Built for timber haulage this 1932 model was purchased by a firm of timber merchants for moving logs from the felling site to the saw mills. Logs had to be loaded on to a carriage or on the roadside by ‘skidding’ or rolling them using the winch rope and chains. This is the fifth from last steam vehicle made by Fodens of Sandbach and represents the apogee of this line of steam tractor development. The cylinder block is encased in painted lagging surmounted by a safety valve nearly invisible in the waste steam duct piercing the roof. Through the cab window you can see the small flywheel. The front wheels have pneumatic tyres whilst the rear wheels are coated in solid rubber. With such a distance separating the engine and rear axle the machine is chain driven – a return to an earlier practice in engine building. Edwin Foden joined the firm that later bore his name in 1860. Experimental steam lorries were first produced in the early 20th century. In 1878, legislation affecting agricultural use was eased and Foden produced a successful range of agricultural traction engines. The perfecting of the compound traction engine in 1887 gave a significant marketing advantage and later proved invaluable to the development of the steam lorry. In later years Fodens were major European manufacturers of heavy lorries and maintained production until 1980 when it went into receivership and was taken over by Paccar of the US.