Table of contents
|You know the situation... you've just spotted a really interesting piece of machinery in a yard and when you're halfway across to photograph it, a savage dog leaps into view with slavering fangs and evil in it's heart...|
|Above... near Warburton, 1973 (I survived)||A hazard of a different kind... I was 16 and had ridden my bicycle about 16 km early one morning... that's ice on the tray. (Although this probably won't impress our Canadian friends overmuch).|
|Here's a hazard of operating an old CMP with a winch. This F15A was retrofitted with a winch the result of which was to bend the chassis after an unwise move. At least he had a spare!|
|Here's a hazard of operating a CMP in timber country (near Trentham, 1973). Hope nobody was in the passenger seat of this F60S!|
|Another hazard common in timber country is the lifting of the entire front of the truck when using a winch and crane, then letting the whole truck slam back onto it's front wheels... too much for the springs in this F60L.|
Bruce Parker writes:
"Driving down the road in my Chev 15cwt...all of a sudden a police car does a cop-like manoevre, cutting me off...just about crunched my 6" channel bumper into his RH door. Seem he had been after me quite a while, but, being RH drive, and noisy, I didn't notice. Try as he might, I was legal, and after a bit I was on my way... "
And from Colin Macgregor Stevens:
A friend told me that he was driving his CMP with his child in the passenger seat. A police officer stopped them, and walked up to speak to the driver. He saw a child sitting where he expected to see the driver! He had assumed the driver was in the left seat as is usual in Canada.
(other than wife's anger or overdrawn bank accounts):
In the late 1970s I bought a 1942 Cab 13 C15A (ex-RCEME, unit sign 88) in Saskatchewan for C$300. The owner had the original wood cargo box (2H1) which he used for feeding his cattle. He got his tractor/forklift going and switched cargo boxes on the truck. Just as he finished a hydraulic hose broke and fluid sprayed out! Luckily no damage was done to either the people or the CMP. About this time the farmer got into the truck to start it, and jumped right back out again. A wasp's nest was in the seat cushion! Later Peter Ford (of Saskatoon) and I took turns driving the CMP to North Battleford (we had to get my family car home too), and there was no air filter. One original tire was not holding air but it held just enough air until I got home - and then went flat (well as flat as a combat tire will go). Another day, when driving it around the block with the roof off, some pretty young ladies INSISTED on climbing aboard for a ride! What could I do - I had no door locks to keep them out! At least, that is what I probably told my wife... (This truck was later sold to Herb Tuplin in Saskatchewan and it was later acquired by another collector from the his estate. This new owner contacted me last year.) "
DRIVE SLOWLY AROUND PEOPLE ! - I was told by a good friend that at a vehicle rally in Canada many years ago, a driver was zooming around in his Universal Carrier. His tracks caught the strap of the purse that a little girl was carrying and pulled it right off her arm. She was apparently not injured.
HONK WHEN YOU BACK UP - I was taught to honk the horn twice when I was going to back up an army vehicle (unless in a tactical situation of course). At a public display, a non-military MV owner decided to back up a friend's deuce-and-a-half shop van. My young son was standing behind him and we had to yell a warning. He was not hurt, but the driver almost was!
John Marchant tells the story in his excellent little book "AT WORK AND PLAY" of backing a CMP 3 tonner over the front of a little car that had tucked itself right behind him. He was exonerated in the investigation.
We have a local ferry where vehicles have to back on. What is that you say, you know what is going to happen? Well, it happened TWICE. Once, the ferry attendant waved the driver on - cruch! The other time the driver did not pay attaention apparently and crunch!
In 1995 the Western Command Military Vehicle Historical Society of British Columbia Canada could not go to the Dutch Liberation ceremonies in Holland, so we did the next best thing. We went to the ceremonies in the Dutch populated town in Lynden, Washington state, USA. We took 22 MVs - all Canadian owned - how appropriate!
1. Don't forget the parking barke - My daughter (then 14) was wearing an original WWII CWAC uniform (fit her like a glove) and was passenger in the front of an M135 2-1/2 ton. The driver parked it on a slight incline and left the vehicle. The truck started to roll towrads a parked car. My daughter Suzie, in a tight CWAC skirt (and no driver's licence at that point) did some contortions and managed to get her foot on the brake which held it until the driver returned seconds later.
2. Another member of the club was driving his WC-52. Just before the parade - it broke in half! The frame had rusted through.
