Bulldozer building.

Office Shaped Like Bulldozer

Field review by the editors.

Turlock, California

At one time, Highway 99 was an avenue of magic, with eclectic roadside stands, buildings shaped like fruit, and funky motels. Today, it is... not so much (though there's more to see than over on I-5, which hurries down the Central Valley with nary a photo op). But about halfway down 99, you'll see a 2-story tall yellow building resembling a bulldozer. Pull off!

The bulldozer is actually the offices of United Equipment, a firm that sells and rents heavy construction machinery. It's considered a good example of programmatic architecture -- called a "duck," since it has been designed to look like the product it sells. This duck was built well after the early 20th century craze, though -- in 1976. It's modeled somewhat on a Cat D5 bulldozer, without the operator canopy (it was probably more important that it function as a building, not as a bulldozer).

Bulldozer building.

The giant treads are made of redwood and the rest is plywood and redwood, with steel and aluminum hydraulics. Length: 66 ft. Height: 21 ft. Width: 28 ft. The bulldozer building appears to be using its plywood blade to push a large pile of dirt and rocks into the equipment yard.

Inside, it's pretty much a normal office building, with a small reception desk, side offices, and a staircase leading to the second floor. The generous windows up above suggest that the bulldozer's engine area may be an executive office.

There's a display on the entrance wall of articles that have been published about the building. One inhabitant said that visitors are welcome to stop in the parking lot and snap a few pictures, "But no stunts on the rocks."

Note: The building faces north -- the south side, though painted yellow, doesn't follow through on the bulldozer look and is blocked by some trees. Early morning photography is best.

Office Shaped Like Bulldozer

Address:
600 W Glenwood Ave., Turlock, CA
Directions:
Hwy 99 exit onto Lander Ave/165 heading south. Take first right onto Glenwood Ave.
Hours:
Private property. Business hour photos okay.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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