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Manitowoc MLC300 Crawler Crane

Maker:  Towsleys
Model No:  006
Scale:  1:50
Review Date:  March 2018

Towsleys Index
Crawler Crane Index

Cranes Etc Model Rating
Packaging   (max 10) 9
Detail   (max 30) 25
Features   (max 20) 19
Quality   (max 25) 22
Price   (max 15) 11
Overall   (max 100) 86%


Manitowoc MLC300 Crawler Crane video.   [Youku video] 
Large box.
Bottom layer.
Middle layer.
Posed during assembly, rigged with just the back mast.  Counterweight slid in.
Erection of the boom.
VPC-Max system works well on the model.
Energy chain under the walkway looks good.
Very impressive large model.
Looks great with a precast bridge section.
Full configuration.  Lifting a beam.

The Manitowoc MLC300 Crawler Crane made its debut at the ConExpo Exhibition in 2014.  It has a maximum capacity of 300 tonnes, and its main feature is a Variable Position Counterweight (VPC).  This allows the crane to be operated with maximum versatility and flexibility.


The model comes packed in a large shipping carton.  Inside there is an inner Manitowoc branded box which contains three separate expanded polystyrene trays holding the many parts of the model. 

There were no defects or missing parts on the review model.

There is no information about the real crane, but a comprehensive assembly guide for the model is included.   It is high quality and starts with annotated parts lists for each tray.  Assembly is then guided through 36 steps.   There are no reeving diagrams for the hook blocks, and there are some minor errors and omissions, but nothing that presents a problem for assembly.  Only the largest configuration of the crane is covered, and many other configurations are possible.

The assembly of the model is straightforward, and tools are provided to aid the task.  A number of hours is required to fully erect and reeve the model.


The track frames and undercarriage are assembled as one piece, but the track frames are screwed to the car body so appear removable.  The tracks are metal, and excellent, and the frames are detailed and include fold out lugs and access steps.  Rollers are not modelled and the tracks are fairly loosely hung.

The operator's cab is fully detailed with windscreen wipers, grab handles and an unsilvered door mirror.  It has a detailed interior and at the rear of the cab various signs are replicated with tiny writing.

The handrails and platforms around the model are metal and very good, although some were very loose fitting on the review model.

At the front of the crane body two slewing motors are modelled.  Four hydraulic jacks which would be used for self-unloading are modelled, and the pistons have visible screw threads. 

The VPC-Max counterweight arrangement is very good with nicely modelled energy chains. The counterweight boxes are separate metal parts with lifting lugs and graphics giving the weight, 10 tons. 

The engine cover is plastic and the winches within the body look good, and there is also some detailing underneath the rotating bed.  The winch drums have holes in the body for access by the winding key.  On the review model the main winch drums had the rope spooling off the front instead of the rear.   The live mast has a non-functioning erection cylinder and the sheaves at the end are metal in common with the rest of the model.

The live mast is fully reeved out of the box which saves one task during assembly.

The lattice boom, back mast and jib sections of the crane are nice castings with excellent geometry.  They are nearly all metal and include useable lifting eyes, mesh walkways and ladders as appropriate.  At the jib head the whip line jib has working rollers.  It appears there is an error in the instructions with the intermediate sections of the back mast in reversed position, however this is easily altered.

The connections are made with tiny black nuts and bolts, and the straps are very thin metal and easily bent if not handled with care.  The boom and jib head have plastic 'Manitowoc' sign boards. 

Most of the reeving is straightforward, but the luffing gear for the jib is frustrating as the sheaves are loose on their axles and move apart with space between them.

Three hooks are supplied.  The main block is large piece with a swivelling double hook although it can fold in allowing the block to rest on the ground upright.  The second hook is a smaller block and the whip line is a single metal piece with rotating hook.


The crawler tracks roll very easily and are tensioned by spring-loaded idlers in the track frames.

The four jacks have pads which can be screwed down for self-assembly modes.

The cab tilts but would not hold a pose on the review model.

The crane rotates smoothly as long as it is screwed properly during assembly.

The Variable Position Counterweight works well, and it is as much as a major plus on the model as it is on the real crane, as it is possible to position the counterweight to keep the model in reasonable balance whether it has a load or not.

To operate the model a key is provided for the winches.  When the key is pushed in, the drum presses against a spring and away from a brake surface such that it turns freely when the tool is turned.

The winches work well.  However if the boom or jib are at a steep angle there is not enough weight on the luffing ropes and so lowering has to be assisted by easing down by hand.

The manual guides the assembly of the full model but many other configurations are possible, just like the real crane.  This includes using parts as transport loads.

The model looks particularly impressive with a suitable load.


This is a high quality model with nicely made parts which fit together very well.

The paintwork and graphics are equally high quality throughout.


It is good value for the quality offered.


This is another excellent Manitowoc model from Towsleys.  It has great detailing, and very good functionality.  A big plus point is the flexibility of the model with the use of bolted connections throughout allowing huge variety of display.


The model was marketed under the Towsleys brand name and was engineered by Weiss Brothers.  It was released in September 2017 after having been announced at Bauma 2016.

Top tray.
Parts make very good transport loads.
The manual.
Interesting mini diorama with other models.
Impressive with main boom and back mast.
Detailed graphics on the cab.
Counterweight slid out for heavy lifting.
Nice track frames. 
Complex lattice work.