Caterpillar commemorated the production of 75,000 wheel tractor-scrapers at the company’s Decatur, Ill., facility. The historic machine, an open-bowl, twin-engine 627K, is built to move high volumes of material quickly and economically with optimum fuel efficiency.

Scrapers were one of three product families, along with track-type tractors and motor graders that were the foundation of Caterpillar’s growth following World War II. As the U.S. economy boomed and populations began migrating from cities to suburbs, housing and infrastructure construction grew rapidly, spurring demand for earthmoving equipment such as the wheel tractor-scraper.

“Scraper sales have been rebounding steadily in North America since the last downturn,” said Caterpillar Mining Products vice president Tom Bluth. “And with our new K Series machines, we’re in a great position to win business outside North America as construction equipment recovers. Congratulations to all who helped design, build, deliver and support 75,000 scrapers. We also extend our thanks to tens of thousands of Caterpillar customers who have put their trust in Cat scrapers for generations.”