The Advent of Articulation

Tom Riding recalls....


"June 1959 was a defining moment in the history of the company.


Jim Riding had for years been totally against articulated vehicles but at last he relented and allowed us to buy a Leyland Comet Scammell tractor unit Reg No 700 KTE.


It was under-powered and under braked but it showed what really could be achieved with spare trailers.


It had been fitted with a fifth wheel overlay coupling at Cranes of Dereham and I proudly collected it from there complete with a new single axle trailer."



1959 and W & J Riding introduce the very first tractor unit into their fleet.


Leyland Comet Scammell tractor unit Reg No 700 KTE, had originally been specified with a Scammell coupling but was modified at Crane's of Dereham in Norfolk and fitted with a fifth wheel overlay coupling.


Driven by Ronnie Bland it remained in the fleet for two years after which time it was sold on to Fred Milner of Lancaster.



1957 registered 24-cabbed Leyland Reg No 649 CTD had two lives while at Riding's.


 Originally a O.600-engined four wheeler rigid Beaver it is seen here a few years later after being converted into one of the company's early tractor unit's, another very successful in-house conversion.


Tom Riding recalls below......


 "Leyland's at this time only had a small 33 gallon tank available on these short wheelbase Beavers.


 I discovered that AEC made a short tank that would fit the space available and would hold 50 gallons, and from here on in these were always fitted to these 14B10 models and to the later L.A.D. units".


Photograph courtesy of the late Roger Kenney.


Another shot of 1957 registered 24-cabbed Leyland tractor                                  unit Reg No 649 CTD. 

 Originally a O.600-engined four wheeler rigid Beaver it is       seen with a nice load of packet sugar destined for the             North East on a 27 foot Boden tandem axle trailer.  

The late jimmy Holden was its driver at the time and it is pictured here parked outside his home in Longridge.

The late Arthur Willacy originally had it from new when it was a four wheeler rigid hauling a draw-bar trailer.

Photograph courtesy of John Atkinson.


Although looking for all the world like a standard 24-cabbed Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No 680 ETJ was first registered in April 1958 by Riding's as a 680 engined four wheeler rigid Beaver that pulled a draw-bar trailer.


 It was driven by Dick Walton in both its forms who was another 40 year Riding's man.


Note the registration, when ever a new type of engine was available the first vehicle to come with one always had the appropriate reg number a nice W & J Riding touch.


 Unfortunately during the Easter weekend of 1965 this vehicle slid on the ice and collided with a telegraph pole, a picture of which can be found in Accidents Happen.


Photograph courtesy of the late Roger Kenney.



Driven by the late Jimmy Askew Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No 690 GTE Fleet No 46 was registered new in October 1958 originally as a four wheeler rigid that hauled a Crane draw-bar trailer.


Powered by a Leyland 680 engine it was taken into Riding's own workshops, as were many of the early rigid's, were it was converted into the 4x2 tractor unit pictured above.


The 26 foot trailer shown is an original Crane product of which Riding's had eight.


 The suspension comprised of four trailing arms with two half elliptic springs between each side.


 About this time the company was bought out by Fruehauf of America and the Crane designs were thrown out to be replaced by the fabricated L beam set up complete with the four spring bogie.


With articulation now becoming the mainstay of the fleet Riding's subsequently purchased dozens of them.


Photograph courtesy of the late Roger Kenney.



Originally a Leyland Steer Reg No 880 FTF is pictured here fresh out of the paint shop after being cut down and converted into a Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit.


 After the conversion this vehicle went on to serve the company well for many more years.


880 FTF was later involved in a roll over on the roundabout beneath Junction 31 of the M6 near Preston as can be seen in the Accidents Happen section after which time it was used as a yard shunter (see picture below). 


After being involved in a roll over accident on the roundabout beneath Junction 31 of the M6 near Preston Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit 880 FTF is seen here in its final years in the depot at Riding's.


 It was at first used for running trailers to Kirkham for MOT testing and also as a yard shunter.


Later, as can be seen in the picture above, Riding's had it adapted to carry six tons of weights for towing in loaded broken down rigid vehicles.   



Driven from new by Tom Brown Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No 600 PTD entered service with the W & J Riding                                        fleet in June 1960.


It was the first brand new genuine factory built tractor unit                       to enter service with W & J Riding.


Another shot of Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No 600 PTD this time coupled to one of the new 26ft Crane tandem axle trailers loaded with 16 tons of bricks from Withnell Brickworks near Chorley destined for Norwich.


After life at Riding's 600 PTD was eventually sold on to the well known firm of J.B. Rawcliffe and hopefully started them on their way to success.



Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No 220 STD was a new addition to the fleet in October 1960 and was in fact the                                             last of the14B/10's.


Pictured here in the depot at Longridge It was driven from                                new by Harold Swanson.


Registered new in 1948 Leyland Beaver 12B/1 four wheeler Reg No NVT 460 is seen here in 1962 when fourteen years old.


Purchased in 1954, with it's 'S' licenses from Preston BRS at Water Lane, Riding's ran it for eight years as a draw bar trailer outfit until 1962 when, on the very day this picture was taken, it went into Riding's workshops at Longridge and was cut down and made into a 4x2 tractor unit which can be seen in this picture here below.......


NVT 460 is reborn and is pictured here shortly after being cut down and converted into a 4x2 tractor unit.


Originally a four wheeler when new it came with vacuum hydraulic brakes but during conversion was fitted with a compressor to change it to air over hydraulic.


 After the rebuild Riding's ran it as a tractor unit for a further three years until 1965.


It is pictured above coupled to a Boden 28ft tandem axle trailer loaded with drums of Cereclor from ICI Ltd Hillhouse works.


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