GPO Vehicles

Make Morris
Model J Type
Type 10cwt Stores Carrying Vehicle (Closed), Type 1 (Morris)
Body Builder  
Use Stores Carrying
Registration Number SXH 405
Fleet Number U79940 (SXH 220) 1956
U79123 to 79247 (SXH 380 - 504) 1956
Date of picture January 1957

These GPO vehicles were fitted with front and rear wings made of rubber.
Because of this the headlamps and sidelights are fixed to the side panel.


B 3603
Issue 1, 5.11.59

The 10-cwt. Stores Carrying Vehicle (Closed), Type 1 (Morris)

1. General
This Instruction describes the l0-cwt Stores Carrying Vehicle (Closed), Type 1 (Morris). This vehicle has been introduced to improve the economic efficiency of centralized stores delivery pools; it is suitable for most subscribers’ apparatus delivery work.

2. Description
A general view of the vehicle is shown above, the overall dimensions being length 12 ft. 9 in., width 5 ft. 8 in. and height 6 ft. 9 in. The body shell is of welded pressed-sheet-metal construction, mounted on a Morris chassis. Cab and body are separated by a wire mesh screen as shown in Fig. 2 to enable the body to be locked (see par. 10) without restricting access to the cab.

Fig 2

3. Cab
Seats in the cab provide for one passenger in addition to the driver, the driver’s seat being adjustable. The passenger’s seat may be tipped forward to facilitate access to the vehicle battery which is housed beneath this seat. A compartment adjacent to the battery compartment accommodates all the vehicle tools with the exception of two long sections of the lifting jack handle which are secured in spring clips alongside the passenger’s seat.

Mounted above the engine cover is a folding type of writing table (Fig. 3) with a sliding support; the support is pulled out when the table is extended, to avoid undue strain on the flap hinges. To gain access to the engine the complete table unit can be raised and secured by a strap type of fastener. If necessary the complete table may be removed by loosening two wing nuts which secure it just below the near-side windscreen.

Fig 3

Situated behind the driver and let into the top portion of the wire mesh screen is a two-compartment locker equipped with sliding doors. One compartment is intended for personal effects and the other, together with a wire mesh container mounted adjacent to the table, for E.I.s., books, papers, etc.

Two hat and coat hooks are mounted on the wire mesh partition, behind the passenger’s seat. The fire extinguisher is accommodated in the cab.

4. Sliding doors
Under normal driving conditions the cab sliding doors should be kept shut while the vehicle is in motion, as a precaution against accidents. In foggy weather or when manoeuvring in a congested space it may nevertheless be found an advantage to have the doors open; in such circumstances the doors should be secured in the open position by the turn catches near the bottom of each door.

5. Body
The main field of use for this vehicle requires maximum clear body space and the vehicle is accordingly issued without any form of rack fitments (but see par. 6) giving over 100 cu. ft. of load space. Ribbing is fitted to protect the sides of the body against damage from the load. A Ladder, Extension, No. 5 can be transported by placing it on the off-side of the floor and pushing the head of the ladder into a recess formed below the driver’s seat; access to the recess is afforded by a hinged flap.

6. Rack units
Some form of racking may be necessary in a few cases. Such requirements should be dealt with on a local basis, consideration being given, in the first instance, to the use of minor van fittings, (see B 3606). If minor van fittings are unsuitable special racks may be constructed locally on prior authority being obtained from the Eng. Dept. (Ca) (see par. 7).

The R.M.T.O. must be consulted, at an appropriate stage, on the best method of mounting minor van fittings or special units in this vehicle; he will arrange for mechanics to give any co-operation necessary in fitting racks in position.

An appropriate entry in respect of additional fitments should be made on the vehicle tool list (A 1112) and on the vehicle record card MTE 46X.

7. Special racks
If such racks are considered necessary, sketches of the proposed arrangements should be prepared and submitted to the Eng. Dept. (Cn) for approval. Simple forms of racking are preferred; light slotted angle could possibly be used. It is, of course, accepted that the actual construction used will depend largely on local resources.

8. Maximum load
The maximum load that this vehicle may carry is 10 cwt. exclusive of driver and passenger. Where rack units are fitted allowance must be made for the weight of the units. In cases of doubt a simple check can be made by weighing the vehicle in its moving condition, i.e. complete with contents, personnel, full petrol tank, etc. This gross moving weight must not exceed 40 cwt. Any weighbridge charges involved should be passed to “Freight and Cartage“.

