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Awakening the 8 ton Lombard Dump Truck


For some time now Paul and Herb and I have been plotting to get Paul's 1928 Lombard model "T" Lombard re-awoken and hopefully placed on loan to the Maine Forest & Logging museum for a while.

Lombard had worked from very early on to try to break out of its traditional market of supplying heavy tractors to the northeast timber industry. While machines such their 10 ton model NW (and earlier 20 ton steamers) were well suited to hauling long trains of sleds heavily laden with logs or pulpwood over iced roads their adaptability outside of that was more limited.

Thus in 1928 entered the Model "T" was just such an effort. The model "T" was aimed squarely at the construction and municipal markets - road construction and repair, heavy hauling and plowing.

While following the standard Lombard pattern it differed in a number of key features. The first of which was the use of boggie wheels rather than Lombard's traditional roller chain setup and using a four-cylinder Hercules YXC-2 in place of the massive Wisconsin engines used in the 10 ton models. The Model "T" also featured a dump body and overall smaller dimensions and a slightly different track design.

This particular machine was delivered to the Town of Gorham, Maine in 1928. Later, it was used by the Starbird Lumber Company. This is only one of two of the model "T" that has survived. Paul's family owns both.

Anyway, the job now is to bring this beast back to life after a long slumber. Yesterday Herb and Paul paid a visit to Clement's Starter & Alternator in Carmel, Maine. Reggie had rebuilt the magneto and generator adding a manual advance as part of the work.

Reggie's shop is one of those gems that is the salvation of lovers of old machines and a very enjoyable time warp. Here are two videos Herb shot:



Once back at Paul's they worked to get the magneto installed and timed and the generator installed. We were hoping the beast would fire right-up but it wasn't to be. There is plenty of spark but... no fuel.

Next step (later this week) is a close look at the fuel system and carb, then... fingers crossed... it hopefully will come alive!

Attached is a photo of it in as-found condition and shortly after restoration.

Best regards,



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Looks fantastic! Hard to imagine there are only two left. It's amazing what people will throw away.

Those three brush constant current generators were an abomination, but I applaud your keeping it original.

I grew tired of replacing the brake light bulb on my '31 Ford from forgetting to turn on the headlamps during the day, so I found a period correct voltage regulator that I will fit to the original generator to solve the problem without "modernizing" or using anything electronic. :brows:



Here is some vintage footage of a Lombard model "T" in action.

The film starts off showing it's much bigger brother the 15 ton CS88 or Contractor Special. These were big brutes topping out with the Model GT at 20 tons. While like many old films the frame rate is fast it should be noted that the Model "T" featured a 4-speed transmission. It also has four speeds in reverse! Cool stuff!

The model "T" appears at about 3:00 min.

Attached is a photo of a model "T" setup for plowing


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(IT'S ALIVE!!) Awakening the 8 ton Lombard Dump Truck


Yesterday I made the long drive down to Paul's to see if we could awaken the beast. After a few backfires and one very, very impressive ball of flame (we had the firing order reversed) The beast came to life after sitting silent and dormant for the last 20 years.

After running it out into the sunlight we worked to adjust the timing and looked it all over for things to add to the "to-do-list" once its at the museum.

No, the board is not a Lombard hood ornament, the original cap filler cover went missing a long time ago and replacing it is on the list.

Its an interesting beast for sure and it really shares very little with its larger siblings - namely the 10 ton log haulers. The clutch is a standard off-the-shelf unit as opposed to Lombard's patented design and the transmission is mounted in-unit with the motor rather than being separate. The differential is a pinion drive and the track lags are a totally different design.

We didn't raise the bed since the thought of re-loading all the heavy logging sled parts in the back was not agreeable - so no photos of the hoist.

I apologize for the quality of the video....a photographer I am not!



