digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

An electric milk float in Liverpool city centre, June 2005
A horse-drawn milk float in Montreal, Quebec in 1942
Horse-drawn milk float, c. 1904, with dropped axle
A Dairy Crest Smith's Elizabethan milk float
A Dairy Crest Ford Transit based milk float
A Dairy Crest ex-Unigate Wales & Edwards Rangemaster milk float.

In British English, a milk float is a vehicle specifically designed for the delivery of fresh milk. Today, milk floats are usually battery electric vehicles (BEV), but they were formerly horse-drawn. They were once common in many European countries, particularly the United Kingdom, and were operated by local dairies. However, in recent years, as the number of supermarkets, small independent grocers and petrol stations stocking fresh milk has increased, most people have switched from regular home delivery to obtaining fresh milk from these other sources.

Characteristics[edit]

Because of the relatively small power output from its electric motor, a milk float travels fairly slowly, usually around 10 to 16 miles per hour (16 to 26 km/h) although some have been modified to do up to 80 mph (130 km/h).[1] Operators often exit their vehicle before they have completely stopped to speed up deliveries; milk floats generally have sliding doors that can be left open when moving, or may have no doors at all. Electric milk floats come in three wheel and four wheel versions, the latter normally larger. They are very quiet, suiting operations in residential areas during the early hours of the morning or during the night.

Most electric milk floats do not have seat belts, and the law in the United Kingdom only requires wearing seat belts where these are fitted in the vehicle. While there was previously an exemption in the law meaning those making local deliveries were not required to wear a seat belt, which would in theory have included drivers and passengers in milk floats with seat belts fitted, the law was changed in 2005 to deliveries less than 50 metres (160 ft) apart.[2]

Statistics[edit]

In August 1967 the UK Electric Vehicle Association put out a press release stating that Britain had more battery-electric vehicles on its roads than the rest of the world put together[3] It is not clear what research the association had undertaken into the electric vehicle populations of other countries, but closer inspection disclosed that almost all of the battery driven vehicles licensed for UK road use were milk floats.[3]

Glasgow has one of the largest working milk float fleets in the UK. Most of the vehicles operate from the Grandtully Depot in Kelvindale. Some dairies in the UK, including Dairy Crest, have had to modernise and have replaced their electric milk floats with petrol or diesel fuel-powered vehicles to speed up deliveries and thus increase profit.

Manufacturers[edit]

Manufacturers of milk floats in Britain in the 20th century included Morrison-Electricar, Smith's, Wales & Edwards, Osborne, Harbilt, Brush, Bedford and British Leyland. In 1941 Morrison-Electricar standardised three types of body which would become the basis for thousands of milk floats built after the war to deliver goods to the recovering population.[4] As of 2009, only Bluebird Automotive[5] remain in the industry.

During 2012, Bluebird Automotive will be launching a new generation of milk float. Called the BE-1, it is a city delivery vehicle with a 1.7 metric tonne payload. It incorporates battery swapping so that flat batteries can be replaced with fully charged batteries at a depot in around four minutes.

Alternatives[edit]

Before BEVs, dairy supplies were delivered using horse-drawn milk floats. This lasted from the late 19th century until the 1950s.[6] Today, with rounds expanding in coverage to ensure profitability in the face of falling levels of patronage, the limited range and speed of electric milk floats have resulted in many being replaced by diesel-powered converted vans.

Preservation[edit]

A collection of milk floats and other BEVs is kept by the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Trust at their museum, and in addition several milk floats are still in service today, albeit repurposed after their milk delivery days. Many are used for work in factories, or as pleasure vehicles in rural areas, and some are hired out to make money for film, pr and events.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Electron E150". Bluebird Automotive. Archived from the original on 12 December 2008. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  2. ^ "Seat Belt Law". needasolicitor.com. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "News and Views: Britain's Electric Vehicles". Autocar. 127 nbr 3729: page 55. 3 August 1967. 
  4. ^ "History of Milk Floats". Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Bluebird Automotive Milk Floats". Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  6. ^ "Commercial vehicles: As it was in the beginning". National Transport Museum of Ireland. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_float — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
318790 videos foundNext > 

Rosie and Jim: Milk Float/Milkman - Full Episode

From the original Pat Hutchins series. Original air date: 30th June 1995.

