Jump to content

O.T. Part II: Moving a 1928 Lombard Model "T" Dump Truck

Terry Harper

Recommended Posts


You may remember back in July I posted about awakening the 1928 Lombard model "T" dump truck. Well thanks to the amazing generosity of the Breton family we now have the 1928 Lombard model "T" dump truck tucked away in the Lombard shed along side the two steamers and the 10 ton gasoline powered Lombard.

Our adventure started Thursday night when I made the 2-1/2 hour drive down to Herb's. With the flatbed scheduled to be in Vassalboro at 8:00 am the next morning spending the night at Herb's and driving only a little over an hour made sense. As it was Herb and I were on the road at 5:45 am so we could be there in plenty of time to prep and awaken the beast.

Fortunately thanks to Paul's prep work the beast fired right up without a problem. After a bit of frantic tugging on the steering wheel and jigging back and forth we managed to clear the pole barn without crushing Paul's blueberry bushes. I can tell you.... it's near impossible to turn the wheels when its sitting still!

Here is the link to a video of todays adventure:


Anyway, by 8:20am it was loaded and on its way. Special thanks to Brandon our trucking guy! Unfortunately his GPS led him astray. He had set his GPS to follow the shortest route. However the "shortest" route was down a gated logging road.

Fortunately we found him and once at the museum we quickly had it unloaded and tucked away in the shed. This gave us a good opportunity to look the beast over. We have fuel problem which is either gunk in the carb or sediment and scale blocking off the line to the carb at the tank. The inline filter we installed earlier indicates that there quite a bit drifting around in the system. We also need to get the battery cables sorted out and the battery tucked away were its supposed to be. We tried out the dump body hoist but about 2,000 lbs of Lombard logging sled parts in the bed precluded raising it up too far. However, it worked excellent.
Driving this beast is interesting. It has essentially a heavy four speed truck transmission with the reverse blanked-off. Reverse and forward are handled by a lever down on the floor by the drivers left foot. It does give you four forward and four speeds in reverse. However, its an awkward reach to say the least. Meanwhile the lever for the hoist is a big reach over on the other side of the gear shift which would have a short person struggling to depress the clutch and work the lever. Lets just say its funky and neat and keeps the driver busy.
The track system is really cool. Tension is held by a big spring stretching clear across under the cab and pulling on fulcrums which apply tension to front sprocket bearing frames. The sprocket bearing frames are not mounted rigid to the chassis but can slide fore and aft via slides and gibs.

Anyway, our last event of the season is our "Living History" days on October 5th and 6th. Its also our biggest event.

In addition to all kinds of other stuff we will have the steam Lombard out running around as well as the 10 ton gasoline Lombard and the Lombard Model "T" dump truck.



  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Be careful with those museum vehicles.  I broke my arm cranking a 1928 Autocar to move it from one museum building to another

 3 days in hospital and 6 weeks in a cast. Other than from my Mom I only received 1 other call which I thought might be in sympathy. Wrong! It was from the director of the museum telling me they had no liability for my "unfortunate accident". Your Lombard is a great truck.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/22/2019 at 1:49 AM, Restorer32 said:

Other than from my Mom I only received 1 other call which I thought might be in sympathy. Wrong! It was from the director of the museum telling me they had no liability for my "unfortunate accident". Your Lombard is a great truck.





Nice guy...





Mind you, everyone’s so quick to sue nowadays. In that situation I’d be like “dang I dun goofed!” and would blame myself anyway, but the point is - that museum director is a Richard, for sure.. (d***).




PS: love that Lombard Log Hauler!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As we move towards October 5th & 6th the crew has been hard at work getting things ready for "Living History Days" our last and biggest

event of the year!


Today they off-loaded the loggings sleds from the back of the Lombard dump truck and loaded-up with a bit of gravel.

We will be using it to recreate a typical "1920's road crew" hard at work trying to keep the road in shape (the museum roads are all

gravel so we actually have work that needs to be done!)


We will also be operating our 1907 steam Lombard log hauler as well as the 10 ton gasoline powered Lombard. As usual there will be

the Civil War and colonial encampments as well as the blacksmith shop up and running along with the water powered saw mill and our 1920

mill complex. Wagon rides, try your hand at rowing the batteau and a whole bunch of other things!




