|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2013)|
It was formed in 1986 from the merger of Petters Limited and R A Lister and Company. At that time the company was part of the Hawker Siddeley group, but today L-P is independent. Its products are small diesel engine market, ranging from single-cylinder water-cooled engines of 2.7 horsepower (the 'Zeta' series) up to the 64 horsepower (48 kW) 'Delta' engine. One higher-power engine of up to 335 horsepower (250 kW), the 'Omega' is also produced under licence. The engine designs range from more recent design high-speed turbodiesels (such as the 'Gamma' or 'Omega' engines) to traditional single-cylinder medium-speed types such as the 'A-Series' and 'Phi' types.
Lister Petter engines are generally used in stationary industrial applications such as pumping and electricity generation. The company produces a range of complete generator sets, units equipped for welding and in-house pumping sets, as well as supplying engines to other equipment manufacturers. L-P engines are widely exported, especially for use in irrigation projects. The company also maintains a long tradition (of both its founder companies) in supplying engines for marine applications both as prime mover engines for small vessels and as auxiliary power units in larger ones.
Lister Petter's main product, the 'Alpha' series of sub-2-litre engines, is also available in spark ignition forms for running on natural gas or propane. L-P also manufactures and sells biodiesel plants, allowing customers to produce their own fuel for diesel engines.
- 1867 R A Lister company founded by Robert Ashton Lister.
- 1893 James B Petter & Sons founded.
- 1895 First oil engines made by Petters.
- 1910 Petters Ltd founded.
- 1929 First diesel engines produced by R A Lister in Dursley.
- 1986 R A Listers and Petters Ltd merged to form Lister Petter Ltd.
- 2004/2005 Lister Petter sees unprecedented growth and re-investment in its core products.
Lister & Petter engines were workhorses of the British Commonwealth; many of these engines are still in use today in dump trucks, generators and water pumps. They generally, but not exclusively, leave the factory in a Mid Brunswick Green colouring.
One of the most popular early Petter engines was the AVA series, AVA1 and AVA2 (1- and 2-cylinder engines respectively), and the Lister D. The majority of these engines were hand-crank start and fully mechanical, without any electronics or electrical controls. Engines like this, if not still working, are now considered collectors' pieces.
Widely used examples of later models include the LT series, often used in single-cylinder form to power small cement mixers, and the ST series, a popular engine for canal boats. They too were large and heavy engines with low power outputs, low operating speeds and extremely robust construction, capable of reliable operation for years even under the conditions of abuse and neglect of maintenance found in their typical construction-site applications.
A particularly successful model was the A range; these engines were much smaller and lighter than earlier models, although still extremely robustly constructed. Plant powered by an A-range engine is often light enough to be lifted and carried by two workers, instead of requiring a wheeled chassis, which is a great advantage on a construction site. The A range is particularly suitable for powering small generators of around 4-5kVA output. Unlike earlier designs it is capable of running at up to 3600 rpm and can therefore generate mains-frequency AC using a two-pole alternator; the lower operating speed of earlier designs mandates the use of a four-pole alternator, which is much larger and heavier for the same output power.
The company's headquarters and manufacturing facility are in Dursley, Gloucestershire, formerly the headquarters of R A Lister and Company. Lister Petter have agents in France, the USA, China and India, which market their products and carry out final assembly of larger items such as generating sets from imported parts.