The Story of Econ

The history of Econ is a story of creativity, business acumen and technical innovation.

It all started on a Yorkshire farm in the 1950s, when our founder Bill Lupton was determined to produce something truly innovative.


Bill Lupton, the youngest of four from a farming family in Otley, West Yorkshire, starts designing agricultural equipment. With a flair for innovation, he successfully produces the first tractor-mounted hedge trimmer.


Bill Lupton sets up Econ Engineering in the old Vaux Brewery, Ripon.


The first Econ gritter – the Econ Salt Spreader Mark 1 – is unveiled at a national show in Torbay, and the first orders come in.


Construction begins on Econ’s factory in Ripon – which is still our home today.


Econ goes on the acquisition trail, buying 11 other companies including Atkinson’s.


Econ launches the Quick Change Body solution, which allows year-round highway maintenance tasks to be completed from a single chassis.


The highways market becomes Econ’s main focus, after a series of bad winters exposed a gap in the market for efficient winter road clearing.


Econ begins to offer vehicle hire solutions to our customers – a cost effective alternative to purchasing outright.


Andrew and Jonathan Lupton take over the business from their father, Bill Lupton. Bill had 30 new ideas registered at the patent office over the course of his life – a testament to his spirit of ingenuity.


We introduce our innovative SPARGO control system, which improves the ease of driver control, camera-enabled 360 degree visibility to help keep other road users safe.


Econ launches the E-Plough, which is efficient, robust and easy to attach to a gritter, HGV, tractor or other plant machinery.


Econ celebrates 50 years by taking a golden gritter – named Goldie – on a tour of the UK. We now have over 200 members of staff, a £28 million turnover and 640 units produced per year. Andrew’s son Thomas also joins the business this year.


Econ opens a new service site in Sowerby, to house the 1,000 gritters in our hire fleet.


Econ unveils its zero-emission gritter – an industry first.

Visit the Econ museum

At our Ripon HQ we have curated a fascinating collection of historic vehicles and farming machinery, which takes visitors on a 60 year journey from our roots in agricultural industry right through to the modern engineering firm we are today.

Anyone is welcome to look around the museum, so if you’re in Ripon, say hello at reception and we’ll gladly show you around.

Find our museum