Greetings, fellow forum members! - I have a question to ask about Makes of Motor Lorries/Trucks used during WW1. I have come across earlier posts that touch on the subject, but not in any depth. The reason I ask is, someone on another forum has asked if anyone can provide any pictures of Garford motor trucks as used by Australian troops in WW1.
I cannot find anything about Garford trucks being used in WW1, except for a description of some motor lorries produced by Garford for use as water tankers by the British, about 1916.
A search of the AWM site brings up nothing related to Garford, except a few soldiers with that surname. I have found that Leyland, Albion, Thorneycroft, Karrier, Dennis, and American FWD and Peerless trucks, were used by the Allied troops. These all appear to be referred to, as "General Service Trucks" in AMF descriptions. Peerless trucks feature prominently in AWM photos, where motor trucks are pictured.
I have found that the British Military purchased 12,000 Peerless trucks in 1915, and these were apparently delivered between 1915 and 1918. I have found no record of any Garford truck purchases. However, I have found that the Liberty "B" truck, designed by the SAE & the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, in 1917, was produced (in identical form) by 15 different manufacturers, including Garford. I believe this may have led to the questioner thinking that Garford trucks were used by Australian troops.
A quote from the Hayes truck museum - "(When the Americans) landed in France in 1917, they scrambled for every truck available at the time. An inventory later revealed 294 different makes; of these 213 were produced in the US with 60,000 non-interchangable parts. The military realized they needed to standardize their trucks, and the Liberty Truck, or "USA Truck" was born.
The Liberty "B" truck design was initiated by one Capt W.M. Britton, of the USACE, who was on assignment with the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. He suggested to Quartermaster Gen. G. Henry Sharpe, that a design for a standardised truck fleet was necessary. Britton proposed a design basis, of common truck component sub-assemblies, from many different manufacturers, that would ensure total interchangeability of all parts.
Sharpe agreed, and got the SAE to draw up a formal report on truck standardisation. The SAE report was received by Sharpe, and approved by him, and forwarded to General Staff for their perusal. General Staff endorsed the proposal.
A meeting was then arranged by the SAE in July 1917, of all the nations major truck manufacturers, for them to be brought up to speed with the proposal. Capt Britton and a Maj. Charles B. Drake of the Q-Corps managed to convince all of the gathered manufacturers, of the viability of their plan.
Engineering committees were set up, and the first two trucks were produced by the Gramm-Bernstein and Selden companies. The trucks underwent extensive testing and were approved by November 1917. The first "B" trucks were produced by April 1918, and production continued until 11th November 1918. Approximately 9500 Liberty "B" trucks were produced by 15 manufacturers, and approximately 7500 were sent overseas.
However, the Liberty "B" truck program was essentially ruined by the U.S. Military's rush to join WW1 in mid-1917. In the rush to supply and equip troops, the U.S. Military promptly purchased large numbers of immediately-available commercial-design, civilian trucks, before a single Liberty "B" truck even left any of the factories.
Liberty Trucks .. http://www.s363.com/selden/liberty.html
Can anyone offer up any additional information or pictures, with particular regard to Garford Trucks in WW1?
Incidentally - whilst not really WW1 related - I found an interesting report by one Lt. Col. D.D. Eisenhower, who wrote a detailed report on the (American) Trans-Continental Motor Truck Trip, which was set up by the Rock Island Arsenal, and which ran across the U.S. from around early July 1919 to November 1919. Lt. Col. Eisenhower - who we all know otherwise, much later, as President Eisenhower (1953-1961) - was not in the least bit impressed with the dreadful quality and unreliability of the Garford trucks on this trip.
The 1919 Trans-Continental Motor Convoy .. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/convoy.cfm