Crew change

Pictured above is an ex-Northampton Corporation Daimler CV6G in May 2009. Along with many other classic vehicles, it was providing an intensive bus service on routes in and around Minehead, Somerset. Click on the picture for a larger view. Photo © Bob Brimley.

My driver and I were relief crew on that day and the cameraman has caught us as we took the Daimler on its next duty while its rostered crew had a lunch break.

Although of a traditional design, this bus was actually built well into the era of rear engined buses. Supplied to Northampton Corporation in 1967, the Roe body on this Daimler includes teak framing and is one of the last buses built to this longstanding method of construction. It is powered by a Gardner 8.4 litre 6-cylinder engine, driving through a 4-speed preselector gearbox.

It is often said that municipal operators would specify a preselector gearbox to save the expense of training its ex-tram drivers to drive a manual gearbox bus. There was no clutch on these, just a gear-change pedal in addition to the normal brake and accelerator pedals. The gears were selected in advance using a lever mounted on the steering column and pressing the gear-change pedal initiated the change.

Some car manufacturers in the inter-war years also offered a preselector gearbox.

My driving assessment, due to take place tomorrow, has been postponed so you’ll have to wait until next week to find out how I got on.

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