5725 Belleview Road Petersburg, Kentucky 41080
Antique construction equipment enthusiasts came from far and
near to attend the Historical Construction Equipment
Association’s 9th annual convention and 3rd outdoor equipment
show September 23-25 in Petersburg, Kentucky.
The event was held along the banks of the Ohio River at
Belleview Sand and Gravel, Inc., owned and operated by Bill
Rudicill. He and his brother Jim Rudicill were convention
co-chairmen, and they greeted guests from as far away as New
Zealand and as near as next door. Nearly 5,000 people from 30
states and six different countries enjoyed displays, equipment, and
hospitality, not to mention a picturesque view of scenery and
The old-iron paradise offered more than 144 pieces of old and
unusual equipment for visitors to study and some even to operate.
Equipment exhibitors actually shared their ‘toys’ and
allowed other antique equipment operators to play in the sand.
Consequently, the convention site was affectionately referred to
during the show as the sand box.
The HCEA Easy Diggin’ Chapter of Mt. Hope, New Jersey, was
well represented with Gary Mahan of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and
Bill Amaducci of Martin Lakes, New Jersey, hauling in two tractor
trailer loads of antique equipment. One of the most unusual items
operating was Gary Martin’s 1922 Linn track truck, while Bill
Amaducci pushed dirt all weekend with his TD6 International
bulldozer. The HCEA’s 1926 K-2 Link-Belt ‘Big Bertha,’
restored by the Maumee Valley Chapter, was a wonderful addition as
a working attraction at the show. Tom Pierce of Blissfield,
Michigan, also brought in several pieces from the Maumee Valley
Chapter on his restored B-613 Mack tractor. A tractor trailer load
even arrived a few days early as Dennis Payne of Shandon, Ohio,
hauled in his fleet of brightly painted orange equipment, including
a 1938 Allis-Chalmers M bulldozer with a Baker blade and a rare
1931 LeBlond Schact dump truck built in Cincinnati, Ohio. Harold
Harrier of Cincinnati also displayed a LeBlond Schact truck, an AB
Mack truck and a Bucyrus-Erie 15B shovel. Employees of the
Bucyrus-Erie Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at tended the show
and were very interested in Bill Rudicills Bucyrus-Erie collection.
His most intriguing piece is his 1929 BE 50-B steam shovel which
greeted visitors entering the show site.
Many local antique engine, farm and construction equipment
lovers not only exhibited their treasures but were very active in
planning the event, including Rev. Steve Alford of Burling,
Kentucky, who displayed his Farmall F Series tractor collection and
also held a riverside Sunday morning worship service for convention
goers. Completing the Farm-all collection was a rare steel-wheeled
F-20 owned by August Trapp of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.
For those who enjoy real horse power, Harley Chandler and his
team of horses from Petersburg, Kentucky, graded with his JD Adams
No. 3 Road Patrol horse drawn grader. In contrast the Holt Company
of Ohio, a major sponsor of the events, displayed a Caterpillar
Challenger 75 and other new Caterpillar machinery. John Young and
Linda Meier of Holt made special efforts to ensure that the 1994
convention was a success. Not only did they bring exhibits, but the
Holt Company of Ohio provided the tents both for the smaller scale
construction displays, dealers and the banquet tent.
There was something for everyone inside the tent! Everything
from the watch fob collection of Al Fleeger, from Butler,
Pennsylvania, to an elaborate antique equipment slide show and
sketches contributed by Walt Urch and Mike Haskins of Benton
Harbor, Michigan. The HCEA’s booth offered historical equipment
information, sold commemorative belt buckles and the official show
model, the Ertl Caterpillar 2-ton. John Hubble of Peoria, Illinois,
operated his 400W Bucyrus-Erie scale model while Al DiCiero of
Pottsville, Pennsylvania, displayed and operated his working models
outside of the tent. Another outdoor toy exhibit owned by Marvin
and Evelyn Comer of Baltimore, Maryland, marketed many tractor and
truck models. There was such an array of dealers, exhibitors,
collectors and equipment information that spec tractors could spend
a day just browsing memorabilia.
Saturday evening the HCEA buffet drew more than 300 equipment
enthusiasts to fellowship together. There were three different
speakers, including Ralph Jennings of the Holt Company of Ohio,
Lynn Landburg of Construction Equipment and Danny Smith of the ESCO
Corporation of Covington, Kentucky. The ESCO Corporation was very
supportive of the HCEA show. They offered informative tours of
their bucket plant to all convention attendees on Friday, providing
refreshments and safety equipment for everyone. The grand finale of
Saturday was the auction in which announcer John Smith of Hebron,
Kentucky, auctioned a gold 1994 HCEA commemorative belt buckle.
That event in itself suggested the fun loving atmosphere of the
1994 HCEA convention, plus the many unmentioned authentic pieces of
equipment, exhibitors, operators and spectators were what truly
made the 1994 HCEA 9th annual convention and 3rd outdoor equipment
Look for details regarding next year’s show which will be
held in Bowling Green, Ohio, hosted by the Maumee Valley chapter.
It is sure to be a great success as membership in the Historical
Construction Equipment Association continues to grow. For
membership in formation contact the HCEA, P.O. Box 328, Grand
Rapids, Ohio 43522.