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Ward LaFrance was set up in 1918, producing trucks in the 2 to 7 ton range. The trucks were powered by Waukesha gasoline engines.
During the 1930 heavier trucks entered program, many being custom built to customers specifications. Ward LaFrance was among the earliest American companies to offer diesel power using Cummins engines.
During WW II the company specialized in producing 6 x 6 heavy wreckers, as well as 6 x 6 and 6 x 4 cargo trucks.
A new range of on-road trucks appeared in 1945, known as the D series.
In the mid 1950s emphasis was being put on fire trucks, which had first been available in the pre-war years. Production of trucks was discontinued in 1956.
In the late 1970s heavy duty 8 x 8 trucks were produced for the US Army, powered by 600 hp diesel engines.
During the 1980s the company continued producing fire trucks, but, after financial losses, it closed in 1993.

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