9. Towing facilities
To provide a fixing for a towing hitch, the rear bumper bar has been reinforced and drilled to accommodate the standard pin-type clevis. The vehicle will not be issued complete with clevis but one will be fitted on request to the R.M.T.O. provided that:-

(a) trailer tool carts only are to be towed
(b) the Area Engineer is satisfied that the facility is necessary
(c) the local terrain to be traversed is free from steep and difficult gradients.

When the vehicle is carrying its maximum load and towing a fully laden trailer tool cart (approximate weight 12 cwt.) a gradient greater than 1 in 7 must not be attempted.

IMPORTANT:- Applications for the provision of towing facilities must be restricted to those cases where it is essential and in no circumstances must trailers other than trailer tool carts be towed.

10. Locking arrangements
The near-side cab door and the rear doors are equipped with standard FA 600 series locks to enable the contents to be safeguarded when the vehicle is left unattended for short periods (the off-side cab-door is fitted with an inside turn button). For extended absences additional security can be obtained by padlocking the rear doors. A hasp and staple are fitted to the rear doors for this purpose. The vehicle tool box and cab locker are also equipped for padlocking.

"Padlocks 1.25 in" are the correct padlocks for use on this type of vehicle. It is advisable to keep all three padlocks to one suite.

[NOTE:- "Padlocks l.25 in" are sometimes of the spring self-locking type; to prevent the accidental locking of keys inside the van body, it is recommended that the padlock keys should not all be carried together.]

11. Lighting
A light is fitted in the cab and another in the body, the cab light being specially positioned to take account of the writing table. Both lights are controlled by a three-position switch mounted on the screen behind the driver.

12. Spare wheel
This is housed below the vehicle floor, and to remove it the hinged rear number plate should be slid towards the near-side to release a spring loaded catch, and then be raised out of the way.

13. Re-enamelling or re-touching
The outside of the van has a synthetic enamel finish. Attempts to re-touch any scratched or damaged parts should not be made by the staff using the vehicle; work of this nature will be undertaken by the Mech. I/C, when necessary, and during periodic overhauls.

14. Signwriting
Standard inscriptions for signwriting are given in C 0015.

15. The speed limit for this vehicle is 30 m.p.h. except when towing a trailer (see D 0022).

References:- B 3606, C 0015, D 0022


The Post Office Electrical Engineers Journal
Volume 46, July 1953 - Part 2

 New 10-cwt. Utility Vehicle

This article describes a new 10-cwt and shows the prototype vehicle, which has front wheel steel wings. It is a Utility vehicle for use on external construction work in circumstances where the standard 1-ton Utility vehicle is unnecessarily large (see picture below). The new vehicle is a Morris Commercial "J" type as used in the postal fleet, but modified to meet engineering requirements. Introduction.

The present standard l-ton Utility vehicle was introduced as a result of a recommendation of the Committee on Engineering Transport Efficiency in 1935. The recommendation was to abandon the then existing 1-ton General Utility vehicle, and to incorporate some of its features in the 1-ton Jointer's vehicle which would then serve as standard for 2-men or 3-men working parties including jointers. At the same time the 15-cwt. Jointer's van, the 15-cwt. Fitter's van and the 10-cwt. Trojan van were withdrawn from engineering use; thus five individual types of vehicle were merged into one.

Fig. 1 - The 1-ton Utility Vehicle

Except for comparatively minor modifications the 1-ton Utility vehicle has served for nearly 20 years, covering a wide range of duties for overhead, underground and installation parties, and is a tribute to the wisdom of those who made the decision and to the designers of the original vehicles. Because of the facilities incorporated in its design to meet the varying requirements of the duties involved, the vehicle is, of necessity, much larger, heavier and more expensive than one with a less extensive range of use, and it is inevitable that many of the facilities provided, e.g. for carrying a long ladder and wiring drum, may never be used. Certainly many such vehicles never tow a trailer.

At the present time the engineering fleet includes approximately 1600 1-ton Utilities (about one tenth of the fleet), and it was considered that the number was sufficiently large to justify a review of the situation with a view to reducing motor transport costs and securing other advantages.

