Old Bullnose Mercedes Trucks in Qatar

the bullnose mercedes truck
the bullnose mercedes truck | Source
who are you calling bullnose?
who are you calling bullnose? | Source

The Bullnose Mercedes

It is generally accepted that there is not a lot to do in Qatar. True, there are shopping malls and luxury hotels, but if you are allergic to both, you have to find your enjoyment where you can. Today, I'm liking bullnose Mercedes trucks. Tomorrow, perhaps, crab sexing by the sea. It's all about short term enthusiasms. Besides which, these trucks are OK. Lumbering and growling their way through the narrow streets, churning out deep ruts and potholes wherever they go, they're as much part of the Doha scene as the fleet of clapped out American school buses that provide workers' transport. You've got to love them.

Build, Baby, Build...

Doha, Qatar, is currently 'enjoying' the biggest city reconstruction project since Napoleon's Paris. Huge areas of the city are being swept away. Every day, old (and some not-so-old) buildings are reduced to rubble. Conservation, refurbishment, renovation - these are foreign concepts here. If something is in the wrong place, it's history. The desert winds whip great clouds of concrete dust and debris across the clearances. National, Musheireb, Bin Mahmoud, going, going gone. From dawn prayers till sundown, and in places all through the night, the city echoes to the din of pile drivers and bulldozers. Mountains of rubble are created and transported to landfill sites. And the workhorses entrusted with this heavy haulage are a fleet of battered old bullnose Mercedes Benz trucks. 

Here's where they sleep at night:

spot old bullnose nestling down with the workers' buses
spot old bullnose nestling down with the workers' buses | Source
pink frills - you got a problem with that?
pink frills - you got a problem with that? | Source
no road too rough, no load too tough
no road too rough, no load too tough | Source
new kid on the block
new kid on the block | Source

From what I gather, most of Qatar's truck fleet is twenty-five to thirty years old. I'd guess there must be a few hundred of them in Doha alone, with many more servicing the outlying sites and plants. What I like about the Mercedes Bullnose are its huge road wheels and the way the cab is set oddly high above them, giving it a rearing stallion look. You can always tell if the driver is Indian because they like to personalise their cabs, with pieces of fabric, tassels and chains.

A full load on one of these chaps must be about fifteen cubic metres. Crushed concrete has to weigh around two tons per cubic metre. So a fully (over)laden truck could exceed thirty tons. With only ten wheels to spread the load, it's no wonder our roads are suffering. But that's good too, if it slows down the boy racers in their Land Cruisers.

I'd hate to give the impression that Qatar haulage is stuck in the past. There are plenty of newer trucks too, like this Mercedes Actros (Atrocity?). It's more powerful and more comfortable for the driver of course, but there's nothing to like about it. A truck (as I've just convinced myself!) should look like a truck. It should look powerful. It should be noisy, smelly, rattly. It should shake the ground and carve up the roads. It should make pictures and mirrors fall off the walls in its wake. Most of all, it should be bullnosed with a big ugly vertical exhaust.

Thank you for reading!


Meet the locals:

pot ugly and proud of it
pot ugly and proud of it | Source
who's the wimp with the curtain?
who's the wimp with the curtain? | Source
don't talk to me - I'm working
don't talk to me - I'm working | Source
I'm a man, that's what I am
I'm a man, that's what I am | Source
god knows what I am, but I feel old
god knows what I am, but I feel old | Source
I've been to saudi and survived to tell the tale
I've been to saudi and survived to tell the tale | Source
rare - the bullnose mercedes donkey with a flatbed trailer
rare - the bullnose mercedes donkey with a flatbed trailer | Source
rarish - the bullnose as a tanker
rarish - the bullnose as a tanker | Source
delusions of grandeur, turbo indeed!
delusions of grandeur, turbo indeed! | Source
just resting - goodnight
just resting - goodnight | Source

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Comments 28 comments

lightning john profile image

lightning john 5 years ago from Florida

Yes Paraglider, Now that is a truck. My father owned an old 67 International that we hauled our heavy equipment around with. We had a D-8 Cat a D-7Cat and an AlisChalmers inloader. The exhaust stacks went way up on both sides all chromed. Had a great sound.

I'm glad there is construction somewhere in the world, because in Forida things are not being built, except for the occasional hospital clinic here and there.

I've applied for construction work overseas but the headhunters are asking 600 700 just to apply, and I'm not ready to get skinned just yet. Thanks Lj


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi LJ - There's so much construction happening now in Qatar and planned for the next ten years that it would be seriously worth your while considering the place. Let me know if you'd like a contact in construction here, OK?


