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Trucks on Display


Below is a sampling of the many trucks on display in our Trucking Hall of Fame® Exhibit Hall. Check out our app for more information, photos, and an audio recording for each truck.  Click here to download.

1920 MacDonald Model A 7.5 Ton Lowbed Stake

Engine Type:
Buda YTU Model 382 CI 4 Cylinder

Transmission Type:
4-Speed Brown-Lipe

Truck Information:
In 1920, William W. MacDonald founded the MacDonald Truck & Tractor Company in San Francisco. During this first year, he created this Model AB 7.5 Ton Low-bed. Due to its ability to transport heavy loads and equipment, it became an extremely popular truck. This truck weighs 16,000 pounds and was sold new for $8,000. To allow for higher payloads, this truck features a set-back front axle design. In order to accommodate the large amount of weight on the front wheels, MacDonald was one of the first truck manufacturers to patent and use hydraulic powered steering and brakes. Hydraulic powered steering in vehicles did not become widespread until World War II. This model had one of the lowest beds at the time, at 16.5 inches above the ground. Primarily used to transport goods and equipment between docks and warehouses, the low bed allowed cargo to be loaded and unloaded with ease. Due to this low clearance, the Model AB could not run a drive train or brake connection to the back wheels. All steering and braking were done with the front wheels. On the driver’s side of the cab is a compact capstan winch. Powered by the truck engine, this winch could help haul extremely heavy equipment into the bed. This heavy-duty truck and its components helped move cargo more efficiently, saving workers time and energy. MacDonald Truck & Tractor Company was later renamed Union Construction Co. And MacDonald Truck and Manufacturing Co. before being bought by Peterbilt in the late 1940s. The last MacDonald truck was produced in 1952.

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