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Scammell Explorer Gallery

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When I was on a REME inspection team these vehicles were always listed as Scammell Constructor.


With greatest respect to your memory but they were Constructor in cab / front wings only, easily mistaken at first glance


I didn't think they were ever (to my knowledge correct me if I'm wrong) issued to REME in UK, as they where special order Explorers for NZ army and listed as such in sales records, only a very few where made.

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I received this email via my website a while ago,

can any one help, is this vehicle still around?



i like the site,

i thought you might like this pic of one of our workshop vehicles

which was in use in the fifties when i was on operation grapple on

Xmas's island i am the one on the left,

we closed down and put some of our vehicles on pontoons to be hoisted

aboard a boat to bring them back to uk.


john powell ( EX R.E.M.E.)


hello again

i should have asked you if this vehicle i sent a pic of could still be around?


john powell

(ex no 2 spec.eng. w/shop r.e.m.e. Christmas island)"




I am a bit late to the party on this one, but to answer John Powell's question, 92BD03 did not survive beyond the late seventies. The first picture that I have added is 92BD03 as we received her around 1974-75 - photographed at Rhu Hangars sitting on the jetty. She came in a rather fetching camouflage paint job and replaced a Mk1 Explorer which was cast as BER (Beyond Economic Repair). At the time, all we did was to remove her previous unit markings and apply the RCT and HQ Army Scotland markings front & rear The second is a photograph taken from the driving seat looking on to the end of the jetty at an LCT which was being loaded by another Explorer (93BD11). Third picture is 92BD03 sitting on the tank deck of the LCT Audemer at South Ford Benbecula, having unloaded munitions for the RA Ranges Hebrides. Fourth picture shows her sitting on the beach with the tide out. By this time she is painted Deep Bronze Green. During the PRE (Periodic REME Inspection) the inspector noted that she was painted the wrong colour - UK non combat roled vehicles were to be painted DBG. Half a dozen of us set to with the paintbrushes and the camouflage colour scheme was gone!


Regards - David (Part 2 to follow)





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92BD03 served us well through the mid seventies both on board LCT's and on road work. First picture shows her pulling a 10 ton TASKER drawbar trailer, carrying a BRAY Rough Terrain Fork Lift Truck on her way to 26 Command Workshops Stirling for repair. Second picture is a Michigan D175 on a low loader on a similar job.


In the late seventies disaster struck - she busted her back axle. Loading and unloading LCT's on St.Kilda in bad weather done for her. In good weather we had a nice sandy beach to work with and we could wait till the tide left the ship high and dry. In bad weather, particularly after a winter storm, the sand could be stripped off the beach and we were wading in two and a half feet of water (any deeper and the cooling fan threw seawater all over the engine, usually shorting out the spark plugs on the front two cylinders). Clambering over rocks pulling heavy trailers with the wheels banging and clattering while seawater was getting into the back axle was never going to do her any good. After returning to Rhu, we put her over the pit and drained the oils - the OC600 in the back axle came out looking like a stiff cappuccino, plopping bearing rollers which had smashed the phosphor bronze crownwheel. We lost a few Scammells due to the same problem. I only ever seen one differential being replaced. At that time Scammells were in plentiful supply and a busted axle usually meant doom.


Regards - David



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92BD03 was sent to workshops but was declared Beyond Economic Repair. Scammells that had been Cast on age or surplus to requirements were usually sold whereas "terminally ill" examples were usually cannibalised for spares. The next time I seen her was when one of our other Scammells developed propshaft problems - worn U/J's. I went to workshops with a civvy fitter and his mate with a chitty to take a prop shaft off her. As can be seen from the attached pictures, she was in a poor state. The spare wheel had gone, along with some of the glass. The bonnet was lying on the ground in front of her and her radiator and oil cooler were both gone. Over the following months she was stripped mercilessly till there was little left but the chassis and engine block and eventually the remains were sold as scrap. A sad end to fine vehicle - I was sorry to see her go.


Regards - David





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I was looking through the photographs in this thread and I thought that I recognised the Scammell on page 109 (message 423) which was 92BD80. Looking through my photographs however, I realised that the Scammell that I had been thinking of was 93BD80 not 92BD80 - photograph attached with a FOX on suspended tow. We only had this Explorer briefly. In our line of business - loading landing craft by shunting trailers on to the tank deck - a Scammell's worth was measured by the frugality with which the steering used air at low engine speeds. 93BD80 could empty the air tank faster than a tramp could empty a meths bottle! Result was that every few minutes we had to ram open the hand throttle and build up the air - no good at all when we were pushed for time between tides. The vehicle was sent to Workshops for repair (we suspected a combination of a worn compressor and a faulty steering assist assembly - there were no obvious leaks) but we never seen it again and we were issued with a replacement.


Regards - David


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Hi David, Thanks for posting those, you probably know but you can always spot an ex RAF one by the vacuum tank next to the O/S rear wheels.




Thanks Mike - but we had an easier clue than that. When we got her she was still painted RAF Blue/Grey! We had to cover it up with a coat of NATO IRR Green which was the regulation colour at the time. It was probably one of the best Explorers that I have ever driven - the RAF had fitted a nice heater with a blower motor to the bulkhead in front of the gear-lever and a pair of spot lamps at the front. The engine was good too - it was a strong low loader puller - it had probably had an easy time with the RAF, Army Explorers tended to have had a hard life.


Regards - David

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