Piggy Back to Burgos

….a bit further to be fair but it was all I could think of! Hello bloggers it’s been a while hasn’t it. Been busy with lockdown, furlough, home schooling, back to work, DIY and what ever else, so apologies for the absence, certainly strange times for all of us.

If we could I’m sure we’d all do a “Graham” and get in the car and bugger off to our own vista in the Spanish countryside away from everything and everyone. I noticed GW shipping out in his trusty Galaxy earlier in the week. Please to say the old boss hadn’t forgotten me on his run to the sun. As it goes I have quite a lot of you thinking about me, well they are your words…..”saw this and thought of you”…… you know how it goes.

Anyway just a quick blog, in times of lock down, nothing like a couple of photos of a truly European set up with this trucksporter. Three new Swedish Scania’s made in French France, on the way to Portuguese Portugal, loaded on a Spanish based German made Mercedes-Benz, with an Italian built body. Any guesses on the nationality of the driver?? Mr Wilson took the photo on Thursday on a quick stop on the A1 near Burgos.

BeeDee & Road Route Ltd

Funny how you get talking to folk. I first spoke to Dylan Wren about a truck he was looking to buy, then we crossed paths again recently as he is an ex Centurion owner (#067). It took a little while for all the cigs to work but we soon realised we had spoken before. Having had a few text chats and a few telephone chats now, I could sit and listen to Dylan all day, plenty of tales from a long life transport and soon to be back in it too. Having sifted through 1000’s of photos, Dylan sent me a few over from where he started and where he ended up. Always great to see those who started on a 7.5 tonner, not quite a #littlebigcabclub member but at least he had the big trucker flags in the windscreen!

“Hello Ben its Dylan here found some serious memories today. My first truck D371DFA a Ford Cargo 31 years ago. Also you can see G930FSM a blue Volvo F12 on the net asking who owned it, we did. It’s on the net now in Stobart colours looks fab. From Bee Dee I changed it to Road Route Ltd. Remember the big tanks I told you about? you can see them on N392FWT & N391FWT – 1550 litres on a tag axle.”

“So many memories, you can see my big red Scania Topline and the other big Scania F600FKH which I bought from DS Walker with an Estepe high roof conversion.”

Now Dylan doesn’t mind me saying so, as the demise of Road Route Ltd is on the internet and was the same demise as many hauliers from the same period who were busy trying to make money from a tough industry with ever rising costs. Anyway, I love old tales and one such story Dylan told me involved one of the tag axle Volvos, 3 men in the cab, including Dylan and a rather quick run to Spain. Over to Dylan….

“It was with N392FWT, one of the Volvo FH420 tag’s. A full load of extremely urgent parts to take to the SEAT factory at Barcelona. Their were 3 of us in the cab and we left the yard on Sunday and were back in the yard by Tuesday evening. Boat out and train back in. We tipped Barcelona and collected a return load of fruit from Perpignan back to Lincolnshire. Even had time to fill up in Belgium on the way back, 1000 litres plus!?”

Well I reckon that’s pretty good going, Yorkshire, Barcelona, Yorkshire in just over 48 hours. Now don’t all start making comments and saying it can’t be done. We all know back then, there were ways and means and plenty of you will have similar stories. Thanks to Dylan for sharing these photos and details, hopefully more photos to come judging by the amount of albums full of photos I know he has!

Those who are happy enough to tell us you crazy run stories please do, just keep them believable!

Wilson Wednesday with Willis

I’m not going to harp on about the CV but what has been nice is that for once, along with many other unsung professions, truck drivers have actually had some recognition and limelight. This can only be good for our industry although knowing how fickle the UK can be, as soon as the virus has past we will all be the pain in the arse we’ve always been! That said those who are still trucking about are in one way or another doing vital work for the UK’s people and economy. Also for those who run their own trucks you need to try and find new work avenues and try to keep the wheels turning to keep the company going, essential work again in my book. All in all those who can work and those who can still try to do their “normal” job have been going about their business with quiet roads and less people about to cause any issues, if only the clear road thing would stay once it’s all over! We can but hope. Along with many other hauliers, HC Wilson Transport have, as ever, tried to adapt and keep on keeping on, so here’s a little blog by driver Ady Willis on a recent run to Germany during “lock down”.

Day one 31/03/2020.

We sailed from Felixstowe to a regular destination in Holland, Vlaardingen, with a load to Germany. Once we arrive in Holland, did our passports and ensured the trailer was at the correct running height, we were away. A very quiet road network, with very few vehicles all the way to Germany, where we refuel the vehicle.

Very quiet roads through NL & D.
Coffee time!

