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RB Cranes
Industry Heavy equipment
Headquarters Selston, Nottinghamshire, England, UK
Products Cranes, spares, fabrication
Owner Delden Cranes Ltd
Website RB Cranes [1]
Bedford truck fitted with Ruston-Bucyrus drilling rig, in Lixouri, Greece
Ruston-Bucyrus No4 front shovel of 1931 at Great Dorset Steam Fair 2008.
Ruston-Bucyrus 10-RB in the United Kingdom.

Ruston-Bucyrus Ltd was an engineering company established in 1930 and jointly owned by Ruston and Hornsby based in Lincoln, England and Bucyrus-Erie based in Bucyrus, Ohio, the latter of which had operational control[1] and into which the excavator manufacturing operation of Ruston and Hornsby was transferred. The Bucyrus company proper, from which the Bucyrus component of the Ruston-Bucyrus name was created, was an American company founded in 1880, in Bucyrus, Ohio.

During the Second World War, the company developed a trench cutting machine known by the code name Cultivator No. 6 at the behest of Winston Churchill.[2]

A limited company, Ruston-Bucyrus Ltd., was formed in 2005, by Paul and Frank Murray (Brothers) as Co-Directors. This has no ties to RB Cranes which holds all of the original machine information & drawings

Ruston-Bucyrus Ltd era[edit]

Gradually Universal Excavators designed by Bucyrus-Erie replaced Ruston and Hornsby designed models.[1] Ruston-Bucyrus built larger machines for the British market to Bucyrus-Erie designs. The Bucyrus-Monigan 5W was a top seller for export by Ruston-Bucyrus, thus they started building it. This was a walking dragline, with either Diesel or electric powered options.

The R-B International era[edit]

In 1985 Ruston Bucyrus was bought by its management, severing all links with Bucyrus-Erie resulting in the formation of 'R-B Lincoln', which became R-B International, a subsidiary of Lincoln Industries (part of The Heather Corporation Ltd).[1] Production of existing Ruston-Bucyrus designed cable excavator/crane models from the 22RB to the 71RB continued at the Lincoln factory with 'Improved Crane Dragline' versions also offered. From 1985 onwards all new machines carried the 'RB' name instead of 'Ruston-Bucyrus' and in 1987 a new mechanical/hydraulic powered 51–60 model developed from the 38-RB was offered for use as a crane or dragline excavator[1] In 1990 RB bought from its rival Priestman, the design and manufacturing rights to Priestman's Variable Counterbalance hydraulic/cable long reach excavator range and its extensive range of Grabs.

In 1992 RB introduced its CH series of fully hydraulic crane/dragline models with further models added in 1999. In 1996 R-B changed ownership in a buy-in management buy out[3] but in 2000 R-B International entered voluntary administration as a tough trading environment including a strong Pound and stiff competition from overseas competitors meant it could no longer continue as a going concern without a significant injection of capital.[4][5]

RB Cranes era[edit]

Having entered administration on 3 July 2000[5] and following unsuccessful attempts to sell the company to Daniel E. Davis, former president of Favelle Favco[6] R-B International was sold to Langley Holdings plc as a going-concern on 22 December 2000 and a new company 'RB Cranes Ltd' was created.

A day earlier on 21 December 2000, Langley Holdings plc had acquired the material-handling division of Rolls-Royce PLC which became the Clarke Chapman Group comprising Cowans Sheldon, RB Cranes, Stothert & Pitt, Wellman Booth as its principal subsidiary companies. In January 2001 Clarke Chapman ceased production at RB's Lincoln works with production transferred to facilities in Retford and Gainsborough. Following a rationalisation of the RB product line, as of 2008 RB continue to offer the CH40,CH50,CH70,CH80, CH100,CH135 and CH135LJ Hydraulic Crawler Cranes as well as specialist variants for Dockside usage[7][8] RB also offer the CH E (Series CH50E & CH70E) for dragline and clamshell grab applications[9] and the CH HD (Heavy Duty) (Series CH50D & CH70D) for adaption for piling and foundation engineering applications e.g. as a piling rig.[9]

