Union Gas crawler tractors install Ontario pipeline in the 1970s

Union Gas crawler tractors install Ontario pipeline in the 1970s

Pictured here, in the early 1970s, are two side-boom equipped crawler tractors at work in Southwestern Ontario. This gas pipeline contract for Union Gas Ltd involved a 400-foot crossing of the Thames River using concrete-encased pipe.

The Allis Chalmers HD 19 side-boom and the Caterpillar D7 (Model 572 pipe layer) seen in the background were only part of the equipment required to wrestle this heavy pipeline section into place.

Based in Chatham Ontario, Union Gas Ltd had begun operations in 1911, about 20 years after the first natural gas well came into production in Essex County.

Interestingly, one of the first known gas pipelines to be built in North America moved natural gas from Petrolia to Sarnia Ontario as early as 1862.

The Allis Chalmers HD 19 crawler was powered by a 6-71 GM 2-stroke diesel rated at 118 kW (160 hp) while the Caterpillar D7 was powered by a four-stoke diesel rated similarly.

Side-boom attachment manufacturers included Trackson Co (later Caterpillar), Superior Manufacturing Ltd. and Midwestern Manufacturing, among others in the era.

HCEA Canada is very fortunate to have in our collection a 1960s Caterpillar 572 Pipe Layer on static display at the Simcoe County Museum.

With a counterweight of 6 tonnes it could lift 40 tonnes, handily.

McNally Construction based in Hamilton, Ontario has donated several units to our antique equipment collection, including this machine. Thanks go to Patrick McNally for his foresight and commitment.

Watch for details of HCEA Canada’s Wheels & Tracks Event coming in June 2023. Please see updates on our web site: www.hceacanada.org

To see more than 60 restored pieces of vintage construction equipment in action be sure to attend the Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA Canada) events: ‘Wheels & Tracks in Motion’ County Museum near Barrie, held in June and the ‘Last Blast’ in October. Both events are held at   Simcoe County Museum. HCEA Canada is a proud Heritage Partner of the Simcoe County Museum.