Once we’ve fuelled up we travel for a little while longer until suitable parking is found for a coffee. Even with the roads quiet some services are still not easy to access due to inconsiderate drivers. We continue to our delivery point and rest until the morning to unload. Happily we seem to be experiencing alot of politeness in the current pandemic. I’ve noticed only hand full of people in Europe not keeping to social distancing rules.

Once unloaded we head 250kms north to collect a nice new harvester to bring to back to the UK. We once again have very quiet roads from Germany back to Rotterdam. Highly unusual especially in Germany, we have seen virtually no enforcement officers on the road at all, I have only seen one in 4 days!! We get our nice shiney harvester on and secured down. We head in the direction of the ferry in Rotterdam.

Unfortunately there was no space to ship back due to restrictions on driver numbers. So I was able to relax for the rest of the journey and with 90% less traffic I was able to find some parking without the normal stress of wanting to go in services but having to be very careful as other vehicles usually block the services and abnormal load areas. During this trip I’ve noticed that service areas seem to still be open more in Europe than the UK.

We finish our rest and next morning we are back to the harbour in Rotterdam to get ferry. We are now experiencing only one driver per cabin and this is making it slightly more difficult for hauliers to get ship bookings, but 100% better for driver. We arrive in the UK and travel straight to Lincolnshire and deliver the machine. It’s offloaded and prepared for work and its then off to work straight away due to the increase in demand for UK grown produce, perhaps a plus side of the virus.

A good blog for your first one thank you Ady, not once did I say “Watch yo talking about Willis!”. It sounds pretty clear that the virus is having a huge impact across Europe and just perhaps the vast majority of the public are adhering to each countries lock down rules. Also perhaps there are just a few small silver linings to the huge dark clouds of Covid-19. Written with the kind permission of Simon Wilson.

Last Call for Scania Centurions

The Centurion book is being written. Yes it’s taken a few years but Richard Payne and myself are happy that we have almost all the info we can get our hands on…..for now anyway. Many of you have helped and many of you have contributed both information, leads and photos. The current plan is to have the book ready to launch early next year ready for the 30th anniversary of the Centurion.

Please have a think and if you have any thing else to offer (unseen photos would be great) such as information on any of the 6 Unknown’s that would be awesome. As it stands we have no information on original owner s for just 6 of the 100 trucks. That said we have 2 trucks we can’t allocate numbers two although we know they are legitimate Centurions.

Above is a beast of a Centurion we believe was new to Mr Peckham as pictured above. I have spoken to the 2nd owner today and he is sure Mr Peckham was the first owner and then he bought the truck 2nd hand when the truck was just over a year old. That said we still need to know the number of the Mr Peckham / Road Route Ltd flying machine.

Next on the unknown number list is this one. Owned at this point by Stephen Sanderson Transport, having spoken with Mr Sanderson he can’t remember the number either, but he thinks he was the second owner and we believe that this truck was new to AW Jenkinsons at Penrith but again nobody seems to know the number.

We also have the below 143 500 belonging to Blairmore. We made contact but have heard no more. Does anyone know any more about this truck please?

The 6 missing trucks are the following numbers; 036, 037, 039, 043, 054 and 067.

Without being a plonker, can I please ask you to think about what you know as we have an awful lot of info and know all the basics and don’t really want to go back through everything again but this is easier said than done. As we all know anything is easy once you know the answer. We need plenty of photos for alsorts of numbers as I said earlier, but again all the common photos are readily available on the internet. If you have anything that you feel may not have been seen or is your own photo then please email me and I can credit you in the book. My email; ben@truckblog.co.uk

Finally we have a cut off of the 1st of June in order to get everything written and ready for the start of the publishing process. Please email me on the above of make contact through the blog or social media of some kind. Thank you all!!

Photo Challenge – Kentvale

Photo detectives required.

This weekends challenge is to find a photo of Kentvale Transports Scania 113M Centurion.

By all accounts it looks like they only had it on English plates for less than a year as it shows as being exported 9-10 months after registration. This being the case it probably explains why there are so few photos of it. Do you have a photo of the Kentvale Centurion please? If you do email me; ben@truckblog.co.uk and earn yourself a TB sticker.

The Centurion List – Update

Richard P and myself are nearly there with the full list of Centurions. We have had a lot of help from various people recently so thank you all very much. There has been another flurry in the last few days, again you know who you are. Having had this mini flurry, some of this blog may have been superseded already, but I’ll carry on in the hope you can give even more info, so I may generalise a little so as not to repeat things.

J15 EAS – this reg was used on 100 when new but above has been put onto a 113. Now we know SEAS also had 001, which was originally H100 SCA and still had the same reg once converted to the rigid it now is. The above looks a little tired so probably a few years old. So what number Centurion is the above please?

