Overhauls are among our favorite things to watch on the internet. That’s doubly true when the video is produced and laid out as well as this one is. There’s a reason for that though. We’re sure that the Christchurch, New Zealand Caterpillar outfit does a lot of these types of jobs but this one was a little different for them on a couple of levels. For staters there were timing issues. The machine they were supposed to overhaul was delayed in even getting to them. How hard can that be, right? In this case? Really hard.
See the D8R that these guys stripped and rebuilt was not coming from the other side of the country, it was coming from the bottom of the Earth…literally. This particular machine is used at the US outpost in Antarctica and with 13,000 hours on the clock, it was time for a freshen up. It took longer to get the unit to New Zealand because the weather was so crummy it was impossible to get planes in or out.
Once it got to the shop the crew descended on the tractor and let fly. To say that this was a comprehensive rebuild would be selling it short. Every piece that could be disassembled from the engine to the cab was pulled apart, serviced, and reassembled. The motor was bored and rebuilt, the tracks were repaired, the works!
This machine has some differences from a typical D8 because of its working environment. Wider tracks to lower ground pressure and some mechanical changes to deal with the cold.
Great video, great footage of the process, and great work by gearheads in New Zealand!