THE NODWELL TRANSPORTER
A life-long prairie resident, Bruce Nodwell showed an inventive flair at an early age. Born in 1914 and raised in Saskatchewan, as a young adult, Nodwell learned a number of trades, including repair and electrical work. Not wanting a regular job with one company, he worked on several contracts putting in gas pumps, building service stations and culverts and roadwork. |
Since 1965, the Foremost name has been associated with our remarkable line of off-road tracked and wheeled vehicles. Early innovations like the Nodwell 110, developed in the Canadian Arctic in the 1960s, set Foremost on the road to success. Foremost vehicles are in operation around the globe moving people, supplies and equipment across some of the most difficult terrain imaginable. For over fifty years Foremost has been a leading manufacturer, innovating solutions for the resource industry. The company, Bruce Nodwell Ltd. , then began working on designing improvements to the powered trailer so that it would be a self-sufficient unit. The successful trailer was to be modified to include a cab and a steering differential device to make it into a self operating vehicle. Eventually, after a few unsuccessful attempts at finding or building a steering mechanism, the problem was solved by modifying an Oliver Tractor steering differential. The new vehicle was first called the Tracked Truck. However, everyone in the industry knew Bruce, because of his close contact with existing and potential customers, so they called the vehicle the УNodwellФ. Later, the vehicle became known as the Nodwell 110, indicating its payload in 100 pound units.
As Bruce expanded the applications and product line, additional financing was required and he used a number of different companies including, North King Equipment Ltd., Bruce Nodwell Ltd. and in 1958, Robin-Nodwell Ltd. Bruce left Robin-Nodwell in 1965 to join his son, Jack Nodwell, in a new company, Foremost Industries. Foremost, over the years expanded the product lines to encompass both tracked and large-tired vehicles with load capacities from 5 to 70 tonnes. The company pursued international markets throughout the world, with its major success being in the USSR and Russia where over 700 vehicles with load capacities of 30 tonnes were delivered.
During the intervening 91 years, Nodwell became the world's foremost inventor of industrial tracked vehicles.
His signature offroad machine, the The Nodwell 110, sold more than 1,500 units, primarily to the North American oilpatch. Half a century later, its direct successor remains in production, albeit much improved and flanked by a fleet of other models.
The Dynatrac II was a product of Calgary-based Canadair Flextrac Ltd (formed with personnel from Flex-Track Nodwell ). Three proto-types of this larger Dynatrac IIs were built but they showed no improvement over existing FN designs. Canadair Flextrac was sold in 1976.
The Nodwell 110 In1968,Canadair bought a Calgary-based off-road vehicle manufacturer, Flex-Track Equipment Ltd., and some ofthe assets of the Tracked Vehicle Division of Robin Nodwell Manufacturing Ltd., also of Calgary, and formed Canadair Flextrac Ltd., with the intention of producing a Dynatrac II. While the vehicle was still in the design phase, however, the Alberta oil boom began and the demand for the Flextrac Nodwell range of off-road vehicles skyrocketed with production jumping from three to four a month to 25 to 30. Three prototype Dynatrac IIs were built, however, in 1976 Canadair decided to quit the vehicle business and sold Canadair Flextrac.
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