Kelly Trucks. Proving a little tricky to pin point both trucks. Kelly’s had two trucks that we think were both demo’s at some point and both did an aid run to Bulgaria. Can anyone add any further info to the Kelly Trucks Centurions as Mr Kelly himself can’t remember! They used both J606 UOE and also J291 EOP on aid runs, may be the same one? They also used H100 SCA for a run too.

We still don’t know what number J515 JKN was. This was owned by MJ Sewell along with 027 which you can just see to the left. We cant find any other evidence of this reg, so it may have been something else before. Looking at the spec it could have been one of the Robson Road Haulage 5. Can anyone help with this one?

Mr Peckham. A gloriously understated flying machine I’m sure. A 143 500, pictured here with reg number J422 LGA. A cracking truck that we believe met a very sad ending. But looking at the photo we think it must have been 2nd hand when Mr Peckham took it on. What number is it please?

The Millar Transport saga as we have nicknamed it. We know Millers had 5 Centurions (we think!) and we have all 5 against various Centurion numbers, but as sure as we are, if anyone can categorically tell us what reg numbers were which Centurions that would be great:

040 – LDZ 1140

076 – MDZ 3140

079 – MDZ 6140

081 – MDZ 1140

083 – MDZ 2140???

If anyone can confirm the above that would be great. Even an ex Millar driver got himself confused with reg numbers and Centurion numbers!

What ever happened to the most photo non Centurion, the promo truck that was H376 DNK?

Finally, we still have no info at all on; 036, 037, 039, 043 and 054.

If you have any good quality photos that you took, please email copies to me; ben@truckblog.co.uk then I will be able to credit you in the book. We are always after more photos no matter what quality, so again feel free to email or share them on the Scania Centurion Facebook page. The more photos and quality info the better.

Thank you on before of Richard and myself (Ben Sheldrake).

Retro Truck Show 2019 Vlog

Oh happy sunny days, when we could stay outside without drowning, when we could stand about all evening, enjoying a cool beer and a good yarn with other like minded folk, bring back the summer! The Retro Truck Show at Gaydon is still one of, if not the best Truck Show in the UK. This year was especially good, as I was able to take a beast of truck, in a convoy, with a V8 burbling away and smoke pouring out the stacks!

Myself in the 143 450 Streamline, James from HC Wilson in the 141 and Matt Ireland in the F16. Now there’s a convoy for the truck pervert! Although its not particularly good quality but the photo below is a sight for retro eyes, coming up the M40, probably how the M40 used to be with the Irish running between boats. I know we were spotted by a few, as there were various comments on social media over the show weekend about how people had seen such a great sight back on the UK motorways!

Anyway, my photo talents are sketchy at the best of times, but you can see the rest of my photos by clicking HERE – If this doesn’t float your boat, then have a watch of Matt’s little video of the weekend. Starting off with some convoy action from the drive up. A great afternoon and what a lucky bunch we are to have friends who will let us borrow these fine motors of yester-year. Just for the record I did realise that i am not one of those that gets fed up with the V8 growling through the open sun roof, even in the rain showers. Thanks again to all involved in a top weekend, you know who you are, thanks to Darren and his team for putting on another great show and thanks to all those who came with trucks. In my opinion the widest variety this year of different makes and models. If you have not been to the Retro show before, get yourselves along next year, or get yourself booked in with your retro motor. If you think yours isn’t up to standard or isn’t shiny enough, it really isn’t that kind of show. Those in, shall we say, “working” condition or those needing a little Tcut here and there get just as much attention as the show is full of enthusiasts.

New trade name for Scania’s S-series sleeper cabs

Interesting bit of news from Scania. Something I had wondered about myself, manufacturers who use similar model names to others. Just a thought but I wonder how DAF and Jaguar feel about sharing the “XF” models?? Here’s the info from Scania;

Scania is renaming their most premium trucks, the S-series. Instead of the letter S followed by the actual horsepower, the new trade name will be the horsepower followed by an S, like 450 S or 730 S. The reversed naming order applies only to the sleeper cabs with a flat floor. Behind the change lies an agreement with Daimler AG, parent company of Mercedes-Benz.

Scania’s current way of naming trucks by the cab series followed by the engine power was introduced back in 2004 with the introduction of the PGR series. The new type of trade name for the S-series, with the horsepower figure stated first, will be introduced on S-series trucks ordered from now and does not affect any other trucks.

“By making this adjustment, we fulfil an agreement we have made with Daimler, says Alexander Vlaskamp, Senior Vice President, Head of Scania Trucks. We are keen about protecting our brands and recognise why Daimler, with their long-standing S-class passenger car history, had an issue with the S-series trade name.”

