Leyland Albion Dodge (L.A.D.)
In 2015 the late Tom Riding recalled below in the operation of L.A.D. vehicles in the fleet....
"In a joint venture between Leyland, Albion & Dodge, which became known as L.A.D., the three companies shared the same type of cab all built by Motor Panels.
Unfortunately at this time the steel used must have been of a very low grade and as regards paint protection that was also very poor.
Within three to four years of service corrosion became rampant so we had to remove the cabs from the chassis's and re-panel every single one we operated.
The long door cab on the Beavers was also very prone to rust and we had to replace the floor supports underneath the floor which was a real time consuming exercise.
There were numerous other problems on the early Beavers, far too many to list here, but Leyland managed to sort them all out in due course, as they always did.
When the problems were solved Leyland would suddenly then stop production of the range and start again with another model range and the merry go round would repeat itself.
They did become good vehicles in the end, but were unfortunately to heavy unladen and the overall length at the time demanded that they were only an eight foot wheelbase which meant they could come round in a flash and jack-knife in slippy conditions.
The first Comets with the L.A.D. cab still had hydraulic brakes which could be a cause for concern when overloaded as they invariably were.
But when the 13c model came out with a full air brake system along with the 0/370 engine Leyland produced a really fine machine".
The first L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Super Comet four wheeler to enter service with Riding's was Reg No 640 GTF Fleet No 47 which was driven from new by Jesse Yeulett.
Purchased brand new on the 17th of November 1958 at a cost of £2,544 10s 5d, an equivalent to £48,722 in 2013, it was registered for road use on the 1st of December 1958 and after eleven years service was sold on to Bulcock Brothers of Whalley for £125 on the 28th June 1969.
Seen here parked in the depot at Longridge Reg No 640 GTF would go on to have a long and varied life at Riding's eventually cut down and turned into a 4x2 tractor unit as can be seen in the following two pictures below. v
Pictured here while parked up in Glasgow, with a load of Turner's asbestos, is W & J Riding's first L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Super Comet four wheeler Reg No 640 GTF Fleet No 47.
Tom Riding recalls....
"Purchased new in November 1958, 640 GTF was a good strong machine but it's unladen weight was far to heavy so after a few years, during the onset of articulation, we decided to take it in to our own workshops at Longridge for some major surgery.
It was cut down and emerged as a very useful tractor unit for capacity loads as can be seen in this photograph below". v
Fresh out of the paint shop a colour shot of former four wheeler L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Super Comet Reg No 640 GTF Fleet No 47 after being reborn as a 4x2 tractor unit..
Pictured above, shortly after the rebuild, it is seen coupled to a four in line trailer loaded with a nice light capacity load of pipes.
After being in service with Riding's for eleven years both as a four wheeler and as a tractor unit 640 GTF was sold on the 28th June 1969 to Bulcock Brothers of Whalley for £125.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Comet four wheeler Reg No 375 HTB Fleet No 48 had a Leyland O-375 engine in line with a five speed gearbox and Eaton 2 speed axle.
Registered new in January 1959 it was driven from new by the late Fred Hesmondhalsh another long time serving Riding's driver.
It is seen here in Glasgow loaded for down south with asbestos pipes from Turners Asbestos factory at Dalmuir.
Note the special pipe racks Riding's fitted to the bodies to safely transport the pipes.
Riding's used a Mr David Vetters at that time on a commission basis to back load all their vehicles for the South which he did very successfully for quite a number of years.
Riding's later opened a Scottish depot at Wishaw from were they worked directly for the British Steel Corporation at Motherwell.
Another shot of L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Super Comet Reg No 375 HTB Fleet No 48 which was new addition to the ever growing fleet in January 1959.
Tom Riding continues...
"I dare not tell you the weight of the tinned milk it was carrying at that time from Preston dock to the Co-op at Newcastle on Tyne, but it would be fully loaded as if it were a six wheeler which it was soon to be as we later put the third axle on this one in our own workshops as can be seen in the picture below". v
Seen in the previous picture above as a four wheeler, L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Super Comet Reg No 375 HTB Fleet No 48 is pictured on the left in the yard at Longridge after receiving its third axle to increase it's carrying capacity.
Seen here with drums of Cereclor (chlorinated paraffin) from the ICI plant at Hillhouse Tom Riding had loaded the vehicle himself and then spent the time on the return journey to Longridge tuning the engine for maximum power.
On the right is L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Super Comet Reg No 200 KTE Fleet No 50.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Super Comet 14SC/4R four wheeler Reg No 200 KTE Fleet No 51 is seen here in July 1959 when it was brand new carrying it's first load of cigarettes to London, a nice light load for running in purposes.
