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Dennis Brothers WW2 Trucks

While Dennis Brothers of Guildford were major suppliers to the civilian transport market in the years between the First and Second World Wars, with a range of commercial vehicles (including trucks, buses and fire equipment), their involvement in building military vehicles was quite limited. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Dennis were contracted to supply a small number of of vehicles for military use, although the company had also been earmarked to produce other war equipment; namely Churchill Tanks (700), Landing Craft Engines (17,000), Fire Pumps (7,000), 750,000 bombs, and 3,000 Lloyd Carriers. They also provided "municipal vehicles" for military bases.
Dennis produced some 3,000 6/8 ton capacity Max and 1,500 Pax 3-ton trucks. There were also many specialised vehicle bodies that were built for other manufacturers.

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The military vehicle range was based on pre-war commercial designs. The 3-ton Hydraulic-End Tipper was one of these based on the pre-war Dennis Ace. The vehicle incorporated tipping gear by Edbro, and featured a single telescopic ram drive by a power take off from the gearbox. Typical of many of the pre-war tippers, this design featured drop-down sides and a top-hinged tailgate. The sides were removable to convert the vehicle into a small flatbed if required. These tippers were issued to the RAF for runway repair and to Royal Army Service Corps and Royal Engineers units from 1940. Another variant on this chassis was an RB 10 Excavator fitted on the rear.
A longer wheelbase 3-ton vehicle using the same cab was built and issued as a Cess-pool cleaner or Sludge Gulper tank for use on military establishments. This was a direct copy of the pre-war civilian version but was retro-fitted with a military radiator, brush bar, wartime lighting and, occasionally, an observation hatch in the cab roof. These were issued to all three services.
The only other variants on this chassis were a petrol tanker and a telephone exchange, which was, effectively a large box body and custom built cab with a protruding roof line.


The Air Ministry put forward a specification for a 30/40cwt GS vehicle to Dennis, who produced the AM 30/40 4x2 GS truck utilising many commercial components. This vehicle, designed as a load carrier, was also used as a towing tug and for this purpose it was fitted with a vacuum trailer brake-line and heavy duty towing little. It is unclear how many were built, but according to RAF records, they only ever served on UK home bases.


The heaviest vehicle built by Dennis during WW2 was the 6-ton Max Mk1 and Mk2, once again built as round the pre-war commercial model as a medium-range load carrier. The truck featured a timber body with fixed sides and a drop-down tailgate. The Mk1 featured a standard civilian and a flat body floor with no raised wheel arches, and only the driver's front windscreen was split.
The Mk2 had a heavier square-shaped radiator and wheel arches incorporated into the body. Both front windscreen were split. It also featured a hip-ring on the roof for anti-aircraft defence. The civilian type lights were removed and the military "near-side only" light was fitted.
These vehicles were only ever used as load-carriers, with no other variants recorded.