ETN909W is a Shelvoke and Drewry Emergency Tender built on the Shelvoke WX SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) chassis which was introduced in 1980 specifically for fire appliance type vehicles. The WX chassis was rated at 12 tons Gross Vehicle Weight. The WY chassis which was rated at 17 tons found use with many brigades who were re-chassising their Merryweather turn table ladders from the older AEC chassis, besides being used for many new 'specials' including hydraulic platforms and foam tenders (See EBB847W)
The above appliance with Benson bodywork was supplied new to the Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade to replace EBB783C (also featured on this site) at the Fossway fire station in the East end of Newcastle. However its introduction into service was not straightforward, and it was over 18 months before the old Dennis ET was firmly the reserve appliance. The principle problem was that the machine drivers complained that the rear end was too light. Eventually it went back to the manufacturers to have another 2 feet of bodywork added to the rear, and a very large cast weight was fitted underneath the tail section. With this modification the ET was finally accepted.
It is fitted with a Boughton 5 ton hydraulic winch and a 10KW generator, which powers the extending lighting mast. The day-glo checks around the front of the cabin were later additions along with the red and white wheel painting. One of this machine's more memorable exploits was when it attended a scrapyard fire in North Shields where the entrance gates were locked. The officer in charge instructed the ET to pull the gates open with the winch, which it did successfully and at the same time pulled over 20 yards of surrounding brick wall!