GPO Vehicles

Make Commer
Model VC5
Type 4 ton General Utility Vehicle
Body Builder  
Use General Utility
Registration Number  
Fleet Number  
Date of picture Circa 1972

The new 4-ton G U vehicle (with three man cab)

The New 4-Ton G U Vehicles
Taken from External Plant News - No. 26 October 1972

The new 4-ton G U vehicles have been designed to meet the needs of both overhead and underground groups. Vehicles already in the field have a three man cab, but future versions will be available with a four man crew cab. Apart from a reduction in body length of two feet, the internal racking, lockers and general carrying facilities are the same for the two versions. The vehicle is built on a 5-ton chassis and can carry 4 tons of stores and trail 6 tons. The illustrations are of a Commer VC5 fitted with a three man cab.

Access is gained to the rear of the vehicle by a 1-ton hydraulic tail lift, which is of the cantilever type balanced by a torsion bar for easy raising by hand. A roller shutter, fastening at floor level, is fitted. This can be partially closed on occasions when poles are being carried. The removable step, which is located by two holes drilled in the tailboard, assists access to the rear of the vehicle. The electrohydraulic unit which is employed to raise the tailboard has its controls housed on the nearside rear of the vehicle.

The vehicle's maximum pole-carrying capacity is three of medium size. A flap at the front of the vehicle opens to allow the poles to protrude over the vehicle cab. The poles are loaded with the tailboard in its lowered position but maintained vertically at a convenient height for manhandling the poles which rest on the edge of the tailboard. After loading the poles, the tail lift is raised. A lashing bar is provided beneath the front flap and a lashing rail on the tailboard.

When poles are being carried, access to the rear of the vehicle is by a rear mounted ladder and the removable step which is stowed inside the vehicle body adjacent to the tailboard. A cable drum of up to 1 ton may be loaded into the vehicle using the tail lift. Cable drum restrainers to prevent movement when raising and lowering are located in holes on the tailboard.

Ladders are carried on an internal shelf on the offside of the vehicle with an extension at the front on the three man cab version allowing for longer ladders to be carried. On the four man crew cab version a trap, with weatherproof screens to protect the inside of the vehicle, performs this function.

Robust racking is provided on both sides of the vehicle, the floor space beneath which on the nearside of the vehicle is enclosed by removable boards. Three metre rods are stowed on a shelf on the offside of the vehicle, a trap at the rear permitting easy loading. A small shelf on the offside is designed to carry Bins Storage No 1 which can be used for piece parts and stores.

A compartment is provided for hanging clothes and storing boots, gloves and safety helmets. An outward opening locker on the nearside makes provision for one 30 lb or two 10 lb gas bottles. Other external lockers on both sides of the vehicle are for carrying road lamps etc. A domestic gas ring is provided for brewing tea. Heat shields and a ventilator prevent the temperature of the surrounding bodywork rising to a dangerous level. Any leakage of gas from this ring is drained away to the underside of the body and is prevented from seeping to the interior by a retaining wall. A domestic locker is provided adjacent to the ring with two drawers underneath.

The vehicle is fitted with 3 line air pressure brakes and a 6 ton hitch. An adaptor, to enable trailers fitted with 5 ton and 45 cwt towing eyes to be towed, is provided with the vehicle. Due to a delay in production of the adaptor some early vehicles were supplied without it but arrangements have been made to issue adaptors to all such vehicles.

Rotating amber beacons are fitted to both the front and rear of the body. The interior is illuminated by a translucent roof supplemented by fluorescent fittings controlled from the cab. The security of the vehicle as a whole is ensured by the provision of Yale-type locks, while the underfloor lockers are padlocked.

View of the internal layout

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Last revised: February 06, 2021