1940s Euclid FD-series hauler works on Ottawa River dam project

Pictured here, in 1948, is a Euclid FD Series 20-ton rear-dump hauler at work on the Des Joachims Dam project on the Ottawa River Ontario/Quebec border.

The Ontario Hydro-Electric Power Commission had several water-driven generation projects, this one being the largest.  It took 2,500 skilled workers to complete the project. With the main dam’s length of 732 m. (2,400 ft.) and a height of 58 m.(190 ft.) it created a huge reservoir. However, it did cause relocation of homes along with 20 km of Ontario’s Highway 17 and 38 km of railway tracks when the 11,000 acres was flooded.

For a large dam like this, it needed to be built on solid bedrock. It took drilling & blasting, numerous cable shovels and a fleet of 20 Euclid quarry trucks to excavate the unsuitable rock to finally hit bedrock.

Over the 3-year build period, nearly two million cubic meters of rock was excavated, some of which was run through the crusher and sent to the concrete mixer on-site. Around 800,000 cubic meters of concrete was required to complete the dam and the total cost of the construction portion was upwards of $86 million, in 1950.

The Euclid Company, based in Ohio, had been manufacturing equipment since the early 1900s.   Always innovators in the earthmoving & heavy equipment field, in the mid-1930s they introduced rear-dump and bottom-dump haulers along with scrapers.

The ‘Euc’ FD hauler—being loaded with shot rock in the photo—would have been powered by a Cummins or GM Diesel in the 128 kW (170 hp) range.

With continuing upgrades, Euclid’s FD Series rear-dump hauler had a production run from 1936 to 1963.

The ruggedly built Northwest model 6 cable shovel, rated as a 1.5 cubic meter bucket capacity, could be converted to crane, dragline or backhoe (pull-shovel) attachments. This model was typically powered by Caterpillar or Murphy six-cylinder diesel engines in the 97 kW (130 hp) range.

HCEA Canada is looking forward to our 2022 events if the pandemic restrictions have been fully lifted. Please check the website for updates: www.hceacanada.org

To see more than 60 restored pieces of vintage construction equipment in action be sure to attend the Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA Canada) events: ‘Wheels & Tracks in Motion’ County Museum near Barrie, held in June and the ‘Last Blast’ in October. Both events are held at   Simcoe County Museum. HCEA Canada is a proud Heritage Partner of the Simcoe County Museum.