Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki

Restored Early Holt 'Caterpillar' Sixty on show at SED 2007

A Holt No.75 tractor s/n 3580 at the Great Dorset Steam Fair in 2008

An early Caterpillar Ten machine, originally introduced by Holt

The Holt Manufacturing company was founded by;

Benjamin Holt (1849 – 1920) was an American inventor who developed David Roberts' design for one of the first practical caterpillar tracks for use in tractors. The caterpillar type track is used to spread the weight of heavy agricultural and construction plant out over a large area to prevent the vehicle from sinking into the mud. He acquired the patent from Richard Hornsby & Sons of England, in 1914.

Sinking into the mud was a common problem in peat soil surrounding Stockton, California where Holt made his residence. Caterpillar tracks allowed practical cultivation on an industrial scale on the rich peat land.

Holt Manufacturing Co.

Holt formed The Holt Manufacturing Company in the early 20th century. Caterpillar tracked tractors were credited as providing some inspiration for the invention of the tank, but the patents were actually bought from other companies. Later, after Benjamin Holt's death in 1920, the Holt Manufacturing Company merged with C.L. Best Tractor Co. to form the Caterpillar Tractor Co., which is now Caterpillar Inc. The Holt tractor was constructed under the Caterpillar banner as the Caterpillar 60 following the merger.

A street in northern Stockton is named Benjamin Holt Drive in his honour. There is also a school named after him.

Benjamin Holt is most often cited as the founder of Caterpillar Inc.

War Department versions

Following supply difficulties in 1917 Ruston, Proctor and Company were licensed to build the Holt 75 in Britain. Building 443 machines fitted with Perkins Engineers built engines ( Not F Perkins of Peterborough). (One known survivor is in Australia).[1] A total of 1362 were ordered by the British War Dept. but some were lost in transit and 400 were not deliververed when war ended and the order was cancelled.

Model range

  • Holt No.111 Steam crawler
  • Holt 40 - 1908- ? 54 built
  • Holt 45 (T-10) - 1913-1920 ?
  • Holt tractor - General name used to refer to the Military versions
    • Holt 75 - 75 hp model
    • Holt 120 - 6-cylinder (243 bought by the British army in First World War).
  • Holt Ten Ton
  • Holt Five Ton
  • Holt 2 1/2 ton T-13 artillery tractor
  • Holt gas electric tractor - experimental 'tank' prtotype


UK Preserved machines

A few of the Holt tractors are in preservation in the UK. There are 3 known Holt 75s in preservation in the UK.[2]

  • A Holt 75 tractor sn 3580 was at the Great Dorset Steam Fair in 2008 in the working area (photo above).(Currently for sale - June 2011)[dated info]
  • Another one is a Holt 75 in military livery that was an ex WD machine built in 1918.

USA Preserved machines

  • list any more known machines here.

See also


External links

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