Remember when going scotch (if from the south), or going down to the smoke ( if from the north), was long distance,
when middle east work was readily available?.
When a 111 or F89 meant you were truly the king of the road
Recall those companies long gone, where every day was an adventure?
What ever happened to those drivers you spent hours with.. where did they go? and recollect on those characters in the industry sadly no longer with us.
This forum is for us all to indulge in a little nostalgia and remember with rose coloured glasses how much better it was in the olden days
Hi,I posted this on the 'New and wannabe Truck drivers' forum but was advised to repost here (thanks moderators) as some of the more, (ahem) mature drivers may be able to help.
I'm rebuilding an old 1930's fairground ride and as part of which I've got an 1980 B series ERF with a Cummins 250 engine and what I believe is a Eaton Fuller 9 speed gearbox, but I'm not sure).
There is a pull up elecric air switch on the shift lever to change between low and high range.
I have class 2 licence and have driven modern lorries but have only moved the ERF lorry round the yard.
I believe the gear shift pattern is as follows but not totally sure:
left top - reverse
left bottom - crawler
middle top - first
middle bottom - second
right bottom - third
right top - fourth
middle top - fifth
middle bottom - sixth
right bottom - seventh
right top - eighth
There is no indication of what the shift pattern in in the cab. Can anyone confirm this pattern. Also any advice on shifting gears with this type of gearbox?
Thanks for the replies so far and for those (I hope) yet to come.
If you want to find up more about the ride then check my website at
Last edited by speedway on Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sounds a bit like a spicer box with that u pattern shift..........a proper gearbox constant mangle ........i will try to find a page that explains constant mesh and clutch brakes.......clutch to start and stop after that just move the stick
Welcome to TruckNet, Speedway.
....You might be better off asking this question on the forum below: 'Old time Lorries,Companies & Drivers.'
This new and wannabe forum tends to cater for mainly new drivers who don't have a lot of experience of 'any' gearbox patterns, never mind one from over 20 years ago! (No offence, Boys & Girls -we all had to start somewhere.)
Over on the Old time L,C&D. forum the posts are viewed by far more of us Old gi...,er, more mature drivers, who may know the Fuller (smooth-as-butter) gearbox from all those years ago.
I myself drove a DAF 2800 DKS for a time but I'm sure I vaguely remember that had a 13 speed Fuller not a 9 speed. The gear lever had a flat top and a 3 position switch at the side and the change pattern involved a 'u' somewhere - was it bottom left to bottom right then top right? - to be honest I can't remember, it was that long ago! You only needed the clutch to start off, and once you got used to the technique, it was a nice smooth and easy drive.
Welcome to TruckNet, Speedway.
My memory is worse than most but isn't what you describe the Twin-Splitter Deesider?
The one Speedway is on about sounds more to me like a Fuller Roadranger, albeit the 9 rather than 13 speed version, the greatest gearbox ever made .
You could certainly drive that without the clutch once rolling but it wasn't designed that way, unlike the Twin-Split, but sorry I can't for the life of me remember if your interpretation of the sequence is correct or not. No doubt if I climbed in I'd be off without a 2nd glance, but here ......
However, you are in the right place at last, and very soon there will be a flood of advice to put you right. .
Spot on regarding the 13 speed Spardo. Most 9 speeds I drove had right top and right bottom as 3/4 and 7/8, although I do recall driving a 1980 Foden with the pattern you state.
Now then, there will also be a "sneaky gear" whereby you can shift into the crawler gear in high range. Used to be very helpful in the days when your 250 Cummins just wouldnt take the fourth to fith change when struggling to haul 38t up a steep climb.
Thanks for the repies so far, chaps.
Limey, you may be right about the top right and top bottom 3/4 and 7/8. The way I described it was the way I was told by the bloke I got the lorry from. May be it was the way he had been changing gears, ie skipping a gear.
Interesting to hear about using the crawler (1st?) gear for between 4th and 5th.
The lorry is a 1980 V reg., has a 250 Cummins turbo engine and is an - ex Calor 8 wheel tanker. Seems right enough considering it's been in Showland. Got a big box luton body and had a winch on the pto. Also got diff lock.
Crap blue colour inside the cab mind.
I'll post a link to some pictures when I get a moment.
Sounds like a 9 speed Fuller to me.
