Sunday, April 08, 2018

The Caterpillar Visitor's Center

 After a five-hour-plus ride, we all stood up gradually and got our bodies moving off the bus and into the Caterpillar Visitor Center.  Click on that link and you can read all about it.  You can even scroll down the page and see "take a virtual tour" to go through the whole place by yourself.

 As soon as we were in, we looked down on the museum.  The big truck that takes up the left-hand side of this picture isn't real, since the weight and girth of an actual Decatur-built example could pose some structural issues for the building.
These 340-ton behemoths are 25 feet tall, cost about $5 million, depending on options, and redefine the term “monster” truck. They are so big, in fact, that few of the 4,000-strong Decatur work force has ever seen one fully assembled. More than 30 feet wide and too large to be driven on any road, they are shipped in sections to the mine sites where they work. It then takes a team of 20 skilled mechanics and fabricators working 24 hours a day for 11 days to put it together.
 I think Cliff and I both look silly in this picture, but this shows you how huge the tires really are. 

What a truck!

This explains how "Best" became "Caterpillar".

I enjoyed the story of this cute little antique dozer.  All the old ones here are on loan, owned by a family in California.  To read the full story, click HERE.

There were several simulators allowing the big boys to experience what it's like to operate heavy equipment.  Cliff tried it for awhile, with a guide giving him a hand.


One lady in our group asked me, "So, do you really enjoy tractor shows and museums like this?"

Indeed I do.  First of all, it's a road trip.  But I like any sort of museum with old things, and I'm interested in the stories behind them.  I love stories, always have; especially true ones.  I love the sense of history you feel, looking at things that were brand new before my parents were born.  It's part of America!

More tomorrow, from the Peoria Riverfront Museum.


  1. When I read the title - Caterpillar Visitors center, I hadn't expected the kind of Caterpillars there...I should have known better as you all were out with the tractor club. Wow! that was one huge tire for sure !

  2. what an interesting place. that was one gigantic tire.


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