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Crane Fruehauf returns

UK specialist truck and loader crane sales and rental company MV Commercial has acquired trailer manufacturer Fruehauf which has been in administration. MV will reintroduce the company’s historic name – Crane Fruehauf.

The British company began business in Great Fransham in Norfolk in 1865 when William Crane set up as a village blacksmith, building farm wagons. It began building trailers in 1914 and in 1961 Cranes (Dereham) Ltd formed a partnership with the American trailer manufacturer Fruehauf to become Crane Fruehauf Ltd. It soon became a leading manufacturer of low loaders and ultra-heavy trailers, widely used in the crane and heavy haulage business, and today it is a leading tipping trailer manufacturer.
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Cranes (Dereham) and Crane Fruehauf adverts from the 1950s and 1960s

The acquisition rescues Fruehauf from administration, saving around 120 jobs. The deal also includes an immediate cash injection and a commitment to a further £30 million over the next three years, as part of a plan to modernise the manufacturing facility and realise the full potential of its 67 acre site in Grantham, Lincolnshire. The deal will also see the revival of the Crane Fruehauf name which was dropped in or around 1998.

MV chief executive Tom O’Rourke, said: “This is a hugely significant day for both businesses; opportunity we couldn’t turn down. Fruehauf has a fantastic product range, a rich heritage, and a wealth of talent within its team which will be complemented by MV Commercial’s strength and experience in the marketplace. With immediate effect we are starting work to scale production back up, enabling us to commit to a delivery schedule for outstanding customer orders and begin building new stock trailers for MV’s own contract hire and ready to go fleets. MV Commercial is best known for building the biggest and most capable crane trucks in the market. Cranes are a huge part of what we do, so we certainly weren’t going to turn down the opportunity to put the ‘Crane’ back into ‘Crane Fruehauf’."
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Tom O’Rourke

Managing director Steven Cairns added: “Geographically, Grantham is the perfect fit for us to develop a true ‘super site’. We should have 80 to 90 trucks and trailers available for sale on site within a month, and the manufacturing workforce back in the factory building at pace again. We are so excited for the potential this acquisition brings and committed to ensuring there is a lot more Fruehauf product available in the marketplace. For long-time Fruehauf customers, we are confident this is very good news.”

MV Commercial employs 190 across five sites and has made several acquisitions in recent years, including Regal Truck Rental, TLS and bodybuilder JWR Recovery Trucks.