In the vocabulary of U.S. forces in Vietnam, Rome Plow came to be synonymous with land clearing. Of all the various types of land-clearing equipment tested in Vietnam, the military standard D7E tractor, equipped with a heavy-duty protective cab and a special tree-cutting blade manufactured by the Rome Company of Rome, Georgia, proved to be by far the most versatile and effective. The tractor took its name from its most imposing feature-the huge blade on the front.
The photo is of an M123 10-Ton Tractor with its M127 25-Ton Trailer and D7 Caterpillar Bulldozer. We thank Mr. Phil McGuire for letting us use it.
The tractor portion of the Rome Plow consisted of a Caterpillar D7E tractor.
These were common in the U.S. military and in construction in the 1960's - Not so much now.
For our project, we are looking to acquire a 1960's D7E tractor in running condition. The later model tractors have electrical drives and electronics, which the 1960's tractors did not have.
If you know of a suitable tractor, please let us know.
The giant Rome Plow blade was designed to move over the ground six inches above the surface, shearing off most of the vegetation but leaving the root structure to prevent erosion. The blade has a leading knife-edge that was sharpened by a portable grinder at least once daily. It is slightly angled so that cut material is discarded to the right. The leading corner of the blade is extended by a rigid "stinger" with which the operator attacks the larger trees by a succession of stabbings and tractor turnings.
The Truck is an M123 10-Ton Truck Tractor capable of pulling a semi-trailer loaded with a bulldozer, tank, or other extremely heavy load.
The Trailer is the M127 Low-Bed Semi-Trailer rated at 25-Tons.
We have located a suitable trailer - it needs the deck wood replaced, and it needs painting.
A suitable truck is proving more elusive. We thought we had found one, but the owner wants more than the truck is worth, plus it needs full restoration including replacing all 11 tires! Each tire costs around $600!