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Walter (USA)

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Walter Truck Co., Inc. specialized from the outset in 4x4 trucks. Its founder was William Walter, a Swiss engineer who emigrated to New York in 1883. He began by making confectionery machinery, but in 1898 turned his talents to motor cars. The first Walter truck was made in 1909, and this formed the basis for his first 4x4 of 1911. The early trucks had a dashboard radiator and "coal scuttle'' bonnet (hood) reminiscent of the old Renault and Latil designs. It used a spur-and-ring gear-axle design similar to the early Duplex and the later Jeffery/Nash Quad. Some conventional rear-wheel drive versions were also built.

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Walter Truck Co., Inc. specialized from the outset in 4x4 trucks. Its founder was William Walter, a Swiss engineer who emigrated to New York in 1883. He began by making confectionery machinery, but in 1898 turned his talents to motor cars. The first Walter truck was made in 1909, and this formed the basis for his first 4x4 of 1911. The early trucks had a dashboard radiator and "coal scuttle'' bonnet (hood) reminiscent of the old Renault and Latil designs. It used a spur-and-ring gear-axle design similar to the early Duplex and the later Jeffery/Nash Quad. Some conventional rear-wheel drive versions were also built.

Until 1920 Walter built its own gasoline engines, but later used Waukesha units. The heaviest truck went up to 7 tons payload. By the mid 1920s the trucks began to take on their distinctive snout with the front axle set back under the cab - a Walter trademark for much of its history. In 1929 the first Snow Fighter snow-clearance truck was launched, and during the 1930s the company diversified into specialized fire appliances, concrete trucks, articulated dump trucks and logging outfits. Some 4x4 medium artillery tractors were supplied to the army during World War II. Over the past five decades Walter has remained a major force in the specialized all-wheel drive market, building a wide range of snowplows, crash tenders and similar machines, some with power ratings up to 540bhp.

The Walter Corporation was located in Guilderland Center, New York and was eventually bought by The Kovatch Organization. Kovatch produces fire apparatus, runway snowplows and fuel delivery trucks.

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