If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time you may have come to realize that I have a real interest in the use of tractors in woods operations. It must be the four year old in me coming through, the same one that was always playing with Tonka tractors in the woods behind my parent’s house.
Some historians have said that there was very little mechanization in Newfoundland’s pulpwood industry, it is true that cutting wasn’t mechanized until the 1950’s with introduction of the powersaw, but hauling? Machines were used for hauling almost from the very start, and there were a lot of different machines used.
Please note that besides the Hayes trucks, trucks have been excluded, because for the most part until 1955, they were mostly used for hauling supplies, besides the fact that it is almost impossible to nail down all the different types and the numbers used. Graders have also not been included. The Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company had a number of tow behind graders for maintaining some of the early woods roads. They also started to acquire self propelled Caterpillar No.12 graders during the 1940’s.
If anybody has any doubts about the level of mechanization in wood hauling prior to the 1960’s you only have to look at this account of hauling operations in Badger Division in 1947: “Our Hauling went according to plan. To realize what this means is to imagine a lineup of 41 tractors, 68 horses, 3 cranes, 2 huge trucks, 312 Tractor sleds……
Those 41 tractors were in one logging division, in total, at that time the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company was noted to have around 77 tractors in its operations.
Take a look at the tables below.
|Machine||Approximate Date||Approximate numbers||Notes|
|Lombard Log Hauler (Or other similar type)||1914-1921||1||A picture was found of one of these machines. A person was recorded in the 1921 Census of Badger as being “Engineer on the log hauler.” It was noted that there had been experiments with mechanical hauling prior to World War One.|
|Clyde Steam Skidder||1918-1923||1-2||Used near Kelly’s Pond in Millertown Division and left there. Was still there until about 1992. There are photos of it in operation there and of it many years later before it was unintentionally scrapped.
Included because it was powered, tracked and self propelled.
There were also vague reports of other attempts at mechanical yarding, which included an attempt where a smaller stationary engine was used.
|Holt 5 Ton||1921||2||2 Holt 5-Tons were noted to have been used in the Winter of 1921, but they were found to be unsatisfactory as there were breakdowns and problems with the tracks. These machines were reportedly sent back to the manufacturer.|
|Holt 2-Ton||1920-22||2||Written and photographic evidence. Noted to have been used at Black Duck in 1922 at William Pope’s Camp.|
|Linn Tractor||Early 1920’s||2||Possibly first bought in 1920 or 21. Used at Buchans circa 1926. Not widely adopted in Newfoundland.|
|Holt 10-Ton||1922-23||2||2 Machines Used in Millertown Division extensive published record. Also used in Badger Division near Black Duck.|
|Holt Total Number by 1923-24||1923||10||Noted in Advertisements that the AND Company has a total of 10 Holt Tractors. 6 Additional tractors were ordered in 1923. From heading the available information it is very likely that this number included Holt 5-ton machines. Holt became Caterpillar in 1925.|
|Caterpillar 10||1928-1932||3 noted||There apparently 3 of these machines bought by the AND Company one of which is still in existence.|
|Caterpillar 20||Circa 1928||Used by Goodyear’s to haul wood to the mill, most likely the AND Company had them as well.|
|Caterpillar Diesel 40||Diesel 40 Produced 1934-36,||Caterpillar Diesel 40 at Millertown in picture. Looks like it was a gas powered 40. These were only made from about 1934-36 so it very likely they came in the same time as the Caterpillar 22s and were used in the development of the “shuttle system.”|
|Caterpillar 22||1934-38 Acquired||20+||A large number of these were brought in. Over a dozen of them were sold to individual contractor foremen and the records are in the registry of deeds. There are a few pictures of these machines. Useful for braking in haul roads. A few were still in use in the late 1940’s.|
|Caterpillar D-2||Not as documented as D-4 but would have filled role of the 22. Started manufacture in 1938.|
|Caterpillar D-4||Circa 1939-1967||Most likely the most common tractor used in the 1940’s to 60’s.||The D-4 was introduced in 1937. By 1947 the machine is described as being ubiquitous to Newfoundland logging operations. These were used for hauling until tractor hauling was discontinued in 1967. Probably the most common machine in this period. Besides hauling it was common to use these to power sawmills.|
|Caterpillar D-6||1930’s-1960’s||A considerable number||Also introduced in 1937. Was common but less common than the D-4. Sometimes used with a blade for road and dam construction.|
|Caterpillar D-7||1940’s-60’s||D-7 with a blade was used in road building and for plowing roads. More common than previously thought.|
|Caterpillar D-8||1940’s-1960’s||Have not noted any in the 1946-1952 period. At least one at South Twin Depot around 1949 used to haul supplies on large sled, and for hauling sled trains.|
|Caterpillar DW-10 truck||1947-1950||1-2||Used for truck hauling operations from Marks Lake to South Twin Lake in Badger Division. Normally these machines were used elsewhere to haul road scarpers, but in Newfoundland they were adapted to haul trailers containing 11 cords of pulpwood. According to Otto Verge it did come with the road scraping attachment and was also used for road building.
First brought in in August of 1947. “This DW10 wheeled tractor is the second of its type to be made” http://collections.mun.ca/utils/getarticleclippings/collection/westernstar/id/18179/articleId/MODSMD_ARTICLE100/compObjId/18181/lang/en
“Concerned with this this demonstration were Mr. Sam Millhouse, field demonstrator, Mr. R. Cornell Eastern representative for Caterpillar, Mr. Jones, Time Study expert from Peoria Illinois.
|Hayes Truck||1946||At least 2.||Possibly first originally borrowed from Bowater who had an operation with these trucks in Hampden going back to around 1942. Both these and the DW-10 was used to haul tractor sleds in the winter time. One of these ended up hauling wood at Cornfield lake a number of years later.|
|International TD-5||Late 1950’s Early 1960’s||Picture of at least one of these in operation 1959-61. International tractors were being promoted to the Company by Harvey and Company.|
|John Deere MC,420 c or 430c||1950’s||A number of smaller John Deere tractors were used for hauling on difficult terrain.|
|Bombardier J-5||Late 1950’s-Early 1960’s||A fairly large number of these ended up in the woods although they were largely superseded by the skidders in the 1960’s.|
|Bombardier Muskeg (HDW)||Late 1950’s-Early 1960’s||This was an early Muskeg with a rear dump on which bundles of pulpwood would be loaded. Noted to have been popular in Quebec, but a respectable number had to have been used in Newfoundland. I have seen four different examples of this machine in pictures.|
|International TD-20||Circa 1963||Used at the mill for handling wood chips.|
|Caterpillar 977H||1962||Bulldozer with grapple for loading trucks, used with 8 foot wood at New Bay.|
|International TC-5 Skidder||1963||6||On an Experimental Basis according to daily news. 2 at Mac Peyton’s camp at jumpers Brook in 1963.|
|Johnson Skidder||Circa 1963||Contractor owned, Tracked machine with grapple for bundled pulpwood|
|TimberJack Skidder||1963-1969||1964-26 (All Types of skidder)
1964: 5 in Badger Division, 10 at New Bay Road
|Source: JP Curran, Process of Mechanization. Operators were trained on operation of Timberjack in 1966.|
|Hough Pay Logger-Skidder||1964|
|Hough Pay Packer||1965||Essentially the same machine at the latter, but with a claw grapple on the back so it could pick up bundles of pre-cut pulpwood.|