During a visit to the Caterpillar facility in Peterlee, County Durham, some years ago, I was very lucky to talk to former employees of DJB Ltd, whose machines were the forerunners to future Cat articulated haulers.
Ann Hills who has since retired, had worked at the facility for over 27 years and had seen many changes in articulated hauler manufacturing during her time with the company. She very kindly sent me some archive scans of DJB trucks in action.
DJB Engineering was formed by heavy equipment & engineering specialist David John Brown in 1973, with the first ADT being the D250 which was launched in 1974 at the London Public Works Show. Later upgrades included the D275 as seen in this shot.
The DJB product’s featured well proven Caterpillar components including engines and drivetrains, which made them incredibly popular with end users, especially loyal Caterpillar customers.
DJB also developed many variants of the product including many one off models like this low profile D300 underground model.
Due to the success of these machines in the field, it came as no surprise that Caterpillar acquired the DJB design rights in 1986 and subsequently took over ownership of the company.
Over the years the company’s own research & development department have made numerous conversion models like this D400E, which was originally built in 1993, but was converted for use as a dust suppression unit in 1997.
Checkout this grainy footage from a promotional film shot in 1995 to promote the D550 which was baring Cat signage by that time. The film was shot in Coxhow Quarry which is still to this day Caterpillar's proving ground and test facility for articulated trucks built at its Peterlee factory in the North East.