Commercial Transport

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 98 - John Allen's AEC rides again.

7th June 2006

Related article: Inventories - AEC Regal Bus III - 1950

 

The Sandstone Heritage Trust's AEC made available to us by John Allen from Natal, now retired in the UK, is a stalwart we can all rely on. Any time, any day, whatever the weather. The bus is currently about to undergo a cosmetic upgrade which will ensure that all the finishing touches are completed to bring her into pristine condition.
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Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 110 - Sentinel S4 nearly ready to steam

15th June 2006

Sandstone Sentinel S4, which was acquired as a result of an agreement between the Sandstone Heritage Trust and the James Hall Museum of Transport in Johannesburg is now nearly complete. It was acquired 6 years ago and went into the steam restoration queue. The job was allocated to Keith Stevens, a stalwart supporter of ours who has done much good work on traction engines, locomotives and other items. This was a tricky job.

This steam truck had not run for nearly 50 years and required an immense amount of ingenuity and engineering skill. Keith's great asset is that he is able to tackle boiler work, woodwork, chassis work - in fact everything that has
to be done.

As the pictures clearly show this long labour of love, which has taken nearly two years, is nearly complete.
The Sandstone Heritage Trust has been fortunate in receiving a lot of support from the Sentinel Drivers Club in the UK and in particular from George Timcke (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) who has been invaluable in assisting us in acquiring parts and in providing in-depth technical support information.

George has offered to come down to South Africa to run a driver's course for the S4. Tentative plans are in place for this steam truck to drive under its own steam from Howick in Natal to the Sandstone Heritage Trust in the
Eastern Free State, a distance of some 350-kms.

As always the pictures tell the story...

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Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 113 - Veteran Kenworth goes for restoration

24th July 2006

A mid 1950's W series KENWORTH truck has been relocated to JAN FOUCHE and Sons Commercial vehicle restoration facility in Lichtenburg in the Western Transvaal ,some 500kms from Sandstone Estates for a complete rebuild.

This venerable old truck worked its heart out hauling freight for Albert Brink Transport of Cape Town on the long and dusty 1000 mile (1600km) trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg and back.It was located in a wonderful retirement home for old trucks near Bloemfontein run by Zach and Yvonne Van Staden.Zach will only allow his senior commercial trucking citizens to go to exceptionally good homes and SANDSTONE is justifiably proud to be selected to assist this old girl to get back on the road.She will be joined by our rugged working Ausralian 1990 KENWORTH T900 which has been hauling old machines since she arrived brand new from Melbourne in 1991.

We will publish regular reports on the restoration.
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Francois Fouche with the 1950's W series KENWORTH truck
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Our 1990 KENWORTH T900 - "Grunter"

Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 123 - 1939 Scammell Dump Truck

13th August 2006

With the sale of our modern Bell dump truck at Sandstone Estates we have reverted to using vintage and classic items. The workhorse on the farm at present is our 1939 Scammell Dump Truck. This 20-ton dumper fitted with a Leyland 680 engine does a highly competent job and produces a daily output, not much lower than a modern machine of similar specifications.
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Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 125 - Sentinal S4 steams its way into the history books!

18th August 2006

Over the weekend brothers Shaun and Pat Ackerman steamed our S4 off the lowbed and in to the local town of Ficksburg. They had this to say about the restoration of the two latest 2ft narrow gauge locomotives and the
S4.

Both Pat and I had the honour this weekend to steam and operate the Feldbahn and Peckett locomotives and the Sentinal Steam Truck as you are aware. Well, what a one in a lifetime experience we had and I say this because if you think about it it is an honour to steam and drive such unique steam locomotives which we have such a passion for and we all know that not many people get such an oppertunity especially youngsters
like us. In the steam industry throughout the world as you are no-doubt aware it would usually be "grumpy old men" doing the honours. No offence to older men though!

Again an exellent restoration and a round of applause to Lukas Nel and Keith Stevens who deserve oscars for steam preservation in SA along and for saving them in the first place.

