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David B.

British WW2 10 cwt GS Trailer

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Would it be possible to let us (me) know how you get on sourcing the Ash, having it planed etc, as I will need some to build my MW body and dont live too far from Surrey. I will make enquiries locally too but if you find you can recommend a supplier then so much the better.

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Hi David One of my mates has restored a 10cwt trailer from the chassis up, we found that the T & G planks and timbers where all Ash hardwood even in wartime.

Although Ash is expensive it wouln't warp or shrink if it's well seasoned. Good timber merchants should be able to source Ash, we have several in Surrey and one specialest bespoke kitchen maker who will cut & plane timber to size.

If there is someone like that in your area it might be worth haveing a word!!

Regards

Robin

 

Robin,

 

I'm really surprised to hear that Ash comes into the equation as it is a wood best suited to bending and shaping- I think of Ash as hoop bows, 1920/30s car body frames, and the rounded backs of Windsor chairs. I am also surprised to think of Ash planking as wide as the boards on a truck/trailer body.

 

On our body its very difficult to pick out enough graining to identify the wood easily but I will bow to someones superior knowledge of timber when I take a lump of it into our local specialist.

 

Has anyone else any experience of identifying the timber used in 1930/1940s truck bodies ?

 

David.

Edited by David B.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]55868[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]55869[/ATTACH]

 

 

Hello Arjan,

 

I'm sure you have seen this trailer belonging to one of your countrymen,it shows the T plate. There is also a picture of the T plate itself (courtesy of Clive Elliott),which is correct for the trailer.

 

As far as I'm aware the triangular reflectors appeared in the 1950's. I have seen a period advert showing them,they would be steel I suppose.

 

I have a T plate that is missing the red reflectors,I will be looking for these and must measure their exact size. Has anyone any experience of replacing these ? Alternatively I would be interested in a complete T plate if there is one available.

 

What other parts are you looking for ? We are starting work now on our trailer and may have some duplicates available soon especially chassis parts, some of which are common to the Lightweight "airborne" trailers.

 

David.

 

Hello David,

 

I do know this trailer... it standing in our garage. It's our first GS-trailer we completly restored. Our "new" trailer is reasonably complete.

 

Our tailgate will be fixed, so we don't miss much.

 

I think I have a second axle with the hubcaps you need. But have to check.

 

Cheers

Arjan

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Thanks Arjan - look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

Going back to the question of timber. Can anyone else confirm the use of Ash being used in truck/trailer bodywork ?

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David,

 

I don't know about GS trailers...but the Lightweight Electrical Repair trailer has pine boards. Top surfaces reasonably well finished , but the undersides are surprisingly roughly sawn; that is, considering how much time and effort had been spent on building the rest of the trailer.

 

Like you I was surprised at ash.

The ideal wood for wide boards was Elm (wasn't hat always the favoured timber for coffins?).....but much more common in 1943 then now.

 

John

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Going back to the question of timber. Can anyone else confirm the use of Ash being used in truck/trailer bodywork ?

 

Hello David,

 

Ash was always the traditional timber to use for cab and body framework on vehicles, not sure about planking but it would have been what was avaialble at the time, no imported timber then.

Edited by Richard Farrant

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David,

 

I don't know about GS trailers...but the Lightweight Electrical Repair trailer has pine boards. Top surfaces reasonably well finished , but the undersides are surprisingly roughly sawn; that is, considering how much time and effort had been spent on building the rest of the trailer.

 

Like you I was surprised at ash.

The ideal wood for wide boards was Elm (wasn't hat always the favoured timber for coffins?).....but much more common in 1943 then now.

 

John

 

Our wood does look like Pine and it would be my choice unless convinced otherwise,if I can find a good (joinery) quality. At the moment "Southern Yellow Pine " is being suggested. Elm as you quite rightly say was for chair seats,stair boards and coffins ,chosen for the width of the boards.

 

Saw some elm the other day with a nasty attack of death watch beetle. Six or seven live beetles and a dozen live grubs in two square feet. Thats why there's not much useable left about.

 

Has anyone else experience or ideas of timbers used please.

Edited by David B.

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If it's any interest, Ford UK used Beech in their vehicles, like the WOT2.

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Robin,

 

I'm really surprised to hear that Ash comes into the equation as it is a wood best suited to bending and shaping- I think of Ash as hoop bows, 1920/30s car body frames, and the rounded backs of Windsor chairs. I am also surprised to think of Ash planking as wide as the boards on a truck/trailer body.

 

On our body its very difficult to pick out enough graining to identify the wood easily but I will bow to someones superior knowledge of timber when I take a lump of it into our local specialist.

