Crawler Tractor Observations

| September/October 1971

  • Bull Tractor

  • Bull Tractor
    Courtesy of August J. Jutte, Route 2, Box 50, Ft. Recovery, Ohio 45846.
    J. Jutte

  • Bull Tractor
  • Bull Tractor

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.