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Long uphill pull for Priestman excavator
Forestry Memories
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No: 3661   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1956
Long uphill pull for Priestman excavator

Photograph is courtesy of Margaret Murray, daughter of Jimmy Munro who is seen at the lead lorry getting into his cab. There is no information with this photograph and year is a guess.

The chains on the ground and the man fitting them behind Jimmy’s lorry indicate that the low loader has got stuck on the climb with the drive wheels most likely digging into the gravel surface. The team of men are hitching the three lorries together to give a combined pull. Jimmy’s lorry has the jib, sliding pole and bucket of the excavator on board plus a heavy trestle possibly for setting up the jib etc for refixing onto the Priestman.

Can anyone name the types and models of the all the lorries and give an approximate year of manufacture?

The writer has some difficulty in believing that this could be the road out of Polloch over the hill to Strontian! The profile of the hills and glens and the glimpse of Loch Shiel in a gap in the second image which is attached as a PDF is definitely very much like the area. The light coloured gravel which will have come from the old lead mines is another giveaway as is the telegraph pole alongside. This is an alarmingly steep road (even when it was surfaced with bitumen) with sections of 1 in 4 gradient and taking a digger up on a lorry on this gravel surface must have been a hair raising event. The point on the photograph appears to be about half mile down from the top on the Polloch side – one of the steeper sections. The writer had heard stories that around and before this time five ton lorries were taking timber out of Polloch (Glenhurich Forest) over this road as well.

The second photograph is also entered as record No 3662

Can anyone provide a recent photograph or confirm the location?
Picture added on 17 April 2017 at 08:15
add commentComments:
I'm not sure about the make of the lead vehicle, it seems to have a hub reduction rear axle which makes me think it may be an ATKINSON.
Both of the others are BEDFORD "O" series. The one which is pulling the low loader has a different bonnet arrangement, and is a utilitarian type which was produced principally for the military.
I think that the Polloch road is likely to be the location right enough, and it would be a brave man indeed who would attempt this move with that wee lorry on that road!!

Added by John Macdonald on 23 April 2017.
The leading lorry is not in fact an ATKINSON, but FODEN. The same vehicle can be seen in other pictures with its very heavy duty platform body.

Added by on 13 May 2017.
I think the driver of the low-loader at about this time was a Kenny Mackay. Jimmy Munro succeeded him as low-loader driver.

Added by Frank Thom on 07 June 2017.
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