Townsville Breathes new life into the old D2 for a second time

A beautifully restored CAT D2 Track Type Tractor now sits, in the courtyard area of Hastings Deering Townsville. How it ended up there is a story spanning more than 20 years.

It began with and a special relationship, formed between Hastings Deering’s Gordon Bontoff, and customer Dave Cox, who back in 1997 was the largest sugar cane grower in the Burdekin district.

In early 1998, on a visit to Dave’s farm, Gordon noticed two D2 Track Type Tractors sitting side by side near a shed. Gordon asked if it would be possible to buy one of them. Dave declined the offer and instead donated the machine on the understanding Hastings Deering would restore it to running condition and put it on display.

Young apprentice diesel fitter Peter Hinrichsen began work on it. Restoring it so well they would take it out to the NQ Field days. Gordon recalls “We would drive the D2 all around them, people loved it! It was a good reminder of the heritage of Hastings Deering and Caterpillar in NQ, brand awareness you couldn’t put a price on”.

“We actually had a competition on how quickly you could start it.  It had a rip cord start with a 2-cylinder petrol engine as the starter motor, if I recall a fellow started the D2 in around 4 seconds!”

 The D2 stood at the front of Hastings Deering Townsville for many years, with a plaque acknowledging Davco’s donation. But over time the D2 deteriorated and was eventually moved into storage.


Until Mark Scott and Daniel Viero visited Townsville and operations manager, Andrew Revell, took them to see Jeff Doyle at Mendi Group. 

Jeff has an immaculately restored D2 as the center piece of his administration area.

As Andrew remembers it “we were admiring it together, and then I told them we actually had one in our warehouse”.

“They asked why it was in storage and I told them we just didn’t have the money to fix it up again. That’s when Daniel said we had to get it out of the warehouse, restore it and put it back on display and, to make it happen, he would help.”

So, 20 years after first working on it, Peter Hinrichsen, was a part of the restoration team for a second time

Today it has a new life, proudly on display for Townsville’s Hastings Deering staff, this time under cover and well protected from the elements. 

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