Trucking Across The Ocean
Click on images for larger picture

Introduction

I don’t want any one to think this page is dedicated to actually trucking on the Ocean, it's not. Hope fully it will be about trucking and truckers in the UK and on the European continent.

About two months ago I sent a letter to the Editor of a Trucking Magazine in England asking him to publish it his magazine and in response I have made one contact, but I'm hopeful to hear from more people over there.

Derek Turner is a retired truck driver who started trucking at about the same time as I did, in the early 1950’s and he has sent me some wonderful pictures which I am posting on this page.

Derek belongs to a club of old truck drivers and truck mechanics who meet once a month, have a few beers and do what drivers do best, a lot of verbal trucking. He will spread the word so hopefully I will be getting a lot more information for my web site.

When you look at these pictures you will think, ‘these aren't very big, by North American standards', but if you have ever been to the UK or seen pictures of some of their cities and villages you will know why. I don’t think they would want to be dragging a Super Train or a 53 Ft. long box behind a long wheel base tractor through those narrow streets.

Derek Turner
Worcestershire England

Derek Turner -  Worcestershire England

This is a picture of Derek doing his paper work after unloading a load of fuel; he hauled fuel a better part of his driving career. From the expression on his face he is either telling some one off or whistling at a pretty girl.

Morris truck

This picture is of a Morris truck he drove when he started driving professional in the early 1950’s. It is not unlike the KB-1 International, the first truck I drove in the early 50’s.

vintage truck

I’m not sure what vintage this truck is, but it was Derek’s second truck and by the looks of it some one beat up on the front end.

donkey shell truck

Whoops! Were did this come from, some one must have slipped it in. I can honestly tell you it's not from Prince George, no snow. I'm sure I could handle it, my first teamster job was skidding logs with this guys bigger cousin, a horse.

Derek, like a myself, started out his driving career on smaller trucks and as he gained experiance move up to bigger ones as you will see in the following pictures.



At this point he must have decided if you are going to haul something, haul a product that will run on and off, it’s a lot easier on your back and he started hauling fuel. He must have liked it, because that’s what he did the rest of his career.

Petroleum Shell Truck

Petroleum Shell Truck

This next truck looks a little awkward from a North American perspective, but I imagine it would be good getting around narrow English village streets.

Shell

In 1979 Derek changed companies and went to work for a company called CONOCO, the name you will see on the rest of the trucks from his excellent collection.

CONOCO

Some things never change, this picture of Derek Turner delivering fuel in Wolverhampton could have been taken in just about any country in the world.

Conoco

Conoco

Conoco

Conoco

This next picture was taken the winter of 1991 at a place called Harvington Nr Evesham and it’s not snow, its frost. I can imagine there was a little black ice on the road.

Harvington Nr Evesham

The next series of pictures were taken by Derek Turner at the ERF Historical Vehicle Society display,
I believe in Gaydon, England.

ERF Historical Vehicle Society

  ERF Historical Vehicle Society
ERF Historical Vehicle Society

  ERF Historical Vehicle Society
ERF Historical Vehicle Society

  ERF Historical Vehicle Society
ERF Historical Vehicle Society

  ERF Historical Vehicle Society
ERF Historical Vehicle Society

  ERF Historical Vehicle Society
ERF Historical Vehicle Society

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Colin Black
Scotland

Colin Black is a 60 year old trucker from the highlands of Scotland who contacted me through an e-mail. I been a ham handed old truck driver, immediately hit the wrong button and deleted it so I’ll introduce him but we have been communicating for some months now and he has sent me some stories and some great pictures.

Colin Black

Colin looks far to relaxed, in this picture to be a trucker, but he does have the right hat.

Colin’s Ride
Colin’s Ride

This is a story Colin sent me, at fist I was having trouble deciphering his E-mails, because he even writes with Scottish acsent, but he has cleaned it up considerable in this story.

Hey Mel

Ah pressed the wrong button and sent ma story before ah'd finished, to continue.

