Caterpillar Sixty handling a Russell pull grader

caterpillar sixty

Pictured here in the 1930s is a Caterpillar Sixty crawler on roadbuilding duty, handling a Russell pull grader in Manitoba during the Great Depression. 

Asphalt roads were not in abundance during this era, especially in the western provinces. However, techniques for construction of low-cost surfaced roadmaking were developed. 

One such technique was a bituminous spray treatment of locally available aggregate, which turned out to be a popular solution.

The 1925 merger of the Holt and Best companies had created the famous Caterpillar line of crawler tractors that flourished in the decades following. 

The Caterpillar Sixty was commonplace in construction and agricultural applications along with various versions such as the ‘Logging Cruiser’ and ‘Snow Special.’

By the end of the Sixty crawler production run in 1931, an astounding 18,000 units (both Best and Caterpillar) had been put to work.

HCEA Canada is fortunate to have two Caterpillar Sixty’s available to operate at its events held at the Simcoe County Museum.

The two machines include Tim Hoover’s fully restored Caterpillar Sixty with an optional ‘Snow Special’ wooden cab and  the second Sixty crawler is part of the museum fleet. As well, the Manitoba Sixty pictured was also a ‘Snow Special’ machine complete with V-plow and wing. Many other firms that created attachments were eventually acquired by Caterpillar.

RELATED: RD8 Caterpillar at work in BC

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic HCEA Canada’s ‘Wheels & Tracks in Motion’ event, scheduled for June 13 to 14, has been cancelled. However, to see more than 60 restored pieces of vintage construction equipment in action, be sure to attend Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA) Canada’s October event, ‘Last Blast’ on Oct. 17, to be held at the Simcoe County Museum near Barrie, Ontario.

HCEA Canada is a Proud Community Heritage Partner of the Simcoe County Museum.

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