Maris Hall on his 1929 Cat 15
1929 Caterpillar 15
Owner: Maris Hall
Muncie, Indiana
Serial Number PF3309
Maris bought his Cat in Lamar County, Colorado which is in the Eastern part of that state half way between Denver and the Kansas state line several years ago. A rancher had used it to farm with as the ground is flat and very tillable in that area of the state. The cat has a 4 cylinder engine and is 3 bottom plow rated (It would compare to an IH 15-30 from that time period). Maris told me that a Cat would pull a load of it's own weight where most tractors of that era wouldn't.

1929 Cat Engine Compartment

The pounds per square inch on this tractor is small. When Maris got the Cat home he began immediately looking for a carburetor for it and there began his frustration. He looked everywhere for one and couldn't find one. He was told that the carburetors on this model of Caterpillar in those days were what some people called "Throw-away" carburetors. These carburetors were not rebuilt when they wore out....they were so "cheap" that owners just simply threw them away and bought new ones. As a result, there are not many of them around any more...and even worse, parts are extremely scarce if they can be found at all!

3/4 view of 1929 Caterpillar 15Never the less....Maris was finally led to Branson Enterprises in Peoria, Illinois where he was able to get the carburetor fixed. This "only" took three years from the time he first brought it home until he was able to get the tractor running with any kind of consistency at all.1929 Cat 15 Front view

The tractor weighs in at just about 5900 pounds. Maris has a friend (Paul Colonis) who made rubber pads for the tracks on the Cat. They were made from agriculture "flotation tires". This enables him to be able to run the tractor on pavement at shows and parades. Very nicely done we might add.

Instruction Manual Parts Catalog
Maris acquired the original Instruction manual and Parts Catalog when he bought the tractor and they can be viewed in larger images by "clicking" on the particular one that you would want to view. In the parts manual it lists all of the original costs in 1929 for replacement parts....some of which are: Bare engine block - $58; P/N V369, cylinder block assembly - $68.70; P/N V350, camshaft, $22.50; and P/N V419, Case Assembly (lower end) - $68.55.
Maris told me that when reading the Instruction manual, it tells the reader (about half way through it) the following: "Pages preceeding this sheet are for operators - pages following this sheet are for repair men". I never laughed so hard in my life when Maris started chuckling as he said "I guess they didn't want you messin' around with nothing if you didn't know what the heck you were doing." Both manuals have a copyright date of 1929 by The Caterpillar Tractor Company.
We hope you get some enjoyment out of these pictures and the story behind them. Maris is not a computer user and would not be able to talk with any of you via E-mail but he would be glad to help anyone restoring one of these old beasts. Let us know if that is the case and we'll get you one of his addresses or phone numbers (he spends the winters in Florida and the summers in Indiana) 

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