Video: Oldest Link-Belt Crane, 1918 Steam Tractor Lead Rock Crushing Demo

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Updated Oct 14, 2022

Visitors to the Historical Construction Equipment Association’s annual show last month witnessed a rare sight.

A rock crushing “train” consisting of a 1918 steam tractor, a 1926 Link-Belt crawler crane, a 1930s-era crusher, a 1950s-era bucket loader and a 1960 Euclid dump truck. (Check out the video above to see it in action.)

The demonstration was performed September 23 as part of the HCEA’s 36th Annual International Convention and Old Equipment Exposition in Bowling Green, Ohio.

The crusher was powered by a 1918 Russell & Company “The Boss” 10x13 Cylinder Simple Traction Engine with Universal Boiler, 30-90 horsepower. It was operated by its owner, Jim Lashaway of Bowling Green, who kept the old tractor fed with coal to create the steam to power a large belt connected between the tractor and the crusher.

The Allis-Chalmers 10-inch Superior McCully Crusher was made in the 1930s. It fed a Barber-Greene 543 bucket loader from the 1950s. (The old bucket loaders were eventually replaced by wheel loaders, which first arrived in 1960.)

The bucket loader conveyed the crushed stones to a 1960 Euclid 91FD R18 end dump truck. Euclid was a division of General Motors until 1968.

Feeding the stones was a 1926 Link-Belt K-2 Big Bertha crawler crane. This is the oldest-known Link-Belt crane in existence and the first antique machine the HCEA restored, according to the association.

The demonstration was just one of many antique construction equipment exhibits on display over the weekend. The event also included a groundbreaking for a new museum to be built on the site, which is part of HCEA’s headquarters and the home of the National Construction Equipment Museum. The HCEA is raising donations for the museum project.

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