Came across a photo (page17) in July/Aug edition of Vintage truck of a Scammell Contractor, reading the accompanying script, this particular one served in Vietnam 1969/70, rated 240 ton.
I don't remember them that much, so wouldn't know how many made the trip. Obviously they would have been the main transport for the Centurions, would be a register kept by someone or some Govt dept somewhere or other. I remember more the Kaisers and Macks.
What caught my eye was the info given, 335 Crummins, 5speed Allison. 48000lb Leyland diffs.
Back over here after that period, had a bit to do with the Department of Supply, who used to have a similar set up Scammell, along with plenty of Leyland Hippo's and Commer rigids with dogs, before updating later years to KW before folding up (called outsourcing these days).
They (Dept of Supply) had the job of transporting the Army D8H's around, in the Holsworthy area at least, don't know about other states(side loading Drake floats) as they were the only ones available at the time. Smaller gear (TD15B and Cat D6C's were usually loads for the Hippos).
I am willing to be corrected on this (after all it was over 50 years ago), but something makes me think that the Supply mobs Scammells were running different components to the Army's, or at least the one in the article. Leyland OR AEC engines? Wilson pre-select boxes? Kirkstall diffs?
Couple of things on that photo seem to be at odds also (or more likely I am losing it completely!). The pre-cleaner/main air cleaner stuck out on the front R/H mudguard, likewise the vertical stack looks like poking up through the bonnet a-la Army Diamond Reos. Supply Scammells had them running up the back of the cab, from memory.Possibly this had something also to do with the huge winches stuck across the chassis directly behind the cab
Tank transport Scammells would most likely have been phased out when International won the contract for supplying heavy gear, those intergrated S-Line models?
An era that , unless some erergency developed, is unlikely to be repeated.
I've just about lost track of it these days, couldn't even tell you just when the Supply Dept shut down. Was doing interstate when they (Supply) were running KW cabovers and had at least one Cruise Liner Mack, painted white, but may have been Macks trying to get a foot in the door. At the time they had the huge contract for supplying the army with the R models, something like 900 over the term.
All of this would be documented somewhere or other, or more likely it will stir some contributors memories even if only to correct me.
Which brings me to one last question, when the big reshuffle of the Armed services occurred after Vietnam wound up, the Air Force used to have their own Airstip Construction Squadron. Around the mid seventies, the Army Engineers Corps was tasked with any future Armed Service building of strips and a mate of mine who stayed in the services, was one of the many who went to Lord Howe Island (albeit a commercial airstrip, to replace the flying boats??)
I was testing his memory many years later, he told me that the Air Force used to have some big gear in their own construction unit. Cat D9G dozers etc, but couldn't recall how they used to shift their gear around. I suggested Supply Dept, he reckons the only big float he could remember was some "big-assed Left Hand Drive Yank unit". Have never been able to find out any more than that. Seen references from time to time on here about a link to a register of Army vehicles, would that also include other branches of the services?? Some of our well known historians may be able to throw a bit of light??
Bernie Tobin (Followmont Transport) who lives next door to me has restored an ex-Air Force Autocar - no expense spared and is just about to finish the second. They are done as prime movers and look wonderful. I will wander over for some photos.
When I said it was the Army Diamond Reo’s that may have had the stack up through the bonnet, on reflection it was the Air Forces Autocars. Last time I went to the Pt Cook museum still had one there. Getting old and senile!
I think it was about 1980 when the federal transport dept came to an agreement with the army to respect state load limits.........this on the principle that federal legislation always overrides state............The army Scammels were 335 Cummins,no cooler,fluid flywheel and self changing gear (8Sp),and a Leyland hub reduction back end ...IMHO ,the centres were the same as Hippo,but the reduction hubs were one size bigger....These trucks had a lot of breakdowns in service......most to do with leaving something in a paddock for 12 months,then firing it up and revving the guts out of it......Lots of rear end failures,due to mudwasps blocking breather tubes and causing seal blowouts......unheard of in the Hippos.,which didnt have fancy fording breathers....A lot of the transmission failures were caused by the army drivers driving off as soon as the brake pressure was high enough ,the SCG needing much higher pressure to avoid band slippage and burnout.
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I read that Scammell story too Dave, quite a few printing errors so hard to know its exact specs.
The photo was front quarter and I thought we still should have seen the end of the reduction hubs, but nothing seen.
If they were heavy Hippo diffs, I'd suggest they would be 8.75 ratio, what we termed 38mph diffs.
The heavy reduction hubs had wider gear face by about 38mm making the whole hub protrude more than the conventional reduction hub.
Was very obvious on a road spec Hippo/low loader setup, you almost tripped over the hubs.
That truck is also on 1200 or 1400 tyres which might cover the hub.
Dept of Supply also ran LAD Beavers and two stroke Commers from Brisbane up the East coast, both had close bogie trailers. Beaver had a few stops to allow the Commer to catch up so we'd have a chat, thought they were massive trucks back then.
Its hard to anything forsure about Leyland axles,because there were a number of spacers used to adjust track and overall width for various markets.......the spacer obviously varied how much the hub stuck out beyond the rim.......i bought numerous bits and pieces of the Scammels as they came thru the sales.............and I can say one thing for sure......everyone had the crank replaced .........the early tapernose cranks were certain to crack on the front taper,as anyone ever owned a truck with a 335 will tell you.