Pretty much any dough that is shaped, dressed and baked right out of the bread machine will have a cardboard-like character. And the crust will very often be very light in color because it takes quite a while for the enzymes in flour to break down the starches in the flour into sugars usable by the yeast. (There is a small amount of usable sugar in the flour to begin with but it only amounts to around 1-2%). And if the dough is really thin, as is yours, I can see how it might become cracker-like.
The description of your results after a fairly long fermentation period suggests overfermentation, for all the reasons described earlier. If there is little crust color after all that time, the villain is most likely lack of sugar because the yeast has consumed most or all of it. If the yeast then starts to die because of starvation, there isn't enough yeast left to get good oven spring when the pizza is put into the oven. So you will often end up with a white, hard crust. And if it is thin, it can easily be cracker like.
Before abandoning your bread machine in favor of a stand mixer, I would try using colder water and possibly some of the other measures I described in the referenced posts if they are applicable to your particular bread machine. If you want to add sugar, you can use 1 to 2 percent by weight of flour. For the amount of flour I estimate you used, 1% would be around 7/8 teaspoon. You can go up to around 4-5% sugar before the crust will taste sweet, which you may or may not like. With anything above about 1-2% sugar, you shouldn't have any problems with overfermentation.
If you can overcome the problems you have experienced, you can then decide whether you want to try a thicker crust. The crust thickness per se is not the cause of your problem. It just exacerbated it.
As far as yeast is concerned, you should follow the recommendations for your particular machine. Typical recommendations are to use bread machine yeast, which in most cases is simply a form of IDY yeast, or you can use IDY that is sold as such. A good source of IDY is the yeast sold by some of the big box stores like Costco's and Sam's in one-pound bags. A common brand there is the Fleischmann's IDY. King Arthur also sells IDY at its website, a good example being the SAF Red IDY. SAF also sells a Perfect Rise yeast in the three-pack form at the supermarkets which can be used for bread machine purposes. If you plan to make many pizzas, you should definitely look for the one-pound IDY bags.
It sounds like you are OK on the flour/water balance but the only way to know for sure is to use a scale. FYI, the recommended way of reading the water level is to use the lower part of the meniscus. With water, there isn't much difference between the upper and lower menisci so I wouldn't worry about it. Just be sure to read the water mark at eye level.
You asked how I got the 18-inch pizza into my oven. I used an 18-inch pizza screen and it just about made it into my oven. In fact, it was just a tad too big and I had to press against the oven door to keep the screen from pushing back out. That pizza was one of the most impressive looking pizzas I ever made. It was a monster.
Please let us know how things work out. The feedback is one of the best teaching tools.