Apprentices Bring Historic U.K. Fire Truck Back to Life
CUMMINS GENERATOR TECHNOLOGIES (CGT) APPRENTICES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM HAVE BEEN WORKING ON A PROJECT THAT SOME ENGINEERS MIGHT ONLY DREAM ABOUT: RESTORING A 1930 MERRYWEATHER FIRE ENGINE.
For most of its life, the fire engine belonged to the town of Stamford in the U.K. and was based at the local fire station. After falling into disrepair, mechanics made several failed attempts to restore the historic piece.
With no luck, the fire engine was left to spend the next 20 years in a barn, scattered in pieces. Rather than writing it off, the Cummins apprentices in Stamford and Peterborough saw an opportunity. They made it their goal to not only bring the vehicle back to working order, but to swap the truck’s engine with a Cummins diesel.
The apprentices knew the piece needed new engine mounts, updated fuel and exhaust systems and a new adapter in order to use the original transmission with a Cummins engine. Once a successful conversion is complete, the apprentices are confident their work will display the excellence of Cummins Power Systems.
"These projects give us exposure to both theoretical and hands-on learning with mechanical and electrical systems," said John Searle, a Manufacturing and Engineering Apprentice.
With no budget for the restoration, completing this project has forced the apprentices to be extremely creative. For example, the group made an apprentice swap with Pilkington Glass to build a new windscreen for the vehicle.
The Merryweather restoration isn’t the only project the CGT apprentices have undertaken. Other restorations include a 1957 Ransomes MG6 tractor completed in 2016, and a Heritage Railway Cummins NHRS 6B1 engine, a project that began earlier this year.
Many of the apprentices see the work as an opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge.
"The projects I have been given while in my apprenticeship are challenging yet rewarding and allow me to push myself,” said apprentice Jack Walker. “The sense of responsibility I have when undertaking these projects is very fulfilling."
Others in the apprentice program stressed the importance of teamwork, networking and meeting deadlines. The most resounding feedback from the apprentices was their feeling of satisfaction and pride.
Apprentice Lewis Morley summarized the apprentice experience saying, "This has been the best decision of my life with many opportunities and learnings along the way."
The team expects the fire engine restoration to be complete and returned to the town of Stamford in September of 2018.