Crawler Tractor Observations

Bull Tractor

Content Tools

Illinois 62613

I have been a reader of the Gas Engine Magazine ever since it has been introduced, but I have not seen many stories of Crawler Tractors so I will state some observation.

In the summer of 1932, State Highway 58 was rebuilt between LaValle, Wisconsin and the Juneau County Line. The contractor for the grading was Fred Kutzke of Brooklyn, Wisconsin. I still remember the day he moved his equipment in and set up camp on our farm. I was fascinated by the machinery which consisted of four Caterpillar '60' tractors and one new Caterpillar '65' tractor. Compared to the earth moving equipment of today the tractors and scrapers of that day seem very small.

One of the Caterpillar '60' tractors pulled a Caterpillar sixty leaning wheel Grader. As for scrapers the contractor used two 'Highway' 5? yard self-loading scrapers made by the Highway Trailer Company of Edgerton, Wisconsin. The other combinations were: three 1? yard Euclid self-loading scrapers made by the Euclid Crane and Hoist Company of Euclid, Ohio and two 'Warco' wheeled scoops made by the W. A. Riddel Company of Bucyrus, Ohio. However, later thatsummer the Euclid and Warco scrapers were replaced with revolving scrapers.

I spent quite a lot of time watching this apparatus at work. The one thing that intrigued me most of all was watching the operators start the '60'and '65' Caterpillar tractors using a bar which slipped into holes in the flywheel.

One day in July the Drott Tractor Company of Madison, Wisconsin brought out a new 'Allis-Chalmers' Model L crawler tractor for a demonstration. This tractor was equipped with an electric starter. As I recall, the Allis Chalmers tractor could go faster after the scraper was filled, but the Caterpillar '65' had more lugging power. I have been a Caterpillar booster ever since then.

In the summer of 1938, Wm. Lothers, Jr. of Madison was the contractor when Highway 23 was rebuilt between Logan-ville and Reedsburg, Wisconsin. He was using 'Cletrac' Model FD crawler tractors and 'Heil' dig'n carry scrapers. This was the only time I ever saw Cletrac crawler machines at work.

The Sauk County Highway Department used an Allis Chalmers 'L--O' crawler for plowing snow in LaValle Township in the winter of 1936. Then in the summer, they used it for grading the roads. As late as 1951, Sauk County still owned a Caterpillar Diesel '75' track-type tractor and used it for grading and rebuilding county and township roads.

Quite a few years later I saw an International 7D-9 crawler tractor at work grading roads in Inka Township, Marion County, Illinois. This was the only International crawler tractor I ever saw at work on a road grader.

I hope that more readers of the Gas Engine Magazine will write articles on crawler tractor experiences.

A Bull Tractor shredding corn and threshing. This tractor was very popular about 1912 in this locality and gave very good service, pulling 2-12 plows in good shape. Also, made the small threshers very popular. The thresher was a Williams made somewhere in the Eastern States.

The Bull Tractors were made in Minnesota at the time, but later were taken over by Allis-Chalmers. Had a two cylinder opposed motor which gave good service in their day.