 

Has anyone else any experience of identifying the timber used in 1930/1940s truck bodies ?

 

David.

 

David

Dennis Brothers of Guildford always made body frames and Floor boards from ash the F15 to F24 series fire engines where all ash, clad in Dural sheet. I had ocassion to repair some during the fire service strike many years ago!!

Regards Robin

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Our GS-trailer has oak. However someone (don't remember who) told us that ash also would be good. The "new" trailer has a heavy tailgate, that is why we think it made with oak.

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I'm beginning to think that the type of wood may varied from maker to maker.Most of the trailer manufacturers were small concerns with no previous body building history and might well simply use what was available,the contracts may not have specified the type of timber to be used.

 

Our old original timbers do look like Pine and when we cut them up I think we will know definitely.

 

What about wooden truck bodies ? Does anyone know for example what wood Bedford ,Morris,Austin or their subcontractors used ?

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Hello David,

 

Ash was always the traditional timber to use for cab and body framework on vehicles, not sure about planking but it would have been what was avaialble at the time, no imported timber then.

 

Not quite true Richard,

 

You are quite right about the properties of Ash but I think we were still importing timber from Canada and possibly neutral Sweden.

 

I'm sure I have seen pictures of the survivors of U-boat attacks swimming among their timber deck cargo.

 

Cheers,

David.

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1) Nigel........Any thoughts please ?

 

 

2) Richard,

 

I checked after your comment on the timber importation question. It would appear that timber imports to this country in 1943 for example were down 90% on pre war levels. It came from North America principally and was softwood. Swedish imports had stopped.

In the UK there was a policy to substitute softwood by native hardwoods.

 

David.

Edited by David B.

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Hi David

Timber imports where much reduced so we resorted to felling native species, no Forestry Commission then, Womans Timber Corps was formed and the habit of planting fast growing conifers to replace broard leaf woodland that had been felled started.

Kilder Forest was a case in point, these type of forests are now slowly being returned to mixed woodland.

Ash was favoured as it's the fastest growing native hardwood, just leave a seedling in your garden and see how fast it grows.

Regards

Robin (Tiffy)

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Just found these trailer today on the internet.

generaaltje26529_1.jpg

 

are those original ww2 trailers or not? My first impression (based on the rims) is that they're from Belgium.

I already send an email to the seller to get more information.

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Hi Arjan,

 

A good find.

The Towing-Eye and Pull pin Box, together with the folding handles and main chassis spine look exactly like the drawings in the Illustrated Spare Parts List (WO Code 13464 which replaced, but kept same many of same drawings as those in 1949 vintage WO No5460); so I would say they are defintiely of WWII date....probably from a relatively early date as that type of towing-eye seems to have been used most in the early Mk.1 versions of 10cwt trailers.

 

Looks like the wheels are 6-stud but difficult to tell for certain from the photo; I see what you mean about the wheels though as you'd expect them to be the usual pierced design, but even if they have been changed by Belgian army post-war, it still looks be be an interesting 10cwt G.S. trailer.

 

The steel bracket and support at the front is unusual, looks like a post-war modification for a spare wheel. Very good idea!

 

Cheers

John

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The one nearest looks like a 20cwt

 

Hi Arjan,

 

A good find.

The Towing-Eye and Pull pin Box, together with the folding handles and main chassis spine look exactly like the drawings in the Illustrated Spare Parts List (WO Code 13464 which replaced, but kept same many of same drawings as those in 1949 vintage WO No5460); so I would say they are defintiely of WWII date....probably from a relatively early date as that type of towing-eye seems to have been used most in the early Mk.1 versions of 10cwt trailers.

 

Looks like the wheels are 6-stud but difficult to tell for certain from the photo; I see what you mean about the wheels though as you'd expect them to be the usual pierced design, but even if they have been changed by Belgian army post-war, it still looks be be an interesting 10cwt G.S. trailer.

 

The steel bracket and support at the front is unusual, looks like a post-war modification for a spare wheel. Very good idea!

 

Cheers

John

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are those original ww2 trailers or not? My first impression (based on the rims) is that they're from Belgium.

 

These trailers are post-war Belgian ones, indeed based on the British 10-cwt trailer design but they are larger.

 

HTH,

Hanno

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David,

 

I have 2 of these '4.2" Mortar Trailers'. One is immaculately restored and the other I am starting to restore. My unrestored trailer is timbered in Elm and I have been told by my late Father-in-law, who spent most of his in the Timber Industry, that Ash would be a good substitute.

