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I've been looking at various locos, specifically on ebay, which are listed as 'Big Haulers'. Frankly, the prices are all over the map and I'm not sure what one is buying. I saw one advertised with an R/C control that ran on 'C' batteries, listed as a 'BH'r'. So, is there something more definitive regarding the name, construction, quality? You guys said in another post the 'Anniversary' models had more detail. My real question goes to the mechanics, I can always add 'detail'.
 

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Most of my Engines are are Big Haulers, they run fine, yes the Annie's have more detail. One I got on E-bay was the Emmett Kelly Circus (this is their old circus train) and it does run as promised, but it has poor sound and does not seam to have the pulling other of my other Big Haulers. Thought it is true, Bachmann will still warranty repair this engines, as for the battery units I have never used thiers but due to when they came out I would be suspicious of them as having any power. I got my first G-Scale from The Train Stop on E-Bay, he was honist, it was a new unit and was a good price. Good luck with the purches and let us know what you got.
 

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There are five generations of Big Hauler gearboxes. The very first BH was the RC one that took 6 D cells. It had plastic wheels and ran on plastic track. It was my first large scale train when I pcked one up in a second hand store. It has all since been bashed into other stuff.
When looking at the BH's you want to stick to the fifth and most current drive train. It is the same one used in the Annie version. It is all well documented here - http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips1/big_hauler_tips.html.

-Brian
 

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Cap’nBill,
The Bachmann Big Hauler has been around so long that the various versions are referred to by a generation number. The early generations had poor drives and spawned after market drive replacements (Barry’s Big Trains). The latest generations have good drives.
Its not easy to tell from an Ebay auction what generation the Big Hauler is. The very first Big Haulers were R/C battery powered. Buyer beware! As GlacierBill mentioned, Bachmann will stand behind their warranty and fix any broken Big Hauler for a small fee, so you have a bit of a safety net.
As for price, check the prices of new starter sets from the big on-line stores. All Bachmann steam locomotive starter sets use the Big Hauler. This will give you a base price for the auctions, or decide to minimize the risk and buy from them. If you don’t mind waiting (hard for a new guy
) there are sometimes real bargains in starter sets. Sam’s Club has been known to price their Christmas set as low as $50.00 after Christmas.

Dave
 

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Posted By Cap'nBill on 01/07/2009 9:36 AM
I've been looking at various locos, specifically on ebay, which are listed as 'Big Haulers'.  Frankly, the prices are all over the map and I'm not sure what one is buying.  I saw one advertised with an R/C control that ran on 'C' batteries, listed as a 'BH'r'.  So, is there something more definitive regarding the name, construction, quality?  You guys said in another post the 'Anniversary' models had more detail.  My real question goes to the mechanics, I can always add 'detail'.

I think the first BH was battery powered and "radio controlled." It may even have run on plastic track.


Wow, I guess everyone was posting an answer at the same time! 
 

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Posted By Cap'nBill on 01/07/2009 9:36 AM
I've been looking at various locos, specifically on ebay, which are listed as 'Big Haulers'. Frankly, the prices are all over the map and I'm not sure what one is buying. I saw one advertised with an R/C control that ran on 'C' batteries, listed as a 'BH'r'. So, is there something more definitive regarding the name, construction, quality? You guys said in another post the 'Anniversary' models had more detail. My real question goes to the mechanics, I can always add 'detail'.

Bachmann has made many variations of the "Big Hauler" the first was a one powered by Batteries have plastic wheels and the mechanism is junk and is basically only good for parts.... /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif

The next variations of the "Big Hauler" were track powered but still had a very weak mechanism, when the they failed many were re-powered by Barry Big Trains drives (which will pull paint off the walls.... :) :)

The last two variations of the "Big Hauler" both have the same great mechanism and can be reconized by the rubber lube port on the bottom they are the ones that are curently sold in sets and in the highly detail Anniversary Editon ("Annie") that although costing a little more with the added detail are well worth the extra money.... :) :) :)
 

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As everyone has said there are many versions. George Schreyer's site is great for describing them. The early Big Haulers were reallly junky, most recent Big Haulers are I think very good. As mentioned, look for the lube port on the bottom. If you can swing it or find one, and "Annie" is way better detailed. I found a Christmas annie on ebay, brand new, for 72 bucks. The I cut it up intoan 0-6-0 switcher. They are a great way to start but I have to confess they bug me--they just don't look right. Kevin Strong says he thinks there's something wrong wit the proportions of the boiler. I think they're a little cartoonish. But then I like more mainline , east coast oriented stuff. I have an Annie and it's comically huge next to an aristo Pacific. Does it scale out accurately to 1:24? 1:22? I can't tell.
 

