1961 Link-Belt LS98 Shovel

ls98shovel.jpg - 30383 Bytes
Link Belt LS98 Shovel

Sorry about no expansion on this beauty, but what you see is what you get. Link Belt was a classic maker of machines such as this. One of the unique things about these machines is that they were multipurpose. The machine shown here is with a classic 'shovel', however the boom just pinned on, and could be converted to a lattice boom crane, a dragline, backhoe, or a heel boom log loader by simply changing the boom. The engine power in this model was the classic Detroit Diesel 6-71.

The shovel is interesting and a classic, but most have been scrapped now. the basic shovel design you see here started out as a 'steam shovel' with a boiler in back for power and evolved to a diesel engine. You needed about 3 arms to operate one. A basic machine of this style had two main drums, and you had a foot brake and a hand clutch for each drum so you could wind up the cable and hold it with the foot brake. You got one of those for each foot and each hand. Then there would be another lever nearby which was the swing lever. Push or Pull that and a friction would be engaged to swing the house. the house would swing free on gravity so if you were off level it would not stay where you put it.

I believe some models may have had swing brakes.

In addition to the main line there was a boom hoist line which you used to elevate the boom to the desired level and then it was dogged and locked there. Finally the 4th line that you might have is a 'tag line' Some times this was a rope tied where you could reach it, and other times it might be on a winch. IN the Shovel configuration, you had to pull the rope to release the latch that held the trap door on the bottom of the bucket. You pulled the bucket forward with the line on the end of the boom to fill the bucket and then lifted the bucked up, but to get the material out of the bucket you then released a latch and the back of the bucket opened on gravity and the material fell out the back of the bucket. when you set the bucket back down the door would swing closed and hopefully latch.

Shovels dominated earthmoving from the last have of the 19th century until the 1960's when the hydraulic excavator began to appear. During the 1970's the hydraulic excavator took over and by the recession in the early 80's, the shovel makers mostly disappeared and the shovels around went for scrap. These things not only look awkward to use, they were. Prior to World War II the shovel had all the market for digging. Then the front end loader invaded their turf and much scooping up and loading was done with front end loaders, but the end of the road was the hydraulic excavator.

This machine has a life

Dateline 1/26/2009:

Today the following email materialized about this machine right in my very own email box. It's always exciting to me when a stray machine that I just happened to get a photo of is claimed by its owner who can provide some personal details of the life and use of a machine posted on this site. Here is what I got:

My name is Brandon Deatley and I'm emailing concerning the Link-belt LS-98 shovel you have pictured. My brother and I bought it from the Ritchie Bros Auction in Olympia,Wa. It is a 1961 and was bought new by Weyerhauser, Pe Ell,WA. It was run by one person as long as they had it. When they sold it, the guy that ran it for them bought it and used it in his gravel pit for a few years and then sold it to a man named Bill Ladermeer(I'm not sure of how to spell his name) anyhoo then Bill kept it for some years and was going to put a heel boom on it but never got around to it. And also he was maybe going to use it for parts for his other LS-98 highwalker heelboom (which is a very nice machine still in running condition and used a little). But he never did either. He sent it to the auction just to get rid of it. So thats the story of the 98. I was very happy to see pics of it and that somebody else thought it was kinda cool too. We bought it just so it wouldn't get cut up. Now it is retirement mostly but we still load with it every now and again.
Thanks a million.
Brandon Deatley of Deatley Bros Logging.
Mineral,Wa.

ED Note: I believe I acquired the first photo in 2006 while the machine was at the Ritchie Bros. Auction yard which is nominally at Olympia, but technically at Maytown (exit 95) of I-5.

- - Updated 01/05/2013
- - Updated 01/26/2009
- - Updated 04/20/2008
- - Updated 6/10/2006
- - Updated 03/20/2008