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by Nick Drew  |  Thu 24 Sep 2020

Michigan Memories

Had a dig about in the Digger Man Blog archives again this weekend and scanned in a selection of photos featuring some classic Michigan wheeled loading shovels.

Michigan Memories

American company Clark Equipment Company purchased the Michigan Power Shovel Company in 1953 to gain access to a range of wheeled loaders. New models were developed a year later including the 75A, 125A and 175A which were well received in the market place.   

In the early 1970’s the company launched the Clark Michigan 85 III wheeled loader which had an operating weight of 30,020lbs. The Cummins powered unit featured a four-speed shuttle transmission and air over hydraulic braking. The example seen below was working in Sweden.

It was the larger models in the Michigan range that really caught the eye and the imagination of end users and machinery enthusiasts in general. The 275 was introduced in 1965 and was capable of carrying a 6.5 cubic yard bucket and was powered by a 324hp engine. The model was upgraded to the 275B in 1970 with horsepower being increased to 342hp, the model remained in production until 1980.

Around the same time Clark Michigan had developed a 12 cubic-yard shovel the 475. This machine was big, tipping the scales at 60-tonnes and was powered by a 635hp diesel engine.

But the big daddy of the Michigan range was the massive 675 which carried a 24 cubic yard bucket and was powered by twin Cummins engines which offered a power output rating of 1,270hp! The production run for these giant machines was relatively short, the model being discontinued in 1976 and only 14 of them being manufactured.

The famous Clark-Michigan company was later snapped up and became part of the VME Group in 1985 and the loaders gradually morphed into Volvo products, the Michigan brand name was eventually dropped in 1995.

Checkout this vintage old promotional film from the Clark Equipment Company.

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