AUSTRAK-WILDCAT STORIES


OK I will kick this one off with Stupid things I have done in my Wildcat and my Austrak.

  1. The Wildcat Spiral of Doom – When I was young and foolish  I owned a great green monster of a Wildcat.  It had a chain problem which had been rectified on one side by fitting much larger dimension chain… on the other side it remained as original, was worn and prone to breaking. Now if your chain breaks on one side at any kind of substantial throttle you suddenly find yourself flying around in circles. it’s really dangerous….I ended up hanging on to the roll bar for what seemed forever before I realised I needed to cut the engine…….26 years later I can still remember that one with a degree of horror
  2. Always adjust your handbrake…….30 degree slope and the idiot behind the levers runs out of petrol….air goes quiet as the chaff cutter V4 cuts out and all you hear is the whir of the chains as you proceed down hill…at some point in the process I considered jumping out but luckily dropping the blade was enough to dig it in and stop see above comment and add “needed to wash trousers”.
  3. Fast forward to 2007...back in the all terrain tractor game after a very long time and this time in the mighty Austrak. Now despite the robust construction of the machines, the control cables are locked in by one very small machine screw on each side. I lost one of those while travelling around the paddock and was suddenly transported back in time to the Wildcat chain breaking incident…only problem that reaching across to the Austrak kill switch while hanging on to the roll cage was much harder than turning off the wildcat. See previous comment about trousers.

Anyway  that’s a part of my repetoire…hope that you share yours.

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6 Responses to AUSTRAK-WILDCAT STORIES

  1. Lawrie and Glenda Cornell says:

    Thank-you for this segment it is nice to know that Lawrie is not the only person to partake in some of the” not to be reccomended ” antics . He tells me I don’t know most of them, something tells me it is just as well I don’t knowing how he drives till he is almost at the point of no return.an example is the day he was slashing with a ferguson and backed along the side of the road which got steeper until he would have rolled it had he continued a few more feet. The remedy was ofcourse was the Wildcat to the rescue to slowly pull (VERY slowly) it off the embankment as only a “Pussy” (as it has been nicknamed) could do. Why the “pussy” was not used in the first place we cannot remember with thier stability the situation would not have happened. Another day he decided to try out its “swimming ability” in our dam all went well until he realised too late that he had forgotten to replace the bungs in the floor. We used to remove them each day when left the property which we visited on week-ends. A very sheepish Lawrie had to go to the neighbour to ask for a tow with his ancient David Brown. This gave Murray more ammo for his teasing about rich dairyfarmers and thier new tractor. He also had the Circle Work experience when the steering rod broke and knows what it feels like.Bogged in a dam whilst cleaning it out resulted in some not recommended practices to get it out. These are a few. We look forward to reading of the explots of others. Only the drivers of Wildcats or Austracks would survive many of these happenings.

  2. Jim Deering says:

    OK, I might spend a fair bit of time answering questions for folk about their Austraks, both on this site and privately, but I do still get to drive them too

    One of my earliest experiences of operating my Lombardini 833-powered RT-45, a circa 1978 model, was the cleaning out of track-side drains, mid-storm. Things seemed to be working quite well too; the flowing water was assisting with material flow. You know, that lovely grey, sandy gravel that sits over the coffee rock in some lighter country… Just add water and you get bottomless slurry…

    I was happily chortling up and down the track-side drain, like a large orange pipe-cleaner, when I over-estimated the RT-45’s ground clearance. 350mm is plenty, usually. I had a fair run up, moving at close to the machine’s top downhill speed of 20km/h when I pulled the levers into reverse. THe RT-45 obediently stopped and began to reverse. Then the slurry hit, or moved away like porridge

    My RT-45 has had rectangular drain holes cut in the floor and I got to observe the vertical flow characteristics of the aforementioned grey slurry, as it carefully filled every void in the lower body of the RT-45 to a depth of about four inches

    Fortunately, I had family available to assist pull the now ‘orange plug’ out of the drain and back to solid ground, so I did not need to worry about having to scrape the rapidly setting slurry out; a burst with the pressure washer liquified it and it left the machine where it had entered

    Then there was another time when I was cutting a track into a hillside in rainy conditions… Those little wheels have such a small footprint and when all the tyre’s tread fills up with mud the result is four almost frictionless skates. I knew the terrain levelled out below me, so I let the machine slide, just to experieance the feeling. It took 50m for the RT-45 to slither to rest

    The moral of the story; Austrak’s don’t like wet conditions

    JD

    • Peter says:

      HI Jim, We Have decided to SELL our Austrak and its implements (dozer blade, mulscher, rippers/carryall) It is in VG condt, with all new hydraulics. If you are still interested please reply. or PH 07 5494 2091 BH. Regards Peter.

  3. johnarentz says:

    From Phillip
    pfarnell@bluemaxx.com.au
    Submitted on 2011/01/30 at 5:46 am

    Noted the add in the Weekly Times and had time of stinking hot 40 degree Sunday arvo’ to look it up.

    I have a “Wildcat” that I bought from an Orchardist in Shepparton Victoria nearly 3 years ago with the intention to fix it up with a 400 litre spray system and 6 metre book to attack “Patto” on a mates property in the Hills around Albury-Wodonga. I bought it home, stuck in the shed (Hangar) and it still sits there awaiting me.It came with a Owners Manual – a photocopy of the original Williams Wildcat version. It has some interesting pictures and info for anyone who might want a copy.

    My machine is not original and has a 4 cylinder diesel
    nicely fitted onto a separate engine frame. Currently it’s not all fitted up to a special chain drive/gearboxthat the previous owner was making….he like me had little spare time. He was converting it to make it into a Cherry Picker for his orchard. Originally, this machine carried the “Tipper tub” attachment and appears in the Photographs of the User Manual. I have not seen any others like this.

    My machine appears to have most other bits and pieces including the front mounted hydraulic slasher. I’ll did it out during Summer
    and grab you some pics’. I am aware of a similar Wildcat that was 2 years ago at Yendon near Ballarat for Sale. It would most likely still be there in his machinery yard waiting for a new home…..he wanted $1000 for it.

    I did see a Austrak in the Hills at Macedon near Gisborne some 3 years ago. The guy was restoring another machine too. He had many parts including a hydraulic power take off of which I had never seen before…a handy item for one of these machines. I have lost touch with him but could ask locally if anyone knows how he’s
    going….I could possibly find my way there again if needed. He was quite an older man who had more time than I to tinker.

    Anyway, keep up the good work and I’ll progress to get some clearer pictures for you and your readers. Great work….any maybe this will spur me on a bit to finish it. Cheers!

    Philip Farnell
    Mobile 0429 091 585 03 53 674448 Bacchus Marsh

    • garry3335 says:

      My Dad went to a property in that area (Macedon) over two years ago. He purchased 4 X tyres and rims, back and front tow bars, hydraulic power take off plus, hydraulic systems, dash with wiring, roll bar and other bits and pieces. The gentlemen was older and selling his property he had two machines. One was being restored the other was rusting in the paddock.

  4. David says:

    Interested in finding out about Austrak and Williams Wildcat and if anyone knows if any for sale in Austrakis, particularly southern states. 0407499432 Thanks.

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