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Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 130 - Sandstone Heritage Trust joins Afroid Trans-Africa Classic Car Safari

31 August 2006

Roger Pearce, well known for his exploits with MG's on the African continent (Roger drove all the way to the UK in an MGB recently), has organised a fascinating classic car rally which takes the participants from Johannesburg all the way to the Equator.

The Sandstone Heritage Trust's contribution will be to drive a Ford F100 Series American V8 truck dating back to 1950. In many ways these early Ford trucks are icons in their own right. They conjure up visions of
Route 66 and the good old days in the United States. They have very strong associations with farming and therefore we thought that it would be appropriate to select this vehicle from the Sandstone Heritage Trust's Commercial Vehicle line-up. The Sandstone Heritage Trust exists as a result of the dynamics of Sandstone Estates' arable farming operations and our various commercial vehicles form the lifeblood of that operation.
Obviously trucks like the F100 have been in retirement for some years but an event like Afriod provides an opportunity for these trucks to be sorted out and put back on the road.

For those who are technically minded here is a brief summary of the vehicle. It is a V8 powered Ford fitted with the last of the 3-speed gearboxes which were phased out in late 1950. In all other respects it is a standard right-hand-drive truck which would have been assembled by the Ford Motor Company in Port Elizabeth from CKD kits imported from the United States. Its condition was thought to be reasonable but inevitably upon further investigation a whole host of problems were revealed. Chris Wilson, who is well known as a vintage tractor specialist, took the project on hand last year and brought the truck up to its current standard. It had never been licensed and Chris went through the tedious process of completing the formalities to get this truck registered in the Free State.

The upgrade was significant in the sense that the entire gearbox was removed and stripped, and most of the gears were remade to specification. However, when the trials commenced there was a disintegration of a number of gears and it was revealed that they had been over hardened by the gear specialists and effectively shattered like glass. Because of the short time available to repair the gear box again we searched the Internet and were astonished to find that we could obtain gears, shafts, bearings and gaskets ex stock in California. Through excellent support from our friends in the United States these parts arrived a little over a week
after they were ordered and the gearbox was duly commissioned with new components. This was all arranged by EMGEE Garage in Randburg, who did an amazing job of stripping and rebuilding the gearbox in 24 hours!

There is a lesson here for South African preservationists - do not make something that you can order new from a specialist supplier somewhere around the world. The sheer level of sophistication of the classic car parts industry is something that needs to be taken into account.

The full Afriod programme is attached. We will attempt to update this web item from time-to-time giving details of the trip, where we have been, and how we are getting on. The drivers are Wilfred Mole from the Sandstone Heritage Trust and his daughter Tamara who lives in the UK. Tamara is an excellent driver and has plenty of experience driving various vehicles in various parts of the world and she relishes the opportunity to drive a truck that is nearly twice her age. In Wilf's case he was 6-years old when this truck was manufactured. It is the oldest vehicle in the line-up and inevitably this will attract some attention. The event concludes at a Classic Car Concourse to Elegance event in Nairobi.

For those who love this type of vehicle, there is no doubt that our old Ford has its own special type of elegance. She speaks to you in many different ways. Arm out of the window on the open road, the best of American automotive industry which probably peaked in the 1950's and the 1960's comes to mind.

The low revving, high torque, leisurely way in which their power plants worked is always a joy to have in front, and of course in an age where there is a permanent energy crisis it is wonderfully nostalgic to be able to put that aside and to watch one's travellers cheques vanish into thin air. Is there value in that? You bet.

Father and daughter team, Wilfred and Tamara Mole are gearing up for what will no doubt be a trip of a lifetime. It's not often the case that one can make that claim these days, but in this instance I think it if fair. A road trip from Johannesburg to the Equator! Wilf will be leading with Tamara taking up the role of co-pilot as they set off in this old Truck.

