Early Demountables

Built for Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Supply Company Ltd for use on the North East England Electricity Scheme, which standardised electrical frequency in the North East of England. Two cross-country rigid 6-wheelers from Scammell Lorries with demountable bodies were purchased in 1929.

Due to the remoteness of some of the localities, the Pioneer 6x4 chassis was used, albeit with the 'coffee-pot' radiator and coachwork replaced with civilian styling.
The bodywork consisted of two parallel rails fitted to the tops of the chassis rails, with two further rails carried loose, which could connected to the rear of the chassis to provide two ramps or skids.

Three small wooden-sided truck bodies were built for each chassis. Small wheels served to locate them to the chassis rails and to allow them to be rolled on and off the lorry. A winch was fitted behind the cab to drag the bodies.

Small amounts of materials and electrical components could be loaded into each truck, enabling three remote sites to be serviced with one journey. Loaded trucks were delivered in the morning and collected later, with any surplus or spoil returned to depot.

By leaving the trucks on site, the lorry could service more sites instead of staying on site for the entire day. Most of the remote sites only required small amounts of material and had no unloading facilities, making the little trucks ideal.

Abridged from my article in Vintage Roadscene, Vol 16, 62 - March-May, 2000.