Yagao Kato KA-1300R Mobile Crane by Cranes Etc TV

Yagao Kato KA-1300R Mobile Crane by Cranes Etc TV

In this review we’re looking at a five axle Japanese crane. It’s a Kato KA-1300R and it has a maximum lifting capacity of 130 tonnes, although that is based on the RX version of the crane because there isn’t an R version listed on the Kato website. Inside the box there are a pair of expanded polystyrene trays and they’ve got a very nice system for keeping them locked together so there is no need to get out a knife and slice through the factory seals. After lifting the top tray we see the model is nicely protected by soft paper, and there’s a nice ribbon which stops the boom moving about during shipping. The first thing we notice out of the box is that the big hook isn’t reeved correctly and for a realistic look we need to put that right. But it does take some work because the rope seems to be lightly glued on, and the best way to get it off is to use a pin to try and separate off the rope. As you can see though, it does all make a bit of a mess but it’s worth a little bit of effort to get the model looking right. Now we’ve reeved the hook with four falls of rope but there’s no proper tying off point so we’ve taken it up to the axle at the back of the boom head. Once it’s tied on we neatly cut off the end and if we unfold in the boom extension we can run the single line hook over it. It looks like there should be a pin to secure the boom extension but there was none with the model. Here we see the hooks tied off for transport and the next thing we can do is to place on the carry onboard counterweight. The two cheek weights have to be separated and they would be carried separately, and then in transport mode we can put the counterweight block amidships. Next we can add on two sets of handrails and the ones that are supplied are in the up working position and on the real crane the upper sections would fold down to lower the headroom. The handrails are metal and they clip into holes with a good fit. The last job to do is to mount the unusual fly jib and for travelling there’s a locking position where you can insert a steel pin. The pin is a bit unusual with a long head to it, and a flat headed pin would have been better. There’s another pinning position at the back but there’s no need to use it. As usual we’ll start underneath and the first thing to say is that it’s high-quality. All of the transmission and suspension components seemed to be made of metal so it’s all very nicely detailed. Also looking good are the all terrain tyres. At the front the driving cab is nicely detailed and that includes a tiny Kato badge on the grille. Another high quality touch is the metal mirror assemblies. There is an aerial and a door handle is there too. Behind the cab the quality of the casting is very good and moving on to the main boom there’s some very good detailing including spooling drums and nice graphics. The boom head is also detailed. The wheels are metal and it’s good that the non-driven axle has different wheels to the driven axles, and the crane cab also looks good and it includes mirrors and lights there are access steps, nice graphics and the handrails are metal. Moving to the back the winch motors look good and so does the counterweight equipment. The perforated grilles are very nice and the overall detailed appearance is enhanced by more tiny graphics. The rear lights have plastic lenses. The telescopic fly jib is unusual and it’s well detailed and that includes a metal hydraulic ram. There are metal pulleys but both in the hook and the boom head the banks of three are solid pieces, but there are some nice runners detailed. With the boom up we can see that the detailing of the engine area is high quality. In terms of functionality the wheels roll nicely enough and the rear two axles steer independently. The front three axles are all linked together and although it mostly works it does mean that you can’t replicate all of the steering modes of the real crane. So let’s try the crane out on the Cranes Etc test track, and it rolls well enough although you might need a little bit of downward pressure to ensure that all of the wheels rotate. Let’s check out the steering angle so we’ll set all of the wheels and once we’ve done that we can see what angle we can achieve, and it’s okay, but it’s less than the real crane can achieve. We’ve arrived on site so let’s set the crane up and as usual the first thing to do is to set up the outriggers. They are two-stage and they pull out easily, and you’re lower the pads by unscrewing. That does reveal screw threads, and there are spreader plates included which allow you to have the crane wheels free, but only just. But in truth is a little bit too much vertical movement in the outrigger beams so under loads they don’t remain level. It is nice to get your boom up and this one goes up easily with a couple of fingers, and you can lock the position by using an allen key in the two rams. There’s a small grub screw in each and once you tighten them up you can be confident that boom will stay in place. The maximum angle of the boom is not as steep as the real crane can achieve but rotating the crane is easy enough. It’s nice and smooth without any rocking. One thing you can do if you want to is to pose the crane adding its cheek weights on and that’s because there are lifting eyes in the cheek weight counterweight blocks. The only thing you have to supply is your own lifting chains but with those and some fingers on the winch drums you can be your very own rigging crew. To attach the counterweight to the crane it rotates around and there’s a mechanism which picks the counterweight up but in the scale-model world that mechanism is called the giant hand crane. The counter weight stack hooks over the back and then it rotates away easily. Separating out the telescopic boom sections is straightforward and you can see the hoist rope needs some assistance through the pulley blocks. The sections lock at a full extension using a spring clip system. Attaching the fly jib is done in the normal way and it pins easily into position using two large steel pins. You can alter the angle of the fly jib using its ram and to achieve the maximum angle you need to move the rooster tip out of the way. For that extra reach you can also extend the fly jib and it has two sections. Among the other features are safety poles which can be raised to the up position and with a line attached they provide safety for riggers working on the boom top. The carrier cab has got nice opening doors on both sides. They are a good fit and they’ve got nice spring-loaded operation. The crane cab has got a safety walkway which can be pulled out, and it also tilts and a very nicely engineered feature is the opening cab door. So we’ve seen the crane set up, so let’s see how tall it is, and to the top of the main boom is about 42 inches or 107 centimeteres and with the fly jib extended we get 58 inches or 148 centimetres. This is a high quality model of the Kato 1300 by Yagao. It’s got a very high metal content and there’s some really nice detailing, and there’s plenty of functionality too. It’s very nice to see a model of a Kato crane and in summary it’s easy to rate this model as very good.

23 thoughts on “Yagao Kato KA-1300R Mobile Crane by Cranes Etc TV

  1. Side by side hoist drums… Squirt jib… Unusual but interesting! The upper and lower cabs look a lot like Tadano. Euro version for the lower. Thanks, Ian.

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