Restoration Project Anyone??

I’m always up for helping a fellow truckers d in this case it’s an old customer. I’ve restored an old Scania and many nights I had the thought of “I’ll never get this done”. Sadly in this case there are plenty of other priorities and the restoration project has to be shelved. At this stage details are a little sketchy but this is or will be once again, a Scania 143 6×2 rear lift. It is up for sale but needs sensible offers please, it’s not a straight forward project. Info as follows;

“I’ve attached pictures of the 143 V8, think it’s a 1993 or 1994.  95% of the parts should be there but can guarantee a few will have been lost.  If you know of any one interested or someone who can give me a fair valuation so we know what we should be asking for that would be really useful please as I will quite happily hold my hands up and say I don’t have a clue!”

Honesty is the best policy people! This is likely to be an incomplete kit so does need a home with some know how. The truck is in dry storage near Ripon, Yorkshire. If you are seriously interested and willing to help then please email me directly; ben@truckblog.co.uk

More photos to follow. It looks good to me but is beyond my capabilities and also I’d never have the time. That said a tag axle, flat top 143 does sound very tempting!!

Europe…. Go Big or Go Home

Here we go people, a new blog contributor and what a belter of a blog cherry popper we have for you. Some of you may know this particular character, he’s one of those quiet, keeps himself to himself and gets on with the job in hand types, well he certainly gets on with the job that’s for sure. Away for over seven weeks working for one of the best international hauliers in the country. Essex International need no introduction what so ever, 100% an international haulier from the roots up, now part of the Grampian Continental group, they cover all four corners of Europa every week. To be fair this particular trip has pretty well covered three of the four corners. To start I’ll put up the map of the “outward” leg, but please ignore some of the route as bloomin Google maps wouldn’t take the boat routes that were actually used.

Starting point was head office in Aberdeen, down to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to load for Motrin in Southern Espania. An easy enough run down to Portsmouth to catch the ferry across to Bilbao, please ignore the map for the ferry part! The good old days were back, with a six truck convoy and much to our mans joy all six had CB radios so you can imagine the banter, just like 1986! Off the ferry boat in Bilbao and straight down through the glorious middle of Spain to Motril. A decent enough trip for most of us but this was of course only the first leg of this one.

Having tipped Motril, sadly the convoy dispersed in various directions and we are off to Bourg en Bresse, France for a trailer change, destined for the Greek / Turkish border. From the middle of Spain’s southern coast across to the Turkish border, very nice. Add another couple of weeks to the tally but off we go. Living the dream springs to mind, well for those who dream of weeks away behind the wheel, covering the whole of Europe. What the old school saying?? “You’ll never earn a living looking out of a window son!”…… balls to that, what a way to earn your living. Anyway trailer swapped and keep heading east up and over the Alps (always stop for a photo going over the top) to the Italian port of Ancona for the Minoan Lines ferry to Igoumenitsa, Hellas.

The motorways of Greece look awesome although surely not enough traffic for us Brits. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take to a motorway network, like Spain and Greece that aren’t rammed packed with traffic, idiots and whatever else, so you can just get on and get your days Kilometres under you belt before a pleasant evening meal and a bottle of wine for €15……sorry I was close to getting all romantic there. Once into Greece it was head yet further east across the north of the country to the Turkish border town of Kipoi. Due to the nature of the load, it was virtually a single lift off at the delivery point and job done. Lovely jubberly.

Reload details are through and it’s time to head back across Greece to Igoumenitsa for the same ferry back to Italy (ignore the map for this bit again!) Once off the boat, it’s reload in Ancona itself and then northbound and down. A full load of pipes destined for………. Aberdeen. The whole way round Europe and reload back to your home town. Awesome. Perhaps a little easier as an awful lot of oil related work comes in and out of Aberdeen, but even so, that must have been nice to hear for our man Stan. I’m sure the big Scania S730 must know it’s way back to Scotland from most places in Europe by now, so back over the Alps, stopping for the obligatory photo of course, then back up through France to Calais. I have no doubt at all that after a few thousand KM’s of fairly trouble free trucking, with in an hour or so of getting off P&O’s pride and back into Blighty, the wheels would have ground to a halt for some reason or another, most of this reason being the M25.

If you’re lucky enough to have a job like this, you will get to see the whole of Europe. This of course does mean lots of time away from home and the loved ones. That said if you are going to do it, do it with a professional firm such as Essex International they will look after you and of course you’ll end up piloting a top of the range motor for your troubles. If your going to do proper old school European trucking, then do it like they do at Essex International, it’s the only way………