D785XRG is a Dennis SS131 water tender. This series of water tender was one of the most successful of Dennis designs and dominated fire engine sales during the 1980's. It had an Ogle designed steel safety cab, and was fitted with either a Perkins 640 V8 diesel engine, or the Perkins 'Phaser' engine. All the UK fire engine body builders used the chassis/cab for appliances of there own design.
Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade recieved there first SS Dennis in 1981 (KTY101X) which was allocated to North Shields, and their last five machines of this type were D783XRG, D784XRG, D785XRG, D786XRG and D787XRG which were delivered in 1994. D785XRG was the 'Fossway' pump (Call sign F01) in the East end of Newcastle. The body builders were Fulton Wylie of Scotland, and when new dispayed the Fulton Wylie badge on the front grill. In September 1989 when trying to avoid a car which had pulled in front of its path, F01 crashed into pedestrian railings on Shields Road, Newcastle. The subsequent repair of the front end damage failed to replace the Fulton Wylie badge.
D785XRG was transferred to the current owner in June 1999. D786XRG was a reserve appliance at this time, whilst the other two machines were awaiting sale. No new Dennis appliances entered the Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade fleet until 1998. Between 1986 and 1998 appliances built on the Volvo FL6 chassis were purchased. A switch back to Dennis has now been made with the introduction of new Sabres.
A fast turn out from the Fossway Fire Station. With a full water tank, water would run out of the tank overflow on corners, leaving a trail on the road which could be followed!