We last had an overview of the International Harvester E200 back in 2007, and a considerable amount of new information has come to hand since then. So, fasten your seat belt, put on your earmuffs and prepare to move some dirt! By Richard Campbell
International-Harvester realised the potential of the elevating scraper quite early on in the piece, having already enjoyed some success in the agricultural market with its Model 83, a 9.5 cubic yard, three-axle machine powered by an International 660 farm tractor and towing a Johnson manufactured Model 95 elevating scraper.
This was intended as a competitor to John Deere’s Model 840 which was already enjoying limited success.
Johnson Manufacturing were quite happy with this arrangement as it manufactured both the bowls for the rival companies!
The International Model 83 was offered from 1963 to 1965.
In order to improve upon the Model 83 and also expand further into the small to medium contractor market, International investigated the possibilities and came up with the E200 in 1966.
The E200 was a completely new design and did not share the agricultural origins of the former Model 83.
The machine carried a useful payload, and as an added bonus, the E200 was legally roadable in any state and could be driven from job to job without permits, greatly enhancing its flexibility.
International chose its own model DT-361 engine for the E200.
The DT-361 was a six-cylinder turbocharged diesel which produced 135 flywheel horsepower.
As International did not manufacture its own powershift transmissions for its motor scrapers, the unit fitted to the E200 was supplied by Twin-Disc and was a relatively simple two-speed design with high and low ratios which were selected automatically.
This gave the E200 an effective four speeds forward up to 24 mph, with a single reverse range.
Featuring exceptionally clean design with a very narrow chassis, the E200 tractor unit had no wasted space whatsoever.
This frugal approach gave the operator outstanding visibility but very little room for anything else.
In fact, the operator’s area could at best be described as “minimalist” with just an air suspension seat and windscreen for comfort.
Late production machines featured ROPS mountings and a semi-cab could be fitted (with difficulty), but the only other option as such was a sunshade which was integral with the windshield.
A rudimentary instrument panel housed a full set of gauges and also provided support for the steering column and transmission shift lever while the bowl and elevator control levers were placed within easy reach to the operators right in a small console.
Due to the almost anorexic design of the E200’s tractor unit, access to most major components for servicing was comparatively easy compared to many other contemporary machines.
Expanding shoe air brakes were fitted to both axles with a caliper type parking brake on the transmission output shaft.
As mentioned earlier, Clark supplied the drive axle and planetary final drives.
The steering system featured two double acting hydraulic cylinders mounted on the bowl’s draft tube, the rod ends of each cylinder being attached to a torque multiplier linkage mounted on the tractor unit’s universal hitch.
This allowed steering ninety degrees to either side of centre.
On any two-axle motor scraper, ‘nosing over’ (or face planting) during a sharp turn is always a possibility, especially when turning down hill.
With the drive axle placed so far to the rear of the tractor unit, the E200 was a prime candidate to bury its nose in the dirt.
Realising this, International designed the front of the tractor’s chassis with a sharp upward sweep to try to overcome the problem, however you always had to exercise due caution when turning an E200 downhill lest you put the poor wee thing on its nose!
Rated capacity of the E200’s bowl was nine cubic yards.
It was constructed of high strength sheet steel with external box section stiffeners and had a rear push block – just in case!
The entire bowl, elevator and ejector system was hydraulically operated, with the single speed elevator featuring fourteen flights.
International Harvester were one of the first elevating scraper manufacturers to directly connect its elevator drive motor to the elevator gearbox, thereby doing away with the complex extension drive shafts and PTO arrangements of its competitors.
Another feature of the elevator drive was a small flywheel which provided a little extra torque when the going got a little tough.
Ejection was accomplished in the usual elevating scraper manner, with a sliding floor and a bulldozer ejector, the cutting edge acting as a strike off blade.
A hydraulic check valve locked the cutting edge floor in place during loading.
Four optional teeth could be fitted to the centre cutting edge to assist in breaking up hard soil making it easier for the elevator to load, but trim to final grade was difficult with the teeth fitted.
Shortly after the E200 was introduced, International Harvester began production of a slightly larger version of the machine with an eleven cubic yard capacity known as the E211.
This featured a higher output engine and more optional accessories.
The E211 ultimately replaced the E200, which was phased out of production in 1977.
Spotting the difference
As the E200 and E211 are very similar in appearance, how can you tell the difference should you come across one?
The answer is very simple, just look at where the transmission shift lever is located.
If it is located just to the left of the steering column it is an E200, while if the shift lever is on a segmented quadrant to the left of the operator’s seat, you’ve found an E211.
Also, the bowl sides of the E211 have a more pronounced ‘peak’ than those of an E200.
The New Zealand connection
More than twenty International E200 elevating scrapers were imported by International Harvester (NZ) Ltd, the vast majority being used on subdivisional and land improvement work.
You can still see the occasional one in operation although the preferred unit would seem to be the E200’s larger brother, the E211.
For the model collector
Regrettably, no one has yet produced a model of the International E200 in any scale.
For such a basically simple machine, this seems a bit of a travesty, but who knows what may happen with the advances being made in 3D printing technology, we may yet have an example to add to our collections!
Note that there is an odd scale version of the E200’s larger sibling, the 412, but this really falls into the ‘toy’ category and not that of serious collectors.
Brief Specifications – International E200 elevating scraper
Engine: International DT-361, 6-cylinder, inline, turbocharged diesel rated at 135 flywheel horsepower
Transmission: Twin-Disc model TT2220 full powershift with four forward and one reverse range
Final Drive: Floating planetary
Top Speed: 24 mph
Steering: Full hydraulic, 90° each way
Brakes: Air operated expanding shoe
Std.Tyres: 23.5×25, 12-ply E3
Capacity: 9 cubic yards
Elevator: Full hydraulic operation, single speed with reverse
Chain Speed: 166 feet/min
Number of flights: 14
Turning Circle: 26’1”
Operating Weight: 11.7 tons (empty), 24.5 tons (loaded)