"Keeping Britain's Industry on the Road."
The Pelican Engineering Company was originally formed in 1919 by Mr Ernest Crump when the army no longer required his services as a dispatch rider at the end of the First World War. At the time of his discharge his entire worldly possessions could be carried in one suitcase but undeterred, he decided to employ skills he had learned from the army in civilian life. Searching for an original name, he remembered his regimental mascot, the Pelican, and transferred the name to his new business hoping it would bring him good fortune there too.
He used his army discharge pay to place a deposit on a small shed at Scout Hill, Dewsbury and within 12 months he was employing four men busily engaged in converting surplus military vehicles into a road worthy specification. By 1928, the company was doing so much business that it needed to move to larger premises in Pepper Road, Hunslet, Leeds.
In 1931 Pelican was made an official agent for Gardner oil engines confirming a partnership that would last for over 60 years.
Between 1931 and 1940 the company carried out over 800 conversions, removing petrol engines from buses and trucks and replacing them with Gardner diesel engines. Also during the thirties, Pelican became involved with Foden Trucks of Sandbach, Cheshire whose vehicles were becoming an increasingly common sight on the roads.
Like Pelican, Foden at the time was a family run business with a history dating back to the steam engines of the previous century. In 1934 Pelican became the official Yorkshire selling agent for Foden Trucks.
Throughout the Second World War, Pelican worked almost exclusively for the Ministry of Defence, involved in the preparation and refurbishment of army trucks which meant the firm was able to grow further during these most difficult of times. By 1946 the business had outgrown the Pepper Road site and the decision was taken to move again, this time to the old tram workshops at Bell Hill, Rothwell.
Ernest Crump's only son, Bob joined the company after completing his national service in 1952. At the age of 22 he was set on as the company's first salesman with a view to increasing the number of Fodens on the roads of West Yorkshire. His task was made easier by the large motorway building projects of the fifties and sixties. Early sales success in these areas earned Foden its reputation as the foremost supplier of vehicles to the construction industry.
Ernest Crump died in 1968 leaving the business to his son Bob. By 1980 the Bell Hill site had trebled in size and employed more than 50 people. The Gardner engine reconditioning business was in decline and the company had moved into the manufacture of specialist marine generating sets for trawlers and small ships. Initially this business was based on the Gardner engine but this later changed to incorporate Cummins and Caterpillar engines. Further expansion was achieved when Pelican developed a range of industrial generating sets which now use engines from all main suppliers.
In 1980 Foden went into receivership and was subsequently bought by the American multinational PACCAR. PACCAR owned Kenworth and Peterbilt in America and wanted to expand into the European market. After the initial uncertainty surrounding the takeover confidence was restored as PACCAR began to invest in the future of Foden. The company was steadily able to increase its Foden business in the eighties culminating in the sale of a record 350 Fodens in 1989.
In 1991, Pelican took on a Seddon Atkinson main dealership which was operated as a separate company, Knottingley Trucks from premises in Knottingley village.
In 1996 Bob Crump decided to settle for an easier life and handed over control to his son Richard who presently manages the company.
By 2001, the company's long association with Rothwell in South Leeds was over and the business relocated to brand new purpose built facilities on Wakefield Europort. In 2002 Knottingley Trucks was relocated out of Knottingley and joined the Foden business in the same building.
In 2003, Pelican purchased the property and assets of Linpac DAF at Sherbern-in-Elmet and moved that business into the Castleford site, creating one of the largest single site truck businesses in Yorkshire. The Castleford site was extended to accommodate the new DAF business and by the end of 2004 the aftersales volumes through the business had doubled due to the huge volume of DAF vehicles in operation.
In 2005 PACCAR decided to cease production of Foden vehicles, exactly 150 years after Foden was first started, and as a result of this decision, Pelican moved into the sale and distribution of Hino trucks which currently has largely replaced the Foden business.
The closure on Seddon Atkinson in 2006 coincided with the company opening a new MAN Truck & Bus dealership which shares the same facilities with the Deutz and Kubota engine agencies aquired at the same time.
In 2010 Pelican signed an agreement with RASCO to be the UK distributor for their range of winter and summer road maintenance equipment and this sits alongside the agency for Dulevo street sweepers.
Our Service Department is equipped with the very
latest tooling and equipment required to support MAN
and Neoplan operators.
Parts & Accessories
Our Parts Department supplies the full range of MAN
and Neoplan parts from stock held at the dealership.
Our Used Truck Sales department specialises in
used MAN trucks.