3. Yet another member was riding his BSA M-20 motorcycle with another chap riding a H-D WLC around before the parade. Come parade time, the BSA would it start? No bloody way!
Western Command MVHS in BC, Canada was driving their DUKW in Vancouver traffic. A civilian driver was mesmerized by this beast, and ran right into the car in front of him.
SUBMERSIBLE UNIVERSAL CARRIER
Western Command MVHS took a Universal Carrier to the beach for some fun driving. It had no armour then and was a peppy little thing. Well, it got stuck out on the mud flats when the tide was out. The M135 2-1/2 ton was sent to retrieve it. It too got stuck. In came the tide - covering the UC and coming up to the floorboards on the 2-1/2 ton. They waited for the tide to go out, then retieved the vehicles and got both running. I believe this is the same UC that just won first prize after being restored by Walter Webster, at the MVPA Convention in San Jose, CA in 1999.
More stories available of MUTT losing wheel on highway, Iraqi tank rolling through a parking lot at museum when unloaded - and no driver in the tank, etc.
Phil Waterman in the US has some funny bear stories.
Driving a strange (and to be charitable CMPs are strange) looking vehicle on the roads here in the states does result in some funny things happening. When I first got my HUP on the road some 20 years ago a number of times found myself being followed by a police cruiser. Generally after they had followed me for a mile or two I would pull over and stop, never got a ticket, but often did have a pleasant time telling them what a CMP was. In the last few years the reasons for being stopped or followed by police have been pretty funny. The last two stops have both related to the right hand drive and the fact that I have a parade bear that rides in the left hand front seat for parades. The bear is human sized dressed in a Canadian Army uniform the bear is animated to wave in parades.
Riding in the left seat the bear has caught the eye of a trooper and local police officers. The trooper was passing in the opposite direction and pulled a Uy to come up behind me with his lights on. Then he came up to the left side of the truck to ask the bear for his license and registration. When I said from the other side of the truck yes officer can I help you he just sort of waved at me and said get out of here as he walked back to his cruiser. The only thing I could figure was that he was stopping me for driving in a bear suit figuring that it had to obstruct my vision. I always wondered if he ever told anybody he had stopped a stuffed bear.---The next time I was stopped again on the way to a parade I had pulled up to an intersection squared the corner so that I could see both directions from the right hand side. I could see a cruiser parked on the edge of the road up a ways. After waiting for traffic I pulled out made and made my turn. A little way down the road there were the blue lights so I pulled over. Again the officer walked up to the left side of the truck but this one realized that it was a stuffed bear and laughed. When I asked him why he stopped me he explained that he had been parked down road and that the driver, the bear, had not looked either way. So he was going to warn me to look both ways.
And from Mark Perry in Winnipeg
About a dozen years ago, someone who knew I was interested in old military vehicles mentioned seeing one at a junkyard in a town about an hour north of here. I knew the place - it was a derelict service station on the edge of town, with an assorted collection of old Volkswagens mouldering in the long grass. The 'proprietor' was the town eccentric, a crazy old Ukrainian known as Lefty, and the place was known as a source of old VW parts. I drove up, and pulled my Suzuki SJ410 into the drive, which appeared to be blocked by some sticks and other junk. The CMP was sitting a little ways on at the edge of the log by the road. It looked like a fairly complete 15cwt, without a body. I didnt know too much about CMPs then. I got out and looked around. No one seemed to be around, so I walked over and started to inspect the truck, looking for a data plate of some kind. Suddenly I heard a shout and Lefty had appeared from somewhere, inside the old garage, I guess. I called back a 'Hello, I just wanted to look at this truck' - but it was too late, he was yelling and waving at me to get off his property, I was trespassing and so on. I strolled over to him, and pleasantly aplogized and tried to ask him about the truck, but he was having none of it, shouting in his thick accent about city people coming all the time to steal from him, didn't I see that the driveway was closed, I should get out of here,and so on. It was too late, he said, I had already trespassed. He simply refused to calm down and discuss the truck, even when I made it clear I might be interested in it. Worst of all, he said he was going to send the truck for scrap! Anyway, no matter how much I tried to jolly him along, it was get out of here you trespasser and don't come back. So, as I was really starting to get pissed off at how unreasonable he was being, I left. I didnt get up that way for a few years. Next time I did, the lot had been completely cleaned out, the old garage demolished. I dont know what happened to the truck, or to Lefty. I suppose he is either dead, or in the looney bin.