Similar items over time

Diesel Road Roller - A.H. McDonald 'Imperial Super Diesel', Model KV, 1925 Object Reg. No: ST 044300

10-12 ton road roller was manufactured by A.H. McDonald & Co. at 570-574 Bridge Road Richmond in Melbourne in 1925. This example was sold new to the Shire of Doncaster & Templestowe in August 1925 and was used by the Council on Road Construction work for the next 41 years before being traded in for a new road roller at A.H. McDonald's in June 1966. Following the acquisition of A.H. McDonald by Jaques in 1969 it was restored and placed on display at the Jaques-McDonald depot in Clayton. It was donated to the Museum in 1999 to be used in the operating machinery program at Scienceworks.

A.H. McDonald & Co. was one of the great success stories of Australian manufacturing in the 20th century. Their growth from a 'back-yard' workshop to a specialist manufacturer of engines, tractors and road rollers epitomises many aspects of local engineering business. Beginning with a small capital base, the firm struggled to establish its products against competition from imported equipment using the latest technological developments. Like many local firms they used imported designs but adapted them to local conditions and developed several important innovations in the their own right. The McDonald 'Imperial Super Diesel' brand was used for a variety of products and was copied from the American-built St Mary's heavy oil engine They ran their own foundry and machine shops manufacturing almost every conceivable component used in the assembly of their machines down to roller bearings, nuts and bolts.

The KV Roller design first emerged in 1922 and was so advanced that it put the company many years ahead of the competition and established A.H. McDonald as Australia's leading specialist road roller manufacturer. They developed a quick-reversing double-clutch mechanism for the KV which gave it an instant advantage over the labour intensive steam road rollers that then dominated the market. Although only 162 KV rollers were made before the design was upgraded in 1929, this model was McDonald's flagship product of the 1920s and left an impression on the Australian road construction industry during a decade in which it underwent major change from manual to mechanised methods.
10-12 ton road roller, with three wheels and a canopy above the drivers seat.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Construction Equipment Division (CED) (formerly McDonald-Jaques), 1998
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 250 cm (Height), 200 cm (Width), 450 cm (Length)
Weight: 12000 kg (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: road construction, road rollers, innovation design
Themes this item is part of: Engineering Collection, Transport Collection
Primary Classification: ROAD TRANSPORT
Secondary Classification: Road Making & Maintenance
Tertiary Classification: diesel road rollers
Model Name/Number: KV
Manufacturer: A.H. McDonald & Co Pty Ltd Imperial Engine Works, Richmond, Victoria, Australia, circa 1925


michael hughes Posted on 08 Dec 2010 12:18 AM
dear sirs,1959 aprentance f/t.
Mc Diesel Roller 10-12T Posted on 07 Mar 2011 6:24 PM
How power is diesel Roller?
Discovery Centre Posted on 08 Mar 2011 4:23 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hello McDiesel, this Road Roller is powered by a diesel combustion engine.
Rushworth Posted on 12 Apr 2011 5:15 PM
There is a very good example of one of these rollers in the park at Rushworth vic. this machine will undergo restoration soon.
graeme a godwin Posted on 19 Sep 2012 5:31 PM
i worked ah mcdonald in 1951 i was15 years old as an apprenticed diesel mechanic
Denise Kennedy (Now Martin) Posted on 12 Feb 2015 10:38 PM
I was employed by Jacques-McDonald at 1486 Centre Road, Clayton. Victoria, as a Telephonist/Receptionist from November,1977 - September,1980. I enjoyed my work immensely and worked with a wonderful group of people.
I now live in Belivah, Queensland and I travel past a paddock which has two McDonald Road Rollers in it. They are obviously still used, as I have seen them at different stages being loaded onto a float. Then returned to the paddock. I must one day get a closer look and try and view what model they are.

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.


This item is part of the following themes:

Similar items

Yes No