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. Another exception is Castles and Town Centers, as the Sicilians can construct them 100% faster thanks to their civilization bonus and are also able to access Treadmill Crane, which makes the fastest construction speed in the game.

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.