Surly you believe that a Holt bulldozer is a forerunner of the Caterpillar, but this one is not. Sorry it isn't a Cat, but it is, in a way, related.
(And it's Not For Sale.)
The name Holt appears on many Cat blades and winches built between about 1946 and 1964. (Also for John Deere/Linderman, International Harvesters and Allis Chalmers.) In the early '70's I packed up the family and drove to Independence to look for answers and I met and spent some great hours with Francis Holt, the owner and founder of the company. At the time, he had sold his holdings, which, after another sale/merger, became the Franklin Sweed Division of Franklin Equipment Company. (To learn about Franklin Treefarmer go to http://www.franklin-treefarmer.com and click on "Foundry.") Mr. Holt was still working in the shop for them and this is what he told me: It seems that Caterpillar and others deemed it less expensive to have their blades and external attachments farmed out to private contractors across the US rather than building and shipping them from their factory (there was a small fabrication shop in downtown Tacoma, WA doing just that until the 1990's.) Holt became one of those contractors and built blades and winches, with the Holt name on them, from the mid 1940's up until he retired and sold his holdings to Swede Mills, the foundry across the street that did his steel casting (which, it seems, he also originally owned.) As stated above, Swede Mills has since merged with Franklin, which is still in business, building logging equipment. During world War II Holt had a contract to build winches and hydraulic blades for the US military and then thousands of them afterward through Independent Distributors, Portland OR. That's why many dozers had the name Holt on the blade and the winch during that time and that's why the perpetuation of the name and the confusion with Caterpillar.. Holt blades are easily recognized by the sturdy design of the outside track arm and the shape of the blade itself. Many also had a placket welded to the top of the blade with "HOLT" on it, but most have either been ripped off or removed to mount an accessory.
I'm always looking for other Holt owners. If you have one, let me know!
My tractors and others:
October 25, 2009: This stump was right in the way of the mower. All Johnnie Deere wanted to do was spin his tracks and the D2 Cat was too big and awkward to get the job done so Mr. Holt came through again.
Also in September a friend bought some property and while chopping down the blackberrys and thistles next to the barn he found this little guy. I bought it from him and now I have a Ford V6 powered Oliver oc-3. I fully intended to scrap him, but he's just too kool ....
This diesel powered, 6-way blade Holt belongs to a friend in Oregon. This tractor is Not For Sale! If you're interested in contacting him for information, email me and I'll forward your email address to him.
Here's one from Bothel Washington. He's in the process of moving to Walla Walla, Washington with the family. He's been with them since 1973. This tractor is Not For Sale!
This Holt has lived about 5 miles from me since about 1968. This Holt tractor Is Not For Sale!