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Another strange crawler


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  #1  
Old 02-24-2010, 02:57:53 AM
cletracker cletracker is offline
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Default Another strange crawler

Found this photo of a strange crawler in forest duty, Speed Cat. Photo was taken in the States. Does anyone have any information about this strange crawler? Photo taken in 1932 according to archive notes.
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2010, 11:09:23 PM
Rene Elliott Rene Elliott is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

I've heard the name before but never seen anything like it. It almost looks like dump body hinge castings on the back?
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2010, 02:11:05 AM
casertractor casertractor is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

if you guys like crawlers their is a group on here that i started i would like to see that picture posted in the photo section thanks agian for sharing.John
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:27:18 AM
6point9diesel 6point9diesel is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

It looks like the track pads are attached to 3 cables. Kind of a stepping stone to the steel belted rubber tracks of today. It's a neat design and sharp looking crawler. I'd be curious to see one operational.

Thanks for posting!

Paul
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:50:23 PM
Rene Elliott Rene Elliott is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

My observation would be that the whole track pivots at center, it is built for light weight design, it appears to have no raised creeper teeth, for less tearing up the ground or roadways, but would make me question traction. Linn advocated two driving sprocket teeth to keep the track running "true" vs. his Lombard experience with single drive teeth in the middle. Also, Linn wanted to keep his drive sprockets up off the ground, for less wear or chance of getting anything stuck in there. I didn't pick up on the cable-looking belt system, again indicating intentional lightweight design, not heavy duty pulling or load carrying. I guess that's why thy called it a "Speed Cat"? Metal tracked machines of that age were pushing it at a sustained 8 mph, maybe this one could do 15 mph or better?
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:35:52 PM
David Hoover David Hoover is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

In the 60's there was a small crawler called a Mead Speedcat,although nothing like the pic. But, I wonder if Mead Morrison had anything to do with making the one in question. Mead Specialties co. built the newer speedcat. Were they in some way connected with the old Mead-Morrison co.? Perhaps the newer company bought the speedcat name from the old one and built there own machine years after? Mead-Morrison was involved in lots of different equipment,perhaps they even tryed the light duty crawlers too.
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:55:34 PM
Rene Elliott Rene Elliott is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

Thanks! Forgot Mead Morrison made Speed Cat, then this machine would probably be a winch platform, and would explain using a cable in the track? Linn used Mead Morrison winches is about all I know about them, mounted under the cab seat (Std. Oil of CA Linn at West Kern Oil Museum in Taft, CA set up this way), or right behind the cab for using a boom or just to load themselves.
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:17:29 AM
David Hoover David Hoover is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

They built crawlers back in the 20's, and those early crawlers had the same basic track design,with just the 3 bottom idlers. They built just about anything to do with hoisting, winches,shovels , lots of atachments. I'd say they would be a good candidate to try making tracks out of cables too.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:31:05 AM
Jerry Sweet Jerry Sweet is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

When I worked around Kenai,Alaska during the 1950s & 60s,survey,utility & Geophysical people used a thing that looked about like that,except they had heated,inclosed cabs.They had very wide pads with no grousers.They could travel about 30 M.P.H. They were called "Weasels". Instead of track rollers,they had two or three rubber tired truck wheels on each side that took the place of upper and lower rollers.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:36:51 AM
cletracker cletracker is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

Very interesting. Looks like we may have some kind of Mead Morrison crawler winch platform. The driver seat sits on the engineside, for better control when winching? Can anyone see the winch? The two big fixtures on the back are interesting to, is this for the earthanchor when winching? If it´s not a machine for winching could it have been used for dragging timber? Track does not look that strong but very flexible=fast and that´s against the dragging theory. Hmm... I´m confused, what is it?
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:00:20 PM
Bud Tierney Bud Tierney is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

Are we making too much of the "Speed Cat" name????
The 50's/60's little (1100 to 1700 lb) Mead Speed Cat/Speedcat was built by Mead Industries, Chicago (Mead Specialties Co in an ad) in the 50's and 60's(??).
Mead-Morrison/Bear crawlers (Boston or New Boston, NY??) seem to disappear in the early 30's, and the few references I have don't use "Speed Cat"; on the other hand, a quick Googling didn't locate a history for either company to see if there was a connection, and it's quite possible this was an experimental prototype.
There was a big argument raging then as to fast, light roadable tanks vs the heavily armored, slow type (Christie, etc) and a lot of work was being done on faster, lighter track systems as well as convertible systems.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:06:37 PM
Rene Elliott Rene Elliott is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

My father was in Alaska mid-1950's in a radio unit (RSM) when they were establishing bases and setting up antennas and told about one wise guy ignored the sargent who told them to put on snowshoes, he hopped off a weasel into the snow and sank up to his neck, teh rest of them put on their snowshoes. I think they had Studebaker engines? A local man used to have one around here years ago that took it to shows with artic camoflage paint scheme.
As for the name, it's true "cat" as in "caterpillar" was an established term for any kind of crawler before it was cleverly trademarked by the Holt concern, so it's possible there is more than one "Speed Cat" out there. But, looking at this unit I wonder if it could have been fitted with some kind of integral arch or boom with those eyes on the back of the frame. On a Linn tractor they had castings on the four lengthwise frame rails at the back cross member, witha 2" axle the dumpbox pivoted on which worked well for a crane boom/derrick to mount. The tractor I was allowed to drive next door when I was 12 was set up that way, with a chain driven Mead Morrison winch.
On the subject of Mead Morrison winches, and the heavy track vs. lightweight, the Linn "T" series tractors was Linn's bid on artillery mobile units which I believe GMC won, the Linn models would run up to 18 or 20 mph they claimed but made a lot of noise, drank barrels of fuel (V12 American Lafrance) and wore out track parts quicker, cast tracks are best suited in the 8 to 12 mph max range.

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/U...lf-tracks.html
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:29:40 AM
Bud Tierney Bud Tierney is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

Clertacker: If no one here comes up with any recollections of similar rigs (if there were any), you might consider putting this on the Forest Work forum at heavyequipmentforum; possibly it might jog some old loggers memories.
Anything on the pic that might indicate what part of the US it was in, or does anyone recognize the trees well enough to geographically locate it??
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:33:11 AM
cletracker cletracker is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

Bill, you are right. I'll try another forum, someone ought to know what it is. Thanks
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:31:34 PM
Ed Bezanson Ed Bezanson is offline
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Default Re: Another strange crawler

cletracker What a great photo. Been reading all the ideas and thought I'd ad a few of mine. I don't believe there is any connection between Mead Morrison and this crawler. I own a Bear manu. by Mead and the track system is nothing like this. I also believe they went out of business in the early 30's This setup looks much more like military Tank and Half Track designs. They used the cable system on many of these machines. The outside grab feature of the sprocket is also simular to Military designs. The lower idler setup also looks like tank stuff. It is probably a one of design that never made it into actual production. I hope the logging guys can shed some light on this design. Ed B.
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