C390 BBU – Volvo F10

Asking for a friend…. We need some help and more info on the life of a Volvo F10 with the registration number C390 BBU please. It’s current owner and restorer thinks that it used to be on for Kammac’s although we don’t have pictorial evidence. The photo of C390 BBU above suggests that the livery may have once part of the Kammac fleet if you look at the fleet colours in the photo below. Not exactly identical but that is because the photo above is when the truck was part of the Applegate Rental fleet. At the time the above photo was taken in 1990, she was 5 years old. The current owner has spoken to various people and it is thought that the truck wasn’t new when it joined Applegate. Can anyone confirm if this was a Kammac truck or not please?

We are trying to find out the vehicles heritage hence the questions. As all classic truck owners know, it’s nice to know the life of your vehicle. The most important thing to know is of course who had it from new, so if any of you bloggers know anyone who was part of the Kammac fleet or set up, can you see what you can find out please and report back.

As you can see the truck is getting the full treatment and has had a full, proper full, ground up restoration. I have to say that the quality of the work in this is tip top and a credit to the skill of the current owner. Nothing left or ignored, striped right back to the chassis rails and started again. The engine had the same treatment and now looks like new, someone at Volvo Trucks UK should be getting excited about this one!

Please let me know by email or comment below if you know anything about the life of this truck. Thank you bloggers!

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!

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.

SPECIAL EDITION TRIBUTE TRUCK FOR ADAMS TRANSPORT

Customised promotional model vehicle specialists, Search Impex, are pleased to announce the release of a 1:50 scale Volvo FH XL 25 Year Special Edition (6×2) truck with fridge trailer, customised in the new eye-catching livery of Northern Ireland based operator Adams Transport. The models have been produced exclusively for Search Impex by WSI Collectibles as a certificated Limited Edition (175 pieces).

 Adams Transport took delivery of the Volvo FH 25 Year Special Edition (the first to be ordered by a Volvo customer) to commemorate the life of John Adams late wife, Gillian Marie, who sadly passed away in 2015.  Dedicated to his wifes memory, the unique new 25 Year Edition flagship truck is especially poignant to John  as 2019 would also have seen the couples 25th wedding anniversary. Based in the village of Armoy, Co Antrim, Adams Transport was established in 2007 by John Adams.  With a passion for trucks from an early age, John had been driving rigid trucks since he was first legally able to do so and he quickly moved onto driving artics from the age of 21.  After some years of driving for other companies, however, John found he was increasingly spending extended periods away from his wife and young family and so he began to think of ways of changing his lifestyle so he could spend more time with his family. With a view, therefore, to taking back control, he made the decision to set up on his own and so Adams Transport was born.

Sheer hard work and dedication, supported by a team of loyal staff, has seen the business grow solidly and successfully over the last 12 years.  The Company specialises in the delivery of agricultural goods throughout Ireland, as well as undertaking general haulagework.  With a fleet of 15 trucks (almost exclusively Volvo) and a similar number of trailers (a mix of fridges and curtains, plus one flat bed), Adams transport trucks can be seen regularly on the roads throughout Ireland and also over on the UK mainland  from Scotland down to the Midlands and beyond.  

 With the exception of the new flagship Volvo, the other trucks in the fleet run in Adams Transports smart corporate red livery. Thus far, fridge trailers have usually been plain, with livery applied just to the back doors  but all of that may soon be changing!  The arrival of the new Volvo also led to a rethink about corporate branding and this resulted in a decisionto design a smart new trailer livery.  The first fridge trailer in the new design will be arriving in the fleet very soon  so keep an eye out for it!  When coupled with the Volvo 25 Years Special Edition truck, it will certainly make for a very classy combination.

 Models, available from Search Impex, are priced at £149 each (including UK delivery & VAT). For details of availability of this and other models, collectors can visit the Search Impex website at www.search-impex.co.uk or call them on 01332 873 555.

BOWKER BEAUTY MARKS CENTENARY!

Customised promotional model vehicle specialists, Search Impex, are pleased to announce the release of a 1:50 scale Volvo FH Globetrotter (6×2) tractor unit with 3 axle, curtain trailer, customised in the eye-catching, centenary livery of W.H. Bowker Ltd. Produced exclusively for Search Impex by WSI Collectibles, the model is a certificated Limited Edition (205 pieces) and has been commissioned by Bowker to celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2019.  It is based on their real life Volvo FH units and curtain trailers bedecked in the special 100 years anniversary livery – two of which have recently joined the Bowker fleet.  

