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!

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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!

Scania Restarts V8 Sales & Production

Scania has begun the challenging pro­cess of reducing its backlog of truck and industrial and marine engine orders. The backlog was built up after a delivery and order stop caused by a lengthy strike at one of Scania’s main casting suppliers. 

“This is probably the worst disruption that has hit our company in many decades when it comes to supply disturbances,” says Alexander Vlaskamp, Senior Vice President, Head of Scania Trucks. “I really would like to thank our customers for the great patience and understanding they have been showing during this dire situation. We at Scania are now doing everything in our power to reinstate a normal situation and deliver V8 trucks and engines worldwide as soon as possible.”

Scania has now secured a small but steady initial supply of the engine blocks that are the foundation of the V8s built in Södertälje, Sweden. Produc­tion disturbances of this magnitude create all kinds of logistical challenges though, and it will take some time for Scania to deal with the backlog.

“There will still be uncertainties for some weeks before we have the whole picture and can ramp up our production,” confirms Vlaskamp. “But we are starting now, and will increase gradually with the aim of confirming a correct delivery schedule during the next few months for existing orders. We will successively open up for new orders. This whole situation came at a time when we were extre­mely busy producing new V8 units and I can only say how sorry we are that this had to happen to Scania’s loyal customers.”

The V8 engines for Scania’s new truck generation, and for its industrial and marine applications, are produced in Södertälje. The truck engine range consists of four different versions, with power outputs ranging from 520 hp up 730 hp, and to more than 1,150 hp for marine engines. Scania’s first 350 hp V8 engine was launched in 1969, and the legendary engine will turn 50 years old next year.

Truckblog’s Mooiste Truck van Nederland 2018

This is not Truckstar’s official Mooiste Truck van Nederland this is my own choice!!

Out of all the trucks in the line up my favourite has to be the Scania from JQ van der Meer. I know you all think I’m a Scania man through and through but to be honest that change at the end of 1995. There’s not a lot a like more pre-1995 than a grumbling old 3 Series but since then, hmmmm they have been ok. The problem with the Next Generation Scania is it just isn’t a good looking truck. Having spoken to loads of fans they all feel the same, unless the paint job is spot on it just doesn’t look great. Walking around the Truckstar Festival it is plain to see that our Dutch colleagues love a coat of paint and in my opinion none more so than the grey and black of this Scania. We all agree the current fashion for trucks is “less is more” and this is that in every way. No metallic paint, no artwork, no over the top interior but also no where near a standard interior either. Attention to detail and flat paint that’s the way forward for me!

The amazing interior is quite natural? It’s not over the top, just deep brown leather much like a classic luxury car, brown switches and sumptuous brown leather seats and button leather panels, all of which adorn the cab in a completely non-invasive way. Once again Special Interior from Holland have worked a little piece of magic into this one which complements the rest of the truck perfectly. I know it’s a far cry from being a standard motor but it certainly isn’t in any way in your face, I could see myself doing a days work in it at least!

It probably helps that it isn’t an S-Line cab, flat tops are the coolest. Roof rack, air horns and exhaust stacks are all painted black and red. As I say the beauty is in the detail. Both on the exhausts and horns, the inside of the pipes are painted red with black outers. Headboard, beer crate and I love a pair of 2/3 Series side light stalks. A slightly deeper sun visor, Swedish style running lights and all these coated in deep, flat grey paint with subtle red pinstripes. I’m not sure an “understated custom truck” is possible as it’s an oxymoron in my book but now the less the Dutch can achieve most things in custom trucks.

As with all the Super Trucks, they have matching trailers and JQ’s trailer has continued the same theme throughout. The whole thing matches perfectly, even down to the underside of the chassis, the wheels and tool boxes. The other thing that does it for me is the slightly different axle spread, love it! The final piece of the European show truck is the night light show. Again I’m all for plenty of lights as I prefer most trucks at night, but they have to be done properly. You have to be very careful not to over do it and add too many that it just becomes a mess. Classic straight lines, with orange to the side, reds to the rear and white and orange to the front. Add a couple of spots, flashing beacons and original red interior lighting and bingo!!

All in all, this truck ticked all the boxes and it just seemed different to the rest. Plenty of simple detail, good lighting, good looking trailer and that’s about all you need.

Well done to JQ van der Meer, you are the winner of Truckblog’s Mooiste Truck van Nederland 2018.

🇬🇧🏆🚚🏆🇳🇱

SCOOP!! No More V8 Scania’s???