Fall colors, old machinery, wonderful people..... hope to see you there!










Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

For closure "Living History Days" at the Maine Forest & Logging Museum on October 5th & 6th was a great success!

We had record attendance, fabulous volunteers and two wonderful, colorful Fall days here in Maine.


I am pleased to say that the 1928 Lombard dump truck ran perfect! In fact it saved the day when our 10 ton Lombard -

which we usually use to pull the 19 ton steamer out of the shed for steam-up, failed us with an electrical problem.

Once sorted it it too ran faultless as well.


Here is a video:

Living History Day - Maine Forest & Logging Museum



We still have quite a bit of a "to-do list" We think the forward/reverse lever once operated on a quadrant which went

missing at some point. Without a positive lock it likes to jump out of gear. We solved it with a bungie strap but

will have to fix it the right way at some point.


It also is still idling too high which makes shifting a chore - when we turn the idle down it stalls out. It could be a fuel

level issue in the big Zenith 77 updraft. Otherwise it starts, runs and drives as it should.


Other immediate jobs include re-doing the fuel lines and installing the vacuum tank so we can climb some hills.


We had a lot of fun acting the part of a 1930's road crew filling pot holes. We even got some of our visitors involved.

Interesting sidelight: The cool mechanical hoist mechanism was originally marketed by Highway Trailer Co. In 1926 (?) they became part of 

Gar Wood. As in those wonderful, fabulous Gar Wood speed boats. Garfield Wood was a prolific inventor and 

(and power boat racer - Miss Detroit) made his mark developing and producing dump body hoists.


Next October if your out touring around please stop in during "Living History Days"!


Here we have not one, not two but three Lombard log haulers and tractors in operation - all made in Waterville, Maine



My Daughter helping Herb Crosby pilot the 19 ton Lombard




What better use of a dump truck than to take people for rides?




Very cool hoist mechanism



Giving rides on the 1934 10 ton Lombard. This machine was originally purchased by the City of Waterville, Maine for plowing roads

Equipped with a big V-plow and double wings it could clear a 20 foot wide swath. At the time it was the largest plow offered by any







Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I am not sure why but I always like to be at the museum at least an hour before anyone else even if this means getting up at 3:00 am.

to make the 3 hour drive in time. Maybe its the fact I can work by myself or maybe its just enjoying the calm and quite. It is beautiful place - off-grid, out in the middle of the Maine

wood. I love walking into Machinery Hall still half dark in the morning light - the smell of the old machinery - oil, grease, wood. Swinging open the big door

to the bays to let in the light. - the silence. Its hard to describe. Or maybe its more primevil - the  walk around to make sure all is well, the ritual of priming the engine

using the priming cups and then hitting the starter button and shattering the calm with the healthy bellow of an un-muffled,  large displacement motor.... that must be it!


Anyway, early yesterday morning was such a day. With cold weather just around the corner we decided to do some more work on the 6 ton Lombard dump truck.

Earlier I had re-built the Stewart-Warner vacuum tank so the goal was to get that installed so the beast could roam the museum grounds without 

the shame of stalling out on the hills. 


I had never worked on a vacuum tank before and was more than a bit nervous if it was going to work or not. The big question was the all important gaskets between

the inter and out tank and the lid. As vacuum tanks go its a big one. I couldn't find gaskets for it so a had to make them. To hedge my bet and used the old method of

 sealing the gaskets with shellac and assembled the whole mess while still wet. 


With the fuel tank drained Dave and I  began the task of routing the new lines. Let me just say that this was an adventure! First of all the vacuum tank is mounted on the opposite

side of the machine from both the carb and the outlet from the fuel tank. Second, Lombard packed a lot of large housings and whirring bits and pieces under the cab.

Anyway, we got it done. 


After priming the vacuum tank and fixing one persistent leak it fired right up. In fact being the brave souls that we are we took it for spin down the hill and

across the covered bridge and up the steep hill to the blacksmith shop then the long climb back to Government Road. It ran flawless!


