Breaking new ground
Caterpillar equipment has been used to construct and build many innovations around the world and one of these includes Australia’s largest one-man engineering projects. Located behind the Woakwine Range, approximately 12kms from Beachport, a channel was excavated from the swamp through the range to Lake George so that the land could be drained, ploughed and sown to pasture, making the area agriculturally sustainable.
Work commenced in May 1957 by Mr Murray McCourt who was assisted by one of his workman, Dick McIntyre. A ripper was used to loosen the rubble and rocks. This material was then carried from the cutting by a tractor-drawn Carryall Scraper. A Caterpillar D7 Crawler Tractor with double drum winch and bulldozer blade was also used on the project. The Caterpillar machines used to construct this engineering feat were purchased from SA Tractors, now known as Cavpower.
After 3 years of hard work the cutting was completed in May 1960. The final length of the cutting was 1 kilometre and 3 metres wide at the bottom. Overall, 276,000 cubic metres of material was moved from the area.
A lookout has been constructed in the area providing a view of the area drained and the machinery used to dig the cutting are also on display.
Learn more about the Woakwine Cutting.