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The way we were

Discuss equipment which does not fit in in the other forums here, like cable cranes, material handlers, drilling, piling and screen equipment
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FOWLER MAN
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The way we were

Post #1 by FOWLER MAN » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:28 am

Hi All,
I shall be 70 in two weeks. I've worked on plant since the 1950's
and am still involved, "hands on".
When I started hydraulics were generaly only used for lifting some dozer blades and tipping lorries, many trenches were dug by hand and the plant available on site was rope operated excavators, tipper lorrries and a blade.
There was virtualy no ready mixed concrete and large batching mixers were an esential tool together with dumpers to place the concrete.
These have all but dissapeared together with the companies who made them.
Talking to Martyn (B100 LOADER) over a cup of tea the other day, I decided to start this thread to recall these machines together with their makers, and some of my experiences with them.
I hope to cover all civils plant in turn including mixers compressors and small non opperated gear.
I have sourced a lot of photos for the record but they are difficult to find and I hope you will post your photos and info. when you can.
Clearly this will run to many posts so I will start with the rope machines from the 1950's. These were mainly Ransomes and Rapier,
RB's, Smith, Priestman, Blaw Knox and Allen.
First a few Ronsomes & Rapier machines, I never worked on these
but I did work alongside a R&R 462 face shovel in 1963 which was a 1.5 yard model. I think it had a Mclaren engine? and it was every bit as good as the 38 RB working beside it. All the smaller R&R machines I got close to were Perkins powered.
Any photos of the larger models from this era?
backactor Ransomes Rapier 414.jpg
Ransomes & Rapier 410.jpg
Ransom Rapier 410 skimmer &Commer &Bedford 5 ton tippers.jpg
Dragline ransomes _amp_ rapier W 410 1950.jpg
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Last edited by FOWLER MAN on Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The way we were

Post #2 by FOWLER MAN » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:20 am

Hi All,
Tried to put this on the last post but lost it.
Smith Rodley In the 1950's.
I worked on the 21s and the Super 10s quite a bit. These had Gardner 5LW and 3LW engines. A Perkins L4 or Armstrong Siddely air cooled were options on the 10 and 12 and all Smiths had primary 2 speed gearboxes. Electric drive was an option too.
The drivers liked them when they got used to the controls. For some reason the brake pedal arangement had been reversed so that the left hand brake operated with the right hand clutch lever and viceversa unlike other machines.
There were still some 2/10s and 5/20s about with Fowler Sanders and Blackstone engines too.
Smith Super 10.jpg
shovel smith 210 england.jpg
Smith 21 and Dennis Pax.jpg
shovel smith 21.jpg

Rustons and Priestmans in next post.
Fred
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Re: The way we were

Post #3 by Martyn Henley » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:41 am

I used to have a dinky toy Muir Hill .. i got a chance to spend some time using a Muir Hill, was back in the mid 70's, a local building company had an old one, i was on their 5C ( all their plant had long gone past their sell by date) an more often enough there was not anybody spare to drive dumper, so i used to do it myself.. as you do ... dam big things they were, plenty power, but what was fun was turning the seat around, in fact seat steering wheel, and foot controls would turn .. and you could drive it facing backwards, had a square hole cut out in the front of the skip so you see through .. i did hear somewhere that there a few accidents some fatal with the drivers falling out of the seat onto the ground, did bounce a lot i must say

Great thread Fred, i myself have never driven a rope machine, there was still a lot about in the early 60's when i were a lad,.. there was one, a 10 RB on a site just round the corner from where i lived, had a skimmer on her, then the builders turned up with a brand new JCB 4 one day and that was the end of 10 RB ...

Martyn

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Re: The way we were

Post #4 by FOWLER MAN » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:01 pm

Hi Martyn,
Thanks for the reply, your right about the Muir-Hill dumpers they did bounce a bit, they would have ROPS cabs and seat belts if they were about today.
I had the Dinky toy dumper too, :think: I think it was a model of the 10B.
I remember spraying one of these 10B Fordson based 3 yd. models using aluminium paint primer. It had Fordsons E27N tvo engine (later ones had the 4D) and we swung it till or knees were weak but failed to start it.
After recovering I went back to have another go. By this time it was getting dark and I could see the problem, :oops: the spark was tracking down the aluminium paint on the porcelain insulators on the plugs. :doh:
I never drove a rope backactor or skimmer either, but I used face shovels, draglines and grab on a few different makes.
Fred

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Re: The way we were

Post #5 by XS650 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:16 pm

Interesting pics :thumbup: , the half cab Dennis is very unusual.
Vehicles and plant at my Flickr photo site - https://www.flickr.com/photos/seacoaler/sets/

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Re: The way we were

Post #6 by Ian Fletcher1970 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:10 pm

Hi Fred,
I'll have a look through my archives this week (Could be in the loft :dizzy: ) but I'm pretty sure I've got a shot of a self loading batch mixer taken on Lundy Island in the mid to late 1980's. Also I've got some shots of a Priestman Lion 250 Grabbing Crane on Bideford Quay, North Devon that was used for loading ball clay onto ships, it was only replaced 2 or 3 years ago with a Terex Fuch's wheeled material handler.
Growing up in the 1970's I well remember the roadworks of that era with Broomwade compressors, Stothert & Pitt Vibrolls, JCB 3c Mark 2 & 3's and Blaw Knox Pavers with the attendant Bristowes Chipspreaders and Aveling Barford Master Pavier Rollers and all surface dressing spraying work undertaken by W & J Glossops - has anyone got any pictures :think:

Ian


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Re: The way we were

Post #7 by B100 LOADER » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:42 pm

Interesting photos there Fred.As we said the other day,wish we took more photos of plant a few years back.I have some old photos dating back from our Porthcawl holidays in the early 1960's.I can remember a BTD6 Drott,a Fordson major with double back wheels,the D8 Karl Boston has now and various rollers used on the Trecco bay site.Must dig out those photos and get them scanned.
Martyn

Photo shows the D8 I sat on as a kid in 1964.Its restoration is well on now.
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Re: The way we were

Post #8 by Martyn Henley » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:42 am

and we swung it till or knees were weak but failed to start it.

If i remember rightly i used to put the 5C arm into the skip and push the thing half way round the site to get it started :dizzy:

I remember donkeys years ago we moved to Little Aston nr Sutton Coldfield, i was only 8 at the time, and there was a field opposite, then one day lorry's pulled up and offloaded a 19RB, it was painted orange, but they off loaded it with a skimmer boom, digging dipper, and two sections of crane boom .. over the next year that 19RB did all the digging, leveling, and lifting till all the houses were up ... not a JCB in sight or any other hydraulic machine, the company name was Streetlys or something like that of Birmingham.

Ian we would love to see the pictures in your archives :thumbup:

Martyn


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Re: The way we were

Post #9 by lineboring.org » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:54 pm

How would you repair those back then? Now days it's simply and the technology has been developed to where it takes very little work.

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Re: The way we were

Post #10 by B100 LOADER » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:12 am

If you go back less than 30 years,if you were a properly trained, a good fitter would improvise and use his skill and experience to solve a problem and get a machine back in service.
I used to cast white metal bearings for shunting locomotive side rods.These had to be finnished off using a scraper and marking blue. I did this job up until fairly recently
These days with all its electronics,a lot of jobs are done using a laptop on newer machines.
A lot of basic skills have been lost.Apprenticeships have been devalued by concentrating on the theory side of things and not so much the practical side of the job. In those days gone by you would need to be good with a hammer,chisel and the gas :D
Martyn


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