The lovely young lady in the drivers seat is Tom Riding's wife, Margaret, who has been with him from that day to this.
Tom Riding recalls.....
'I sometimes think the Super Comet could have been the big attraction.
In 1962 York trailers added a third axle (see below) which gave it a much greater payload and it then went on Darlington change over trunk mainly hauling sugar for Tate & Lyle.
The vehicle was very stable and the brakes were superb so you could make the time up downhill what you lost climbing".
Photograph courtesy John Dickson-Simpson, a life long personal friend of Tom Riding.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Super Comet Reg No 200 KTE Fleet No 50 was registered new in 1959 originally as a four wheeler. (see picture above this one).
After undergoing surgery in 1962, at York Trailers, it emerged sporting a trailing third axle which increased it's carrying capacity and was duly assigned to the Darlington change over trunk, mainly hauling heavy loads of sugar for Tate & Lyle.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Comet CS3/3R four wheeler Reg No 950 LTD Fleet No 52 was powered by a Leyland 350 engine in line with a five speed gearbox and 2 speed axle.
Registered new on the 1st of September 1959 it was driven by the late Jack Draper who drove for Riding's all his working life.
It is seen here parked in Glasgow loaded with Turners Asbestos pipes while Jack was waiting for his delivery notes before proceeding South.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No 140 WTC Fleet No 59, powered by a 600 power plus engine, was registered new on the 1st of October 1961 at a cost of £2,711, an equivalent to £51,179 in 2013.
Tom Riding recalls.....
"Our driver, Ronny Bland, is seen here at Liverpool Docks unloading sacks on to pallets single-handedly which was the norm at that time.
When we bought our first tractor unit, a Comet /Scammell Reg No 700 KTE, i persuaded Ronny into driving it as none of our other drivers were interested.
We sold 700 KTE after a relatively short time but it had demonstrated the many advantages of articulation and our first L.A.D. Beaver 4x2 tractor unit, pictured above, was his reward for being the guinea pig.
Notice the large mirrors we fitted to all the L.A.D.s in place of the useless ones that were fitted as original equipment".
Another shot of L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No 140 WTC Fleet No 59.
Registered new on the 1st of Oct 1961 at a cost of £2,711 it was the first L.A.D. Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit to join the Riding fleet.
It is pictured here coupled up to a fully loaded tandem axle trailer in the depot at Longridge.
Still running in Queesgate Motors livery it would later be taken into the paint shop and given W & J Riding livery as can be seen in the winters picture below. v
After being repainted into W & J Riding livery L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No 140 WTC Fleet No 59 is seen here in the snow and ice at Oaks Bar where the Longridge road joins the A59 about five miles from the depot.
Tom Riding continues.....
"The road was so ice bound that the whole outfit spun to a stand still and slipped broadside to the curb blocking the road completely.
Ken Moon, who went on to serve our company for 41 years was the driver of 140 WTC at the time while long serving driver the late Fred Wolstenholm, aka Shorty, is the man stood by the cab door offering whatever advice he could.
No road salt was available in the vicinity so Ken & Fred knocked on the house opposite, borrowed their dustbin and used the ashes out of it to get some traction and get the vehicle moving again.."
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Octopus Reg No 860 WTE Fleet No 16 was purchased brand new direct from Leyland Motors in August 1961.
The chassis cab weighed as much as a 24 04 Octopus with a body on so it was immediately sent back and the massive double drive bogie was removed reverting it back to single drive.
All the 16 ply Dunlop textile tyres were changed and replaced with Michelin X bringing the weight down to a more acceptable level, however, it used to break the spring eyes off the rear springs which pulled the brake rods on.
After been in service for six years it was decided in April 1967 that it would be rebuilt and was converted into a 4x2 tractor unit.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Octopus Reg No 860 WTE Fleet No 16 seen here parked out side the depot on Whitingham Road in April 1967.
With it's flat body removed along with front bumper it was about to have the cab removed and cut down over the following week in Riding's own workshops where it was converted into the 4x2 tractor unit seen in the picture below. v
The eagle eyed amongst you will notice that a 'Beaver' badge has already been fixed to the front near side of the cab along with a new illuminated headboard.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Octopus Reg No 860 WTE was totally rebuilt and re-registered on the 19th of May 1967 to re-emerge as this 4x2 tractor unit Reg No ATC 350E Fleet No 16.
Tom Riding recalls....
"Two new Beaver chassis sides were bought and the Octopus metamorphosed into a 14B/17R Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit and we also took the opportunity during the rebuild to slip into it a 680 Power Plus engine.
