We take lots of stuff for granted today when we see it. Machines and operations that have seemingly been around since tim first began. The fact of the matter is that everything we do as human beings is evolutionary and that includes how we move the Earth and design the machines that we do it with. This video from the 1950s shows off the (then) new Caterpillar 944 wheel loader. The company that was (and is) so famous for making crawler tractors of all shapes and sizes wanted to make sure the world knew that they could make one equipped with tires as well.
The video is cool because we see the machine working in all different types of conditions. Scooping loam, sand, gravel, and whatever else they wanted to capture on film. We see the tractor being driven at its maximum speed of 24mph in it road/travel gear, and we see it stopping for a school bus to let kids cross the street in front of it.
We dig the fact that we get to check out the engines and see the wild transmission that sent the power to the axles. Oh, axles. We see those too as the tractor is driven over an old school lube pit (at least that is what it looks like) and the camera has a perfect view of its guts from the perspective of an ant.
Working this machine through the summer would have meant a killer tan or a deadly sun burn. Working this machine through the winter would mean that you’d be freezing your giblets off out there in the elements. Cabs, heat, and protection from the elements were a long way off from the time this was made.
A cool machine and a great film!