How was the Big Brute first created?

How was the Big Brute first created?

Big Brute Industrial Vacuum Cleaner (Popular Model)

As you may have already guessed, the first Big Brute Industrial Vacuum Cleaner was designed and manufactured in the UK. The Big Brute was the brain child of Michael Williams of Michael Williams Engineering in 1986.

The Big Brute was first bought over and distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand in 1997. Laurie Cheetham of Big Brute Industries (Australia) went over to the UK on holiday and saw one of the Big Brute Industrial Vacuum Cleaners in use on a farm. He was so impressed by the suction power and quality of the machine that he realised there was a lack of tough industrial vacuum cleaners in the Australian and New Zealand market back home. 

After getting in contact with Michael Williams, he became the sole distributor and seller of the Big Brute Industrial Vacuum Cleaner range throughout Australia and New Zealand. 

Big Brute History


Michael Williams founded his company, Michael Williams Engineering Ltd.

The prime aims of the Company was to develop a new and reliable way to establish the level of materials in silos and holding tanks, based on an existing design and patent held by the Company.

This association with flowing materials of all sorts led onto other associated problems such as dust control and the need to clean up in production plants.

They started to design and manufacture fans and filter systems based on individual customers' requirements. This led to a sound in-house manufacturing base and a solid understanding of airflows, filters and waste handling.


Soon they were being asked to design a mobile fan with filter to attack the problem of site cleaning.

They looked around for a range of vacuum cleaners to supply this potential market. It very soon became clear to them that the vacuum cleaner range on the market was aimed at mass markets of hotels and small businesses.

So, with their in-house skills of airflow, design and manufacturing that they'd built up, they decided to bring out their own vacuum cleaning machine specifically for bigger industries.

They made their first prototype after some brainstorming sessions.

The next day Michael was invited to take the prototype to two waiting customers, one a potato storage and processing company, and the other a potato retail supply company.

He came home with two orders.

They were on their way to something big. They still have that prototype and it's still working in their factory in the UK to this day.

"I'll never forget the first trial run. I attached 50ft. of hose with a 2.5 inch diameter to the inlet and switched it on. We were astounded at the performance of this machine. In minutes, it had cleaned cleaned the ancient muck and growing weeds - everything - within a 100ft diameter around the machine without even having to move it, all powered from a normal electrical wall outlet.”

1986 onwards

The Company philosophy is to listen to what the customer wants to achieve and to meet their requirements.

With their in house design and manufacturing ability, they were soon increasing the Big Brute range to cover many industrial requirements into the fully customer tried and tested Big Brutes that are available today.


Today, Big Brutes are working world-wide in many industries ranging from warehousing and steel works to nuclear plants production processes and construction sites.

So the history of Big Brute goes back over 30 years over many parts of the word in many diverse industries.