Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,909 pages of information and 232,835 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Harbilt Electric Trucks and Vehicles

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of Rockingham Road, Market Harborough

Formerly part of Crosby Valve and Engineering Co and before that of Harborough Construction Co

1972 Bought the Douglas co, a manufacturer of electric trucks and tractors,

ca.1974 Harbilt and Morrison-Electricar reached an agreement for a product exchange and rationalisation

Eventually merged with Electricars


  • 551 pedestrian controlled vehicle (PCV), sold to brick yards, to replace wheelbarrows, and to the dairy industry. The 551 had two wheels at the front, which were at the outside edges of the vehicle, and a short 12-inch (30 cm) axle holding the two rear wheels. 551 vehicles were sold to Switzerland, where the lack of a differential gave better grip when there was snow and ice on the ground, and some 2,000 vehicles were supplied for use by the Post Office and by hotels.
  • 727 was fitted with a differential and gearbox made by P. R. Motors, of Coventry and came with a mechanical braking system.
  • 720 was similar to 727, but the brakes were operated hydraulically.
  • 685 was a low loader, 3-wheeled truck for moving goods around factories. Customers included Leyland Motors and the Scottish company TPS.
  • 790 tow truck, which was a ride-on 3-wheeler. A number were supplied to the airline Pan Am for use at Heathrow Airport.
  • 735 was a ride-on milk floats first built in 1956,
  • 750, 760 and 850 milk floats. The 750 had a 72-volt battery and a wide body, whereas the 760 was narrower and had a 36-volt battery. The 850 was a development of the 750. All featured cabs with rounded body panels made from fibreglass, which were bought in from a third party ready for attaching to the chassis.[8] The 750 had a range of 25–30 miles, and could travel at speeds up to 18 mph with a payload of 25 cwt.
  • 900 range was the next to be introduced, beginning with the 916 and the 924, and later the 936. The final two digits referred to the number of 2-volt cells that formed the battery. The vehicle was similar to the 760, but was somewhat wider. A model 808 was also added at some point.
  • Dairyliner range was announced in September 1970
  • HSV (higher speed vehicle), which was a general delivery truck. The payload was reduced to allow it to travel at faster speeds in urban traffic, and 30 were supplied to the United States Post Office

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Sources of Information