| December 2003

Six gifts that'll make any old-iron collector smile

Sometimes holiday shopping can be difficult, especially selecting the perfect gift for the old-iron collector in the family. To clear up the holiday confusion, Farm Collector recommends these six books as perfect candidates to bring a smile to any vintage farm equipment fan.

Classic Vintage Crawlers & Dozers, Vol. I

'The four machines that won the War in the Pacific were the submarine, radar, the airplane and the tractor bulldozer.' - Fleet Adm. William F. Halsey

For anyone who ever doubted the enormous contributions that crawler-style tractors brought to the world, those words by Halsey should make their importance clear. In fact, that's just why this book was published, according to its authors, so that the crawler tractors' importance will be understood by future generations.

From building airstrips during World War II to helping farmers till soft soils in California, crawler tractors were instrumental machines. They were used across the globe and were produced by numerous tractor makers, many of which are featured in the book's 188 pages. Surprisingly, despite the book's title, short-lived tractor companies that produced crawlers are not covered extensively in the work.

Even though the book focuses on major manufacturers, the text provides interesting insights that will further a collector's understanding of crawler history. From the origins of the first battle tanks, to the fact that the first patent for a crawler-style farm machine was filed in 1770, the book provides many fascinating details about the crawler's rise to prominence on the farm and construction sites.

Written by Roger V. Amato and Donald J. Heimburger, the book was certainly crafted by professionals. Although it's Amato's first book, he has a background in mining and petroleum industries and serves as editor for the Historical Construction Equipment Association. Heimburger is a lifelong writer with both newspaper and publishing experience, and published the book through his own Heimburger House Publishing Co. The book tells the tale of those famed machines through hundreds of color photos, paintings, illustrations and vintage advertisements. Technical information is also included for many crawlers, including model numbers, years produced, horsepower, weight and engine details.