Next we worked on greasing the drive shaft joints and finding still more grease point! I think I have lost count of the number! We also test fit the mock-up for the 

new radiator cap. Last week one of my students reverse engineered it by scaling off period photographs and measurements of the opening. He then modeled it in Solidworks and

3D printed a mock-up. It fit and looks great! This week the files will be sent to the Advanced Manufacturing Center at the University of Maine where they will use 

their 3D metal printer to fabricate a finished cap and knob. We also test fit the side panels - these need handles but fit well. I kind of like the patina.


Even though the museum is officially closed for the season the grounds and trails are still open to the public so throughout the day we had a smattering of visitors

wandering through and it was as always a pleasure to talk with them. At one moment when our frustration was peaked due to the leak we were trying to fix (bad fitting)

we took a break by taking family for a ride on the big 10 ton Lombard tractor. 


All in all a very enjoyable and productive day!













  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Old Man Winter has swept in seemingly overnight. Though my thoughts are to simply stay warm and go into

hibernation mode there is still work to be done - though thankfully from the warmth of a cozy shop.


With the Lombards all tucked away we have turned out thoughts to some small but interesting projects.

First on the list is the replacement radiator cover. The original went missing decades ago. If you recall 

in my last post we had test fit a 3D printed mock-up of the cover. The next step was 3D printing the patterns

to be used by the foundry. Original plan was to have the pieces 3D metal printed. However, because of the 

size and thin cross section they felt that warping would be a issue so we have gone to plan "B".


For plan "B"  we 3D printed the cover and knob once again in PLA only this time we scaled it up slightly to take

into account the shrink rate of the cast iron. We also added draft etc. Next step was filling, sanding & painting

to get a nice smooth pattern. Next step is to send the patterns off to Peter - our foundry guy.




Another project we wanted to tackle is getting the lights on the Lombard dump truck working. First we located a replacement

for the dash light. As it turned out a reproduction of a dash light used on Ford Model "T" was a dead ringer for the original

and fit perfect. (one more hole in the dash panel filled!)


Replacing the missing light switch was more problematic. We simply could not find an original style switch. So.... Chris Rueby - one of

our very talented volunteers offered to fabricate not just one but four switches for us. The extra's will be going to the 

family that has generously loaned us the Lombard tractors and will be used on two other machines they have in their collection.

Chris is a true Master Craftsman! Here is a link to an article about some of his work:


Chris Rueby Craftsmanship Museum Article


Our friend Don has the only original switch that has survived and was very generous in providing us photos and measurements.

With those in hand I developed a shop drawing for Chris to work from. Below is his progress to date. The face plates and 

knobs will be nickle plated to match the original.









  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Chris finished the new light switches and Herb and the crew installed one in the 1934 10 ton Lombard.

We do not have headlights on the beast yet but the switch filled a hole in the dash. That big round hole is well.... the heater....





Below is the dash panel for the Lombard dump truck. You can see the hole for the switch. Before we can install it we need to re-route the throttle cable and tube.

Hopefully soon we can have the lights working.




Thanksgiving Day I had a couple of hours before dinner to stop by the museum. With a fresh snow fall it was magnificent. I decided

I would run the machines out to get some nice photos. The Lombard dump truck fired right up and I left it to warm-up while I fired-up the

green beast..... then the dump truck ran out of gas.... good thing it happened before I moved it outside! I had no fuel can and no way to

push or tow it back inside!





Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Ah, the saga...... Today I arrived a Herb''s place around 8:00 am  after an uneventful 2-1/2 hour drive from our little

town tucked-up tight against the Canadian border. Our goal today was to get the "Green Goddess" (our 1932 10 ton Lombard) up and running after

the ignition system went kaput. Earlier in the week Herb had installed a new coil, condenser, Ballast resistor and points.

Since the road to the museum is an un-plowed logging road, Herb had to ditch his car and hike in the last mile pulling a sled

loaded with his tools and fuel.


Today, Thankfully, the marvel of AWD took the drama out of getting to the museum  - though a couple of sleds went along with us

just in case. Anyway, a nice brand new set of spark plugs soon had the beast running like a champ. 


