Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki
Whitlock Brothers, Ltd.
Successor Hymac
Founded 1899
Defunct 1972
Headquarters Great Yeldham, Essex, England
Products Construction Plant

A Whitlock Dinkum Digger on a Ferguson tractor seen at Duncombe Park Steam Rally 2010

Dinkum Digger Instruction Plate

Whitlock Brothers Limited was a company based at Great Yeldham in Essex and they were founded in early 1899. The firm built the Dinkum Digger loader under licence from the inventor a Scotsman, Robert Ewan, from Fife. The Dinkum was as backhoe attachment for Fordson and Ferguson tractors. Next was the Dinkum 60 and Dinkum Major built on a Fordson Major base unit. A similar solution being equally adopted by Bray, Weatherhill and several other British construction machinery makes for backhoe loaders and diggers they offered.

This manufacturer should not be confused and had no connections with another firm of the same name called The Whitlock Automobile Company Limited who built taxis and car-type light vehicles who were active at Cricklewood Broadway in London, England from 1905 to 1910 with another return in 1924 but then closed during the 1930 Great Depression.

They were exported to Australia, in 1958 being imported and sold by their agent Lougth Equipment PTY.[1]

They also started building an early ADT in early 1954 called the Whitlock DD95 based on a Fordson tractor. The dumper was an 11 ton unit with a 95 hp tractor with 6F + 2R manual gearbox. A lower powered version the Whitlock DD75 was also built. Later in 1963 came the Whitlock DD105 4WD Hydrostatic dumptruck model with a 105 hp transverse engine and a 12 ton capacity and could have a connectable rear axle drive or both axles driven. This was not a big seller but was considered well ahead of its time just like other UK firms such as Bray, Camill and Northfield who later introduced similar products.[2]

The Whitlock company was taken over in 1972 by Powell Duffryn, owner of the Hymac company, for £1.2 million. Another engineering firm called Merton Engineering Co. Limited who also built Ford based loaders was also part of the Powell Duffryn operation having being acquired by Hymac in about 1970. The loading shovel models were marketed as Whitlock-Merton for a time under the Hymac division of Powell Duffryn.[3]

The Whitlock backhoe-loader range was incorporated into the Hymac line-up model range too to complement the 360 excavator range of original Hymac design and production. All Whitlock manufacturing was moved to the Hymac factory at Rymmny in Wales in the mid 1970s and the site taken over by the new Volvo UK operation. This marked the end of Whitlock Brothers Limited, and by 1976 Whitlock had left the construction and earthmover machinery within months.[4]


1889 Company founded.

1941 Private company.

1961 Agricultural and industrial machinery manufacturers, producing "Dinkum Digger" excavators, "Whitlock" power shovels and "Dinkum" dumpers. 600 employees.[1]

1971 Whitlock, maker of earth movers, was sold to Powell Duffryn which would integrate it with Hy-Mac[2]

Other products

The company in the 1940s was involved in building early on farm grain storage silos. These were introduced following a visit to Canada by Mr Charlton Whitlock were he saw the silos built of timber. The tall Canadian designs being adapted to UK conditions and refined by trial and error.[5] The shrinkage gaps in the timber structure also allowed air to circulate, whereas the later steel paneled silos tended to suffer from sweating, till ventilated /perforated panels were added.

Model Range

  • Whitlock Dinkum Digger A revised Fordson tractor made with standard Whitlock Dinkum Digger backhoe gear.
  • Whitlock Dinkum 60 A further development of the above model with frontbucket fitted and was only for export.
  • Whitlock Dinkum Major A revamped Fordson with 4x4 axles using Whitlock made Dinkum Digger equipment.
  • Whitlock Super Major A modified Fordson diggerloader with 4x4 and Whitlock Backhoe and Frontbucket gear.
  • Whitlock Digger A Ferguson sourced model that was redesigned with new axles, optional cab and modern gear.
  • Whitlock Dozaloda An original 1960s Fordson engined that was fitted with a large Dozerblade and Backhoe
  • Whitlock Power Shovel A Fordson based loader that could be fitted to any other model of that make.
  • Whitlock 105 Backhoe Could be fitted to any standard British Excavator model of the same decade.
  • Whitlock 110 Backhoe For Crawler tractors and several other similar British machines.
  • Whitlock 205 - International 205 Backhoe This equipment was solely for export to USA company International.
  • Whitlock 303 1964 A new generation of modern and original Diggerloaders that used Ford engines and 4x4.
  • Whitlock 405 1965-67 A 360 degree rotation excavator with dozerblade. Built on a Ford 5000 tractor.
  • Whitlock 50R Circa 1971. A 360 degree Hydraulic Excavator
  • Whitlock 505 1967-69 A 75 hp Ford 5000 engined Diggerloader with Ford 4x4 axles.
  • Whitlock 605 1968 The last Diggerloader model it had Ford all wheel driven axles and running gear.
  • Whitlock DD70 ADT An early original and first ever dumptruck with Ferguson mechanicals and steering.
  • Whitlock DD75 ADT An original Fordson 68 bhp engined dumptruck with Ferguson steering and wheels.
  • Whitlock DD95 ADT An original Fordson 95 bhp engined dumptruck with several tractors fitted on it.
  • Whitlock DD105 ADT 4WD The last Dumptruck model they made using 4X4 axles.
  • Whitlock-Merton 120C - A loader that was powered by a Ford Thames truck mechanicals and a wide cab.
  • Whitlock-Merton 150C - A loader based on Ford running gear and was offered with or without drivers cab.
  • Whitlock-Merton 180C - A further development of the above but with AWD axles and spacious new cab.
  • Whitlock W7T Mobilecrane An original crane with a long latticejib for 10 ton loads on Ford Thames lorry chassis.
  • Whitlock WR8 Crawler crane Miniature yard crane based on a Ransomes MG tractor

Machines in preservation

please list any known machines below.

  • Whitlock digger reg. XDL 18 owned by Mike Brockway of Somerset since 1966 and still working (the digger) not me, farm worker and contractor retired. 20/1/2012
  • WHO 901H+ - Whitlock digger loader seen at Netley Marsh Steam Show 2011 as part of the crushing demo


Image gallery

please add your photos below of surviving Whitlock machines;

See also

Reference / sources

  1. Tractor tales
  2. CP&M Vol.3, No.12, August 2005
  3. CP&M vol 9 num 6, page 48
  4. Old Tractor Magazine No.63
  5. - Report on a visit to a farm with early silos