43rd Reconnaissance Regiment

Morris Commercial 15cwt Compressor Truck

Date of Manufacture : 1940

Engine : 3498cc 6 cylinder (60hp)

Gearbox : 4 speed 'crash' box

Fuel Tank Capacity : 2 x 11 gallon (220 miles at 10mpg)

Gross Weights : 2 tons 18cwt unladen, 3 tons 3½ cwt laden

Suspension : Leaf springs all round

Brakes : Lockhead dual circuit hydrolic drum brakes

This particular Morris Commercial was made in 1940 as a compressor truck, fitted with a 150cu ft air compressor driven via a PTO from the truck's gearbox.  These trucks were designed for use by the Royal Engineers and other arms of the services for road works, airfield repairs, obstacle clearance, etc and could be equipped with pneumatic tools : saw, woodboring drills, concrete breaker, picks, rock drills, etc.

When manufactured, this vehicle would have had a canvas roof to the cab, but only aero screens to protect the driver and passenger from the weather.  There would have been no cab doors and no canvas cover or frame to the back of the vehicle, leaving the compressor exposed. This truck now sports the later full windscreen and half metal/half canvas doors fitted as standard to the later models, which I believe may have been fitted by the Army as an improvement upgrade after the war.  I have also fitted a rear frame and canvas cover to make it a more practical vehicle.

This truck was in service with the Army until 1959, when it was sold out of service and bought by its first civilian owner who used it until 1985. The vehicle was then loaned to the Royal Engineers Museum at Chatham until late 2007 when its services as a display item were no longer required and I bought it from its civilian owner.  Although in quite good condition, it required new brakes, tyres and a thorough service from being left standing for 22 years.  The metal work is in very good condition, but the rear body is rather rotten and will need a full rebuild in the future.