What’s the Story?
Logging expert, amateur aviator, steam buff and classic vehicle enthusiast Luke Mayo eats, sleeps and breathes engineering - if he's not working on something he'll be planning what he's about to be working on. He and his weather-beaten Land Rover are alike in that there is seemingly nothing they can't do.
Right now, Luke is buried deep between the front seats of the wonderfully patinated Series IIA - with 'Luke Mayo Timber Services' proudly signwritten along the side. He emerges grinning and proffers a grimy mitt, thinks better of it and wipes his hands on his trousers first. I like this guy already.
As he chats about the IIA it soon becomes clear how much creativity has gone into maintaining it. For instance, the bulkhead is from a later Series III but with the dashboard and stowage trays from the original bulkhead craftily grafted on so it looks right. Like most Series vehicles the chassis has been attacked by rust so Luke has chopped out and replaced every outrigger and the rear corssmember.
Because the PTO drive prevents the use of the usual rear-mounted fuel tank the IIA uses the twin military fuel tanks under the front seats. The rear tank is missing completely - which provides endless amusement at the Great Dorset Steam Fair where the tanks are often sampled for dodgy diesel. The pipe goes into the filler and then disappears, coiling itself neatly at the sampler's feet as he probes for the bottom of the non-existent tank.
'What do you want on it first?' asks Luke, keen to show off the PTO in action. I'm spoiled for choice but go for the combined wood saw and log splitter. It's attached to the lift, hoisted out of the building and deposited by the log pile. The PTO is coupled together then, safety checks done, the drive is engaged. As the circular saw hums contentedly the work rate is phenomenal.
I think the wood chipper lools like great fun too, so it's dragged out from storage and replaces the saw bench ready to be fed some seriously big branches.
The Series IIA also makes easy work of pulling the muck spreader, its associated drive gear and a ton and a half of ripe manure to the pasture field. The 109 sprints away and, instantaneously, a thick fountain of unidentifiable goo arcs from the back of the spreader and rains down.
Our favourite bit?
I'm particularly taken by the PTO-driven rear capstan winch that complements the Aero-parts crank-driven version on the front. Luke has been told its incredibly rare, and has to fend off near-continual advances from his next-door neighbour, who would dearly love to have it for his Series I. Unfortunately for the neighbour it's not for sale - not because of its rarity, but because it's just too bloody useful: with the Land Rover suitably secured, Luke uses it to winch some very substantial bits of tree out of places he'd otherwise find it difficult to reach.
And the verdict from Jerry Thurston?
The Series IIA has evolved to the point where it is perhaps the ultimate vehicle for Luke's duties around the farm and for his logging business. The extended cab mates to a second rear bulkhead giving him dry storage wihout compromising the pick-up capabilities too much.
Model: Series IIA 109in
Body: Series IIA with 'king-cab' conversion
Engine: 4.0-litre Perkins normally aspirated diesle, crank power take-off
Transmission: LT95 Range Rover gearbox with additional power take-off capability
The full story can be found in the October 2015 issue of LRO. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.