Just because there is a Caterpillar factory in your backyard doesn’t mean you have the opportunity to tour it frequently, so when employees with Peoria Disposal Company (PDC) visited the East Peoria dozer facility recently, it was a treat compared to the long days spent in landfills.
Most operators agree that walking the production lines and seeing the assembly process is educational and nothing short of impressive, but Doug Schaub, Equipment Manager with PDC, enjoyed the historical hallway just as much – if not more.
Before heading to the factory floor, tour guide Ryan Sides lead the group into a hallway of warm wood tones, the walls lined with black and white photographs on canvases. Midway down the hall, Schaub stopped and leaned in to a photograph to take a closer look.
“In 1926, my grandpa drove a 2-ton tractor over the Murray Baker bridge. He bought it in East Peoria and drove it all the way home to Kickapoo!” Schaub shares.
The family still has the machine today, and Schaub’s father is active in the Antique Caterpillar Machine Owners Club.
With a bit of nostalgia and a lot of excitement, the next stop was to see the beginnings of PDC’s new Cat® D6T LGP. Zac Allen, MTA Supervisor, led the group to the tractor and engine sitting nearby.
“I can’t believe how quickly these machines are assembled and how clean the facility is!” says Scott Knight, Mechanic.
The new tractor will be used for slope work, final grading and daily covering. PDC employs 650 people and has four major landfills in the area.