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The Illustrated History of Hymac new book advance information

Hymac front cover
The Illustrated History of Hymac, Jeremy Rowland. Hardback book, 210 x 265 mm (landscape), 160 pages including 242 photographs. ISBN 978-1-908397-76-8. Now available from Old Pond at £24.95.

There was a time on most UK building sites when any make of 360-degree hydraulic excavator was referred to as a Hymac.

The Hydraulic Machinery Company (Great Britain) Ltd, or Hymac for short, manufactured its hydraulic excavators from the early 1960s. It sold machines at home and abroad before finally ending production in 1993.

Hy-Hoe 380 how it all startedHymac made its mark with the first all-hydraulic crawler excavator manufactured in Great Britain. The company then became the first in Great Britain to design and build a full 360-degree slew crawler excavator with the launch of the famous Hymac 580.

This book deals fully with the foundation of the company by Peter Hamilton and its long, successful Powell Duffryn era. The fine photographs (many from the Hymac archive) show the machines at work in a range of activities. They also include prototypes and some of the less successful ventures such as the Hy-Lift cranes.

Hymac 480 on demolition workThe author goes on to describe the company’s later, rather sad history when it was faced with Japanese competition and became associated with the IBH, NEI Thompson and BM enterprises, and finally with Kennedy/Interfrigo.

However, this is not quite the end of the story. Machines are now being restored and re-equipped for work with the help of  Hymac Parts and Service, a testament to the approval felt for the brand during its glory days, and particularly for the 580C.

Hymac 610 with a log grabAuthor Jeremy Rowland has been a Hymac enthusiast since his teenage years when he was first allowed to operate Hymac machines at a scrap yard. He has a detailed knowledge of the company, as shown in this book. Many of the photographs included here have not been published before. Jeremy works in engineering in the Midlands and contributes articles on Hymac and classic plant to enthusiasts’ magazines.

Hymac Hy-Lift 1150




Hymac 580C excavating


Hymac 1501 Synchron






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