Something for all Eddie Stobart fans

Photo:Early ad for the Neville tilt cab

Early ad for the Neville tilt cab

Photo:Complex diagram showing how it works

Complex diagram showing how it works

Photo:Ultratilty truck

Ultratilty truck

HGV tilting cab was invented in Nottinghamshire

According to a local newspaper, it was a man from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire who originally patented and developed the idea for tilting cabs on lorries - a feature that is now virtually universal on HGV vehicles.

In its edition of 31st August 1978 the Mansfield Chronicle & Advertiser (CHAD) newspaper printed a short article on the history of the firm of Neville Truck Equipment Ltd, then based at Lindley's Lane in Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

The tilt-cab, "...a device seen in use among lorries everywhere", said the paper, was "the brainchild of Mr George E. Neville who patented the know-how in October 1944.

Originally known as The Neville Cab, it was instantly hailed as "the most progressive step in commercial vehicle cab design"

"The patent was allowed to lapse, Messrs Foden Ltd., of Sandbach, were the first manufacturer to adopt it."

 

Origins of the Neville family business

George Neville was born in 1913 into a small family business which had been started in 1908 by his father (also George) in Westfield Lane, Mansfield (1).

George snr. began by contracting for transporting the Post Office mails between Mansfield and Nottingham using horse-drawn vehicles.

It was in an effort to convert these horse-drawn vehicles into covered vans that George snr. first entered the business of creating vehicle bodies.

George's son, George E. Neville, joined the firm and continued working with building vehicle bodies.  Following the Second World War he began to purchase ex-War Department vehicles and convert them for commercial use by adding saloon or van bodies.  He found a ready market for these hand-built conversions.

In the 1964 the firm of G. E. Neville & Son Ltd, car distributors and commercial vehicle body builders, then with premises on Forest Road, Talbot Street and Nottingham Road, Mansfield, and Mansfield Road in Sutton-in-Ashfield family business was taken over by Martin Walter Ltd who manufactured Dormobilies (1).

Mr Ge E. Neville retained his position as Managing Director, with the business subsequently trading as Neville EMV and Neville Industries Ltd., Mansfield, trailer manufacturers and body builders.

Subsequently, George and his son, Michael, set up their own business, Neville Truck Equipment Ltd., in January 1968 at Lindley's Lane, Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

 

** At Nottinghamshire Archives there is a document - a letter - (DD 636/11) on the reverse of which are illustrations of the showroom and offices at Nevilles c.1947)

 

Easysheet

A further innovation came when George invented this simple method of covering open-topped tipper lorries to keep dust down during transit. 

The 'Easysheet' was a large tarpaulin type structure which can be pulled over the top of the lorry by an automated mechanism, or manually.

This systenm was recognised in the industry for its excellence in design, and in 1977 George Neville received a Design Council Award from the Duke of Edinburgh.

This innovative sheeting system is still used extensively on both road and rail vehicles today and George Neville Transport Safety Systems Ltd. remains one of the country's leaders in ground-breaking transport safety solutions.

 

NOTES

(1) Mansfield CHAD 25th June 1964

 

This page was added by Website Administrator on 05/09/2013.
Comments about this page

Nice article and something I thought was true for many years - that the tilt cab was indeed invented in the UK - I've read various articles where it says it was invented in America. But there seems little doubt that Nevilles were th originators - in the Commercial Motor magazine of 23 Oct 1964 the MD of Hoveringham Gravels wrote in to say "Mr. G. E. Neville, designed, manufactured and took out a patent on a tilt cab in 1945— and a very good cab it was, too. In fact, my company, Hoveringharn Gravels Ltd., had more than 12 Bedfords so fitted; also, at the 1948 Show, a Bedford tipper fitted with the Neville tilt cab was exhibited on the stand of G. E. Neville and Co."

By J Steel
On 06/09/2013

Found the following about the sale to Martin Walter in the online archives of Commerial Motor magazine 3rd July 1964 p.49: "The commercial bodybuilding and vehicle sales, service and engineering company of G.E. Neville & Son Ltd of Mansfield and Sutton-in-Ashfield, is being acquired by Martin Walter Ltd of Folkestone. The actual take-over date is July 17.... Mr Neville is to remain managing director (it is understood that he has taken a five year contract with Martin Walter) but the rest of the board will leave later this year. A Neville company spokesman told The Commercial Motor this week that employees had been assured that the concern would continue functioning as before"

By J Steel
On 09/09/2013

The company is still going in Sutton-in-Ashfield - now known as Neville Precision ngineering www.nevilles.co.uk

By Edith Beavers
On 10/09/2013

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