Earthmoving News

Tilly’s – from then to now

Tilly’s Crawler Parts’ owner Andrew has a decades-long fascination with earthmoving machinery which has resulted in a large collection of antique machines, some of which are now available for purchase.

One of these machines, a 1944 Caterpillar Bulldozer D6 5R2683SP, 72HP D4600 engine has an interesting history.

For over 85 years the Caterpillar D6 has been a stalwart of the medium- size Caterpillar track-type range.

Originally introduced in 1933 as the Diesel 35, in 1934 the machine was given a slight horsepower tweak and in 1935 became the RD6 in line with Caterpillar’s new machine identification system.

An improved D6 was introduced in 1941 just in time for the war effort, with the 74-inch gauge D6 5R series powered by the new Caterpillar D4600 6-cylinder diesel engine which produced 72 flywheel horsepower.

Up to 1946 Caterpillar relied on other manufacturers for attachments for use on the D6. One of these suppliers was LaPlant Choate, whose hydraulic pumps were one of the simplest and therefore reliable of all the early hydraulic units available and employed gears rather than vanes to pump the oil under pressure through the system. Critically, they were equipped with a filter in the return line to the tank.

This 1944 machine features a LaPlant Choate hydraulic blade and swinging drawbar, with the SP suffix denoting the use of this machine for American Army war efforts here on Australian soil.

Tilly’s Crawler Parts based in Toowoomba, southeast Queensland, has been selling used earthmoving machinery for 37 years. Demand for newer, low-hour machines has seen the range on the Tilly’s lot expand to include a general construction range of 5-50 tonne excavators, 950GC loaders and D6T – D8T ex-United States machines.

Whether customers are looking for a 1944 Caterpillar or a 2014 D6T XL, Tilly’s range of used and near-new machines is extensive.

The Tilly’s sales team has over 300 years of combined experience, understands their customers’ specific requirements and can recommend the right machine, attachment, or part for any application.

With insurance and finance options also available, the Tilly’s team welcomes enquiries about their range of machinery and parts.

For more information about their range visit

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