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Shelvoke Emergency Tender - 1980
Fire Engine Photos
No: 1626   Contributor: Dr. B.A. Hutchinson   Year: 2005   Manufacturer: Shelvoke   Country: United Kingdom
Shelvoke Emergency Tender - 1980

ETN909W is a Shelvoke and Drewry Emergency Tender built on the Shelvoke WX SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) chassis which was introduced in 1980 specifically for fire appliance type vehicles. The WX chassis was rated at 12 tons Gross Vehicle Weight. The WY chassis which was rated at 17 tons found use with many brigades who were re-chassising their Merryweather turn table ladders from the older AEC chassis, besides being used for many new 'specials' including hydraulic platforms and foam tenders.

The above appliance with Benson bodywork was supplied new to the Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade to replace EBB783C at the Fossway fire station in the East end of Newcastle. However its introduction into service was not straightforward, and it was over 18 months before the old Dennis ET was firmly the reserve appliance. The principle problem was that the machine drivers complained that the rear end was too light. Eventually it went back to the manufacturers to have another 2 feet of bodywork added to the rear, and a very large cast weight was fitted underneath the tail section. With this modification the ET was finally accepted.

It is fitted with a Boughton 5 ton hydraulic winch and a 10KW generator, which powers the extending lighting mast. The day-glo checks around the front of the cabin were later additions along with the red and white wheel painting. One of this machine's more memorable exploits was when it attended a scrapyard fire in North Shields where the entrance gates were locked. The officer in charge instructed the ET to pull the gates open with the winch, which it did successfully and at the same time pulled over 20 yards of surrounding brick wall!

Picture added on 20 November 2006
add commentComments:
I like Shelvoke SPV trucks very much.In the 1980s Brunei Fire Brigade (BFB) bought several fire appliances mounted on Shelvoke SPV chassis ranging from Water Tender Ladder (WRL) to Hydraulic Platform (HP) but in 1998 most of the Shelvoke appliance was decommisioned.The last Shelvoke HP was sold few months ago in an auction.

Added by Bomba Boy on 21 November 2006.
Great photo. There was a Shelvoke SPV rescue tender allocated to Colchester fire station from 1981 to 1995. It was built by Pilcher Greene, registration UTW 421W. Essex County Fire Bigade ordered three in total - UTW 422W was allocated to Grays and UTW 423W was allocated to Harlow. There were quite a few Shelvoke TL's and HP's aswell, although Colchester's Shelvoke HP, C831 GNO was written off in an RTA in 1994.

Added by Lloyd W on 20 February 2009.
S & D introduced these fire appliance chassis to give Dennis a poke in the eye, after Dennis started to take away a lot of their core municipal business selling bin wagons and the like.

They even had the same cab designer, which made their products like this look like the box they came in, and also used many identical components, including the Perkins engine.

The company was not successful, perhaps because of their excessively keen pricing on the fire appliance chassis, and ceased operations in July 1991. This was only around eleven years after the fire appliance chassis was introduced, and despite aggressive pricing sales were low. The largest order went to London, with over 40 units including some TL chassis which had refurbished ladders.

As mentioned by Lloyd, the heavier chassis was used by quite a few brigades to continue operating older ladders and platforms, whose original chassis were tired. Bargain pricing had a lot to do with this, but it did not help their profit margins....

Added by Rob Johnson on 21 November 2018.
Rob, the vast majority, if not all of that ladder rechassis work involved the mounting of Merryweather ladders on to the S and D WY chassis by G and T Fire Control, who if I recall correctly was formed by ex Merryweather staff after that company sadly closed.

Added by Andy Fish on 22 November 2018.
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