3242197414 a941afd252-1-

AWD Seddon Diesel Tractor 134 6X6

VICKERS-AWD Smith LT15 Mobilecrane-1-

AWD-SMITH LT15 Mobilecrane 6X4

1954-1967 Camberley, Surrey England.

VICKERS-AWD Vickers All Wheel Drive Limited 1962-1971 Bilston Wolverhampton and South Marston Swindon, Wiltshire England.

CRANE TRAVELLERS (CRANECARRIERS) LIMITED 1971-To Date South Marston, Swindon & Beeston, Leeds England.

Company HistoryEdit

The company was a subsidiary of shipbuilding, defence and engineering group Vickers which was part nationalised and part privatised in the 1970s during a series of restructuring of the post WWII defence and shipbuilding industry. The company was active from 1966 to 1971, when it was sold off and renamed as Crane Travellers Ltd, under the control of the 600 Group who owned other mechanical and steelworking companies all over the UK. In the 1960s the company took over small specialist AWD Company Limited of Camberley who built or rebuilt and produced many vehicles based on popular Bedford, Commer, Ford  and Leyland trucks. They also produced a small range of several  'Crane carrier chassis' based on AEC 6X6 vehicles in the 1950s and 1960s and also about 500-600 Ford Thames Trader lorries were converted into 4X4 and 6X6 vehicles for many working purposes. The original AWD Industrial Chassis Series were essentially rebuilt standard lorries with proprietary components retaining their original mechanicals but were modified for offroad drivng most of them with 4WD and 6X6 driven axles. These included several Dumprucks, Fire Engines, Fire Crashtenders and original cranecarriers for several British cranebrands .

In the 1960s and 1970s Vickers organization acquired AWD and the two firm were divorced .One side was when Mr Andrews became in charge of the AWD company in the 1960s when they carried on importing and assembling the American made Michigan 4WD Diesel Loader models for the UK Market around 500-600 of them were made in England at the time. Shortly after that the other side was when Vickers-AWD acquired the business and decided they would from from Bilston this time to South Marston near Swindon for their improved larger premises and the site of the former Vickers-Armstrong factory.  

Soon Vickers-AWD company took over the crane vehicle manufacturing and cranecarrier production for many customers like BHCC Iron Fairy, Jones Cranes, Thomas Smith Of Rodley and some models also went for well known Priestman Limited Brothers . Here the new firm developed their brandnew  V-Series cranecarriers for many other domestic brandnames, perhaps the only exception must have been Coles Cranes Limited operation who manufactured their own full model range entirely. They were all much improved Industrial Cranecarrier units consisted of a heavy duty chassis with engine and drivetrain in 6x4, 6x6 and 8x4 configurations, some models also featured a low profile Motor Panels Ltd original cab and were a common sight in shipbuilding yards, construction sites, large harbours and heavily built for extreme hardwork and material handling.  

Then in 1968 Vickers-AWD became another subsidiary of the huge George Cohen Group 600 industrial empire who already owned Jones Cranes Limited and other crane makes at the time. At he beginning of the 1970s they also acquired Vickers-AWD who moved all their vehicle manufacturing and prototypes made to new larger premises with railway sidings nearby, under brandname of Crane Travellers Limited another similar company this time based at Beeston in Leeds who ceased all offroad truck production to concentrate solely on modern updated cranecarriers and other crane vehicles. Under the new George Cohen Group 600 ownership, Crane Travellers Limited were to restart production of genuine Vickers-AWD 4 wheeled, 6 wheeled and 8 wheeled modern cranecarriers only. In 1977 Crane Travellers Limited became a division of the wellknown Jones Cranes Limited of Letchworth a crane specialist who also shared part of the cranecarrier manufacturing business with a big choice of Bedford GM Diesel , Cummins Diesel Leyland TD and more powerful Scania V8 Diesel mechanical technology employing the latest hydraulic running gear available between the two firms enough to rival the wellknown giant British Coles Cranes Limited company.  

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trucks and Buses, by Denis Miller, page 299, Published by Quantum Books, ISBN 1-86160 

VICKERS-AWD Original Cranecarrier Model Range 


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