8 ton Mobile Manipulator, supplied to British Steel, River Don Works, Sheffield, O/No. X78940, c.1971

Order X78940 for Wellman Mechanical Equipment Ltd., Wednesbury, c.1971

D12789/1/54/1/7399
Gloucestershire Archives
D7338/14/5/18/7400
Gloucestershire Archives

The driver is Frank Kelly.

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Click on the hyperlink to see other Notable Orders from the 1970s

If you remember designing, machining, fitting, installing, maintaining, or working with this machine please share your memories at the bottom of the page by clicking on the words Add a comment about this page.

Comments about this page

  • Whilst working out my first redundancy notice, I helped bleed the brakes on this manipulator. I was a draughtsman at the time but nobody seemed seemed to mind!
    The first time it was driven out of the door on the right, it nearly had a crash as it steared in the wrong direction! Easily rectified by swapping over the hydraulic pipes.

    Ed: Hi Chris, just for the record, was Frank Kelly the driver at the time, if not can you remember who was the driver? John B

    By Chris Farley (06/11/2020)
  • I’m an engineer within a steel forge and have the pleasure of maintaining and refurbing these beasts!! Along with 5 ton, 3 ton and 2 ton machines. In fact we’ve have just completed a full refurb on a 3 ton and 8 ton manip. Hydraulics are somewhat upgraded to the original. All bronze bushes, bearings & seals replaced along various shafts and repairs throughout. Enjoyable job. I love the old school over the top build quality of these. They just last for years and years.

    By Chris (09/03/2018)
  • I probably shouldn’t say where exactly, but this beast is still in the area and used regularly! 

    Ed: Don’t be shy, please let us into the whereabouts!  John B

    By anon (14/02/2017)
  • I was chief draughtsman at Wellman Mechanical for a number of years and covered the design of a number of different types of mobile machines, Forging manipulators, Furnace box chargers and Slag Pot Transporters, to list just a few. Wellman had a reputation for designing substantial machines to handle steel works environment.

    By John Beechey (14/12/2015)
  • Hi John!  I am so pleased that you added a comment to this page.  This was a period when the company had some difficulty in securing orders for new machinery due to recession and therefore turned its attention to securing sub-contract work to utilise the facilities of the new assembly hall and the skills of the workforce available at the time.   John B 

    By John Bancroft (14/12/2015)

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