GPO Vehicles

Make Morris
Model J4 (10/12 cwt)
Type Area Planning and General Purpose Vehicle, Type 2 (Morris)
Body Builder Petrol
Use External Planning
Registration Number  
Fleet Number 72.601.0042 & U88267
Date of picture 1972 and 1963

General description and facilities
This vehicle which supersedes the Type 1 version, is a standard 12 cwt. van modified by the fitting of windows, longitudinal seats, lockers, a folding table, a map box and interior lighting.  The vehicle has a forward control cab with seats to accommodate a passenger and a driver.  There is a small hinged writing flap in front of the passenger seat, and a special fold-down back to this seat facilitates access between the body and cab.  Seats to accommodate a further four passengers are provided in the vehicle body and, when not required, these seats and the table may be folded away to increase the load carrying space of the vehicle.  Survey rods and an extension ladder (maximum closed length 7 ft. 3 in.) may be carried on the body floor. A light towing clevis may be fitted if necessary but towing is limited to a trailer tool cart.  The vehicle is intended for use by Area planning duties, precision testing duties and general transport for groups of fitters.


The Morris J4 was the successor to the well known J type.  It was announced in 1959 and featured monocoque construction and independent front suspension plus other up to date features.  The basic van body panel patterns of the J4 remained with the Sherpa/Convoy range of models in to the Millennium!


B 3608
Issue 1, 4.2.65

The Area Planning and General Purpose Vehicle, Type 2 (Morris)

1. General
This Instruction describes the Area Planning and General Purpose Vehicle, Type 2 (Morris) and the facilities which it provides. It supersedes the Area Planning and General Purpose Vehicle, Type 1 (Morris) and is suitable for Area duties requiring:-

  1. transport for three to six men (including the driver)
  2. a mobile field office, or
  3. transport for cable fault location purposes and where the provision of a test van is not warranted.
Fig 1

2. Description
A. general view of the vehicle is shown in Fig. 1. It is a modified standard B.M.C. 10 to 12 cwt. van of welded pressed-sheet-metal construction with windows along either side. The overall dimensions are: length 13 ft. 3 in., width 5 ft. 9.5 in., height 6 ft. 8 in. 

3. Seating arrangements
In addition to the adjustable driver's seat there is a single passenger seat in the cab section. The backrest of the passenger's seat folds forward to allow access to the body section from the cab. Seats for a further four men are arranged longitudinally along the sides of the body (Fig. 2), three being on the near-side and one on the off-side. These longitudinal seats can be folded back and secured against the sides of the vehicle by means of leather ties to improve the load carrying space and to give access to the lockers (Fig. 3).

Fig 2
Fig 3

4. Office facilities
Mounted within the body on the off-side is a table unit (Fig. 2) designed to give sufficient table area for laying out plans, using light test gear and writing. The actual table is of the drop leaf type, supported in the raised position by two hinged brackets and secured for travelling by small bolts on the underside of the table. Always fasten these bolts when the table is raised. Fig. 3 shows the table in the lowered position where it is secured by small bolts. The table unit also incorporates pencil grooves, deep map pockets and partitioned compartments for forms, E.I.s etc.

An adjustable type of desk light unit is mounted above the table to supplement the general illumination by the four lights arranged round the body above window level.

5. For casual note-taking or welfare purposes there is also a small writing flap (Fig. 4) mounted directly in front of the front passenger position. This flap is supported by folding stays and is hinged at the centre so that it can be neatly folded back against the glove compartment when not in use.

Fig 4

6. Lockers
There are two underseat lockers on the near-side of the body section and one on the offside; that on the off-side housing the vehicle battery. Access to these lockers is obtained by lifting up the seat sections (Fig. 3); the vehicle tools are accommodated in the near-side front locker except for long handled items which are secured in spring clips behind the front seats.

7. Locking arrangements
The driver's door and the rear doors are equipped with FP 750 standard cylinder locks; the near-side cab door is locked by turning the winged knob located near the inside door handle. Underseat lockers on the near-side are equipped with a hasp and staple so that they can be padlocked.

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

8. Ladder carrying
A three-section extension ladder of maximum length 7 ft. 3 in. (closed) can be carried on the floor of the vehicle as well as survey rods (Fig. 2).

9. Load space
The facility of folding back the seats and lowering the table in the body section ensures that a maximum amount of clear body space can be made available when it is necessary to convey bulky items of test gear or apparatus. Wooden battens should be placed below any item likely to damage the floor covering.

10. Maximum load
The maximum load that this vehicle may carry is 12 cwt. excluding the driver. 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 weight must not exceed 37 cwt. Any weighbridge charges should be passed to Freight and Cartage.

11. Towing facilities
Although the vehicle is not fitted with a towing clevis, it is possible for one to be fitted locally on request to the R.M.T.O. provided that:-

  1. (a) Trailer Tool Carts only are to be towed
  2. the Area Engr. is satisfied that the facility is necessary, and
  3. the local terrain to be traversed is free from any steep and difficult gradients.

When the vehicle is carrying its maximum load and towing a fully-laden Trailer Tool Cart (approximate weight 10 cwt.) a gradient greater than 1 in 7 should not be attempted.

Important:- Applications for the provision of towing facilities must he restricted to those cases where it is essential and in no circumstances must trailers other than Trailer Tool Carts be towed.

12. First aid kits
The driver's first aid kit is located in the near-side glove compartment. If a party regularly using this vehicle is equipped with a larger first aid kit, this should be mounted on the face of the compartment immediately to the rear of the main table
using two leather straps; two suitable leather straps complete with buckle should be purchased locally where necessary.

13. Spare wheel
The spare wheel is housed in a drop-front carrier under the off-side of the body.

14. Damage to paint work
The outside of the van has a synthetic enamel finish. Attempts to retouch any scratched or damaged parts should not be made by the staff using the vehicle; work of this nature will be undertaken by the Workshop Supervisor/Mechanic-in-Charge when necessary.

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

16. Speed limit
See D 0022.

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Last revised: February 04, 2021