I think I will stay out of this. At least it is in a shed. You may well be right about not seeing it trundling along at a show in our lifetime.
I have had 3 boats with Gardiner engines and am absolutely in love with them as marine engines but as for powering vehicles I think they should have stopped at double-decker busses dawdling along an English country lane.
Thanks for the wheel steps they should fill the bill nicely.
HI THERE LANG
LIKE TO HEAR SOME INFO ON R.HARTRIDGE,SOUNDS LIKE YOUR THE BLOKE TO ASK,I HAV BOUGHT A 1976 K125CR THAT R.HARTRIDGE BOUGHT NEW.DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY THEY HAD,I GOT A PHOTO IN IT THERE IS THREE,ANY INFO WOULD GREAT. CHEERS
I remember the day the first Kenworth arrived at Hartridges in Footscray in Melbourne. How the boys gathered around looking at this wonder of modern trucking.
They had a fleet of AEC's and I think a couple of Leyland Comets/Mustangs (but most of the fleet were mixed truck subbies). I remember the Kenworth was entrusted to a big fellow called Horse? or something like that. I had previously seen him driving a green B Model Mack but I was pretty sure he was a company driver - don't know where the Mack fitted in.
Must have been 1966.
Remember how I was conned by one of those Hartridge company drivers just after I started driving interstate. We were travelling in company from Sydney to Melbourne and stopped for breakfast just out of Benalla. The other drivers there told us the weigh bridge was open but I did not worry as I had a light load of washing machines.
The Hartridge man suggested we swap trucks for the run in to Melbourne just for variety. Me being a green and wet-behind-the-ears 18 year old thought it would be fun to drive an old AEC and had no worries about giving my truck to a geriatric 40 year old bloke with 20 years experience.
Of course he was way over load and I was fined the equivilent of my entire payment for the Sydney Melbourne trip. I complained to the ops manager about it and the upshot was Hartridges paid my fine and in the "discussions" the ops manager had with their driver he found himself working elsewhere.
I found out during my time as a Hartridge subby that they would often try the system on with heavy loads, top loads when their contracts stated no top loads etc and occasionally they would be caught out.
But every time something happened as a result of their deliberate dodgy loading they stuck by the drivers, be they company or subbie and almost always saw that they did not finish out of pocket. Of course this was in the days before points on licences - would not work now!
They had top depot agents in most places except Perth (a lazy useless b...d) who really busted a gut to turn you around as quick as possible.
As a know-nothing rookie they nurtured and protected me while I learned, all the way from Ron Hartridge himself down to the boys on the loading dock. I have nothing but praise for them but I suppose blokes like the driver who was fired over my overload incident might speak differently about them.
Ron Hartridge eventually sold out to F.H. Stephens who in turn were swallowed up by Brambles, I think.
I know what you mean about a crane. I am lucky because I have the F86 Volvo (picture above). Was able to lift an old Foden completely on to the tray but when I get some cash I will put a beaver tail and hydraulic ramps on the back to have the perfect hobby truck.
I see where Tolls have just bought Mitchells for $110M. Another good old West Aussie family name gone.
I can recall when Mitchells just had a single Golden Fleece agency with a couple of trucks. Tolls sure seem to be bent on owning the world.