By Rod Ward
Here we have the story of a British manufacturer which was well-known for its no-nonsense dependable diesel lorries. There is much more to ERF, however; they also made fire appliances, municipal vehicles, and even buses. The descendants of Edwin Foden divided into two camps in the 1930s, some remaining at Foden, the others departing to set up ERF. Both factories were in the Cheshire town of Sandbach, where Foden underwent the painful transition from steam to diesel power (see Auto Review 140), while ERF produced ‘assembled’ diesel lorries from the firm’s inception in 1933. The company was named after Edwin’s son, ER Foden, and created by ER’s son Dennis, with assistance from other family members and ex-Foden staff. ERF soon built up a following among transport operators, who remained loyal through the vicissitudes of later years, including takeovers by Western Star and MAN, who eventually axed the ERF brand in 2007, not long before its 75th birthday.