The subject(s) of this month’s article occupy a unique niche in the history of elevating scrapers as they are both one and the same machine! Fitting in the nine cubic yard capacity range, the other surprising fact is that they only ever had two competitors. By Richard Campbell
The period starting from the mid-1960s saw the rise in popularity of the elevating scraper.
While the concept was not exactly a new one (appearing around 1950), it is interesting to note that the elevating scraper idea was apparently conceived around the same time by two different companies, Johnson and Hancock, both from Lubbock, Texas!
Some sources quote J.E.’Gene’ Hancock as the actual inventor of the system while others insist it was Johnson. We may never know for sure.
Hancock certainly had the most success as an individual company with the elevating scraper.
As well as building both towed and self propelled machines for themselves, it also produced scraper bowls for LeTourneau-Westinghouse/Wabco, Allis-Chalmers, Euclid/Terex, M.R.S, Clark-Michigan, and up until 1961, John Deere.
In fact, Clark-Michigan had so much success with them that it eventually bought out Hancock in 1966 and subsequently ran it as a separate division (hence identical machines under different brand names).
Johnson, on the other hand, after producing several designs of towed elevating scraper, landed contracts with International-Harvester and Caterpillar to provide those companies with elevating scraper bowls.
This worked well for Johnson up until around 1968 when Johnson was bought out by Caterpillar who felt that the Johnson product suited its operating model.
One of the first new products off the Johnson assembly line was a small 11 cubic yard self-propelled elevating scraper powered with a Caterpillar 3160 truck engine – the Caterpillar 613.
Just FYI – Hancock and Johnson bowl differences
The major difference between the two companies’ bowls was in their method of ejection.
Hancock featured a fixed cutting edge with retractable floor and drop down strike off plate while on a Johnson manufactured scraper, the entire cutting edge and floor retracted.
Both featured bulldozer ejectors to push out the final portion of the load.
Either method has its plus and minus features
The subject of this month’s feature is a very interesting little unit.
Designed and built by Hancock as its Model 192, the same machine was also sold by Clark-Michigan as the Model 110-9.
Both machines were introduced in late 1972 with the Michigan branded machine marketed worldwide and the Hancock branded machine marketed only in North & South America.
Target market for this machine was the smaller utility contractor as well as small land developers and real estate subdivision builders.
With a nine cubic yard heaped rating, the little Hancock unit weighed barely fourteen tons empty and was legally roadable just about anywhere.
It could be driven from job to job without reliance on a lowboy for transport, thus saving the owner costs.
Hancock called its new baby the Model 192 and chose a Cummins V504 V8 diesel to power it. The Cummins V504 produced 160 flywheel horsepower.
As Hancock were, by this stage, an operating division of Clark, it also had to produce a machine for Clark-Michigan which Michigan called the Model 110-9.
Both machines were identical apart from their separate corporate colour schemes.
With quite a pugnacious looking front end, the 110-9/192 was not a particularly attractive little machine, but the forward mounted standard ROPS cab gave the operator superb forward visibility.
Hancock naturally used an all-Clark drivetrain – four-speed powershift transmission, driveline, differential and planetary final drives.
Commonality was a feature of the machine as certain components of the drive train were utilized in other Clark manufactured products.
This cut down on parts inventory requirements if the contractor owned other items of Clark equipment.
Both axles were equipped with air over hydraulic, double caliper disc brakes which gave the machine good stopping ability, essential if the machine was to be roaded between assignments.
While the drive train was heavily Clark influenced, the bowl was of typical Hancock construction and featured a fixed cutting edge and sliding bowl floor with a drop-down strike off plate and short-stroke bulldozer type ejector.
Four ripper teeth with replaceable tips could be fitted to the centre cutting edge to break up particularly hard soil.
If there was a weak spot on the machine it was probably the elevator drive mechanism.
The machine had a typical ladder type elevator with 15 flights.
This was hydraulically driven from the bottom of the assembly, unlike other elevators which normally had their drive motor(s) at the top.
Being constantly in the dirt, this environment proved very hard on seals, piping and the constant hammering of the load passing through caused elevator gearbox failures.
Hancock never altered the design however, and it stayed the same for the machines entire production span.
With the major worldwide downturn in construction which occurred in the early 1980s, Clark were forced to discontinue production of a great many machines, including their entire motor scraper range.
The production line closed for good in 1982.
While Clark as a Corporate entity still exists to this day, its motor scraper range was never reintroduced.
The author could not establish just how many of these machines were manufactured.
Michigan/Hancock were not alone in the nine cubic yard elevator market, and had two major competitors who totally dominated this end of the market, International-Harvester and Wabco.
Both machines were very successful for their respective Companies.
The New Zealand Connection
As far as your author can ascertain, no Michigan 110-9’s, and certainly no Hancock 192’s were imported (Hancock as a Company, had no representation in New Zealand).
Records for Andrews & Beavan, the NZ dealer for Clark-Michigan, do not list any imports of the Model 110-9.
For the Model Collector
There are currently no models available in any scale of the Michigan 110-9 or Hancock 192.
In fairness to the model manufacturers, this is a very small machine, and to make something passably accurate in 1:50 scale would result in a very delicate little model indeed.
It also had quite a short production life and a ‘low profile’ in service, which would also make it a bit of a marketing gamble.
Brief Specifications – Michigan 110-9/Hancock 192
Engine: Cummins V504-C V8 diesel rated at 160 flywheel horsepower
at 2600 rpm
Transmission: Clark 4-speed countershaft type powershift with extra loading
Top Speed: 32 mph
Brakes: Air over hydraulic double caliper disc
Std.Tyres: 18.00 x 25, 12-ply E2 or E3 type
Steering: Fully hydraulic, two cylinders gooseneck mounted
Turn Circle: 27’ 8”
Capacity: 9 cubic yards heaped
Operation: All hydraulic
Flights: 15, 6’5 long
Length: 28’ 7”
Width: 8’ 2”
Height: 9’ 6”
Operating Weight: 14 tons (empty), 25 tons (loaded)