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Caterpillar Thirty tractor

Tractor, Caterpillar Thirty #863

© Ginny Chichester
Year Built:
Type of Equipment:
Heavy Equipment
Logging Equipment
Caterpillar Tractor Company
Manufacturer Location:
East Peoria, IL
Motive Power:
In Service:
Mendocino Coast
Mendocino County, CA
Vrain C. Conley
Roots of Motive Power
This tractor, built in 1927, was used by gyppo loggers on the Mendocino coast to pull logs from the woods to small portable sawmills and then power the mill by means of a flat belt drive power take-off. Later in life it was used to load logs by means of the double drum winch onto trucks for transportation to the sawmill. The thirty horsepower “Thirty” was never as popular in the logging woods as its bigger brother, the “Sixty Cat,” but the smaller tractors were ideal for thinning young timber for the small gyppo logger or tree farmer.

The crawler tractors built in the late 1920s proved that tractor logging was an economical and efficient alternative to yarding with steam donkeys. Tractor logging would dominate the logging industry for forty years before cable yarders reappeared in the early 1970s.

This Caterpillar Thirty was donated to Roots of Motive Power in 2000 by Vrain Conley of Healdsburg, California.