1938 CAT Blade Finds New Home
By Billy Horner
A little backstory on my Facebook post from yesterday. The 1938 CAT blade belonged to the H.L. Royden Construction Co.; a Phoenix firm that started in 1928 by Hasley Royden. When they closed their operations on South 43rd Ave. a few years ago, the lot equipment among other items went up for sale.
Lonnie Hamberg, President of Dynamic Diesel Repair, Phoenix, and his father Roland saw the opportunity and picked up the blade. The machine’s pony motor (gas engine to kick over the diesel engine) was inoperable. Roland, a longtime seasoned mechanic, specializing in diesel repair and antique equipment quickly worked on the machine giving it life once again.
Roland reluctantly put the machine up for sale a year or so ago but was not about to let it go to scrappers or someone non-enthusiastic and passionate about older machines like he is.
Fast forward to last week, I was called out to run the blade for a few days rented out to Ace Asphalt. The project just happened to back up to Dynamic Diesel’s proper line, where the CAT blade sat quietly.
With Buddy Escapule’s passion for old iron, I sent him a video from his blade working on the Ace project of the CAT blade idling on the other side of the fence. This sparked a relationship between Roland and Buddy, and the following Saturday, August 22nd, Escapule, and his family came out to see the machine work in action. Escapule has two young sons interested in operating heavy equipment, and for their age and family background, are ahead of most adults.
Our Jan-Feb 2019 issue of Arizona Contractor & Community, published a history piece on Roland Hamberg’s construction career and you might have recognized him in our house advertisements prompting you to gift a subscription to a family member or fellow construction worker interested in Arizona construction history.
So, what are you waiting for???
Gift a subscription today!!!