As legendary as the Diamond Ts, Federals and the many other (mainly US manufactured) trucks were at the time, few could compete with Foden and its legendary Gardner engine. In 2005 PACCAR announced Foden production would cease the following year primarily to increase the manufacturing capacity at the Leyland factory for DAF branded trucks. This claim could, of course, in those days be contested collectively by the might of British Leyland and the many other marques of the day available in Australia’s highly competitive truck market. Despite disappearing from our highways and byways many years ago the Foden marque has a dedicated following of enthusiasts in Australia with many making the trip to trucking festivals and open days around the country including to Alice Springs in the heart of Australia. Subsequently, the last Foden was produced in July 2006 putting an end to 150 years of Foden truck manufacturing. Aboods was operated by four Lebanese brothers, Cedric, Brian, John and Harry who were known as real gentlemen of the road.
The FD6 two-stroke engine, along with Gardner engines, was also fitted in Foden motorcoaches and buses. View cart for details. This tray truck was used on the Alice Springs to Darwin run usually towing two or three trailers behind and is powered by an eight cylinder Gardner. Foden had spent a lot of time and effort in earlier years perfecting his compound traction engine and this later proved invaluable to the development of the steam lorry.
Post-war initially saw the re-introduction of the old models with few improvements, although Foden entered the bus chassis market in 1946 (a number of prototypes, including a double-decker had been built in the 1930s) by 1950 they had developed a rear-engined model, predating the Leyland Atlantean by seven years. After the takeover of Leyland Trucks by Paccar in 1998, independent Foden production ceased, and was replaced by models of DAF Trucks rebadged as Fodens (DAF Trucks having been acquired by Paccar in 1996).
S21 Cab production continued until 1969.
Called “Skip Along” it was No#7 in the Gillott Fleet. In the south, and all along the eastern seaboard into the harsh interior the Foden marquee was just as prolific as it was in the west and Northern Territory. Their business portfolio expanded considerably over the years with ownership of several iconic Australian businesses including Bluestone Quarries, Australian Blue Metal, Hymix construction materials and more recently Readymix, Gunlake and Rollers Australia.
Powell was left with plenty of debt and few work prospects. In 1958 Foden introduced a lightweight glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) in its cab production and by 1962 were manufacturing the first mass-produced tilting cab in Britain. This was at a time when outback roads were still rough and unmade and the drivers had to contend with ploughing through mud and crossing flooded creeks to deliver their loads.
It had been crudely brush painted across the top of the radiator by paintbrush in a much faded and barely legible scrawl.
The most successful of the four had the engine mounted horizontally.
The first Foden GRP cab was the distinctively-styled S21 model.
Foden Trucks was a British truck and bus manufacturing company which had its origins in Elworth near Sandbach in 1856. There were many iconic businesses using Foden in their operations in Western Australia. As the ex-US Army fleet wore out in the decade after the war there was a substantial increase in British made trucks on Australia’s highways. He was the fourth child of the local grocer. In 2005, Paccar announced that Foden production was likely to cease in 2006. It grossed 52 tonnes under special permit. The completely new FE and FG lorry ranges were introduced in 1948, along with the new Foden FD6 two-stroke diesel engine, which became the standard engine for certain Foden heavy lorry models, such as the S18 FE6/15 Rigid Eight-Wheeler – the optional Gardner 6LW-engined version was the S18 FG6/15. S21 Cab production continued until 1969.
The family business Houlahan Services had been started by his father and was sold to Steel Brothers of England in 1969. In 1856 Edwin Foden, became an apprentice at the agricultural equipment manufacturing company of Plant & Hancock. One Foden operator whose big rig attracted a lot of attention was Buster Powell who operated a 1948 heavy duty twin steer in Western Australia throughout the 1950s and 60s. Edwin Richard’s son Dennis also worked for the family business. By 1930, Edwin's son, Edwin Richard Foden (known to everyone as simply E.R.) In later years Bell’s would become the first organisation to import the ERF into Western Australia. The export Foden S95 4x2 COE, fitted with a Cummins NTCE290 diesel and Fuller nine speed transmission was slightly different to its British domestic counterpart including a less complicated braking system but didn’t make it in Australia. The business produced heavy duty industrial engines, small stationary steam engines and agricultural traction engines. The most notable of these would probably be Ted Stiles from Outback Transport who raged an ongoing war over freight and freight rates with the Territory Transport Association over many years. Fast & Free shipping on many items!
