Northwest Engineering Knowledge

Does this picture make you happy or sad? Angry or peaceful? Your answer will probably depend on how you see a glass of water. Are they half full or half empty? Personally, I’m glad these machines are lined up here. They still exist and maybe their parts will allow other shovels to be reborn or continue to operate. In this lineup I believe the shovels toward the right that are displaying the Northwest nameplate are Model 80-D’s. Arguably the most iconic and long last design to ever roll from the shops at Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Northwest Model 80-D

The model 80 proved to be a great triumph for Northwest with 2,600 being shipped to locations worldwide since 1933. Fourteen years later the Model 80-D with the instantly recognizable “bread box” housing would enter the market and remain a constant for decades to come. Fun fact, no one at Northwest remembers why the D was added to the name. Diesel maybe? Dracula? Probably not. But I can tell you I learned all this key information from Northwest Engineering Company, a Photographic Collection Volume II by M.E. Follsom and M. Torres.


Northwest Model 80D

And here we see what I believe to be another Model 80-D being ran by the preeminent Northwest operator of all times, Everette DeBerry. At 81 years young Everette puts all other operators to shame with unmatched skill and knowledge of these machines. Some have said watching him behind the controls of shovel is like watching a world class surgeon at work. The man and machine become one.

Below, a whole mix of stuff with more Northwest Machines and probably a few other makes and models. Thank you to Dave for sharing. And thank you to Folsom and Torres for putting together a truly wonderful history of Northwest machines. I highly encourage any heavy equipment fans to check out their work. Volume II contains over 200 pages of photos of machines in action, factory mock ups, vintage advertising, one off models and more. I’ve spent hours flipping through the book and always find something new just when I thought I’ve seen it all. Truly outstanding work.

For Volume I click here.

A tip of the hat to the person that can tell me what that poor old crane carcass once was!

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8 Responses to Northwest Engineering Knowledge

  1. David Kingsbury says:

    It is Sad to see them Like that but the Idea that Parts from these Machines could be used to Prolong the Lives of other Northwest Rigs is a Comforting Thought.
    Truly A Classic Rugged Rig. If you wan’t the Job Done get a Northwest to do it!!!!!
    It would be nice to see some Photo’s of Older American, Bucyrus-Erie, Link-Belt, Lima, Koehring, Marion and Manitowoc Machines too!

  2. Matt says:

    Eric ,

    The carcass is an NW Model 6 with cushion air controls. The shell of the once proud machine features the classic NW breadbox house. You can tell it’s a Model 6 by the absence of hook rollers. Hook rollers were introduce to help insure alignment of the upper rotating base (house) and the lower rotating base thus reducing fatigue on the slew ring . The Model 6 enjoyed the longest production life of all NW models. First introduced in 1930 and upgraded through the years when finally pulled from production in 1980. For some reason Model 6 was the only model type not to receive the hook roller upgrades in the late 1930’s early 1940’s. It’s whole production life the roatating base stayed the same. This variant would been produced between 1963 and 1973 up in GB.Air controls being introduced on the Model 6 bread box house in 1963 and then the modern house w/ capsule cab being introduce in 1973.
    Not sure what kind of attachment it had though.

  3. Kyson says:

    I know where a model 95 is

  4. Kyson says:

    It was used to build interstate 2059 Tuscaloosa area

  5. Kyson says:

    I’ll take a pic and post soon

  6. Roy says:

    What does an 80d weigh approximately set up as a dragline if that matters
    Just a ballpark

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