Home » This Steam Roller Would Make A Handsome Truck: Cold Start

This Steam Roller Would Make A Handsome Truck: Cold Start

Cs Cattruck1
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I’ve always found styling on heavy construction equipment interesting. It’s not strictly necessary, really; nobody who is buying, say, a tandem vibratory roller is making a choice based on looks. In fact, this one, a Cat CB24B, is primarily intended for the rental market! And yet this 36.2 horsepower beast that weighs 6,003 pounds nevertheless has what looks to be a carefully-designed front end. They could have just stuck a basic metal box there to house the grille and lights – we all know aero concerns are not a thing here – but instead someone took the time to make a more pleasing face.

Here, look at it:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Cs Cat Steamroller

I thought it looked enough like a mainstream sort of truck design that I sketched that pickup version you see up top there. Really, though, I feel like this front end would likely be more at home on a school bus or box truck, but I still wanted to feel out how it could work on a pickup. I kinda like it!

Speaking of pickups, I was moving the Marshal, my 1989 Ford F-150, out of my drive way to get my Pao out, and when I got out to move the little Nissan, I saw this behind my truck:

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Cs Marshall Trashcan

Yes, that’s my trash can. It was behind the truck and I somehow, while backing the truck out of the driveway and onto the side of the street, managed to push it, upright, behind the truck around the corner and up the street a bit. How did it not fall over? I wonder how far I could have rolled this thing?

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Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
11 months ago

I think it looks more like the flip front of a medium duty truck than the nose of a pickup. I could see it blending well with a Kenworth or Freightliner cab

Brockstar
Brockstar
11 months ago

Torch you have invented a new game/office challenge. We must know what the best vehicle is to move a trash/recycling bin in reverse. I think this needs to be done with a utopian staff vehicles. For science!

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
11 months ago

My 20+ year old mower deck cracked apart the other week due to corrosion, ironically failing in the only spots I didn’t see any serious issues, so I wound up checking out new lawn tractors before just trading mine toward a ready to go used one for a few hundred dollars. But, the same sort of thought occurred to me when I was browsing- why are riding lawnmowers styled? Why do they actually have model years like a car? How does a giant fake black plastic grille and slanted aggressive headlights help me mow my lawn better?

When you look at ones from ca 1960s-1980s, they were designed more like pieces of equipment, functional and rational, but not really decorated, then something changed around the turn of the 1990s and they started almost following automotive design trends somehow. I guess it’s because the underlying engineering doesn’t change much, so putting a newer hood on the front makes it look like it’s improved in order induce you to get a new one for no reason, combined with the desire of different brands to stand out more from each other. Also, switching from metal everything to molded plastic and the big agg equipment manufacturers divesting themselves from the consumer market probably play in.

Also, similar thing with pre-WWI commercial buildings- they’d put attractive millwork, nice light fixtures, and decorative stair rails in “back of the house” service areas that only employees would see, plainer than the public facing areas, but still nicer than what we would do in most public areas today, vs just leaving the service spaces as unfinished concrete and steel framing. It’s like they just didn’t know how to not bother making something attractive, or it didn’t occur to them that they could

Last edited 11 months ago by Ranwhenparked
Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
11 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

With riding mowers, I think in some cases it was a shift from equipment makers to consumer goods makers. Cub Cadet was originally made by International Harvester and was sold off to MTD in the early 90s. At the same time tractors have become more heavily styled, compare a modern one to a blocky 70s or 80s tractor.As for model years, blame marketing

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
11 months ago

So in the realm of industrial design, you have subsets of other designers:

  • Industrial Designer: Jack of all trades, can design consumer PRODUCTSs to industrial equipment to medical equipment, zero specialization, focus on ergonomics/ease of use and solving problems
  • Transportation Designer: Usually from Art Center or CCS, specializing in either super sexy, emotional sketches of exteriors with exaggerated proportions, super sexy emotional sketches of interiors with lots of CMF, or Alias jockeys who pump CAD so hard they dream in NURBs.
  • UX/UI Designer: Either designers who didn’t have the skills to compete in the previous fields, or were enticed by the much higher paycheck, these designers specialize in wireframes, illustrator, and other 2d software to develop apps, websites, and interfaces. Also, they want to pretend they are cool, so in the past few years they started stealing the label “Product Designers” from the first group, in an attempt to sound cooler while talking to women in bars. Not happening. UX/UI is what you are, stop pretending.

