Five classic vintage machines

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

The machines we use every day are some of the toughest pieces of kit you’ll find, built to keep working and earning for decades. Here are some of the best vintage machines we’ve come across.

Vintage Machines Listicle

While everybody loves a new machine with all the modern bells and whistles, it’s fun to take a look back at the way our diggers used to be. These beasts of burden come from a simpler time, a time before GPS guidance and heated air suspension seats.

Our man Ron Horner is a sucker for the old iron, and loves getting to know these classic machines and the characters that run them.


5 classic vintage machines

1979 Kato 550G excavator

Kato 550G

Kato used to be a much bigger name in Australia, and were the first brand to bring excavators down under. This 550G was found sitting on a Queensland farm kitted out with swamp tracks.

"What is significant is that this would have to be one of the first original swamp tracked excavators bought into Australia in the mid-to-late 1970s or early ’80s and (although not confirmed) it seems to have been worked as one of the first hydraulic swamp excavators on the Gold Coast during the peak of the canal developments in that era," Ron says.

 

Allis Chalmers DD Model grader

Allis Chalmers DD Grader

The DD Model grader was Allis Chalmers’ diesel entry into the grader market after WWII and is a bit smaller and more compact than today’s motor graders.

It would appear in today’s society that this little grader would be a dinosaur but in fact it still holds the same principles of graders of today," Ron says.

"Technology has overrun us at all points associated with earthmoving equipment but the principles are still the same, merely becoming more fine-tuned as the years wear on."

 

Caterpillar 633C scraper

Cat 633C Scraper

This enormous Caterpillar 633C scraper from the late fifties/early sixties was found on a strawberry farm in the ‘granite belt’ on the QLD/NSW border.

"One of the first things you will notice is that the 633C Scraper is quite a large machine when you stand beside it," Ron says.

"It runs 33x35 tyres both front and rear, however out here on the farm, procurement of used tyres are definitely the go."

 

1982 Komatsu D65E-6 dozer

1982 Komatsu Dozer

One of the earliest entries in the Australian dozer market from the Japanese equipment giant, the 1982 Komatsu D65E-6 set the standard for dozers back in the day.

"The presentation of the Komatsu is exceptional and faultless," Ron says.

"The big 155hp, 743-cubic-inch Cummins diesel engine fitted to a three-speed forward and three-speed reverse transmission are tried and proven and perfectly suited to this classic dozer. Capable of 10.7kph forward and 13.6kph for the run home after the day shift works well with this tractor."

 

O&K RH6 excavator

O&K RH6 Excavator

O&K is an ancient name in the earthmoving business, manufacturing cable-operated excavators since the early part of the twentieth century. The group was one of the only companies to then make the jump to manufacturing hydraulic machinery.

This particular O&K is the RH6 model from the early 1970s.

"This particular classic machine weighs in at about 16 tonnes in weight and is powered by an air-cooled 5-cylinder Deutz engine, which was very popular in some European designed machines back in the day," says Ron.

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