HO scale crawler crane

Rob’s beeb in touch with his HO scale crawler crane:

“Hi Al,

I have just completed a HO scale crawler crane for my layout Farland.

It all started when I built my harbor. I first built a kit of a light steam-powered cargo vessel called a Clyde Puffer.

At that point, I had a cheap premade fishing boat, and my kit built a light cargo vessel. I wanted something else. I noticed a barge kit that I thought would fit in and then I had the idea to put a few containers in it.

Looking at that one day I thought, I need a way to get the containers in or out of the barge. I then came upon the idea of a little container crane.

After extensive looking, I realized I could not find one that fit in the area I had for it and decided to see if I could build it. I found some gears on eBay. I bought plastic extruded shapes from the Evergreen Plastics folks and after a couple of months of scratching my head, I had exactly what I wanted.

It just goes to show you, If you can’t afford or if you can’t find one that fits, build it.

It turned out better than I could have imagined in the beginning.

Here is the video of the completed crane:

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

HO scale crawler crane

HO scale crawler crane

HO scale crawler crane

HO scale crawler crane

HO scale crawler crane

HO scale crawler crane

HO scale crawler crane

HO scale crawler crane

HO scale crawler crane

A huge thanks to Hall of Fame member, Rob for sharing his HO scale crawler crane. What a scratch build!

Really hope you enjoyed his pics and vid as much as me.

And I did like his parting shot too:

“It just goes to show you, If you can’t afford or if you can’t find one that fits, build it.”

That’s all for this time folks.

Lastly, if you’re tired of everybody else having all the fun, take your first steps with the Beginner’s Guide .

Keep ’em coming.



20 Responses to HO scale crawler crane

  1. Kaustav says:

    Now, THAT is an awesome build! And yes, if you cannot find something, build your own – that’s been my ‘mantra’ of model railroading and model making from the very beginning, so I sure can appreciate that. Lovely build, will keep my eyes open for a full load /unload video.


  2. Dustyk-UK says:

    Inspiring. Thank you for posting this video diary- very interesting and useful. During the shunting near the end, I was surprised to see debris on the track (discarded cable tie?) and I expected to be derailed. But we seemed to get across it OK, then coupled onto the waiting truck before reversing with it. The sound when coming into contact was quite dramatic in headphones! I am looking forward to seeing the crane working. Do you plan to actually move containers from train to barge? That will be awesome!

  3. Ericcello says:

    I have to agree. Very inspiring. I haven’t ventured down scratch building yet but container cranes are high on my list. I can’t find what I want so being creative in other building areas I’m game to try πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½

  4. Tom nichols says:

    Very nice and I like to colors used on the crane. How long did it take to build.

  5. Brian Messenger says:

    Wow Rob, very nice scratch build of the crane. Can’t wait to see a video of it in operation.
    Brian – the HOn3 guy, Knysna RSA

  6. Scott Llewellyn says:

    Call it kit bashing or what ever you like. I call that pure skill I was very with the pictures and the video nice job Rob. Scottl from New Castle, Pa

  7. Marklin ed says:

    Thanks Rob’s your always doing wonderful things for our enjoyment.

  8. Super build. Can’t imagine how long it took to construct. Great job.

  9. Mason Dirickson says:

    Very, very nice. A craftsman at work.

  10. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Nice Job…….. I love getting the ideas from your scratch build projects.

  11. Robert Brady says:

    Great job Rob looks like you bought a kit u could market that crane ,I’d buy one.

  12. Warner Smith says:

    Wow….Absolutely awesome, inspiring and well laid out. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to a video too.

  13. Michael says:

    Very Innovative

  14. Will in NM says:

    Great job Rob! Your videos are always interesting and entertaining. I hope when you get a new motor for your container crane you’ll give us a video with more emphasis on how you put all those little gears together to achieve a working crane. Kudos to you for a very enlightening bit of MR innovation.

  15. Bernie Glynn says:

    What a great video! And the finished product looks great! I’d love to see an update hoodie once you get the new motor and see that baby in action! Well done!

  16. TOO COOL!!

  17. Tony Foderaro says:

    Pretty awesome!.I’m very impressed

  18. Gary Mitchell says:

    Well done Rob looks great

  19. Guy Pernetti says:

    Very nicely done.

  20. You might let Rob know about the HVAC Mode door actuators that are in most all new vehicles. Inside them there is a small 12 V reversible motor with a worm drive gear and misc. reduction teethed gears. I’ve changed many of these over the last several years and have often thought they could be used for something on my layout. He should be able to locate some trashed replacements from his local auto repair shop. Most of the time the reason they need replacement is due to a broken tooth. If he were to get several he should be able to get the right combination reduction.

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