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An encounter with an old friend
Conbadge, Charlie123, Ceil Fox
A phone call comes in quite late in the evening telling me that someone is sick and they need help, I am on my way home from my last task of the day so I agree to help. I drive towards my destination and suddenly all the roads seem familiar again, the bridge I got a combine harvester stuck under when I was 16, the bend where someone crashed into my when I was 18, so long ago but it seems like only yesterday.

I drive up to the big imposing building and park my now dwarfed truck, I head over to the door and wonder if my key still fits, I slip the key in and just like old times it works like a charm, I am in. I push in the timer light switch and wander over to where she laid in waiting, I get to her and take a step back, it has been a long time since we were last together. I walk round and eye her up, it is almost 10 years since the first time I met her down in Bristol, Lady Elsey shone like a million pounds that morning.

I jump up, catch hold and climb aboard, a familiar place where I had spent many fond hours on days gone by. I reach over and press a very familiar button upon which a few little things start to happen, She lights up and the familiar “Fedora” logo appears, a moment later a familiar sight appears, I reach over and press my thumb firmly on a special place and she remembers me, she recalls our previous encounters in graphic detail, she makes me comfortable.

This lady used to be mine, but things moved on and now she is loyal to Phabian Hassal (aka TraktorFuchs) so I have a quick peek and make sure he has not left me any nasty surprises, all is clear.

I reach over and press one of her buttons and a distant whine happens, she lubes all her joints and makes sure all her vital fluids are correct, she tells me all is well so I reach over and tap another button, there is a whine for a split second followed by a distant rumble which is so familiar, the sound of something that can only be achieved by the partnership of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce.

I let her settle for a few minutes and then I check her weight, I tap another button on the vast screen that is her heart and soul to be informed that she is at fighting weight, 113,600KG payload and 157,530KG all together (That’s 346,600LBS for the Yanks  ) Shes a big girl, both her drags onboard computers report that all is well and with a deft lift flick of the fingertips the electronic parking brake is off and we are ready to go, im feeling lazy so we click the lever of Allison Torquemaster into ‘full auto’ and as we click the 2 reversing gears into forward there is a re-assuring but mild lurch forward as the torque converter does its thing, a quick slide of a finger across another part of her screen and darkness becomes light as GE’s Finest Arcstream metal halide lamps strike and come into being, I reach and tap the door remote and the sliding doors open to reveal the night agead, a little bit of gas and we are away.

I open a window because this girl is powered by a partnership between Rolls Royce and Standyne, she packs 69 litres between No. 1 Cylinder and her 15 colleagues in 2 rows, she has an output measured in megawatts / thousands of horsepower and makes what can only be described as a NICE sound. I let her go a little more and memories of tens of thousands of miles come flooding back as she pulls out of the hangar.

Its 11pm and the roads are dead, I get out to Northamptonshire and turn left onto the A14 and give her some welly. After a long but comfortable trek, I drop her load into the Mill, turn it around and thunder home, memories of days gone by flooding back.

I park her by the silos ready to receiver tomorrows load and wander back over to my truck, which now seems like a mini cooper sat next to the QE2.

She does have the coolest dashboard of anything I have ever used (with exception of a type 45 destroyer . . .) so I snapped a quick pick on my phone (would have been better if I had done it stationary because it took about 15 attempts!)

dash photo


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