Page 3. SD Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Summer 2021.
A FORMER FITTER WITH STOCKTON COUNCIL REMEMBERS THEIR FLEET.
By Derek Coulson.
A ‘T’ type Fore & Aft tipper.
We rarely receive accounts from those who knew SD vehicles as customers. So we especially welcome these memories from Derek Coulson who has written:-
My experience of S&D was at school when it was a Fore and Aft tipper that used call to empty the school bins. In 1976 I started to work for Stockton Council as an apprentice fitter, and we had a number of NY Revopaks, we also had one NY Fore and Aft. The Revopaks were far superior to the Dennis Paxit’s. We had just one Seddon Allen Municipal which was quite reliable, but they never bought any more.
Next came Dennis Bulkmasters and Phoenix. The Phoenix was OK, but the Bulkmaster electrics were poor. We had one that raised the hopper and ejected the load in Prince Regent Street in Stockton because the exhaust had failed and melted the wiring loom!
My recollection is that S&D’s were more reliable, but I don’t have any figures to back it up. The S&D’s rarely broke springs, whereas Dennis had new springs pretty much every service when they were using the tip, but less so when the Teesside incinerator plant opened. Apparently a Dennis Alleycat ended up in the bottom of the incinerator when it opened. I can’t remember changing engines on S&D’s, whereas we did rebuild Perkins 6354’s in Dennis’s.
We had a Leyland powered Paxit that used more oil than fuel, and a scrap Perkins powered machine outside in the yard. I had the job of changing the engines, and the resulting truck flew. They only kept it six months then scrapped that as well.
We used to change clutches and first gears regularly. It got to the point where we could change a clutch and rebuild the gearbox in four hours. Not when the time and motion men were in though…
We then got some PY and PN Revopaks. When I got married and lived on a new estate, one of the PN’s emptied our bins. I had an old Series II Diesel Land Rover at the time, that sometimes didn’t start, and on more than one occasion, the PN tow started me. I passed my HGV test in 1981 and found the NY’s better to drive than the Dennis’s, although the tilt cabs were better to drive than the fixed ones.
The Revopak was an excellent product, common jobs we had were burning off metal bins that the tines had gone through, I can’t remember ever having to clear jams, whereas we had Paxits that came in with things like boilers jammed in them. Our welder did have to repair rakes, welding new tines in and facing them with hard facing. We had a spare that we got used to replacing using a JCB front loader as we didn’t have a fork-lift.
The rear floors sometimes needed replacing as well, mainly due to coal fires and ash that were still common, and very abrasive.
When the Teesside incinerator plant opened, we had complaints that Revopaks were arriving with GVW of 18-20 tonnes, and these were all two-axle 16 tonners at the time. I’m not sure that we ever did anything about it.
Derek Coulson August 2020.
An NY Revopak City of Westminster. Photo supplied by Ron Waghorne.
A PY Revopak Wrekin Council. Photo supplied by John Howard.