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ERF Eight-wheeler

ERF Eight-wheeler

Fighting it’s way up Telegraph hill on the old A38 this ERF eight-wheeled tipper of Exeter based haulier Frank Tucker sports the first type of LV Jennings cab while in the background a Castrol tanker starts it’s gingerly descent. Even today with the gradient eased by a new road layout the hill is still fearsome but to the lorry drivers of forty years ago taking a 24 ton gross lorry down that hill was to say the least quite daunting.

For many years on the adjacent Haldon hill there lived an old tramp in a makeshift tent in the lay-by halfway up where many a lorry would stop to cool off a boiling radiator and he lived on the generosity of the drivers for food and fags as he sat by his campfire winter and summer. One day in the 1970s a busybody from the local council made it his business to have old “Smokey Joe” as we called him, carted off to Exeter hospital for a check-up… Joe died in there within the week, some say of a broken heart at the loss of his freedom.

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