by Debbie Behne
When Ryan Mueller learned he was having a son, he announced he wanted to build him a bulldozer.“My wife was having an ultrasound,” he said. “When we found out we were having a boy, I blurted out, ‘I’m going to build him a bulldozer.’ My wife gave me a look that said, ‘Do you know what you are talking about?’
But Ryan knew exactly what he was talking about as he recalled memories of his own childhood, specifically a go-kart that Ryan and his brother would drive when they were young. As they grew older and bigger, the go-kart was too small for them, so their father who had bought the go-kart, worked with his sons to rebuild it and make it larger.
“He taught my brother and me how to figure things out on our own,” Ryan said. “We cut it in half, loosened bolts and added extra tubing” to make it large enough for the young boys to once again use.His dad’s lesson with rebuilding the go-kart taught Ryan that “what you dream of, you can try to make happen.”
And now Ryan had a dream of building a one-half scale version of a Caterpillar 22 bulldozer for his son (which would become “sons” before the project was finished).
Initially, Ryan chose that model because he could purchase a die-cast 1/16 scale model CAT 22 that he could measure and upscale to produce measurements and dimensions for the larger version he was going to build. But there was another reason Ryan decided to build that particular dozer: “I liked the early CAT dozers,” he said. “I just thought they looked neat.”
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