Now in its third year, Beaulieu’s family fun event, TRUCKMANIA, a super-sized celebration of all things truck-related, featured hundreds of trucks and a wide variety of trucking activities. Over 10,000 visitors and participants, 2,000 up on 2014, enjoyed the two-day show held in the attraction’s parkland over the May Bank Holiday weekend, with even bigger displays and more trucking action.
Equally as popular with participants as visitors, the event saw another increase in the number of vehicles attending this year with over 250 trucks of every size and age on display, from vintage and veteran commercial vehicles to brand new, air-brushed lorries, plus some very colourful and highly chromed American trucks such as the Custom Kenworth and Freightliner Peterbilt 379 – American Big-Rigs, designed for long distance interstate transport.
Major trucking companies in the southern region attending the event included Harris Transport, Adams Morey, Dalton’s, with their eye-catching film-branded trucks, JPI Warehousing, Gary Parsons, Turners, TWT Logistics, Breadmore Commercials, L Hunt & Sons and Southampton Maritime Transport. On Sunday, Race2Recovery Dakar Rally trucks put on an end of show parade.
Alongside them were a range of vintage and veteran commercial transport including a 1920 Model ‘TT’ Ford, first shown at Beaulieu in 1960, an Esso Petrol tanker complete with milk churns on the back, Maidment plant hire trucks, a trio of Jeff Townsend Livestock trucks with beautifully fashioned wooden trailers and a number of vehicles brought along by Bournemouth & Poole Preservation Society included a Yellow Bus.
Channel 5 trucking star and Twitter sensation, Mark Dixon was on hand to meet visitors and commentate on all the activities throughout the two days alongside event presenter, Kevin Harris.
Monster trucks, Big Pete and the Grim Reaper wowed the crowds with two daily action packed displays, demonstrating their sheer size and power in the Monster Truck Arena. Their drivers, Michael Murty and Karen Shutler took their trucks through a series of stunts; a spectacular car crushing display which left a line of flattened cars and a tug-of-war, pulling apart a saloon car through the sheer force of their monster trucks and dragging the dismantled halves around the show arena. All the vehicles – destined for the giant car park in the sky – were provided by Silverlake Automotive Recycling.
In the Main Arena, visitors got involved in Tug-a-Truck, pitting their strength against a Harris Transport lorry cab to see how quickly they could haul one over the finish line. This fun activity appealed to all age groups, with whole families having a go and everyone receiving an I’ve Pulled at Beaulieu medallion at the finish. In a new feature for 2015, the Harris Transport Memorial Challenge, teams of five from the show’s participants and organisers took part in a tug-of-war to win a team trophy. The first recipients were the Beaulieu Events team.
The Pete Daniels Mini World in the Grand Marquee, re-created trucking scenarios on a small scale, attracted a lot of attention, displaying an incredibly detailed, to-scale miniature landscape with remote controlled model-sized trucks and commercial vehicles recreating trucking scenarios from construction sites to road networks and transport depots.
Another activity keeping the crowds entertained was Truck-agility, which saw truck drivers competing in manoeuvring tests in a cab carrying a bath tub full of water – and hundreds of plastic ducks – on its trailer! As well as gaining the fastest time, the challenge was to spill as little water – and ducks – as possible with penalties added to the time for any ducks thrown out of the bath. The Sunday winner, in a time of 7 mins 26 secs was Paul Moon of 2Start Training, the Portsmouth and Reading based HGV and fork lift truck driving school. Monday’s fastest time, set by Trevor Hembrow of Tiverton based MDR Transport, was 8 mins 12 secs. They were both presented with a winner’s trophy and Paul also received the ‘Mother Duck’, as the weekend’s overall winner. Lee Edwards, a relative newcomer to trucking who only passed his HGV test last year, managed to complete the course without losing any ducks – the first time anyone has done this!
On both days, Beaulieu’s visitors were invited to vote for their favourite truck in the People’s Choice Awards, Sunday’s winning vehicle was a Scania 620 8 wheel tipper, specially built for road maintenance work. Its owner, Charlie Doyle from Maidenhead had graphics on the cab and sides, dedicated to his favourite country & western singers. The winning Monday vehicle was a Dalton’s truck, driven by Jooles Harding with graphics dedicated to the popular The Hangover comedy film. They both received winners’ trophies.
Both Truck-agility and the People’s Choice awards were sponsored by Adams Morey Ltd who also brought along a selection of their DAF and Fiat commercial vehicles.
Also supporting Truckmania again was the British Army who trooped in with a large display of modern army trucks including a ‘roller-coaster’ troop deployment carrier, a Combat Support Tanker and a 32 ton recovery vehicle. Visitors were encouraged to climb on board and experience these modern military vehicles and both adults and children could test their fitness on an inflatable assault course. To add to the atmosphere, a band performed during the day from the back of a modified Army truck.
Visitors could enjoy Truckmania as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction which included the National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and gardens.
Truckmania will return on 29th and 30th May 2016.