 

I call these Mortar Trailers as the GS type has rounded wheel arches and a shorter body sitting back on the chassis. I have many photos of them being used as GS trailers during the end of WW2 and postwar. I believe that they may have been favoured to the GS Trailer due to a slightly larger load area and without the top slats the load may be slightly better protected.

 

Regards,

 

Les.

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I have 2 of these '4.2" Mortar Trailers'. One is immaculately restored and the other I am starting to restore. My unrestored trailer is timbered in Elm and I have been told by my late Father-in-law, who spent most of his in the Timber Industry, that Ash would be a good substitute.

 

I call these Mortar Trailers as the GS type has rounded wheel arches and a shorter body sitting back on the chassis. I have many photos of them being used as GS trailers during the end of WW2 and postwar. I believe that they may have been favoured to the GS Trailer due to a slightly larger load area and without the top slats the load may be slightly better protected.

 

Regards,

 

Les.

 

Hello Les,

 

I'm really surprised in the use of Elm in your trailer as Elm has always traditionally been used where a very wide plank is required - chair seats,coffins and floorboards etc. It does perhaps point to the use of what was available to small manufacturers locally with no particular type of timber specified in their supply contract.

 

We are about to resume work on our trailer and are now leaning towards Ash for the body replacement.

 

The 10cwt trailers that you mention with the body as you describe,rounded arches and body slats were in fact the earlier No 1 pattern and were made in both GS type and also fitted out for 4.2" Mortar carriage. The later No.2 pattern with fully planked body,squared off mudguards and a different hitch were made as GS models ,mortar ammunition carriers and also for the carriage of the mortar itself,the differences being in the body fittings.

 

I started to compile some information on the different makers and detail differences and would like to see any pictures of these trailers (including your own) that you may have. Any information from the chassis plate would also be welcome.

 

Cheers,

David.

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I'm really surprised in the use of Elm in your trailer as Elm has always traditionally been used where a very wide plank is required - chair seats,coffins and floorboards etc. It does perhaps point to the use of what was available to small manufacturers locally with no particular type of timber specified in their supply contract.

 

On the subject of wood types, I recall seeing a publication on this forum about types of wood. As I understand it, various types of hard and soft wood would be acceptable to the MoD. In other words, the MoD as client would not specify "oak", but "hard wood", so the supplier could use birch, maple, ash, oak, etc., whatever was available and suited the job.

 

Other than that, IIRC cargo bodies on WW2 trucks and trailers were made of soft wood?

 

Can ayone elaborate on this?

 

Regards,

Hanno

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On my second trailer is a jeep connector bolted to the front. Does anyone know if this is original? It does have green paint under the red paint.

IMAG0555.jpg

 

Second question is about the front bracket of the suspension. My other trailer has got a different one. Can someone tell me more about these? Is it another make?

2013-05-02 17.10.10.jpg

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On my second trailer is a jeep connector bolted to the front. Does anyone know if this is original? It does have green paint under the red paint.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]76090[/ATTACH]

 

Second question is about the front bracket of the suspension. My other trailer has got a different one. Can someone tell me more about these? Is it another make?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]76091[/ATTACH][/quote

 

 

Hello Arjan,

 

1) The 10 cwt trailers would have started out in British service with the standard WD plug which fitted the socket mounted on the towing vehicle thus enabling them to be towed by 15 cwt trucks and at a pinch by the Bedford OY. I don't know but I presume the Loyd Carrier would also have had the same socket fitted which would have suited the Mortar Trailers.

 

Many British Jeeps (especially the airborne variety) had the REME mod which saw the two way Lucas switch,convoy light and trailer plug socket all mounted on a fabricated bracket. Thus fitted they would be compatible with the standard or Lightweight 10 cwt trailers.

 

Your picture to me certainly looks like a fairly professional REME type modification. I suppose it could have allowed any Jeep which still retained it's original lighting socket to be connected to a trailer fitted with a Jeep socket in this way by the means of a cable fitted with the US type plug at both ends. My guess entirely. It could equally be a modification by another country.

 

A question of which mine which spins off from your enquiry is how did Willys/Bantam trailers fitted as original connect to Jeeps in British service if they were modified by the REME. All answers on a postcard..............

 

 

 

2) The question has been asked before about the differing spring hanger brackets - cast or fabricated.

 

Almost no response to this when question when posted in another thread but my observation is that the cast bracket that you have in your hand is the same as the No 2 Trailer,Orme Evans in my case and Transport Equipment Group as I have seen. The welded/fabricated bracket seems to be standard to the No 1 type.

Cheers,

 

David.

Edited by David B.

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