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quicksilver

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First picture looks like a Guy Big J, i seem to remember for all the wrong reasons that one of the Marathon variants had a 'fixed head' engine? And a Rolls Royce option as well? Far too long ago that i drove one,i do remember the Guy Big J that i drove grazing my knuckles on the windscreen as you manoeuvred in tight spots!

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20 minutes ago, Vantman said:

First picture looks like a Guy Big J, i seem to remember for all the wrong reasons that one of the Marathon variants had a 'fixed head' engine? And a Rolls Royce option as well? Far too long ago that i drove one,i do remember that the Guy Big J grazing my knuckles on the windscreen as you manoeuvred in tight spots!

Was my thoughts as well actually.

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6 hours ago, busmansholiday said:

Scania LB80 (anybody recognise the location ?)

IMG_0173.thumb.JPG.40730d048a65055bce381e8cd2c65def.JPG

M62, Junction 17 at Prestwich. The photographer is looking east. The truck is on the J17 roundabout, A56 heading towards Manchester. In the background is the distinctive 'bridge over a bridge, over a motorway' which at the time carried the unique side-contact 3rd rail British Rail Manchester to Bury line. These days it carries the Metrolink.

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5 hours ago, Vantman said:

First picture looks like a Guy Big J, i seem to remember for all the wrong reasons that one of the Marathon variants had a 'fixed head' engine? And a Rolls Royce option as well? Far too long ago that i drove one,i do remember the Guy Big J that i drove grazing my knuckles on the windscreen as you manoeuvred in tight spots!

Yes that first pic is a Guy Big J, I don’t think the Leyland Marathon had to suffer the 500 series ‘fixed head’ engines,  they had the TL12 Leyland engine or Rolls Royce and I’m sure Cummins options like the superb Roadtrain that followed. 

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It's gone quiet recently and there's been nothing of any major interest until this thoroughly weird spot this morning. US government licence plate on a heavy-duty RHD 6x4 MAN that looks overkill for that little single-axle American trailer. It's USAF, probably going from Lakenheath or Mildenhall to Croughton.

IMG_6546.thumb.jpg.357cf78f6298bf7994923eab00f8b1e9.jpg

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If anyone's interested, an old thread on a US military forum helped me decode the registration AF04B00117

  • AF = Air Force
  • 04 = year of purchase
  • B = general-purpose vehicle of civilian type
  • 00117 = serial number

So this is the 117th class B vehicle delivered to the Air Force in 2004. The other classes are:

  • C = special-purpose vehicle of civilian type
  • D = construction equipment of civilian type
  • E = materials handling equipment
  • K = general-purpose vehicle of military type
  • L = special-purpose vehicle of military type
  • M = construction equipment of military type
  • W = aircraft ground support equipment
  • X =  miscellaneous, e.g. golf carts and motorcycles

Written at the top of the plate is "U.S. GOVERNMENT" and at the bottom "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY". The blue panels contain the month and year of expiry, not large enough to read on the photo.

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10 minutes ago, willswitchengage said:

That is a very odd trailer. I know US trailers typically have the axle(s) with no rear overhang (interestingly they call air suspension 'air ride') but I didn't thing they did curtainsiders over there. From memory they also have a much more crude landing legs design than the relatively modern Jost ones ubiquitous in Europe.

Weird trailer indeed. It looks American in every respect - very shallow kingpin, no rear overhang, twin tyres, spindly air ride axle, big floppy rubber mudflaps (fnarrrrr) but the curtain and top rail (not the right word, but the the right word left my head) look much more euro stylee. 

Looks extra odd swinging off the back of a whopping great heavy haul tractor! 

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There certainly is a whole lot of weirdness going on there. I reckon that's a Euro body, possibly off a 6x2 rigid, mounted on an American chassis for reasons that only make sense to the USAF. It's definitely American with its lack of mudguards and side rails and not compliant with UK C&U regs. Why use a 6x4 tractor unit though? Is it just because US units are usually 6x4?

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25 minutes ago, quicksilver said:

Why use a 6x4 tractor unit though? Is it just because US units are usually 6x4?

Your previous pics of the US stuff had Scania 4x2s if I remember correctly, so I doubt it's purely a "That's just how we do it" thing. 

Looking at the MAN unit with the double drive, beacons and front bumper, I reckon it's probably usually used for towing something much heavier around, and you've caught it on an unusual working. Could be wrong. 

