Grant Rinkhoff from the US enjoyed our Classic Machine article on the Oliver OC-18 so much he sent us his own story of an Oliver rebuild organised by his father Ed.
This Oliver OC-18 was bought new in 1956 with a 12 foot angle dozer blade, a double cable winch, 24 volt battery starter and an injector unit for cold weather starts.
The purchase price was US$50,000 and the first owner was Mains Brothers of Suterville, Pennsylvania, USA.
It was initially used in a coal stripping operation alongside of two D-8 Caterpillars and, according to operators at the time, was said to be able to out-push those same era D-8s.
When Mains Brothers deciding to cease the coal stripping operation in 1959 it put all its coal stripping equipment up for sale.
At this liquidation of earthmoving equipment by private treaty, Grant’s father Ed Rinkhoff (Jr) bought the Oliver OC-18 in 1959 and it coped with the mud created by the construction of a new four lane highway called Route 51 that links Western Maryland and West Virginia with Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
An experienced heavy equipment person named Jack Perlo rebuilt the lower rollers before it was put to work, says Grant.
On one occasion an operator let it get low on coolant and let it get overheated. After that it sat in a storage building for about 20 plus years on a farm.
When the farm went up for sale the Oliver OC-18 was brought up to Grant’s father’s aunt’s farm where he is now living.
There it sat around for about six years until a mechanic called Landis Zimmerman from Ephrata Pennsylvania, who specializes in Oliver bulldozers, told them he knew of a replacement Hercules engine.
Landis Zimmerman not only installed the Hercules engine but also rebuilt the main drive clutch, put a new core in the radiator and restrung new cable for the blade.
The Oliver OC-18 was then brought back to Ed’s 460 acre farm in the South West corner of Pennsylvania near a town called Uniontown where it is based now.