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Off Topic - Calif Reclamation

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1 month 2 weeks ago #239772 by ctsnowfighter
Many realize Caterpillar is the result of the need for equipment to farm the rich Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta.
There exists a book - well worth your time if interested and you can find it?   "THE TULE BREAKERS" by John Thompson & Edward A. Dutra -  ISBN 0-91111-04-8
The copy I have just read was from the Folsom Public Library and has a handwritten inscription :  " To: Oscar M. Horst with the wish that all your digging will be soft.  (signed) John Thompson"

The California Dredge and "ditchers" were instrumental in reclaiming the low "Tule-Peat" lands of the delta as well as building the levee and drainage systems in the reaches of the rivers.

Imagine - 6 1/4 cubic yard bucket on a boom of 250 feet (yes, a wooden boom).  One of the very largest of its type but certainly impressive!

Cargill - if they still hold ownership - has the Mallard 2 -  it is located on the South side of State Route 84 on the East Side of the Bay, picture on Google Earth pretty burry but I understand it has not been used in many years.  

I believe there is a bucket on display in Old Sacramento and Dutra Museum in Rio Vista.

Since the material is all Copyrighted - I will not post photos from the book but think you will find it very interesting.

CTS




 

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1 month 2 weeks ago #239775 by neil
Replied by neil on topic Off Topic - Calif Reclamation
Interesting CTS, would you happen to have the coordinates for the Mallard 2 so we can look it up on goggle maps?

Cheers,
Neil

Pittsford, NY

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1 month 2 weeks ago #239781 by Deas Plant.

You have a wonderful day. Best wishes. Deas Plant.
The following user(s) said Thank You: kracked1, ctsnowfighter

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1 month 2 weeks ago #239789 by ctsnowfighter
earth.google.com/web/@37.57693466,-122.1...4034h,6.04564512t,0r

This should put you there!

If not, find the toll plaza on east end of Dumbarton Bridge - look on south side of the freeway along the frontage road. Look for the ORANGE - that is the salt and bittern ponds.

I have not been able to find detail of the swing mechanism - some did have a "turntable" but Mallard 2 is not one of them. Pintle at top of the A frame and a shoe base end of boom.
The book does not go into the mechanics of operation as much as I would have liked, still very interesting machines.
Amazing when you consider suspending a loaded 6 1/4 yard bucket on the end of a wooden stick! One notation said "Douglas Fir, 8 growth rings to the inch, 24" x 24" cross section, scarf jointed"

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1 month 2 weeks ago #239801 by juiceman
CTS: I remember seeing old black and white photos eons ago when I was in the CSU Chico library regarding the "Sutter Basin". Most of that land was overgrown with tules and valley oak trees; land was sold very cheap, to entice the buyers to reclaim the land and make it useful. The Caterpillar tractor was best suited for that job, and often required a second person to operate in the dense growth. A driver was assisted by a navigator which acted as an old time GPS. The person stood or sat high in front and would point which way to turn, because things were that THICK and HIGH. Driver was operating blind without help. That entire area is some of the most sought after farm land around here. Very productive soil.
Salt at Newark? Those mounds are supposedly very easy to see from the upper atmosphere, California has its salt pile, while Egypt has its pyramids.JM

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1 month 2 weeks ago #239804 by rturn3060
CTS their was no swing mecahism, the hoist or closing lines were used to start the swing once the bucket was closed because the lines were rigged to pull from the head frame from the side of the boat. Once the swing was started the boat would list to the side thus starting the swing cycle. To control the swing tension on the closing and opening linese controled the swing cycle. losing control of the swing with a loaded bucket would be disastrous as the boom would swing around and crash into the head frame. There is a clam shell barge setting in the Port of Stockton, probably a 2.5 yard size, and a small clam barge on the Fall River near McArthur beloning to PG&E that is used to maintain the leveys along Fall River and Big Lake that are part of PG&E's Pitt River Hydro Electric project. I recemend the Dutra/Thompson book to anyone interested in reclamation work on a large scale by todays standards using steam powered wooden equipment

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1 month 2 weeks ago #239806 by ctsnowfighter
rturn3060
Thank You for the explanation. I thought maybe it was those two lines but was not ready to step that far out on the plank. I do not recall seeing that in the book.

I can vaguely recall a Dutra Barge coming through Meridian, Ca many years ago. That was when the bridge was still the original built by Northern Electric RR and traffic was on the outriggers that were only about 10 foot lanes. My father was the operator of the bridge that time. Huge machines!

If I am ever back up to McArthur, I will try to look for the dredge there. Maybe it was small enough to be called a "ditcher"?
CTS

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1 month 2 weeks ago #239809 by ctsnowfighter
Unable to locate one in Port of Stockton
41°03'46.3"N 121°28'15.4"W - near McArthur, Ca - Looks like it is on private property - not sure can see from the road.
Two at Rio Vista - Dutra's Yard

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1 month 2 weeks ago #239812 by rturn3060
PG&E dreg is in fall river adjacent to McArthur Blvd. Stockton dredge, when traveling S. on elevated portion of I-5 crossing the San Joaquine river, dredge was on the right as you pass the Port area. I saw this dredge working in the Sacramento river just above Clarksberg about 20 years ago.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #239819 by steeltracs
Are the Dutra machines former Smith Rice Company units from back in the 80’s

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