THE SCHEDULE:

The trip will take 3 weeks, cross 5352 km and four countries. The adventure commences on Saturday 9 September 2006 at 7am. Day one will take us straight from Johannesburg to Francistown in Botswana. By day two, we will have already reached Livingstone in Zambia. Four night stops later, and an average of 500 kms/day all vehicles will cross into Tanzania via Mpika. By day eight, we hope to abandon the vehicles (and our laundry) to take flights across to the colourful Zanzibar where we will be resting for two nights, and also enjoying a beach party or two! When back on the main land, we continue our journey north and on day eleven views of Kilimanjaro will befall us. Having passed through the Ngorongoro Conservancy area, on day fourteen we will enter into Kenya where two bustling days in Nairobi are scheduled. A number of the vehicles will be attending the Concour. By day seventeen we will be ready for the final push - to make it to the Equator, overlooking Mt. Kenya, our final destination.

So, all that is left to do, is finish our packing and make it to the start line!

We'll let you know how we get on!

>>>View the African Odyssey Daily Itinerary

>>> View the African Odyssey Entrant List

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Above: Our Ford F-150
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Above: The certified registration document
The Numberplate!
Below: Extracts from the book - "Classic Ford F-Series Pick-up trucks. 1948 - 1956" - Written by Don Bunn aand published by MBI Publishing Company - © Don Bunn - 1998
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Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 135 - Progress Report - Kenworth Truck - by Jan Fouche

7th September 2006

Jan and his team have completed the repairs on the cab, and are now busy with the bonnet. The bonnet is made out of aluminium and some of the pieces are missing, so some welding is needed. The radiator has been repaired and cleaned and now the grill and headlights are being repaired and de-rusted. Oil leaks to the differentials are also being attended to. Two of the brake boosters are beyond repair, but replacements will be picked up in Johannesburg next week while fetching the re-chromed parts.
 
Below - The Kenworth before resorations began.
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Below - At Jan Fouche's workshops
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Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 143 - John Allen's AEC bus has been repainted in standard Sandstone Heritage Trust colours

5th October 2006

One of the items held in much affection by employees and visitors to the Sandstone Heritage Trust is our AEC Regal Bus III - 1950.

Here she is in her new colour scheme.

View her history here>>>

 
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Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 147 - Model Field Marshall dating back to 1947

19th October 2006

Most low beds have hydraulic winches fitted. They are expensive and theyrequire that the mechanical horse have hydraulics fitted. Sandstone Estates has a much better idea. We carry a single cylinder Series II contractors model Field Marshall dating back to 1947. Not only does this tractor have a very powerful winch fitted to it but it can move around, leave the vehicle, tow the item that needs to be loaded into position, then climb back on the truck and winch the item on.

This is all for a few litres of diesel. Field Marshall tractors are amongst the most charismatic of all vintage tractors ever made. They are powerful, they are reliable, and in the case of the contractors version particularly immensely flexible. The photograph shows our Field Marshall perched on top of a low bed where it spends a good bit of its time.
 
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Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 149 - Sandstone has acquired a wonderful old 1955 AEC Lorry

27th October 2006

The Sandstone Heritage Trust has acquired from Colin Healey, a well known preservationist and master steam roller driver, restorer and collector, nothing less than a wonderful old 1955 AEC Lorry.
This solid old beast is in perfect working condition and will be (surprise, surprise) put to use for both Sandstone Estates and the Sandstone Heritage Trust in a haulage role.

Many of the loads that we collect are far too small for our big tri-axle low beds, and we have up to now had nothing which could be deployed to move smaller loads. Its first job will be to accompany the newly restored Sentinel S4 steam truck on a long road run where it will provide back-up in the form of fuel etc.
Strangely enough the Sentinel is quicker than the AEC so we will have to stop on the side of the road occasionally to let the old AEC catch up.

This is another example of living preservation. Why bring a modern back-up vehicle when you can bring something that is nearly as old as the Sentinel itself.

The following information has been kindly supplied by Colin Healey.

Thanks Colin, you are a star.
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