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The Big Hauler's out of Christmas set although the mechanism is the same as true the "Anniversary" Big Hauler, the "Anniversary" model has a much higher level of detail some of which are even metal...and worth the additional cost
BYW The big Hauler is a 1:22.5 model of a narrow gauge engine from the “Tweetsierailroad (actually the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad).....


This is an example of a Big Hauler out of Set great mechanism, plastic details and side rods......



This is an example of an Anniversary Big Hauler great mechanism,with a higher level of details and metal side rods and valve gear......

Here is the “Tweetsie” engine in action.......
 

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I'm adding my 2 cents only to try to encourage manufacturers to tell us what scale models they are producing. I just read an add in MR for this loco, and nowhere does it tell us what scale it is. My rule is that I won't buy anything unless the manufacturer tells me what scale it is. If they don't, I assume it isn't a scale model at all, and only a child's toy. That's why I don't/won't own any LGB and why I won't buy this loco. Why is this so difficult for them to tell us? Thank you USA Trains, and it's why I own your trains and not others.
 

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The Bachmann Big Haulers are all 22.5 to 1 scale. At the time these were introduced it was assumed that LGB had set the scale for the G-Gauge line. But 22.5 is the scale for the track as "Metre" gauge.

The Bachmann Spectrum line is 20.3 scale which means the track is recognised as 3 foot narrow-gauge. (Except for the first Spectrum,"Lyn" which was 22.5 to 1).

Barry
 

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"Annie" big haulers refers to the "10th Anniversary edition" that came out about 10 years ago..
there are now two different "generations" of Annies, both are good..

Easy way to tell if the Big Hauler in question is a more modern version, with the desirable drivetrain,
or an earlier version, with the less desirable drivetrain..
just look at the valve gear and side rods.
If they are made of metal, its good.
if they are made of plastic, its an older version, not so good.

(yes, it is true there are *some* more modern Big Haulers with the plastic rods *and* the Gen 5 drive..So its not an absolute rule,
but *in general* if you follow the "metal running gear" rule, and buy only the one with metal running gear, you will be in good shape.)

Metal valve gear, main rods and side rods:Big Hauler with metal running gear, photo 1
Big Hauler with metal valve gear, photo 2
the metal is quite shiny, easy to tell from the plastic versions..
there are also two different styles of valve gear on the "annies"..Walschaerts and Stevenson:
Walschaerts
Stevenson


Older version, Plastic valve gear, main rods and side rods.. I would avoid these:
Big Hauler with plastic running gear.
Big Hauler with plastic running gear, photo 2.
note the the side rods are grey plastic, the difference between the metal and plastic rods is easy to distinguish in photos once you get used to seeing them.

Scot
 

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Maybe more than you wanted to know.... courtesy of George Schreyer
http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips1/big_hauler_tips.html

Now for my personal observations from ones I've owned.
Gen 1 (battery powered r/c) = plastic wheels, flat bottom, no plug = total crap mechanics + eats batteries = good only for a parts donor.

Gen 2 (1st track powered) = metal wheels, flat bottom, no plug =motor tends to overheat + plating flakes off the wheels, but pretty good gear reduction = mostly good only for a parts donor

Gen 3 = more wheel flaking + so-so mechanicals + Higher gear ratio means more chance of blown gears = Okay for VERY light duty (as in 1 car and caboose - or - two coaches preferably on r3 or larger curves) or for parts

Gen 4 = gear bulge on bottom cover = never owned one. After getting burnt by the first 3 I was kind of gun-shy about bug maulers for many years.

Gen 5/Annie = offset gear bulge AND inspection plug on bottom cover = Actually pretty darn good for the price. If LGB is a Cadillac, these are Buick solid.

Gen 6 (revised 5th gen drive with metal gears + improved pony truck mounting) = don't know. I haven't found one in my price range.

If the seller doesn't show the bottom of the loco, ask. If you get a BS response (or none), assume it's a craptacular one. As forwhat each version is "worth", I'll bow to my Gram's sage advice, "Any object is worth EXACTLY what 2 idiots (buyer and seller) can agree upon."
 

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I'm new to Large Scale and still learning. I'm posting here to reiterate what others have said, and it's an important point. I had "learned" that Bachmann was 1:20.3 scale. It turns out that they also make 1:22.5 scale, which they call "Big Haulers". I'm still new enough in G after many decades of HO that scale is still important to me. Although, they are trying hard to break me, I'm still resisting and only bent.
 

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Yep, the manufacturers broke me. I've been at this for about 8 years (garden railroading, I've been a model railroader for many more years than that). I'm mostly 1:29 but I have people, buildings and autos that are 1:24, and I have a few big haulers that are 1:22.5. If it looks close to right I run it. I have friends who mix 1:32 to 1:20.3. It doesn't bother them, so I don't let it bother me.
Bob
 
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