Classic Machines Tractors

Classic Machines: The Euclid C-6 tractor

Richard Campbell examines the early track-type tractors produced by Euclid before its name changed to Terex.

Introduced by Euclid in 1959 after extensive field testing, the C-6 (half of a TC-12) was classed as a D7-sized track type tractor. Rather individual in appearance, with its radiator in the back, the C-6 didn’t resemble any other track type tractors of the time. This did not detract from the machine’s performance however and the C-6 went on to establish a good reputation for strength and reliability.

The General Motors research and development team did a great deal of work before finally settling on the final layout of the tractor, deliberately keeping the nose free for the mounting of equipment and, at the same time, maintaining a narrow profile for better forward visibility.

Locating the radiator at the back of the tractor also ensured that it was protected from damage and reduced the buildup of trash and leaves that often plague machines with conventionally mounted radiators.

The radiator cooling fan was driven by an extension shaft from the engine.

Although a Cummins engine could be installed at build time as an option, most often the powerplant of preference was the GM Detroit Diesel 6-71, and the Cummins option was subsequently discontinued after a couple of years.

Initially the GM 6-71 was producing 218 horsepower but this was raised quite early in the machine’s life to 227 horsepower.

An Allison full powershift transmission with three forward and three reverse speeds was connected to the engine and the balance of the machine’s powertrain was manufactured by Euclid, including the undercarriage.

Planetary final drives were standard right from the start, Euclid being one of the very first manufacturers to use these in a track type tractor.

The machine was usually supplied with 20 inch track shoes, although there were, of course, many optional sizes that could be fitted depending on the end user’s requirements.

Even on early versions of the tractor, access to the operator’s compartment was easy, with a wide flat deck that provided plenty of legroom.

The air cleaner was moved from the operator’s right to a position under the bonnet, for better visibility reasonably early in the machine’s production run.

From the outset, all the operating levers were mounted close to the operator and, although the number and position of some of them changed as the machine was developed, there were never any projecting through the deck plate other than the master brake pedal and decelerator, making for an exceptionally clean clutter free layout.

As mentioned previously, visibility was very good to most quarters. However, when fitted with the single cylinder hydraulic blade lift ram, visibility straight ahead was somewhat limited, especially when push loading scrapers – the author speaks from experience!

The C-6/82-30 underwent several upgrade phases during its production life. These upgrades changed the machine’s appearance only marginally as most of the improvements were internal.

Machine build phases can be categorized as follows: C-6-2 (first true production model introduced in 1959), C-6-3, C-6-4, C-6-5, 82-30EA, 82-30FA and 82-30FAT (a turbocharged version).

The Terex name was introduced during production of the 82-30 FA.

Work tools

Many attachments could be fitted to the C-6/82-30. These included straight, angle and ‘U’ bulldozer blades, pusher plates, single and double drum cable controls, radial and parallelogram rippers, plus winches for logging applications.

Initially Garwood supplied the bulldozer blades, hydraulics and cable controls but Garwood (a long-established manufacturer of attachments), was bought out by Allis-Chalmers, which pretty much put an end to that arrangement.

Once the Garwood Allis-Chalmers deal had been formalised, Euclid began to manufacture its own front mounted attachments and turned to Vickers or Hydreco for their pumps and valves.

Rippers were made by Ateco or CRC-Kelly with Hyster & Carco supplying logging winches.

In addition to being produced in the United States, the C-6/82-30 was also manufactured at the Euclid plant in Newhouse, Scotland, from 1960, and in fact was produced there long after the production lines had closed down in the US.

Over 5000 C-6/82-30 machines had been produced before GM changed the Euclid name to Terex in 1968.

Around 1973, the now Terex division of General Motors introduced an improved 83-30, the 82-30B, but this machine falls outside the scope of this article.

Production of the 82-30 series ceased entirely during 1987.

The New Zealand connection

Forty-five Euclid C6s and 82-30s were imported by New Zealand franchise holder Clyde Engineering prior to the introduction of the replacement 82-30B. These were used New Zealand-wide in all facets of construction from general earthworks to logging.

Several well known companies owned these machines including Feast Contractors, Fletcher Construction, the Ministry of Works, Fenton Brothers, H Allen Mills Ltd, JC Anderson Ltd, NZ Forest Products and Taylor & Culley (your author spent some time on one of Taylor & Culley’s 82-30s during his operating apprenticeship).

In their later years some of these machines also found a new life as gravity scrub rolling tractors, the type being quite popular in this role due to its low centre of gravity and rugged undercarriage.

Brief Specifications: Euclid C-6-5 (most numerous NZ type)

Engine:                     General Motors Detroit Diesel 6-71 inline six-cylinder naturally aspirated diesel with rootes supercharger rated at 227 horsepower.

Transmission:          Allison three-speed full powershift with integral torque converter.

Steering:                   Hydraulically actuated clutches and brakes

Undercarriage:          Seven-roller track frame with pinned pivot shaft for track oscillation

Gauge:                      78”

Std.Track Shoe:        20”

Operating Weight:    2

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