A direct descendant of the former TS-200, the TS-260 retained many of the features of the earlier machine, most notably the bowl. By Richard Campbell.
The TS-200 was originally designed by La Plant-Choate, which Allis Chalmers had purchased in 1953.
During 1955, Allis Chalmers engineers redesigned the tractor unit of the TS-200 to make it more efficient and operator friendly.
The Cummins engine of the TS-200 was replaced with a Buda TD-844 six-cylinder naturally-aspirated diesel, rated at 200hp, but the original Fuller 5-speed transmission of the TS-200 was retained, albeit with a new 2-plate dry clutch to absorb the increase in horsepower.
The two-cylinder hydraulic steering system of the TS-200 was also retained but altered slightly in geometry to provide for a tighter turning circle.
Sideboarding the scraper’s bowl resulted in a one cubic yard increase in capacity, bringing the machine’s useful load up to 14 cubic yards heaped.
Bowl operation was a mixture of hydraulics and cable – double acting hydraulic cylinders raised and lowered the bowl and a single acting cylinder powered the ejector, which was returned to its loading position by two heavy duty springs.
The apron was connected to a single acting hydraulic ram by a length of ¾ inch cable and was lowered by gravity.
The “new” TS-260 was introduced to the market in 1956.
Along with the scraper, an optional rear dump or bottom dump was also available.
The bottom dump was produced by Allis Chalmers while the rear dump was manufactured for Allis Chalmers by Easton.
In 1957, Allis Chalmers replaced the Buda engine with one of their own – the model AC16000 which was rated at 230 horsepower.
The ironic part about this engine change was that Allis Chalmers had bought the Buda engine company in 1954 and the new engine was nothing more than a Buda engine re-badged as an Allis Chalmers unit.
A modification was also made to the bowl’s side sheets at this time, which increased the scrapers capacity to 17 cubic yards heaped.
In an effort to keep ahead in the technology race, Allis Chalmers replaced the 4-speed direct drive transmission in the TS-260 with a Twin-Disc 5-speed powershift transmission in 1963. At the same time, it replaced the model 16000 engine with their new model 19000 diesel, which produced 296 horsepower and was turbocharged.
The manual transmission was still offered as an option for those customers who preferred it.
Unfortunately for Allis-Chalmers, the model 19000 was not one of their better engines, especially at this power setting. Premature failures of the powerplant began to surface.
De-rating the engine to 275 horsepower produced a partial fix for the problem, however the problems associated with this engine were to continue until 1968, when a completely new machine was introduced along with a new engine.
In 1966 a further redesign of the machine was undertaken, mainly in the area of bowl operation.
The former cable operated apron was now fully hydraulically operated via a lever and rod.
Bowl capacity was again increased, this time to 15 cubic yards struck and 20 cubic yards heaped.
The optional direct drive transmission was also dropped from the price list.
This was the final production version of the TS-260 in this form, the general outline of which was pretty much unchanged from the machine which had been first introduced in 1956, despite two engine changes and increases in capacity.
The machine was replaced in 1968 by the model 260A, which featured an all new tractor unit.
It is estimated that over 1000 TS-260’s were manufactured between 1956 and 1968.
The New Zealand connection
Very few Allis Chalmers TS-260s were imported into New Zealand by the agents Cable-Price Corp.
Herron Construction in the South Island utilised two of the later (1964+) units for a number of years and one of these is shown in the accompanying slideshow working on the southern Dunedin motorway extensions in 1974.
There were at least two of the earlier models (pre 1960) but I have been unable to locate any information or photographs of them in operation.
I would be grateful if some of our readers could supply information on the ultimate fate of any of these machines.
Brief Specifications – Allis Chalmers TS-260 (1960 model)
Engine: Allis Chalmers AC16000 six-cylinder naturally aspirated diesel rated at 230 flywheel horsepower
Transmission: Fuller 5A120 5-speed, constant mesh with 17” clutch.
Top Speed: 28 mph
Steering: Full hydraulic, 90° each direction
Turn Circle: 30’ 11”
Brakes: Full air, expanding shoe type
Length: 34’ 11”
Width: 11’ 7”
Op.Weight: 44,800lbs (20 tons)