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Reeds Corrugated Cases, Goose Green   Views: 949
Double Bottom Outfit   Comments: 9
Photo: Ray Smyth   Item #: 30184  
Double Bottom Outfit
  I apologise for the picture quality. It is 1976
and this was an operation to assess advantages
and disadvantages of an artic unit coupled to
2 trailers instead of one. At that time it was
illegal to pull more than 1 trailer, so special
authorisation was granted by the Ministry Of Transport, Department of the Environment, Police
and probably Health & Safety Executive.
Reed Transport at Wigan and Aylesford in Kent were chosen to operate the Volvo & 2 Trailers.
These pictures will be of particular interest to Bill Parr, long time HGV driver with Reeds,
and Ozymandias, also HGV driver, both of whom
have given me information about the operation.
Pictures from "Commercial Motor. Ray Smyth.

 [<< Back] 9 user comment(s) below:-  [Leave a comment]

Comments by bill parr, 4th February 2018  bill.parr@blueyonder.co.uki 
Well Ray you really do pull out all the stops with your info (well done again)
bill Parr

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 4th February 2018  
I could quite well be mistaken here Ray, but I've seen these photographs before, and it seems to me that the bottom shot shows the rig turning into RCC at Goose Green, wheras the centre shot would appear to have been taken on the roundabout at Landgate. The dirtrook in the distance being one of the " three sisters ". At this particular time in the late 70's, Garswood Hall colliery was undergoing a process of reclamation and restoration. What are your thoughts?. With regard to to the top photo, I don't have a clue.

Regards. Ozy.

Comments by g p, 6th February 2018  
ray,did'nt a firm called Denby try to get two trailer operation going,what is the lenth of the two trailers in the picture,is the volvo a f88 or a f89.

Comments by Ray Smyth, 6th February 2018  
Hi g p...The Volvo was an F88, 290HP, and the trailers were
23ft long. I remember Denby Transport, a large fleet of red lorries, but I don't know if they ever got involved with a
double trailer operation. I used to see large numbers of their trailers at Ouistreham (Caen) ferryport in Normandie,
when I was waiting for Brittany Ferries sailing back to Portsmouth. A lot of their trailers were carried on the ferry to and from Portsmouth unaccompanied.

Comments by Philip Gormley., 6th February 2018  
Ray: I took the 352 St Helens to Billinge this morning, which gave me the opportunity to ask a friend for the name of the driver whose BRS trailer could sometimes be seen parked at the top of Holt Avenue, Billinge, during the 50's/60's.
No joy on that, I'm afraid, despite me giving him a good description of the driver, but he did surprise me when he mentioned that the BRS 'depot' had been situated at the top of Oxhouse Road, Orrell.
I must have passed the place hundreds of times on my way to and from school, without realising it was there.
No doubt you, and of course Ozy, will have been aware of that depot, during your time as a driver. Just a 'jangle'. Thanks.

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 6th February 2018  
Dick Denby ran trials involving a double bottom rig as far back as 2004. So too did an operator from Stafford by the name of Stan Robinson. They both pulled maximum length tri-axle trailers, the only difference being that Denby's outfit had a fifth wheel mounted over the axles of the leading trailer in order to couple with the second trailer, wheras Robinson's setup consisted of two standard, off the shelf trailers, the second one being coupled to a fifth wheel mounted on a tandem axled dolly which in turn was connected to the leading trailer, making Robinson's outfit slightly longer, and heavier no doubt, than Denby's. The idea was to operate them on selected inter-depot routes at specific times. Substantial savings in fuel, wages, and a reduction in the number of trips required were quoted, but for reasons too numerous to mention here, the concept was rejected by the powers that be. Ray, if you haven't already seen it, there are a couple of interesting articles on the subject on TNUK.

Comments by Ray Smyth, 6th February 2018  
Thanks Ozy for the info on Denby and Stan Robinson Double Bottom attempts, I was totally unaware. Regarding the location of the top picture, I don't know, but I think it
may be at the very start of the operation, when the outfit
was about to leave Odhams Press in Watford. Have a look at
the split pictures that DEANB posted on the "Paul Gee" page
on TNUK recently. Best Regards, Ray.

Comments by . Ozymandias ., 7th February 2018  
Having taken a look at Dean's extract from the Commercial Motor Ray, I'm obliged to admit that I was wrong in thinking that the bottom photo showed the rig turning into RCC. It is in fact turning into Odhams facility. I could also be mistaken about the middle shot, although the slag heap in the distance would tend to suggest a northern location. With regard to the top photo, I don't believe it forms part of the sequence, as to me, it doesn't appear to be carrying the same load as the vehicle in the other two shots.

Regards. Ozy.

Comments by Ray Smyth, 8th February 2018  
I have put 4 posts on this Reeds thread recently, and I am
pleased with the responses and information that the readers
posted on here. I was reminded of the names of HGV Drivers
that I worked alongside 45 years ago, Regards, Ray.

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