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

Great and funny hub, Dave! As I worked years ago for Leyland Truck and Bus I too have a certain nostalgic fondness for the old diesel behemoths! Of course Merc was our competition back then but I remember these trucks very well. Had a few in our trade-in yard.

Thanks for the great read.

Love and peace

Tony


lightning john profile image

lightning john 5 years ago from Florida

Yes I would consider employment there, just as long as I can have my acoustic six string with me after work. I have experience mechanical and structural print reading . In The Royal The Making of a custom bath, you can see my bath that I designed and built myself. Thanks very much.Lj


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi Tony - in Dubai, they restrict the hours that the heavy vehicles can be on the roads, but in Qatar it just seems to be a free for all, fresh and foul water tankers, concrete mixers, huge concrete pumps, flatbeds with shipping containers, car transporters. All burning diesel at one riyall a litre (cheaper than water). No wonder the place smells bad!


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

LJ - I've sent you an email. (No problem with guitars - I have two with me here in Doha)


lightning john profile image

lightning john 5 years ago from Florida

Thank you Paraglider. have a great day!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 5 years ago from US

Oh no, I like shopping malls, but it is good to have a glimpse of those autos. Maita


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

I prefer my shops to have a front door onto a real pavement! Thanks for the visit :)


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Hi Paraglider,

Myself and my partner follow as many truck shows as we can around the country . Dai my partner used to drive trucks for a living and my interest began six years ago when I met him and has flourished ever since.

Thanks for sharing this one and take care

Eiddwen.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi Eiddwen - I'm not really a truck enthusiast, but there aren't too many things to get excited about in Doha! Thanks for the read :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Love the one with the frills and the three Mercedes emblems and its juxtaposition of the feminine pink and the manly stack. This was a fun Hub. Thanks for sharing your corner of the world.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi Sally - yes, that one's my favourite too. I think the two extra merc badges are not real, but are probably 'borrowed' from an imaginative counterfeiter. No problem with that ;)


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

I hit all your buttons brother man. How refreshing from the pits from whence I've come. Happy trails son!


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Welcome, Micky - They do carve up the tarmac though! But it's not a cycling country (far too hot and too many crazy drivers in Land Cruisers) so it doesn't matter!


amisa 4 years ago

How do i get an old bullnose in Qatar to buy? i need an urgent reply. Thanks.

amisa4amisa@yahoo.com

+2348060750534


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Amisa - I've no idea, but if you're in Qatar why not walk by where they park (the road that runs from Sofitel to Muntazah) and talk to some of the drivers.


Alex Travell 4 years ago

Hi Paraglider, love your photos of the old bull noses. Can i use one of the pics as a book-cover? I would really like one of a bull nose in terrain, but I guess there's not too much of that in Doha. The 'don't talk to me I'm working' will do just fine if I can photoshop it a little.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi Alex - you are welcome to use any of them. I'd be interested to see a scan of the book cover when it's done. But these are just mobile phone pics. If you want a decent quality shot from a real camera I can easily take some this weekend. Let me know?


Alex Travell 4 years ago

Hi Paraglider,

Only if you're out and about, a better quality shot like the 'don't talk to me I'm working' one.

A bull nose on a typical middle eastern street, or in country. Please don't go to special effort as the image will be in sepia.

It would be a pleasure to send you a scan of the cover when it's done. The story is at the publishers now so shouldn't be long before it's on the shelves. Suspect it's not your sort of thing though.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

There is no country here, only desert, very flat, grey and dusty. Anyway, I'll maybe have a go after work today (Sunday's a working day here). It will get me out of the house.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

I've added one more from last night, at the end of the hub. Not very different from the others though. Just slightly higher resolution.


alex Travell 3 years ago

Hi, got the book published, but don't know how to post the cover to you. Let me know.

You can look it up on line as an alternative, it's called "An Afghan Affair" and features the bull nose superimposed with a girl's face. Not quite what I had in mind but it works.

Thanks for letting me use the picture.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 3 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi, thanks for getting back to me. I've looked it up on Amazon and as you say, the picture is a composite, but still recognisable to bull-nose Merc fans! Good luck with the book - I hope it sells well :)


Zain 3 years ago

Hi

I would like to know which truck is more in Qatar?


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 3 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

The commonest truck in Qatar is the Mercedes Actros but there are still a lot of the old bullnose Mercedes left. Next to Mercedes would be Nissan, I think.


Anthony chisanga 23 months ago

I would like to buy bullnose mercedes.how do I get one


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 23 months ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Anthony - I don't know, but I believe there is still a factory in Saudi that produces new ones.

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