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22 minutes ago, sierraman said:

I never knew that the USAF ran American plated vehicles in the U.K. 

It's nonsensical but true. I have seen blingy US fire engines on the public road too near RAF Croughton.

Chatting to a chap at work today he said there used to be a healthy second hand market in the UK for US cars that servicemen had brought over here and were subsequently surplus to requirements.

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12 minutes ago, willswitchengage said:

It's nonsensical but true. I have seen blingy US fire engines on the public road too near RAF Croughton.

Chatting to a chap at work today he said there used to be a healthy second hand market in the UK for US cars that servicemen had brought over here and were subsequently surplus to requirements.

That’s where the mercury came from. A serving US forces person brought it here while on tour and sold it here on his second tour. 
 

and I’ve passed an American fire engine down the south east part of the UK. Pictures probably on this thread somewhere. 

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I watch rather too much Outback Truckers (because it's usually on when I want something undemanding to watch). I am often bemused by the size of the trucks used to tow what appear to be fairly modest loads though, "he's got nearly a forty ton rig, he's going to need a whole load of road to slow down". I thought UK lorries were heavier than that. I know they often have road trains on the show but there are also things like loaders with a couple of tractors on them, which aren't uncommon where I live.

I also don't really get some of the loads that they seem to be able to make a profit by towing across the entire country. I did ask Mrs warch who is also Australian but she was equally mystified. Things like sand (which most the Northern Territory is made of) or portacabins or shonkily made wooden houses, or scrapped cars are transported thousands of kms by truck in Aus. 

I've never driven a lorry but notwithstanding the risk of breaking down in the middle of nowhere, I still think UK truckers have a pretty hard time. There can be few horrors in Aus to compare with the M6, or trying to negotiate a cramped town centre to deliver to a supermarket. 

 

 

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Australians also get a uniquely heavy duty truck to cope, the Mack Titan, which is specifically designed for overweight operation.

The Australian/NZ market is also fairly unique for truck spotting as it combines European and Japanese trucks and a few odd local-ish designs like the International 9800i and IVECO Powerstar.

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On 3/24/2021 at 2:01 PM, quicksilver said:

It's gone quiet recently and there's been nothing of any major interest until this thoroughly weird spot this morning. US government licence plate on a heavy-duty RHD 6x4 MAN that looks overkill for that little single-axle American trailer. It's USAF, probably going from Lakenheath or Mildenhall to Croughton.

IMG_6546.thumb.jpg.357cf78f6298bf7994923eab00f8b1e9.jpg

I saw that very truck on the A11 a few weeks ago, when I was returning to Essex after doing a delivery in Norfolk; I paced it from just outside Mildenhall to the A14 interchange. Its driver was really going for it :mrgreen:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did the longest run in my driving career so far yesterday: Chelmsford-Exeter-Plymouth-Merthyr Tydfil (achievement unlocked: International Truck Driver). Here's the mighty Merc parked up for the night on a remote Welsh industrial estate after collecting a load of medical equipment bound for the States:

photo_2021-04-14_18-06-35.thumb.jpg.88dbfdf843bd9383e0429232b4833326.jpg

I did the return trip this morning in just under four and a half hours, leaving me a bit of time to do some local work.

I really like long distance work and don't mind nights out at all, as I'm single, I like my own company and I get paid £30 tax free per night out; I've done two this week :-D

Fun fact:   Driving a truck over the nearly traffic-free Prince of Wales Bridge at 0500 just as the dawn is breaking while listening to the full length version of Autobahn by Kraftwerk is a pretty thrilling experience, or at least it was to me ^^

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Nights out are great if you are somewhere quiet out in the sticks; not so much in a dingy industrial area where you’re sleeping with one eye open for fear of your curtains being slashed or diesel syphoned.

Maybe tramping would suit you @Shep Shepherd? I’d have liked to do it - maybe even European work -  but I already had a wife and kids by the time I started lorry driving.

If you haven’t already, download the Truckfly app. Great for finding places to stop that aren’t signposted, ie quiet laybys. I still use it now as I occasionally overnight in the car on longer trips.

And if you need somewhere to stop in the south west, let me know... I must have slept in every lay-by and services betweenTruro and Exeter in the two years I did a twice-weekly run down there!

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  • 2 weeks later...

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