A Caterpillar 977 crawler loader in 1962

A Cope Caterpillar 977 crawler loader 1962

Pictured here in 1962 is a new Caterpillar 977 crawler loader owned by A. Cope & Sons, a contractor based in Hamilton and Sarnia, Ontario. 

This 977 was equipped with a ripper and side-dump bucket. It was the ideal machine for this road contract. It could rip tough material and with the side-dump bucket, it could load the single-axle dump trucks faster and reduce wear on the undercarriage of the crawler loader. 

The Trackson Company, as early as the 1930s, manufactured attachments for Caterpillar crawlers with cable and later on with hydraulic bucket loaders.

“Traxcavator” was the name when Caterpillar purchased the Trackson Company in the 1950s. The name stayed until the new series of crawler loaders, the 933, 955 and the 977, were introduced in 1955. The 977H Series crawler loader pictured here would have an 1.8 cubic metre side-dump bucket and 110kW rated engine.

Cope & Sons had been around since the 1900s in the industrial sector in Sarnia, Ontario, focusing on the refinery business. They also bid on highway contracts in the 1930s such as the QEW and up to the 1970s Highway 402.

Today, it is named Cope Construction and still doing refinery upgrades and infrastructure contracts throughout Lambton County and beyond.

The Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA Canada) 2023 event the Last Blast takes place October 14 at the Simcoe County Museum near Barrie, Ontario.

To see more than 60 pieces of vintage construction equipment in action be sure to attend. HCEA Canada is a proud Heritage Partner of the Simcoe County Museum. Visit the HCEA Canada website at hceacanada.org for updates.