I've got the Fuller RTO610 box in my Atki Borderer which has virtually the same shift pattern. (First and fifth are where crawler is on the 9 speed box)
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It's an RTO-9509A and the shift pattern for the four main gears (excluding crawler) is as you would expect to find in a car with 3rd and 4th swapped round.
It means basically that the gear stick does a W to go through all four gears instead of an H.
Crawler is far left and BACK, reverse is far left and FORWARD. The shift layout was normally found on the engine hump in front of the park brake controls - it will no doubt be long gone now.
The Fuller made a monkey out of an F12 driver who brought home a second-hand B-Series one day - we saw him coming at least half a mile away and he never got out of second all the way!!
Low Box (button down for low range)
Far left & forward for reverse
Far left & back crawler
Left forward 1st
Left back 2nd
Across right & back 3rd
Across right & forward 4th
High Box (button up for high range)
Left forward 5th
Left back 6th
Across right & back 7th
Across right & forward 8th
Sure this was the overdrive box which was fitted to Atki Borderers when I worked for Scotway haulage back in the early 70's. If I am wrong then just remember I was only 17 and now aged 50
I'm sure you're right, and RTO-9509A is certainly the likeliest box for this one tobe, as the lorry pre-dates the RTX series. I've a vague recollection that one of the 9509 variants (maybe the 9509C) had the conventional H-pattern, just to confuse us all! I once met one like it in a Transcon c.1980.
One way to find out!!
And to confuse things even further, an ERF with a 250 cummins had a different shift pattern to a Sudden Accident with the same box and engine
My Transcon had that same box but the range selector was different. United Carriers had some of the ERF like yours and the switch was more like an Eaton 2 speed axle button
Seddon-Atkinson became rather infamous for the reversed gearchange on the 400s fitted with Fuller 9-speed Roadrangers.
It could be cured quite simply by using a modified David Brown remote which corrected the pattern to the correct layout.
Especially when you ran both Sedd-Ack's AND ERF's! During the mid-80's, i was working for Bill Kelly out of Langley Mill, Derbys; the cowboy to end ALL cowboys! We used to sub to Willy West's of Ilkeston, one day I'd have to drive our old Seddon, scruffy as hell but a good runner; next day I'd end up on one of Westy's old ERF's . Took a fair bit of remembering which one you were in, especially in the early hours, as the dash of course was virtually identical!
West's got into a bit of hot water with one of those ERF's; *** 749V, known as the "Rochdale Flyer". It was reputed to be good for nearly 90 mph with a single-axle 33' box trailer on it, doing the Rochdale night trunk for Boots. I copped for it only once, shunting cast-iron pipes out of Stanton works, and soon took it back complaining that it wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pud! A few weeks later the police caught it doing 85 up the M62; when the Ministry inspected it they found it had a diff from a coach, no wonder it was useless at 38 tonnes, overgeared to hell!
This sounds to me very like Jock Kelly a stocky Scotsman who I knew in the
1960s when he was driving a Leyland 4 wheeler for Midlands Storage in West
Hallam. I had a 4 wheeler Albion at Hedley Shaw's in Stapleford and went in to
Storage one day to load bikes for London docks. Jock was there loading for
the same place and we decided to run together. The springing on my Albion
was very soft being, I later discovered, a coach chassis, and the high wide
load was leaning alarmingly on the road camber. Jock followed me closely
through London so it wouldn't be too noticeable but that was the only favour he
did me. At the docks I helped him unsheet and wrap up his, very large, sheets
in the rain, and then to handball the bikes off. Then he disappeared leaving
me to do all my work alone!
I later heard of him becoming a, rather dodgy, OD and seem to remember that
he was in league with someone else, but can't recall the details. Perhaps you
or someone else can fill in the gaps.
Sounds just like Bill! He ran various motors to the Middle East, then ended up in a ramshackle yard off Cromford Road in Langley Mill. After several changes of name, the firm ended up as L.E Kelly International Transport, running a motley collection of vehicles, mostly one test away from Geeson's scrapyard!. The ones I remember were the Sedd-Ack already mentioned above (FLA 4T) which had a day cab and 290 Roller, usually driven by a real character called Derek Hayman; an ERF sleeper with a 240 Cummins, and two DAF 2800's, one of which was on a regular run to Spain, driven by a guy called Fred I think. The other Daf was usually driven by a chap called Roger Hursthouse, who I believe now works for Raleigh.
