Heavy Equipment Escort


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    So I was driving back to town today and I passed a construction site on the side of the highway. Lots of shiny stuff just sitting around. It got me thinking. I have a Caterpillar key on my keychain(among others like Honda and Yamaha outboard motor keys, Volvo, Case, IR, Hitachi, John Deere, and Polaris snowmachines), so I figured I would see if Cat has updated their locks in the last 10 years. They have not. It’s not like I stole it or anything, I just made sure my key still worked. Then I started thinking, does anyone else carry a key?

    There are a lot of places a loader can get to that most other vehicles can not, including fording small rivers. The average “highway” speed is about 25 MPH on flat ground, and they will pull most hills around 20 MPH. I’ve gotten a zoom boom up to 35 MPH on the highway, but that is the exception because it is a telahandler instead of a true loader. The nice thing about heavy equipment is that it is so big nobody in their right mind is going to try to steal it under normal circumstances, so they all take the same key for each manufacturer. A Cat 299 skidsteer key will start up a 966 loader or a D8 bulldozer, same goes for Case and Volvo and Ingersoll Rand. The point I’m making with this is that if the roads are clogged with abandoned vehicles or storm damage has made travel impossible, all one needs to do is hit up your local construction site and fire something up to clear a path. Granted it is probably a little far fetched to envision bulldozing down a highway through gridlock in a mass exodus from a city with a convoy behind you. On the other hand I’ve “borrowed” equipment sitting at the boat landing to pull stuck vehicles out of the river or smooth out the launch ramp, I even leave a couple of bucks taped to the seat for the fuel I’ve used so nobody will complain or call the cops. If worse comes to worse, I make a point of knowing where the equipment in my area is so that I have more options if I need them.

    For anyone who has not considered this, a few heavy equipment keys (along with other universal keys) will add some flexibility to your preps and your bug out plans.



    Where have all the moderators gone?


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