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Truck Tanker Fuel. During the ‘70s and ‘80s (and 90's and 00's) they were Fodens with nine forward gears, or three after them there drivers from C Troop had taken them for a spin. The main job of these tankers was to supply the Pods and to do so a long way away from anywhere that would have worried H & S. Like Pluto.

There were two types; the 12,000 litre medium mobility and the 22,500 litre barely mobile. Still, it was fun to drive one when it was half full (or half empty if you’re a pessimist) and hit the brakes, so turning it into a fun-filled and personal bouncy castle. The fuel load was checked using a dipstick bigger than you, but the real skill was estimating the nominative difference due to ambient temperature fluctuations and capillary creep.* Delivery was an oh-so-difficult choice between slow gravity feed or the rapid PTO-driven pump system.

All very groovy in its way, but the key thing was to remember to tip the radiator before tipping the cab. Also 3rd gear had to be selected otherwise when the cab was jacked back down, the gearstick would fold itself in two under the cab. Doing so allowed access to the lovely and fragrant Rolls Royce engine and avoided an expensive chat with the equally lovely and fragrant OC.

Not in the least bit ally, but made the driver feel like singing I like Trucking.


*Not only are TTF drivers not as daft as they look, but they know what to say when they need to explain a few missing litres of civgas. Prove it, I say. Just try and prove it.