The Lombard Steam Log Hauler, patented 21 May 1901, was the first successful commercial application of a continuous track for vehicle propulsion. The concept was later used for military tanks during World War I and for agricultural tractors and construction equipment following the war.
Alvin Orlando Lombard was a blacksmith building logging equipment in Waterville, Maine. He built 83 steam log haulers between 1901 and 1917. These log haulers resembled a saddle-tank steam locomotive with a small platform in front of the boiler where the cow-catcher might be expected.
A steering wheel on the platform moved a large pair of skis beneath the platform. A set of tracked vehicle treads occupied the space beneath the boiler where driving wheels might be expected. The locomotive cylinders powered the treads through a gear train. The log haulers mechanically resembled 10- to 30-ton snowmobiles with a top speed of about .
While the ground was covered