Lowly the Lorry. . .

#31
The standard driving license entitles you to drive vehicles with a plated weight of up to 3.5 tonnes or 7.5 tonnes depending on when you took your driving test. This weight limit is always based on the GVW and is irrespective of what the vehicle weighs or how it is loaded. Taking the additional C class test enables you to drive any rigid (straight) truck, including your truck. Any commercial truck driver worth their salt will have this license. To complicate matters further, having the C class license enables you to drive the truck recreationaly or for your own private use, but if you wish to drive a heavy truck as part of your Job, you will need to have done the correct amount of 'Certificates of Professional Competence' (CPC) training. If a friend of yours drives your truck to the port as a favour, they will not need an up to date CPC in this case.

To operate your truck commercially as part of a business in the UK, you would need an operators license as it is heavier than 7.5 tonnes. This is an onerous and expensive requirement that essentially proves that you are fit to ensure the safe maintenance, storage and operation of a heavy road vehicle. As your truck is not being used for business purposes, this will not apply.

I have the correct license to drive your truck to a port, and would be happy to help, but I do not have trade plates or commercial insurance, and so the vehicle would have to have a valid DVSA test, valid road tax as a private HGV, and insurance that covers me to drive the truck, for me to legally drive the truck on the road. If the truck does not have a current test certificate, and valid insurance, you will not be able to tax it. I think that you will struggle to do any of those things from the other side of the world. It would be far more straightforward to get a commercial transporter to either drive or low-loader your truck to the port.

Let me know if I can help in any way.
 
#32
Assuming is still registered as a fire engine, it is MOT and Tax exempt. Have to send declaration re tax but means it would be easier to register. Would still need insurance but might make it a bit easier for someone to do. That said, think when I bought mine from the same place it was about £300 - £400 on a low loader for a similar distance so by the time you have covered someone’s insurance and train ticket back you may not be saving that much
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
#33
Export/Import Update:

If Lowly is leaving UK soil in the near future it will be headed toward Canada; the USA is not an option because he is too young (1995) but Canada only has a 15 year-old vehicle stipulation compared to the US 25 year-old rule.


- Sheik
Isn’t there an exemption to the 25 year rule for fire trucks coming into the USA? Might pay to do a bit more detailed research before going the Canada route.
 
#35
nick disjunkt,

Much thanks on the very informative UK license information - that was exactly what I was hoping to get back from one of you knowledgable folks here in EXPO country. With your information I will definitely be relying on a transporter to get Lowly to port.

- sheik
 
#36
Isn't there an exemption to the 25 year rule for fire trucks coming into the USA? Might pay to do a bit more detailed research before going the Canada route.
Ozrockrat,

I've read through quite a bit of government documentation regarding the ins-n-outs of importing vehicles into the US; I have yet to see anything exempting a fire truck. That being said, your question reminded me that I should probably call US customs to confirm. If you are correct then I'll owe you a cold beverage of your choosing :). Stay tuned.

- sheik
 
#37
Isn't there an exemption to the 25 year rule for fire trucks coming into the USA? Might pay to do a bit more detailed research before going the Canada route.
Ozrockrat,

Just got off the phone with US Customs & Border Patrol (navigating the menus to speak with a human is quite possibly the 3rd level of Hades!) and they confirmed that imported fire trucks are not exempt from the 25 year rule. It was a "hail-Mary" but worth the try.

- Sheik

Beware to anyone calling into US C&BP that right now (10-24-2017) the push-button options in the vehicle importation menu are not functioning. The work-around to speak with a human is to utilize another menu. I let them know it wasn't functioning but who knows when it will be fixed.
 
#38
Lowly Update. . .

Time flies when you are sorting out shipping vehicles from the other side of the world.

After getting price quotes on in-country transport from its current storage location to a shipping port + RORO shipping from UK ports to Halifax, I was able to sort out my preferred shipping company and begin a whole new dialogue on what they will require for Lowly to get moving toward North America. Here is their requirements for my situation:
1) scanned copy of Lowly's UK registration (V5) still showing the previous owner as the owner
2) scanned copy of Lowly's bill of sale from the auction house
3) scanned copy of my passport's photo page
4) how much shipping insurance coverage I desire
5) credit card payment

As simple as that! Not really. When the fire tender was delivered to its current storage facility it reportedly required a jumpstart to unload it off the transport trailer. When I mentioned it to the shipping company, alarm klaxons began clanging and I was informed that the vehicle has to reliably start and enter the RORO ship under its own power. No jumpstarting or towing allowed in the UK port for loading purposes. At the unloading port, it is okay for a vehicle to not start and jumping/towing is provided (for a fee).

So, I am now in the process of sorting out how to get the truck's batteries replaced before the shipping company will get things happening on their end. Much thanks to a couple of EXPO members who have helped me out with MB truck battery info and agreed to assist in getting the battery issue sorted out in person should the cookie crumble in that way.

I'm up against the clock to export the truck within the 3 month window for getting the Value Added Tax (VAT) I paid on the truck at auction reimbursed and Murphy's Law is rearing its ugly head on multiple levels to really complicate matters. I will hopefully hear back from the North Wales Fire Service (previous owner) fleet maintenance shop with information on battery location, size and type before sourcing a mobile truck service early next week to complete the task. Once the batteries are replaced, I will need to get the truck on the RORO ship ASAP or the batteries will likely draw down again due to likely ancillary power draws in a truck of this profession.

