FVN 462

Part of the KBMT Collection Not for Hire

800 gallon Gully emptier, with Dennis 4 cylinder side valve 3.77 litre petrol engine.

8900kg gvw

The Story


Purchased for use by the North Yorkshire County Council in 1950 FVN 462 was originally allocated to the Scarborough district where it reliably served until 1973, until  (due to lack of oil), a broken crankshaft and subsequent rod through the block led to the vehicle being towed back to the depot and seemingly forgotten. After 22 years the wagon was donated to the Bradford City Council in 1995 with the intention of restoration. A year later Alan Freer, apprentice Joe Morris, and joiner Stuart Grundy began the work on restoring the vehicle.

One major task was to source a replacement power unit and after an arduous search another restored gully emptier was found to be residing in Buxton Derbyshire. This had been re-engined using the Perkins P6 Diesel variant which was another Dennis option of power unit. This had freed up the 3.77 Litre engine which the team managed to purchase from the owner, transport historian Bill Aldridge. Even though after a strip down the engine appeared in excellent condition, new gaskets were fitted and a thorough check followed on all the transmission units. As is the case, the brakes required attention and the vacuum pump had been removed at sometime which would take some considerable sourcing. Again one was found, this time from a dismantler in Stone, Staffordshire. Alan did a full refurbishment on the unit to bring it back to use. Joe Morris was meanwhile assessing the cab condition, and on inspection of the cab it was deemed a complete new wooden frame would have to be hand assembled due to the amount of deterioration.

On the electrical front, the loom was replaced from front to back while the control box and dynamo were also overhauled.  The vehicle was sandblasted and prime-painted in 1997, with City of Bradford’s 1950’s livery of “Broken White” with “Ayres Red” wings and chassis being the choice of top coat livery. The addition of the City of Bradford coat of arms on each door finished the effect. A final test showed everything working perfectly including the re-salvaged vacuum pump.

Thornes Park in Wakefield in 1997 was the venue for the vehicles debut, where it achieved second in it’s class, while reaching first in two other events later in the same year. Over the years thereafter the vehicle (although appearing sometime at a manufacturers event on the South Coast), was once again forgotten and found itself being stored at various council depots around Bradford. Eventually due to lack of space it was to be found in a depot at Keighley, and again due to lack of space was offered to KBMT where it arrived on the back of a council flatbed unit in 2013. KBMT member Mike Merry was offered the chance to re-introduce the vehicle to the road, and after re-checking the electrics, draining the tank, and replacing the battery, together with Len Smith, Paul Hopps and David Hudson, the new “team” managed to bring the machine back to life. The choke cable has had to be re-jigged as it did not seem to operate correctly in its former state, and a sticking clutch plate contended with, while Mike has had to once again check the brakes. However it is hoped together with help from Paul Hopps, FVN 462 will soon return to the road.