 W.H. Bowker Limited was established in 1919 in Blackburn – Lancashire, when William Bowker used his £75 war gratuity to buy his first vehicle.  Hard work and sheer determination saw the business grow rapidly from its origins as a local haulier to become one of the UK’s leading transport specialists with a reputation for an innovative approach to the needs of industry.  Expansion into European haulage came during the early 1960’s when UK manufacturers became increasingly successful in exporting their goods and Bowker saw the opportunity to introduce a reliable service to the Continent by conventional trailer.  The first continental cargo movements began in December 1961 and continue to form an important part of the business.

Despite being one of the oldest UK companies specialising in national and international logistics, the business has most certainly kept pace with the times.  Nowadays, Bowker runs a state of the art fleet comprising more than 160 vehicles (predominantly Volvo) and around 300 trailers and the Company also operates more than one million square feet of warehousing and storage at its seven sites across the UK.

 Models, available from Search Impex, are priced at £149 each (including UK delivery & VAT).  For details of availability of this and other models, collectors can visit the Search Impex website at www.search-impex.co.uk or call them on 01332 873 555.

Retro Show – The Social Part

Another weekend and I’m back at Londra Camp or perhaps even the Hotel National in Belgrade. Loads of the best retro trucks in the UK and a growing number from Europa and all the kings of the road you could ever hope to meet and listen to stories from. The shows this year have become more and more social but combine this with trucks from my childhood and once again an awesome weekend was had by all. For me meeting these Kings of the road is what it’s all about, the stories they can tell, the places they have been and the trucks they have driven, my generation can only dream. To name a just a few people I stood and chatted/listened to this weekend;

  • Charles Russell
  • Roland Simey
  • Nick Bull
  • Karl Skilton
  • Andrew McDevitt
  • Kevin Mackin
  • Paul Rowlands
  • Baz (if you know you know!)
  • and of course one of my true hero’s still out and about on the road………
  • These men all need dictaphones and books written about them or by them, Mr Coghill you need to get on with it! As I said in my Truckstar blog, sadly I wasn’t able to enjoy the golden era but chatting to these knights of the road you can get a real idea of the adventure, hardship, bad times and of course good times they endured. For any young drivers of the current modern generation, can you imagine being told to go to Pakistan from London?? No? just to add to the adventure there was no sat-nav, no road maps or readable signposts once past Turkey, for that matter not many “roads” either. One of the best quotes of the weekend from a certain Charles Russell went something like this;
  • “When I was a young owner driver with just one truck, my pal Ralph had his own truck too. I met him on his way back from his first trip to the continent and do you know what he said?? That continental work isn’t for me.”
  • – The Ralph in question was of course a certain Mr Davies. Just brilliant but unless you take the time to talk to these men then you never get to hear such awesome tales.
  • The show itself was once again a triumph. Lee Herbert and his team put on what was the best retro show I’ve been too, that said next year is the 10th anniversary so I can’t wait for that already. Get the date in your diary, next years Retro Truck Show is from September 11th to 13th 2020. There seemed to be more restored/retro trucks than ever before. The quality of these trucks gets better and better and there is definitely more types of truck, not just Volvo and Scania. Renaults, ERF, Iveco eight wheels MAN’s and even a Fiat all being restored back to their former glory. As it goes there was only one Transcon that was at the start of its new life and very much need a good polish! I’m sure there are more Transcons about that could come along next year but after one of Roland Simeys stories I’m not so sure….
  • If you are a truck enthusiast then the retro show is for you. It’s run by truck people for truck people. Evident that the man who runs the show is a gas engineer but grew up with trucks and loves trucks. All who attend are truck mad and as there are no prizes to be won it just shows that all trucks are there as their owners are proud to show them and just do it for the trucks and love of diesel! Not a lot of feed back from those I spoke to other than more trucks the merrier. Perhaps the one thing I did hear from a few people was, there were a lot of new trucks there again. Don’t get me wrong I love seeing them and being able to compare the same make 30 or 49 years apart is a pretty cool concept. I am guessing there is an element of a few new trucks make up the numbers but then again what do you class as a retro truck?? I fine line for the organisers to think about but for me personally I don’t think it is far off perfect at all.
  • Big Boys & Their Big Toys

    Big boys have big toys we all know that, but when two company directors are as truck mad as the drivers they send all over Europe, then why shouldn’t they have a big toy to play with?? If I could afford a truck and trailer to play with then I’d do the same, at the end of the day with directorship comes big responsibility and big stress, so surely that allows big toys?!

