Smith no 8 face shovel

A Smith no.8 face shovel

Thomas Smith & Sons (Rodley) Ltd was formed in 1918, The firm originating in the Village of Rodley, Leeds in Yorkshire. The Firm were a builder of Steam Cranes for Railways and Quaries, before going on to build Diesel engined excavators and cranes, and eventually Lorry mounted Latice jib cranes.


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Smith Rodley rail steam crane remains at NCMM - IMG 5268

Remains of a rail mounted Smith steam crane in the National Coal Mining Museum for England storage yard

Smith Rodley ME Crane on Atkinson chassis at Llandudno 09 - IMG 8600

A Smith Rodley T10 ME crane on a Atkinson chassis at the Llandudno Transport Festival 2009

The Company started in 1820 when a firm of millwrights was started by Jeremiah Balmforth, David Smith, and Jeremiah Booth in the village of Rodley. The company progressed to making Stone cutting machinery & winches. By 1840 most of the equipment being made was cranes. These being of various capacities from 1/2 ton to 10 ton, hand operated machines. They built there first steam crane in 1860. By 1861 David Smiths Son Thomas had taken control. The company was run as a partnership with his sons till he died in 1902, with the sons incorporating the company in 1918, as Thomas Smith & sons (Rodley) Ltd.

Early DevelopmentsEdit

  • 1887 Build 1st excavator, of a steam crane fited with a shovel attachment.
  • 1894 Build an Electric crane.
  • 1887-1893 Contract to supply 5 & 10 ton cranes to Manchester ship canal builders "Thomas A Walker.
  • 1900 Build a trencher machine designed by Jubb from Manchester. Built on a 3 Ton Steam crane.


  • 1978 taken over by the NEI group who owned a number of related engineering and construction machinery businesses, before the 1980s recession forced the closure or disposal of a number of them.

The company built a few truck mounted cranes based on chassis from Atkinson and AWD.

Model RangeEdit

  • Smith 1/3 yd. (1930)
  • Smith 1/2 Yd.
  • Smith 1/4 Yd. (1934)
  • Smith Tree-Twelve. (1935)
  • Smith Four-Fourteen. (1935)
  • Smith Five-Twenty. (1935)
  • Smith Two-ten (1935)
  • Smith Seven
  • Smith No.8 (eight)
  • Smith No.10 (super-ten)(1946)
  • Smith No.12 (19?
  • Smith No.14 (1960)
  • Smith No.21 (1946)
  • Smith No.26 (1960)
  • Smith no.28 (1970)
  • Smith No.40 (1968)
    • Smith E4000 Excavator
    • Smith C4046 crane
    • Smith C4050 crane
    • Smith Eurocrane 25C
  • Smith Eurocrane 35C


A few examples of Smiths cranes and excavators are in preservation including;

Template:PML Smith Rodley(link for future PML table)

See alsoEdit

References / sourcesEdit

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