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I am not sure why but I always like to be at the museum at least an hour before anyone else even if this means getting up at 3:00 am. to make the 3 hour drive in time. Maybe its the fact I can work by myself or maybe its just enjoying the calm and quite. It is beautiful place - off-grid, out in the middle of the Maine woods. I love walking into Machinery Hall still half dark in the morning light - the smell of the old machinery - oil, grease, wood. Swinging open the big door to the bays to let in the light. - the silence. Its hard to describe. Or maybe its more primevil -the walk around to make sure all is well, the ritual of priming the engine using the priming cups and then hitting the starter button and shattering the calm with the healthy bellow of an un muffled, large displacement motor.... that must be it!

Anyway, early yesterday morning was such a day. With cold weather just around the corner we decided to do some more work on the 6 ton Lombard dump truck.Earlier I had re-built the Stewart-Warner vacuum tank so the goal was to get that installed so the beast could roam the museum grounds without the shame of stalling out on the hills.

I had never worked on a vacuum tank before and was more than a bit nervous if it was going to work or not. The big question was the all important gaskets between the inner and outer tank and the lid. As vacuum tanks go its a big one. I couldn't find gaskets for it so a had to make them. To hedge my bet and used the old method of sealing the gaskets with shellac and assembled the whole mess while still wet.

With the fuel tank drained Dave and I began the task of routing the new lines. Let me just say that this was an adventure! First of all the vacuum tank is mounted on the opposite side of the machine from both the carb and the outlet from the fuel tank. Second, Lombard packed a lot of large housings and whirring bits and pieces under the cab. Anyway, we got it done.

After priming the vacuum tank and fixing one persistent leak it fired right up. In fact being the brave souls that we are we took it for spin down the hill and across the covered bridge and up the steep hill to the blacksmith shop then the long climb back to Government Road. It ran flawless!

Next we worked on greasing the drive shaft joints and finding still more grease point! I think I have lost count of the number! We also test fit the mock-up for the new radiator cap. Last week one of my students reverse engineered it by scaling off period photographs and measurements of the opening. He then modeled it in Solidworks and 3D printed a mock-up. It fit and looks great! This week the files will be sent to the Advanced Manufacturing Center at the University of Maine where they will use their 3D metal printer to fabricate a finished cap and knob. We also test fit the side panels - these need handles but fit well. I kind of like the patina.

Even though the museum is officially closed for the season the grounds and trails are still open to the public so throughout the day we had a smattering of visitors wandering through and it was as always a pleasure to talk with them. At one moment when our frustration was peaked due to the leak we were trying to fix (bad fitting)we took a break by taking family for a ride on the big 10 ton Lombard tractor.

All in all a very enjoyable and productive day!



Old Man Winter has swept in seemingly overnight. Though my thoughts are to simply stay warm and go into hibernation mode there is still work to be done - though thankfully from the warmth of a cozy shop. With the Lombards all tucked away we have turned out thoughts to some small but interesting projects.

First on the list is the replacement radiator cover. The original went missing decades ago. If you recall in my last post we had test fit a 3D printed mock-up of the cover. The next step was 3D printing the patterns to be used by the foundry. Original plan was to have the pieces 3D metal printed. However, because of the size and thin cross section they felt that warping would be a issue so we have gone to plan "B".

For plan "B" we 3D printed the cover and knob once again in PLA only this time we scaled it up slightly to take into account the shrink rate of the cast iron. We also added draft etc. Next step was filling, sanding & painting to get a nice smooth pattern. Next step is to send the patterns off to Peter - our foundry guy.

Another project we wanted to tackle is getting the lights on the Lombard dump truck working. First we located a replacement for the dash light. As it turned out a reproduction of a dash light used on Ford Model "T" was a dead ringer for the original and fit perfect. (one more hole in the dash panel filled!)

Replacing the missing light switch was more problematic. We simply could not find an original style switch. So.... Chris Rueby - one of our very talented volunteers offered to fabricate not just one but four switches for us. The extra's will be going to the

family that has generously loaned us the Lombard tractors and will be used on two other machines they have in their collection.

Chris is a true Master Craftsman! Here is a link to an article about some of his work:


My good friend Don has the only original switch that has survived and was very generous in providing us photos and measurements.With those in hand I developed a shop drawing for Chris to work from. Below is his progress to date. The face plates and knobs will be nickle plated to match the original.

All fun stuff!


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