Final Take

Original Mustang skid-steer loader unearthed
Mustang Manufacturing found one of the original 25 skid-steer loaders it produced when an Aberdeen, South Dakota, dealer called seeking parts for the 40-year-old machine.

Joe Gross of J. Gross Equipment wanted to repair the drive belt on the 1965 skid-steer loader for a farming customer. After production of the initial units, Mustang redesigned the machine, reengineering the drive system and eliminating this particular drive belt.

Developed long before the term “skid steer” became well known, the company marketed the Owatonna Mustang Series 1000 model as a “self-propelled four-wheel-drive unit.” It still had the original paint, decals, seat and tires and had clocked only 339.6 hours in its lifetime. The pins, bushings and other wear points are in like-new condition.

“The machine came back looking nice,” says Steve Louks, Mustang product specialist. “We’ve seen machines that are a year old that look worse than this one.”

The company spent three months having it repainted and installing new tires. The unit is on display at the Owatonna Village of Yesteryear in Steele County, Minnesota.
– Christina Jesson

Open secret
Manitowoc Crane Group unveiled a new lifting technology September 21, although they had planned it for next year. According to company officials, industry whispers precipitated the early debut of the Grove GTK1100, which includes a telescopic luffing boom that will have a maximum lift height of more than 459 feet. “We weren’t ready to release the concept,” says Tom Cioni, director of worldwide marketing communications, MCG. But others in the industry were talking about it.”

Although the specifications for the GTK100 have not been released, Cioni says the crane is unique not only because of its reach capabilities but also for its small size. “It can reach very high, but it has a narrow footprint,” says Cioni. “It’s also lightweight.”

MCG plans to release specifications on the GTK1100 in early 2007, with initial deliveries later in the year.
– Amy Materson