View Full Version : My Wildest Recovery Trip
12-03-2006, 08:25 PM
Just like Willie, I find myself on wild recovery missions. Two years ago, a friend, Dennis, gave me a tip on a couple of tractors he wanted to get rid of. They where located two hours away, on his brothers property. His brother purchased the property with a lot of stuff on it, as is.
Dennis, John Machado, my son Kevin and I set out on a Saturday to go look. Dennis had never been to the sight yet, and that became a problem. Ten miles of dirt roads, wooden bridges to cross, steep dirt roads, and sharp switch backs was going to make it a non access for a low boy. We were lost. I soon took over as the navigator. The only thing we had for directions was a contour map showing some two thousand acres, with a "X" marks the spot on it. Reading contour maps is a daily task at work, so we finally made it twenty minutes later.
Well there in a beautiful valley next to a damn full of water, sat a TD-24 and a Caterpillar dozer. I was puzzled to the model though. Was it an old 6. No it looked a little bigger. I got the serial # and wrote it down. The hydraulic system was home made with a drum bolted to the back of the seat for a reservoir. They had a disc, a harrow, a belt drive system that came of the front of a barn, and the two dozers for grabs.:D :D :D
12-03-2006, 08:38 PM
So, the problem was no access for a low boy. The TD-24 was too heavy for the wood bridges, and the Cat seemed like quite a project to get her going. The serial # worked out that it was a 1931 Gas Fifty. The radiator must have been changed, as it has no casting ID markings on it.
I contacted (another Dennis) Dennis Albini, one of my operators, who loves Internationals. Dennis, John, Rich my mechanic, and I set off the next week end to see if anything would come alive. We got the 24 to light up on gas, but the injector pump was shot. Well what now-rebuilt pump, and the next weekend, Dennis, John, and I sent out to get it going. ;) After six days, It came to life. We were confident it would walk out 12 miles on her own, over the other side of the hill to a low boy.
12-03-2006, 09:06 PM
Away we went the next week end. A 40 ton low bed which is a 16 wheeled Cozad, a 25 ton tilt bed carrying a Cat 950 for support, a KW roll off truck with a flat bed, a 16' 5 ton International, and a 20' 5 ton International. We staged the low boy and parked the tilt bed at the end of the paved road. The KW being a 10 wheeler went all the way in. Scary going over the wooden bridge though. The 950 had to road in and the two flat beds followed. The team got right to work. The 950 loaded the Fifty on the flat bed which we put on the ground right up to it. Then the loader went to work on all the other attachments. Oh yea, I forgot to tell you all about the loader attachment that bolted up the the front of the Fifty dozer blade. It is like a crane boom, about twenty feet long, with a trip style bucket on it.
:eek: Then the day started to darken for us all.:eek: The KW driver got to close to a pile of metal and had a blow out ruining the sidewall. It wasn't a good feeling, somehow I knew things were going to go bad then. Sent the KW off on his way to go to town and fix his tire. Then the 24 conked out a mile down the road. The fuel line got blocked. But it was getting late. It made it. it was boiling a bit,(head gasket or a cracked head)but the old girl made it to a private runway were we could get the low boy to. When I came down the road to the runway, the owner of the runway was chasing me with a dune buggy and a gun.:eek: Boy did I have to sweet talk him. After explaining that His neighbor told me he has an easement to cross his property, he calmed down a little. It was now getting dark, as all the explaining took too much time.
12-03-2006, 09:23 PM
Things were going bad. Everything was finally loaded and we were on our way. The Mack tilt bed and two flat beds took off going over the mountain, the shortest route. The KW roll off we never heard back from. The Cozad with the TD-24 had to drive an hour longer north to get to an approved truck route for wide loads.
:eek: :confused: The guys were calling me on the cell. Bad reception, 15 calls later I finally figured out the the was a severe accident. A Toyota tundra heading the other way had the driver fall asleep. He crossed over the line running into the first flat bed. He hit the left front tire, braking the tie rod and shearing off the steering box. Dennis couldn't control the flat bed and went off the road to the left. The toyota hitting with the drivers front fender, had no cab damaged. It spun the truck around 180 and then...:eek: Hit John Machado with the bed of the truck knocking out the front axle, shearing the pto off of the tranny, breaking the case, and tearing the rear end out with the front axle. John went to the right.
Thank God no one got hurt. It was a long day. 6:00 am 'til 2:00 am the next day. A tire and two trucks. I must have Cat yellow blood.;)
12-04-2006, 08:09 AM
Glen, a 3 hour tour to find some old iron that turned into Gilligans island:D That is one of those days you will look back on and just shake your head, laugh and count your blessings. Good that no one was hurt. Thanks for the story and great recovery:cool: Don
12-04-2006, 11:18 AM
You're right, Thank God no one was hurt. Here are a few pictures of my yard art. Maybe someday I'll pull it in the shop for Cat Night.
King of Obsolete
12-04-2006, 12:15 PM
wow what a story, just add a bunch of snow and you will have my adventures, LOL
12-04-2006, 01:29 PM
7upuller, that's some story! GWH
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