So, how do you deliver eight Land Rovers in 1950, and efficiently use expensive hydraulics? Let’s take a brief look at one of the more unusual British car transporters of the time to find out.
At this time, the Land Rover was still a new product, both in actual production terms and in concept, so a bit of publicity through a nice paint job makes sense. Exports were the key to recovery at the time, of course.
But what about the truck and trailer? It’s a 1950 Leyland Beaver, one of Leyland’s larger draw bar capable trucks, from the period before the articulated tractor and trailer really took over.
Four Land Rovers on the main truck, two up, two down with a hydraulically powered ramp and upper deck.
The same load on the trailer, but there were no hydraulic ramps here. The lower deck was loaded through gate type doors at the rear, but the upper deck?
Well, the clue is the short ramp and deck over the cab. Turn the drawbar away to one side, and pull the truck up to the trailer, nose to nose. Add a joining ramp, and then drive your Land Rover over the gap. Being Series 1 Land Rovers, the canvas roof frames and windscreens could be lowered and stored, and then the combination had a payload of around of around 12 (Imperial) tons (27,000 lbs), within the Beaver’s limit of 24 tons.
The example in the photos is a modern replica, built by a prominent Land Rover restorer. No new trailer was built, but even so it was good enough for Land Rover to use at the Goodwood Revival, among other events.
Cool, Series 1 Landrovers had two brackets on the bonnet that the windscreen locked into or they could be stood up to clear the spare wheel if it was in the bonnet carrier position, The old Leyland is nice good set up 24 tons would be gross train weight I’m guessing big gear in its day, cars by volume are light loads.
Good work Roger. More big UK trucks please! I’m especially a fan of their cabover designs, regardless their age.
That truck-to-trailer (un)loading system is nice and clever. It’s done in other types of transport too, yet on a lower level, like sliding open top containers from truck to trailer (parked back to back). Although no need to uncouple the trailer in the example below.
I’ve seen reports of this method (nose to nose with ramps) being used between 2 modern transporters, when the hydraulics were playing up.
“Don’t try this at home” seemed to be the message.
They should have proved their slogan by hiring a stunt driver to jump the gap instead of bridging it.
Very interesting – thanks for posting.
That’s quite clever in regard to loading the trailer and certainly makes for a much easier build with very little maintenance. Beautiful colors too, the trucks take a lot of interest away from the actual load…
There are some photos around of similar transporters in Rover (not Land Rover) dark red and cream, but I’m not sure if they are truly genuine.
And of course, in 1949/50, hydraulics would have been more expensive than today, and probably less reliable.
I see one of the pictures is labelled “Leyland Beaver-Brockhouse combination”. Is this the same Brockhouse that was behind the disastrous ‘Brockhouse Hydro-Kinetic Turbo Transmitter” in the 1946 Invicta Black Prince? Sure hope the hydraulics in this rig worked better!
I suspect Brockhouse refers to the coachbuilder for the body and trailer, in which case it would be this outfit.