Bathurst Special Edition: Quiz Question
With the race of races taking place this weekend, we thought we would test your knowledge of well known construction industry identities. Question: Has a person who achieved success in converting war surplus equipment to suit applications in construction, mining and forestry also achieved success at Bathurst? And if so, who, what did he build, and what level of success was achieved at Bathurst? (Answers to last week’s question plus a classic photo also included this week – click here)
The Waugh steam excavator
Answers to last week’s Question
We can’t find anything earlier than this (pictured) excavator designed and built by David Waugh in or around 1880. It worked on a similar principle to a man digging with a shovel, pushing a spade into the ground and lifting a block out whole and dropping it into a tipping dray.
Because of this method of operation, it could only work on an existing embankment, but it could be used for irrigation channels and dams. Two machines worked on the South East Drainage Scheme in South Australia, but reliability was not their greatest attribute.
An example of this excavator can be found at the Ilfracombe Museum (near Longreach, QLD).
1880 was also the year that he joined Sydney Josephson to start Waugh & Josephson. They built boilers and refrigeration plants and did heavy engineering at the time but became the Queensland Holt dealer in 1923 (this was prior to Holt and Best amalgamating to form Caterpillar) and New South Wales Caterpillar dealer in 1934.
Feedback welcomed: Tell us about any other locally designed and built excavators that you are aware of. We had our home grown manufacturers of cable excavators, notably Harman and Jaques (both Melbourne), but full slewing excavators were also built by Perry in Adelaide and Armstrong-Holland in Sydney.
Answers to Question 2
This was trick question. Have a look at this picture and you will see that the operator has his own seat heated because he doesn’t have one to sit on. Radiators of this era were notorious for running hot and so, presumably, were the operators and their seats.
If the radiator didn’t warm you enough, operating separate hand wheels for steering, the left and right sides of the blade and the left and right sides of the scarifier was sure to get the blood pumping.
The only joystick in those days was the one you threw to keep your dog happy. The hand wheels hung around for a while: the Allis Chalmers W Speed Patrol grader of the early 1950s still had the beloved hand wheels for blade control. Luckily it wasn’t a particularly fast grader.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved - Meccom Pty Ltd. Our thanks to Greg Keane for his research and contribution to this series.