As a young boy, Kenny Nichols, a long-time dozer operator, and Cat equipment owner was no stranger to hard work. His dad passed away in 1934, when Kenny was four years old, leaving the youngster, his mother, and older siblings to eke out a living from the land during the Great Depression. It meant long days and back-breaking work with few rewards.
84 years ago, seven-year-old Kenny was on an errand, walking a county dirt road in rural Missouri, when a man driving a Caterpillar Ten crawler came down the way.
“The county had the machine. They were bringing it up the road from Cedar Grove to work on some hills near the Palmer Banks [near Jadwin, MO]. I was just a kid walking along the road. The driver stopped to give me a ride,” Kenny says. “And he let me drive it about a half a mile.”
That brief encounter began Kenny’s lifelong love for Cat dozers.