….for the foreseeable future at least…..

As I often do I get to hear about all sorts to do with our industry and often before they are made public. I had an anonymous message from a number I do not know and it contained some shocking news straight from a UK Scania dealer. My source did say that three other operator friends have been told the same and their V8 trucks that were on order have already been cancelled. The message read as follows;

“I don’t know if you are aware that Scania have a massive problem regarding V8 engine production…

Apparently a German foundry makes the engine blocks for V8 engines as well as some VW engines, parent group VW has had a massive dispute over supply problems ( I’m assured it ain’t a quality issue)… this has apparently led to the supplier refusing to supply any more engines.

Scania has removed the V8 engine from sale and all current orders will be cancelled, the salesman are trying to do you a deal on 500bhp 6cylinder trucks as it is impossible to get a V8, if you go on Scania configurator you can only build a 6 cylinder powered truck… I was told last week that my salesman urgently needed a meeting with me regarding my new truck order, I was told it wouldn’t be built, the salesman is currently taking orders for Feb/March next year and that all V8’s will be cancelled and until Scania finds a new foundry to supply engine blocks and thorough testing/trailing, it will be impossible to order one.”

Lottery Win Needed to Restart Retro Fleet!!!

How many driver application forms will I need to send out?? For those not in the cool club, I run the ACH page on Facebook and recently the interest has gone through the roof. Loads of ex ACH employees on the page and also loads of photos which is what it’s all about. Those who were there and part of it can reminisce and for those of us who weren’t can enjoy what we missed out on. It’s a true fan page and I have to say it’s a pleasure to have started such an enjoyable page. 

Anyway that’s not the reason for tonight’s blog. I’ve been on a bit of a retro mission the last few months, enjoying lots of 80’s and 90’s that seem to be appearing from various companies and drivers. Now as a retro truck fan I’d love to put a retro livery truck on the road, my choices would be a Ralph Davies truck in the famous black and red or probably more uniquely the beige and black of ACH. If your going to do this wouldn’t it be awesome to find an ex ACH truck to restore and then put a trailer behind. Hard work and impossible you may think…..aha well running the company page means I get to hear about the lost and found department!


As it stands right now I know of two tractor units that are still taxed and on the show circuit and three box trailers that are still bearing the beige paint work. Admittedly two of the box trailers do need new chassis to sit on but it’s a start! The Volvo above is F81 HFC and is still taxed and on the road in Ireland. The picture above in white was taken at a truck show in Ireland back in 2015 but I’m sure I’ve seen it in some show photos this year. I have to say that it is still in very good conditio and looks like it would just need a coat of paint. I know some of you won’t agree but just imagine rubbing it down and fining the original paint underneath. As we all know the main stay of the ACH fleet was Volvo and Scania so I was very pleased to see a reader post on the page today, showing one of the 143’s at the Shropshire truck show last month. Apparently she now resides in Mid Wales, does anyone know the owner?? This really got my brain working overtime as both myself and my truck show buddy, JC have talked over a late night beer about rolling up to the Oldtimers section of the Truckstar Festival in Asset in a pair of ACH trucks……perhaps that dream isn’t a million miles away, if only the lottery numbers would come in!


Why does it all come down to money?! All I want is show truck, Richard Branson can you lend me some cash please? As I say the trucks are both still on the road and being kept running but sadly the dream comes to very rusty and slightly wheeless hurdle when we talk about the trailers. I know where (lots of you know where) Euro 94 is sat, a tri-axle box that has been sat for a good number of years, but at least it still has wheels and a chassis. I say this as the other two trailers haven’t faired quite so well, they are now used for storage but have been lifted off their wheels and put on the floor. Hey ho, I’m sure one of you has the skill set to get the majority of the wriggly tin back on something towable. 

There can’t be many firms that are no longer around that still have a number of vehicles still around. I know all the ACH trailers got taken to France after the Norbert Dentressangle buy out as there are photos on the Facebook page. In fact a friend of mine bought a couple of the tilts, fetched them back to the UK where he cut them down to flat beds and sold them to Russia. The very same friend claims he still has the tilt cover some where, but as yet I’ve not seen it. You know who you are! 

If only the dream could come true and these five could get back together. The truck show trips would be unbelievable but it did get me wondering how many drivers I could recruit if I put them both back to work?? Who’s in? It’s 2017, who wants to join up to drive an F12 Globtrotter and a flat top 143 to Europe and back for me?

Do you know of any other ACH vehicles that are still about? Please comment below.