Towsleys Manitowoc MLC300 Crawler Crane by Cranes Etc TV

Towsleys Manitowoc MLC300 Crawler Crane by Cranes Etc TV

It is big crane time and this one is the
Manitowoc MLC300 made by Towsleys. It comes in a big outer shipping carton so
we’ll open that up first and when we lift the flaps there is another piece of
cardboard, but when we take that off we can see the Manitowoc box inside. After
plenty of arm exercise we can get the big box out and open up its flaps, and
after even more arm exercise we can pull out the expanded polystyrene trays. The
top tray has got a lid and there we can see all the parts nicely wrapped in soft
paper, and that applies to the middle tray and also to the bottom tray. Well with
all those parts it is good that the assembly manual numbers each of them in
each of the three trays, and then it takes you through step-by-step
instructions to build the model in its full configuration. The manual is very
clear and very good although there seems to be one or two small errors and omissions.
There are reeving diagrams for everything but the hooks, and it only
covers the full configuration and not any other setups that are possible with
this model. We will start the assembly by following
the order of the instructions and here’s the nice undercarriage with its free
rolling crawler tracks. It looks like each track frame is removable but we’ll press
on and add the rotating bed and that gets dropped in and you secure it with a
screw. This needs to be fairly tight so the model doesn’t rock and on the review
model we had to add an extra washer into the screw to get the tightness we
wanted. Before going further we just check the rotation. Next we assemble the
thing that makes this crane special and that’s the variable position
counterweight mechanism. It is made up of a few separate components and you have
to clip them together carefully and some parts like this one is actually screwed
into position. The instructions for this are all good
enough so you just have to follow them carefully and the only issue you might
find is that some of the sliding bits are a little bit of a tight fit. So as always
you need to try to ease things together rather than force them with a heavy hand.
Once we’ve got it all assembled then we can offer it up and insert it onto the
rotating bed. Once that’s in you can then connect up
the energy chain and then we can move to the back and add in the counterweight
support pad and that’s held in position simply with just four steel pins. At
this stage we’re still following the assembly manual and that describes
adding in these walkways but actually there’s a step missing and we’ll come to
that soon. After the walkways the manual tells us to attach the cab and the
connection is made by inserting a pin, but to make that easy one tip is to use
a smaller screwdriver and just lever the holes so that they line up, and then that
makes it easier to drop the pin in, and no my fingers haven’t turned into metal –
I’m using a pair of pliers to make getting the pin in even easier.
At this point we’ll now move on and build up the boom, the back mast and the
jib. These are nicely engineered parts and you make the connections using tiny
nuts and bolts, and because they really are tiny nuts and bolts, some tools are
provided to help you do them up. So this is nice precision model engineering and
the only thing to make sure of is that you don’t do the nuts and bolts up too
tightly because otherwise you risk doing some damage. The bolts do come in a
variety of different lengths but they are in numbered bags and as long as you
follow the assembly manual you can use the right bolts in the right place. Now
the manual does show the back mast assembly incorrectly and two sections
need to be reversed and this has probably arisen because there’s a conflict
between Manitowoc marketing information and Manitowoc technical information, but
we will replicate the way the real crane is assembled.
We are also going to deviate from the assembly sequence in the manual and that’s
because I want to pose the model first with just the back mast assembled. So
we’re going to install the back mast first by screwing it into its attachment
position. Now at this point I also realized there was an assembly stage
missing from the manual and that stage is the insertion of the car body jacks
and that really wants to be done at the start of the assembly. Anyway, we’ll do it
now so we’ll fold out the jack assemblies and after the jacks have been
screwed in we can fold them back into position and replace the walkway.
Because I want to pose the model just in a partially assembled state I need to
add some of the detailing and we’ll start by adding on four sets of access
steps, two on each track frame, then there are a number of metal handrails to add,
and these just slot into preformed holes. The only issue is that the fit sometimes
isn’t so good with the result that the handrail pieces are too loose in the
holes and are easily dislodged. The crane only has the back mast on at the
moment so we’ll move the counterweight tray right in and then add on the
counterweight slabs and to restrain them links of chain are supplied which can be
wrapped around the lifting lugs. We will now move around to the other side of the
crane where there are plenty more handrails to be attached, and again some
