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Military 1937-1989

Military Cranes 1937-1989

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Military Cranes

Coles first involvement with the military came when they won a tender to make cranes for the Ministry Defence in 1937 the order was for a general purpose self propelled light crane for use with the RAF. This order was for 82 units, a large order at that time. From that time on Coles were almost entirely given over to making the same crane throughout the whole of the second world war. From that time Coles had supplied many types of crane for the army, navy and airforce. Not only to the UK but all round the world.

All these crane have been based on their civilian range but built to the much higher military specification required by the services and generally heavier and more reliable systems. This of course made them far more expensive so these cranes often have a very good second had value after the military had finished with them.

Left is a brochure about Coles Military cranes this was produced in the 1980.
The cranes on the cover are,
top - Hydra 180 AT 18T,
bottom left - All Terrain Hydraulic Husky At422,
bottom right - Jumbo Speedcrane.

Model - EMA Mk1
Type - Mobile Cantilever
Lift weight -  3 ton
Date - 1937 
Power - petrol electric (BMC) 
Wheel base - 4x2 
Notes - Lattice Jib 2.4m Long.
First made in 1937 the continued to be made right up until 1946 when it was updated to become first the Aries then the Argus Mobiles. Developed for the air ministry the EMA (Electro Mobile Aerodrome) is a self propelled, twin axled , four tyred, electrically driven mobile crane with 360 slewing and 3 ton 2.4m jib. One major development of this machine was the non-rigid jib made of welded sections. This machine developed from the 2 ton Mk1 through Mk II, III, V, VI, and VII versions increasing capacities up to the 6 ton Mk VII.

Images - 5

Model - EMA Utility Mk1
Type - Truck mounted Cantilever
Lift weight -  5 ton
Date - 1938 
Power - Petrol / Diesel electric
Wheel base - 6x4/4x2 
Notes - Lattice Jib 2.4 to 3m Long. The EMA slewing unit was also made as a Utility version for use on suitable lorry chassis. This unit was a stripped down version with the minimal parts necessary to make it work. It was intended for the electrical power to be taken from the truck it was mounted on. This was fed by a cable so the crane had to have a limiter on the degrees of rotation. Where the truck could not provide the electrical power a separate small engine and generator were fitted either on the truck chassis, as in the Matador or bolted onto the slewing unit. During the war this slewing unit was fitted to almost any suitable lorry chassis.

Two of the most widely used were the 6 ton 6x4 Thorneycroft Amazon and the 6x6 AEC Matador. Also fitted to the Austin K6 and Layland.

Note- there is a photograph in the 100 years book showing eleven Thorneycroft Amazon trucks on a row saying they are fitted with the EMA slewing rig, this is incorrect these are a much later units from 1948 fitted with the Ulysses 6T self contained slewing unit.

Images - 10

Model - Slewing Recovery Crane
Type -  Lorry mounted hydraulic
Lift weight -  10  ton
Date - 1969 
Power -  Diesel hydraulic (from truck)
Wheel base - 6x6
Notes - Coles only made the crane unit for the AEC Militant Mark 3 truck. The crane unit took its power from the truck including hydraulic. It could slew 90 degrees each way rase hydraulically under fill load and extend hydraulicly to about 10 feet. Also fitted with powerful cable hook winch. The crane unit weighs 5 to 5.5T.

Images - 9
Drawing - yes

Model - Hydra AT 18T
 Type -  Hydraulic All Terrain
Lift weight -  18 ton
Date - 1970
Power - Diesel electric
Wheel base - 4x4 
Notes - Developed for the military, 4 wheel drive. Both Crane and Truck can be driven from either truck cab or slewing cab position. Not armoured but military specification fittings. This was available from the 1970 but was later updated in 78 and called the Coles/Grove 315M MK2.

4 wheel drive 360 Degree Fully slewing with rear cab, joystick controls, 19m reach, 4 x outriggers, axle locks, PAT 150 DS safe load indicator, ZF 6 speed transmission.

Images - 12

Model - Speedcrane MK 2
Type - Truck Mounted Hydraulic
Lift weight - 5 ton
Date - 1973 
Power - Hydraulic crane, Diesel mechanical truck
Wheel base - 4x2 (rear wheel steer)
Notes - Military version of Speedcrane

Images - 4 

Hydra Husky 36-40 TSC
Model - Hydra Husky 36-40 RT TSC
Type -  All Terrain
Lift weight -  36 ton
Date - 1978 
Power - Diesel hydraulic 
Wheel base - 4x4x4 
Notes - Height 4.0m Width 3.5m

Images -  5 

Model - Jumbo

Type - Truck Mounted Hydraulic
Lift weight - 8 ton
Date - 1982 
Power - Hydraulic crane, Diesel mechanical truck
Wheel base - 4x2 (rear wheel steer)
Notes - In 1982 and 1983 a stripped down version of the Speedcrane was introduced harking back to the Taylors crane hence the name. I was meant to be a fast simple yard crane.

Images - 1

Model - Ranger 530
Type -  All Terrain
Lift weight -  30 ton
Date - 1982 
Power - Diesel Hydraulic
Wheel base - 4x4x4 

Notes - To make the Husky TSC suitable for extended road use Coles came up with the swing cab. Driving from the normal forward looking position meant that half the drivers sight was blocked by the boom when in the parked position. Developed for the military the answer was to allow the cab to swing 180 degrees to face over the rear allowing free vision.

Images - 2

Model - Husky 15-17 TCC AT
Type - Telescopic Chassis Cab - All Terrain
Lift weight - 15 ton
Date - 1987 
Power - Hydraulic crane, Diesel mechanical truck
Wheel base - 4x4x4 
Notes -  jib 7.62m-13.11m + fly 5.41=18.52 
Built after Grove took over and using more of the Grove house design features

Images - 2

Model - Grove AT422
Type - All Terrain Hydraulic Husky
Lift weight - 20 ton
Date - 1989 
Power - Hydraulic crane, Diesel mechanical truck
Wheel base - 4x4x4  
Notes - Groves update of the all terrain Husky 15 ton

Images -  4

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