Seabees

Show us military equipment in here

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martyn williams
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Seabees

Post #1 by martyn williams » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:14 am

I was told by my Seabees friends in the US that this may be of interest,they sent me this link from youtube :thumbup:
[video]http://youtu.be/uoIkGVGH7U0[/video]
Martyn

Message from Seabees regarding video

Ray Cochran
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" Stormin' " replies:
Wow ! This was really a good video from the past ! There are lots more I haven't yet viewed which are suggested along the right side. BTW, I have been looking a long time for details of the EIMCO dozers used by the SEABEES in Vietnam. They were quite unusual, and not seen much in typical civilian construction. I have seen an entry on an old iron group's message board which said that the Navy bought 2,000 of them. I personally saw two of them back in the 70s which had been bought from the DPPO yard at Davisville by Conklin Limestone Co. in Lincoln, R.I. and sitting out in plain view from Rte. 146 at their quarry.
If anyone can help me with researching the contract under which they were purchased by the Navy and any specs, I would be very grateful. I know that EIMCO made primarily underground excavating and transport equipment for mines and tunneling. I have also long ago seen in old construction magazine that Eimco offered two dozer models for general construction work, but they never caught on with civilian contractors.
Here's what grapevine member surfer joe has to say about them. Anyone have anything to add ?
I operated Eimco's for a couple of years in Vietnam and Rhode Island during my time with the Seabees. The machines were, I believe, model 104's. They had the Detroit V671 engine with the dual stacks. Some were equipped with winches, some had a ripper bar, some only a tow bar. Some of the machines, the newest ones, had Caterpillar undercarriages on them, a result of the Eimco firm about to go under and still short of fulfilling a military contract for the Navy and Marine Corps.

I liked the machines, when they worked as designed. The transmissions were a bit undependable. You could never be completely sure that it would do as directed by the control levers, there were problems in the directional control valve stacks that quite often meant that a shift was missed, in which case the tranny went into neutral instead of forward or reverse on one side or the other. Then you had to jiggle the control levers a time or two to get the bloomin thing to work correctly. I never knew what the exact problem was, but these machines stacked up outside the company shops quite often for repair in that area.

The engines were quite dependable so long as fuel filters were changed often. Our fuel supply was spotty, often coming from 5 gallon jerry cans, 55 gallon barrels, or any kind of fuel truck or tanker. We burned #2 diesel, kerosene, or JP4, whatever we could get. They were a noisy beast.

The machines were a delight to operate. One sat on the front, the radiator was in the back, and it was noisy too. The blade control lever was under your right hand, the forward-reverse shifter levers under your left. There were two foot operated brake pedals and a foot operated de-accelerator pedal, which was rarely used in open dozing. You could almost see the bottom of the blade from the cutting edge side, excellent visibility of the front and both corners. The bull blades had a tilt function, not sure that the angle blades did however. Don't remember them so well. There was a control panel across the top of a lowdown dash with the standard gauges and buttons, also a hand operated thottle assembly. The fan blade was a blower fan, exiting out the rear.

On fairly flat ground the machines were very powerful, but being light on the front end, they had some trouble digging into harder soil, gravel, or blasted rock. On hilly terrain I always felt uncomfortable with the high center of gravity, much more so than our TD20's, which I would take over nearly any cliff. You merely sat in place on the Eimco, twitching the shift levers with your fingers as needed for directional changes -- occasionally using a foot brake -- and moved the dozer or ripper control as required. Very easy.

The best use of these was spreading loose fill, dozing sand, or working in a rock or gravel quarry around piles of sand, gravel, and crushed rock, also feeding a crusher or screen plant. They were also good for land clearing of small trees and brush or grass. Working in deep jungle or big trees was another matter. Being up front placed you right in the thick of the action, where branches, monkeys and snakes or other nasty critters could drop right on you. If you ran over a mine, being right up front was also a bad place to be as some folks found out. These machines did not have cabs or ROPS enclosures.

I did backfill and excavation work all over the Danang area, working around ammo dumps, helicopter pads, supply dumps, bridge approaches, airfield work for revetments and drainage, and a lot of road work in the metro area and up on the Hai Van Pass north of town. I also pushed MRS 110 scrapers quite a bit in the sand pits.

As I mentioned we also had many International TD20's, some International TD25B's, some Cat D8's, and one or two Euclid C6's. Smaller dozers included IH TD6's and 9's. Also some International 175 and Case 1150 crawler loaders.

In Rhode Island, there was a model 103 Eimco at the base landfill. A smaller -- D6 -- size machine, it had the Detroit 4-71 inline engine. I never ran it. The Marines engineers had Eimco's all over the place on their bases in the states and in Vietnam. We worked on General Lam's wall with them for several months and that is what they were using there. They spent a lot of time getting dragged out of rice paddies with tank retrievers, and left the steeper hills and slopes to us with our TD20's. That was a pretty good job while it lasted, I believe we helped clear 25 or 30 miles around the northwest corner of the Danang perimeter. This "wall" was a cleared strip 600 yards wide with two sets of concertina wire, mines, detectors, and watch towers every so many yards. We scraped everything down to bare dirt with a road running just behind the strip. We lost one dozer to an unexploded 8" naval shell with the operator getting the purple heart for minor injuries including hearing loss for a few days. We lived with the Marines in a squad tent on their base on a hill, stood night watches, ate C-rations (Marine chow was terrible) and generally had a great time.

Since then I have seen a few Eimco's around the states just sitting. Have never seen one working that I remember. Some had been, judging from the lack of rust on their blades.
Eimco Floyds Pictures of 103C.


Topic author
martyn williams
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Re: Seabees

Post #2 by martyn williams » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:55 am

Strange dozer,did not realise that there were so many around.
Martyn
[video]http://youtu.be/EoFaGY4yJy4[/video]
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