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Scammell Lorries Limited
Former type Petrol and Diesel powered
Successor Scammell Motors Limited
Founded 1921
Defunct 1988

Spitalfields, London, United Kingdom

Watford England
Industry Commercial and Transport Vehicles
Products trucks, buses
Owner(s) Leyland Motors Ltd later Leyland Group
Also a subsidiary brandname for Leyland Trucks

The last Scammell S26 built named "Evening Star" preserved in Econofrieghts colour scheme, Seen at Belvoir Castle show 2008

Line of Scammell trucks and the Scammell Register exhibition unit at the Scammell Gathering - Ackworth in 2009

Scammell Lorries Limited was a British manufacturer of trucks, particularly specialist and military off-highway vehicles, from 1921 to 1988.


Scarab at Bromyard Gala 2008

A Scarab at Lymswold show in 2008

Scammell Ballasted tractor GXV 657 in Pickfords colours, at Shrugbrough Hall show 2008

Scammell PWV 618 of 1957 fitted with a Gardner 6LW engine and double reduction axle, at Bakewell show 2008

Preserved Scammell with restored Priestman load on period low loader at the VET Museum in Cumbria, in 2007 (Dave Weedon collection)

Scammell tractor unit GUX 650D in Wrekin Roadways haulage colours at Cromford steam fair 2008

A Scammell Contractor in Pickfords livery at Belvoir Castle show 2008

Scammell Highwayman ballast tractor at Lincoln 2011

Scammell started as a late-Victorian period wheelwright and coach-building business in Spitalfields, London.

In 1921, the company exhibited its first articulated vehicle, capable of carrying 7.5 tons, at the Olympia Motor Show. With the demand for this vehicle, the company first moved to a new works in Watford, and then formed Scammell Lorries Ltd in July 1922.

In 1934, Scammell produced the 'Mechanical Horse', designed by Oliver Danson North to replace horses in rail, postal and other delivery applications. This featured automatic carriage coupling and the single front wheel could be steered through 360 degrees. It was sold in 3 and 6 ton versions. The 3-tonner was powered by a 1,125 cc side-valve petrol engine and the 6-tonner by a 2,043 cc engine. Karrier had introduced a similar vehicle, the 'Cob', four years earlier.

From 1937, a Citroën Traction Avant powered version was made under licence in France, by Chenard-Walcker-FAR, known as the 'Pony Mécanique'. This continued in production, in various versions, until 1970.

In the late 1940s, the 'Mechanical Horse' was superseded by the Scarab', with similar features but now with a 2,090 cc side-valve petrol engine in both models and a diesel version with a Perkins engine.

In 1967, the 'Scarab' was replaced by the Townsman, which had a fibre-glass cab.

The company mainly concentrated on articulated and rigid eight-wheeler lorries, from the 1920s. One vehicle not in those lines that became well-known was the six-wheeled Pioneer. This was an off-highway heavy haulage tractor first produced in 1927. It showed outstanding cross-country performance due to the design that included a sideways rocking front axle, and 2ft of vertical movement for each of the rear wheels.

The Pioneer was popular in the oil field and forestry (logging) markets, and formed the basis of the British Army's World War II 30-ton tank transporter. With the outbreak of war, development of new vehicles stopped and production concentrated on military Pioneers for use as artillery tractors, recovery and transporter vehicles.

Post war, foreign competition and rationalisation of the UK manufacturers led to Scammell coming under the control of Leyland Motors Ltd in 1955.

In February 1987 Scammell learned that its tender for 1522 Military vehicles for the British MOD was successful - but also that the Leyland group had been purchased by DAF BV of Holland. DAF then transferred production of the Military "DROPS" lorries and selected S26 vehicles to the Leyland plant, in Lancashire. It continued production in specialist and military markets until 1988 when the site at Watford, nr London was closed and the last vehicles manufactured under the Scammell name were sold.

Alvis Unipower set up an operation in Watford in 1988 developing trucks and offering ongoing support and spare parts for Scammell vehicles. The new company acquired design & manufacturing rights to several models; the S24 and the Nubian ranges, together with rights to the Crusader and Commander names.

