The Thwaites company based in Warwickshire, England is best known as a dumper truck manufacturer. the company was founded by Basil Thwaites in 1937 as an Agricultural Engineering company. Basil Thwaites was from the Yorkshire brewing family.
Founded in 1937 as "Thwaites Agricultural Engineering" company, in Cubbington. They built a wide range of machinery, Milking machines, Trailers and Forage harvesters over the years. In 1943 he invented a high speed tractor, with a 24 hp Ford TVO engine.
The first machine for construction was a Brick Elevator (mechanical hod carrier) built in the late 1940's. The first Dumper was a 3 wheeled machine, powered by a 6hp single cylinder Petter engine, driving by a 3 speed gearbox. The skip was a 10 cu ft capacity of wet concrete or 15 cwt (750 kg). This was followed by a 4 wheel version in 1953. In 1954 the company name was changed to "Thwaites Engineering Ltd", and the agricultural products dropped. The Multi-Skip was a inter changeable skip carrier.
Various other models followed, with the "Tusker", a multi-purpose chassis, with removable skips and the ability to fit a backhoe attachment. In 1962 the 4 wd "Alldrive" was introduced with a 2 ton capacity, claimed to "go were other dumper can not go". This was followed by a 3 ton machine in 1965, and which was then followed with the 5 ton capacity "Goliath" in 1974.
It is was said at the time that Joe Bamford (JCB) was so annoyed by Basil Thwaites introducing a "Digger Dumper" to his range, that he added a small dumper to JCBs range. The dumper was 15cwt and had a single cyclinder Petter AVA type engine but with JCB badge on it. It did look very like the small Thwaites model. They never sold in big numbers and JCB dropped it eventually. (source Laurie Hatchard)
The range was updated with the 2 ton Alldrive becoming the "Alldrive 4000" The new 8 ton model of the "Goliath" raising capacity to a new level for site dumpers in the early 1980s.
1986 saw the introduction of the compact "Alldig" backhoe loader. By the 1980s they had introduce Torque-converter transmissions with shuttle reverse for most of the range. In the mid 1990's the range was updated, with new higher capacity machines.
The biggest change in the late eighties/early nineties was when Thwaites dropped Lister and Petter engines in favour of Perkins. This was a major blow to Listers who were already falling behind the times with engines that could not match the Perkins water cooled engines that were much quieter. Other manufacturers followed Thwaites with Perkins and Deutz engines and this was to cause problems for Listers who had now fallen to being a shadow of their former selves.
Around the late seventies / early eighties Thwaites Engineering built a prototype Telescopic Handler, but they never went into production with it (confirmed by Laurie Hatchard).[citation (source) needed] Do any photos exist of this machine ?
Model Range Edit
- Brick Hoist 1948
- 15 cwt Dumper (3 wheel)
- 15 cwt Dumper (4 wheel)
- Jumbo Dumper
- Multi skip
- Tusker Dumper digger
- Side tiping Dumper
- 2 ton Alldrive 1962
- 3 ton Alldrive 1965
- 5 ton Goliath 1974
- 8 ton Goliath 198?
- 2 ton Alldrive 4000
- Thwaites Alldig 6 ton Compact Backhoe loader 1986
Please add details of any machines in preservation. A few collectors have Thwaites Alldig machines in there collections but dumpers in general are not a common item at shows, most older ones being kept as a yard machine to use on farms or by self builders.
If you have a machine restored or in original condition please add details as we are lacking examples of these once popular machines.
See also Edit
Other manufacturers of Site dumpers are:
- Benford - now part of Terex
- List of Construction Plant Manufacturers
- Construction Plant
- Construction Plant Dealers
- Web Site Links - general links list
Thwaites current product list :- http://www.thwaitesdumpers.co.uk/products.php