Diesel World

1942 IN­TER­NA­TIONAL TD-18 CRAWLER

- BY JIM ALLEN

When a coun­try goes to war, it’s army needs more than bombers, tanks, can­nons, ri­fles and am­mu­ni­tion. Those are part of what makes the tip of the spear but the best spear tip is of no use with­out the shaft that car­ries it to the en­emy. That shaft is made up of ev­ery­thing from ap­ple sauce to ze­rox ink. Dur­ing World War II, one of the many items mak­ing up the shaft was the Heavy Trac­tor, M1 (IHC TD-18), a mil­i­tary ver­sion of the In­ter­na­tional Har­vester TD-18 crawler.

The first TD-18 rolled off the line Oc­to­ber 20, 1938 and sales be­gan in 1939. The TD-18 was the big boy in the IH “Trac­trac­tor” line. It had their big­gest six-cylin­der trac­tor diesel of the day, the 691 cu­bic (TD-18 later called the D691), and was de­signed to com­pete with the Al­lis-chalmers L and oth­ers in the big crawler mar­ket. Cat would chal­lenge it in 1940 with their D7 and Al­lis-chalmers with the HD10W and HD-14 in 1939 and 1940. An­tic­i­pat­ing war in some form, an Amer­i­can rear­ma­ment push be­gan in the late 1930s and that push in­cluded crawlers. It got very much more se­ri­ous when World War II be­gan for the U.S. on De­cem­ber 7, 1941.

Crawlers of all types and brands had been in wide­spread use by the U.S. ground forces since World War I. With the com­bat arms, they were used as ar­tillery prime movers in dif­fi­cult ter­rain for big guns like the 155mm. They were also em­ployed as heavy re­cov­ery ve­hi­cles and for drag­ging pal­lets of sup­plies off a beach­head. Of course they also saw more nor­mal use in con­struc­tion work, with or with­out a dozer blade.

The TD-18 was seen in uni­form as early as 1940 and was cat­e­go­rized as Heavy Trac­tor, M1 (IHC TD-18). That last bit was nec­es­sary be­cause there were two other “Heavy Trac­tor, M1” from other makes, namely the Al­lis-chalmers Mod­els L (early on) and HD-10W, and the Cater­pil­lar D7. The TD-18 Ord­nance Trac­tor vari­ant came in sev­eral dif­fer­ent forms dur­ing the war, Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4. We could not find all the dif­fer­ences be­tween them, but it’s known the Lot 1 trac­tors were es­sen­tially civil­ian trac­tors with a sin­gle speed front winch. Lots 2 thru 4 had many up­dates man­dated for gov­ern­ment ser­vice. Among these were an ex­tra-wide, four-per­son seat. The winch changed to one with two spool­ing in and one spool­ing out speed and the Lot 4 trac­tors had dual fuel tanks, 120 gal­lons to­tal.

The ba­sic TD-18 was used in many roles dur­ing the war, but we are mainly talk­ing about Ord­nance Trac­tors, those used by an ar­tillery branch of ei­ther the Army or the Ma­rine Corps. They were typ­i­cally used to pull ei­ther the 155mm M1918 gun, the newer 155 mm “Long Tom” gun or the 8-inch gun over rough ter­rain. The TD-18 had a top speed of just un­der 10 mph, so if the guns needed to move fast over roads or longer dis­tances, a heavy 6x6 truck like the Mack NO 7.5-ton might be used. Later the M4 high speed trac­tor be­came more com­mon. The Ma­rine Corps used the TD-18 to good ef­fect in the Pa­cific. As they fought from is­land to is­land to­wards Ja­pan, sel­dom were there roads and the ground was of­ten soft or sandy, so the big crawlers were needed to drag the field guns into po­si­tion.

The trac­tor shown be­longs to Adam Voght. He bought it as a der-elict trac­tor in 2000. It's a '42 Lot 4 trac­tor built for the Ord­nance Branch of the U.S. Army. It's mil­i­tary his­tory is un­clear, but Adam thinks it was op­er­ated out of the Jef­fer­son Prov­ing Grounds, near Madi­son, In­di­ana, and sold sur­plus from there. The likely buyer was a nearby coal fired pow­er­plant who con­verted it into a bull­dozer and used it to push coal. Some sources list as many as 7,500 TD-18s in var­i­ous con­fig­u­ra­tions be­ing built for the war ef­fort. The TD-18 model lasted through sev­eral up­grades and evo­lu­tions into