It is seen here shortly after the conversion with 20 tons of double deck pallets of Corvic from the ICI plant at Hillhouse destined for Birtley in County Durham
After the conversion we ran it for four years then sold it on to C.W. Twist of Halewood on the 29th of November 1971 for the sum of £800".
The most notable part of this picture isn't the L.A.D. cabbed Power Plus Beaver Reg No 3800 TD Fleet No 26, it's more to do with the trailer that it is coupled up to.
Riding's first articulated tractor (using a fifth-wheel coupling) was a Leyland Comet which had originally been specified with a Scammell coupling.
It was modified at Crane's of Dereham in Norfolk, who (after becoming Crane Fruehauf) were the source of the vast majority of Riding's trailers - the first two being brought home by Tom Riding himself with the company's sole AEC Mercury tractor unit.
It's something of a surprise therefore to see a Boden platform trailer coupled to 3800 TD while parked up at the depot in Longridge.
L.A.D. cabbed Power Plus Beaver 4X2 tractor unit Reg No 5610 TD Fleet No 27 was registered new on the 1st of August 1962 at a cost of £2,652, an equivalent to £49,000 in 2017.
It is seen here on the Leyland stand at the Royal Lancashire show in 1962 and was delivered new as a 24 ton GVW tractor but when the legislation changed three years later in 1965 Riding's fitted it with the Leyland Service conversion kit SC1102 and it was lifted to 32 GVW at very small cost.
After Leyland had ironed out all the problems on these models they eventually turned out to give a very good account of themselves.
The late Fred Wolstenholm Snr was its driver from new who worked at Riding's all of his life.
In August 1971 at the end of it's working life in the Riding fleet 5610 TD was sold on to B McGowan of Preston.
A nice period shot of L.A.D. cabbed Power Plus Beaver 4X2 tractor unit Reg No 5610 TD Fleet No 27 which was registered new by Riding's on the 1st of August 1962 at a cost of £2,652.
Driven by the late Fred Wolstenholm Snr it is pictured here parked up on the streets of Liverpool while waiting to load at Tate & Lyle.
The trailer is a 27 foot tandem axle Boden of which Riding's had several.
Instead of the standard full depth frame, which Boden's used, Riding's used a Rubery Owen dropped neck frame similar to the one used by Bristol's.
Doing it this way allowed the use of full width cross members for the floor which Riding's considered far better.
In August 1971, at the end of it's working life in the Riding fleet, 5610 TD was sold on to B McGowan of Preston.
Pictured here is Leyland Comet four wheeler Reg No 51 NHN.
Registered new in December 1959 this was the first of seven brand new Comets allocated to the Metcalfe fleet in Darlington.
Parked up in Longridge depot loaded with an ACCS container, long before the arrival of twist locks to secure them, it was driven from new by the late Bob Allen who was a Darlington man.
Tom Riding recalls....
"We bought the company Wm Metcalfe of Darlington with its seven 'S' licenses from Allisons Freightlines of Dundee.
They were using seven AEC vacuum braked Mercury's on the job and they didn't want to sell them and we didn't want to buy them so it worked out perfectly.
This was one of the seven new Leyland Comets we put on the job note the Darlington registration.
The specification was Leyland 350 engine in line with a six speed gearbox and Albion hub reduction rear axle.
Handy machine but a bit short of stopping power".
A side shot of Leyland Comet four wheeler Reg No 51 NHN driven in this instance by Alan Hall who at the time was the brother in law of the photographer.
Pictured here on Little Lane Longridge it is loaded with packs of sugar from Tate and Lyle on it's way to the North East.
Photograph courtesy of John Atkinson.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Comet four wheeler Reg No 233 NHN Fleet No 19 was another brand new addition to the fleet in December 1959.
Along with seven other Leyland Comets four wheeler's it was based in Darlington after W & J Riding had bought the company William Metcalfe of Darlington with its seven 'S' licenses from Allisons Freightlines of Dundee.
Another one of seven Comet's to enter service in 1959/60 was L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Comet Reg No 451 NHN Fleet No 22 which was registered new in January 1960.
Riding's ran quite a few Super Comets which proved to be too heavy as four wheeler's and were subsequently up rated with trailing axles to boost their payload.
Being little breathless with the increased weight, their fuel pumps were tweaked until 'just on the smoke' to keep them moving on.
Another shot of L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Comet Reg No 451 NHN.
Registered new in January 1960 it is seen here parked outside Riding's garage on Whittingham Road at Longridge after being in service for while and looking a little worse for wear.
It's front bumper has had to be removed for repair which was a common occurrence back in the day.
Registered new in January 1960 L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Comet four wheeler Reg No 591 NHN Fleet No 23 is seen here parked in Longridge with a well sheeted and roped load.
