Sam is ready to play it again! 


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UK trucker Sam Arnold left Punchestown with the Best Recovery Truck trophy in 2022 and the personable Manchetts Rescue & Recovery driver / heavy operations manager has scheduled Mondello Park on the second weekend of July into his 2024 itinerary, where he will be showing up to defend his hard-earned title! 

Since the beginning, Full of the Pipe has proven to be a big draw to truck owners and operators from across the Irish Sea and 2024 will be no different, with a large number of UK truckers travelling to Mondello Park to display their pride and joy. 

The presence of so many truckers and trucks from foreign shores always adds immeasurably to the occasion and invariably some absolute beauties (the vehicles, not the drivers!) come over on the ferry. 

A case in point is Sam Arnold, a man who has savoured the sweet taste of success at Ireland’s premier truckshow in the past. Two years ago, when Full of the Pipe was staged in Punchestown for the last time, the amiable heavy operations manager at Manchetts Rescue & Recovery in Cambridge – a previous winner of the IVR Jack Ovenden award three years earlier – scooped the coveted Best Recovery Vehicle prize for his magnificent, immaculately-presented green and yellow Scania R650 recovery truck. 

Sam immensely enjoyed his maiden trip to Full of the Pipe two years ago: “2022 was the first time we had ventured over the water for a truck show, and it did not disappoint!,” he confirms. “We were completely blown away by the standard of the show and the level of vehicles on display was incredible. Before we had left, we knew we would be returning again.” 

Needless to say, the Englishman, who has had a passion for trucks all his life. is looking forward to returning this year to defend his Best Recovery Truck title and check out Mondello Park: 

“The team are excited to be returning, although it’s a little harder this time around having now worked the lorry hard for two years. There will be many’s an hour spent on the rags getting the truck ready for the show! It will be a first for us at Mondello Park, too, so we are keen to check it out and give it our best shot.” 

As you can gauge from the accompanying photos, or if you have had the pleasure of seeing it ‘in the flesh’. Sam’s award-winning recovery truck is something truly special! To provide some details on the truck, he discloses: 

“The truck is a 2022 Scania R650 6x4 Recovery truck. It is equipped with Falkom 25000 Recovery kit which consists of a two-stage top boom, a maxireach underlift, and a pair of 24T Sepson winches. Along with bespoke locker bodies. Everything down to heated lockers and central locking on the locker bodies too! 

“I have been driving/operating the truck from new. It has a couple of nice touches including a Truckmax side pipe system with 11m of pipe! Paintwork and a Trux bull bar all carried out by Truckspuiterij Bronk in Holland.” 

How long has Sam been driving trucks for and where did the passion come from? “So, I started driving trucks at 18, basically as soon as I could. From a very young age I was truck mad. I’d go out around aged ten every weekend with a relative in his 3 series Scania skip lorry, unloading skips on people’s driveways, driving a dozer around the yard, etc. 

“I left school wanting to be a lorry driver but was obviously too young so opted on becoming a truck mechanic instead. This was where my career began with Manchetts at the ripe age of 15.” 

What is it about truck shows he enjoys so much? “The gathering of people who all share a strong passion for what they enjoy. 

“For me, it’s kind of a busman’s holiday. The chance to get your heads together with good people and have a few beers. As a company, we tend to support local truck shows and carnivals along with charities, but unfortunately don’t do as many as we’d like due to the 24/7 nature of the industry we are in.” 

Since joining the fleet, Sam’s breath-taking Scania R650 has enjoyed much success on the show circuit. “We came away with Best Recovery at the 2022 Full of the Pipe, highly commended at Truckfest Peterborough in 2022 and recently 3rd Best Scania at Stonham Truck Show at Jimmy’s farm,” he recounts. 

How long has he been working with Manchetts Rescue & Recovery? What are their specialist areas when it comes to recovery and how many vehicles are in the fleet? 

“I started my career at 15 with Manchetts. Starting with a three-year NVQ apprenticeship. After five years in the workshop, I moved onto the recovery side of the business. 

“The best way to describe Manchetts is that we have a piece of equipment to carry out any recovery. So, when that phone rings, the answer is always ‘yes’! 

“At present, we have around 50 vehicles in the fleet. This includes some very specialist off-road heavy winching machines, which are all bespoke. 

What's the best thing about Full of the Pipe? Is Sam coming over with a group and how long will he be in Ireland for? “The atmosphere is fantastic. We didn’t really appreciate how big the trucking scene is over in Ireland. 

“We are coming over as a family, along with some of the team, one of whom is a long-serving senior controller from our fast-paced control room. He’s originally from Dublin so is very much looking forward to the show! 

“We will be heading over on the Thursday before the show with the trucks to give us plenty of time to polish them up, then taking in the show and heading for the boat on the Monday.” 

In Sam’s opinion, how favourably does Full of the Pipe compare to other big shows in the UK and Europe? “It has a completely different feeling to some previous shows I’ve been to in the UK,” he concludes. “I think it’s the road trip to the show that makes it, also. I can’t comment on a European show as of yet. However, we would like to venture to Holland at some stage to see what the crack is all about!” 

Full of the Pipe Truckshow Ireland returns to Mondello Park over the weekend of July 13th and 14th.