All Wheel Drive Company was started in early 1954.
| The AWD company was manufacturing and offering goods vehicles and other standard trucks all converted to all wheel drive for special roles such as DODGE, AEC, BEDFORD, FORD, LEYLAND Sable, SEDDON, COMMER and many other makes.
Also AWD produced special rugged chassis with offroad 4WD, 6WD and 8WD axles and transmissions for several British domestic manufacturers of loaders, mobilecranes and dumptrucks.
This company worked from a large warehouse in central Camberley where goods vehicles and other selected road machines were converted or rebuilt for useful go-anywhere driving but retained their running gears and AWD Co Ltd accepted orders and contract deals from numerous other British manufacturers and most of AWD vehicles manufactured were crane carriers and dumptrucks of many sizes for some UK crane specialists and occasional lorry manufacturers, earth movers and farm tractors were also rebuilt or converted with special AWD heavy duty go-anywhere axles one of their services and specialities with great success to AWD, they later became more popular under the new name of VICKERS-AWDa cranecarrier manufacturer from Wiltshire after AWD LTD merged with them changing its tradename to become known as VICKERS-AWD until the 1970s.
Cheshire Engineering Co. Ltd. of Camberley, Surrey was founded by a Mr. John Andrews to build mechanical post-hole borers based on a design by Highway Trailer Co. of Edgerton, Wisconsin, using British made components and British Ford industrial engines. The early hole-borers were mounted on ex-WW2 military chassis, but when these proved inadequate for the arduous work, All Wheel Drive Ltd. was formed at the Camberley works to modify readily available British lorries into multi-drives. The company grew quickly from 14 staff in 1955 to over 650 by 1962.The main activities undertaken by All Wheel Drive comprised converting lorries to 4x4, 6x4 & 6x6, building crane carrying / specialist chassis, and assembly of Michigan loading shovels. Other varied work included building snow blowers, terratyred Bedford RLs, supplying drive/steer axles to Weatherill and Bray for loading shovels etc.Rapid growth at the Camberley Yorktown works led to truck assembly moving to nearby Blackbushe airport circa 1962. Around this time, the large engineering conglomerate Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. bought a 60% stake in AWD. Vickers later relinquished its interest in Michigan loading shovels in exchange for the remaining 40%, leading to AWD becoming Vickers-AWD. The company was transferred from Camberley to the Vickers-Onions earthmoving machinery factory at Bilston, Staffordshire in 1964.
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