BC Vintage Truck Museum, Cloverdale, Surrey BC Canada

Federal Trucks

 

1926 Federal Trucks

 

• Federal Trucks built trucks from 1910 to 1959 and started on Federal Ave in Detroit.

• The company started as Bailey Motor Truck by Martin L. Pulcher, who also started the Oakland Motor Car Company but the First truck was  named Federal Trucks.

• Pulcher knew the key to success was to produce high quality trucks in sufficient numbers to keep price low.

• These trucks were conventional and were bought by conventional customers who wanted tried and true trucks. Early advertising reflects this philosophy, “Never An Experiment“.

• In the 20's a deviation into Sleeve engine was not successful.

• The Flashy Diamond T sold many more units than Federal.

• Many trucks of this era were a combination of jobber parts and the Federal was no exception but had a large machine shop at it's factory to build many small parts for the trucks suspension and chassis in house.

• The factory was 500,000 square feet and up to 700 workers produced trucks on a 600 foot assembly line.

•  Many truck builders produced "Cab and Chassis" or plain Chassis's but Federal saw a profit in producing their own completed trucks.

• Their paint booth was modern and they developed their own Lacquer called "FedLac" and it was very durable.

• Federal produced two types of cabs, the Standard and the deluxe. Federal used two different cabs not just better options on the Deluxe.

• The Deluxe was larger and had more attractive curves in its design. The Deluxe cab cost $50 more than the Standards $100 Cab price.

•  Taking up to 8 trucks each year to the New York Motor Show was a good way to showcase their in house truck bodies and new designs.

• During the 1920's and 30's Federal built trucks from the started 1 ton up to the Heavy 7½-ton model. They also offered 4 and 6 cylinder engines.

• The 1928 "high speed" Federal Big six was capable of speeds of 40 mph, thanks to Continental's new ohv "K" series engines. The 20R  was a inline 318 cu. in. 6 cylinder, producing 87 hp at a 2,400rpm.

• Federal used other Continental engines producing up to 200 horsepower.

•  For the largest trucks Federal used Waukesha engines with dispacements of  501 or 517 cu. in. and 400 ft.lbs. of torque even at low 700 rpm's.

• A bit of a novelty for the era was a built in Westinghouse 2 cylinder compressor making air for the four wheel air brakes.

• The Federal "Big Six" started with a Westinghouse vacuum booster for the brakes but the air brakes allowed the ratings for the truck to go up to 5 tons.

• Federal also used a new emergency brake mounted on the front of the differential for additional safety and less stress to the universal joints on grades.

•  For WWI Federal provided the 3-ton "Aviation Heavy" but after the war sale to the military slowed down until the mid 30's.

• Starting in 1934 the U.S. Army placed large scale orders for trucks and military vehicles and Federal and other manufacturers benefitted.

•  To offset higher duties, Federal started a Canadian assembly operation in 1932.

• Other countries took Federal trucks as well. Australia, Central America, Scandinavian countries, Belgium, South Africa and a 450 unit order to Saudi Arabia.

• Federal was a fairly successful truck manufacturer building their 100,000 truck in 1939.

•  Federals first merger happened in 1952 when they were acquired by the Fawick Airflex Company, then Fawick sold Federal to Napco Industries Inc. in 1954

• Federal had strong sales overseas with some years up to 40 % of sales going overseas.

• Federals were sold through their Spanish distributor, Barreiros in Spain with Diesel engines they produced. It was taken over by Chrysler of Spain.

 

 

 

Federal Trucks built trucks from 1910 to 1959 and started on Federal Ave in Detroit. The company started as Bailey Motor Truck by Martin L. Pulcher, who also started the Oakland Motor Car Company.

Pulcher knew the key to success was to produce high quality trucks in sufficient numbers to keep price low. These trucks were conventional and were bought by conventional customers who wanted tried and true trucks. In the 20 a deviation into Sleeve engine was not successful. The Flashy Diamond T sold many more units than Federal.

Many trucks of this era were a combination of jobber parts and the Federal was no exception but had a large machine shop at it's factory to build many small parts for the trucks suspension and chassis in house. The factory was 500,000 square feet and up to 700 workers produced trucks on a 600 foot assembly line.

 

Many truck builders produced "Cab and Chassis" or plain Chassis's but Federal saw a profit in producing their own completed trucks. Their paint booth was modern and they developed their own Laquer called "FedLac" and it was very durable.

Federal produced two cabs, the Standard and the deluxe. Mnay Trucks offered these options but Federal used two different cabs not just better options on the Deluxe. The Deluxe was larger and more atttractive curves in its design. The Deluxe cab cost $50 more than the Standards additional $100 Cab price.

 

Taking up to 8 trucks each year to the New York Motor Show was a good way to showcase their in house truck bodies and new designs. During the 1920's and 30's Federal built trucks from the started 1 tom up to the Heavy 7½-ton model. They also offered 4 and 6 cylinder engines.

For the 1928 "high speed" Federal Big six capable of speeds of 40 mph, Federal used Continental's new ohv "K" series engines. The 20R  was a inline 6 cylinder, 318 cu. in. producing 87 hp at a 2,400rpm. Over the years Federal would use other Continental engines producing up to 200 horsepower.

 

For the largest trucks Federal used Waukesha engines with dispacements of  501 or 517 cu. in. and 400 ft. lbs. of torque even at low 700 rpm's.

 

A bit of a novelty for the era was a built in Westinghouse 2 cylinder compressor making air for the four wheel air brakes. The Federal "Big Six" started with a Westinghouse vacuum booster for the brakes but the air brakes allowed the ratings for the truck to go up to 5 tons.

Federal also used a new emergency brake mounted on the front of the differential for additional safety. Prior to this most trucks mounted the emergency or parking braked directly behind the transmission, adding stress to the universal joints on grades.

 

For WWI Federal provided the 3-ton "Aviation Heavy" but after the war sale to the military slowed down until the mid 30's. Starting in 1934 the U.S. Army placed large scale orders for trucks and military vehicles and Federal and other manufacturers benefitted. These purchases were not in preparation for war, or to spur the flagging economy, it was just that the WWi equipment was getting old and sometimes obsolete.

 

One of the largest contracts with the military was for 400 Q9's, a 4x4 2½-ton truck using a Waukesha 6-cylinder engine, 4-speed Brown-Lipe transmission and Timken double reduction axles.

 

To offset higher duties, Federal started a Canadian assembly operation in 1932. Other countries took Federal trucks as well. Australia, Central America, Scandinavian countries, Belgium, South Africa and a 450 unit order to Saudi Arabia.

 

 Federals first merger happened in 1952 when they were acquired by the Fawick Airflex Company, manufacturers of the Fawick air-operated clutch. A new company was formed, the Federal Fawick Corporation and Federal was only a division. The parent company liked Federals contacts with the government and they were widely used by many state highways departments.

 

Fawick sold Federal to Napco Industries Inc. in 1954 perhaps Napco was interested in Federals strong sales overseas with some years up to 40 % of sales going overseas. Federals were sold through their Spanish distributor, Barreiros in Spain with Diesel engines they produced. It was taken over by Chrysler of Spain.

 

https://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/lost_marques_federal_trucks.php

 

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