So heavy equipment industry is mostly engineers (obviously) but they don’t really get transportation designers, they get ID guys, so as a result, a lot of the ‘styling’ is more basic and utilitarian, because the the ID guys are trying to solve problems, not make it look like an angry transformer. In this case, I bet this FRP or pressureformed panel was cheaper than a metal box, and helped the product look newer compared to it’s steel-box shaped competition. With radii instead of sharp corners, it’s also safer, easier to keep clean, won’t corrode when left outside, etc. Most importantly, it will stay that color, since brands usually have one color (like powertool companies), if it’s in the gelcoat it will stay Cat Yellow basically forever, unlike a steel box where the paint falls off in a few years, especially if it gets dinged.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
11 months ago

I started my engrg career back in the 70s at an earthmover manufacturer. The styling dept was one guy, a very capable young fellow who had gone to art school. Of course back then it was all hand sketches, no digital renderings. He came up with some great stuff to add distinctive looks without a lot of extra cost.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
11 months ago
Reply to  Speedway Sammy

***industrial design school*** not ‘art school’.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
11 months ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Eh, I went to art school and studied product design/industrial design. I’m currently the “art guy” in a company full of engineers.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
11 months ago

This pickup would fit in perfectly with one of the many cars crushed in The Brave Little Toaster in a scene that would traumatize me until the age of ::checks notes:: to be determined.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UfsEj7AOGI

Douglas Lain
Douglas Lain
11 months ago

what in the ever-loving hell?? where are you EVER going to get such GOLD stream-of-consciousness BRILLIANCE other than here? Torch, you are my spirit animal!

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
11 months ago

Take that as a fortunate reminder to always clear around your vehicle before you move it. Pushing roller bins is funny; pushing tricycles is not. Here endeth the sermon.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
11 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
11 months ago

Yes it looks like the Volvo “nose” truck from the end of last century 😎
Loved those!

(will edit post if I find it: Yes this one)

Last edited 11 months ago by Jakob K's Garage
Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
11 months ago

Now I just remember that the trash wasn’t pick up yesterday ugh I will push it all the way to the landfill

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
11 months ago

Imagine if you had driven away, and your neighbor came out and saw a random garbage can parked in front of the house. How would they interpret it? As a warning? Like a horse’s head in the bed, but trashier and with more industrial-grade plastic?

SLM
SLM
11 months ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

Where I live, the neighbor would probably take it as a free garage can and sell it to somebody else

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
11 months ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

In my neighborhood, Torch would be getting another nastygram from the HOA.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
11 months ago

Okay, Torch, instead of writing ANY of those new vehicle reviews you’ve been stacking up, we want you to go out, back your truck up to the trach can, and see how far you can drive in reverse while pushing said trash can. Otto can sit in the bed and video.

We expect this on the site by tomorrow. It will ALSO serve as a challenge to other Autopian contributors to beat your record.

Drew
Drew
11 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

We could bring trash cans to meetups and have in-person competitions.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
11 months ago
Reply to  Drew

I like the cut of your jib.
https://youtu.be/bATF0dwYBB8?t=346

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
11 months ago
Reply to  Drew

“Here in the wilds of this Detroit area Wal-Mart parking lot, we observe the mating ritual of the North American Autopian. See how the male carefully aligns his vehicle with the wheeled trash can. If he can push this can further than the rest, his status within the group is assured, and the possibility of securing a mate is… well… not certain, exactly. All this young Autopian knows is if he fails – either by losing control of his trash can or running over it – he will face minutes of good natured mockery.”

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
11 months ago
Reply to  Drew

“Good afternoon and welcome to the beautiful sights and sounds of Wally’s Speedway, where in just a few short hours we will find out if Jason Torchinsky can defend his trash can racing title yet again. At this gathering of elites, on the hallowed asphalt in this cauldron of noise, the best of the best will go up against one another to decide who will be named the 2037 Wheelie Bin Racing World Champion.

Of course the circuit they will race on has been etched into our collective consciousness over the years, and needs no explanation. In a cloud of fumes, rust, and lead battery dust, the frontrunners will race around the iconic ‘Neighbors Curb’, barely lift off the gas for the Marshall kink, and take advantage of every ounce of slipstream available behind their rivals’ plastic dumpster as they accelerate up to maximum speed along the Michigan Straight. Under braking for the hard right into Grocery Park the bravest will make their move, desperately trying to gain a place whilst avoiding the shame of a toppled can.

This is where dreams will be made, and hopes will be dashed.”

Last edited 11 months ago by Amberturnsignalsarebetter
StillNotATony
StillNotATony
11 months ago

“And don’t forget to hit the snack bar! Soft drinks, slushies, and our signature shower spaghetti!!”

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
11 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Hilarious!

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
11 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Well, the ones w/ Fords already do…

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
11 months ago

Trash cans get up to all sorts of things on their own:

https://media.tenor.com/j13BS-kV4zUAAAAC/trash-can-camedc.gif

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