My Best Truck of 2014

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For me this is the best truck I have seen in 2014. It might not be the newest, it might not be most practical for most of Europe and it certainly won’t be everyones taste but for me, spot on.

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If you live in the UK and haven’t been to one I strongly advise that you make 2015 your first trip to a European truck show, the standard of trucks is amazing. I can’t deny that the trucks here in the UK are getting better and better but the Europeans just seem to have it right, they all look good. To me the best trucks have always been out of reach of what I could afford or achieve and the T560 is no different. We all joke about winning the lottery but a Tcab would be very close to the top of my list. It’s blue, it’s got two sets of pipes, it’s got a subtle custom interior and enough lights to make it look good but not over the top. As with anything I would make a few subtle changes as I’d want to put my mark on it.

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2014 has seen a big rise in the blogs popularity through all mediums, the Facebook page, twitter and the good old fashioned http://www.truckblog.co.uk website. I’m not going to link to any of those this time round as I’m sure you all could do with a break from the ruthless links and plugs for the blog. I have no idea where the blog will be in another 12 months, hopefully you’ll all still send me stuff, photos, info and the odd piece of trucking memorabilia to decorate TBHQ and I’ll keep bugging the TV companies in the vague hope they’ll see that we need Truckblog TV!

Hopefully I’ll be visiting, Truckfest Peterborough, Crowfield Truck Rally, Gathering of the Griffin, Retro Truck Show at Gaydon, more than likely (and hopefully) Truckstar Festival at Assen as my foreign trip, although I have heard on the grapevine that there is quite a convoy of English motors heading to the International Trucker & Country Show held at Interlaken, CH. I have always wanted to go James?? Finally if the offer is still there then I might just make it to Belfast too.

Anyway thank you for following and thank you for making the blog what it is, without your contributions I’m sure you’d all be bored silly of 143’s, MAN TGL LX’s and Mercedes-Benz photos! As we all do secretly say now and again Keep on Trucking!

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Journey MAN reaches Journeys End

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Well known to all the regular blog readers, here she is on her final delivery to mainland Europe. After 9 years service and 987,000KM under her belt, GB05 STE is seen above delivering to a new French Connection shop in Grenoble, France. I don’t think Steve Marsh could even begin to work out the amount of times he has driven GB05 over French soil but this the final trip was a nice little run to finish a fairly glamour career. This last trip started from Marshy’s Warrington base, with a run down to Leicester for 2 pickups, on to Purfleet for a 3rd collection before heading to Dover and then onward to Grenoble and the delivery point. Once empty it was time for a top up from the local Carrefour (see below),back up to Amiens to reload for Ellesmere Port, just a stones throw away from Warrington and home. A steady 2800KM later and the curtain was down on GB05’s European days. To say Steve and little MAN TGL have been some places is almost an understatement, having covered hundreds of thousands of miles together……..

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Rep, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Isle of Man, Italy, Luxembourg, Majorca, Malta, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Tenerife…….oh and the lsola del Giglio off the Italian Coast, you know the one where the captain parked his cruise ship on the rocks!

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The days of Europe now over, there was still one more trip involving a ferry left to complete. Start, Warrington, load Worcester for same day delivery to Belfast and Newtownards in Northern Ireland. A typical job for Steve and GB05 STE completed with no fuss, pretty well the same since she was registered back in November 2005.

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Finally Steve made the decision to update the ageing TGL for a newer Euro 6 version. It’s taken a year to put GB14 STE on the road (that’s another story!) but now she will be Steve’s new workhorse and GB05 is up for sale and available to go to a new home. If you have any genuine interest in buying Steve’s old steed then please email Steve; marshy@stevemarshexpress.co.uk or you can leave a comment below with your phone number and I can pass it on. Not a lot more to say other than I’m sure Steve will agree that GB05 has been a good truck in general and I’m sure Steve will be pleased if GB14 is as reliable. I’d like to say a thank you to GB05 as it’s the truck that got me and Marshy in touch and it’s also the truck that have given MAN trucks a lot of social media coverage as both the truck and Steve have developed quite a fan base here on the blog. IA blog on GB14 STE will follow soon.

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GOTG Closing Time for Entrants

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The fat lady is nearly here, the curtain is about to fall, the bell is nearly ringing for all entries to this years Gathering of the Griffin show in Ipswich on the last weekend of September. If you haven’t entered your any age, any state of any Scania then you have just over 24 hours to do so. The official closing time for entries is 2359hrs on Sunday 31st August. Contact details are as follows:

Address: Gathering Of The Griffin, 40 Uplands Way, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4DF
Telephone: 07903155898
Email: gotg37@hotmail.com

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There will be over 110 Scania’s all in one place, a must for any truck fan not just the Griffin lovers. The show is held at the Orwell Crossing Truck stop on the 27th and 28th September. There are categories and prizes for all models and also the coverted best in show prize. You don’t have to be a polish crazy Scania owner to win the prize as it’s all done to the character if the truck. There are also some very very VIP entrants from Scania GB coming too, it’ll be worth a trip to see what they are. Truckblog sponsors the Best 3 Series in show and last years winner Is the 143 at the top owned by Craig of Denny who came down from Scotland. So if you own a Scania of any age or state get it entered and get it to Ipswich. The whole weekend is tipped off by all the trucks leaving the show together, an awesome sight and sound for that matter!!

