Lorry Fires - Pondlife

The M25 was closed in part of Essex today due to a lorry fire (luckily for me, I didn't need to use that section, as I came off at J2 for the A2 just before the tunnel).

The reports on the radio were talking about a "lorry fire". It seems to me that this is a fairly regular occurance, and it always seems to be lorries: never cars or vans.

Why is that: is it just that there's more power available and therefore more heat when a brake sticks or a bearing fails? Or is it something to do with trucker's lifestyles like custom electrical modifications?

Lorry Fires - Steveieb
Coincidence that Donald Trumps new presidential car known as the beast has a 6.3 litre Diesel engine as it is considered safer as it is less flammable than petrol.
One of the lesser talked about benefits of a diesel vehicle.
Lorry Fires - craig-pd130

A few years ago at the Imperial War Museum North, I was admiring the Russian T34 tank that's in there. One of the guides came over, an older gent with several campaign medals.

Chatting with him, he'd been a tank driver in WW2 after D-Day during the push through France into Germany. He'd mostly driven Shermans which, as he pointed out, were fast and nimble with the aircraft radial engine, but of course were also at risk if they were hit because of the high-octane aviation fuel they used. He talked about some of the battles he'd seen against German armour, they were using Panthers at the time, and described the 3-on-1 attacks they used to do so they could attack the weaker rear plating.

One of the most fascinating and deeply humbling conversations I've ever had.

Lorry Fires - bathtub tom

Didn't the Germans call Shermans 'Zippos', because of their propensity to go up in flames if hit?

Lorry Fires - jc2

Yes;they lit first time,every time-just like a Zippo!

Lorry Fires - RT

As I understand it, only the Russians used diesel tanks in WW2 - the Germans, Americans and British all used petrol.The Panzers were no less susceptible to burning than Shermans and Churchills.

The Allies standardised on the use of petrol as the universal fuel to make logistics easier - after D-Day invasion, by 12th August 1944 we'd laid a 70 mile pipeline across the Channel from the Isle of Wight to Cherbourg to pump petrol across to our forces - as the beach-head expanded, a further 20 pipelines were laid across the Channel to support the push to Berlin.

Lorry Fires - Bromptonaut

Don't think lorry fires cropping up on traffic reports is necessarily evidence of a greater propensity to take fire.

My impression of car fires is that (if they don't burn out very quickly on the hard shoulder) they're a straightforward well rehea***d job for the fire service. Rubbernecking slows the traffic but unless their are casualties the road stays open

A lorry with much more, albeit potentially less volatile, fuel and several tonnes of payload is a different proposition. Much more smoke and risks of payload catching with potentially toxic fumes or risk of explosion make it a much more challenging job to deal with. Multi lane or whole road closures are probable. Further prolonged by need for forensic investigation and clean up or even re-surfacing of carriageway.

That's my two penny worth anyway. A definitive answer one would need access to fire service stats.

EDIT: FFS can site owner do something about the swear filter. If posters cannot use a well known word who's synonyms might be practised, drilled or gone over is not fit for purpose.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 21/01/2017 at 08:44

Lorry Fires - RafflesNH

Avant has helpfully explained about the swear filter limitations here:


as I think you already know. ;-)

Lorry Fires - oldroverboy.

In the late 60's I was hitchhiking and a lorry driver gave me a lift, when driving along chucked his fag end out of his window and 10 minutes later his load cover (niceoily tarpaulin) was on fire.

Lorry Fires - Dwight Van Driver

In addition to the casual fag end thrown out of a car sometimes caused by a puncture of one of the double wheels, the loose flap of the tyre rubbing on the inflated one causing friction = heat and ignition.


Lorry Fires - RSFocus
Brompts right. Lorry fires demand a bigger level of attention and as such can dominate traffic reports or road closures.
As for regularity , in 32 years service I attended 2 lorry fires and one double decker bus. But lost count with the numbers of car fires. So car fires do outweigh the numbers of lorry fires.
As to car fires, diesel cars were far and few whereas petrol cars were the dominant call.
As diesel is extremely difficult to ignite, most of these lorry fires would be down to trailer fires, electrical faults or brake problems that escalate to a total burn out.
Most vehicles have far more electrics to overheat or arc than they used to, but that doesn't mean it's more common. A lot of car fires are down to fuel leaks or problems along the lines of the Zafira AC debacle.
Lorry Fires - Smileyman

another M215 closure ... perhaps it should be an insured risk to compensate others for delays caused by unroadworthy vehicles ... the premiums would make it more worthwhile to make sure such incidents never took place!

Lorry Fires - skidpan

the premiums would make it more worthwhile to make sure such incidents never took place!

How will that work then? Fires will always happen and insurance will not stop it.


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