Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki

Sunters Scammell HPY 54D leaving the ring at Pickering

Sunter Bros of Northallerton, North Yorkshire, were for many years a well known name in heavy haulage. The company was taken over and disappeared into Econofreight in the 1980s consolidation of the Heavy Haulage industry.


A hallowed name in the great hall of Heavy Haulage fame, the Sunter story began in the Swaledale village of Gunnerside. From modest beginnings in the early 30's, a sizeable site was acquired on the outskirts of Northallerton in 1937. Quickly establishing a solid reputation, the firm was catapulted into the big league in 1957 when Tom Sunter fought hard to win the famous Bradwell boilers contract with Head Wrightson. A Rotinoff Super Atlantic heavy tractor was used along with solid tyred Crane bogies. Both items of equipment did a phenomenal amount of work for the haulier and now reside in the The Science Museum at Wroughton nr Swindon.

Into the 1970's the modular trailer concept took the industry by storm, and by their end Sunters had one of the largest inventory of modular axle lines in Europe.

In the 1980s they tied up with continental transport specialist ITM that operated some barges and some of the fleet was repainted in ITM-Sunters branding in a different shade of grey. In August 1983 they moved a 3100 ton Module with Modular trailers weighing 400 tons to set a record (at that time) of 3543 tonnes for the heaviest single load moved on wheels, at the Cleveland Redpath yard in Port Clarence, onto a load out barge on the River Tees. Another record was for a 1120 wheeled trailer built from Modular units for a Oil Rig production module load out.

Sunters was bought-out in 1964 (by Bulwalk United Transport) but the name was still in existence until 1980.[1]

The firms demise came in May 1986 when the heavy haulage operation was merged with Wynns and Econofreight. Most of the heavy fleet were repainted into the blue & white of Econofreight, and the famous Tractomas tractor unit RDC 318X was later sold abroad.

Peter Sunter worked as a consultant to Sarens


Scammell Junior Constructor HPY 54D and Rotinoff Atlantic in Pickering town centre at the 2009 Pickering Steam Rally

This is a list of some of the fleet operated by Sunters.[2]

See also

References / sources

  1. summary of a talk by Peter Sunter
  2. Trucks, by Bob Tuck

External links