Enough text, how 'bout some more eye candy!

- Sheik

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mog

Explorer
#39
Wow, forget the 'expo build'. With all those cool, shelves, slideouts, steps, platforms, and racks, I expect to see that BRT (Big Red Truck) at the farmer market sell organic honey, beeswax candles, hemp clothing, various beads and bangles. It will put those hippy-vans to shame. Don't forget to practice your Pembrokeshire (or Cardiganshire) dialect of Welsh, so you can be even more unique (and charge an additional 10%)
 
#40
Wow, forget the 'expo build'. With all those cool, shelves, slideouts, steps, platforms, and racks, I expect to see that BRT (Big Red Truck) at the farmer market sell organic honey, beeswax candles, hemp clothing, various beads and bangles. It will put those hippy-vans to shame. Don't forget to practice your Pembrokeshire (or Cardiganshire) dialect of Welsh, so you can be even more unique (and charge an additional 10%)
I just might have to do something like that to recoup some of my expenses! I try to brace myself for every transaction I make in the UK, but the VAT is so heavy (and applied to every little thing) I end up cringing with every purchase!

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." -Benjamin Franklin

If you keep following along with this project, you just might be witness to both of Mr. Franklin's certainties!

- Sheik
 
#41
VAT is recoverable. Anything you buy in the UK on holiday you can get the VAT back. I don't see why it would be different for parts you are exporting. Look into it it may be worth it.
 
#42
Lowly Update. . .

Its been a busy 36 hours! Quite a few things checked off the old to-do list:

I heard back from the North Wales Fire Service (previous owner) fleet manager who helped me figure out where on the truck the batteries were located and what type/size I would need to replace them with. Check!

I was also (through a phone calling blitzkrieg) to find a mobile auto/truck electrical service business in the Bristol area who could swap the batteries out at short notice. Check!

Payment has been processed for in-country transport to Port of Bristol & overseas transport via RORO ship from Bristol to Halifax, Canada. Check!

Contact has been made with an importing facilitator in Halifax who knows the dance moves and has assisted previous EXPO members. Check!

A big thank you to the following folks: Dave & Rob at North Wales Fire Service, Avonmouth Auto Electric Ltd, Deanwood Holidays, Tom & Mark at AutoShippers, EXPO members mog, nick disjunkt, Joe917

While sleep depriving (8 hour time difference) and frustrating at times, it has been a unique experience so far learning about this process and coming across so many folks who are willing to go out of their way to assist.

Stay tuned!

- Sheik
 
#43
Not sure of your rear box length, but one option on the camper/cabin conversion is to graft a box to the rear of the cab. You eliminate usage of the cab tilt feature if it has one, but accessing the engine from the cab would be workable. Have friends from Germany we met in Mexico last winter, that did this. They have a smaller MAN 8.136 Doka, pictured here at our house in Arizona. Of course, the flexibility of the suspension is a must in order not to damage the cabin.
 
#44
Lowly Update. . .

Who thought a truck of this size would provide the thrilling ups and downs of a roller coaster ride?!

With the batteries changed out, the overseas shipping company (Autoshippers International) was able to arrange for in-country transport from its storage location to the port of Bristol. I was up against the clock because the storage facility was going to be inaccessible in a couple of days while the owners were on holiday for a couple weeks. I need to get the truck exported within 3 months of purchase in order to reclaim VAT and transport after they returned would likely push me over that limit.

Lowly was picked up yesterday and taken to Bristol for loading onto RORO. Yay! Originally it was going to get loaded at Southampton but Autoshippers believed the facilities were better suited in Bristol for this size of truck -and- they wanted to document/witness the proceedings first hand (I believe they are located in Avonmouth) as Lowly is not a typical job for them; he is somewhat larger than their typical shipment!

Based on a conversation I had with a Canadian vehicle import facilitator in Halifax, I decided to call Canadian customs one more time to triple check that I had the green light to permanently import into Canada as a US citizen. This time Customs HQ gave me a yellow-light and advised I call Halifax customs directly and run my scenario by the superintendent! Yikes! I thought government officials all read out of the same playbook! The truck is getting loaded in less than 12 hours! Arghhh!

I called Halifax Customs and presented my situation (and its time-sensitivity); they would get back to me with an answer by closing. No call back by closing. Truck is getting loaded in a couple hours. We decide to not cancel the truck's loading, planning to play whatever hand we are dealt by Canadian customs while the truck is bobbing across the Atlantic. Aye-chihuahua this is gut wrenching!

Got a call this morning from Halifax Customs - green light for permanent import! Horray! High fives all-round! A definite answer to prayer.

Our goal has been to be open, honest and straightforward with everyone we come in contact with in this crazy adventure, especially government entities. So far it has worked out and I like to think it will pay dividends in the long run.

Next hurdles:
Verify ability to register vehicle in Canada (for the second time).
Verify ability to insure the vehicle in Canada (for the second time).
Prepare travel arrangements to Halifax for collection of vehicle in person.
Prepare travel arrangements for cross-continental road trip to British Columbia.
Arrange storage in BC.

What have we gotten ourselves into?! :)

- Sheik
 
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