It should be mentioned that during the war the 1-ton Utility could not be obtained; accordingly the 8-cwt. van type 1 was in many cases used as an alternative. In spite of its limitations this smaller vehicle proved reasonably suitable for many two-men parties where the longer types of ladder were not required, and in fact many of these vehicles are at present in use by jointer's although the housing of the tents presents a problem which cannot be
entirely overcome. However, the vehicle has some advantages over the 1-ton Utility particularly in respect of size, which is of importance in the more congested town areas.

Morris Commercial "J" Type 10-cwt. Van
In considering the use of standard commercial types of vehicles in the Engineering Department it is of course necessary to take into account the wider field of transport usage in the Post Office as a whole and, since the postal fleet is almost as large as the engineering fleet and provision and maintenance is concentrated under the control of the Engineering Department Motor Transport Branch, the use of a standard commercial type of vehicle for both engineering and postal use offers obvious advantages.

Fig 2. - The new 10-cwt Utility Van

With the introduction of the "J" type Morris van to the postal fleet as a replacement for the 100 cu.ft. van, which was of course commercially the same type as the engineering 8-cwt. van type 1, the Construction Branch was asked to consider the use of this vehicle for engineering purposes.

At first sight the Morris "J" did not appear particularly attractive; the vehicle was unsuitable for a ladder carrier on the roof, firstly because the roof was rather high, and secondly because there was a possibility of instability with a ladder mounted in that position. It was decided, however, that by limiting the maximum size of ladder to be carried to that of a Ladder, Extension No. 5, which is 8ft. 4in. in length (closed), it would be possible to house the ladder on the floor of the vehicle, an arrangement which offered considerable advantages in both vehicle stability and ease of loading, unloading and securing the ladder. Further, at this stage it was decided that the vehicle not only offered advantages as a superseding type for the 8-cwt. van type l, but also had distinct possibilities as a superseding type for many 1-ton Utilities.

A standard Morris Commercial "J" type 10-cwt. van was therefore made available by the Motor Transport Branch for modification to produce a prototype engineering vehicle.

The "J" type 10-cwt. van for postal work can be readily recognised by the prominent feature of the sliding doors. This feature offers obvious advantages in both use on the roads and in garaging space, in that it provides adequate openings for entering and leaving the cab on both near side and off side without any of the disadvantages associated with the sweep of the door necessary in the hinged type: and, although the doors of a postal van may open many more times in a day than the engineering counterpart, the introduction of the sliding door to engineering vehicles will undoubtedly bring distinct advantages in use on the job and in garaging.

Modifications to meet Engineering Requirements
The engineering version of the Morris Commercial "J" type 10-cwt. van (Fig. 2) shows clearly how the distinctive lines of the vehicle have been retained free from all additional external fittings. The vehicle illustrated is fully loaded carrying a jointer's kit complete with four tent sections, a 20-ft. extension ladder, motor pump and lighting set. In carrying out the modifications, the housing of the ladder presented some difficulty as it required a space free from obstruction at least 8ft. 4in. long by 20in. wide by 8in. deep. The obvious solution was a false floor which was mounted on two light gauge (16 S.W.G.) channels specially pressed and fitted with bracing webs and feet drilled to coincide with the existing floor-chassis anchoring bolts. The lower flange of the near-side channel was shaped at the forward end to give access to the petrol gauge potentiometer fitted to the petrol tank. The false floor itself was designed in three sections laid in light gauge ^in. angles arranged transversely and welded to the main channels. The centre section of the floor is removable to give access to the back axle via the original trap in the main floor of the vehicle. A partition disposed vertically between the two floors was arranged in three sections, the forward and rear fixed and the centre section fixed only to the underside of the removable section of the false floor, to provide a tunnel of the dimensions required to house the ladder. The lower edge of the centre portion of the partition was housed in a light U-shaped channel to provide a secure fixing when the removable floor section was placed in position.

The forward end of the ladder when in the tunnel extends to a position immediately below the driver's seat; the Morris Commercial seat was, therefore, removed and replaced by a Departmental standard seat mounted on steel bearers, with a sheet steel panel to form a front stop for the ladder. The near side of the seat mounting was left open to give access to the ladder from the front end should this at any time be necessary, and the off side was partly screened to ensure unobstructed access to the off side step. The seat is adjustable forwards and rearwards in the usual manner and is of the same height, and in exactly the same position as the Morris Commercial standard seat.

