Back on Cybertron, Hauler was a Constructicon involved in the building of the Crystal City. When his teammates were reprogrammed as Decepticons, Hauler turned to the Autobots, joining their ranks. This choice would eventually put him on board the Ark for its doomed voyage that ended on Earth. When he awoke with the rest of the crew in 1984, he resumed his primary function: the discovery and procurement of energy sources. This task sends him far and wide across the planet, and his tendency towards capricious self-expression often results in him coming back with different colors and parts.
His crane mode can lift 60 tons, and in robot mode, he can launch his hands from their wrist-sockets. The hands can fly through the air under his remote-control guidance, allowing him to perform tasks normally beyond his reach.
- Japanese name: Road Hauler (ロードホーラ Rōdohōra)
Hauler has a bit of a complicated history. In 1984, it appears that Hasbro intended to release the Diaclone "Crane" figure as part of the first year of the Transformers toyline as a character named "Hauler". Packing cases for the 1984 Autobot Cars contained twelve figures, but only eleven toys were released (with an extra Mirage filling the empty slot), suggesting that Hauler was to be the twelfth. For unknown reasons, these plans were halted, and the figure was held back and eventually released in 1985 as Grapple. However, this change came too late to remove Hauler's solitary cartoon appearance, in "More Than Meets the Eye, Part 1". Following this episode, the character (who never spoke, and never transformed) promptly disappeared from the cartoon, and was never seen or referred to again. When the episode was dubbed for release in Japan, Hauler was not even referred to by name, and most fans assumed him to be Grapple.
Nearly twenty years later, when Grapple's mold-partner, Inferno, was reissued as part of the Transformers Collection series, e-Hobby decided to release an exclusive redeco of the Grapple figure and turned to Hirofumi Ichikawa to create a character that this toy could represent. Ichikawa selected the anomalous Hauler, dubbed him "Hauler", and crafted a biography to explain the character's perpetual absence. However, Hauler as he appeared in the cartoon would not have actually been a redeco of Grapple (as they were both orange), so Ichikawa decided to render Hauler in the classic purple-and-green of the Constructicons. The character's bio established that he was a former member of that team (presumably in reference to the scene in "Five Faces of Darkness, Part 4" that erroneously depicted the Constructicons with two extra members), and justified his different coloration in the cartoon by explaining that he often changed his color scheme.
Not as complicated a history as some characters, but there you go.
The Transformers cartoon
Later, during a spiritual journey through the Matrix of Leadership, Rodimus Prime was shown a vision of eight Constructicons creating Megatron. The identities of the two extra Constructicons remains unknown, though quite possibly one might be Hauler.
Wings Universe comics
- Road Hauler (Autobot, 2003)
- Japanese ID number: 88
- One of the first original-deco toys released as part of the e-Hobby exclusive series, RoadHauler is a redeco of the Autobot Grapple, transforming into a hook-crane truck. He was sold only as part of a set with his fellow "More Than Meets the Eye, Part 1" cameo-character Sunstorm.
- There is some conjecture over the romanization of his name, as many fans call him "Load Hauler." However, when the e-Hobby website featured the toy, it spelled the name "RoadHauler." The Transformers: Binaltech & TF Collection Complete Guide reinforces this spelling, calling him "ROADHAULER" in all caps, as it does with all names.
- Load Hauler's on-package bio (see TFU.info link below)
- Archived version of eHobby page for RoadHauler
- The Transformers Binaltech & TF Collection Complete Guide romanization of his name.