CaterpillarĀ® History

The two companies continued in stiff competition. In 1911, The Holt Manufacturing Company introduced its "Holt Model 60 Caterpillar", built at its Stockton, California factory, and in the same year, began production of its "Holt Model 40-60 Caterpillar" at its East Peoria, Illinois plant. The basic difference between the two versions of the Holt Model 60 was in the head and valve design of the engines. The Model 60 (and 40-60) was a highly popular product, soon outselling the earlier Model 45.

In 1912, Holt introduced its "Holt Baby 30 Caterpillar", and in 1914, introduced the "Holt Model 18 Midget Caterpillar", both designed for orchard and vineyard work, and both built at Holt's Stockton, California factory. Three hundred forty-seven "Midgets" were manufactured before production ended in 1917.

In 1913, Holt introduced its hugely popular "Holt Model 60-75 Caterpillar", manufactured at its Stockton plant. By 1916, this machine became the "Holt Model 75 Caterpillar", the best-selling front tiller-wheeled tractor the company ever produced. Starting in 1916, it was built at both Holt plants. The only differences between the Seventy-Fives produced at Stockton and those produced at East Peoria were in the engine cooling systems and in the track assemblies. The "Holt Model 75 Caterpillar" was produced into 1924.

In 1914, the same year as the "Midget" was introduced to farmers, Holt introduced the "Holt Model 120 Caterpillar", essentially designed for military use to pull heavy artillery pieces on battle grounds. Most of these tractors were destined for the battle fields of France in World War I; all were built in East Peoria, and surprisingly, production continued to 1922.

Also in 1914, Holt redesigned its "Holt Model 45 Caterpillar" to run without a front tiller-wheel, the first "crawler" tractor to do so. It was found that by disengaging the power to the tracks on either side, the machine could be turned without a wheel in the front of the tractor to effect the change in direction.

In mid-1913, Holt dissolved all of its subsidiaries and consolidated most of their operations under The Holt Manufacturing Company. This included the Aurora Engine Company and the Holt Caterpillar Company. However, the Best Manufacturing Company was shut down completely, leaving the plant in San Leandro idle.

In 1917, Holt introduced its "Holt 5-Ton Caterpillar" model, primarily designed for military hauling duties. As Holt did not have the production capacity to meet the military's requirements for World War I, the company licensed two automobile manufacturers to supply the military's needs for that tractor: the Maxwell Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, and the Reo Motor Car Company of Lansing, Michigan. This model was converted into a commercial model in 1918 and was produced by Holt up to the merger of the Holt company into the Caterpillar Tractor Co. that would occur in May of 1925.

In 1917, Holt also introduced its "Holt 10-Ton Caterpillar" model, again, primarily designed for military hauling duties. This model was converted into a commercial model two years later and was produced by Holt up to the time of the merger.

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