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!!

Watching Paint Dry

Hopefully I’m going to pass you all a little one of Jaimes Golden Nuggets that has taken me 23 years in the industry to come across and quite frankly I think it is spot on! You know how it is, we all have a good knowledge of our day to day jobs and we all have own thoughts on what current fashions and styles suit our favourite trucks. Some trucks suit a tag axle, some suit 4x air horns, some suit a bull bar and more and more need to be painted over and above factory paint to hide the increased of plastics that help with air flow and fuel returns. So if we dwell a little on that last point, this is where the Golden Nugget comes in and I’m hoping some of you will go “oh yea, I never thought about that” or perhaps “I knew that already you bell….”.

This week I was chatting to Nipper MacClean from MTS Restorations and he be the font of this little gem of info. Well he is having spoken to wise Dutchman a few years ago and we all know the Dutch know how to style a good looking truck. Over to Nipper;

“As the wise Dutch man who I spoke to in Holland a few times said, something we all perhaps look at but never notice, is that a truck really works well with 3 paint colours. Anymore usually looks cluttered, but he did say that on an odd occasion 4 works, but when it does black will usually be one of the 4 colours.”

The more I think about it, the more it seems to be bang on. 1 or 2 paint colours would be classed as less is more these days which is still mega smart, but when you look at the 4 trucks above they are all sticking to the 3 colour rule and look just plain awesome! All that said I can also see the 4 colour rule as long as it includes black as one of the 4. A few example below easily back it up, 3 bright colours and black works pretty well don’t you agree?!

The Danish Globetrotter is worthy of another photo as I thought it was one of the best looking trucks at Truckstar 2019 and it is clearly the rule of black 4. Red, white and blue with a hefty amount of black but I think it looks fine and I’m not the biggest Volvo fan.

Who feels like they might just have learnt a little something that will probably be of any use??? You? You? And you? Yep I’ve got my hand up as well. I’ll leave you with a photo of Nipper’s own 4 series. This was painted specifically to test the rule of 3 and once again you can see that it works and works very well indeed!

770 Swedish Horses

Introducing the new Scania V8 range
• Four new V8 engines and powertrains offer fuel savings of up to 6%
• 530, 590, 660 and 770 hp – a line-up of unsurpassed V8 power
• Low internal friction, updated turbocharger and smart auxiliaries
• Updated aftertreatment system and performance
• Longer and heavier trucks offer increased transport efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, both with or without biodiesel fuels
Scania’s new V8 engines not only offer record level power but vastly improved fuel efficiency as well. The total savings can reach up to six percent – or even more – under the right conditions, when the new G33 gearbox is included in the powertrain. Fuel savings of that magnitude make a huge difference of course, both long term for the climate and here and now for the haulier.
“While shifting to fossil-free transports, we all must do everything to improve our current solutions,” says Alexander Vlaskamp, Executive Vice President, Head of Sales and Marketing. “You cannot let your house burn down simply be- cause a new one is under construction. The transition must be seamless”.
The fuel savings are the result of extensive fine-tuning and development by Scania’s engineers, involving technologies in the fore-front of internal combustion engine development. Among them, and provided by more than 70 new parts, are reduced internal friction, higher compression ratios, improved aftertreatment-systems and a new powerful engine management system (EMS).
While future, electrified transports are on top of the agenda, the world still depend on transports carried out with trucks powered by internal combustion engines – and that is why Scania’s new powerful V8 engines play such an important role.
“A typical long-distance truck in Europe covers around 150,000 kilometres per year,” says Vlaskamp. “A reasonable saving on markets where longer and heavier combi- nations are permitted can be up to 3,000–4,000 litres annually for a truck with our new V8 – a tremendous achievement in every respect”.

Most spectacular and of certain interest in the new V8 generation is the 770 hp, 3700 Nm top-of-the line version – probably the most powerful, factory-built truck engine in production today. Where and when is all this power asked for?
“This is, of course, not for everyone, but we see a growing demand for trucks capable of handling GTWs of 60 tonnes and above, especially for road-going combinations,” says Vlaskamp. “The fastest way to increase transport efficiency is with longer and heavier truck combinations. The added fuel for a heavier vehicle is compensated by the greater payload capacity. The CO2-per-tonne calculation is favourable, and in addition there is the opportunity to run your Scania V8 truck on renewable biofuels”.
It is natural that trucks with Scania’s V8 engines are highly in demand in countries where greater GTWs are permitted – particularly in the Nordic countries. But also countries such as Italy and Spain (and certain markets outside Europe) are fond of V8s, due to hilly terrain with many steep and challenging roads.
“We have a clear picture of where the first 770 hp trucks will start making a differ- ence,” says Vlaskamp. “There is a strong rationale for ordering such a truck. These customers are looking for the best total operating economy, well aware of the fact that more payload means better efficiency, increased revenue and higher residual value. But I know that some of our customers also will become extra heartened by the sheer joy and emotion of operating such a magnificent working tool.”

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!!