THE TRUCKS OF NEW ZEALAND POST

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Transformed

By the end of the 1960s the Post Office fleet had rapidly expanded to more than 3700 vehicles. Two-thirds were involved with the engineering side of the business, such as installing telephones and the VHF radio network. The need to cope with the public demand for modern telecommunications required the building of several specialised trucks, the majority of which were built on standard cab and chassis in the Post Office’s own workshops. Some of these designs were unique to the Post Office.


Photo: The J series Bedford was fitted out as a mobile workshop and included a workbench, clothing and equipment lockers. Although they were built to a standard design, some local customisation did take place. They also included seating to carry passengers in the rear compartment, and were registered as passenger trucks.




Photo: Able to transport five people, the double cab 4x4 RL Bedford recognised that many telegraph poles were planted in areas that would have been largely inaccessible to conventional trucks. The engine powering the equipment on the deck was either petrol or diesel, some of which were World War II surplus. As the engines wore out, many were replaced by hydraulic motors powered from the trucks PTO.