W & J Riding Ltd Longridge Preston

                      Seddon Atkinson

By the time Atkinson launched their all steel cab they had been taken over by Seddon which in Riding's opinion was a bad move. However Riding's still continued to badge all their units with the Atkinson name.

The cabs suffered badly with corrosion and it was not until the company was again taken over by International that the American company sent people over to the UK examine the rust problem.

It was eventually solved and the later 401 and 411 models were generally free from corrosion. With the Gardner/Cummins engine, Fuller gearboxes and Rockwell axles W & J Riding thought these were superb machines and fully fit for purpose.

 

Seddon Atkinson 4x2 tractor unit Reg No RCW 400P was the very first 400 series tractor unit with a Gardner 8 cylinder engine to come out of the Atkinson factory in 1975.

 Driven from new by Ted Woods it was the first of many to enter service with Riding's. Notice the redesigned front grille with the Atkinson name and the absence of all things Seddon.

 

Another of the early Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4x2 tractor units to be introduced into the fleet in 1975 was Reg No SFR 950P 'Peerless' seen here parked up on a motorway service area.

 Driven by Bill Coolican it had an 8 cylinder Gardner engine and is shown pulling a 1450 cu ft non tipping powder tank. This particular photograph is courtesy of renowned lorry photographer Peter J Davies.

 

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4x2 tractor unit Reg No LVT 624P Fleet No 76 was registered new on the 1st of April 1976. It is pictured here coupled up to an empty flat tri-axle trailer while parked up in the depot.

 

Seen here coupled to one of the company's powder tankers, Seddon Atkinson 4x2 tractor unit Reg No AHG 820R 'Silver Jubilee' was driven from new by Bill Tyson. Registered new on the 1st of June 1977 it was powered by a Gardner 240 and was painted in a special livery to commemorate the Queen's silver jubilee which took place in 1977.

 

 Seen here parked up on the M1 Woodall service area near Sheffield is a pair of Seddon Atkinson 400 tractor unit's both powered by 8 cylinder Gardner engines On the left Reg No XCK 610R 'Tireless' is pulling a 1600cu ft Murfitt pellet tank and was driven by John Aspinall while on the right Reg No WCK 300R 'Herculean' driven by Jack Lucas is shown pulling a 1450 cu ft Crane Fruehauf pellet tank. Photograph courtesy of John Dickson-Simpson.

 

 Eight cylinder Gardner powered Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4x2 tractor unit Reg No WCK 300R 'Herculean' was driven by Jack Lucas and is shown here pulling a 1450 cu ft Crane Fruehauf pellet tank. Not content with taking the picture of the wagon alone photographer John Dickson-Simpson also took it with his lovely wife Ebba standing alongside.

 

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4x2 tractor unit Reg No HFV 780S, powered by a Gardner 240 engine, was registered new on the 1st of June 1978. Driven by Alan Bretherton it is pictured here while on test with a fully loaded trailer at Birk's Brow above the reservoir at Longridge near Preston.

 This photograph was one of a series that were taken as part of an aborted David Brown advertising campaign in the summer of 1978.

 Tom Riding recalls.... "The 8 speed David Brown gearbox was good to operate and light in weight but it did have some design faults that could quite easily have been sorted, but the makers seemed to lose heart and thus left the market wide open for the Fuller 9609 gearbox which was very good".

Driven by Kevin Jordan Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4x2 tractor unit Reg No LFR 310T 'North Star' was powered by an 8 cylinder Gardner engine. It is pictured here heading a convoy of six vehicles, awaiting a police escort, while carrying wide steel plates from Motherwell to the British Steel pipe mill at Stockton on Tees.

 Seddon Atkinson 400 Reg No LFR 330T Fleet No 95 'Morning Star' is pictured here heading west on the M4 near Bristol.

 This tractor unit was specified with a vehicle-mounted blower for bulk powder tank work as can be seen by the ancillary pipe work mounted on the chassis. Because of this, Morning Star had it's front-mounted silencer latterly replaced with a vertical exhaust stack to keep fumes away from the driver while the engine powered the blower.

 Several comments went around the yard and this wagon was labelled 'She's a Kenworth in drag' - even as far as it being added on the fleet list!. Seen in the picture pulling one of Riding's old 33ft Municipal coil-carriers the old livery is still visible on the side raves. Picture courtesy of Marcus Lester.

Seddon Atkinson 400 series 4x2 tractor unit Reg No TUN 111T 'Flying Dutchman' is seen here in Solnec contact livery.

 The vacuum tanker was used to collect dirty solvent in bulk when a particular customer had this facility. This tractor unit was bought second-hand and was originally registered new to Torridge transport of Devon on the 7th of September 1978.

 Fitted with a 240 Gardner 8 cylinder engine TUN 111T duly had a third life after Ridings, when John Killingbeck of Blackburn bought it and turned into a very successful double drive 3 axled unit.

Seddon Atkinson 4x2 tractor unit Reg No GAT 246T named 'Mons Meg' was powered by a Cummins 290 engine and driven on a regular basis by Dave Eastwood.

This particular tractor unit and innovative trailer were on contact to Solrec of Heysham. As the name implies the company were in solvent recovery and this outfit was used to collect dirty product in drums from the users and after cleaning it was sent out again to customers in the stainless steel tank located in the middle of the trailer.

Originally operated from new in a bright yellow livery on the Solrec contract, as can be seen in the previous picture, Seddon Atkinson 4x2 tractor unit Reg No GAT 246T Fleet No 44 'Mons Meg', powered by a Cummins 290 engine, is seen here after coming off the Solrec contract and repainted in Riding's familiar livery.  Photograph courtesy of Marcus Lester.

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series 4x2 tractor unit Reg No GAT 247T named 'Earl Marichal' was purchased second-hand and worked on the general haulage fleet.

 Pictured loaded with heavy plate steel the tin-worm had claimed squatters-rights in the old girl's cab which had already resulted in the replacement of the grille panel with one from a 401, an easy remedy for the renowned 'soluble' Seddon Atkinson's.

Seddon Atkinson 400 Series day cabbed 4x2 tractor unit Reg No WFR 370V Fleet No 96 'Novelty' entered service with Riding's in 1979. It was fitted with one of the prototype turbocharged Gardner engines that the company were developing at that time, in this case it was the Gardner 6LXCT.

In 1982 the group decided to close down Entress transport of Swansea so Tom Riding dashed down and bought five superb two year old Seddon Atkinson 400 tractor units Reg No's DWN 481 482 483 and 484 selling the other one to Buckley's of Warrington on the way home.

Pictured above is one of those tractor unit's Reg No DWN 484V Fleet No 57 'Formidable'. This vehicle was driven by Jack Moon and is pictured here in Longridge depot having the final touches made to its load of Heinz products.

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