Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Tue 12 Nov 2019

Rare Atlas Excavator Still Earning its Keep

Last week on the blog it was my pleasure to share with you Taylor White’s adventures as he taught his girlfriend to operate the companies Komatsu excavator, this week we join Taylor as he himself gets to grips with an unusual vintage Atlas excavator.

Rare Atlas Excavator Still Earning its Keep

As someone with a keen interest in classic plant as well as all the latest kit, I was delighted to discover this video from Taylor, KWC200 on Instagram, hot on the heels of the previous one he had done and was somewhat surprised to see this rare 1968 model Atlas 1602 which is in excellent condition for its age, still working in Canada.

The German built machine has clearly stood the test of time and has been well looked after by Taylor’s friend Joe. Wanting to discover more about this model, the like of which I had never seen before, I contacted our friend Andrew Taylor at the UK dealers for Atlas TDL Equipment, who kindly passed on my request to one of his colleagues Jason Moulson who has worked for Atlas, man and boy since 1981 and is regarded as an aficionado on classic plant.

Talking about the machine and Atlas during that period Jason said, “That is a rare and tidy example, I must say I have never seen a 1602 in the flesh. They were not as popular as the smaller 1302 in our market.

Back in the day Thos W Ward, Sheffield were the UK Atlas dealer before Atlas Hydraulic Loaders, Bradford opened in 1980. Thos W Ward ran a fleet of 1602 and 1702 material handlers in their scrap yards but none were as old as this example in the video. Atlas excavators including the 1602 were imported into North America through a company called JAY. 

In those days it was Deutz power apart from some machines with Ford and the John Deere machines they made. The only V engines were in the 1902E. 2202D & E, 2502 and 2004. The 1602 material handlers I worked on were powered by a straight 4, Deutz F4L912 engine. The 1602 became the C and then D model before the 1604 appeared in 1986. 16-18 tonne class”.

According to the video this vintage example was powered by a V6 Cummins unit, Jason suspects that it might have been built to a North American specification. Any way enjoy the video.

The Digger Man Blog would like to thank Taylor White of Ken White Construction for the use of this video.





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