Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Thu 26 Mar 2020

Digger’s Conexpo Highlights: Classic Gradall Excavator Steals the Show

Of course, shiny new kit was in abundance during Conexpo 2020 but for me one piece of restored classic plant really stole the show.

Digger’s Conexpo Highlights: Classic Gradall Excavator Steals the Show

American company Gradall was celebrating 75 years in business at Conexpo and by way of celebration they brought along an amazing restoration of one of their original machines the hydraulic excavator No.3 which launched the brand back in 1945.

These machines were the brainchild of the Ferwerda brothers, Ray and Koop, who were contractors in the Cleveland area, who had a vision to produce a machine that could be both productive and versatile and that could replace labour which, just after the war, was not easy to find. Most machines around that time were still cable operated, but right from the start the Gradall’s were fully hydraulic.

This stunning restoration not only looks good, it is fully operational too, and according to a company spokesman still retains 90% of its original parts. Mounted on its Linn half track carrier the control valves, hydraulic cylinders, hydraulic pumps and boom assembly have all been fully restored to working order, while its Waukesha engine has been fully rebuilt.   

There was little in the way of creature comforts in the cab of these old girls back in the day, one can only imagine how it felt to do a full shift in one of these, sat on that metal seat for 10 hours, but of its time, the operators probably thought it was the best thing since sliced bread!

Bringing the Gradall history bang up to date, the company presented its new XL 4330 V TrackStar models specifically designed for railway maintenance and track construction work. With a low working profile these machines are ideally suited for the rail application, especially when deployed to work in tunnels, or under bridges and the like.

These machines are ideal for embankment works for example, following landslides making use of a that boom that can tilt 220 degrees, ensuring you get the right angle of cut while sitting on the rails, a very handy feature.  





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