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AC Crawler Collector Has Had Them All
After buying and selling more than 500 Allis-Chalmers crawlers over the past 30 years, Rick Vosika thinks he has had at least one of every model. While most of his crawlers have gone on to other collectors, he keeps 31 for himself and continues to look for more.

    “I bought a little CAT 22 about 30 years ago. It was the first,” says Vosika.

    A second-generation heavy equipment operator, Vosika has been around big steel his entire life. For most of his career he bought and sold heavy equipment as a sideline. About 8 years ago he got serious about AC crawlers.

    “I restore them when needed,” says Vosika. “You need to be willing to travel and look hard to find the right machine. I try to buy low hour, one owner crawlers.”

    He recalls purchasing an HD25 from a coal mining operation in Pennsylvania and a little HD5 track tractor in Arizona that had been used on area farms.

    One of the biggest crawlers he owns is an AC HD21G shovel, which he found in a salvage yard. Weighing in at 80,000 lbs., it has a lift capacity of 40,000 lbs.

    “It started out in a steel mill in Pittsburgh and ended up as the yard tractor in a salvage yard for 30 years,” says Vosika. “I just cleaned it up and painted it. It was well-built.”

    Another AC crawler he bought was a 1956 HD6. “If you know what you are looking for and are picky, you can find some older AC crawlers that don’t need much work,” he says. “The HD6 had only 908 hrs. on it. All I had to do was repaint it.”

    His current collection runs the AC gamut from an H3 to an HD31. It includes 11 HD6 tractor shovel loaders, a Fiat-Allis 31, four HD21s, four HD11s, a pair of HD5s and an HD6. The HD6 has 790 original hours on it, and a D40 wheel dozer has its original tires. All are in running condition, and Vosika enjoys running them.

    “Get on that HD31, and nothing stands in your way,” he says.

    Vosika is a member of the Allis Chalmers Crawler Tractors group on Facebook.

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rick Vosika, 16304 Baxter Rd., Excelsior Springs, Mo. 64024 (ph 816 615-3699; rickvsr1@yahoo.com).

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2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4