Shay Stutsman is relatively new to collecting antique construction equipment, but in a short time he has acquired and had restored some rare specimens.
His first find was in 2016 when he came across the 1949 Cat D4 in Missouri on an used-tractor sales website. The excitement of adding that classic crawler tractor increased his desire for vintage gear, but this individual also decided to focus more upon the uncommon and hard-to-find pieces.
“As I started collecting more pieces of Caterpillar old antique tractors, I learned that there is really not a lot of significance with that particular model; there were a lot of D4s from that era made, ” he says. “So as I’ve began my process of collecting even more tractors, the goal is to go after more unique, much more rare antique tractors. ”
That desire led him in order to a 1940 Cat D6 with the rare wood cab that will he has had beautifully refurbished. And though he focuses on Caterpillar equipment, he or she made an exception for a rare 1987 John Deere 15 mini excavator, the particular same model that was the first piece of construction equipment he operated – when he was 3 years old.
The wooden cab
The 1940 D6 was being sold online out of Montana in 2020. It had been well taken care of. What’s more, it had a rare wooden cab.
Stutsman bought it together it sent to Wyoming with regard to restoration by Antique Crawler Parts & Restoration.
“We actually had the cabinet company in Wyoming take the old cab, and they basically took this apart item by piece and remeasured and re-cut each piece of wood, ” he says.
The particular cab has been then rebuilt one item at a time to the exact specs from the tractor.
Stutsman prefers their equipment to be shiny plus new looking, but some markings on the D6 changed his mind for this particular project.
“What’s so cool about this tractor is that there were a lot of pencil-drawn marks from when the machine was really serviced, ” he admits that. The markings had been on the dash and air cleaner showing when it had been maintained while used as a wheatland tractor within northern Montana. “It would have been a shame to strip it and paint this and get rid of these handwritten service dates plus notes. ”
Antique Crawler Parts & Restoration finished the particular restoration about a year later, upon August 26, 2021. Along with rebuilding the cab, work included getting it running, fixing leaks, fixing the generator and lights, and new seat. This particular D6 model was produced by Caterpillar through 1937 in order to 1941. It had previously been introduced in 1935 as the particular RD6, but the “R” was later dropped. This runs on a 3-cylinder diesel engine and is started with a gasoline pony motor.
The restoration was so impressive Stutsman and their fiancée made the decision to use the D6 in their wedding, just weeks right after it arrived at their home in Aspen, Colorado.
“We in fact had a hay trailer that was towed behind, and so the whole wedding party pulled away from the church on this nice D6 tractor, ” he says. “We drove around Aspen, produced a few stops, had a couple of drinks here and there, and then went back to our reception. ”
At first, this individual wasn’t sure how good his bride-to-be would react to using a tractor instead of the fancier, more traditional ride. But he or she was pleasantly surprised.
“She had been totally for it, ” he admits that. “It was something very rare and distinctive – not a lot of people can say they did it. ”
“Some people use limos, ” he adds. “We utilized the aged Cat tractor. ”
A boy and his … excavator
“I was pretty much born in a piece of heavy equipment plus just kept bugging everybody to play on one, ” says Stutsman.
His grandfather cofounded the family excavation company, Stutsman-Gerbaz Earthmoving, in 1960 within Aspen, Colorado. As a child, Stutsman would go to work along with his father and trip in the products. Today he is the particular third-generation president of the company.
Back in 1987, when Stutsman was 3, a part of the family owned the John Deere dealership selling mostly farm tractors when a Deere 15 mini excavator arrived at the lot.
“In the late 80s, small excavators were unusual, kind of a new thing, not really many people had them, ” this individual says.
They brought it to his grandpa to give it a try at the excavation organization.
“According to my dad and mom, when I saw that little mini machine when I was a few years old, I wouldn’t stop crying, screaming plus throwing the tantrum until I got to sit in it, ” he says.
His dad relented.
“So We just started running this. ”
He’s got the particular picture in order to prove it:
The lone Deere
Recently he has been making his usual monthly online search for vintage tools when he or she typed inside “John Deere 15 regarding sale. ” An proprietor in Maine had one he had been willing to part with.
“Man, I’ve obtained to get that thing restored, ” Stutsman said to himself.
So he called the owner.
“I tried in order to haggle with him on the price, ” Stutsman says. “He did not want to budge $1. And I don’t know if he could sense the excitement in my voice or whatever, yet he was like, ‘No, no, no. ’
“I wired him the money and had this shipped out to Co. ”
Stutsman is a self-declared diehard Caterpillar guy. But the nostalgia kicked within when he saw the particular same design Deere he had operated as a child. He also loves the look of it.
“To me, it’s all about body lines. And I think that this particular machine has really good lines, ” this individual says. “And how John Deere did the paint back in the day time, it’s simply really, really well done. ”
It also is a rare find.
“It’s extremely rare because it has the cab upon it, ” he states. “I’m hearing it’s uncommon from Steve Deere. ”
Stutsman’s Deere 15 arrived about six weeks ago, around the time their first son was born.
When asked if he or she plans to let his son operate it when he turns 3, he didn’t hesitate to respond.
“100 percent, ” he admits that. “We’ve got to obtain the exact same pictures. ”
To see more of Stutsman’s classic Kitty collection, check out the particular photos below:
Restored 1940 Cat D6
1949 Cat D4
1938 Kitty D7
1980 Kitty 977L track loader
Cat 983B track loaders
The following photos are of three early 1980s Cat 983Bs Stutsman acquired. The 983B is the largest Kitty track loader ever produced. Stutsman programs to use almost all three in order to restore one to mint condition.