While you may have never heard of Scammell trucks, consider yourself better off for watching this video where a pair of Scammell Pioneer models attack an off road course and show off the ability that have lodged them firmly into the lore of heavy truck history. Scammell was a British company and their heavy duty units were used as artillery tractors, tank recovery vehicles, tank hauling vehicles, heavy haulage trucks in the private sector, construction dump trucks, and about as many other things as you can imagine. They are decidedly un-European in a couple of ways. The first is their complete and utter lack of styling (which we think RULES) and the second is their sheer size. Often when us ignorant Americans think of European vehicles we imagine cars and trucks which are smaller than ours because in many ways that is accurate. The cities are older and more cramped, the countries smaller, so it isn’t totally out of whack. Scammels were a different animal altogether. Huge, robustly built, and designed to conquer all kinds of terrain and work, these things are bad to the bone.
Power was derived from diesel engines of varying horsepower levels and sizes. Like old American trucks, they are not known for their absolute brute power but for having the grunt to do the job and the strength to do it for decades. We understand that there are still old Scammells used by European heavy haulers today and that truck collections often seek these monsters out. The two trucks you will see in the video below are “Pioneer” models which means that they have four wheel drive. One of these was a military recovery unit with a boom. The main winch is a massive 35 or 40 ton job and that is mounted under the “bed” but you’ll see the olive colored truck with a wrecker boom on it. Lifting capacity was probably huge.
Watch the articulation that the front axles have and how the walking beam rear suspension works as well. These old goats are just that. Tough, big trucks that are very capable and while not jack rabbits, they get to where they need to go. These trucks have a top speed of well under 40mph. They are pack mules to the highest order. More Scammell stuff is coming, so consider this your first lesson!
PRESS PLAY BELOW TO SEE THESE SCAMMELLS IN ACTION!