Kenny and I went down to Turkey Bend and loaded a D-7 Cat Dozer and was headed back to Smithwick. The road was not paved back then, which was probably in 1968. The bar-ditch was usually wet from the springs that flowed out of the rock outcroppings. It was fairly clean without cedar brush back then.
Kenny was driving too fast and got too close to the ditch as he came into the corner. This caused the truck and trailer to slam into a 4′ high vertical bank on the right side with great force. This resulted in truck and trailer to suddenly stop but the dozer to continued going. The chains snapped, as the dozer left the trailer. It rolled over, something like 1 1/4 times, skidded across the ground, leaving it laying some 50 or 60 feet out in the pasture.
This commotion set in motion a very loud noise followed by a humongous dust cloud.
(The timing was only a few weeks after we had had another potentially bad mishap in close proximity. I’ll add the other story below for reference. It involved a turned over John Deere Loader, with me bloody and we walked to where Jim McCouquodale was working cattle) This is a link to that story: https://angorachronicles.com/2021/04/09/the-adventures-of-driving-under-powered-trucks/
In less than 10 to 15 minutes we ran a winch cable from the truck out and tied onto the dozer, flipped it back over, started it and got it re-loaded.
This time McCouquodale and crew were back working cattle again. It is told that without the benefit of seeing anything, Jim said “well the Lewis boys are at it again”. He decided to load up a come check on us. We were reloaded and leaving the scene as Jim and some of his guys drove up.
That old dozer was pretty tough. It was as if nothing had ever happened.
2 thoughts on “Throwing A D-7 Dozer Off Of The Trailer”
We used D-7s in Vietnam. Not that I was ever allowed near one. I recall a guy from Florida, older than the rest of us by half-a-dozen years. He must have been drafted at the END of his eligibility (or, it comes to mind, have spent the first few years of his vulnerability incarcerated). Anyway, he was a master with a D7. Could do grader-quality work with it. I didn’t particularly like him, because he saw me as the kid who I was, but I respected his skill with that dozer beyond the ability of words to say.
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My brother was well trained on a dozer before he got to Vietnam. He fell right in there and ran it like a pro.
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