N Finally! A Buildable, Affordable Hulett Unloader

Pete Nolan Sep 12, 2020

  1. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    The new Hulett Unloader is built from 12 3D printed subassemblies that require no special modeling skills besides gluing together a few parts. Read below for the history of the Huletts on the Great Lakes.
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    Rather than hundreds of .015 styrene parts that had to be removed from a styrene sheet, laminated together, and then assembled into dozens of subassemblies, the new Hulett kit is composed of 12 subassemblies, many of them one or two pieces, such as the base and base tails (too long for the 3D printer) that used to be at least 40 parts and the single piece tower that used to be at least 20 parts.
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    The base is equipped with 4 “D” bogies or 16 wheels in total. These are Micro Trains Z scale wheelsets that snap into the 3D printed bogies, so the Huletts can travel parallel to the dock side on ready-to-run Z scale tracks (not supplied).
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    The tower assembly has two “A” bogies and two “C” bogies or eight wheels in total. These run on code 40 rails (supplied) that must be gauged for the wheelsets. A track gauge is supplied to make this easier for inexperienced modelers. The tower assembly moved forward so that the bucket extended over the ship’s hold, descended into the hold for a ten-ton load, then raised and moved backwards to drop the load into a weighing car, which then dropped the load into the Larry [sic] car which traveled over the loading tracks. A single Hulett could load up to eight tracks.
    For more details, see https://nscaleships.com/n-z-scale-ship-index/hulett-automatic-unloader/
     
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  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Are those for loading coal into barges?
     
  3. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    They were used to unload Great Lakes freighters of iron ore, coal, etc. They were not used for loading.
     
  4. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    To clarify a bit: The loaders were "Up Lake", that is on Lake Superior. They are usually long elevated structures at dockside. Ore cars from the Missabe range in Minnesota were pushed atop these structure and unloaded into bins.The chutes from the bins were spaced 24' O.C, the same as the hatches on the ore boats. It is not unusual to see a ship being loaded three or four chutes at a time. The ship did not move as various chutes were deployed. The loading was evened out so that one end or the middle of the ship was not overloaded, causing the keel to hump or sink in the middle. At the other end "Down Lake" were the steel mills. The buckets on the Hulett were a little less wide than the hatch openings. Because the Huletts were wider than 24', they could not be used in pairs to unload adjacent hatches. But they were positioned along the bottom tracks to move from hatch to hatch. This method of unloading came to an end in the 1990s as the ships were converted to self-unloading. Still, either end presents many modeling opportunities for one of the railroad's main revenue businesses.
     
    rray likes this.
  5. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Rray, look them up on youtube. Wild machines. Im pretty sure the operators cab is within the boom directly above the bucket and he would look out the oval openings on the side.

    The operator would actually go down into the hold with the bucket.

    Some where there is a video showing a front end loader being lowered onto a hold.
     
    rray likes this.
  6. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes, the operator rode directly above the bucket and I believe shifts were limited to two hours. They often lowered a front end loader into the hold to clean up the last scraps that the bucket couldn't get itself.
     
    rray likes this.

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