Taylor & Sons Manchester Ltd were a crane manufacturer based in Bolton Road. at Salford area of Manchester, England. It was originally known as F.TAYLOR & SONS (Manchester) Limited a small crane company who were one of the earliest specialists in lifting machinery that designed & built machines for their own use. The early units had a long non-slewing jib and early hydraulics so they specialized in producing different wheeled mobile crane and yard crane models. The same idea was also later adopted by another British built crane model the later Iron Fairy 500P crane.
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 also manufacture the smaller Coles models alongside their own original Taylor Jumbo mobile cranes. F.Taylor & Sons Ltd crane production lasted until the early 1980s.
The firm was founded in early 1945 by F Taylor and was a commercial vehicle distributor in the 1930s. In 1945 the company had a contract, to store and distribute imported cotton from America and used various disused Manchester warehouses. 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 was their first real yard crane model and it was built on a second hand Morris Commercials WD 4X4 Army truck chassis fitted with a hydraulic lifting mechanism. Some similar models were produced and that kept the company busy for a while. They later acquired all the remaining stock of unused 4X4 chassis that Morris Commercials had not used on their army trucks.
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 remaing stock ran out and Taylor launched their own original 4WD crane-chassis and soon developed a new improved version now called the Taylor Hydracrane Diesel produced from 1946. This model had twin hydraulic rams for lowering and raising the new non-slewing jib arm. They developed the rotary hydraulic coupling in 1956 which is now used by most manufactures since, that allowed 360 degree rotation and slewing. Taylors built over a 100 Hydracranes between 1945 and 1959. When they were taken over by Coles Cranes, for the hydraulic technology Coles also applied vast improvements such as mechanical drive and all wheel drive axles to almost all the Taylor models and sold even better mainly due to the updated mechanicals and hydraulics it received during in the 1960s. From the 1970s onwards, the very popular Coles Speedcrane model was being entirely made by F. Taylor in Manchester and hardly ever made at the mainColes facility. Coles parent company Steels themselves wanted to focus on developing & manufactureing a range of new oversized cranetrucks and update all the railway cranes at the time in 1970.
Taylor Jumbo crane 1956-1965Edit
Another product was the Taylor Jumbo Junior an original 1-ton yardcrane built on a Fordson Major skid unit as used by several manufactures at the time which was little more than a farm tractor. The skid unit was back to front giving a rear steering action and front wheel drive with the load over the drive axle this early cranes did not have winch at all it just elevated the jib arm. Although it was only 1 ton capacity limited, it never sold very well and was quickly replaced by the more successful and larger Taylor Jumbo Crane Series 43. Better known simply as the "Taylor Jumbo" it incorporated crane hydraulic operation which included fully slewing motion. Some of these were acquired by Steel Engineering Products Limited or SEP Ltd in 1959 ( Owners of Coles Cranes Ltd) rebuilding the models in the early 1960s to give both the new Taylor Series 42 4WD offroad crane & the new Taylor Series 50 4X2 yardcrane two updated & different mobilecrane ranges. Over the next decade the principle of modern hydraulics that Taylor pioneered and its modern designs everything had been adopted and inspired by SEP Ltd, who bought the whole F.Taylor & Sons Ltd operation and were soon turned into another subsidiary of Coles Cranes Limited. Nevertheless the F.Taylor crane company were still manufacturing the smallest & original Coles Crane 4X4 /4X2 mobilecranes and yardcranes model ranges only and kept manufacturing these until around 1982.
- Taylor Hydracrane
- Taylors 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
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 45 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 locations in the 1950s-1960s, some of which some are in use 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