Link-Belt Speeder Model K365 shovel

Link Belt K365 Speeder shovel

Pictured here, in the summer of 1951, is a Link-Belt Speeder Model K365 shovel at work preparing a site for a subway station in Toronto. 

The previous year, underground and surface excavation work began on the new TTC subway system, enabling contractors to beef up their equipment fleets with higher capacity machines.

The K365 shovel had a rated capacity of 1.53 cubic meters and was powered by either a Caterpillar, Cummins or a GM Diesel in the 180 hp range and was equipped with a torque converter.

The Link-Belt Company developed a chain drive system for agricultural equipment in the late 1880s in Iowa.

By 1922, Link-Belt shifted its focus to include manufacturing a line of crawler cranes. Always innovating, Link-Belt introduced hydraulic controls to their shovels in the 1930s, which was a definite improvement compared to the manual lever controls of most of their competitors. 

During this era, the Speeder Machinery Corp. became part of Link-Belt hence the name Link-Belt Speeder. Link-Belt Corp. eventually built a plant in Woodstock, Ont., which operated into the 1980’s to service the growing Canadian market.

This article is provided by the Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA) Canada. HCEA Canada is a Proud Community Heritage Partner of the Simcoe County Museum.