Age of Empires Series Wiki
Age of Empires Series Wiki

Treadmill Crane is a technology in Age of Empires II that can be researched at the University. Once researched, the construction speed for all buildings is increased by +20%. Treadmill Crane helps players to establish forward bases more quickly or build structures close to enemy territory, especially Castles or Town Centers, which can otherwise take a while to complete.

Despite not having access to Treadmill Crane, the Spanish have the fastest builders in the game due to their civilization bonus that gives them +30% working speed. However, this effect is reduced on Wonders, becoming only 20%, so that Spanish Wonders are built at the same speed as the Wonders of any civilization with access to Treadmill Crane.

Technology availability
Available Unavailable

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Italians: Researching Treadmill Crane is 33% cheaper.
  • Portuguese: Researching Treadmill Crane is 30% faster.

Team bonuses[]

A team containing Malians: Researching Treadmill Crane is 80% faster.


The Age of Kings[]

  • Treadmill Crane cost 200W/300S.
  • Franks: Can research Treadmill Crane.
  • Goths: Can research Treadmill Crane.
  • Japanese: Cannot research Treadmill Crane.
  • Vikings: Cannot research Treadmill Crane.

The Conquerors[]

  • With patch 1.0b, Treadmill Crane costs 300F/200W.
  • Huns: Can research Treadmill Crane.

The Forgotten[]

  • Goths: Treadmill Crane removed from their technology tree.
  • Huns: Treadmill Crane removed from their technology tree.
  • Slavs: Can research Treadmill Crane.
  • Vikings: Treadmill Crane added to their technology tree.

The African Kingdoms[]

  • Japanese: With patch 4.8, Treadmill Crane is added to their technology tree.

Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Khmer: Can research Treadmill Crane.

Definitive Edition[]

Lords of the West[]


  • The treadmill crane depicted in-game is also a counterweight crane. It uses the same counterweight model from the Trebuchet albeit smaller.
  • The Western European, Central European, Mediterranean, and East Asian Lumber Camps have a Treadmill Crane. The Eastern European and Native American ones also have one but without the treadmill. However, a European style treadmill crane would have been unknown to the Mesoamericans and East Asians in reality.
  • Serjeants are not affected by Treadmill Crane.


The construction of castles, cathedrals, and other major building projects required the invention of new techniques, as well as the re-discovery of ancient technologies. A critical tool known to the ancients but lost to the Europeans of the Dark Ages was the crane. The simple crane was a long pole with block and tackle gear that was used to pull loads to a height. The treadmill crane was an improvement over the simple version. It used a large circular treadmill upon which men walked. Gears converted the horizontal circular motion into vertical turning, providing power to wind ropes around a drum and pull up heavy loads. A variation of the treadmill crane employed a capstan that men could push against, like those used on sailing ships to raise anchors.