Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,111 pages of information and 210,773 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Cranes (Dereham)

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March 1922.
July 1938.
July 1938.
February 1947.
April 1951.
1951. 120 Ton Road Trailer.
1953. Trailer with Low Loading Frame.
1953. Trailer Bogie Unit.

of East Dereham, Norfolk

1865 Company founded as started as a blacksmith's and gradually expanded into manufacturing wagons and other agricultural equipment.

1913 W. F. Crane, the son of the founder of the business, purchased an agricultural engineering firm at Dereham in Norfolk

WWI the firm produced wooden gun wheels in large quantities.

1920 The firm was incorporated as Crane (Dereham) Limited with Mr W F Crane as managing director.

Between the wars the company expanded its business by making drawbar trailers and later semi-trailers, mainly for use by the railway companies, but it also made special purpose trailers, particularly very heavy capacity units.

1950 Public company formed as Cranes (Trailers) Ltd.

1950 Name changed.

In the 1950s developed the business, increasing the sophistication of the designs and producing specialised and heavy duty trailers. York began to promote American methods based on the use of semi-trailers (articulated vehicles) in the UK and Crane entered the standard semi-trailer market seriously. However, Crane experienced difficulty in meeting competitive prices and concluded that standard semi-trailers could not be produced in a factory designed for high quality special products.

1960 It was decided to set up a small production unit for standard semi-trailers at North Walsham in conjunction with the Wall Engineering Co Limited.

1960 After the death of W F Crane, L H Allwood became chairman; Fruehauf Corporation approached Cranes with the idea of forming a joint venture in the United Kingdom.

1961 General engineers and manufacturers of road tankers, trailers and transporters. 250 employees.

1961 Formation of the JV Crane Fruehauf Trailers Limited.

1963 Fruehauf took a financial interest in Cranes which in turn acquired Fruehauf's interest in the joint venture company in consideration of an issue of shares in Cranes; Cranes changed its name to Crane Fruehauf Trailers Limited.

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