 ??  ??  This World War II vet­eran has a long way to go for a full restora­tion back to it’s orig­i­nal Ord­nance trac­tor con­fig­u­ra­tion. After be­ing sold sur­plus, it was con­verted to a dozer and much of the mil­i­tary equip­ment was re­moved. That stuff isn’t com­mon so it’s taken Adam years to scrounge up what lit­tle he does have. It started off as a Lot 4 trac­tor, with a fourper­son seat, dual 60 gal­lon fuel tanks and stor­age boxes on the rear with bus­tle bas­kets.
 This World War II vet­eran has a long way to go for a full restora­tion back to it’s orig­i­nal Ord­nance trac­tor con­fig­u­ra­tion. After be­ing sold sur­plus, it was con­verted to a dozer and much of the mil­i­tary equip­ment was re­moved. That stuff isn’t com­mon so it’s taken Adam years to scrounge up what lit­tle he does have. It started off as a Lot 4 trac­tor, with a fourper­son seat, dual 60 gal­lon fuel tanks and stor­age boxes on the rear with bus­tle bas­kets.
 ??  ??  The IH 691ci 6-cylin­der diesel de­buted about the same time as the TD-18. It was a part of In­ter­na­tional’s se­cond gen­er­a­tion fam­ily of diesels and they pushed them in a big way. It had a 461ci, 68 brake horse­power, four-cylin­der lit­tle brother with the same bore and stroke that was used in the TD-14 crawler and other ap­pli­ca­tions. The 691 saw use in a great many ap­pli­ca­tions be­side the crawler, in­clud­ing ma­rine and sta­tion­ary op­er­a­tion. It was a wet-sleeved, in­di­rect in­jected, seven-main bear­ing six and weighed in at 2805 pounds. At 1400 rpm, it made 103 hp. It was rated at 84.66 belt horse­power by IH and 80.44 at Ne­braska in a 1938 test but in civil­ian use, they only ran them to 1200 rpm. The en­gine was re­vised sev­eral times in it’s long life, to about 1958, and was listed at 125 hp at 1600 in 1958. Like all the pe­riod IH diesels, it started on gaso­line and then was switched over. It had a di­rect driven air com­pres­sor used for an air brake sys­tem fro trailed equip­ment.
 The IH 691ci 6-cylin­der diesel de­buted about the same time as the TD-18. It was a part of In­ter­na­tional’s se­cond gen­er­a­tion fam­ily of diesels and they pushed them in a big way. It had a 461ci, 68 brake horse­power, four-cylin­der lit­tle brother with the same bore and stroke that was used in the TD-14 crawler and other ap­pli­ca­tions. The 691 saw use in a great many ap­pli­ca­tions be­side the crawler, in­clud­ing ma­rine and sta­tion­ary op­er­a­tion. It was a wet-sleeved, in­di­rect in­jected, seven-main bear­ing six and weighed in at 2805 pounds. At 1400 rpm, it made 103 hp. It was rated at 84.66 belt horse­power by IH and 80.44 at Ne­braska in a 1938 test but in civil­ian use, they only ran them to 1200 rpm. The en­gine was re­vised sev­eral times in it’s long life, to about 1958, and was listed at 125 hp at 1600 in 1958. Like all the pe­riod IH diesels, it started on gaso­line and then was switched over. It had a di­rect driven air com­pres­sor used for an air brake sys­tem fro trailed equip­ment.
 ??  ??
 ??  ??  Adam is missing the orig­i­nal PTO drive for the front winch but the orig­i­nal swing­ing draw­bar is still there, less the mil­i­tary pin­tle hitch. A se­cond fixed pin­tle hitch mounted above the swing­ing draw­bar. Adam re­ports the run­ning gear is fairly tight but that it needs new tracks.
 Adam is missing the orig­i­nal PTO drive for the front winch but the orig­i­nal swing­ing draw­bar is still there, less the mil­i­tary pin­tle hitch. A se­cond fixed pin­tle hitch mounted above the swing­ing draw­bar. Adam re­ports the run­ning gear is fairly tight but that it needs new tracks.
 ??  ??  This is the typ­i­cal load for the M-1 Ord­nance trac­tor, the le­gendary M-1 155mm Long Tom. It had a 6.1-inch bore and could fire a 45 pound round at 2,800 feet per se­cond up to 15 miles. It fired eight dif­fer­ent types of pro­jec­tiles us­ing bagged charges.. The Ar­mor Pierc­ing round could pen­e­trate up to 7.7 inches of ar­mor plate and the HE round could blast through 6.5 feet of con­crete. Rate of fire is listed at 40 rounds per hour, served by a crew of 14. The com­plete assem­bly weighed 30,500 pounds. Ds­dugan
 This is the typ­i­cal load for the M-1 Ord­nance trac­tor, the le­gendary M-1 155mm Long Tom. It had a 6.1-inch bore and could fire a 45 pound round at 2,800 feet per se­cond up to 15 miles. It fired eight dif­fer­ent types of pro­jec­tiles us­ing bagged charges.. The Ar­mor Pierc­ing round could pen­e­trate up to 7.7 inches of ar­mor plate and the HE round could blast through 6.5 feet of con­crete. Rate of fire is listed at 40 rounds per hour, served by a crew of 14. The com­plete assem­bly weighed 30,500 pounds. Ds­dugan
 ??  ??  This is how the trac­tor will look when com­plete. This is a Lot 3 trac­tor but the dif­fer­ence be­tween Lot 3 and 4 are not ap­par­ent un­til you see the back. The Lot 4 trac­tors have a se­cond fuel tank be­hind the ex­ist­ing, about where the bus­tle bas­ket is now. Note the se­cond pin­tle hitch about the draw­bar. The trac­tor came with an air sys­tem to op­er­ate the air brakes on the field guns.
 This is how the trac­tor will look when com­plete. This is a Lot 3 trac­tor but the dif­fer­ence be­tween Lot 3 and 4 are not ap­par­ent un­til you see the back. The Lot 4 trac­tors have a se­cond fuel tank be­hind the ex­ist­ing, about where the bus­tle bas­ket is now. Note the se­cond pin­tle hitch about the draw­bar. The trac­tor came with an air sys­tem to op­er­ate the air brakes on the field guns.
 ??  ??  The front winch in the Lot 4 trac­tors was a 30,000 pound Gar Wood and it had three speeds, two pulling in and one go­ing out. It car­ried ap­prox­i­mately 300 feet of 3/4 inch wire rope. The winch was used for re­cov­ery and mov­ing the large field guns.
 The front winch in the Lot 4 trac­tors was a 30,000 pound Gar Wood and it had three speeds, two pulling in and one go­ing out. It car­ried ap­prox­i­mately 300 feet of 3/4 inch wire rope. The winch was used for re­cov­ery and mov­ing the large field guns.

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