of them are too loose so we need to pad out the holes to keep them tight. So here
is the crane assembled with just the back mast but one thing you can’t do is
lower the back mast right down because there’s not enough rope on the drum. We
will now move on to attach the boom and we’ll start by offering up the boom butt to
the rotating bed and this connection is engineered really well because it’s nice
and smooth and easy to get the pin in. With the boom assembled we need to reeve
up with the luffing gear and we’ll do that in a totally unrealistic way up in the
air. Some temporary support called string is used to hold the luffing gear in
place and after the reeving is complete we can wind in on the luffing drum and
that relieves the tension in our temporary string and then we can unhook
it and remove it. The good thing is there’s enough rope on the
drum to be able to lower the boom completely and here you can see that the
main load block has been reeved up. It looks like the operator is a bit rough
on the controls but in fact the winch drums are mostly
very good because they’ve got a nice positive brake action. We will now winch up
the boom ready for work and we’ll put the fly jib on later in
the video. Looking at some of the detail we haven’t already seen, it’s interesting
to look under the crane body and see the engine and fans, and all of the boom
sections are really nicely made. They have lifting eyes, there’s nice mesh
walkways and some of the smaller parts like these
drums are nice because the drums can actually be rolled. The model is also
excellent because it’s been engineered to be flexible so things like these
struts are not riveted, they are bolted together so they can be unbolted and
lowered for transport. The track frames are very good and they’ve
got moving lifting points and the metal trackpads are very nice
too but the track frames are simple because they have no working rollers.
It is a highly detailed model and you can see that with these graphics on the
back of the cab and even though they’re tiny they are quite sharp.
Looking at the counterweights slabs they’ve got weight markings and the lifting lugs
are usable if you wanted to pose them being lifted, and all of the graphics on
the model are sharp. Also the handrails and ladders all look realistic enough.
All of the straps on the model are made of thin metal and on the review model
they all had a reasonable equalized tension so none were sagging
unrealistically. All of the sheaves on the model are metal and three load blocks
are supplied and they’re nice enough pieces. One of the features of the model
is that the various parts do make very good transport loads so you can show
something off even if you are space restricted.
The model does have a tilting operator’s cab but on the review model it was a bit too
loose so it wouldn’t hold a pose, but rotation of the model was certainly very
good as long as the screw was done up tight enough at a start of the
assembly process and there was no rocking. The interesting
feature of this crane is the variable position counterweight. The model has the
VPC-max system and it works well with this outer part sliding in and out and
the whole purpose of this system is that you can set the counterweight to balance
the loads that you’re lifting so you don’t need load trays or trailers, or as
much ground preparation as other cranes require. So we’ve built the crane up with
just a main boom but now we’ll add on the luffing fly jib and to be totally
unrealistic we’ll assemble it up in the air. Here you can see the parts rigged
so we can reeve up the luffing ropes and we used a fishing weight to try and keep
the tension on the ropes. But be warned this is fiddly and irritating reeving in
part because the sheaves are loose on their axles and there were gaps between
them. One other small issue on the review model was that the rope on the
main winch drum spools off the front and not the back but it’s something you
could rewind correctly. With the model fully built-up let’s do a
dim check and see how tall it is, and to the top of the main boom it’s about 43
inches or 110 centimetres, and if we go large with the full luffing jib,
it’s about 67 inches or 170 centimetres. This model has been produced by
Towsleys and engineered by Weiss Brothers and it’s another really nice Manitowoc
crane model. It has a very high metal content and detail level. The
functionality is generally very good and a real plus point is the flexibility and
the fact that it can be built up in many configurations. Overall it is excellent.

15 thoughts on “Towsleys Manitowoc MLC300 Crawler Crane by Cranes Etc TV

  1. Another nice model, mine had a couple minor issues, like the loose cab walkway, slewing motor cap under the body was loose in the box. If weiss brothers want to hit a home run with their next models, should supply a load chart/dimensions booklet, brochure like kobelco did with the 2750 and more info about different configurations that can be possible. I'm very happy with my mlc650 and 300. Both very nice looking models. And another great review ian, was wondering when you were going to do this one

  2. not very detailed like the 16000 crawler could did more on the tracks there making these models cheaper and cheaper like diecast masters and motoart models i pass on this one

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