Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Trafalgar Truck Restorers Club visit

On behalf of the Trafalgar Truck Restorers Club, we hosted a shed visit for the Bass Coast Community Health Centre's Men on the Move Group. We had our two trucks on display, plus some other Club members. We had a BBQ lunch and a bit of a chat and all up it was a great day and the weather was perfect.

This is a 1962 AB International, restored as a log jinker, by John Denholm. John is the President of the Trafalgar Truck Restorers Club.

A 1946 Maple Leaf, owned by Stan Hamilton.
It was originally owned by the Jeremiah family of Pakenham South.

A 1947 DD4 Dodge, owned by John Fowler.

John and Bev Ferguson's 1948 KB3 International.

The 1957 REO Gold Comet is owned by Tony & Glenys Hackett, next to it is a 1976 TK Bedford. This is owned by Graeme and Judy Johnston.

Bill Shelton's 1935 Dodge Brothers.

This is our Volvo with the 1976 Freighter trailer, which we purchased in December 2006. It is an ex- Commonwealth Department of Supply trailer, which we are currently restoring.

Wayne Henry's CD1840 International, with three David Brown tractors -a 1954 30D, a 950 and a 990.

That's our 1974 1418 Benz and next to it is John Gramlick's 1970 2500 Commer van.
John has had this Commer since new.

Calvin Coghlan's 1958 Morris Major.

This is a 1927 Chev, in an unrestored condition, owned by Norman & Dianne Nettleton. Also on the trailer is an old Malvern Star bicycle.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

American Iron Heritage Truck Display 2009

The American Truck Historical Society held their American Iron Heritage Truck Display in Echuca over the weekend. Naturally we didn't take the Volvo or the Benz, but we did go along and have a look. We were only there on the Saturday morning, and there was a good line-up of trucks then and even more trucks apparently arrived during the afternoon.

This is a Brockway, imported from the United States, and owned by Ed Eminson of Dubbo. It is magnificent.

A Chevrolet in untouched condition, and below is a Diamond T, also in a non-restored condition.

Another Diamond T, it is a great looking truck.
Above and below - Diamond Reos. The one, above, is owned by Joe Zammit. The maroon truck is now owned by Rod Calleja, but was previously restored and owned by Fred Love.

Max Devlin's 1928 Dodge. A familiar sight to anyone who attends Victorian truck shows.
A line-up of Dodges.

A Ford in unrestored condition.

Two Ford Louisvilles.

An International Transtar and an Acco 'Butterbox'

S-line International.

More Internationals - a 180, an AB and a C-line.

Various Kenworths.

Rod Calleja's B-model Mack.

A Mack line-up.

Ian Lee's B-model Mack, with a V8.

Two Mack Superliners.

When we were there on the Saturday morning there was only one Peterbilt displayed (shown above) and one White (shown below).

Wheatlands Museum, Warracknabeal

If you have an interest in agricultural machinery, then the Wheatlands Museum is well worth a visit. Lots of old tractors, carts and drays, stationary engines, and harvestors, threshers, winnowers and other machines used in the wheat fields. There are also three large storage sheds housing heaps of other equipment, which there is no room to display publicly, however all these exhibits are out and running during the annual Easter Rally (2010 rally is to be held from Saturday April 3 to Monday April 5). The Museum has a few trucks in their collection, most of them not on public display, and we were lucky enough to be shown through the storage sheds and take a few photographs. The Blitz was the only truck on public display.

This is an incomplete Albion.

This Ex-Army Ford Blitz was used at the Werribee Tractor testing Station until the late 1960s. The Blitz is connected to a grader and was used to test the horse-power of tractors.

1938 Mapleleaf. The name on the door is E.A & D.M Holmes from Bangerang. Bangerang was once a thriving town, but now consists of a monument to the early pioneers and a few signs indicating the location of the old School, old Churches, the old Hotel.

This is an old Vulcan truck.

Two views of a 1920s Chevrolet. The front of the truck is partly obscured by the tray of another truck. It is an all wooden cab and tray, in great condition.

The Museum runs the Wheatlands Warehouse to rise funds. This is in the old Holden dealers in the town and has heaps of second hand stuff - crockery, books, collectables, furniture, stuff for blokes such as car parts etc. You could spend hours rummaging around .