Vehicle model listing

Model List
Model Capacity Date introduced Date Discontinued Number built Photo Notes
Scammell 15LA Scammell 15LA Ballast tractor reg LTW 419 at Barnard Castle 09 - IMG 0587.jpg
Scammell 15MU Scammell 15MU Balast tractor reg UYL 920 at rushden 08 - P5010209.jpg
Scammell 17MU Scammell 17MU Highwayman of 1958 reg VRX 624 at Barnard Castle 09 - IMG 0596.jpg
Scammell 20LA Scammell 20LA - NGF 120 - ex Pickford M750 at Belvoir 09 - IMG 8426.jpg
Scammell 80 Tonner 100px Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki:Requested images
Scammell 100 Tonner Scammell 100 tonner - BCVM 09 - IMG 3822.jpg
Scammell Amazon 100px Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki:Requested images Looks like a Crusader
Scammell Commander A British Scammell Commander 6x4 tractor truck leaves the Danish cargo ship Dana Cimbria during Operation Desert Shield.jpeg 1980s Tank transporter replaced by Oshkosh built HET.
Scammell Constructor Pickfords Scammell constructor VXD 530 - Resolute at Belvoir 09 - IMG 8377.jpg
Scammell Contractor 100-250 ton Scammell Contractor GDW 848E of Scotts Heavy Haulage at Scammell Gathering 09 - IMG 9288.jpg
Scammell Crusader Scammell Crusader Recovery truck OLD 501L at Rushden 08 - P5010280.jpg See below
Scammell Explorer Scammell Explorer YAS 852 at Rushden 08 - P5010281.jpg
Scammell Handyman Scamell Handyman III - HRL 538E at Tinkers Park 2010 - IMG 6720.jpg
Scammell Highwayman Scammell Higwayman reg MHW 492F Essex Girl at Rushden 08 - P5010210.jpg
Scammell Himalayan 100px Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki:Requested images
Scammell Junior Constructor Sunters Scammell Junior Constructor HPY 54D at Pickering 09 - IMG 3429.jpg
Scammell Mountaineer To add
Scammell Mechanical Horse Scarab trailer.JPG
Scammell Pioneer Scammell Pioneer - WSL 349 at Lincoln 08 - DSC00037.jpg
Pioneer Artillery Tractor To add
Scammell Pioneer tank transporter 100px Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki:Requested images
Scammell Rigid Six Scammell Ridgid 6 reg BLT 235 in Wynns livery at NMM - IMG 2817.jpg
Scammell Rigid Eight 100px Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki:Requested images
Scammell Routeman Scammell Routeman - TAN 513M - Sarah Jane - at Pickering 09 - IMG 2955.jpg
Scammell Scarab Scammell tractor reg 6533 UK at Lymswold - P7270154.JPG
Scammell Showtrac Only 18 built Scammell showtrac of 1952 reg XMM 73 at Barnard Castle 09 - IMG 0600.jpg Showmans tractor fitted with generator set for fairground ride haulage and power supply
Scammell S24 To add Bonneted Tractor unit
Scammell S26 1983 Scammell S26 Econofreight Ballasted tractor-Driffield-P8100506.JPG Last one built as Ballast tractor for Econofreight Named as Evening Star
Scammell Townsman 100px Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki:Requested images
Scammell Trunker 100px Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki:Requested images See below
SCAMMELL MOTORS LIMITED Original Model Range Photo Gallery 


A Scammell Rigid Six Reg. no. BLT 235 in the Livery of Wynns Heavy Haulage (Is this an ex Wynns truck ? )


The Trunker used the same Giovanni Michelotti-designed "cheesegrater" fibreglass cab as the Routeman Rigid. It a tractor unit version using Leyland 0.680 or TL11 engines. It was available as 4×2 and 6×2 with a non lifting second steer axle. The chassis from this vehicle saw continued service on the 6×2 Leyland Roadtrain.


This was a 4×2 or 6×4 tractor that used a Motor Panels-supplied steel cab, available in sleeper or day cab forms. It had the option of Detroit Diesel, Cummins, Rolls Royce or Leyland engines.

The Crusader was a popular vehicle within the British Army as a 6×6 wrecker. Many have also seen use in the heavy haulage industry due to their incredibly strong chassis.


The Mountaineer was fitted with a 150 hp. Leyland 680 engine of 11.1 litres. 6 Speed Gearbox, and a 15 ton scammell winch unit for some applications.


A Military version of the Scammell S26 tractor unit

A Earlier Ex Army Scammell recovery unit (Wrecker)

Some custom built versions were created for specialist applications. The S24 was modified for use as a Tank transporter, with later Alvis Unipower versions based on the old Scammell design.

Several hauliers have made extensive modifications to there older Scammell tractor units with Heanor Haulage building several HHT special versions based on the earlier Scammell Contractor chassis.

In the 1980 a special was built for a Truck show based on the Leyland/ Scammell unit, called ? it was modified to pull wheelies by using huge torque to climb the front of the truck into the air with the rear brakes on, then releasing them once air born. (Fitted with sliding weights in the rear of the chassis to balance the engine out).

Ballast tractor units

  • Ballast tractor - The photo at the top is a Heavy Haulage Tractor fitted with Ballast Box for drawbar work, with loads up to 250 ton. For heavier loads or steep inclines multiple units are used coupled by a solid drawbar, to the ultra heavy duty hitch on the front.

UK Preserved Machines

A Scammell on Tank transporter duty at Belvoir Castle show 2008

There are quite a number of preserved machines in the UK, that regularly are shown at Shows, some are used for moving other show vehicles with low loaders.

please list known examples on the individual models page in registration number order

Scammell preserved vehicle list (not created yet)

List of Preserved Scammell Motors trucks
view  talk  edit
Registration No. Make-Model or type no Build-Year Engine-Make/Type Weight/class Chassis/Body type Owner
(if known)
Photo Were seen/Featured Other info


Please add any truck with known reg or serial no. with Photo if possible.
Create a page (link) for an individual truck by linking the reg or serial number using [[Truck make-model-reg no.|reg number]] or [[Truck make-model-serial no.|serial number]] in the relevant column. Then once saved click the red link to start the new page and add info on that truck.

See also

A 1967 Scammell Highwayman used as a showmans tractor, at Rushden Transport Cavalcade in 2008

Related companies


Based on Wikipedia article (edited for Tractor wiki and with additional model data being added)

External links

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Scammell. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia