In the 1850s Edwin Foden was apprenticed at Crewe railway works and to agricultural equipment makers Plant & Hancock, where he later became a partner and took over in 1887, when he renamed the firm Edwin Foden Sons & Co Ltd, making all kinds of steam traction engines, to a high standard of workmanship. Traction engines were made up to 1920. Foden became famous for compound overtype locomotive-boiler steam wagons, in the manufacture of which they were market leaders. In 1932 Edwin Foden left the family firm and set up on his own to make ERF diesel lorries. In 1935 the Foden company also bowed to the inevitable, replacing steam wagons with diesel lorries. In the Second World War Foden produced army lorries, tanks and shells. Postwar production included the well-regarded FG heavy lorries, as well as two-stroke diesel powered dumptrucks. In 1977 Cummins-powered Haulmaster trucks were launched, alongside Fleetmaster with Cummins or Rolls-Royce engines. In 1980 Paccar International acquired Foden, changing the name to the Sandbach Engineering Co. The title reverted to Foden Trucks in 1983, and the Alpha was the last Foden model. Paccar, who also owned the Kenworth, Peterbilt and Daf marques, discontinued Foden production in 2006.
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