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Lorries of Arabia: ERF NGC - Robert Hackford

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£14.95
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9 Review(s)

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Insightful, rich in detail and captures the character of a truck Review by Heritage Commercials Magazine
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One of the most unsung and in many respects pioneering British trucks of the 1970s era is the ERF NGC 420 ‘European’. Even in its day it was a rarity. Records suggest that less than 80 examples were ever built, though this in no way diminishes the type’s significance. When it comes to ERF, Robert Hackford is suitably qualified. Early in his career he had working familiarity with the B-Series. Together with his Middle East long-haul experience, this has helped him put into proper perspective a model that in the dying days of traditional British ‘gaffer’s trucks’ stood out as being driver focused. The first of his two books devoted to the ERF NGC was published last year and Part 2 this year. Together, they are products of a writer who has really had the bit between his teeth.
There may only be one NGC 420 remaining, but between them, the two Lorries of Arabia volumes are the next best thing. They are insightful, rich in detail and capture the character of a truck that would have been certain to win acclaim as the ERF flagship of its generation – outranking the B-Series – had more of them been seen and sold in Britain.
(Posted on 04/07/2016)
A terrific book written by ex-truck driver Robert Hackford Review by Classic Truck Magazine
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This is a terrific book written by ex-truck driver Robert Hackford, a veteran of the Middle East run, having made a career change from teacher to trucker and then back again. Lorries of Arabia focuses on a fairly unknown and now desperately rare ERF NGC which was designed and built specifically for the European market and, in particular aimed for (at the time) the many operators running across Europe and into the Middle East. A 'boxy' cab, some said its resemblance to arch rival Scania was no mistake. Others even called it the Sandbach Scania! But many who ran them and/or drove them rated them very highly.

Among firms with NGCs were Eric Vick and Richard Read, while these two and Sandbach-based operator Jones Transport got together to form Vijore (made up from each of their names) International, which specialised in transporting goods to the Middle East. I believe Shepton Mallet-based family firm Framptons also ran one. The trucks had a unique appearance and attracted attention everywhere. Robert never got to drive one of these in anger (although he was offered a short drive in a restored one recently), but it was a truck he aspired to drive. A great read. (Posted on 30/06/2016)
Genuine passion for this ERF type Review by John Henderson (Transport News Sept 15)
Rating
Robert Hackford’s genuine passion for this ERF type shines through every page and the book contains many fine and evocative photographs in colour or black and white.
I particularly liked the documentation on British hauliers who traveled the desert roads such as Richard Read and Eric Vick
- John Henderson (Transport News Sept 15)
(Posted on 12/08/2015)
Insightful, rich in detail Review by Ed Burrows – Trucking
Rating
Lorries of Arabia is insightful, rich in detail and captures the character of a truck that would have been respected as the ERF flagship of its generation, had more been sold in Britain. Only one NGC 420 may remain, but Hackford’s book is the next best thing. (Ed Burrows – Trucking) (Posted on 01/07/2015)
A nostalgic look at the golden age of the Middle East Run Review by Truck Stop News
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This new paperback book takes a nostalgic look at the role ERF’s world-class long-haul legend, the NGC, played in the transportation of goods across contingents during the golden age of the Middle East Run. (Truck Stop News) (Posted on 22/06/2015)
ERFs contribution to Britain’s place in the history of the TIR trail Review by Commercial Motor
Rating
The book is all about the life and times of ERF NGCs in general and about the Middle East examples in particular: what they looked like, how well they performed, where they ventured, what they were like to drive, what they were like to live in and where they stood in ERFs contribution to Britain’s place in the history of the TIR trail. (Posted on 08/06/2015)
Delves into the trials and traditions of the TIR-trail Review by Andy Stewart, Trucking
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Written with authority by Robert Hackford, the book delves into the trials and traditions of the TIR-trail, and looks at how the hard-working and well-engineered ERF NGC developed its reputation as one of the best trucks for mountain-hauls. (Andy Stewart, Trucking). (Posted on 03/06/2015)
The romance of the open road is clearly apparent from Mr Hackfords excellent descriptive writing. Review by Truckblog.co.uk
Rating
Mr Hackford has a very easy to read style of writing that makes the information that is included relatively easy to digest. The book contains plenty of anecdotes from Roberts time on the road and his passion and enjoyment of his time driving trucks is clearly reflected by the way he describes the life of a long distance lorry driver. The romance of the open road is clearly apparent from Mr Hackfords excellent descriptive writing. (Truckblog.co.uk) (Posted on 03/06/2015)
Essential reading for enthusiasts Review by Truck and Driver
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‘This book would get five stars just for the title. It’s well researched, comprehensively illustrated and is essential reading for the many enthusiasts of this golden chapter in haulage history’ Truck and Driver (Posted on 29/04/2015)

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