We then went to work on the 1928 Lombard dump truck. The vacuum tank had been giving us fits so we decided to swap back to gravity

feed until I can spend some time getting the tank sorted out. Our suspicion is that the valves are not seating consistently.


Anyway, after two trips to town we finely had a drip free fuel line and shut-off valve. We also spent time tightening up the intake

connections (carb to governor valve housing and governor valve housing to manifold) and replacing a missing screw on the fuel bowl

and a lot of snugging of loose stuff.  With the work complete it fired right up and sounded great!


With two running Lombards and a event coming up, we decided to see if the dump truck, with its new gravity feed system

could negotiate the hills it would need to climb during the event. We also learned how to pull and push a Lombard with another Lombard.

However the joy of this discovery was offset by the need to pull and push another Lombard.


The dump truck decided to let us down about halfway through the run when the plugs fouled-up and it went from a six cylinder to a one cylinder

and then none. So, the Green Goddess came to the rescue. Towing was no problem since back in the day it could pull upwards of

260 tons of logs or pulpwood on sleds. The problem was how to shove the dead beast into the shed. We ended-up using one of the reach poles

from a heavy logging sled. Made of 4"x4" oak with iron fittings at each end it worked great! In fact we are quite proud of that accomplishment

though photos or video footage is absent. 


Where are the photos you ask? Well, since it was only Herb and myself and we were both occupied driving or steering said machines involved 

in this saga opportunities to take photos were minimal. However Herb did manage to take some video.


So... what did we learn. Well to some people all this might sound discouraging but to us it was sort of a liberating experience. We now

know we can retrieve one of these beast if it so chooses to not run. In other words that fear of having a 10 ton steel sculpture struck

outside on the museum grounds is no longer a fear. That's cool!


Here is a video Herb managed to shoot:






  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After "Miss Piggy" threw a fit and fouled her plugs and had to be returned to the shed in disgrace

we pulled the plugs and found that they were all fouled with heavy black soot indicating that the fuel/air mixture

might be  more than a  wee tad rich.  


Once back home I consulted a 1920's Dykes Automotive Encyclopedia (love those books!) and found several methods to test the mixture. 

By far the most interesting was the "Flame Test". Since it involves scorching hot flame and loud noise we just had to try it.


On Tuesday Herb cleaned the plugs by burning the carbon out with a propane torch then set about the test.  It worked perfect!

As you can see in the video below the color change is very obvious.  Now Miss Piggy is back to normal though

"normal" seems to be rather ambiguous and random at the moment.





Here are some of the members of our "Tuesday Crew" Every Tuesday they volunteer at the museum working on a variety of projects

One current project is setting up the new clapboard mill. Without them the museum would certainly not be the success it is today. 





The "Tuesday Crew" Lair.



Here is a local news story about this remarkable group of people:








Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Yesterday we fixed a wayward track pad pin (the cotter pin went missing allowing the pin to back out.)

Of course we had to get the beast running first so we could get the affected track pads positioned where we could work on them.

That of course required changing out the plugs, re-timing the magneto and installing a new battery. (butterfly effect).

 A few minutes using a chain twisted-up like a tourniquet with a piece of pipe worked to pull the track in place

so the pin could be knocked back in. 




Regardless, we were able to venture out for a quick trip around the parking lot and film a "walk around". For the sake of

honesty, during the "walk around" the beast was doing its best to imitate lawn art which left us wondering how to tow

and push it back inside since it had to die in the worst spot possible.


We also finally discovered that a lot of the issues we are having stems from the fuel valve sticking closed.

Thus no fuel - no run (That combined with some other carb issues). Now we know and that's half the battle!


While pondering the petulant nature of the wayward beast. Herb and I took the 10 ton Lombard out for a spin.

After breaking out the logging sleds we took those for a loop around. A couple weeks ago we managed to load two

logs on the sleds before we decided to call it quits. Next winter we hope to be setup better so we can have a full load.

(about 5,000 board feet.)


After dropping the sleds off we headed down the road a bit to break up the ice on the hill. We met one

car but they wisely gave us the right-of-way along with some big smiles and enthusiastic thumbs ups.




Anyway, a very fun day working on a wonderful piece of machinery. 













  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...