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Scurvey Knave

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  1. Wally, Sadly you will have to add another name to those who are "shunting clouds". Bill Black of K&WVR passed away a few months ago. A man of his experience, intelligence and capability will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him. Pictures of military locos are quite rare on this forum. I have attached an image of a Defence Logistics Thomas Hill Vanguard - despite the modern look it is chain driven! David
  2. Hi Wally, I recall seeing one of the KA series minivans in the early eighties - in common with almost all admin vehicles at that time, it was painted black. It sticks in my mind since I was on a 20 Maritime Regt. Landing Craft at Loch Carnan jetty, Benbecula. Someone had been sent down from the Royal Artillery range to clear the seaweed off the concrete ramp. In those days we used chlorinated lime which came in a galvanised drum which had to be opened by cutting around the top seam with a cold chisel - really nasty stuff which the environmentalists banned years ago. Anyhow - this almost new minivan arrived, reversed to the top of the ramp where he took out the drum and opened it. He then proceeded to scatter the chlorinated lime powder onto the seaweed with a shovel. Shame he didn't check the wind direction since a lot of it was blown straight back over the minivan! I seen the same van some days later and the paintwork on the rear doors had almost gone and there was some fairly substantial rust patches all over the vehicle. The FL series minivans (I don't recall ever seeing one) would probably have been painted deep bronze green with green seats and upholstery. I drove a Mk. 1 Escort regularly in the seventies (58FL91) and this was DB green, as were contemporary admin vehicles such as Austin 1800's. Ours was replaced by a Chevettte which was black with black upholstery. If I recall correctly, this colour scheme was common through the Mk2 and 3 Escorts, Cavaliers etc. until replaced by what the MOD called "Sober Colours" - white, silver grey, dark green etc. the first I seen being with the introduction of the Mondeo and the Mk 4 Escort. Regards - David
  3. Taken from JSP 800 - Transport regulations (was previously JSP 341) VEHICLE DOCUMENTATION 44. Confirmation of Motor Liability Cover. In the UK drivers of MOD vehicles are not required by law to carry any insurance documentation. However, if a driver is requested by a police officer to produce proof of insurance, a Confirmation of Motor Liability Cover Letter can be printed (see Annex A). A DIN is also published annually containing the Confirmation of Motor Liability Cover Letter. Motor Transport Managers or other persons responsible for overseeing the vehicle fleet at a UK unit should hold at least one copy of the Confirmation of Motor Liability Cover Letter. The Letter is valid from 01 May to 30 April and must be renewed annually. 45. Associated Vehicle Documentation. All drivers are to carry the following documents listed in the table below when operating a MOD vehicle in the UK: a. Authority for the journey, Drivers Tasking Sheet (e.g. F/MT 1001/ATUD) or a hire agreement showing the unit/establishment name and the booking reference which provides budgetary authority for the journey. Vehicle recovery instructions. Road traffic accident reporting forms (F/MTs 3-2, 3-3) and Bump Card containing MOD’s dedicated First Notification of Loss (FNOL) road traffic accident collision line number.. A copy of standing orders for drivers. A copy of the vehicle handbook. An EU pattern licence (photo card/driving licence) with the category appropriate to the type of vehicle being driven. g. A Copy of the Confirmation of Motor Liability Cover (Annex A).2 - 1 - 2 - 12 JSP 800 Vol 5 Pt 2 (V5.2 – Apr17)
  4. Hi Bassets, Sorry your post seems to have been met with a deafening silence! The military did use Fergies - we had one which was used for moving drawbar trailers around the site. From memory, I think that ours - 00EX28 - was an MF20. I well remember driving it on the public road on a pissing wet day with only a pair of goggles swiped off the workshops bench grinder to keep the rain out of my eyes. 20 MPH flat out on the hand throttle - it bounced too much for me to keep my foot hard to the floor on the accelerator pedal! Interesting trip looking out for passing traffic with no rear view mirror whilst avoiding puddles - no front mudguards meant getting a facefull of dirty water. It was fitted with a slam hook on the front with a concrete block for added weight. If you lined it up with the drawbar, selected low ratio first, it moved so slowly you could hold up the drawbar and hook it on when the tractor lined up and still have time to jump onto the seat and put in the clutch before it stalled.