To facilitate the housing of the tent sections and to provide a comfortable passenger seat, the wire mesh screen has been stepped. This allows the passenger seat to be set back and, by partly covering the step well, adequate leg room for the passenger and an easy step from the near side of the vehicle are provided. Both steps, near side and off side, are therefore alike, and access to either seat is possible from either side of the vehicle. Further, there is possibly an advantage in the setting back of the passenger seat in that the driver's view when looking to the left is less likely to be obscured by the passenger.

The fitting of the false floor necessitated the repositioning of the vehicle battery, which in its normal position under the main floor of the vehicle on the off side, would have been inaccessible because of the false floors supports. It was, therefore, removed and repositioned under the passenger's seat, where ready access to the battery and master switch is available by simply tipping forward the passenger seat on its hinged mounting. Also, part of the space available under the passenger seat has been profitably used for stowing the smaller vehicle tools in a lock-up compartment.

Fig.3 - Details of construction of the false floor

To provide lock-up accommodation for the books and papers necessary for the Department's work, a locker is incorporated in the upper portion of the wire mesh screen immediately behind the driver. This locker has two sliding doors and is partitioned to provide two compartments.

A table was designed to be easily removable when major maintenance is necessary to the engine, and to fold back with the engine cover to give ready access to the engine for normal maintenance operations. The table top also folds on itself, and when the hinged flap is brought forward it provides a writing table, or if desired a meal table. This table fits into the space immediately above the engine cover (Fig. 4), being secured in position on hinged brackets fitted just below the near side wind screen and supported on a folding leg, the lower end of which fits into a slot in the engine cover. The hinged flap of the table top is additionally supported, when open, by two sliding arms housed on the under-side of the fixed half of the table.

Fig. 4 - View inside driving cab showing the writing table

The fittings inside the body are simple and consist of two bins mounted one above the other as compartments on the near side of the vehicle, providing accommodation for small items of stores and tools.

The under floor space on the near side can, if necessary, be used to stow digging tools, a pair of five-tread folding steps, pruning rods, tent seats and stretcher bars, and tarpaulins, according to requirements. The space immediately behind the near-side under floor space conveniently accommodates a jointer's toolbox.

A typical layout of tools, stores and equipment, in which a jointer’s kit with motor pump and lighting set is included, is shown in Fig. 5.

Fig. 5. - Typical Layout of Equipment in Vehicle

Two lights inside the vehicle, one in the body and one in the cab, controlled by a switch beside the driver's seat, provide artificial light, and two coat hooks on the screen behind the passenger seat complete the internal fittings.

The rear bumper bar has been arranged for the attachment of a towing hitch for the purpose of occasionally towing a trailer tool cart, which is well within the capabilities of the vehicle. Towing is confined to trailer tool carts only, and it has, therefore, been decided that the towing hitch shall only be fitted on request when it is considered essential to provide the facility.

As a vehicle to supersede the 8-cwt. van type 1, the 10-cwt. Utility vehicle is undoubtedly an improvement and may displace many 1-ton Utilities. During the experimental work on the development of the prototype vehicle, the whole contents (including motor pump and lighting set) of a 1-ton Utility used by a pair of jointers was transferred to the new vehicle and, when weighed and an allowance of 3 cwt. made for driver and passenger, was within the maximum weight of 1 ton 15 cwt. 0 qrs. permissible for vehicle and load. The total weight of vehicle and load including driver and passenger is approximately J ton less than the unladen weight (2 ton 0 cwt. 3 qrs.) of the 1-ton Utility. The annual charges on the 10-cwt. van (including running costs) are approximately 25 per cent, less than for the 1-ton Utility vehicle.

On present-day costs it may sometimes be possible to justify the use of such a vehicle in place of a trailer tool cart, considering the manhours lost on divergent journeys and in waiting to be picked up, which often occurs when two parties are at work, one with a trailer tool cart being dependent on another with a 1-ton Utility. Here two Morris "J's" may well provide a more economic arrangement as well as bringing the not inconsiderable advantage of complete and independent mobility to both parties.

In garaging space the vehicle also offers some advantages in that it is estimated that three of these vehicles can be garaged in the space required for two 1-ton Utilities, a factor which is of appreciable importance in these days of restricted garaging space.

It is emphasised that the vehicle is not intended to supersede the 1-ton Utility as a type generally. It cannot do this. If it is necessary to carry a ladder longer than the Ladder, Extension No. 5, or a pay-load greater than 10 cwt. including driver and passenger or additional passengers, the vehicle is unsuitable.





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