Classic Machines Scrapers

Classic Machines: Euclid’s TS-32 motorscraper

Developed from the single-engined model TS-28 (which also spawned an experimental TS-28), the Euclid TS-32 was the largest twin-powered, open bowl motorscraper in the Euclid product range.

Released for sale to the world’s contractors in 1966, the TS-32 suffered a somewhat protracted development period, which unfortunately lasted well into the machine’s operational career.

Designed to compete head on with the Caterpillar 657 and Allis-Chalmers TS-562 (which both, incidentally, also had a troublesome development), the TS-32 was rated at 32 cubic yards struck and 43 cubic yards heaped. It was intended for high yardage construction and opencast mines, where machines of this size could be effectively used.

The tractor unit was powered by a General Motors 12V-71T diesel, rated at 498 horsepower, while the scraper contained a General Motors 8V-71T diesel, producing 320 horsepower.

As was standard Euclid practice, Allison provided the transmissions; for the TS-32, the 6-speed model CLBT5965 was chosen. This was a full powershift transmission, which featured converter lockup in five of its six speed ranges, giving the TS-32 an effective 11 forward speeds. It also had an integral retarder to help control descent speeds on steep downhill grades. The GM/Allison combination gave the TS-32 a top speed of almost 30 mph, very respectable for such a large machine.

Many of the features of the TS-32 were innovative, especially the machine’s hydraulic control system. This had been introduced on the S-28 and was further refined on the TS-32. A single lever replaced the usual three – bowl, apron and ejector – the theory being that this made for easier operation, as the operator did not have to remove his hand from the one lever to perform loading functions.

In service however, the system was vulnerable to leaks and was actually difficult to use. And once machines had begun to accumulate hours, the moving parts associated with the control wore out very quickly.

Euclid replaced the single lever control with the usual three lever type on the production line quite early in the piece, and many of the existing machines were retrofitted with conventional controls.

The bowl was also a departure from usual Euclid practice in that it was a semi-power down type and featured a two-piece roll out ejector.

In place of the single-acting hydraulic cylinders mounted vertically in the gooseneck, with their associated linkage attached to the bowl for raising and lowering, the TS-32 employed hydraulic cylinders mounted on the draft arms and connected to the bowl by ‘S’ shaped bellcranks and short links. This gave the TS-32 a certain measure of downforce to the cutting edge that had not been available on previous Euclid scrapers.

Euclid’s roller push block (a then recent development) was standard on the TS-32.

“Roll out, snap out” ejection was promoted heavily in Euclid literature on the TS-32 and this concept had been first introduced on the S-28.

Euclid normally employed a single-piece, curved bowl floor, hinged behind the cutting edge, which, when the apron was opened, was forced upward and forward by a hydraulic ram attached to a lever and roller, emptying the bowl.

On the TS-32 the principle was the same, only the bowl floor was hinged twice – once behind the cutting edge and again about halfway along the floors length. Two rollers were positioned at the top of the bowl sides approximately at mid-point. When the ejector was activated the floor moved up and forward in the usual manner, rolling out the load until it met the rollers on the bowl sides. At this point the second hinge came into effect bending the floor further upward at an acute angle, discharging the rest of the load.

The operator’s manual and promotional literature stated that you could “bang the ejector against the stops” to dislodge sticky loads. Now I’m sure readers can only begin to imagine what happened in this area once things began to wear out! Needless to say it provided a lot of work for welding staff and some very colourful language from plant managers.

In service, the TS-32 was a good, high-volume earthmover, weighing in at approx 53 tons empty, and was a worthy opponent for the Cat 657.

Most TS-32s were retired due to structural failures, a problem which plagued the machine its entire life.

The TS-32 remained in production when Euclid became Terex in 1968 and was finally discontinued around 1980.

The NZ Connection.

Very few countries outside of the continental USA were recipients of TS-32s.

New Zealand was a notable exception when, in 1975, eight second-hand machines were imported from California by Feast Contractors of Wellington, for use on the Waipuna opencast coal mine in Huntly, where they spent the rest of their lives.

Three of these machines were never actually put into service and instead were cannibalised for parts to keep the other five machines running.

When Downer & Co took over Feast’s contact (after the former went out of business), the TS-32s soldiered on until one-by-one they died as a result of the TS-32’s Achilles heel: structural failure. There are, after all, only so many times you can stitch up a gooseneck or chassis.

Usable parts such as engines and transmissions were salvaged and the carcasses were cut up and now lie somewhere in the fill at Waipuna mine.

Regrettably not one was preserved.

Brief Specifications – Euclid TS-32

Engine (front):             GM 12V-71T, V-12 diesel rated at 498 fwhp

Engine (rear):               GM 8V-71T, V-8 diesel rated at 320 fwhp

Transmission:             6-speed Allison CLBT5965 powershift with retarder.

Steering:                      Full hydraulic

Brakes:                        ‘S’ cam expanding shoe, all four wheels.

Std. Tyres:                  37.5 x 33

Capacity:                    32 cubic yards struck, 43 cubic yards heaped.

Operation:                   Full hydraulic

Length:                        52’

Width:                         13’ 3”

Height:                                    12’ 5”

Operating Weight:       53 tons empty, 99 tons loaded.

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