AMERICAN MORELAND TRUCKS
The History of Moreland
San Fernando Road & Alameda
The beginning of manufacturing and passing of the agricultural era in 1917. Watt Moreland was moving the Moreland Truck Company from Los Angeles to Alhambra. Ralph O. Church Burbanks first city Treasurer, read of this news and called Burbanks most enthusiastic boosters, Maurice spazier and told him the news. The two men set out immediatley for the Moreland Plant in Los Angeles. When they two men arrived they found Watt Moreland ready to draw up the agreement. Church and Spazier offered Moreland a suitable site for his factory - free of any cost to him. Watt Moreland stalled the Alameda deal to look at the Burbank site. $25,000 was raised to pay for the land. Buildings were constucted and the Moreland Truck Company moved in. Moreland Trucks traveling on the highways of this and many other countires of the world bore the label "Made in Burbank."
Moreland Trucks were pacesetters technically (6 wheeler lightweight contruction and diesel power). The first Morelands made were 1 1/2, 3, 3 1/2 and 5 Ton sizes. By 1924 the largest models a 6 Tonner chain drive, and driver-over-engines. Stock engines were used, together with brown - Lipe transmissions. In 1925 launched the big Tx6 which was powered by a continental 14hp engine and was rated at 10 Tons and sold for $7,000 odd. A6 Ton version was introduced the same year. The 6 wheeler led to greatly increase orders for Moreland, not only in the U.S. but export markets too. These included Central and South America, the Philippines and Australia where the excellent traction affored by twin driving axles was appreciated as well as the increased pay load. In fact the Moreland 6 - wheeler gave long - haul road transportation its start, at first in California and then in other areas. Morelands best year for production was 1929, with nearly 1,000 trucks, buses and trailers delivered, but after that the figures slipped, with fewer than 30-40 per year being sold in the mid 30's. Morelands last years were full of interest, though, with Hercules or Cumming diesel engines being offered, and attractive streamlined cabs being employed on the later models. In 1931 trailers and specialist body work became more important part of the business, and later Moreland trucks were custom-built units. Typical of the 1937/38 range was the TA-420 CD, powered by a 125hp Cummins diesel engines. This was rated at 42,000 lbs GVW as a straight truck, or 68,000 lbs as a tractor with trailer. This and other models for loads from 4-10 Tons were listed until 1941 for $35,000. Morelands were sold in primarily in 11 Western states, while early Morelands used Continental and Hercules gas engines, later models had Waukesha gas engines and Cummins and Hercules diesels. With 11 different states sold, company advertising said they were also used as far East as New Orleans and also in Mexico. Morelands were used by the Army Quartermaster Corps.There are many different types of Morelands such as Fire Trucks, Water and Power, Oil Rigs, Milatary trucks and more. Did you know that Moreland started the long-haul trucking industry? Moreland trucks are not very well known. Morelands began with Brown-Lipe transmissions, but later made many of its own transmissions and axles. Moreland was always a very innovative company. Early trucks were equipped with the Moreland gasifier, allowing them to burn low cost distillate fuel (similar to kerosene). Moreland sales fell in the late 1930's, and few trucks were built after 1938. Moreland last offered trucks for sale in 1941. The Cook Brothers truck company bought Moreland in 1949 and truned it into a parts and service operation. Tandem axle straight trucks were popular for long-distance hauling from the late 1920's through the mid 1930's By the late 1930's tractor-semitrailer rigs had largely taken over this role. The hard economic times of the Depression forced truckers to carry the biggest possible loads per truck (and per driver). Semitrailers had actually been invented much ealier. In 1909, Charles Martin, a Knox employee, patented a "rocking fifth wheel" for attaching semitrailers. In 1911 he set up the Martin Tractor Co. next to the Knox plant and began maiking Knox-Martin 3-wheeled tractors. In 1914 Knox began buiding 4-wheel tractors. Many of these were used as tank transporters in World War 1.
Moreland Truck Factory, Burbank, CA.
Watt Moreland, founder, often served as spoksman for the truck Industry arguing for better legislation and more liberal weight allowences which recognized the 6-wheeler.
The Company slogan was; "Built in the West --for Western Work"Ratings for the sizes of the Morelands made were:
- Up to 2 Tons.....................RR
- 2 to 2 1/2........................BX
- 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 Ton..............EXX This one is mine
- 3 1/2 to 5 Tons..................AXX
- 5 To 6 Ton........................SX
- 10 Ton.............................Tx
Chassis- Road Runner may be fitted with cabs and bodies for many kinds of service.