Pictured here in the early 1930s is a Champion crawler grader on demonstration clearing snow in Goderich, Ontario, where it was manufactured by Dominion Road Machinery.
Needing to get a plant set up in Canada in the early 1900s, the American Road Machinery Company created a subsidiary located in Goderich. In 1910, the average wage at the factory was 15 cents per hour.
By the 1920s, the plant was building crushers, screening plants, several sizes of horse and tractor pulled graders, rollers, sweepers, asphalt plants along with road maintainers. As early as 1915, Champion built front-mounted plows for trucks and tractors were part of their product line with powered graders on the horizon. Machines were shipped out by road, rail and lake freighters from Goderich’s harbour location on Lake Huron.
The grader picture here was powered by a McCormick-Deering Model 20 with gas engine and equipped with a Trackson crawler setup. This concept did not catch on as it was cumbersome, difficult to manoeuvrer and more expensive for the end user.
Wheeled versions were the focus in the 1930s with diesel power, tandem drive rear axles and hydraulic controls.
The operator on this snow removal demonstration with the first-built Champion crawler tractor grader was Mr. R.G Johnston, vice president of Dominion Roads Machinery.
By the 1950s the company decided to focus on building road graders and attachments. By 1977, the company became Champion Road Machinery Ltd. In the 1990s, Volvo Construction Equipment purchased the company and by 2000 had relocated production to Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation, HCEA Canada’s annual ‘Last Blast’ event scheduled for Oct. 17, 2020 at the Simcoe County Museum has been cancelled. We look forward to seeing you at our future events.
HCEA Canada is a proud community partner of the Simcoe County Museum.