  5. Guys, To be honest I can't recall how the Navy managed their trailer fleet, but common sense would dictate that they would have some sort of easily usable fleet number stencilled on them somewhere. I know that the RAF used the same system as the Army (we borrowed 2 Crane Fruehauf 6 ton semi trailers from the RAF and they had their own permanent plates fitted, same as ours). Best of luck with looking at current practice - by there time I retired most of our vehicles wore civvy number plates since just about everything apart from fighting vehicles were leased in. Regards - David
  6. Hi Clive, During my career, the Navy and the Army used two entirely different conventions for displaying trailer numbers. Army trailers always had their own numbers and these were permanently displayed irrespective of the VRN of the towing vehicle. The Navy on the other hand always displayed the VRN of the towing equipment on the trailer. I well recall the confusion that this used to cause when I drove army trucks with trailers into Faslane naval base to use their POL point for fuel - younger, less experienced MOD Police often commented that I had a different number on the trailer from the prime mover. On several occasions this was only resolved by calling the duty sergeant who usually had wider experience. I drove Navy vehicles for a short time during the Falklands war and I was surprised how different the admin side was - we used a Work Ticket which was designed to last for a month and could be used by multiple drivers by signing in a box on the reverse side, whereas the Navy used a fresh Work Ticket every day or even several where there was more than one driver. Regards - David
  7. Chris, Thanks for posting these pictures. I drove this tractor (as well as its sister tractors 01HW87 and 01HW88) for over 5 years. On the one hand it is gratifying to note that after nearly 40 years it hasn't been scrapped, but on the other hand it is saddening to see the state that it now lies in - about the only thing recognisable is the identity plate and the grab rail around the roof of the cab! That lovely Perkins V8 engine looks particularly rough. I have looked out some more pictures of this tractor and the tractor that was evaluated during the trials. First picture is the bare 171 being delivered for testing on a DROPS rack. Second picture is the final development of the 171 before production began. The picture shows a much younger me sitting on the tractor at Mullach Mor, the second highest hill on St. Kilda - the brief required that the 171 should be able to do every task performed by the Scammell Explorer which it replaced. The Scammell was capable of hauling a drawbar trailer up to the radar station loaded with 10 tons of hardcore for construction work so the Muir Hill had to be shown to be capable of doing the same or better. Next picture shows a brand spanking new 01HW86 being delivered (01HW88 at the front of the low loader and 86 at the back). In those days all vehicles were delivered by the manufacturer to CVD Ashchurch for acceptance before dispatch to the unit. Compare this picture with yours and you can see how badly the tractor has had bits removed and deteriorated! The last picture shows 01HW86 working the Landing Craft as it was designed to do. Finally, there is a Youtube video showing 01HW87 working on St. Kilda. I am not very good with links - if you go into Youtube and type in "resupplying st kilda" the video will come up (I am sure that someone on this forum will do the honours and post the link). Regards - David
  8. Steve, There is not much of a view, most of the vehicle being underwater, but it looks a bit like a Fiat Allis. Regards - David
  9. Richard, You are correct of course (it's been a long time since I drove these vehicles!). The MK's didn't have the spring brakes. I also drove TK's and these did (though I don't think that I would have been brave enough to drive the MK out of the garage with only the handbrake functioning anyway). I recall the handbrake on the MK causing some problems on loading ramps - the brake drum was fitted to the propshaft but backlash in the axle would allow the vehicle to move back and forward a couple of inches. I remember one poor chap unloading pallets from an MK with a Hyster. He was attempting to drive on to the back of the MK, but when the front wheels hit the load bed the truck moved forward. The Hyster's wheels dropped into the gap between the tailgate and the ramp. We always used steel plates to bridge the gap after that! Regards - David
  10. Hi, They are easy enough to identify - stretched wheelbase, boughton winch and three air tanks behind the cab and a couple of brackets welded to the right hand side to hold a 90" straightbar. The wheels had cast iron weights fitted to the hubs and the tyres were water ballasted to give additional weight. If the brass identification plate is still fitted, the VRN's were 01HW86, 87 and 88. Weak points were the prop shaft which had a habit of bolts loosing off and the steering rams which were never quite up to the job of moving the heavily ballasted wheels. Regards - David
  11. Hi Robin, As far as I know, these were the only 171's which had the wheelbase lengthened. When we ordered certain parts (like a propshaft which broke) we had to quote from drawing numbers rather than the items in the parts book since they were different from the standard. On the debit side, the vehicle used in the trials had an aircon unit fitted to the roof of the cabin. The MOD, in typical miserable fashion, refused to pay for such "luxuries" when the driver could open the window at no cost! The trial vehicle also had the ability to slew under braking - the brake pedal was split in two and the driver could operate the left or right side brakes independently for a sharp turn. The longer wheelbase would have put too much stress on the chassis so the two halves of the pedal were welded together and we lost this capability. The island was St. Kilda - part of the R.A. Ranges Hebrides. Regards - David
  12. Hi Keith, I got involved in wading trials with MVEE - we originally did a comparison trial between a County Tractor and a Muir Hill 171 for use on the Landing Craft Logistics - decided that the County was too light and done full wading trials on the Muir Hill. It was the most fun that I ever had whilst actually getting paid for it! Attached images show the Muir Hill 171 on beach trials and the vehicle as it entered service (we purchased 3). In order to meet the requirements, Muir Hill had to lengthen the wheelbase to stop the annoying habit of the nose rearing up whilst shunting trailers onto the ship. Regards - David
  13. I regularly drove a Bedford MK in the early 80's. It had a "Modified 330" engine fitted (I never did find out what was modified about it, but that was always written on the AF G1045 when it went into workshops for repair). SOP's were that you shouldn't drive off before you had 80 PSI on the air gauge (tho the brakes released at 60 PSI). I always remember that in the time it took to build up the air, the garage always ended up full of blue smoke. Maybe they are all just like that and you have to live with it! Regards - David
  14. Jon, Your restoration work is outstanding and I am enjoying the pictures that you have posted. I was looking through my late father in law's photos - he served with the Royal Engineers in North Africa during WWII. The attached sequence of pictures shows the Sappers building a bridge over a wadi and the last picture looks like a test of their work. The lead vehicle looks like yours and the second vehicle is a bit bigger ( I have no doubt the with the expertise on this forum, somebody will identify it). Best Regards - David
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