Every once in awhile, you come across something while searching through archives which gets you really excited. One piece that got my attention from the very beginning was an old Caterpillar. I love equipment, in fact, I’ve always said that if I ever won the lottery, I’d buy a back-hoe, dig a hole, and then the next day, fill it back up again. I know, right? But when you start to look at the history, the excitement grows.
Today, Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of mining equipment. Caterpillar Inc. was founded after a merger of Holt and C.L. Best. Holt tractors were mostly used during the first world war, hauling artillery and machinery around the battle fields, but the two companies failed to adapt to markets afterwards. Caterpillar Inc. originally offered five models, three from holt (2-ton, 5-ton and 10-ton) while the other two (Caterpillar 30, and Caterpillar 60) from C.L. Best. The first modifications of these tractors were the first “true” Cat equipment.
That’s where our little Caterpillar TEN comes in. It was the first adaption to the 2-Ton Holt model. The original 2-Ton was designed for the battlefield, clumsy and cumbersome, while the new model was much lighter and agile, but most importantly, higher. This not only made it ideal for farm usage, but also for larger commercial projects. These new models were so effective; the Soviet Grain Trust purchased 2,050 units, helping carry the company through the great depression. The Caterpillar TEN was used in construction of the King Albert Canal, the Mississippi Levee and even the Hoover Dam!
How cool is that? To most people, it’s just a rusty piece of equipment. But from time to time, someone comes along and gets excited. Usually some mechanic or old equipment operator, but I can recognize the excitement right away. We will get to talking, 30 minutes will pass and it’s amazing how quickly these men turn back into little boys. Those conversations are one of the best parts of my job.