Tag Archives: mobile

The Lego Technic Lifting Service

Satisfying your hoisting needs since 1978…

Lego Cranes

We like cranes here at The Lego Car Blog. Technic cranes tend to make excellent, functional models that can be a lot of fun to muck about with. From the earliest era of Technic, LEGO thought so too, and gave us the 855 Mobile Crane in 1978. How would it compare with its grandchildren?

Thank you for asking that question.

In the picture above, ready for battle (lift-off?) is a slightly nervous looking 855, along with 8854 from 1989, 8460 from 1995 and the later and larger 8421 and 42009 models.

After at least twenty seconds of careful cogitation I arrived at a reasonably fair way to compare them. Each crane must be parked with its stabilisers deployed, the superstructure slewed through 90 degrees, the boom lifted and extended to its fullest height; then it must hoist a steadily increasing load of batteries until something breaks. It would have been elves, but they ran away for some reason…

First up, the vintage 855:

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the old stager. I’ve always regarded it as one those models that’s dated more than most and lacked any meaningful strength due to it’s almost entirely studded construction and build-it-yourself stabilisers. Still, it’ll set a baseline…

Turns out it did pretty well – 14 batteries off the deck and nothing’s broken although you’ll see below that something’s about to…. this is why cranes need counterweights! Each battery weighs 23 grams, so that’s a good 350 grams with the pallet as well.

Lego Crane

This particular 855 is doing a most un-855 like thing; steering! Always a glaring omission from the original set, I’ve added it to mine as well as another control to slew the superstucture. I can promise you that the base / stabiliser combination isn’t any stronger than standard. There’s also a small mod to the lifting mechanism to help the boom achieve greater verticality (if that’s not a word, it should be!). The boom goes about 10 degrees higher than standard with 9 long axles actuating it instead of 8s. This mod does help its performance; without it, 12 batteries are hoisted in the air before the superstructure makes its bid for freedom.

Even with only early parts, 855 manages to do the important crane-y things like lifting and extending the boom and hoisting stuff; slewing’s manual and the stabilisers are fiddly to deploy and seem flimsy but it performs reasonably well. There’s many more types of crane illustrated on its box as well, all of which are many times better than the weak and uni-functional tipper lorry you get instructions for. 7/10 – it gets an extra point for its surprising performance here.

Next in line is 1989’s 8854 ‘Power Crane’, looking all butch and handsome and Unimoggy. Built with just 516 pieces (4 more than 855) it sports an  impressive array of features, with pneumatic boom elevation and controls for the stabilisers, slewing, steering, boom extension and hoisting. The piece count / functions ratio is one of the best of any set. They’re not all perfect, however…

Here it is taking on the TLCB lifting test:

Lego Technic Crane

Thanks to those stumpy little stabilisers, it has not a chance of lifting 10 batteries. How about 5? No.. 3?  No… it managed ONE. Pop a second on the pallet and it falls over. Oh dear. Pity, I really like this set. It corrects many of the flaws of 855, the most glaring of which is solved by a threaded axle clamping down the turntable, it’s highly playable and it’s pretty rugged. The pneumatics work well here, although their shortness does limit the boom’s maximum elevation to about 45 degrees and the pipework means this is the only crane here which won’t slew through the full 360 degrees.

I’d still recommend it though, and it has a good B-model; another tipper lorry but this time stronger and cleverer with articulated steering and a pneumatic tailgate. 7/10 – a point has to go for its poor test performance. Continue reading

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At Your Convenience

CS-Bog

This year’s Febrovery is producing some wild flights of fancy, some strangely silly machines and even one or two practical bits of space surface transportation. Falling somewhere in between the very silly and very practical is Tyler Sky’s “Lunar Worksite Maintenance Bio-Break Rover”.

Naturally this appealed to the Elves’ sense of humour and has left them rolling around the floor in fits of smirking giggles for most of the day. We, of course, are mature, sophisticated bloggers and appreciate the build for its features. The double banked, rubber CS wheels; the greebly plumbing on the rear of the machine and the compactness of the cubicle. Click this link to see Tyler’s full width presentation, plus his other marvellous Febrovery machines.

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The One We’ve All Been Waiting For

Ohhh yes…. 42009, the Mobile Crane MkII, is finally here. Was it worth the wait ? Was it worth 150 smackers ? Was it worth spending my entire day off building it ? Read on…

Lego technic 42009

Well, what do you think ? I mean, look at it. Before I get down to it, a quick word about how we do our reviews around here. LEGO doesn’t send us review copies (yet; hint, hint…) so we spend our own money on sets for review, but these are sets that we’d have wanted anyway. This might explain the usually positive flavour of our musings; we’re not going to spend our hard-earned on something we know we won’t like. I haven’t reviewed the 42000 Grand Prix racer because I won’t be getting it.

We do still try to be objective.

Enough already, get on with it!

So, to business. First impressions: Wow, that box is heavy! 2,600 pieces, plus motor and battery box would explain that. It’s the largest Technic set ever, by some margin. Not the most expensive, though, which remains the 8110 Unimog at a fiver more than this; which fact rather gives the lie to the notion of LEGO inflating their prices with each successive generation. You get 550 more pieces and a fiver in exchange for the ‘mog’s pneumatics.

Fortunately, the bags are numbered to reflect the three main stages of the build. This isn’t quite the advantage it might be with the chassis forming well over half of it… Many, many bags all numbered ‘1’. Give yourself plenty of room. And time. That said, it never took me long to find a piece, and I never sort first as LEGO suggest.

There are six instruction books; 3 for the chassis, 2 for the crane part and the last one for the boom. Books 4 and 5 could have easily been combined to make it 1 for the crane part; book 5 is inexplicably slender. There were no mistakes, as we’ve come to expect, and this time not all the build steps are quite so tiny. There is nothing to confuse here as long as you concentrate and don’t forget to insert the 15 long beams alongside the stabilizers; causing you to perform major surgery part way through, or anything silly like that…

At the end of an enjoyable 6-8 hours of building, what have you got ? It’s a very robust, playable, multi-functional and impressive thing. There’s lots going on here, so I’ll break it down. Continue reading

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Start Saving…

We’ve had the first wave of Technic sets for 2013, and they’re pretty good; although I still say that F1 car looks messy…

The real goodies arrive in August; have a gander at this:

Lego Technic 42009 Crane

New for 2013: 42009 LEGO Technic Crane

It’s the 42009, Mobile Crane MkII, and has to be the most hotly anticipated Technic set since the Unimog. It’ll have over 2000 pieces and retail at around £150, according to the bush telegraph.

It seems to incorporate one power functions motor which can control any one of four functions via a gearbox. There’s a three piece extending boom, four steered axles and four linked stabilisers. All in all, a fitting follow up to the sainted 8421. Can’t wait.

As if that weren’t enough, feast your eyes on this:

Lego Technic 42008 Truck

New for 2013: 42008 LEGO Technic Recovery Truck

Set number 42008, a very green recovery truck that’s pretty impressive, if a size smaller than the crane. It’ll probably be around £100.

There goes the summer holiday…

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