Crawler Tractors and Pipelayers (Sidebooms): Equipment Spotlight

Pipelayers and crawler tractors from John Deere, Volvo CE, Pipeline Machinery, Case, Midwestern Manufacturing Company and Caterpillar.

John Deere
The John Deere 850K crawler dozer features a new Interim Tier 4 engine, duel-patch hydrostatics and an outside dozer blade. Viscous cab mounts reduce noise to the operator’s ear by 45 percent. The John Deere PowerTech 6.8-L IT4 diesel provides either 187 hp or 205 hp at 1,800 rpm, and provides better low-end performance and quicker recovery when operating in the 1,500-1,800-rpm range. An outside dozer blade has a three-hole blade pitch with screw-type fine-tune adjustment for infinite settings and sloped cross-members provide lateral strength and superior visibility to the rear of the blade. Its raised position allows back-dragging. 309.765.1859,

Volvo CE
The ability to swing 360 degrees allows the PL3005 pipelayer to handle large, heavy pipes with ease and place them anywhere around the machine. The patented excavator-based design of the PL3005 allows the machine to swap booms and convert into a standard excavator if needed. The high ground clearance of the undercarriage allows for operation in rugged conditions and visibility has been improved through standard fit rear and side view cameras. 828.650.2000,

Pipeline Machinery Int’l.

The PL61 Pipelayer provides 40,000 pounds of lift-capacity. The PL61 features a Cat C6.6 ACERT engine, closed-loop hydrostatic drive system, oval-track SystemOne undercarriage and an electronically enhanced operator station. The pipelayer also maintains hydrostatic draw-works, two-speed load line and extendible counterweight. The 18-foot boom is constructed of high-tensile-strength steel, allowing a robust box-section design that is durable, yet lightweight to optimize payload capacity. The hook and cable-controlled boom are raised and lowered by independent hydraulic winches designed for smooth operation and infinite speed adjustment through their working range. Two-speed operation of the load-line winch provides high speeds for overall productivity, but lower speeds for precise positioning.

The Case 650L crawler dozer delivers 74 net hp through a proven, four-cylinder, 4.5-liter Case Family IV engine. Operating weights range from 16,250 to 17,550 pounds. Low operating height allows the 650L to work around low overhangs, while its lighter weight is ideal for work in soft soil conditions. The short track means easier turning and maneuverability on the job site. The compact size also makes the crawler dozer easy to transport from job to job. 866-54CASE6,

Midwestern Manufacturing Company
Midwestern Mfg. produces the M583C sideboom attachment for the John Deere 1050J model crawler tractor. The M583C/1050J pipelayer has a maximum lift capacity of 140,000 pounds. The John Deere tractor with the Midwestern sideboom attachment has produced a pipelayer that has received high praise for its overall balance, visibility and operator friendly controls. The 1050J model, as well as the Midwestern sideboom pipelayer attachments on the 750J and 850J model tractors, is available through the John Deere Construction Division Dealer network. 918.858.4234,


The new PL83, replacing the 583T, has a rated lifting capacity of 160,000 pounds — a 14 percent increase over the previous model. The new PL87, replacing both 587T and 587R, has a rated lifting capacity of 214,000 pounds, for a 6 percent boost in lifting capacity. Both models use the Cat C15 ACERT engine, with a net hp rating of 310 hp in the PL83 and 366 hp in the PL87. Both retain the field-proven Cat drive train, including a rugged 3F/3R powershift transmission, high-efficiency torque divider, elevated final drives and the exclusive Cat differential steering system. Boom choices for the PL83 and PL87 include 24-foot and 28-foot versions, each fabricated with high-tensile-strength steel for durability to handle added payload. A new block-set design enhances sightlines to the pipe, and a new bolt-on block horn on the frame of the tractor’s radiator guard secures the block for transport.

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