Australian company Daysworth International, best known for its container terminal tractors, was one of the major news stories at the Megatrans expo in Melbourne last week with its bold initiative to breath life into the venerable Diamond Reo brand name.
Diamond Reo once a subsidiary of the White Corporation, was sold to Alabama businessman Francis Cappaert in 1971. The new enterprise was forced into bankruptcy in 1974 and from the on was on a roller coaster ride swinging between insolvency and new ownership with low production volume for much of the next four decades. In its last incarnation its trucks were produced up until 2010 using Navistar cabs and frames. Production ceased in the US in 2013.
The owners of Daysworth, the Vodanovich Brothers, have a long history with the Diamond Reo name assembling and selling the Diamond Reo Giant in Australia in the 1980s and this has led to the organisation taking on the Diamond Reo brand again, debuting two new models at the Melbourne logistics expo.
The company will offer both a 6×4 prime mover and an 8×4 rigid aimed at the construction, refuse, towing and crane market.
The Diamond Reo Giant will be offered as an urban haulage truck with a 540 horsepower engine, while the Diamond Reo 8×4 rigid Construction range was shown as a tilt tray configuration but the company says it can be built as a tipper, crane truck, water tanker or hook lift and presumably as a concrete agitator.
The announcement press release doesn’t directly attribute the source of the major components but it seems from the photos that the cab is sourced from Volvo while it is believed the local company will source the chassis from the latest steward of the Diamond Reo name, Whitman T-Line Trucks and Chassis based in Middletown, Pennsylvania. Whitman’s website is quite brief in details, but it states that the company can supply ‘glider’ kits.
The Giant uses Cummins engine mated tot either Eaton or Allison transmissions, Meritor axles and Hendrickson suspension.
The executive chairman and managing director of the Daysworth International Group Ivan Vodanovich said that the Diamond Reo road trucks are an exceptional addition to the Australian Transport network.
“With proven reliability and performance, the Diamond Reo Road trucks are leaders in its class,” Vodanovich said.
Vodanovich went on to say that the new generation Diamond Reo Giant ‘has been extensively tested both off shore and in Australia since 2015’.
“The new generation of the Diamond Reo road truck has proven itself with more than one million kilometres of testing in the harshest Australian road conditions,” he added.
Daysworth says it will use its 40 years of expertise in the truck business including its experience with Diamond Reo in the 1980s to support the Diamond Reo range and a national network of dealers underpinned by a substantial parts and service infrastructure.
Diamond Reo came about in 1967 when White merged two famous brands in Diamond T and REO. REO dated back to 1905 when Ransom E. Olds, who founded Oldsmobile, sold Oldsmobile and started the Ransom E Olds Motor Company in Lansing Michigan, which was later shortened to the initials REO. He initially built cars and later mostly commercial vehicles until White bought the company out of bankruptcy in 1954. Meanwhile Diamond T was founded by C.A Tilt in Chicago in 1905 before being absorbed by White and merged with REO in 1967.