Brian had Quick Way, Stretch had Liberty, and Davwingman put it all together. This WW1 era USA "Liberty" truck has an early Quick Way crane mounted on it. Thanks very much to Craig Trout for providing this photo and also for the well-researched information below:
Craig Trout contributed this interesting photo from his very large collection of original Quick-Way company file photos, and here we see a very early very early "box-cab" Quick-Way Truck Shovel, builder's serial #32, mounted on a refurbished war-surplus "Liberty-B" converted into a crane carrier. It is lettered for the Colorado State Highway Department as their "Shovel No. 8."
Throughout the 1920s and into the early 1930s, numerous Colorado county road departments, and even the state highway department, had purchased war-surplus "Liberty-B" trucks and converted them with dump beds, and in some cases, even crude snow plows. Even though this particular Liberty Truck is freshly-painted, deep dents in both the upper hood as well as hood side panels suggest that this is not this truck's first "rodeo." The front bumper has been removed, but the supporting buffer springs are still in place. Additionally, the seat cushions had become rather ragged from some years of hard use.
We know that Luke Erie Smith (1886-1960) had not founded "Quick-way Truck Shovel" until 1930, so if this is a final "production" model, this photo cannot be before that date. The far less likely possibility would be that this is one of the two experimental prototypes, but that would not seem consistent with the very finished appearance of this first-generation box-cab for the hoist works. Furthermore, one prototype had been retained by "Luke Smith & Company Contracting," and the 2nd prototype had gone to the Wyoming State Highway Department. Based on the numbering scheme of the very large number of Quick-Way company file photos in Craig's collection, his assumption is that "#32" is the builder's number, but of course the outside possibility might be that it is simply the 32nd photo in the company file. Interestingly, all of the photos had been numbered on their negative.
That being said, we can estimate that unit #32 rolled off his assembly lines in about 1931 or 1932. As background, Luke Smith was a highly successful contractor responsible for a great many of the mountain roads in Colorado, and as early as 1919, had begun to visualize the possibility of mounting an excavating machine on a truck chassis rather than on "tracks," and as early as 1922, had mounted his first prototype on a war-surplus World War-I "Liberty B" truck chassis. The State of Wyoming was so impressed they asked him to build a 2nd truck shovel for there highway department, which was moderately successful, but still needed improvements in terms of overall stability and ruggedness. Working with a fellow engineer John Jay, they perfected their design and founded the "Quick-Way Truck Shovel" company in 1930, and realized almost immediate success. Later, during World War II, a total of (2,200) Model "E" truck shovels were built for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, complete with an equipment trailer which also included a crane boom, clamshell, pile-driver, backhoe, and appropriate rigging. On April 1, 1948, their 5,000th unit rolled off the assembly line. In 1961, the year after founder Luke Smith had passed away, Quick-Way Truck Shovel was finally bought-out by competitor Marion Power Shovel, and the plant was soon moved to St. Louis, MO.
Craig reports that in the near future he will be publishing a lengthy article on the history of Quick-Way Truck Shovel and will post it here on "JOT," complete with numerous photos.
On a final note, many readers are very familiar with Coleman "carriers" mounted with Quick-Way Model "E" truck shovels. The early Coleman carriers from the early 1930s were from the D-40X series, then replaced by the heavier E-55, and finally by 1940 a modified G-55A, all with heavier frames and suspension. However, a very large number of Quick-Way Truck Shovels were mounted on a wide variety of other carriers, to include Mack, White (including a half-track model), Brockway (including a 6x6 model), and others.
>> Photo and research by Craig H. Trout – please credit