The inventor of the walking spider excavator

Ernst Menzi (1897-1984) was not just a genius inventor, he was also a born entrepreneur. He was a strongly influential figure in the history of the Menzi Muck walking excavator. Thanks to the success, his thoughts and ideas live on beyond his death to confirm Ernst Menzi's position as an inventor and forward-thinking entrepreneur.

Corporate video clip from 1982

The first walking spider excavator conquered the world from Widnau

Menzi Muck's unstoppable triumph was launched in 1966. Until then, there was no conventional construction equipment to take care of heavy-duty work on slopes. The first machine was delivered in 1966 and it's name was based on the legendary fairy tale character Muck (The Story of Little Muck).

Development from walking excavator to mobile, allterrain spider excavator

Innovation and continuous further development together with Menzi Muck customers and operators was crucial for the development of this modern, multi-purpose machine.

The Menzi Muck 2500 was the world's first walking Spider excavator. Only two prototypes of this original model were ever made. These models did not yet feature adjustable feet, wheels and jibs.

Menzi Muck 2500 Year of manufacture 1966
Weight without bucket 1’700 kg
Engine Hatz Z-95, 2-cylinder
Output 25 hp
Excavation depth 2’500 mm
Range 3’400 mm
Discharge height 2’600 mm
Movement 250 cm per step

The 6th series of excavators, namely the 3000 M, EM and EH types, featured shears and Bosch-Parker valves. The stabilizers and wheels of the 3000 series EH type were hydraulically adjustable from 1971. The Menzi Muck 3000 EH was also available with towing equipment, meaning it featured a pneumatic brake and lighting. The Menzi Muck was now also able to cope with water supply and distribution challenges thanks to accessories for swampy and deep waters.

Menzi Muck 3000 M 3000 EM 3000 EH
Year of manufacture 1970 1970 1971
Engine Hatz, 2-cylinder 2-cylinder 2/3-cylinder
Cylinder capacity 2’014 cm3 2’014 cm3 2’014/3’021 cm3
Output 40 hp 40 hp 40/47 hp
Weight without bucket 3’150 kg 3’700 kg 4’100 kg
Excavation depth 3’350 mm 3’400 mm 3’200 mm
Range 5’200 mm 5’400 mm 5’400 mm
Discharge height 3’400 mm 4’700 mm 4’900 mm
Ripping force 3’200 kp 3’200 kp 3’200 kp

The excavation depth was significantly increased thanks to the introduction of the hydraulic telescope arm. We even produced special-purpose versions with three-metre telescopes. During the course of its series production, an additional cylinder was added to the engine.

Menzi Muck 3000 T1 3000 T2
Year of manufacture 1976 1977
Weight without bucket 5’000 kg 5’200 kg
Engine Hatz, 2/3-cylinder Hatz, 2/3-cylinder
Cylinder capacity 2’014/3’021 cm3 2’014/3’021 cm3
Output 40/47 hp 40/47 hp
Excavation depth 3’100 mm 4’350 mm
Ripping force 33- 35’000 N 33-35’000 N

The Menzi Muck 5000 was the first mobile Menzi version. The excavator was equipped with a third wheel that could be folded up like a backpack and was driven by a compact wheel-hub motor. The turbo version of the 5000 series featured a turbocharged VM engine to increase its output to 40 kW/54 hp. The 1000th Menzi Muck spider excavator ever built was also a 5000 series model.

Menzi Muck 5000 T1 5000 T2
Year of manufacture 1981 1981
Weight 5’950 kg 6’150 kg
Engine Hatz, 3-cylinder Hatz, 3-cylinder
Cylinder capacity 3’021 cm3 3’021 cm3
Output 34.5 kW/47 hp 34.5 kW/47 hp
Range 6’400 mm 7’600 mm
Excavation height 4’200 mm 5’500 mm
Excavation depth 6’900 mm 7’300 mm
Ripping force 33- 35’000 N 33- 35’000 N

The model 2000 was introduced at OLMA in St. Gallen shortly after the death of the inventor Ernst Menzi. It surprised many with its high degrees of versatility and low dead weight.

Menzi Muck 2000 Standard 2000 Telescope
Year of manufacture 1984 1984
Weight without bucket 3’200 kg 3’350 kg
Engine Mitsubishi, 4-cylinder Mitsubishi, 4-cylinder
Output 19 kW/26 hp 19 kW/26 hp
Range 4’800 mm 5’600 mm
Excavation depth 2’600 mm 3’400 mm
Excavation height 4’300 mm 4’700 mm
Ripping force 3’100 kp 3’100 kp

The 6000 model was a milestone in the development of the Menzi Muck. With the launch of this generation the walking excavator was turned into a mobile, allterrain spider excavator. This type saw the series introduction of the mobile version with four wheels. In 1990, the engine was additionally enhanced from 3 to 4 cylinders.

Menzi Muck 6000 T1.5 6000 T2
Year of manufacture 1989 1989
Weight without bucket 7’000 (mobile 7’850 kg) 7’150 (mobile 8’000 kg)
Engine Hatz, 4-cylinder Hatz, 4-cylinder
Output 44 kW/60 hp 44 kW/60 hp
Range 7’400 mm 7’900 mm
Excavation depth 5’050 mm 5’550 mm
Excavation height 7’150 mm 7’300 mm
Ripping force 61’800 N 61’800 N

The 6000 Plus was equipped with a Perkins engine and its hydraulic pump output was increased. These factors boosted its output by 30%.

