A fair few of the Dutch builders that I occasionally hang out with are very much into building heavy-duty trucks and construction equipment, such as cranes or mining excavators. And they tend to like to build them BIG. I’ve dabbled a bit in the genre, but I’ve always been somewhat the odd one out in our little group, mainly building smaller models. And I’ve gone progressively smaller: in recent years more and more of my models are scaled for minifigures. I rarely have the time or patience to build really big things. I am also running out of space to display large models.
If you take a big crane and build it to a small scale, you still end up with a fairly substantial model, though. Case in point: my Liebherr LTM-1350 mobile crane, as operated by the Dutch company Mammoet (Mammoth). Despite its relatively small scale, there is just enough room for some functionality. For instance, the crane’s outriggers and boom can extend and it has working steering on five of its six axles. When fully extended, its boom reaches a height of close to a metre (about three feet). Furthermore, cranes like this may be mobile, but they do require a fleet of support vehicles. This includes a separate truck to carry its counter-weights. The crane’s crew also tends to have a small “pool car” to drive around. If the crane is in transit, an escort van usually accompanies the convoy. The small scale meant I could build all of them.
You’ve heard of concept cars, but how about concept construction vehicles? Builder Pierre E Fieschi built just that with his slick, orange Liebherr Tunnelier. This tunneling powerhouse looks capable of boring some serious holes, perfect for starting your own subway system or mineral excavation. I love the modern look of Pierre’s model, which features tread links around each individual wheel as opposed to a continuous tread along each side. If this isn’t enough Liebherr for you, be sure to read our review of the LEGO Technic Liebherr R 9800 Excavator!
While assembling the latest and the biggest LEGO Technic set ever, I came up with countless versions of the introductory paragraph for this review. However, once I turned this thing on and spend some time operating it, it became clear that none of my paragraphs work better than raw facts about the set which speak for themselves. So, here is LEGO Technic 42100 Liebherr R 9800 Excavator, the biggest LEGO Technic set ever with 4,108 pieces, among which are 7 Powered Up motors and 2 smart-hub. The finished model weighs around 6 kg / 13.2 lbs (including the weight of 12 AA cells). This is a fully motorized copy that can be controlled via a smartphone or a tablet and it is all as good as it sounds. With impressive numbers comes an impressive price tag; the set is available for US $449.99 | CAN $549.99 | UK £399.99. And here comes the most important question: is the set worth the money? Let’s build it, test it and find out.
Click here to read the review…
LEGO Technic is getting bigger this year, with the Liebherr R 9800 Excavator (42100) clocking in at a massive 4,108 pieces, making it officially the biggest Technic set ever. It’s now available for pre-order from LEGO.com for US $449.99 | CAN $549.99 | UK £399.99. Although the site doesn’t list its release date, we expect it to be Oct. 1 based on the previously released catalog. Using a customized version of new Control+ app that we just featured in our review of the brand new LEGO Technic 4×4 X-treme Off-Roader (42099), the giant mining excavator has not one but two smart hubs and seven motors.
Check out all the details of this huge new set below. Like Technic? Be sure to check out the just-announced 2,500-piece LEGO Technic Range Rover Defender (42110).
Leibherr mobile cranes are like buses, two come along at once and you are not sure which to jump in. Thankfully we can admire both of YU KEE LIU‘s builds as these all-terrain mobile cranes are fantastic in both accuracy and build quality. The first build depicts the Liebherr LTM 1350 mobile crane and the model is capable of extending, lifting items and moving them on its rotating axis.
Yu Kee Liu has managed an impressive feat of engineering with his LEGO version as you can see from a view with the crane arm extended.
Click to see an even larger LEGO version of a Liebherr mobile crane