Models based on construction vehicles have good play value and with the Caterpillar Tractor Benbros introduced three new ones into the Qualitoys range, all based on the same casting.
The basic design was a close copy of the Lesney large scale model from 1947/8 except that it had 'Benbros Qualitoy' and 'Made in England' cast under the seat. It also had a solid grille where the Lesney version had open slats, and usually Benbros applied silver trim to their models. It was based on the real Caterpillar D8 Tractor.
The main tractor body was a single hollow casting making quite a heavy toy. It included the wide seat and a solid hook at the back and had nice engine detail. Benbros included a separate, unusually spindly driver with a peg to secure it to a hole in the seat. The Caterpillar Tractor was the only model which this driver appeared with.
On the bottom edge of the model there were brackets for the large nail-head & crimped axles which carried chunky metal rollers which were cast in two halves. Only the narrower outer half was painted. The tracks were dark green rubber.
Benbros issued the Caterpillar Tractor in several colours including yellow, red, orange, metallic blue and metallic green. For most of these the outer rollers were yellow but on the yellow model they were orange and on some red models they were black. Silver trim was usually (though not always) added to the grille, and often also to engine parts.
The early yellow, red and orange models included the unique driver figure but this was dropped when Benbros switched to metallic colours and the familiar female driver from the Ferguson Tractors was used instead, usually painted blue or metallic blue.
Surprisingly for such similar models, the series based on Caterpillar Tractors each had different boxes. These were end-flap, brightly coloured ones showing illustrations of the model and the name in a panel on each face. The Benbros Qualitoy 'crest' logo was printed on the red end-flaps.
The Caterpillar Tractor is fairly common although easily confused with the Lesney model, but the boxes are scarce and the spindly driver is generally elusive!
Benbros Qualitoys Caterpillar Tractor
1) YELLOW tractor ORANGE rollers DARK-GREEN tracks RED or GREEN thin driver
2) RED tractor (some without trim) YELLOW rollers DARK-GREEN tracks RED or GREEN thin driver
3) ORANGE tractor YELLOW rollers DARK-GREEN tracks RED or GREEN thin driver
4) METALLIC BLUE tractor YELLOW rollers GREEN tracks BLUE driver
5) METALLIC GREEN tractor YELLOW rollers DARK-GREEN tracks BLUE driver
Variation 4: metallic blue tractor, yellow rollers, green tracks