Caterpillar Tractors and Dozers on the Prowl

Caterpillar tractors work hard at the Tri-State Gas Engine & Tractor Show in Portland, Ind.

| January 2011

  • A link belt Speeder backhoe on the job.
    A link belt Speeder backhoe on the job.
  • A 1929 Caterpillar Model 15 Motor Patrol grader from the collection of Jim Leonard.
    A 1929 Caterpillar Model 15 Motor Patrol grader from the collection of Jim Leonard.
  • A 1945 U.S. Army Caterpillar D-8 (owned by Dan Voght) used to pull a pan scraper. Note the push plate on front.
    A 1945 U.S. Army Caterpillar D-8 (owned by Dan Voght) used to pull a pan scraper. Note the push plate on front.
  • A 1948 Model D-2 Caterpillar with cable-operated blade, from the collection of Robert Leonard, Sunman, Ind.
    A 1948 Model D-2 Caterpillar with cable-operated blade, from the collection of Robert Leonard, Sunman, Ind.
  • Rear view of the U.S. Army D-8 showing dual rear winches for use in operating a pan scraper.
    Rear view of the U.S. Army D-8 showing dual rear winches for use in operating a pan scraper.
  • A 1924 Holt Model 60 also owned by Dan Voght. Note the hinged lower track rail on the Holt to make riding more comfortable.
    A 1924 Holt Model 60 also owned by Dan Voght. Note the hinged lower track rail on the Holt to make riding more comfortable.
  • A 1924 Best 60 from Dan Voght’s, Ford City, Ind., collection. A year later, in 1925, Holt and Best consolidated to form Caterpillar Tractor Co.
    A 1924 Best 60 from Dan Voght’s, Ford City, Ind., collection. A year later, in 1925, Holt and Best consolidated to form Caterpillar Tractor Co.
  • A 1941 Caterpillar DW-10 tractor and pan scraper owned by Dave Geis, Seward, Neb.
    A 1941 Caterpillar DW-10 tractor and pan scraper owned by Dave Geis, Seward, Neb.
  • Caterpillar crawler tractor with larger pan scraper earthmover.
    Caterpillar crawler tractor with larger pan scraper earthmover.
  • Steve Weaver, Pittsburgh, Pa., showed his 1930 No. 10 Caterpillar grader.
    Steve Weaver, Pittsburgh, Pa., showed his 1930 No. 10 Caterpillar grader.
  • Cats put in long, hard days getting the roadway broken up and smoothed.
    Cats put in long, hard days getting the roadway broken up and smoothed.
  • Rubber-tired tractor and pan earth mover.
    Rubber-tired tractor and pan earth mover.

  • A link belt Speeder backhoe on the job.
  • A 1929 Caterpillar Model 15 Motor Patrol grader from the collection of Jim Leonard.
  • A 1945 U.S. Army Caterpillar D-8 (owned by Dan Voght) used to pull a pan scraper. Note the push plate on front.
  • A 1948 Model D-2 Caterpillar with cable-operated blade, from the collection of Robert Leonard, Sunman, Ind.
  • Rear view of the U.S. Army D-8 showing dual rear winches for use in operating a pan scraper.
  • A 1924 Holt Model 60 also owned by Dan Voght. Note the hinged lower track rail on the Holt to make riding more comfortable.
  • A 1924 Best 60 from Dan Voght’s, Ford City, Ind., collection. A year later, in 1925, Holt and Best consolidated to form Caterpillar Tractor Co.
  • A 1941 Caterpillar DW-10 tractor and pan scraper owned by Dave Geis, Seward, Neb.
  • Caterpillar crawler tractor with larger pan scraper earthmover.
  • Steve Weaver, Pittsburgh, Pa., showed his 1930 No. 10 Caterpillar grader.
  • Cats put in long, hard days getting the roadway broken up and smoothed.
  • Rubber-tired tractor and pan earth mover.

These big cats did not slink toward their target stealthily as do the big cats in the wilds of Africa. No, these arrived chained down to prime movers. Then, when they reached their destination, they were unchained and unleashed. They came to life in earth-shaking roars. They crawled down off their mighty trailers, pivoted and began to move away from the crowd. Proud, powerful and ready for action, these big Caterpillar bulldozers, graders and pan tractors aligned themselves in neat rows like beauty pageant contestants. 

Others came attired in their work clothes. They were big, powerful machines ready for any task. Like coal miners and construction workers, they were ready to go.

The 2010 Tri-State Gas Engine & Tractor Assn. show in Portland, Ind., featured two major tractor lines: Massey-Harris and Caterpillar. And what a turnout they had! On Saturday of the show weekend, there were nearly 300 feature tractors on site. The club did not keep a separate account of exhibits, but they did display the two features in separate areas. Massey-Harris stood proud on the fairgrounds; Caterpillar occupied the recently purchased show grounds just to the east.

Diverse Massey feature
There were probably more Massey-Harris pieces on display than Caterpillar, but not by many. With a bright red finish and yellow wheels, tractors in the Massey feature made for a colorful exhibit. The display included many tractor models as well as a varied line-up of farm equipment. Among the highlights: a self-propelled 2-row corn picker that looked better than new.



There was also a good showing of combines, both pull-type and self-propelled, including a rare 48-inch-cut pull-type. David Hudson, Portland, saved it from demolition at a scrap yard. It was indeed fencerow material, but it had been reclaimed. You might often see a 42-inch-cut Allis-Chalmers or International Harvester, but you almost never see a small-cut Massey-Harris.

Merger spawns powerhouse
Back to Caterpillar. The Caterpillar Tractor Co. was formed by the consolidation of two track-laying tractor companies, Holt Mfg. Co. and C.L. Best Gas Tractor Co. Benjamin Holt built a factory in Stockton, Calif., to build tractors for the fertile soils there. His first track-laying tractor was a steam-powered unit introduced in 1890. Other models were designed and sold during the following years.



SUBSCRIBE TO FARM COLLECTOR TODAY!

Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.




Facebook Pinterest YouTube

Classifieds