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Who Created The First Modern Dump Truck?

Who Created The First Modern Dump Truck?

If you ask anyone on the street to name off of the top of their head a piece of construction equipment, dump trucks would be one of the most common options in no small part due to their versatility.

Wherever there is a heavy-duty construction project from road repairs to demolition, there will likely also be a dump truck or several carrying loose construction material to the site and removing loose waste material at the end.

Interestingly, its origins stem from an inventor primarily known for his innovative work in shipbuilding taking a bold step forward.

Son of sculptor Thomas, John Thornycroft started shipbuilding at the age of 16, and his shipyard at Chiswick was one of the most successful in the country once they started to focus their construction on the then-innovative world of torpedo boats, inspiring author H.G. Wells in the process.

However, after three decades of shipbuilding, Mr Thornycroft was ready to explore a new business opportunity, and seeing the problems that his local district was having constructed a steam-powered tipping lorry in 1896.

The Thornycroft tipper was originally constructed by the Bristol Wagon & Carriage Works although Thornycroft themselves would later build a factory in Basingstoke to help meet the immediate and immense demand for them in 1898.

What was unique about the first tipping wagon besides its steam-powered engine was that whilst the original lorry had rear-wheel steering and front-wheel drive, the tipper had front-wheel steering instead, a decision that would largely set the standard for heavy vehicles.

Thornycraft not only transformed litter collection and construction but would also transform Basingstoke, as Thornycraft became the town’s largest employer and gave the place an industrial boost.

It would also garner Sir John Thornycroft a knighthood in 1902, and he spent the rest of his life developing increasingly faster boats and hydroplanes until his death in 1928.