Dodge lorry rebuild Dodge truck restoration

Transporting the Dodge to the workshop April 2007

Restoration Part 1. Click here to return to the main Dodge lorry restoration page. Part of Contact page.

April 2007.
First thing to arrange was the moving of the truck from home, over to the restoration company's workshop. The company who are taking on this rebuild is VHC Automotive Restoration (formelry CRR Restorations Ltd), who were located near Nantwich, in South Cheshire, but in 2008 re-located to nearby Newcastle-Under-Lyme. They have a background in restoring some fine vintage and classic vehicles, ranging from Bentleys through to more accessible (ie affordable) classics. Its not often I entrust an old vehicle to the attention's of someone else, so I visited their workshop a few times before making the final decision to get them on the case.

The problem I had was one of space - I've got room to store the Dodge, when it is a complete vehicle, but as future photographs will show, the amount of room that 26ft long Dodges take up when dismantled, is considerable, and beyond that available in my garage, even if I turfed the old cars outside. So, with the support of 'er indoors ringing in my ears, VHC were given the job. A number of transportation specialists were approached, and in the end two separate companies were involved just to move the Dodge a few miles down the road to VHC's workshop.

The photos below show the sequence of events involved in getting the Dodge moved. Due to the truck's size, a low loader has always been required when moving it anywhere, and this time was no exception.
Waiting to be dragged out of the garage Just clearing the accumulated stuff that seemed to have taken root underneath the Dodge took some shifting, and then I had to empty out all the unrelated parts that were stored in the back. The Dodge drove in here, but wouldn't be driving out under its own steam.

A Land Rover Discovery recovery truck pulled the old girl out of the garage, down the drive and onto the road, with yours truly attempting to steer with very limited rearward vision.
Transporting the truck to the workshop Driver's eye view from the LHD Dodge truck as it was pulled, backwards, out to the road in readiness to be loaded onto the waiting low-loader. These guys had all the proper kit, flashing amber lights and so on, so this all went very smoothly. Unfortunately the low-loader was just too large to reverse into our drive, so it had to be loaded outside.
Transporting the truck to the workshop The Dodge at the roadside. The low-loader was a few yards down the road, so three of us pushed the 4.5 ton Dodge down the road so that it could be tackled up to the heavy duty winch. Fortunately the weather was on our side, and the move was done in dry conditions.
Transporting the truck to the workshop This photo shows the Dodge being readied for loading. The Discovery and low-loader were parked in such a way that vehicles coming from both directions received plenty of warning that we were working in the road.

The actual loading didn't take more than 5-10 minutes anyway, and the convoy was soon away down the road.
Transporting the truck to the workshop With the Dodge securely loaded on the back, the low-loader headed off down the road, to find somewhere to turn around. We waited for it to go past, then I took up pursuit as 'rear gunner', with the Disco out in front, showing the route.

Most of the run was down back roads, which meant we avoided any major traffic and took a more direct route.
Transporting the truck to the workshop Occasionally things got a little 'narrow' as we headed cross-country, this Foden lorry having to take it easy as the two large loads negotiated the road past each other. A milk lorry further down the road also caused a few moments of concentration for both drivers :-)
Transporting the truck to the workshop Safe arrival at the restoration workshop, which is located on a Cheshire farm. Everything made the journey successfully, even my gloves which I'd left lying on the rear step by mistake.
Transporting the truck to the workshop The tilt-slide rear unit made unloading the Dodge quite straightforward, once the winch and retaining chains had been removed. Big old lorries like this can only be moved using the proper kit, no point trying to take shortcuts when moving heavy gear like this.
Transporting the truck to the workshop The Discovery was once again attached to the towbar of the Dodge, and pulled it back from the low-loader, lining it up for the tow into the workshop itself.
Transporting the truck to the workshop Fortunately VHC's modern workshop has sizeable roller shutter doors, so tall vehicles like the Dodge can get in with no problem, which wouldn't always be the case at some garages.
Transporting the truck to the workshop The Disco slowly pulled the Dodge into its new home for the next 12-18 months or so - note the amount of room available at this facility, which would soon be filled with rusty old lorry parts, as work began stripping the Dodge of its vital members in readiness for the rebuild.
Transporting the truck to the workshop The Dodge, parked and awaiting restoration, which will be featured in future diary pages
Return to the Dodge rebuild homepage for more info on this old lorry.
Or see Part 2 - removing the engine and gearbox.
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