Caterpillar has been involved in the forestry industry going back to its formation in 1925. Its history in logging goes back even further – over 100 years – back to the time of Daniel and CL Best. Source: Timberbiz
It all started with one of Caterpillar’s founders, CL “Leo” Best. Leo’s father made steam tractors and wagons that supported the logging industry in the late 1800s, and Leo worked for his father in many capacities starting at the age of 13. These machines hauled large logs out of the forests of California and the Pacific Northwest.
Leo learned from his father’s innovations, and he made improvements to these early machines after starting his own company – CL Best Tractor Co. This led the development of both the Best Logging Wheeler and the Best 60 Logging Cruiser.
The Best Logging Wheeler was designed for use with a Best 60 Cruiser track-type tractor.
Developed in the early 1920s, the Best Logging Wheeler’s sheer size made it a giant.
It was of all steel construction, with 8-foot wheels mounted on adjustable tapered roller bearings and 12-inch tires that permitted easy hauling over soft ground.
It was state-of-the-art in that the load was raised by hydraulic pressure through an oil cylinder on the top of the arch, with a pump on the tractor furnishing the pressure.
Control of the load was maintained by the tractor driver without leaving the seat. It could be allowed to drag as a brake or swing clear of the ground. The change could be made as often as desired by the slight turning of a valve.
Equipped with a Logging Wheeler, a Best 60 Logging Cruiser track-type tractor could handle up to 3000 feet to a load—and keep on doing it.
The Best 60 Logging Cruiser was specifically developed for the logging industry and was particularly suited to the requirements of logging and lumbering.
The Cruiser’s folding top was shaped like cover of a Ford Model T and protected the operator from sun and rain. It could also be readily lowered when in the woods.
A special screen guard protected the radiator from brush or branches. A front pull-hook was available for loading operations or any emergency needs.
The Best 60 Logging Cruiser helped build logging roads, and it could travel cross country without them. In fact, the lack of proper roads and the necessity for short cuts were conditions for which the Logging Cruiser was particularly adapted.