Menzi Muck 6000 plus T1.5 6000 plus T2
Year of manufacture 1996 1996
Weight without bucket 7’400 (mobile 8’300 kg) 7’500 (mobile 8’400 kg)
Cylinder capacity 4’000 cm3 4’000 cm3
Engine Perkins, 4-cylinder Perkins, 4-cylinder
Output 84 kW/114 hp 84 kW/114 hp
Range 7’400 mm 7’900 mm
Excavation depth 5’050 mm 5’550 mm
Excavation height 7’150 mm 7’300 mm
Ripping force 61’800 N 61’800 N

The Menzi Muck A70's new LUDV hydraulics with an isolated drive increase the output and simultaneously reduce the fuel consumption. The drive's force was increased and bucket kinematics were modified.

Menzi Muck A70 T1.5 A70 T2
Year of manufacture 1997 1997
Weight without bucket 7’400 kg (mobile 8’300 kg) 7’500 kg (mobile 8’400 kg)
Engine Perkins, 4-cylinder Perkins, 4-cylinder
Output 74 kW/114 hp 74 kW/114 hp
Range 7’400 mm 7’900 mm
Excavation depth 5’050 mm 5’550 mm
Excavation height 7’750 mm 7’900 mm
Ripping force 61’800 N 61’800 N

The Menzi Muck A21 was produced as a mobile version. As a result of its low weight and agility, the smallest model in the series was used most of all in gardening and landscaping. The Menzi Muck A51 and A21 were the only Menzi Muck excavators with a swivelling jib.

Menzi Muck A21 A51
Year of manufacture 1998 1998
Weight without bucket 2’000 (mobile 2’300 kg) 5’300 (mobile 5’600 kg)
Engine Yanmar Yanmar / Kubota
Output 18 kW/24 hp 53 kW/72 hp
Range 4’700 mm 6’300 mm
Excavation depth 2’500 mm 4’600 mm
Excavation height 5’400 mm 7’500 mm
Ripping force 11’600 N 34’000 N

The Menzi Muck A71 was given an enhanced adjustment range and the modified jib kinematics increased the excavation depth and discharge height. In 1999 stricter emissions standards had already been in place which the Menzi Muck A71 complied with. The cab with its rounded-off windscreen was characteristic for the new A-Series.

Menzi Muck A71 T1.5 A71 T2
Year of manufacture 1998 1998
Weight without bucket 7'400 kg (mobile: 8'300 kg) 7’500 kg (mobile:8’400 kg)
Engine Perkins, 4-cylinder Perkins, 4-cylinder
Output 84 kW/114 hp 84 kW/114 hp
Range 7’560 mm 8’060 mm
Excavation depth 4'890 mm 5’460 mm
Excavation height 8'700 mm 9’120 mm
Ripping force 61’000 N 61’000 N

The Menzi Muck A61 was equipped with LUDV hydraulics and the most recent chassis control using the CANBUS system. The Menzi Muck A81 was delivered featuring a John Deere engine and Linde hydraulics as well as hydraulic maximum rating control. This type of mobile walking spider excavators was particularly in demand agility and a low dead weight were crucial.

Menzi Muck A61 A81
Year of manufacture 2005 2004
Weight without bucket 7’400 kg 8’500 kg
Engine Kubota, 4-cylinder John Deere, 4-cylinder
Output 74 kW/99 hp 89 kW/120 hp
Range 7'470 mm 8'180 mm
Excavation depth 4’690 mm 5'650 mm
Excavation height 8’690 mm 9'350 mm
Ripping force 41'000 N 52’000 N

The A91 was produced to meet emission levels 1 to 3a. The hydraulic output was increased to provide more power for excavations and special-purpose applications. An additional pump (Powerline) was available to power high-performance attachments for the first time. The Menzi Muck A91 was produced in large numbers over a long period of time. The 5000th delivered Menzi Muck spider excavator was an A91 which was delivered to Ueli Zogg in Grabserberg (CH) in 2004.

Menzi Muck A91 T2 mobile A91 T2 4x4 Plus
Year of manufacture 2002 2003
Weight without bucket 9'800 kg 11'000 kg
Engine John Deere, 4-cylinder John Deere, 4-cylinder
Output 104 kW/140 hp 104 kW/140 hp
Range 8'570 mm 8'570 mm
Excavation depth 5'960 mm 5'680 mm
Excavation height 9'510 mm 9'420 mm
Ripping force 76'762 N 76'762 N

Today's M-Series was showcased for the first time at BAUMA in Munich in 2013. The M-Series with its M3 and M5 types is the most recent milestone in Menzi Muck's walking excavator history.

In 2015, we celebrated countless, different innovations and also the 6000th delivered Menzi Muck spider excavator at BAUMAG in Lucerne. The Menzi Muck M545 anniversary machine was handed over to Stefan Thalmann AG, Ramersberg (CH).

At the BAUMA Munich 2019 the new Generation X was presented. The M-series was equipped with a completely new chassis. The stepless Vx-DRIVE and the parallel stabilisation P-VATION were revolutionary development steps.