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Heathfield Engineering Limited 1965-1999
Heathfield was a UK brand of Dumptruck that was founded in the mid 1960s and the main models were built at Newton Abbot in Devon, England . They were taken over by Bell of South Africa in 1998 after having several other owners and eventually closed down. This manufacturer was very resourceful using several parts from many mechanical components sourced from outside companies. With a wide choice production output was very good in the 1970s and 1980s. One of the many successful British dumptrucks manufactures of its time.
The company was founded by the engineering firm of "Centrax Power Units Ltd" a heavyduty axle specialist for all kinds of machines that used wheels. Centrax built Axles and Gearboxes under licence from Rockwell and supplied them to companies such as Allis-Chalmers, Aveling-Barford, and JCB in the UK. Later on the company was renamed as Heathfield Engineering Ltd and this was their new name their models were marketed.
In 1978 a 6x4 rigid was built as the H2200 with a 20 ton payload and powered by a Cummins VT555 220 hp engine and a 5-speed Allison transmission, but sales were slow and it was dropped. But was replaced by other faster selling updated models that took its place.
In 1983 the Heathfield Engineering company was bought by the management from parent co "Centrax". New larger versions the H44 and H50 were designed. From the 1980s onwards all models used independent suspension allround and wide oneman halfcabs.
In 1991 they were taken over by Unipower who had also acquired Haulamatic. Assembly moved to Tipton in the West Midlands. Alvis then bought Unipower for the military vehicle lines and sold Heathfield Haulamatic Ltd off to LH Group Plant Ltd of Burton on Trent. LH Group plant were UK agents for Bell of South Africa. LH dropped the smaller models and concentrated on the H33 and H44. Bell then bought out LH Group' Dumper truck operations in 1998 and dropped the rigid dump truck models.
- Newton Abbot, Devon - original factory
- Ansley Common, Nunneaton Warwickshire - Service depot
- Elton, Stockton on Tees, Cleveland - Remanufacturing dept
- Tipton, West Midlands - Unipower-Haulamatic-Heathfield Ltd assembly shop.
Heathfield DF25/25E - 1968 with longer chassis and a earth moving body on the (E) variant.
Heathfield H11 an updated version rated at 11 tons.
Heathfield H30 - 1976 This model was an updated and redeveloped H28 with stiffer suspension and new coil suspension inspired by an Aveling Barford RD55 of the same decade.
Heathfield H55 - 1995 Never put into production but it was an original 4WD Heathfield prototype model.
Machines still in useEdit
In England there are parts of it where the Mining Industry is still active, specially around the Lancashire, Northumberland and the Yorkshire areas. Within these zones are a lot of quarries and mines that are still resourceful where one is very likely to find a Heathfield usually joined by a Aveling Barford, a DJB, a JCB, a Haulamatic and a Foden which is probably with Leyland are the best known of all. The Tipton factory owned by Unipower has one orange H33 and one yellow H44 normally used to carry, load and stock around several old and new spareparts in the factory yard. British Steel and Thamesteel are owners of several more H44 and H33 models.
UK preserved machinesEdit
If you know of any machines in preservation, or on display please add detail below.
- Thamesteel at Sheerness, Kent still use 2 H33 'Steel Mill Special' trucks 24 hrs a day 7 days a week.
- British Steel own within their foundry works all over the UK a reported 30 Heathfield of several models.
- List of Construction Plant Manufacturers
- Vintage Excavator Trust have several dump trucks by other manufacturers at Threlkeld in Cumbria for use with the excavators in the collection. One Heathfield H33 recently arrived here from a closed down mine near the Scottish border in a rusty condition and acquired for restoration by the VET and is going to be used as a display model.
- Glossary Index
References / sourcesEdit
- Classic Plant & Machinery Magazine, Vol 1 No. 8, April 2003, page 32, Article by Nick Baldwin
- Heathfield Trucks.Com - Marton Dump trucks a repairer and refurbishment of all makes and parts supply.
- Marton Dump Trucks