NOT TO to be confused with the American TAYLOR a forklift maker of the same name.
Taylor & Sons Manchester Ltd were an early crane manufacturer since 1895 based in Bolton Road at Salford area of Manchester, England for development and making original lifting equipment. In 1945 another factory was opened at Pendleton near Clitheroe in Lancashire to make their range of mineboring equipment. Then in 1947 the firm was now known as F.TAYLOR & SONS (Manchester) Limited a small company who were one of the earliest designers and specialists in lifting machinery that developed & built machines for their own use. Their first units had a long non-slewing jib with early hydraulics so they specialized in producing unusual four wheeled diesel engined mechanical mobile crane and yard crane models. The same idea was also adopted by another British crane specialist called RH Neal & Company Limited. who manufactured similar but machinery of their own original design.
From the 1940s onwards, most of their early Taylor original machinery were powered by FORDSON Tractor diesel mechanicals mainly fitted to their yardcranes, minedrillers and small machinery. Later the company was taken over in 1959 by the giant Coles Cranes group for their hydraulic mobile crane technology. Coles Cranes decided that F.Taylor & Sons would easily start manufacturing most of the smaller Coles models alongside their own original Taylor Jumbo mobile cranes. F.Taylor & Sons Ltd crane production lasted until the early 1980s which were essentially Coles Hydracranes and Coles Speedcranes fully hydraulic yardcranes.
The firm was founded in early 1895 by F Taylor, originally as a commercial vehicle distributor in the 1930s. Then by 1938 they became a private company and changed their activity. In 1945 the company had opened a second factory at Glazebury near Manchester and gained a new contract, to store and distribute imported cotton from America and used various disused Manchester warehouses for their business. The handling of these big bundles was a problem and the Taylor company decided to build a crane prototype to assist them and the firm made their own experimental lifting machine that became their first real yard crane model. From this point the new Glazebury factory would only produce Taylor yardcranes for the next forty years, and it was built on a second hand Morris Commercials WD 4X4 Armytruck chassis fitted with a hydraulic lifting mechanism. Some similar models were produced and that kept the company busy with a long orderlist for them. They later acquired all the remaining stock of unused Morris Commercials 4X4 Armychassis that remained produced but never actually used. Progressively the Taylor crane model range would soon be launched in the next years that became available for customers both in 4X2 and 4X4 versions. Although by 1947 F.Taylor & Sons Limited were better known for their crane models, the company had another factory with large premises at Pendleton in Lancashire for the development and production of new mining equipment as there was also a lot of mining operation at that time.
Taylor Hydracrane 1945-1956Edit
From the early prototypes Taylor used the Morris Commercial army truck chassis as a basis for their own new crane models, but soon the remaining stock ran out and Taylor launched launched their own original 1946 Hydracrane 4X4. This new model was actually based on an ex-army Morris transport vehicle with 4 wheel drive chassis modified to work as mobilecrane. It was powered by a 24 h.p petrol engine and had 5 forward gears and one reverse gear, later renamed Taylor Hydracrane This model had twin hydraulic rams for lowering and raising the new non-slewing jib arm which made it easier for handling large loads. Later on they developed the rotary hydraulic coupling in 1956 which is now used by most manufactures since, that allowed 360 degree rotation and slewing. Taylor built over 100 to 150 Hydracrane models between 1945 and 1959 most of them sold locally and they proved successful at many industrial roles and stockyards. When they were taken over by Coles Cranes, for the latest hydraulic technology Taylor was employing, Coles also applied vast improvements such as mechanical drive with all wheel drive axles to many of the then current Taylor crane models and sold even better mainly due to the updated mechanicals and redeveloped hydraulics available during the 1950s.
Taylor Jumbo crane 1956-1965Edit
Then another model appeared, which was the Taylor Jumbo Junior an original 1-ton yardcrane built on a Fordson Major skid unit as used by several manufacturers at the time, which was little more than a farmtractor with a long cranejib fitted on it. The Fordson skid unit was back to front giving a rear steering action and front wheel drive with the load over the driven axle, and these early cranes never used a winch but instead, they elevated the whole jib arm. Although this model was limited to only 1 ton capacity, it sold less well than expected and was quickly replaced by the more successful and larger Taylor Jumbo Crane Series 42. Better known simply as the "Taylor Jumbo" it incorporated crane hydraulic operation which included fully slewing motion. The same Fordson Tractor Skit Unit was also universally adopted by several other manufacturers those days for their own machinery production, mostly agricultural tractors. Some of these were acquired by Steel Engineering Products Limited or SEP Limited in 1959 (The owners of Coles Cranes Ltd) who redeveloped the Taylor Jumbo Series entirely. F.Taylor quickly relaunched them as the new Taylor Series 42 4WD offroad crane & the new Taylor Series 50 4X2 yardcrane that first appeared in the 1960s. Shortly after, the allnew Taylor Speedcrane 4X2 fully hydraulic mobilecrane was launched, fitted with a new telescopic jib and it was the to be their last genuine F.Taylor And Sons model. Over the next decade the principle of modern hydraulics that Taylor pioneered and used for its modern designs were adopted by COLES. The small firm of F.Taylor & Sons Ltd were soon turned into another subsidiary of the huge Coles Cranes Limited empire. Nevertheless the F.Taylor crane company were only manufacturing the smallest Coles Crane 4X4 /4X2 mobilecranes and yardcranes model ranges until around 1982.
- Taylor Hydracrane
- Taylor Junior Jumbo
- Taylor Jumbo
- Taylor Jumbo 3T
- Taylor Series 43 - Mounted on a 4x4 chassis (army surplus)
- Taylor Series 50 - developed into the Coles Speedcrane in 1962
- Taylor Speedcrane Hydraulic 4X2
An early example of a Taylor Hydracrane is still being used in a Hertfordshire plant dealer. The machine has not been restored but still works and was bought for its uniqueness. Its powered by a rare British Newage Diesel engine.
A number of Taylor Jumbo Series 42 cranes are still being used, mainly in scrapyards, boatyards and foundries although these are now rarer to find. British Steel Limited acquired 100 units of Taylor cranes for work at their many UK factory and locations in the 1950s-1960s, some of which can still be seen working today.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trucks And Buses, written by Denis Miller, Quantum Books UK Ltd 1982.
- An Illustrated History Of Cranes, written by Hinton Sheryn, Ian Allan Publishing UK 1997.
- The Classic Construction Series-The History Of Cranes, various authors, KHL International Limited UK 1997.
- Classic Plant & Machinery Magazine, Vol2 no. 3 November 2003, page 37
- Coles Crane History pages