The Allis-Chalmers HD-5 crawler tractor, better known as a bulldozer, was produced by the Allis-Chalmers Company in West Allis, Wisconsin, from 1946 to 1955. It was a small bulldozer with a wide range of options for farmers, loggers, building contractors and the military. Annual production averaged around 3,000 units. HD-5 production peaked in 1953 when 4,278 units were produced. Allis-Chalmers built 29,255 HD-5 crawler tractors over its 10-year production run.
Engine & Transmission
The Allis-Chalmers HD-5 was powered by a 2-cylinder General Motors Detroit Diesel engine. It produced 38.24 drawbar horsepower or 47.85 power takeoff (PTO) shaft horsepower at 1,800 rpm. The engine had a 4.25-inch bore and a 5.0-inch stroke. An ether injection system aided cold-weather starting. The engine drove rear track sprockets through a five-speed manual transmission offering four speeds forward and a reverse. The HD-5’s forward speeds were between 1.46 and 5.47 mph; reverse speed was 1.99 mph.
Track and Suspension
The standard HD-5 rode on a pair of 33-link steel tracks spaced 44 inches apar, with a front track support mounted on a steel leaf spring. Optional track arrangements included 33-link tracks spaced 60 inches apart. There also was an optional 37-link track on 60-inch spacing with choice of sprung or rigid front support. Tracks were 13 inches wide with four lower support rollers per side for the 33-link track and five rollers per side for the 37-inch track.
The HD-5 was 125 inches long, 70 inches wide (standard) or 86 inches wide in a wide-track version. It stood 60.4 inches tall and weighed 5.9 tons without optional equipment. It had a 37-gallon fuel tank and a cooling system capacity of 3.75 gallons. In 1955, the last year of production, the standard HD-5 had a list-price of $6,585 without options.
Extra-cost optional equipment for the HD-5 included an eight-foot bulldozer blade and a front loader with choice of buckets from 0.75 yards to 1.5 yards. Allis-Chalmers also offered a canopy, fully-enclosed cab, track guards, radiator and engine guards, a seat-back guard and tow bars from seven inches to 20 inches wide. There also was a choice of a unidirectional 663 rpm PTO or a reversible PTO running at 539 rpm, plus belt pulleys of 10-inch or 12-inch diameter. There was a heavy-duty package with an extra-large radiator and guard, heavy-duty oil and fuel filters and an air filter pre-cleaner extension. Also available were front and rear running lights, rear floodlight and an engine-hour meter.
Herb Kirchhoff has more than three decades of hands-on experience as an avid garden hobbyist and home handyman. Since retiring from the news business in 2008, Kirchhoff takes care of a 12-acre rural Michigan lakefront property and applies his experience to his vegetable and flower gardens and home repair and renovation projects.