Matchbox, Ruston-Bucyrus

Back in the days before Matchbox Kingsize, everything larger than the 1-75 range was known as the Major packs, although not necessarily a larger scale like the Racing car Transporter, they were bigger in physical size.

The Matchbox Ruston-Bucyrus face shovel was one of these.

Barely more than 80mm long this was still relatively small, this was Major pack No4.

The Model it is based on is the 22-RB, a 28 ton unit and was released in 1959 and withdrawn in 1965.

The real vehicle

The Ruston-Bucyrus 22RB was a middle of the range unit and many are still in use today considering how old some of these machines are, is a testament to their build quaility.

The Match set up shows the 22Rb as a face shovel, with the bucket facing outward, but also heavily used as a drag line where the bucket is dragged by a cable towards the vehicle on a jib more like a crane.

Ruston-Bucyrus Ltd was an engineering company established in 1930 and jointly owned by Ruston and Hornsby based in Lincoln, England and Bucyrus-Erie based in Bucyrus, Ohio, the latter of which had operational control and into which the excavator manufacturing operation of Ruston and Hornsby was transferred.

22RB as Dragline
22RB as a dragline

In 1985 Ruston Bucyrus was bought by its management, severing all links with Bucyrus-Erie resulting in the formation of ‘R-B Lincoln’, which became R-B International, a subsidiary of Lincoln Industries. Production of existing Ruston-Bucyrus designed cable excavator/crane models from the 22RB to the 71RB continued at the Lincoln factory with ‘Improved Crane Dragline’ versions also offered. From 1985 onwards all new machines carried the ‘RB’ name instead of ‘Ruston-Bucyrus’ and in 1987 a new mechanical/hydraulic powered 51-60 model developed from the 38-RB was offered for use as a crane or dragline excavator. In 1990 RB bought from its rival Priestman, the design and manufacturing rights to Priestman’s Variable Counterbalance hydraulic/cable long reach excavator range and its extensive range of Grabs.

22RB as a face shovel

Having entered administration on the July 3, 2000 and following unsuccessful attempts to sell the company to Daniel E. Davis, former president of Favelle Favco. R-B International was sold to Langley Holdings plc as a going-concern on December 22, 2000 and a new company ‘RB Cranes Ltd‘ was created.

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