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

Gloucestershire Archives
Gloucestershire Archives

The driver is Frank Kelly.

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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

  • I think this manipulator is working at Independent Forgings and Alloys Ltd.

    Ed: Thanks for this information Raghav. Independent Forgings and Alloys Ltd, (IFA) acquired Doncaster Precision Forgings in 2019, the home of the Fielding 1500 ton Downstroking Press. Small world!! John B

    By Raghav Sharma (24/10/2021)
  • 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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