International TD 18 crawler tractor

International crawler tractor
By HCEA Canada

Pictured here in the mid-1940s is an International TD 18 crawler tractor hauling more than 20 sleighs of pulp wood for the Great Northern Pulp & Paper Company. Located an hour west of the New Brunswick border the company, based in Millinocket, Maine had been in operation since the early 1900s.

Once the largest paper mill in North America, it had constructed its own hydro-generation and power distribution system early-on.

By the 1940s, Great Northern had amassed close to 1 million hectares of timber holdings. Interestingly, a Prisoner of War camp supplied some workers for the mill during the Second World War.

A succession of owners, including a Canadian company, attempted to keep the mill in operation up until 2013 when it was permanently closed. Similar sized Canadian mills closed during this period as well due to the downturn in paper production.  

The TD 18 pictured here was equipped with a Bucyrus-style blade attachment with front-mounted hydraulic pump. Ice grousers and a custom wooden cab were a must when handling the local winters.

As winter operations wound down the bulldozer turned to construction and maintenance of the Great Northern Co. logging roads. The International TD 18 model was produced for a decade from 1939. Several updated versions including the TD 18A -182 Series were built until 1958. Powered by a 6-cylinder I-H diesel engine it was rated at 70 kW and was coupled to a six-speed transmission. Later models featured steering-clutch hydraulic boosters for ease of operation.  

At our annual events, there is always an excellent showing of International Harvester crawler tractors courtesy of club members and our HCEA Canada collection. From the T20 gas-powered crawler of the 1930s on up to the TD 25 bulldozer of the 1970s are all in working condition. 

Hopefully, restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus, and variants thereof, may be lifted somewhat so that our 2021 events can proceed.  

To see more than 60 restored pieces of vintage construction equipment in action be sure to attend the Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA) Canada’s 2021 events, including Wheels & Tracks in Motion, held in June, and the Last Blast in October.

Both events are held at the Simcoe County Museum near Barrie, Ontario.