This is a Meccano model of a 5 ton Bedford Pallet-Jekta delivery van although I am not quite sure if I should describe it as a model of the Dinky Supertoys version or of the prototype vehicle. These were operated by Meccano limited probably in the late nineteen fifties and early sixties. A Dinky Supertoys model of the vehicle was first advertised in the January 1960 Meccano Magazine and an accompanying article in the magazine stated that the vans were used for the transportation of Dinky Toys. I do wonder if the vehicles were used to carry stock or castings between the two Meccano factories at Binns Road and the then new plant at Speke. The latter was stated as the use of an earlier small "Dinky Toys” liveried Bedford van issued some years earlier.
Perhaps the pallets of Meccano goods were taken to the docks or the nearest British Railways goods depot. I cannot image the van delivering pallets of Dinky Toys to individual shops. This is all of course just speculation.
The Pallet-Jeketa body had a mechanism to move pallets to the rear of the van one behind the other, multiple deliveries would have to have been carefully worked out.
Just how many of these vehicles were owned by Meccano is a matter of speculation I would imagine very few! I have tried to find information about the original vehicle but with little success, a black and white photograph of the prototype is shown below. Perhaps the special body was even made to the specification of Meccano Ltd. The loading bay in a picture of the Binns Road factory taken in the mid-fifties certainly looks fairly cramped (see Articulated Tank Lorry) and the idea of rear loading rows of pallets into the van would have been a good solution. I would imagine the normal practice would be to side load the pallets with roller doors to cover the load today a curtain sided truck or trailer would be the norm.
The model its self is an adaptation of an earlier model I built using the instructions for an Articulated Tank Lorry published in the September 1955 Meccano Magazine and based on a Bedford “A Series” prototype with its very American appearance. I have made several changes to the original front end and added a new longer chassis with a box van. The 1978 yellow plates and the more recent light yellow French plates quite closely match the original colours shown on the Dinky Supertoys model and I imagine those of the original van.
The moving platforms on my model follow the operations of the Dinky Supertoys model as I had no idea how the original operated, perhaps it was pneumatically. The Dinky Toys version had a rack and pinion mechanism operated by a crank handle on the side. This winds the top platform forward then pulls the second platform after it, a third platform is left at the rear, to load the last pallet(s).
On my model the mechanism is activated by a screw rod driven through reduction gearing and belt drive from a modern 6 volt Meccano motor. This moves the platforms to the back or front supported on 25 hole girders as runners. Picture above left shows the platforms ready for loading at the rear of the van. The motor 3 volt battery box is utilised as the vehicle fuel tank. The one and only mutilation I must mention is the narrow strip top of the windscreen is fitted with corner brackets with the ends snipped off to give an open ended slot this means the strip can be flush against the roof.
Details of the fork lift truck can be seen if you click here
The original Bedford Pallet-Jekta van (shown below) being loaded by a fork lift truck, probably in the yard of the Binns Road factory in Liverpool.
Page created November 02 2010 last Revised February 04 2014
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