Commer Superpoise

We were up in Avoca last week and we saw this treasure in a timber yard. It is a Commer Superpoise, fully loaded with logs, though it appears it hasn't moved for quite a while.The Superpoise range was introduced in 1939 and had semi-forward and full-forward control options. They were 1½ to 6 tons with either a 6 cylinder petrol or Perkins diesel engine. A new Superpoise range was introduced in 1955 with 2 ton to 5 ton payloads. I don't know what year this truck is, however the grill appears to come from a Caterpillar Bulldozer. Avoca is a lovely town, well worth a visit.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Foden Trucks

Foden Steam Truck, taken at the Scoresby Steamfest Rally in 2007. The Steamfest Rally, held by the Melbourne Steam Traction Engine Club, is held over the Labour Day Weeked, every year, at the National Steam Centre in Scoresby.

Edwin Foden was born in 1841 in Sandbach, Cheshire and, when he was 15, became an apprentice to Platt & Hancock, an Engineering firm, who made agricultural machinery and steam engines. Edwin completed his apprenticeship, and then became a foreman of the Company and later a partner. The Company later became Hancock & Foden and in the 1870s Edwin Foden took charge. Edwin Foden patented a Compound engine which was displayed at the Royal Agricultural Society Show of 1887. In the same year, a new Company was formed called Edwin Foden & Sons. The Company continued to produce traction engines, threshing machines and steam engines and in the late 1890s Edwin Foden began to develop a steam wagon and built four different prototypes. The most satisfactory one had the engine mounted horizontally, so that it only took up half the total length and thus the drive chain from the countershaft to the rear axle needed to be longer and heavier. In 1901 the War Office had a competition for the best powered steam vehicle for military use. A series of tests were carried out in the three ton trucks, with a £500 first prize. The vehicles were required to haul a load of three tons and a trailer of two tons over four different routes covering a total of 257 miles. A Thornycroft won the competition and the Foden was second. This Foden truck formed the basis of Foden design for the next twenty years.

Warwick Bryce's 1955 FG Foden with an 8 litre Gardner. This was taken at the Baw Baw Old Engine and Auto Club's Old Wares Expo at Lardner Park in October 2006. On the back of the truck is a V12 Rolls Royce Meteor engine.

In 1902, the Company changed their name to Fodens Limited and in 1911 Edwin Foden died and the Company was run by his two sons, William and Edwin Richard. Edwin Richard Foden left the Company in 1930 and established the ERF Company (after his initials Edwin Richard Foden). Fodens Limited supplied the War Office with steam wagons and traction engines during the First World War, and in 1929 began the change from steam to diesel. The first diesel engine truck was sold in 1931 and had a Gardner 6L2 engine, with a four speed gear box, and was rated for six tons.

A 1954 FG model Foden, taken at the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club Display Day at Sandown in 2007. It is owned by Terry Burrows.

More trucks followed of various capacities up to 15½ tons and during the Second World War, Foden supplied the War Office with 1,750 trucks as well as tanks and shells. Foden was the first to produce a dump truck in Britain, used by the Steel Company of Wales. The dump truck was based on the existing 12 ton, six wheeler model, but reinforced for heavy duty off-road use. Dump trucks then became a standard part of the Foden range. In 1958, Foden produced their own diesel engine, which produced 126 hp from 4.09 litres. The Foden engine was in production until 1977.

A 1955 FG model Foden, taken at the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club Display Day at Sandown in 2007. This is owned by Neil Roberts.

The Company’s connection with the Military continued when they won a contract to supply high mobility military trucks to NATO in 1973, this contract was worth £10 million. The Company went into receivership in 1979 and were taken over by PACCAR. PACCAR retained the name, though rationalised the range of trucks built. Foden lasted until 2006, 150 years after Edwin Foden began his apprenticeship at Platt & Hancock.

A 1961 Foden tipper, owned by Frank Latorre, taken at the 2008 Alexandra Truck Show.

Sources : This information comes from
Commercial Vehicles in Great Britain by Les Geary and the Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles by G.N. Georgano.

Two great books

I own a large collection of books, including lots of books I have bought from second hand shops. I came across two recently which I will be using time and again. The first one is Commercial Vehicles in Great Britain by Les Geary, published by Transport Bookman Publications Limited in 1979 and has 182 pages. Les covers British firms from A.E.C Limited to the Yorkshire Patent Steam Waggon Company and every company has a history and some photographs.

The other book I purchased is the Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles by G.N Georgano. Published by Krause Publications, also in 1979. It has 704 pages and over 1900 photographs and is an alphabetical look at 'every commercial vehicle offered for sale throughout the world from the 19th century until 1978'. It has a great index as well, the joy of any Librarian's life.