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Thread: Cat Book Recommendations

  1. #1
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    Default Cat Book Recommendations

    As I occasionally write about Cat equipment, mostly crawlers and engines, I wonder if there is a consensus here on the best book to keep around for general reference. Nothing is perfect, but I'd like a book that I can rely upon for the most part to convert correct information. Because I write more about the equipment than the corporate machinations, I'd like a book slanted that way as well.
    Last edited by Jim Allen; 11-09-2017 at 09:38 AM.
    Jim Allen
    Keeping the Good 'Ol Days of Four Wheeling Alive

  2. #2
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    Default Kind of Depends.

    The answer kind of depends upon what kind of detail level and time period your interested in.

    I think the best overview of the entire history of Caterpillar, the major product lines, when they were introduced and their very basic features is Eric Orlemann's Caterpillar Chronical. His history takes you from Best and Holt through the late 1990's with a discussion of the company, the products and their evolution. Eric's work is pretty accurate and gives basic information, such as engine models, major features and a bit of design evolutions. This book can be purchased online from Amazon and many other retailers.

    If you want to focus more on a single model and follow its evolution, options, attachments and variations, several of the most significant models have photo archive books, such as Bob LaVoie's Caterpillar D8 Photo Archive, Thirty Photo Archive and others. Many of these are available at the Club store here as well as online and at brick and mortar stores.

    For an even deeper dive, there are references such as the Club's Track Type Tractor Serial Number Reference. These books show you start and end serial numbers for each model in each year. They also give you a basic overview of the model features and attributes and major design changes, when they happened. The Club's and the several others available each have some flaws and errors. When you get to this level of detail, it is almost impossible to completely vet and get the facts 100% correct, so at this level of detail, checking several references is important to evaluate the validity of a particular fact.

    There are other significant overview histories which are also accurate and enjoyable, some focused on a particular era or type of machine. An example is Ed Classen's Making Tracks, which is focused on the Best history. That book is also available in the Club store.

    I'm sure others will have good suggestions, but hopefully this gives you a start.

    Pete.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Hey Jim great thread. I to love to read books about caterpillar and look at old cat pictures. I have been thinking of ordering 3 books from the acmoc store and also purchasing a book that looks really neat called (all in a days work). It'll be neat to see what other books people throw out there for a guy to find and read through.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Also are there any good reads on the D2 or R2 tractors that anybody knows of, if so I'd like to know so I can find them. I'm a real sucker for the D2 and R2.

  5. #5
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    Orlemann's books are good but i believe the best overall product line book for vintage cat equipment is, g t barnards "illustrated product guide 1889-1969". i believe it was a expensive limited run and now hard to find. i got 1 and member it wasn't inexpensive. good luck with ur project.
    My engine & tractor video's, thanks 4 looking.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ag-mike View Post
    Orlemann's books are good but i believe the best overall product line book for vintage cat equipment is, g t barnards "illustrated product guide 1889-1969". i believe it was a expensive limited run and now hard to find. i got 1 and member it wasn't inexpensive. good luck with ur project.
    I have all the books mentioned and more. Including what might be the best D9D-D9H book ever written and maybe the only one, but, its in German. I do not think it was ever done in an English Text. It was authored by Urs Peyer.

    Caterpillar Chronicles by ECO, is a fantastic book for photos and history as stated, maybe the best.

    For reference,
    Barnards " Caterpillar illustrated product guide 1889-1969" is Awesome. Its in B&W but is almost all Caterpillar Ads, and builders photos... Includes tractors, scrapers, trucks, graders, loaders ... the whole line... and power units, all attachments, etc, etc. Truly a treasure book of Cat products for that period. Very expensive and might be hard to find.

  7. #7
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    Thumb D2 Cody

    Bob LaVoie's D2/R2 Photo Archive is a good book for the info you seek!

  8. #8
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    Great thread!

    As others have mentioned, if you can find one, the Barnard book is a very good reference book. It doesn't go into a ton of detail, but enough for most questions that might come up. It has good illustrations from spec sheets and brochures to complement the info too.

    Orlemann's Caterpillar Chronicle is also near the top of my list. There are two other Orlemann books that contain much of the same info. Classic Caterpillar Crawlers contains much of the same text as Chronicle, but only covers up to 1955 and only tractors. Caterpillar Century seemed to me to be a refresh of much of the same info as Chronicle, but with some different, larger pictures. All three are similar in that they weave the details into more of a story format rather than just a collection of specs and descriptive paragraphs. Part of this is the details are complemented with anecdotes passed on from some of the people involved. Some of those recollections are difficult to prove, or in a few cases, don't quite align with other facts, but they still make for a good story.

    For detailed reference on early Holt and Best history, it's hard to beat Caterpillar's Roots by Jack Alexander. It maybe doesn't "flow" as well as some of the other books, but there is no lacking for detail and he does a good job of citing where the information came from if you want to do more research on your own. Roots stops at the Holt/Best merger though.

    The Caterpillar Pocket Guide also comes in handy if you just need quick specs on a Cat tractor model from 1925-1955.

    You also can't forget about the ACMOC newsletter. There have been some very good articles in there over the years. The one Lorry Dunning did on the 2-Ton is the best info on that model I have ever come across. Unfortunately, I don't think there is any index to those type of articles.

    Dave

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimT View Post
    I have all the books mentioned and more. Including what might be the best D9D-D9H book ever written and maybe the only one, but, its in German. I do not think it was ever done in an English Text. It was authored by Urs Peyer.

    Caterpillar Chronicles by ECO, is a fantastic book for photos and history as stated, maybe the best.

    For reference,
    Barnards " Caterpillar illustrated product guide 1889-1969" is Awesome. Its in B&W but is almost all Caterpillar Ads, and builders photos... Includes tractors, scrapers, trucks, graders, loaders ... the whole line... and power units, all attachments, etc, etc. Truly a treasure book of Cat products for that period. Very expensive and might be hard to find.

    I also have all the books listed by Pete. All great books. In addition one of my favorite books is "Tracks in the Woods" which keeps me entertained and educates for days at a time on many brands of old machines, some of which don't exist anymore.

    EDIT: I improperly listed the book title. It should have been "Endless Tracks in the Woods" by James A. Young and Jerrry D, Budy. An excellent read and much historical information.
    Last edited by old-iron-habit; 11-12-2017 at 09:56 AM.
    1937 Cat #11 tandem auto patrol,diesel, w/plow and wing, 6K506SP, 1937 RD 4 Ag Crawler RD5356, 1939 Cat 22, 1952 Model 212 Grader 9T03427, 1953 2U D8 Dozer 2U20751, 1961 922A Rubber Tired Loader, 59A812, LeTouneau LS Cable Scraper, Cat/Lincoln 600 AMP Dual Welder, DW-21 Cat Scraper

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