Aerial View

   Naturally the situation during the Depression was also helped by the measures of financial co-operation taken by Dorman's and their customers so that both parties could endure the worst of these years intact.

   Already by the mid-thirties, Dorman-Ricardo diesels had come to share the reputation which Dorman petrol engines had already established for robustness, economy and, above all, dependability and up to date design; these with ample justification, were the claims that the company made for their engines and are still able to make today.
     Until very recently in fact the company slogan was "Dependable Dorman Diesels"; when an American diesel concern complained some years ago that this was a crib from their own slogan which they had used since 1950, Dorman's were able to reply that they had been using it since 1935.
    Another popular feature of Dorman engines was the efficient after sales service that went with them, which many customers were pleased to testify to, this again is a primary advantage available to the Dorman customer of today. In those days, as a veteran

Dorman service engineer has reminisced, "field service", might more often then not be literally carried out in a field on ones back under a diesel in six inches of mud and rainwater. The layman might well be forgiven for the contrary impression so easily derived from glancing through trade magazines, that all diesels squat photographically in the middle of tiled rooms.

  Before returning to the diesel story, one should glance at the other types of engineering with which the company was still occasionally involved until the outbreak of the war, in 1939. In 1935-6 two massive photogravure machines were manufactured to meet a special export order for South Africa, each so large as to seriously tax the capacity of the erecting shop when they were under construction together. The wholesale production of printing machinery had ceased earlier, in 1933; gearbox production had been wound up in 1930, but a road roller firm, Wallis and Steevens, of Basingstoke, had come to rely on Dorman gearboxes to such an extent that they were permitted to continue production for themselves at

Wallis Steevens Roller

Priestman Digger



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Dorman Centenary CB 28-29 CB 32-33

due to the good offices of such regular customers as Holman, Motor Rail and Ruston-Bucyrus with their well established networks. The formation of Ruston-Bucyrus dated back only to 1930, but had effectively existed long before that in this country as a branch of Ruston and Hornsby Limited of Lincoln. (Previously mentioned as employers of Dorman car engines) Rustons had been installing Dorman engines in their cranes and excavators for many years before 1930. Another major customer in an identical field, Priestman Brothers of Hull, record that their first Dorman-engined machine left their works on February 1st, 1928. Dorman engined machines are still continuing to leave the Priestman works at a steady rate, some forty years later.

   In other fields, Holman Brothers of Cornwall had an established precedent of using Dorman engines in their compressors and other equipment which endures to the present day; here we are able to illustrate a Holman compressor which found its way up the Khyber Pass in the mid-thirties and a Holman sand scraper of 1936 — both with Dorman diesel engines.

their own works. One of their Dorman-geared rollers is shown here; previously Wallis and Steevens rollers had also used Dorman petrol and paraffin engines. They continued to produce Dorman gearboxes for their own rollers until shortly before the war by "gentlemen's agreement" rather than a formal licensing arrangement.
   A formal licensing arrangement by Dorman did cover the foreign manufacture of the Constantinesco interrupter gears in the thirties; ironically the foreign concern involved was the Imperial Japanese Government. Fortunately (at least for this history) Japanese aircraft design had advanced, by 1941, beyond the point where Constantinesco gears were actually required.
    We are now able to look at one of the most interesting periods of Dorman history; the general adoption by a wide range of manufacturers of Dorman petrol and diesel engines for all types of industrial and construction uses. This was a process that had been continuing with gathering acceleration since the end of the 1914-18 war and now Dorman engines began to appear all over the world, largely

Aerial view of Tixall Road Works.

Wallis Steevens road roller fitted with a Dorman gearbox.

An early Priestman excavator, one of the first to be powered by a Dorman engine.

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