Pimp My Milk Float

Go Green Week has started this week at the University of Worcester and one of Monday's activities includes 'pimping' the milkfloat with materials from the Wo...

A Ride in a Milk Float

Join me for a ride on a traditional British electric milkfloat. Recorded by a genuine milkman on the streets of Exeter (Devon, UK) early one cold winters mor...

Actarus - Milkfloat

Artist: Actarus Title : Milkfloat Album : Actarus Year : 2005.

DEATH BY MILKFLOAT John Peel 9th August 1987

DEATH BY MILKFLOAT John Peel 9th August 1987.

Weetabix On The Go: World Record For The Fastest Milk Float!

Weetabix On The Go's 'Monster Milk Float' has broken the Guinness World Record for the fastest milk float! Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/Weeta...

Morrison Electric Milk Float.MOV

Father Ted Dougal Milkfloat Speed

Dougal from father ted does speed in a milkfloat.

MILK FLOATS IN THE MIDLANDS 1970s PMP DVD 1702

A trailer for PMP DVD 1702 West Midlands milk floats by Roger F De Boer.

The World's fastest milk float!

CAN Motors Editor Rob 'Benny Hill' Gill outdo Ernie and eBay to become The Fastest Milkman In The West?

318790 videos foundNext > 

826 news items

 
GQ.com
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 02:52:30 -0800

"We really wanted to break the mould, to show that electric cars aren't just glorified milk floats," says Musk. "This is the fastest accelerating four-door production car in the world. That's one hell of a milk float." "This is a halo car for Tesla" he ...

Enfield Independent

Enfield Independent
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:51:13 -0800

A motorcyclist who died after his bike hit a milk float was described as a man who had a “one in a million smile” at his inquest today. Hasan Turgay, of Kings Road, Edmonton, collided with the milk delivery van in Ridge Avenue, Winchmore Hill, just ...

The Argus

The Argus
Sat, 22 Nov 2014 04:07:56 -0800

A MILKMAN who goes the extra mile for his community is this week's local hero. Jim Marsh does more than just deliver milk. In more than a decade driving the milk cart he has helped customers change light bulbs, put their bins out, posted letters and ...

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk
Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:02:56 -0800

The survey, based on more than 30,000 funerals, found that around a third of funeral homes had received unusual or quirky requests, including for mourners to wear fancy dress or for the hearse to take the form of a JCB digger or milk float. Among the ...

Derby Telegraph

Metro
Sat, 28 Jun 2014 08:00:50 -0700

Lovers of high-speed milk delivery will be excited to learn that the world record for fastest milk float has been smashed with a mind-blowing speed of 84.5mph. The supercharged milk delivery vehicle was specially adapted for the world record attempt ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 08:55:11 -0700

Broad, who swapped his cricket whites for traditional milkman's attire, was delivering Weetabix's new On The Go breakfast drinks on a milk float. Fresh from captaining England's faltering World Twenty20 campaign in Sri Lanka, Broad was in London ...
 
BRW
Thu, 12 Jun 2014 22:32:43 -0700

Bellamy's Organic is set to issue a prospectus for an initial public offering within weeks, as the Tasmanian baby food company looks to raise $30 million to fund expansion of its export business. Bellamy's Organic chief executive Laura McBain says the ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sun, 09 Nov 2014 07:00:00 -0800

For example, he mainly thinks of the war as an annoying nuisance that stops him from going out on the milk float with his Dad! One particularly interesting example of this is where he meets his Dad in hospital for the first time and begins to realise ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight