ELECTRICITY SUPPLY BOARD FODEN TRACTOR 1947-1974
During the 1930s the ESB relied on steam and large petrol tractors to move heavy loads. The rural electrification scheme that began in 1946 created a need to haul heavier and more numerous indivisible loads to every part of the country. To cope with this, Foden tractor ZH 1278 was ordered from Poole's of Westland Row. Delivered on 6th May 1947, it was registered on 10th September.
From the 1920s, petrol, and later, diesel tractors gradually replaced steam traction engines in heavy haulage. Scammell Lorries, Watford (established 1922) was deeply involved in the development of articulated, heavy haulage and cross-country vehicles. The Scammell Pioneer, originally designed for oilfield work and driving on all six wheels, was adapted as a World War Two military support vehicle. After 1945, demobilised examples were used in heavy haulage or towing and recovery work.
A civilian Pioneer, rated as an 80-ton tractor, was built after 1945. Its 1950 successor, the Constructor, was followed in 1957 by a four-wheel drive Junior Constructor. Essie - named from its fleet number SC1, is of this type. While regarded as a standard model, most heavy-duty Scammells were, effectively, one-offs.
Delivered as a chassis with a crew cab for £11,650 (€14,792), Essie was bodied at CIE’s Spa Road Works and registered on 27th January 1965. It was nominally intended to haul a trailer carrying a 100-ton load, but Scammell ratings were extremely conservative, much heavier consignments being frequently handled.
Special trailers were matched to loads and loaned around among the various users. For exceptional loads, two or three tractors were used. In Ireland, operators of big Scammells included the ESB and Ulster Transport (later Northern Ireland Carriers). Co-operation between such operators ensured that the requisite number of tractors could be brought together when required. Essie was withdrawn in 1986 and is maintained in working order.
Premier Dairies Smiths-NCB electric float fleet no. K38, CZL 216, 1967 to 1985. Premier Dairies was formed in the 1960's following the amalgamation of Merville, H.B., Dublin Dairies and Suttons (Tel-El-Kebir). One of a fleet of apx. 380 electric vehicles in the amalgamated fleet, K38, (K indicates Killester depot), replaced a horse drawn float in 1967 and worked the Artane/Kilmore route for almost 18 years. Presented to the Museum by the then Premier Dairies far-sighted transport manager in 1985, K38 has appeared in the film, "thou shalt not kill". Currently on display in Howth.