Tony Wall from Fleet & Equipment unit, ESB Networks kindly put together this blog post in repsonse to a recent query we received about ESB’s heavy haulage fleet. Tony covers the range of fleet used by ESB from 1934 to 2003 along with some great photographs.
Heavy haulage fleet began in ESB in 1934 with the purchase of Latil trucks. Prior to this heavy plant for the power stations was transported by Siemens. Latil was a French company specialising in heavy vehicles with great pulling capacity. The Latil company later went on to be taken over by Saviem who in turn would become part of Renault.
Four Latil trucks were purchased by ESB between 1934 and 1938; ZA 2945 – ZC 2978 – ZC 4596 – ZC 4702. The Latil trucks worked with American FWD trucks, ZC 5332 being one.
The heavy haulage vehicles were under the care of ESB’s materials business unit and operated from the ESB Central Stores in Erne St. Dublin and later Ballycoolin, Dublin.
In 1947 the first of the Fodens arrived in ESB, ZH 1278.
This Foden vehicle is currently in the Transport Heritage Museum in Howth, Dublin having being restored to its original condition in its original colours of the period. The next Foden to enter service was ZO 2603 in 1952.(see below). Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s the red Fodens of the ESB were a regular sight travelling the roads of Ireland moving plant from dockside to site as the ESB developed and built up the electricity system in Ireland.
By the 1960’s more power was needed to pull the ever increasing weight of the loads to be moved. Scammells replaced the Fodens as the vehicle of choice. Up to this period the loads could be ‘pulled’ or ‘towed’ such were the weights and the power produced by the vehicles. However, the weights became heavier and more power was required. This power was not available from a single engine at that time so the solution was to ‘pull’ and ‘push’. The trailer with load sandwiched between the two trucks. The Scammell fleet consisted of…
1961; UZC 805, Scammell Constructor. Retired 1968.
1965; BZI 848, Scammell Constructor. Retired 1971.
1968; FZO 678, Scammell, Constructor. Retired 1995.
1971; 7975 ZC, Scammell Contractor. Retired 1995.
By the 1990’s the heavy haulage vehicle had changed radically. Now it was possible to pull the heaviest of loads with one vehicle. The trailers had also changed. Now a semi-trailer could be used, the truck became a ‘tractor unit’. The overall dimensions of the unit had reduced significantly making it easier to drive on the roads. By 1995 the ESB Scammells and their trailers were retired and the all new tractor and semi-trailer arrived. A truck-trailer combination that could do the work of the two Scammells and their trailer.
The ERF 95 D 25066 became the new heavy haulage unit. An 8 x 4 unit complete with 14 wheel semi-trailer. It continued the work started by the Latils of the 1930’s until heavy haulage by ESB staff ceased in 2003.
See more ESB transport images here