Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Mon 14 Sep 2020

Cat D9T at Ritchie Bros inspires archive crawl

Last week I was once again up with the guys and girls at Ritchie Bros auction facility in Maltby where I was lucky to have another encounter with a big Cat D9T, an experience that is always a pleasure.

Cat D9T at Ritchie Bros inspires archive crawl

For me and many of my generation the D9 is one of the most iconic dozers in the Caterpillar line up. Its probably fair to say that the D8 was probably one of the best sellers in the large tracked type tractor sector, but the D9 was top of the heap from its introduction in 1955 up until 77/78 when Cat launched the revolutionary “High Drive” D10.

For me as a kid going to work with my late father during construction of the M27 motorway, the D9G holds special memories. I used to spend hours watching the D9G of earthmoving contractor M. J. Pierce and was mesmerised by the sight, sound and brute force of the machine that was powered by a six-cylinder Cat D353 diesel engine capable of punching out 385hp. I make no apologies for posting the following photo again on this blog, taken by me back in 1974, as the D9G belches out the trademark black plume of smoke as it powers up for the push, just brilliant!

Catching up with the D9T at Maltby inspired me to go delving once more into the Digger Man Blog archives for more D9 photos. This grainy old shot features what it says was the first D9 in the UK, which was being put through field trials in Swanscombe in Kent in 1956. When first launched in 1955 the machine was fitted with a 286-horsepower engine, but that was upgraded the following year to a 320hp unit, which I suspect was fitted on this particular model.

In this iconic photo from 1964 we see a D9G doing what they do best. This example features an inside arm single ram lift cylinder and a cushion blade for push loading scrapers, in this instance a Caterpillar 631B single engine motor scraper working on an open cast restoration project in Rothwell near Leeds.

Another great shot of a D9G in action. This one was owned and operated by the then South Devon based Whites of Ipplepen who went on to become Broadhempston Plant. This example is fitted with a massive Kelly single shank ripper tooth, another job that the D9G excelled at.

And finally in this batch, this photo was sent out as a part of a press release and still features a piece of paper stuck on the back with the old Cat Pacman logo and the words News from Caterpillar, written in pen it describes the machine as a D8H, but I am confident from the slope of the bonnet hood that it is in fact a D9G with American style ROPS assembly.

Of course the modern Cat D9 is a totally different beast compared to all these historic old models. The D9T variant on offer at the upcoming Ritchie Bros Auction which takes place on 17th September is a 2013 model, ex Blackwell/Hargreaves and is in excellent working condition with 24,387 hours on the meter. It comes complete with 6-way dozer with tilts, single shank ripper, diff steer, fast fuel filler and fully air-conditioned cab. Online bidding is already open, will it remain in the UK or be heading overseas, it will be interesting to find out where she goes! 

Checkout my walkaround video of the Cat D9T. 

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