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Caterpillar MH3049 Material Handler

Maker:  Tonkin
Model No:  40001
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  October 2014

Tonkin Index
Material Handling Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10)7
Detail   (max 30)21
Features   (max 20)14
Quality   (max 25)18
Price   (max 15)13
Overall   (max 100)73%


Caterpillar MH3049 Material Handler Video  [Youku Video]
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Caterpillar branded box.
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Solid rear grille.  Nice warning graphics.
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Steps with metal handrails.
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Access ladder is plastic as are the wheels.  Tyres are good.
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Easy access.
Lights on the boom seem to shine the wrong way.
Big machine.
The magnet is.....a magnet.
On a low loader.
Cab could be moved forward and lowered further if required.
Comment on this model.

The Caterpillar MH3049 is a large material handler and it has an operating weight of around 50 tonnes.


The model comes in a large Caterpillar-branded box style with windows.  Inside the box the model is held in a large plastic former secured with poppers. 

The review model had no missing parts or defects.

The box includes a small collector card which has some information about the real machine and a nice photo.  Two additional work tools are included and there is a bag of spare pins.


The underside has no detail and consists of a plastic plate.  There are no axles or drive shafts modelled as the real machine has independent wheel drives so does use them.  The underside of the stabiliser beams is also 'hollow'.  However the tyres are good and they are mounted on plastic wheels.

At each end the stabiliser beams and pads are metal with a thick-set plastic access ladder.  There is also a useable towing eye and some obscure tiny graphics.

The body is metal and heavy with the curved shape nicely represented.  The graphics are very sharp.  At the rear the counterweight has a nicely textured solid grille with the video camera just about visible.  The steps to the top of the body have 'Watch Your Step' graphics which are good and the handrails are nice thin metal.  The internal access ladder to the body top is soft plastic and it feels a little flimsy.

The metal cab is detailed inside with nice controls and the Cat logo on the seat back.  On the outside the protection grilles are plastic.  The cab elevation mechanism has black connection rivets which are discrete although there are no hydraulic hoses or cables.

The boom rams have hydraulic hoses detailed.  The hydraulics on the boom and stick are plastic, with those at the pivot coloured black.  There are no hydraulics to the stick cylinders.  Both the boom and stick are all metal.  There are lights at the top of the stick but, on the review model at least, they appear to be oriented in the wrong direction.

Three tools are supplied.  A clear hard plastic clip is supplied to keep the attaching pin in place, which is fine for shipping the model, but looks ugly on display so most collectors will remove it.  The 4-tine and 5-tine orange peel grapples are metal with nice tines.  The magnet has a chain which hangs loose on the stick pin.  Underneath there is a plastic plate protecting the magnet.  All tools have a connection point for hoses/cables from the stick.


The wheels are free rolling with one axle fixed rather than oscillating, and there is shallow steering on the other axle.

The stabilisers have pivoting pads, and they can be raised and lowered with the stiff cylinders allowing the machine to be posed wheels-free.

Rotation of the body is reasonably smooth with a little stickiness in places.

The cab elevator goes to a reasonable height and also allows the cab to be posed for ground level access, which is a feature of the real machine.

The boom and stick hydraulics are stiff enough in parts with some areas of looseness so not all poses can be held.  It is possible to lower the boom to replicate a transport mode without quite reaching the horizontal position of the real machine.

Tools can be interchanged.  Each tine on the grapples is independent rather than interlocked and they rely on friction at the connection points which varies, so gripping a load can be a problem. 

The magnet includes a real magnet which is a nice touch.


This is a reasonable model with a high metal content.  A couple of the plastic elements use a lower grade plastic.

The paint finish is very good and the graphics are sharp.


It is good value given the size of the model.


This is a large model produced for an affordable price.  The detailing and functionality are average and overall it is a recommended model.


The model was available from September 2014.

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Contents of the box.
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Stabilisers down.
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Plastic base plate underneath.
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Interior detail is good.
Profile view.
Four tine orange peel grapple.
Loading up.
Headroom is reasonable, but not quite as low as the real machine.