The family reunited with a 10-ton Holt Caterpillar tractor


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Scott Fock was 6 years old in 2001 when a Holt Caterpillar 10-ton tractor was auctioned. It was sold along with all the other equipment in the Vouk family’s antique steam show after the death of his great-uncle. Now at age 25, Scott has managed what many of his relatives never thought was possible – namely to return a century-old tractor. “I have been chasing after my father for a long time to try to get this machine back,” he says. The Holt was purchased in 1938 by Scott’s great-uncle William Fock Sr. for the family threshing and saw business run by Scott’s great-great-grandfather until his death in 1931. The typical tractor in the early 1920s had already seen about 15 years of hard work before that. A construction company used it to plow snow off roads in St. Stephen, Minnesota, an area where the Fock family took root more than 100 years ago, as Hult replaced the 80-horsepower steam engine the family business had been using since 1917. Scott fixed Fock’s grandfather, John Voc, a petrol engine in Holt and put a custom canopy on it. His elder uncle studied from farm to farm with 10 tons until the late forties. It continued to be used for sawing wood in the mid-1950s. A belt was tightened between the Holt pulley and the saw to operate the saw board. A family photo of a Holt Caterpillar 10-Ton in the 1940s when it was used for a lesson, and in 1965, the Holt Caterpillar 10-Ton got new life as one of the antique machines at the William Fock steam show. The gallery grew into an annual attraction for the St. Stephen’s area, and expanded into a two-day event where visitors can see the thresholds and sawmills of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “From 1965 to 2001, this cat was used every year at the exhibition for the lesson, or he used it on the sawmill every once in a while,” Scott says. “And they pulled steam engines with them every year.” Holt at auction in 2001, the sale of the 10-ton Holt caterpillar led to another comeback of sorts, and it was bought by Ben Holt, a descendant of Benjamin Holt, who patented the crawler tractor in 1904. He called it a caterpillar. Benjamin Holt co-founded the Holt Manufacturing Company, which produced 10 tons. The 40-horsepower tractors were launched in 1917 for military use during World War I, and a commercial version was later released. Holt Manufacturing merged with CL Best Tractor Co in 1925 to form the Caterpillar Tractor Co. The tractor that the Vouk family auctioned off changed ownership again in 2013. Holt Texas bought the tractor when Ben Holt sold his company. Then the tractor was placed at the headquarters of Holt Cat Agency in San Antonio, Texas. Scott Fock at age 4 rides on a 10-ton Holt Caterpillar, while Scott Fock was growing up at St. Stephen, developing his skills as a mechanic and becoming a mechanic. He also developed a love for antique machinery and how it interweaved with his family history. Every spring and fall, the family still starts working on the old sawmill. Relatives and friends pull out tree trunks to chop them out of wood to make deer stands and grooming tools. What does it like about old machines? “Noise,” he says. “When you hear a steam engine running on the sawmill, it’s the most wonderful sound in the world.” His relatives told him that when Holt 10-Ton was working at the sawmill, they could hear it four blocks away when they were at school and the windows were open. “That’s no kidding,” says Scott. “Because when my parents went to the same elementary school, you could hear them when they started running Holt pulling steam engines and tractors for a steam show in October and September.” Holt Lvoc Even though he was young when the Holt Caterpillar 10-tonne was auctioned, he has one memory for the tractor. “A friend of ours was riding me on it for the first time,” he says. “And I remember that trip. I was so afraid of spinning the flywheel close to my feet.” He also has the first poster for the Vouk Steam Show, held in 1965. It features an 80-horse box and a Holt Caterpillar 10-Ton. Hanged today in his living room, this poster in the Scott Fock home was used to promote the family’s first vintage steamer show in 1965, with reference to the Holt Caterpillar 10-Ton. As time passed after the 2001 auction, the family began to take back antique equipment. They bought back the old 80-horse backpack that Scott Fock’s grandfather bought in 1917. He and his father are currently restoring it. They have also purchased the Steam fairground and are working on renovating it. Scott wanted to find a Holt Caterpillar 10-Ton. He searched and found a photo of it in 2018 in front of Holt Cat where she has been around since 2013. Scott’s father thought it was a lost cause, the owners didn’t want to give it up and the cylinder frame would need a lot of work because of the many miles it had. “I’m just tired of hearing that,” says Scott, laughing. “I think you can say so, so I took it my own way.” “I tracked it down, called out there. Finally, I reached out to some right people who knew what I was talking about, and what I was trying to find on my assignment.” Soon after, his phone rang. “Well, Scott, I have great news,” he recalled saying the caller. “I spoke to Peter Holt this morning, and they decided to return the tractor to you.” We reunited, “I was excited. I called my father right away and told him what was going on,” Scott said of the call from Holt Cat in November. “He didn’t believe me.” But he quickly did. On January 18, Scott, his father, and other family members made a trip from Minnesota to San Antonio to pick up an old 10-ton Holt Caterpillar. There they met the co-owners of Holt Cat Peter J. Holt and Corinna Holt Richter, who are also descendants of Benjamin Holt. “It was a great time for us to bring this tractor back to the Vouks,” says Peter Holt. “Holt Cat understands the importance of the family legacy and the equipment that helps build it.” Peter Holt at a January 18 ceremony to present the 10-ton tractor to Vouks at Holt Cat Headquarters in San Antonio, Texas. It was signed. The Vouks once again owned the tractor that had played such a prominent role in their family history of 63 years. Only Holt and Richter requested that Vouks donate $ 7,500 to a local diesel technology program. “At Holt Cat, there is a long-standing tradition of supporting the next generation of workers in our industry,” says Holt. Vouks chose St. Cloud Community Technical College, where Scott, his father, and sister all earned degrees. “I can’t thank him and his sister enough to return this tractor to us,” Scott says. Vouks retook the tug 1,300 miles to Minnesota. Father and son plan to run it again. Scott Fook and his father, Tom Fook, right, with Peter Holt, CEO of Holt Cat, a cylinder tire needs attention. They will repair the engine, which has likely not happened since Scott’s grandfather did so in 1938. But overall, Scott says, the tractor appears to be in good condition. The goal is to turn it on by spring, as its cousins ​​would stop by every weekend to check on progress. “They are all really excited,” Scott says. “None of my family believed that this would be possible.” He says he plans to make sure the 10 tons stay with the family. “He will be in the family as long as I am alive,” he says. “And it will be used every year, whether it’s pulling the steam engines in the spring or putting them away in the fall – or going up to the bar on a Friday night – we’ll use it.” “It contains street pillows,” he adds, laughing. “So I plan to push it to the bar.” Ready to go back to Minnesota from San Antonio


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