In construction, a Bantam is a truck-mounted shovel-crane built by the Schield Bantam Company in Waverly Iowa between 1942 and 1964.  Vern Schield designed and built the original.  Vern and his brother Wilbur built the first 9 Bantams in a barn at Vern's quarry.  Together, in less than 15 years, they built the Schield Bantam Company to be the world's largest manufacturer of truck-mounted cranes.


M-47 at ConExpo/ConAGG

Calvin Cooiker displayed his beautifully-restored M-47 at ConExpo: the largest construction equipment show on earth in Las Vegas 19-23 March, 2003.  For details, go to  Contact Cal at or at 712-546-7396.

Schield Bantam Video:

A documentary video has bee created by the Communications Department at Wartburg College.  This 30 minute video covers all aspects of the history of the Schield Bantam and the Schield Bantam Company in Waverly, Iowa.  The first presentation was held Wednesday, 17 April at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.  This is now available on DVD.


Wilbur Schield: 1909-2007,   Eileen Schield: 1918-2007.  





Early Bantams:

Here is an early Bantam trench-hoe digging along side the first plant at Vern's quarry.  Notice the truck -- it is not an army surplus truck.


Vern and Wilbur:

Wilbur and Vern were close -- perhaps they complemented each other.  When Vern and Marjorie took their honeymoon in California, Wilbur went along.  Here are Vern and Wilbur at the beach.


Quarry History:

The first Bantam was designed to work in a quarry -- a lime quarry.  The lime was used to fertilize -- to "sweeten" -- the soil and make it less acidic so farmers could raise alfalfa for their dairy cows.  Here is a dump-truck at Vern's quarry unloading limestone into the crusher.


Bantam Dragline on a Half-Track:

Some of the surplus trucks from the US Army were half-tracks: wheels on the front and tracks on the back.  Some of the Bantams were mounted on these half-tracks.  Here is an early Bantam dragline mounted on a half-track.


Building A Bantam:

The heart of the Bantam was built on an assembly line.  After it was complete, it was mounted on a truck or a self-propelled crawler.  Here is a close-up of the Bantam assembly line at the Waverly plant.


Waverly Plant:

After June 1946, all Bantams were manufactured in the new Waverly plant.  Here is how that plant first looked.


Schield Family Chronicles

The Fred and Emma Schield Family History (including a brief overview of the Schield Bantam Company).

Source:   Updated February, 2002
The papers in PDF format are viewable with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Disclaimer: This web site is published by Milo Schield.  Contact him at  While the information presented here is believed to be accurate, it does not represent official information about the Schield Bantam Company or any successor company to the Schield Bantam Company.  


McKelvey Family Homestead, Ireland