Swiss Garlick

Another guest blog this week. The one and only NLG, Nick Garlick. Now forget the marque, someone honestly tell me if it was your favourite marque and it was your trip, this has to be one for the bucket list. Carry on Nick……….

Having chatted with Charles Russell we’d planned to transport his Pride & Joy to this years Trucker Country Festival in Switzerland. But due to the pressures of running a busy company it became clear Charles couldn’t go, so I naturally assumed the trucks wouldn’t be going this time. “Oh no” insisted Charles “you can still take them, I trust you” he said.

So there I was on Wednesday in his yard loading probably the most precious cargo I’d ever transported. Leaving early, very early 03.15 am  the next morning I left Coombe Hill, bound for Dover. Leaving that early meant I could reach Dover and park in the lanes in my 4.5 driving spread. A most welcome breakfast courtesy of P&O settled the butterflies in my stomach. A steady run to Reims where I took my next break before cruising along the RN4 to Perthe where I parked up for the night. I shared my table with two drivers from Strauman Heavy Transport from Colmar who were most taken with the 140/141 on the trailer. In fact they were constantly being photographed and videoed along the route.
The pressure was now off and I enjoyed the trip along the RN19 via Vesoul and skirting Belfort arrived at the French/Swiss border at Boncourt with no problems.
After a delicate debate concerning customs documents I was allowed through with smiles all round once I’d got a new road tax card.
The A16 motorway runs south through tunnels and beautiful scenery taking me a couple of hours later round Bern. A stop for a cash machine and lots of smiles and photos from the Swiss truckers gathered there. I was surprised by how many enthusiasts lined the road waving, shouting and taking photos as I passed by.
At the entrance I was met By Ferdy D Martin (Toprun) and escorted through the assembled trucks to the center point of the show area where we unload the LBs and parked my truck up for the weekend.
Some 1500 trucks were on display over the weekend with temperatures reaching 40degrees.

Truck Detective: Scania 1?0

MTW 262J – Who knows it??

This photo has done the rounds on social media over the last few weeks. Usually this means all sorts of people comment about who’s it was, where it went, when they met the driver in Belgrade, or what ever the story may be. This truck whoever has returned with not a bloomin lot. In my book she has been well worked and looks to be taking a rare day off. I’m not sure if it’s a 110 or a 140 but I bet she sounded a treat. David Scarff took the photo in Bob Stewards yard and there is a comment on FB that the truck at that time was owned by a Greek. All I can tell is that she has an Essex registration plate and that’s all we have to go Inspector Clueso!! Come on you lot always have answers and more info.

Wilson Saturday??!

It’s been ages since we did a classic Wilson Wednesday, so I thought we’d have a little teaser to see the response. As an ex Wilson, what they get upto still fascinated me, even having helped moved everything from steel rolls, to boats, to plastic planes and everything else in my time in the traffic office. These days things are still much the same. 60% of the work is to and from Europe and as I’m sure is the way with most sectors of international haulage, imports are big and exports and few and far between. Even so some regular jobs are still ongoing. Above is Jon Pryke, seemingly an HC Wilson lifer! Loaded from Germany and heading to Ireland. In my time at Wilson’s I spent lots of time trying to get Jon to start taking photos and then trying to get him to take photos where you could actually see the truck. Now I have to say Jon takes some of the best photos on the fleet.

Next up with GT, Geoffrey Tarbun. Who doesn’t like Geoff? Who wouldn’t want a Geoff on their fleet?? Never moans, always smiles, nothing is to much of a problem. Then again if we all spent as much time on holiday as Geoff then we’d probably all have the same attitude to work! A nice easy load for the new DAF above, a load of JCB’s from the yard to Port. HC Wilson have a long history with JCB and at one point we’re doing more loads out the factory than Brit European. Legend has it someone wasn’t happy with red trucks delivering yellow machines…..but who knows.

Number 1 subbie, Mr Tasker. Not quite a lifer but defiantly a fully qualified Wilson. Now back to having just his own truck on the HC Wilson fleet, the heady heights of his fleet got to a total of four trucks at one time. By my calculations I think the current steed is number 8 or 9, but I’m sure MWT will tell us other wise. Loaded with a good size tree in Belgium and heading for Oxfordshire.

Finally in our teaser is the 2nd new DAF, driven by Ian “Slim” Godfrey. Once again another driver who has been at Wilson’s for 15+ years. It must say something about the job or the company when you have so many long service employees on one fleet. I have to say I didn’t get any load details on this one but I’m happy to publish such a great looking load! loaded from NL to Bristol. Apparently an airport sprayer. With the two new DAF’s having only been on the fleet for a few months there has been lots of talk about the new diagonal stripe from the back of the cab to the top corner of the window. Any thoughts???

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!

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.