Video Of A Massive, Pre-Hydraulic LeTourneau Front End Loader Is Yellow Poetry In Motion

Video Of A Massive, Pre-Hydraulic LeTourneau Front End Loader Is Yellow Poetry In Motion

As I have established over the last thirteen years here at BangShift, I love old machines that completed huge tasks without the technology of today. Decades back, the work still had to get done and the Earth still needed to be moved but how was that accomplished without the hydraulic wonders of today? Simply stated, the work got done and the machines got built due to the genius of guys like RG LeTourneau who was the largest single force on the design and manufacture of Earth moving equipment over the last 100 years. Though he died in the mid-1960s, the concepts he pioneered are still in use today and the LeTourneau name is still as respected in the field as it always has been.

So what are you about to watch below? In our eyes, pure poetry, but in reality you are going to see a huge articulated front end loader scoop up and move some rubble around what looks to be an open pit mine. Judging by the pickup trucks in the back of a couple of these shots, this footage was made sometime in the 1960s. We love the shots that depict the tractor with an open driver’s area, which was the norm back then but rarely, if ever seen today. LeTourneau was the guy who pioneered the idea of using diesel engines to power electric motors at the wheels of big machines for efficiency and raw power.

The coolest part about this machine is the fact that the loader is not hydraulically controlled or actuated. If you can believe it, the bucket is basically controlled by two giant crank window mechanisms. One of the mechanisms rolls the bucket up and down and the other one lifts and lowers it. If I had to guess, the bucket on this loader 15 yards or so. The most impressive thing in the video that stuck out for me was the massive boulder the tractor lugs around without complaint at one point. I’m sure that this big guy worked for years and has probably been cut up and melted down for scrap by now but what a cool piece!


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