People can knock Facebook all they want, but I’m into it. This post about what has to be the coolest freaking factory Jeep ever comes from a tip BangShifter Jeremy George sent me on FB. What you are seeing is a Jeep CJ5 Go-For-Digger trenching backhoe. This whole rig could be bought as optional equipment for the Jeep and they actually sold a bunch of them. Other than the shockingly cool backhoe rig hanging off the back, there was a hydraulic blade in the front that could be raised or lowered, presumably more as a stabilizer than a dozer blade, but I’m not 100% sure on that. The little four cylinder engine in the Jeep would have a hard time pushing a bowling ball so this was certainly not a ‘dozer. The neatest driveline feature is the Dana 70 rear end and dual rear tires. I cannot imagine how colossally slow this thing was with the F4-134 “Hurricane” engine and 3-speed manual transmission, but I’m guessing that the little trencher would get walked by dump trucks of the day. The ride must have been interesting with the big blade in front and the dipper arm from the backhoe hanging in the breeze out back!
I dig the little half cab, the fold down tractor seat and control levers in the back as well as the hydraulic stabilizer feet that came down when it was time for the little guy to get his dig on. The super short wheelbase and maneuverability of this whole rig must have rendered it very useful. It moved a lot quicker than a small excavator, could be driven down the road without a trailer, and could fit in areas where other tracked machines would have never made it.
I have seen a couple of these as rusted out junkers in the last few years but never one that still worked in person. It would be big fun to hop on that seat in the back and start digging holes with it. Unfortunately I couldn’t ride shotgun because there isn’t a “shotgun” in a Go-For-Digger Jeep because the passenger seat is where the large tank for the hydraulic fluid that moves the backhoe and front blade lives.
Scroll down to see the original sales brochure for the CJ5 Go-For-Digger Jeep –