Review: 42094 Tracked Loader

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Cranes, fork lifts and diggers are the mainstay of Technic's industrial machine assortment but recently the designers seem to have something of a fixation with logging and timber handling equipment: 42094 Tracked Loader is the third one to be produced in 4 years.

Let's find out if this item of plant should be added to your fixed asset list...


Box and contents

The machine certainly looks impressive on the front of the box, although the operator appears to have dropped half the load.

View image at flickr

The back shows the B model which is a tracked timber transportation vehicle. Instructions for it will be available online, but are not yet.

View image at flickr

As is par for the course for Technic sets, it contains an extensive sticker sheet.

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The 824 pieces are packed in unnumbered bags. There are no new parts. They are a few re-colours but nothing particularly significant caught my eye other than some dark grey curved wing panels.


Construction

Building begins with the chassis and a small gearbox at the back which is linked to a winch.

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That is then clad in panels to form the back of the vehicle.

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The cab is built as a separate subassembly which is attached to the turntable on the chassis using pins.

View image at flickr

The grabber arm is added to the front, via the linear actuator, which will provide fine control over its movement.

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Finally, the underframe is built and connected to the body via pins. Thus, the machine is quite modular and should you wish to deconstruct it slightly to reduce its size for storage it should be possible to do so without too much disassembly.

The third, higher, wheel within the tracks is mounted on a spring-loaded beam which helps keep the track taut.

View image at flickr


The completed model

It's about 35 cm long and 14cm wide. It certainly looks like it's ready for action, with its wide tracks, toothed loader and reinforced cab.

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There's a red fire extinguisher on the side: a detail that has been added to a few Technic models recently.

View image at flickr

The stickers certainly improve its appearance but it would look alright without them, too.

View image at flickr


Functionality

Grabber

The vehicle's main functionality concerns the grabber, which can be raised and lowered, and opened and closed.

Turning the rear-most gear on the top of the body raises and lowers it via the linear actuator. It can be moved from ground level, to an angle of about 45 degrees.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The claw is opened and closed by moving the red bush on the side of the arm back and forth.

View image at flickr

When closed it grips the 2x2 log securely.

View image at flickr

Rotating cab

The cab is mounted on a turntable and can be rotated by turning the gear on the top of the body nearest to it.

Using the gear to turn it is totally pointless because it can be more easily rotated by hand.

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The side doors both open to enable access

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Inside, there's an impressive number of levers and lights, and a stickered control panel.

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Winch

The vehicle is equipped with a winch at the rear which is operated by turning the gear on the right hand side. There's a gearbox, which is switched from neutral to fast or slow, by the red Bionicle eye piece at the rear of the body. This affects the rate at which the string is wound back onto the spool.

The red bush under the bodywork is attached to a piece that meshes with a gear to prevent the string from spooling out once its been attached to a load. It needs to be raised by hand and held there to wind it back in.

View image at flickr


Verdict

Two of the three mechanisms are totally pointless. The gear to rotate the cab is superfluous and the gearbox to adjust the speed of winding the string in is unnecessary. It's as if it's only been added because otherwise there's little other functionality.

I suppose, however, that it may have some educational benefit to those that might not be familiar with gearboxes and gear ratios.

Despite this, I really like it! It's an interesting machine, something that hasn't been produced in Technic before, and which looks tough enough to tackle anything the forest can throw at it.

I particularly like the use of the new 'macaroni' piece (design 25214), used for the pipework on the body and bars on the cab, which helps soften the straight lines and angles of the rest of it.

It'll be available just after Christmas for £54.99 and $79.99. For 827 pieces, the UK price in particular seems quite reasonable for a change.

View image at flickr


Thanks to LEGO for providing the set for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

 

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11 comments on this article

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By in Bulgaria,

Technic doesn't often catch my eye but this one stood out to me. The graphic design team at Lego is top notch, especially when it comes to their fictional brands. Brutalis with the rhinohead is excellent stuff.

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By in United States,

Thanks for the review.

I think at least part of the motivation for the different speeds of the winch has to do with the different levels of torque associated with the different gear ratios. The slower speed (lower gear) should be able to pull a heavier object. Whether that makes any practical difference with the logs I don't know, but it could make a difference when towing a different/heavier object.

Racing Brick's review (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le4qJ0Kv9aY) indicated the turntable could rotate completely, and he demonstrated it doing so around the 2 minute mark. Did I understand you correctly that your cabin was unable to do a full 360 degree rotation?

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By in United States,

The timber industry is large here in Oregon, so this set caught my eye, however It seems a bit underwhelming...

A US-style log truck would be a sure-fire winner in our region. The Log Skidder (aka 60181: Forest Tractor) sold out quickly at every store here!

I think I'll save my cashola for the MINI set instead.

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By in Canada,

"Using the gear to turn it is totally pointless because it can be more easily rotated by hand."

I mean using a Lego toy to pick up a plastic log is totally pointless when it's easier to do by hand, but that's not really the point at all.

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By in United Kingdom,

@snowymike, you are right about the cab. I should have had the model on the table when writing the review!

@willobee498, well, yes you have a point but when the control is about 20mm from the thing it's controlling it just seemed a bit pointless to me!

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By in United States,

@Huw, you're right! He did drop half the load!

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By in Canada,

@Huw Yeah I much prefer when controls are tucked away at the back. Helps to make it a bit more "believable" during play.

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By in United States,

Hmm. This is quite disappointing. This model, as well as the other 2019 models just don't stack up aesthetically and functionally even remotely against the Technics of the past in my eyes. The only exception perhaps is the new 2019 super car, but that's a different beast altogether. I haven't purchased a new Technic since 2016, even though I am a fan who is trying hard to find an excuse to buy one. What is going on? 1998-2002 dejavu, anyone?

Thank you for the review, anyways.

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By in United Kingdom,

I think it looks good, but having the grabber mechanism operated from a point on the arm is exceptionally lazy design, particularly given the superfluous mechanisms implemented elsewhere. It's that sort of thing that puts me completely off certain technic models. On my first technic set, the yellow 856 Bulldozer from way back in 1979, you were able to operate both the lift and tipping of the bucket from controls at the back. And with modern parts the whole thing can be built fully-functional in half the size. Now how is a feature like that too hard to achieve in a modern technic set?

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By in United Kingdom,

^ totally agree.

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By in United Kingdom,

If you *need* one of these for Christmas, they are on the shelf in The Entertainer in Cardiff city centre, I managed to avoid being i’d just emptied my wallet on retiring sets in the Lego shop!

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