Always been more of a dog person...
I found this thing a few months ago when we moved the cows out to the lease, but didn't think much about it. Abandoned on the only flat spot on the side of a mountain, the cows aren't up there so I didn't spend much time around it. When we went out a few weeks ago, I made a point of riding back out and taking a closer look at this thing. I've always like stuff with tracks, especially small stuff. I had a Case/ Davis trencher with steel tracks for a while, and always wanted a Struck/ Magnatrack. They're basically garden tractor size machines, but with tracks. I just think they're neat, and since deciding the F932 lawnmower project was too much trouble...something more than three times the size in much worse condition only makes sense as the next project.
It's a 1937 Caterpillar model Twenty Two. It's a four cylinder hand crank engine, originally designed to start on gasoline and once warmed up switch to 'tractor fuel' which would be similar to kerosene or diesel. General consensus is that today, trying to run one on diesel is more trouble than it's worth and the best way to go is to run it on 100% gasoline. there were aftermarket electric starters available in the 30s and 40s for them, but they're hard to find today and difficult to piece together without having a custom ring gear made for the flywheel. The landowner is out of state, so it took some time to track him down and work out a deal. It was there when he bought the property several years ago, and there it still is. At this point I still didn't know much about the mechanical condition, when I looked at it I didn't even get off the horse. I went out there again to try and see what I was getting into without tearing into it too much. I was able to get to it in the two wheel drive, but it was tricky.
The seat is gone, the engine is seized, the PTO lever is seized, exhaust stack is missing, exhaust manifold is broken, and radiator completely empty. Despite all that I still bought it. The levers all move, the clutch pedal moves, I soaked the tracks with a few cans of penetrating oil and tugged on it with the truck to see if it would roll. It would not.
So, with the tracks soaking I left and began doing research and planning the recovery.