RB continues to offer four models of Variable Counterbalance hydraulic long reach excavators, the VC20-15, VC20-17,VC20-20 and VC20-22[10] and also continues to offer the RB Priestman range of grabs for excavation and material rehandling applications.[11]

On 14 October 2009 the business RB Cranes was sold by Langley Holdings plc to Delden Cranes Limited, the business has been moved to Delden Cranes's pemises in Selston, Nottinghamshire. The business will continue to service the complete range of RB machines, Priestman VC excavators and Priestman grabs in addition to the range of B-E (Bucyrus-Erie) up to 88B.[12]

In February 2012 Delden Cranes Limited [13] acquired NCK Cranes NCK [14] the other major UK crane & excavator manufacturer. Delden Cranes Ltd still hire cranes manufactured by RB and NCK, as well as other manufacturers all over the UK and Ireland

See also[edit]


  • Turner, John T (1988). 'Nellie' The History of Churchill's Lincoln-Built Trenching Machine. Occasional Papers in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology 7. ISBN 0-904680-68-1. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Lincoln's excavators -The Ruston-Bucyrus years 1930–1945 by Peter Robinson

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruston-Bucyrus — Please support Wikipedia.
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56 news items

Lincolnshire Echo

Lincolnshire Echo
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:07:30 -0700

Several former Ruston Bucyrus warehouse buildings have only days left before being torn down for a £6.75 million technology centre in Lincoln. The warehouses, close to Ruston Way in the city, are reminders of Lincoln's engineering past. They will be ...

The Lincolnite

The Lincolnite
Wed, 07 Oct 2015 08:38:53 -0700

Work has started to demolish the former Ruston Bucyrus warehouses in Lincoln to make way for the new £6.75 million Boole Technology Centre on Lincoln's Science and Innovation Park (LSIP). The LSIP is a public/private sector partnership owned by the ...


Wed, 23 Sep 2015 09:03:16 -0700

Born to a butcher in Wilmslow, Cheshire, Barnes started out as a fitter with Wilmslow Plant Hire in Stockport which at the time ran a few Ruston Bucyrus 22-RB crawler crane/draglines. In 1964 he joined the Grayston Plant Hire depot in Droylsden, when ...

The Lincolnite

The Lincolnite
Thu, 31 Dec 2015 03:26:15 -0800

Over the next decade, City of Lincoln Council have backed plans for the continued expansion of the Science and innovation park with an ambitious £50 million project. These plans included the demolition of the former Ruston Bucyrus buildings in order to ...

The Lincolnite

The Lincolnite
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 07:13:07 -0700

When we arrived, Robey & Co and Clayton Dewandre were still going strong, although I think the Ruston Bucyrus was on its last legs. We must not forget the mighty Ruston Gas Turbines and Smith Clayton Forge. Most are now just a memory, although many ...

The Lincolnite

The Lincolnite
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 08:32:36 -0700

On the second day of their visit, representatives from Hunan province in China visited the Engineering Hub at the University of Lincoln before signing a formal declaration of economic collaboration with Lincolnshire County Council on Friday September 11.

Lincolnshire Echo

Lincolnshire Echo
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:15:33 -0700

A Lincolnshire fast food van man lost 11st in eight months and "re-proposed" to his wife in front of the packed gym that helped him do it. Chris Degnan, from Anwick - near Sleaford, weighed a whopping 27st this time last year but decided to slim down ...
Lincolnshire Echo
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:09:54 -0700

The owner of a former city nightclub must pay almost £144,000 in fines and charges after breaking fire safety rules. Aaron Mellor, 44, failed to comply with fire safety requirements at his Tokyo nightclubs in Lincoln and York. Tokyo in Lincoln was ...

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