after sig writing but no number!

J949 EDS. Had quite a few owners including Thomas Douglas Haulage from Glasgow. Still no one knows the number.

The remaining 4 numbers in the Centurion list we can’t allocate to a truck or a reg number are: #037 / #043 / #054 / #068.

No need to go over old ground but if you know anything on these 4 trucks or a Centurion number rings a bell as you’ve seen a certificate from Scania in a transport office, please, please let us know. Comment below or email me; ben@truckblog.co.uk

…..now where the yellow pages…. P for publisher….

Centurion List Update

RP and myself thought it was time for an update on the Centurion List as it’s been a little while since we said anything. As with everything we could blame COVID for everything but that’s only part of the recent issues. Firstly book publishers seem to have gone to ground and we are struggling to find a new publisher for the book as the original has pulled out and has no interest what so ever. Not particularly helpful, but you know of or have published your own books then please get in contact. Next we have the on going issues with the Centurion box set model. Centurion number 001 model of fine and looks a treat. The Master Centurion on the other hand, has proved a little more tricky. The truck itself and the detail is correct, the problem is the paint colour. Having spoken to the original painter who painted the truck their seems to be no record of the official colour used. Richard and I had selected a colour that we felt is as close as we can get and also what will look good on the model bearing in mind pearlescent paint on 1:50 scale models is not possible. The paint code was given to the model maker and without any notice or consultation they have painted the truck in a different colour that isn’t correct. This is an ongoing piece so you will also have to bear with us on that please as we want to be as right as we can be for such an iconic model truck.

As for the list itself well we have a little more time to fill the remaining gaps while we try to confirm a new publisher. As it stands we have only 5 on the 100 editions that don’t have an original owner or reg number against them.

Does anyone who anything about; 037, 039, 043, 054 or 068???

We also have 5 or so trucks that we can’t assign to a number and seem to be untraceable thus far. Above we have J606 UOE on AID mission to Romania in 1992. No one at Keltruck can remember or has a photo that shows the Centurion number. We suspect that this was sold on under a different registration number. Anyone know who bought it from Keltruck???

J5 LOS a cracker of a Centurion and one we have plenty of info on and photos of from Blairmore Haulage. Still no number for this one either. Anyone???

J598 AAO was new to AW Jenkinson and then went on to Stephen Sanderson. Neither can remember the number and the following owners have also not been able to confirm the number. Anyone???

This great photo of Cambrian Pet Foods appeared on the Centurion Facebook page from Stephen Vandevoorde and we knew Cambrian’s had a Centurion, but no record of the number. The registration was J727 TRO. Anyone???

We still haven’t solved the mystery of this photo either and all the clues and evidence is there but no idea on the number. Anyone???

Can you confirm the number for J949 EDS please. Belonged to Thomas Douglas and Misfud. Anyone???

Finally this classic. One of her Owners Steve Clark from Essex, is sure it’s number 024 and that fits as we knew 024 was a 450hp and the reg number is J450 MGV, which also fits with it being a Robinsons of Stowmarket truck. Does anyone know anymore about it???

We have tons of info as you can imagine so we don’t really need to go over old ground but if you have anything else you can tell us then please step forward. Happy hunting Centurion lovers!

Wilson Wednesday

It’s been a while since we did a Wilson Wednesday but like the last time we did one, I’ll say it again, I’d like to make these more regular……. Come on HCW drivers let’s make it happen this year. Starting above we have one of the longest serving drivers on the fleet, John Stocks in WIL2580. Loaded from Belgium with some agricultural machinery heading back to the UK.

Sneaked in from Friday last week as it makes an interesting photo. Taken by Neil Jarrold this was a local job by every bodies standards. Kent back to Suffolk with a big old DAF.

Nice photo that one. Taken from N5HCW’s offside camera looking at the 8×4 Volvo that is L100HCW, with top Wilson subbie Mike Tasker lingering in the background. The two Wilson trucks are loading in Holland tomorrow with 36 ton drums. Tasker is off to Belgium.

Holiday haulage with Geoff Tarbun in WIL2219. Geoff is the elder statesmen of the fleet therefore isn’t worked that hard. Pictured here heading for Italy to load an in gauge load back to the UK. Must been a long day as he hasn’t even had time to wash those wheels!

Finally this week we have Ady in his few week old 650S, R80HCW. Loaded from Germany back to Yorkshire. The Krone forage trailer is a big piece of kit, even on a wafer deck trailer it sits about 4.30m high. Permits all the way back to P&O at Europoort with this one!

A nice little catch up with the pro’s at HC Wilson. Right trucks, right trailers, doing the job as it should be done. Looking forward to the next WW already. Thanks chaps!!