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First Pipelayer Machine

Prior to 1955, pipelayers were simply attachments for a track-type tractor. This changed when Caterpillar released the No. 583, Pipelayer in 1955. An industry first, it was an integrated pipelayer machine design that offered customers advances in both productivity and cost efficiency.

Caterpillar’s current product line includes three models ranging from 125 hp up to 366 hp and a lifting capacity of 214,000 lbs. Pipelayers have been used on a number of different local projects within Georgia, as well as on pipeline projects that span the eastern seaboard.

“It was before my time, but as I understand it, the industry did a lot of work by hand and with tripods over the ditch to handle the pipe. After World War II the industry grew exponentially and began to reach all the major markets from the Gulf Coast. You had to have a pipelayer. Pipelines got bigger to handle more volume, and it had to be done by mechanical means. All the machinery has been updated through the years to make it more dependable and operator friendly and for greater capacity. There have been a lot of improvements over the last thirty or forty years.”

Bill Honey, Latex Construction Company

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Post-War Boom 1948 - 1959
Era Stories