Hulett Automatic Unloader

N Scale Hulett Unloader Kit Now Shipping




This is a challenging kit, with many parts and subassemblies, but at least no compound curves as in my ships. Prospective builders may want to view the kit directions at  The directions are still incomplete, but should be completed by March 1. 2017.

The standard kit is $149.00 plus $12.00 shipping. The standard kit includes all the styrene parts and brass railings and stairways. The bogies for the base and the moving platform are dummies: N or Z scale wheels can be substituted by the builder. The standard kit does not include rails for the moving platform and ore larry tracks, nor hinging hardware for the four places where the walking beam, vertical beam and supports meet–I suggest 1/16″ tubing inside of 3/32″ tubing bearings. A deluxe kit with code 40 rails for the moving platform and ore larry tracks, plus tubing for hinge points is $179.00 plus $12.00 shipping.

I am not accepting orders for completed models at this time, as the price would be unrealistically high.

The Z scale version of this model has been postponed indefinitely. The Z scale bracing became too thin to cut, so some scaling up of the dimensions will be necessary. Also, I have not received any interest from Z scale modelers.

History (Condensed From Wikipedia):

The Hulett was invented by George Hulett; he received a patent in 1898. The first working machine was built the following year.

The Hulett machine revolutionized iron ore shipment on the Great Lakes. Previous methods of unloading lake freighters, involving hoists and buckets and much hand labor, cost approximately 18¢/ton. Unloading with Huletts cost only 5¢/ton. Unloading only took 5–10 hours, as opposed to days for previous methods. Lake boats changed to accommodate the Hulett unloader, and became much larger, doubling in length and quadrupling in capacity.

By 1913, 54 Hulett machines were in service,  the vast majority along the shores of Lake Erie. A total of approximately 75 Huletts were built. The last ones were used until about 1992, when self-unloading boats were standard on the American side of the lake. All have since been scrapped.