    The two directors above are two of the biggest truck nerds you could meet, both nuts about their respective Swedes. The photo was taken en route to the Truckstar Festival in Holland back at the end of July and the two trucks were side by side for a fair distance from what I hear. What a treat for all the drivers coming the other way, 1980’s retro trucking at its best. The other this I hear is that the two of them were giggling like school boys with new BMX bikes oh and something else to do with no speed limiters but I don’t know what they are on about!!

    What a sight, even better with a little black and white. I’m not sure which one I’d rather be piloting, both great to look at, both big cans compared to the competition, both a drivers dream. For me restored trucks don’t get better than these two and I just wish everyone could afford to have a trailer with their tractor units, it just rings every bell on the old skool wall. For me I saw these two and as awesome as the scene is, it just reminds me in every way of two other famous trucks…….

    Wilson Wednesday – European Volvolution

    I could have titled this blog many things, but I had to get another Wilson Wednesday on the blog for all the regular fans. Thanks to Volvo Trucks UK we can have a WW with a slight difference. Buying a Volvo will have been a big decision for HCW, especially as they haven’t ever bought a new one before. The last two they had in my early years at HCW we’re both acquired 2nd hand I do believe. I low height 6×2 and a low height 4×2. When I heard Simon (Wilson) had decided to order a new Volvo I have to say was a little surprised. Saying that all operators need to keep manufacturers on their toes and if one can supply a truck better suited to the operators specific requirements then their isn’t a lot that can be done. Over to Volvo;


    Well-known industrial and plant fabrication carriers, H.C. Wilson Transport Ltd. of Suffolk has ordered its first new Volvo truck; a high specification FH-540 8×4 Tridem tractor unit, supplied by Ian Reed, Area Sales Manager at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia.

    The Globetrotter XL 3,900mm wheelbase Tridem Pusher Axle tractor unit is powered by Volvo’s D13K engine, producing a maximum of 540hp. The FH was ordered with an I-Shift Crawler gearbox containing a direct top ratio of 19:1 and a deep multi speed reverse gear with a ratio of 37:1. A gearbox-mounted retarder also provides a substantial secondary braking system. The final drive tandem single reduction axles carry a ratio of 2.83:1.

    The vehicle is rated for maximum 90-tonne operations, but will predominately work in the 55 to 60-tonne weight brackets. Both the front and pusher axles are nine-tonne air suspension units, the latter contributing to a rear bogie capacity of 32-tonnes.

    “We’d previously bought our four axle tractor units from Holland, but this requirement is now better served through a dealer local to our business,” states Simon Wilson, Managing Director at H.C. Wilson Transport Ltd. “Volvo were genuinely interested to quote for such a vehicle and having a factory built four axle tractor unit was also a bonus, saving on purchase cost and delivery times.”

    A Jost cast fixed fifth wheel, steel front bumper and Dura-Bright EVO alloy wheels are also included the specification.

    Simon explains, “European work makes up two thirds of our total business and the regulations around German axle weights drive our choice of four-axle tractor units. I’m not a big fan of really big engines, but we have to balance power outputs and fuel consumption levels with terrain traversed and higher operating weights. We operated some early Volvo FHs that were sourced as used in the mid-1990s, but this is our first Volvo ordered new. We’re feeling our way with the vehicle at present and it’s early days. However, there’s been no complaints from the driver,” he adds.

    ACH Model Now Available

    Here it is, the ACH model is now available through Anglo Dutch Truck Models. I have to say I did have a little hand in getting it released but Steve at ADMT did the hard work and what a belter it is. Based on one of ACH’s F12 Globetrotters, F81 HFC, the model is well detailed with a matching tri-axle tilt. There are only 200 models all with their own certificate’s available and I know over a third of these are already reserved, so now they are on general release you better get in quick!

    Get onto ADMT and get your ordered while you can, click the link to order yours HERE & NOW.

    Thanks Steve and WSI for creating another awesome model. If your free Steve and ADMT will be at the NEC in Birmingham this weekend and he will have the mode with him if you want to get your hands on one super quick.

    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!