So ah left school at 15 and a man who knew a man who knew my mother said there was a garage looking for an apprentice mechanic , so off ah went on my bike with my certificates in my saddlebag , and started with John Brown meat market hauliers , ah think it was there ah got the driving bug , they had a fleet of Albions ,( there's one in the pictures in the trucking across the ocean section ) they had been petrol trucks re-engined with ford diesels and some of them had really heavy clutches , there were times when we took a truck to get spares ,or scaffolding , and when we were out the driver would say this clutch is diabolical you've got stronger legs than me take the truck back to the yard .

But ah did 5 years apprenticeship and was a mechanic for a short time , but ah talked myself into getting a class one licence under the pretext of furthering my career and getting a better job , at the time the National Carriers had a school to train their own drivers , after training you had to stay for a couple of years or pay back the cost , the job was alright , delivering parcels and freight that came in on the train , it was the transport side of the railways , I discovered that i liked that kind of work , meeting people and driving the trucks , instead of rolling about in the muck changing half shafts and any other bits that drivers break in the day to day use of the wagon , so i never went back to repairing trucks , but there have been times when my mechanical background has got me back home when i've been miles from any where and some thing has snapped , jammed , or just started acting up.

Of course trucks were what railway steam engines pulled , back then what we drove were lorries , a world away from the volvo , daf , renault and man diesels of today , curtain sided trailers were still to be invented , all freight was carried on flat trailers and sheeted and roped , or if it was steel , chains and dwangs , ( a dwang is a chain tensioner that locks in place by an over centre action when you pull on it with a big piece of pipe) .

After national carriers i went to Archibald Brechin , the work there was totally geared to the whisky industry , CLV's , custom lockable vans , were loaded with barrels , full and empty , in the summer the heat in the van used to evaporate the dregs of whisky in the empty barrels and because they were loaded without bungs in, you could end up a wee bit light headed by the time you'd handled a forty foot load .

Now after a succession of varied and lucrative and not so lucrative jobs, I’ve ended up with a real old mans night trunk , no pressure , health and safety is paramount , car spares in cages , pick up a loaded trailer down to the changeover swap over and back up to the depot , roll the cages off , go home , a modern clean truck , warm quiet and automatic,

I miss the old home grown lorries, Leyland, ERF, FODEN, but thank god Volvo started building trucks at Irvine soon to followed by Daf and Mercedes importing trucks, it transformed the industry, to tilt the cab on a Volvo you pulled a lever to tilt the cab on AEC Mandator, involved unscrewing two large bolts with your wheel key , and they were usually seized .

It’s a sad tale, but foreigners rule in the modern trucking industry, trucks are so easy to drive now even females are doing it.

tata the noo Mel

Colin

Abimgton

This picture could have been taken in the foot hills of Alberta,
except they are driving on the wrong side of the Highway.

Colin Black Colin Black

I think he should be having a good time, but don’t these Scots ever smile.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Henry C Bargh
Yorkshire Dales

Hi Mel

I read with great interest your letter in Classic & Vintage Commercials. I am an old trucker (75), plus other activities. I was brought up on a farm in the Yorkshire Dales. I was always interested in trucks, in this part of the country we always refer to them as wagons, so that's what I will call them. In my late teens I started driving part time for a friend on livestock haulage, first with a Commer and later an Albion Chieftain. After a short time in the army, I spent nearly six years bus driving. In 1955 I returned to work for my friend again for two years, driving a Leyland Comet.

I eventually went into business on my own, hauling livestock, and dealing in hay and straw. First I had two BMCs followed by a Leyland Boxer, then a Ford and lastly a Magirus Deutz with drawbar trailer. Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos at this time, but could send three or four.

My wife and I have been to BC every year for the last four years. We have son and his family living in BC. We have been to Prince George several times, my wife is fascinated, as am I with your Big Rigs, and enjoy talking to the drivers when possible.

Regards Henry C Bargh

Henry C Bargh
Now this is the civilized way to load hay bails, with a fork lift.

Henry C Bargh
One of Henry’s clean trucks. I don’t know, but that structure in
the back ground, looks like it could have been around for a long time.

Henry C Bargh
A farm yard looks the same in any country, but this one is neat and clean and I don’t see any mud.