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Bruce Hansen's Erector Coal Loader

Bruce writes: "Gilbert reported a number of innovations in this portion of a 1928 ad for Erector. The features didn't intrigue me as much as the model pictured. It's not named in the ad but I'll call it a Coal Loader.

I don't have (yet) a Classic Period set that will build the Coal Loader but I have a few Renassiance and later sets that can come close! Pictured here is my version of the Coal Loader and Dump Truck. In the background are 1960 10½ and 12½ sets that I generally build with.

The loader and truck can't be built with just one set; I ran out of angle girders, base plates and nuts. So, the truck is from the 12½ set and the coal loader is from the 10½.


The motor setup shows (3) drive sprockets/ladder chain arrangements (Type III Erector parts) used to drive the (3) parts of the model.

The buckets are paper/tape tied to a couple of loops of string running over P7 pulleys. The drive sprocket is at the lower right corner. As the bucket reach the top they flip over and dump their load on the conveyor belt below.


The conveyor belt is driven by another sprocket/chain and mitre gear arrangement. See Dr. Prune's PDFs of the conveyor belt models for more details. The load is carried down the belt and dumps it down a ramp to the truck waiting below.

A third sprocket/chain arrangement drives a flywheel made from a CR turret plate w/hub, some M double angles, strips and plates. An AA eccentric crank drives an axle back/forth through a piston made from flanged pulleys and a stack.

The ladder chain is available from Wagner & Sons for about a buck a foot (used) or from Stock Drive Products ( for about $2 / foot (new). Look for ladder chain size number 21 (72 links/foot). The sprockets are available from Wagner's for $0.25 each; I used a number of 14 and 28 tooth sprockets."