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The use of Cat® tractors in logging has not been confined to just the American continent. For over 100 years our equipment has provided ample and eager power for loggers' transportation needs in the Philippines, Honduras, India, Africa, and elsewhere.
In Africa our tractors have fought their way through harsh terrain with heavy loads of precious hardwoods for over 100 years. The first documented success of Caterpillar equipment occurred in South Africa in the early 1900s. The machines were large steam tractors that were used in agricultural applications.
In the 1920s Caterpillar products provided logging solutions for customers such as the Mengel Mahogany Co. Mengel harvested mahogany logs with Caterpillar Sixty Logging Cruiser tractors outside of Dunkwa, Ghana, Africa. Before the advent of the Caterpillar tractor, the mahogany logs would have been handled by manpower.
In 1955, near N'Djole, Gabon, Africa, Cat customers worked just a few miles from the Equator where the climate was hot and wet. Operating on adverse grades up to 60%, only Cat machines could be used successfully to prevent the logs from burrowing into the muddy hillsides during the rainy season. The company’s fleet consisted entirely of our machines, including one D8, seven D7s, and even a No. 112 Motor Grader.
Today, there is a new generation of customers logging in Africa, and Cat machines are at the forefront again, fusing traditional methods with advanced technologies. Read more stories from our historical collection at caterpillar.com/history.