Phoenix Centipede Truck

Phoenix Centipede Truck

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21321 County X, Cadott, Wisconsin 54727

These four cylinder, gas-powered centipede trucks were built by the Phoenix Manufacturing Company, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, starting in 1905 to compete with the popular Holt tractor that was replacing their steam powered Phoenix Log Hauler in many places. They were not only meant for hauling logs, but were to be used in road building, agricultural use, heavy-duty moving, etc., but unfortunately this was a very bad time for the Phoenix Manufacturing Company.

Phoenix was also a builder of saw mill and agricultural products and building materials. They were having big patent problems and were about to go into receivership. It seems that a number of their products were never patented and some other company or companies were copying these products, patenting them and then accusing the Phoenix people of infringement. Even though Phoenix had built these products for many years and had proof of it, it was costing them thousands of dollars in legal fees. Phoenix did survive, however.

Very little is known about the Phoenix Centipede Truck, and it is unknown how long they were manufactured or just how many of them were built, but it is believed to be less than 50 and none are known to exist at this time. There are indications that some of them were in use as late as 1920.