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!

Advertisements

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. 

Swedefest 2017

What a show it was this year!!! On site were 240 Scania and Volvo trucks from all over the UK. That’s an amazing turnout, well done to all who organised and also those who took part. Having been involved in the show a little bit for a number of years it amazes me how the show has evolved and Michelle and Rob (and team!) deserve all the credit for getting the show to where it is. The thought that people would be coming from far and wide across the UK in Swedish trucks of all ages, to take part in a fairly exclusive small truck show is just awesome. Every model line from both manufacturers were on show, all bar a 0 series Scania I think. 240 trucks is far more than last year and walking round the show there were still some gaps so still room for more next year?! The thrill of the show for me is organiser Robs biggest head ache I’m sure. The parking. Walking along past the various model sections is just genius. I love walking past all the new V4 Volvo’s or even all the 2 Series Scania’s. I don’t know why but for me it just works, perhaps it’s my inner OCD coming out! It also helps in judging. A difficult job trust me,by no means is this show a Truckfest event or not do we ever want it to be but still, judging this year was the hardest it’s ever been and please don’t think I mean this in any other sense. It was a tough, tough choice this year and I was totally and utterly split down the middle with my category. So much so I’m going to share my judging sheet with you. I sponsor and judge the Best 3 Series Scania in the show. As a judge at Swedefest we have always been asked to judge our category based on our judgement of the best for the category title. This doesn’t have to mean the newest, the oldest, the most expensive, the cleanest or even the one with the least amount of rust or the most amount of accessories on, just the best in our opinion to suit the category. The show has never been pretentious enough to always go with the cleanest and most money spent on and testament to this was best in show a few years ago. The one and only Coopers Scania 112. It is a truck that everyone just loves for one reason and another. For me because it used to fly past my primary school and it was the stuff boys dreams were made of. The rust just added to the been there done it (at speed) feel of the truck with its similarly aged bull bar and stone guard. Hopefully when you judge in this way it breeds an air of friendliness into everything. Yes we look at those that are spotless and those that are brand new but if your fussed by a little road dirt still on a truck then perhaps a larger national brand of truck shows is more your cup of tea. Swedefest is the same as the Retroshow. It’s a unique, niche show that is for truck enthusiasts and to some extent the trophy winning is a little added bonus. It has been discussed many times about abolishing trophies altogether, again like the Retro Show. But for me I think a little trophy is a sign of appreciation for a well deserved winner. As you will see on my judging sheet, I narrowed the entries down to seven trucks that all have a star on the right. This was after an initial walk around looking at each entry and also photographing each entry. Then I usually narrow the short list down again to the final few, which I’ve put  four squares next to. Then I walk around again and just stand back and look at each of the final four trucks. What am I looking for? Exactly as asked, the best 3 series in my opinion. For me this year it was a nightmare. I love a 143 and am saving for my own. Those who know me know I love a custom truck as I used to own an airbrushed 10 tonner with metallic paint, alloy wheels and lots of lights. Then again I love and can totally appreciate a truck that is as original as it came out of the factory. This is what the decision came down too and I was torn. 100% original or 100% custom. As soon as I walked passed it, the CS Ellis 113 360 Streamline caught my eye as it took me straight back to 1995. Its as I remember seeing Streamlines when I was a teenager and this is when I fell in love with 3 series Streamlines. Also as a worthless piece of info a 113 360 Topline Streamline was the first truck I ever had a night out in at the age of 15. The other truck is The Ken Thomas 143 500 owned by John Thomas. I don’t need to say much, it’s stunning and totally a custom truck. The paint is amazing, the interiour is incredible and the metalwork is like a work art. So there’s the choice. What do you pick? For me this year 100% original won. It was clean, original and best of all is a straight out the box 3 series. This said I can honestly say I was so torn I have suggested next year I give a winner and a runner up but I know this idea won’t float with the organisers. Perhaps not a bad thing as then I’d have to award two trophies and not just one! As I’m sure you’ll agree, all in all a difficult decision to make and I’m sure it will split you all, in fact I know it will split you all. So my winner was CS Ellis and Ken Thomas 2nd but by a knats knacker, a cats whisker it’s even a fleas foot. I sincerely hope next years choice is slightly easier but please don’t go thinking original is my preference over custom. It isn’t. For me it’s the truck that fits the bill. As for the rest of the show, it was great. I am really beginning to like the “new” V4 Volvo’s and I think I have finally accepted the new Next Gen Scania if it’s painted correctly. I just hope next years show has as many or more trucks and I also hope we are still giving trophies to appreciative participants. Remember folks this is Swedefest not Truckfest. Well done Michelle and Rob, please put me down to sponsor Best 3 Series again if that’s ok. Bring on 2018!

Palms from The Beach

I’m here sitting on a very sunny beach and if we had Palm tree’s on the beach we could be anywhere else but the UK. This has lead me to writing a small blog on one of my favourite company’s from the Truckstar Festival. I would say this year but without checking I’m sure I wrote about KE Palms Åkeri AB last year. The trucks from Schweden are in my all time top trumps truck list as they are timeless. They have Scandinavian style but in a retro way, they look like classic trucks from yesteryear but they are definately not from the 70’s or 80’s. The Scania 144 460 may be slightly older than the R580 Topline but both are styled to perfection. Once again I find myself loving green trucks but who cares! I’m sorry to say my photographic skills have been overcome by the excitement of seeing these trucks, therefore I have failed to get photos that show the trailers and the “less-is-more” livery. The step frame box behind the R580 once again looks like it’s come straight back from the desert but enough lights to make it look simply stunning. As for the tilt behind the 4 Series, I’m not sure I can put down the right words! The only thing that topped last year was the stunning 141 Rigid in proper classic retro Palms livery. This is 100% straight out of the 1970’s, just spot on. As clean as a whistle and restored perfectly. For me a small fleet doesn’t get better than these. I just wish that sitting here the beach, I could sit under these type of Palms, possibly the only way to make my holiday better than it already is!!