Out based at Darlington this was the last of seven brand new Leyland Comet's to be allocated to the William Metcalfe fleet.
It is pictured above a month after being rebuilt following
A larger picture showing the damaged vehicle and more details of the accident can be found in the Accidents Happen section of the site.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Comet four wheeler's Reg No's 6350 TF Fleet No 30 and 5200 TJ Fleet No 32 were both brand new additions to the Riding fleet in 1963.
Tom Riding recalls..
"I think the Leyland Comet was the hardest worked wagon in the industry both these pictured were constantly loaded with 10 tons and were able to work hard and fast.
Both of these two 12c models had full air brakes and the brilliant 370 engine installed".
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No ATD 320A Fleet No 39 was registered new on the 1st of November 1963 at a cost of £2,782 15s 3d. which was the equivalent to £51,380 in 2017.
Driven from new by Jesse Yeulett, who was another of Riding's long term serving drivers, he had previously driven the company's first Leyland Super Comet.
ATD 320A is pictured here with a 20 ton load of palletised corvic from Hillhouse for onward delivery to the North East.
At the time this was Riding's standard fleet purchase which consisted of a 600 Power plus engine, 7 speed gearbox with splitter on the lay shaft, this split all gears accept for the direct top gear, while a big hub reduction axle completed the drive line.
After being in service with Riding's for eight years at the end of it's working life ATD 320A was sold on the 28th August 1971 to a Mr James Cook of Warrington for £750.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland 600 Power Plus Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No ETD 650B Fleet No 11 was registered new on the 20th of April 1964 at a cost of £2,804. which was the equivalent to £51,167 in 2017.
Driven from new by Reg Armstrong it came supplied as a 24 ton gross weight 4x2 tractor unit but when the legislation changed in 1965 Riding's fitted it with Leyland Service conversion No SC 1102 which involved fitting a third line braking system thus raising the gross vehicle weight to 32 tons.
It is pictured here in the yard at Longridge coupled to a 26 foot Boden tandem axle trailer with 20 tons of ICI Corvic on board.
After eight years service with Riding's ETD 650B was sold on to Walter Southworth of Rufford on the 30th of June 1972 for £800, an equivalent to £8,950 in 2017.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Comet model 13c four wheeler Reg No ETE 979B Fleet No 43 was purchased brand new by Riding's on the 7th of May 1964 at a cost of £1,872 17s and 6p.
Fitted with the reliable Leyland 370 engine it had seven years successful service with W & J Riding until it was sold on to Smalley Timber Merchants of Clitheroe for £525 on the 1st of February 1971.
It is pictured here parked in Liverpool just off the Dock Road in this great great period shot which features a cobbled street, gas lamp plus a variety of old vehicles parked further down the street.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No HTC 990B Fleet No 10 was based at Riding's Longridge depot.
This, like several other O.600 Power Plus-engined Leyland's at Riding's, was up rated and finished it's working life with an O.680power plant.
This particular example, pictured in Liverpool was one of the last L.A.D. cabbed tractor unit's bought by Riding's.
Unfortunately it later came to grief in an accident at Blubberhouses on the Easter weekend of 1965 as can be seen in the Accidents Happen section of this site.
This L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit, Reg No MTJ 440C Fleet No 5, was right on the cusp of the change from L.A.D. cabbed to Ergomatic tilt cabbed ranges in 1965.
Being the last L.A.D. Leyland to enter service with Riding's it was purchased from Leyland agents Gibraiths on the 6th of April 1965 at a discounted cost of £2,810 and registered for road use on the 11th of May 1965,
Originally driven from new by Dick Walton on the Teesside trunk it is pictured here coupled to one of Riding's four in line Crane Fruehauf 25 foot trailers capable of carrying a 16 ton payload.
In later life it ran between ICI Wilton and ICI Kilroot in Northern Ireland when it was involved in an accident in 1968.
After being rebuilt it was then repainted in an experimental livery as can be seen in the photograph below.
After a total of six years service MTJ 440C was sold on the 12th of June 1971 to a Mr Rudge of Bamford Rochdale for the sum of £750.
L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver 4x2 tractor unit Reg No MTJ 440C Fleet No 5 had a 600 Power Plus engine and was a new addition to the fleet in 1965 at a cost of £2,810.
Following an accident in 1968 it was rebuilt and turned out to be the only L.A.D. cabbed Leyland Beaver in the fleet to be painted in this experimental livery which, after much deliberation, Riding's decided not to adopt.
After a total of six years service MTJ 440C was sold on the 12th of June 1971 to a Mr Rudge of Bamford Rochdale for the sum of £750.