Northwest Model 6

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Northwest 6 Rear View
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Side view
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Murphy Engine

This shovel appears on here with the testimony of its owner in Canada:

This picture shows our new grader and the first machine we acquired, a Model 6 Northwest Crane(Clyde). It started life as a grade shovel but with boom change, a bit of guarding, and a Young 3-point grapple it became a fairly god logging machine. I used it for log loading and shovel logging(we call it hoe-chucking up here)but nowadays we do it all with excavators. Clyde has a Murphy diesel and still runs like a charm. I'm not sure how old the machine is but it is all "armstrong" controls, no air-assist anywhere.

I know little about these machines, except that the sold in fairly small numbers and had an excellent reputation as this writer attests to. They had a Murphy Diesel engine which was a large, heavy engine, almost a counter weight in itself, that turned slowly and ran a long time. The murphy's are recognizable as lookig like no other engine you have ever seen. The block is very squarish and as wide at the top as the bottom, and as you can see from the photo, the fondness for cast iron goes clear to the top of the engine.

Right hand cabs on old shovels was the norm. IT took 3 arms and 2 feet to operate one. They typically had 2 drums that you used all the time with each drum taking a foot brake to hold the brake, and a hand lever to engage the friction for the wind up. You used your third arm to work the swing lever. Usually things were hooked to the right drum was used the most leaving the left arm for the secondary drum and the swing.

Although a good machine, it is typical of the technology used by North American manufacturers right up to the time that Japan flooded the market with small, fast hydraulic excavators, and Northwest along with virtually all other North American manufacturers of similar equipment disappeared.

The company itself, didn't quite disappear. Northwest Engineering company was acquired by Terex in 1983(There was a major recession in 1980 followed by the Japanese onslaught of excavators which took out most of the traditional names in this type of machinery). Northwest was merged out of existence into Terex in 1988.

- - Updated 12/20/2012
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- - Created 5/27/07
- - Updated 03/27/2008