• Putting the emphasis on crew cab strength certainly paid
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off for members of the Grampian Fire Brigade recently when they were involved in a roll-over accident "The solid construction of the Dodge driver's cab and the Mountain Range crew cab prevented possible loss of life," said Grampian Fire Brigade's Chief Engineer, Bob Brookes.
The firemen were on their way to fight a small house fire near Aberdeen when the driver lost control of the vehicle while going along a narrow lane.
The engine hurtled into the offside ditch, travelled along it at speed and, assisted by the power-steering, careered out, crossing the road, before plunging down an embankment and turning over three times.
Yet the only injury sustained was one officer's dislocated wrist.
Bob Brookes pointed out although the vehicle was severely damaged — it will have to be completely rebuilt — the crew cab did not crush and the doors did not fly open.
"The unit remained in the same basic shape," said Mr Brookes. The crew cab took the main force of the roll over and Mountain Range's Chief Engineer, Ian Ritchie, explained that the unit's fabricated sections were built to EEC regulations and tested for roll over conditions.
All this is very good news for Grampian firemen, but what happened to the small house near Aberdeen?
• A record-breaking sandwich has raised around £13,000 for a Midlands hospice.
The Myton Hospice in Warwick will be getting the cash shortly following a successful attempt to create the world's longest sandwich.
The attempt, backed by Iveco Ford Truck, was based at Sutton's Bakery in Coventry. The completed sandwich was escorted by two Ford Cargos on an 18-mile route through West Midlands roads and streets, ending at the Town and Country Show at Stoneleigh.
The plan had been to let the 601ft sandwich go on show there for three days . . . but astonished organisers could only look-on as spectators energetically tucked in!
It had been hoped that a 'Guess The Weight' competition would raise even more cash but one of the men behind the scheme, Mr Kevin Lewin, confessed that the visual impact was somewhat lacking by the time the record-breaking lunchers had finished.
"It was incredible — I've never seen anything like it! This sandwich had been carried through open streets for 18 miles and we tried to tell people it wasn't really fit for eating.
"But they just went crazy! We were left with a few scraps and crumbs!"
The weight of the sandwich still cannot be revealed — the competition continues until early next month and tickets are still being sold.
But the hospice is sure to get a welcome cash boost and the sandwich makers will go down in the Guinness Book of Records.
• 700 senior citizens from Cambridge took Premier Travel Services on a trip to the sea recently. A convoy of 18 coaches, 16 of them from Premier, was involved in the exercise which was sponsored by local business people. Physically handicapped passengers travelled in two specially equipped coaches.
David Hurry, Premier's traffic manager, carried out the entire operation (this involved up to 160 pick-up points) with great precision ensuring that each coach was complete with a supervisor, medical attendant, 45 packed lunches and theatre tickets.
This just goes to show that If in a Premier, call for Hurry.'
• Vindication for the Institute of Road Transport Engineers for its insistance on highlighting the problem of loose and errant truck wheels. At last weekend's Brewery Transport Advisory Committee (BTAC) fuel trials — run in conjunction with the IRTE — one of the competitors almost did not make it.
It was a brand new Volvo FL6 rigid 16.25 tonne GVW dray belonging to Whitbread (Romsey). En route to the trials at the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) proving ground near Nuneaton, the Volvo's rear nearside wheel detached itself on the MI and went bouncing away across the carriageway, fortunately without causing injury.
The driver retrieved the wheel and contained his journey to MIRA where he awaited a new hub and studs. As news of the episode circulated MIRA, IRTE stalwart Roger Danniss of Bass exclaimed triumphantly: "And people say that they have no problems with losing wheels."
• On driving the new 300 series engined Roadrunner, Leyland's Truck Distribution Association chairman, Sam Newton came away delighted. "The Roadrunner was good but the new Roadrunner is exceptional. In over 40 years in the business I have never driven a commercial vehicle that handles as impressively."
The excitable Newton continued, "It's a magnificent little truck that sticks to the road like a sports car, yet with its improved cab trim and seating provides saloon car comfort at the same time."
No, that's not Sam in the picture. That's an older Roadrunner being driven in an American desert by Monsieur Gilbert BataiIle who clearly thought that not only did the Roadrunner stick to the road like a sports car but could quite feasibly be entered into the Isle of Man IT motorcycle races.