It is typical of the models exported to Australia in that era complete with exposed radiator, big bullbar and S20 series integrated visor. In 1901 Foden to built a three ton self propelled wagon for the British War Office trials. The Fodens performed so well on the long outback hauls that not only did other TTA / Co-ord stake-holders operate them but companies who operated in competition to them did also. The big British marques of the day, Thornycroft, AEC, Leylands and Fodens in particular, are credited with opening up much of Australia.
One well known Co-ord partner was Stan Cawood, son of the Northern Territory Government Resident (Administrator) in Alice Springs and whom had earlier, in 1929, taken part in the expedition that retrieved the bodies of Keith Anderson and Bob Hitchcock who had died of thirst when their aeroplane, the ill fated Kookaburra, crashed near Wave Hill. Manufacture changed direction almost immediately with steam vehicle production gradually easing off until it ceased completely in 1934.
Their first diesel vehicle was the Foden F1 introduced in 1931 and regarded as the "first commercially successful type of diesel lorry".. This unusual looking hybrid still attracts much attention where-ever it goes and is referred to as a “Fodsworth”. He recalled the rates were okay but the roads were hell.
Baldock, Tottey Transport, Buntine Roadways, TC Transport and D & N Transport. The idea for the ERF marque stirred in Dennis.The immediate Foden family was rallied and collectively they managed to raise sufficient cash and resources to start the ERF business. In partnership with American Bob Larkin, Les O’Neil imported ten Peterbilts into the country using his own interstate transport company, Mainline, to promote Peterbilt in much the same way Co-ord pushed the Foden Marque.
Sprys Transport Service in Griffith, NSW, carted wine, produce and related product between states and were emblazoned with the logo “Speed it thru Spry” Len Wright in Mt.
The completely new FE and FG lorry ranges were introduced in 1948, along with the new Foden FD6 two-stroke diesel engine, which became the standard engine for certain Foden heavy lorry models, such as the S18 FE6/15 Rigid Eight-Wheeler.
Edwin Foden enjoyed a good relationship with his employer George Hancock and for many years lived next door to him. These were offered with the option of Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel or Cummins ISMe engines. could see the future lay in diesel power. A new factory was built adjacent to the existing Foden works but the truck market continued to be depressed and sales slowed considerably. This particular truck usually carried dried fruit to the railhead in Hay and clay or timber to and from Mt.
It was donated by Peter Severin from Curtin Springs Station and was retrieved for the museum by the Australian Army who sent a recovery team into the desert 400klms south of Alice Springs to collect the vehicle from where it had been abandoned twenty years earlier near Mt. The same truck fitted with a Gardner 6LW-engine was the S18 FG6/15. Next it was fitted with back to back General Grant Tank transmissions significantly increasing the gearing range and finally, a bigger radiator was installed. Gascoyne went on to become part of the Wesfarmers conglomerate.
The O’Neil family, under leadership of Les O’Neil, owned Diesel Motors Ltd who assembled and sold Foden trucks from Perth to Sydney and all points in between including in Alice Springs where Les’s son Denis owned and operated Fleet Owners. Edwin Richard was 62 at the time and had spent his entire working life at Foden. The completely new FE and FG lorry ranges were introduced in 1948, along with the new Foden FD6 two-stroke diesel engine, which became the standard engine for certain Foden heavy lorry models, such as the S18 FE6/15 Rigid Eight-Wheeler. Although the Foden PVR was a high-framed single decker, the cruciform chassis bracing used by Foden made an underfloor engine location as in the competitive AEC Regal IV, Leyland Royal Tiger or Daimler Freeline a non-starter. Mostly, they carted cattle into the railhead at Mt.
Jack’s career as an owner -operator started in 1955 with the purchase of a Foden truck fitted with a 6LX 150hp Gardner engine.
In Broken Hill Allison operated an 8 wheeler powered by an 8LW 150bhp Gardner in the early 1950s hauling two single axle 33foot trailers of sheep Sheppard’s Wine Tankers also used Fodens to haul their tankers all throughout the wine regions of Australia and in one instance, narrowly avoided legal action after an accidental “wine spill” on the side of the road managed to stupefy the local dairy farmer’s cows for a few days.