1987 CAT D6D
This old dozer has a hell of a history with us! Bought brand new in 1987, Gerald Tatro was extremely proud of this D6D. It definitely has a unique backstory to it, which we will attempt to explain here.
The D6D was bought and labeled as a ‘utility tractor,’ which is a bit of a packed term. In decades past, Equipment Manager Justin Day explains, bulldozers were originally a tractor offshoot—thus the ‘utility tractor’ vocabulary. These machines were used by farmers to clear fields and pull implements, in addition to various other farming tasks.
At this point in time, adding a blade onto a utility tractor was only an option, it was not included in the purchase of the equipment. Even as bulldozers began to see wide use on construction sites in the mid-20th Century, many blades still had to be special ordered. Over time, more and more companies included the blade with the purchase of a bulldozer, but CAT’s D6 line in particular still held onto the ‘utility tractor’ designation into the 1980s. This meant that we had to special order a blade separately as an attachment for our D6D.
Though it is a little scuffed, and is a little older, this dozer has tons of traction. It can handle the steepest and toughest slopes. Naturally, it found its calling on our mountain jobs. There it spends most of its time as a winch, supporting excavators and other pieces of equipment as we’ve worked on trails or on the installation of snowmaking pipe.
Though brand new technology at the time, this 1987 bulldozer has obviously been surpassed in many categories in its 30 years of use. It operates a bit more roughly, it has a cab that is open to the elements, and has none of the fancier technological innovations you might see on our newest dozers. But that makes it all the more appealing to some here. Warren Sheldrick, who has worked in and around the D6D for years, says this dozer is his favorite machine: “It works. There’s nothing extra on it.” It’s a simple machine, it has no electronics, no heating; it’s just you and the machine. “This is just what it is… simple and rugged.” Warren explains. “I just love that it’s old, and it’s perfect at what it does. It’s got a lot of history.” He feels that there is no other dozer out there that can handle steep slopes like this D6D. People are comfortable with it, and its reliability makes it one of the most trusted machines out there. “It’s not the most glamorous thing to run,” he says. And then he smiles: “But when you get it on the steepest stuff, it’s the best machine to have.”