Bill often bought things at auction purely on impulse; I remember once he came back with a Bedford TM tractor because he'd seen one once with a Detroit engine and thought they all had them; his face when he got it back and found a tired old 500 Bedford under the cab was a picture! There was also a little DAF 2100 day-cab tractor unit, which was so small it looked totally ridiculous with a load of Stanton pipes tacked on the back, but a lovely little runner provided you avoided hills steeper than one in 20.
Bill's "gofer" was a bloke called Ron Dyer; the drivers used to say that you would always know when he wasn't telling the truth, 'cos his lips moved! Everything was strictly cash, of course, and you got paid when Bill got paid by West's, if you were lucky!
It was all illegal as hell, of course, the trucks were normally taxed private or farmer's goods, we used to recut tyres nearly down to the metal, etc, but I do remember that Bill was a stickler for good brakes, more than can be said for some of the other cowboys.
Only had one row with Bill that I remember, and strangely enough it's pertinent to the origin of this thread. A driver called Kenny Hopkins had broken down at Watford Gap, rang Bill and told him the prop had sheared. Bill went ballistic at me (I was then the fitter) and accused me of omitting to check the prop bolts. When I went down to recover it, I found that the whole mainshaft had sheared BEHIND the prop, most likely caused by the driver getting his gears mixed up! When I got the wagon back to the yard, I stormed into Bill's office, threw the still-bolted prop on his desk and marched out without saying a word. Five minutes later, he stormed into the workshop, we exchanged pleasantries for a good ten minutes (don't think either of us repeated ourselves), it ended up with the usual "you're fired" from him and the usual "stuff it where the sun don't shine" from me; went in the next morning, the subject was never mentioned again!
Eventually, Bill got out of transport, one jump ahead of the tax-man as usual. He dabbled with van hire for a bit, then I think ill-health got the better of him.He was a rogue, yes, but a likeable one; he got me out of more than one scrape, and I have to say I've worked for worse men in my time.
I knew a Roger Hursthouse, but he wasn't a driver, he was an accountant.
This was in 1960 and he came to do the books in the company where I was a
sales clerk. I suppose he could have changed later, I did, and so did the bloke
he brought with him. He became a teacher and part time driver later becoming
a director/investor in my brother's and my firm, Marker Transport (Nottm) Ltd..
Ron Dyer's name rings a bell as well, but I can't think from where.
Im trailing my way through these forums and came across this rather old post, but as I remember driving a 'V' reg Leyland Bison Flatbed with this gearbox configuration i felt I should comment on my experiences. It had a clutch brake, which for most of the time broke, but when you got use to just dabbing the clutch to change gear, after you had got it rolling, was actually a really easy gearbox to use.
My first experiences of this where however not so good, I broke the clutch brake, I got a b*llocking and lots of grief from the guv but hey I learned quickly. That was in the late 80s but it was fun, no sleeper and booking into digs...days have certainly changed in my short time of driving HGVs since the mid 80s!
pigs really do fly!
I drove a Dodge K series with what was called a direct drive gearbox,which involved moving the gearstick and the button on the stick at the same time.
Last edited by Dave the Renegade on Sun May 08, 2011 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Keep on breathing, it helps.
Educated in the School of Hard Knocks and the University of Life.
Postby Spardo Â» Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:58 am
Post by Dave the Renegade Â» Sat May 07, 2011 9:42 pm
This must be a record for a thread revival
But after all that no one seems to have remembered that shift pattern was what differentiated the typical lash up Brit cab over type remote linkage from the one used in conventionals in which it was the usual H pattern that applied.
It was nothing to do with the linkage ! they were 2 different boxes the "w" shift and the "H" shift. Incidentily if you put a gear stick direct (without linkage) into either of these boxes, the gears would be totally back to front.
Now I am doing it, apart from crawler the gearchange in my Fuller equipped ERF, Ford Transcontinental and Saviem were all the same way round as a Ford Cortina and Mini Cooper
The Leyland Marathon which I drove was H pattern too if I remember right with the 9 speed fuller in it and the T 45 was too but had the Spicer box not fuller but the difference between the Marathon and the W pattern used in the Fodens and Bedford TM's was all in the linkage set ups not the boxes Think it might even have been cable linkages on the Foden and Bedford but not the Marathon etc .But the Magi Deutz conventional with a 9 speed Fuller was'nt a reverse H or reverse W it just had the brilliant shift quality of a direct linkage in an ordinary H pattern.
So why did the W & H pattern boxes have different model numbers, if only the linkage was different?
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