One of the most successful scrapers of all time, the Euclid (later Terex) TS-14 is still in production over 50 years after it was first conceived. As the machine’s achievements are so many and its history is still being written, here we will examine only the early machines up to the introduction of the TS-14B in 1972. By Richard Campbell
I have an unashamed soft spot for the Euclid TS-14 and its abilities, having spent over 4000 hours “in the seat” reshaping Wellington and the central North Island.
Euclid began design studies on what would become the TS-14 in 1958. There was a definite gap in the market for a machine of this type and size and it would complement the company’s larger model TS-24 nicely. Also, Euclid had this particular market segment all to itself, the first real competition (in the form of the Caterpillar 627) did not appear until 1970.
After 10 prototypes had been tested under a variety of conditions the first production machines were released in 1960. This was the model 6UOT-38SH. Powered by two 136 horsepower GM Detroit Diesel 4-71 engines with matching four-speed Allison CLT 3340 powershift transmissions, it found immediate acceptance. Secret to the success of the TS-14 was its simplicity – ruggedly built, easy to work on, parts interchangeable with other Euclid scrapers and very forgiving to novice operators.
An improved version, the model 7UOT-61SH was launched in 1964, featuring an air throttle control to the rear engine and a relocation of the rear air cleaner intake stack from the rear right to the centre of the rear hood, a position it has kept ever since.
The TS-14 was also manufactured in the UK by Euclid Great Britain, with the first British-built TS-14 being powered with two 126 horsepower Leyland UE600 diesels.
This particular variant was known as the model B6UOT-B9SH. As well as having a different engine setup to its US cousins, the British TS-14s used Simms or CAV electrical systems in place of Delco-Remy.
With the release of the model 7UOT in the USA common sense prevailed and the next English variant also used the GM 4-71 engine. This version was known as the model B12UOT-B13SH
Final production version of the original TS-14 was the model 13UOT-81SH with the English equivalent being the B14UOT-B81SH. This particular model, along with other small refinements had a horsepower increase to 144 hp per engine, making it the most powerful of the early TS-14s. It also utilized the six-speed Allison CLT3461 powershift transmission in place of the former model’s four-speed type.
In an effort to offer its customers even more flexibility, Euclid engineers came up with the Tandem-14, which was basically a standard TS-14 with a complete extra bowl and engine. While some interest was shown, in actuality very few were actually sold and none were imported into New Zealand.
With its competitors finally catching up and releasing twin powered scrapers of their own, Terex, as the company was now known, undertook a redesign of the TS-14 which resulted in the model TS-14B (17UOT series) which was released in 1972.
The TS-14 described
We will take an in-depth look at the British-built B14UOT, as this was the most common New Zealand variant up till the advent of the TS-14B.
A twin engined motor scraper, the TS-14 was powered by two matching General Motors 4-71N four-cylinder, inline, two-cycle diesels, each rated at 144 flywheel horsepower. Attached by a short driveshaft from the engine was a six-speed Allison CLT3461 powershift transmission which, on paper, allowed a top speed of around 25 miles per hour. This, as I and countless other operators will attest, was rarely reached due to the riding characteristics of the machine.
The transmission was shifted by matching air cylinders which synchronized changing of both tractor and scraper transmissions.
Euclid manufactured the differentials and planetary drive axles. The standard tyre was the 29.5×25 E3 of either 22 ply or 28 ply construction.
Brakes were air operated expanding shoe type which acted on all four wheels – occasionally! By far the safest method was use of the bowl.
Steering was all hydraulic, driven by two hydraulic cylinders mounted low down on the scrapers hitch.
A 14 cubic yard struck, 20 cubic yard heaped machine, the Euclid TS-14 was operated all-hydraulically. Two interchangeable single acting cylinders lifted the bowl via a lever arm and connecting link. Bowl lowering was by gravity.
The apron was raised by a lever and short length of three-quarter-inch cable while the ejector cylinder acted on a lever arm and roller to lift up the bowl floor (which was hinged behind the cutting edge) and ‘roll out’ the load. Both apron and ejector used interchangeable single acting cylinders and were returned by gravity.
Cutting edges were of a four-piece design, reversible and interchangeable and allowed a drop centre of up to four inches.
The operator was provided with a Milsco air suspension seat, with a Bostrom six-way type offered as an option. Visibility from the seat was very good all round with only the exhaust stack getting in the way off to the operator’s right.
All the controls fell naturally to hand and it was easy to feel ‘part of the machine’ very quickly. Full instrumentation was provided on a panel that bisected the steering column. Instruments to monitor the rear engine’s operation were provided on a panel situated on the rear left side of the scraper next to the radiator.
Optional equipment included a cab with heater and tyre variations along with the Bostrom seat mentioned earlier.
Late in the machine’s production life, the Terex ‘twin hitch’ was available as a factory or retro-fit item. This allowed two TS-14s to load each other doing away with the usual push tractor.
From the operator’s seat
I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a TS-14 jockey and have operated all of the early versions, apart from the B12UOT and the rare B9UOT (of which none were ever imported). They were great for all manner of work applications and usually got you safely and reliably around the jobsite while rearranging your internal organs and compressing your spine. They definitely qualify as a classic machine and I would love one as a house pet!
The New Zealand connection
With over 125 imported by (then) Euclid franchise holder Clyde Engineering during its heyday, the TS-14 stands as one of the most numerically important motor scrapers to have shifted dirt in New Zealand.
TS-14s have seen service from Kaitaia to Bluff and in all manner of civil and government works and a great deal of the earlier versions of the machine are still in service, testament to the sound design of the original.
A short list of users would include: NZ Roadmakers, Philp Construction, J.C.Anderson, Fouhy, Mahar & Thompson, Swap Contractors, R.G.Gurney, the Ministry of Works, J.R.Bishop and of course, my old “alma mater” Taylor & Culley, who eventually ended up with five of the beasts.
For the model collector
For a machine with such worldwide popularity as the TS-14, it is a tragedy that hardly any models exist, let alone affordable ones.
There is the ancient Conrad TS-14B to 1:40th scale and the very hard to find OHS resin/brass model of a 13UOT TS-14 to 1:50th scale. This has also been issued as a Tandem-14, plus a more modern TS-14G.
None of these models are generally available and when examples show up at auction fetch outrageous prices, so there is a definite market vacancy for a good affordable TS-14 model.
Brief specifications – Euclid TS-14 (B14UOUT-B81SH)
Engine (front): General Motors 4-71N, four-cylinder, inline two-cycle naturally aspirated diesel, rated at 144 horsepower at 2100 rpm
Engine (rear): Same as tractor
Transmission (front): Allison CLT3461 six-speed, full powershift
Transmission (rear): Same as tractor
Top speed: 25 mph
Brakes: full air operated, expanding show type on all four wheels
Tyres: 29.5×25, 22 ply
Steering: Twin, double acting, hydraulic cylinders, 90 degrees each direction
Turning circle: 33 feet
Capacity: 14 cubic yards struck, 20 cubic yards heaped
Operation: Hydraulic via single acting cylinders
Length: 39’ 7”
Width: 11’ 4”
Height: 11’ 8” (to top of rear air cleaner intake)
Wheelbase: 23’ 2”
Operating weight: 24.5 tons (empty), 48 tons (loaded)
- This article is dedicated to the late Roger Wereta, one of the nicest guys you could ever meet and a TS-14 operator par excellence.