Last minute entries – CALL or EMAIL now!!
Phone: 07903155898
Email: gotg37@hotmail.com

3, 2, 1……………….

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Cool Runnings

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I like a Spanish fridge. Fact. I have no idea why, as in the grand scheme of things they are just a box and you’d think there is no real difference between them. Each time I load one they just catch my eye. Could be because the Spanish ones seem to be a bit tidier than the ones from the rest of Europe.

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Does anyone else see what I’m talking about?? No, same as normal then! Campillo Palmeras are regulars at the moment and I think they are set apart from the rest of the Spanish as you don’t see many black Spanish trucks, but then again they still have plenty of white tractor units and they look equally as tidy.

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Perhaps the old Spanish style liveries are more appealing than the modern, but even so they still look smart. Both Palmera above and Transportes Las Maravillas come with new sleek modern and old tradition style livery and I can’t decide which I prefer.

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Traditional Spanish or Sleek Modern??

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I can’t decide which is best but I know the Spanish are some of the smartest on the road. Probably because they have had years of experience in the frigo market. Year after year bring us our oranges, strawberries, broccoli, cucumber and what ever else. The Spanish have long been big fans of Renault Trucks, both Magnum and Premium since the demise of Pegaso. I wonder if the love of Renault will continue with the Renault T range?! If it does or not I think a Spanish frigo will always catch my eye, they look even better with a TB sticker on!!

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Fly Stickered!

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A few months back on my way to work, I was driving through the village of Raydon, Suffolk. I noticed this wheelie bin with GB and other truck related stickers on it. After a few more sightings over a few weeks I thought buggered it!!……so I pulled over and just stuck the corner of a TB sicker to the bin so the owner could either pull it off, sorry, take it off or stick it on completely……..last week was the first time I’ve seen it since 🙂 now all I’ve got to do is find out who the owner is and what their truck connection is.

Do you or some one you know live in a nice thatched cottage, on the main road through the middle of Raydon, Suffolk?? Email me: ben@truckblog.co.uk

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Camiones Espanoles – Entonces Y Ahora

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Recently at work we have been loading quite a few Spaniards back to Spain or back to Paris so they load from the french markets and then head back to Spain. Also recently I have scanned the next batch of 750ish photos from the David Scarff collection. What is the link I hear you ask?? The answer is that some of the haulage companies that Scarffy used to photograph back in the 1980’s are still the same firms that I am loading back to the continent. How many Spanish truck spotters can say the same for the British firms still running to the sun and back. Two Spanish firms that are still doing the run and providing our super markets with year round goodies such as Strawberries, Broccoli and of course those gorgeous Spanish oranges, are the names of Campillo Palmera and of course Transportes Caudete. I’ll start with Palmera.

The livery on the original Pegaso above has developed into the livery on the trailer behind the Magnum below. I think you can see how its developed. The Magnum has the trailer livery that I know and recognise as being Palmera, with the Palm Tree logo on the back doors. Where did the Palm tree come from?? Was it on the back doors of the Pegaso? I’m not sure.

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But you can see the livery on the Magnum has moved on a bit and as an outfit the truck and trailer show the earlier livery and the newer livery. These days the new Campillo Palmera trucks still have the Palm tree on the side but the overall livery is much more of a European logistics company rather than a classic Spanish haulier. This doesn’t mean they don’t still look good! The new black cabs are smart and I guess these days with air conditioning, climate control and roof top coolers, the cabs no longer need to be white to reflect the sun and keep the heat down in the cab. Even so it’s still good to see the company are still going and are still coming to the UK for our enjoyment in all respects!

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Now as for Transportes Caudete, they still have a fairly traditional livery that is very close to how its always been. Red tractor units and white Spanish looking frigo trailers. Much the same as British hauliers the Spanish used to favour using their own trucks, like the Pegaso, the Spanish Seddon Atkinson. But now due to the demise of these small manufacturers, the Spanish, like the rest of Europe, use the same as everyone else. Although Renault and Iveco seem to be the favourites for these 2 hauliers, we have had a couple of new Volvos come in for Palmera.

Most of the Caudete fleet nowadays are Iveco with a few MAN. This Iveco was only a week or 2 old as the tyres were still immaculate and had that look of brand new tyre about them (good description huh!). The driver was quite happy with it.

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As you can see the Caudete trailers have remained very much the same. Old and new just having what they need to have on them, the company name and what they do. The older trailers do look more continental but again this is down to the improvements in modern trucks I think. There is no longer a great need to keep water and food on the side of the trailers as a modern truck cab has plenty of room for storage inside. I do still like the idea of a water tank on the truck some where, there’s nothing like a cold wash to cool you down or wake you up!

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The one thing that is missing on the modern trucks is the 2 light up sign boards on the top of the cab. The yellow square one and the yellow triangle with the blue background. As I understand it these used to be some thing to do with the ferries, but I need one of you lot to tell me more please? Email me, ben@truckblog.co.uk or leave a message below.

Hopefully more Then & Nows to come, thanks to David Scarff’s collection of photos. It’s possible to find photos of everything, so a big thank you to Mr Scarff and I look forward to the next batch to be scanned (the wife’s not so keen on the idea!). For those whho didn’t get it, the blog title is “Spanish Trucking – Then & Now.”