3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 29, 2019

Never say die!

When the Post Office decided its vehicles no longer met their requirements, they were disposed of. Unfortunately the majority ended up in the scrapyard. Some, however, became museum pieces, and a few restored as working examples of the way things used to be. The Ferrymead Post & Telegraph Historical Society Inc. in Christchurch has three working examples of Post Office line trucks that are now in use around the Ferrymead Park site, and which were typical of the vehicles used in earlier times by the Post Office.

Photo: 1948 Ford V8 winch truck. Entered service in November 1948 and was used for pole erection duties. Later, probably around the mid 70s, the vehicle was scheduled for write-off. Such was the affection the local mechanics had for the old vehicle, they shortened the deck and a smaller jib was fitted so the truck could then used by the motor workshops as their breakdown truck. They kept it going by using parts and allocations from other vehicles until around 1984 when it was acquired by the society. It has one serious safety failing, which has been disabled by the society, and that is that the power take off could be engaged while the vehicle was in motion.

Photo: 1951 Bedford OLB. This truck would have been supplied as a cab chassis and converted to its current double cab style by the Post Office workshops. In 1964 it was sold and used as a fire tender by the Ellesmere County Council. In 1982 it was acquired by the society as a cab and chassis and refurbished by the Post Office workshops, which fitted a spare deck and reupholstered the seats. This truck, like others, was repainted back to the dark grey used on line vehicles of the era, a job that was used as a training exercise for the body repair workshop apprentices.

Photo: 1963 Bedford J2. Acquired by the society in 1980, this is typical of the many trucks in the fleet in the 1960s. This unit would also have been supplied as a cab and chassis and fitted with the rear body by the Post Office.