Customers have taken possession of the commemorative units, which feature special decals on the fenders denoting the 175,000-unit milestone. The 175,000 image appears inside the cab as well, where it is embroidered on the headrest and printed on a plaque denoting each unit’s limited-edition status.
Caterpillar started production of medium-high drive dozers in 1985 when it expanded its elevated sprocket undercarriage concept to the medium track-type tractor (MTTT) line with the launch of the H-Series models. The US-based manufacturer says the high drive design conforms to the ground better, improving durability, serviceability and performance compared to low-drive and oval track designs.
The Cat D4H, D5H, D6H and D7H dozer models were the first to feature the high drive design, and in 1987, the D8L model was added to the family. In addition to bringing many of the same large dozer advantages to the medium line, Cat says the elevated drive sprocket allowed movement of the front and rear track idlers. This helped to fine-tune machine balance and ground pressure for specific applications more easily than oval track machines. Variable pitch angle tilt (VPAT) blades were made available to high drive dozers with the D4H and D5H models for finishing jobs faster by grading at higher speeds.
“One of the original taglines to promote the early high drive tractors was ‘Beyond Known Capabilities,’ because these units set a new standard for efficiency, productivity and ease of operation,” said Wes Holm, chief engineer, Caterpillar medium tractor products. “With our next-generation medium dozer line, which includes the new D5, D6 and D7 models, we continue to push these envelopes through adaptation of technology to drive productivity and efficiency to another level.”
The first two commemorative units were Cat D6 XE electric drive dozers, featuring a dark grey and black paint scheme. The third unit, a D6 dozer with 4-speed, fully automatic transmission, is finished in traditional Cat yellow with special black tracks and blade.
Goodfellow Bros, a contractor, based in Wenatchee, Washington state, received one of the D6 XE units. Before being put in the dirt in Hawaii, Goodfellow plans to feature the new commemorative dozer in the company’s 100th-anniversary celebration, planned for 2021.
Holt Cat of San Antonio, Texas, took possession of the second commemorative D6 XE dozer. The dealership plans to use it to help promote Cat Next Generation Dozers at future customer events.
The commemorative D6 dozer was shipped to Canadian dealer Finning Cat, where it was sold to Alberta-based Midwest Pipelines.