International-Harvester’s E270 Payscraper

A logical development of its existing model 270 single engined open bowl PayScraper, International began design work on what was to become the E270 PayScraper in 1964, with the first production machines appearing in 1965. By Richard Campbell

Caterpillar, Allis-Chalmers, Michigan and International Harvester had all been caught a little off guard by the success of LeTourneau-Westinghouse’s (Wabco) 222 elevating scraper, and all four companies were trying hard to get an acceptable competitive product into the marketplace as quickly as possible to try and gain a piece of market share. Cat produced the J619, Allis-Chalmers came up with the 260E, Michigan with its 210-H and International developed the E270.
All of these machines used the tractor units of existing motor scrapers with elevating scraper bowls designed and built in the main, by outside suppliers.
Caterpillar used an elevating scraper bowl manufactured by Johnson, and Allis-Chalmers and Michigan utilised the services of Hancock.
However in the case of International’s E270 the bowl was designed by International itself, based on experience and exposure that it had had with an earlier Johnson supplied product that had been used with International’s model 83 tractor.
Realistically, as a ‘second generation’ elevating scraper the International E270 was not a bad machine by any means, just a little bit late getting into the marketplace (as were its competitors). LeTourneau-Westinghouse already held a strong position with an excellent quality machine.
Criticism of the E270 in the field mainly related to poor elevator loading (stalling) in hard going or hot weather. Under these conditions performance was noted as falling off considerably, extending loading times into the uneconomic zone. Apart from that, the machine rode well and was fairly reliable in service.
The E270 was retired in 1973 and replaced by one of Internationals new ‘400’ series machines, the model 442, a worthy successor in the company’s range of motor scrapers.
International built approximately 475 model E270 PayScrapers, all at its Chicago, Illinois plant.

The E270 described

An International Harvester model DVT-573 V8 turbocharged diesel was used as prime power for the E270 elevating scraper.
This was the same powerplant as used in the existing model 270 open bowl scraper and was rated at 260 flywheel horsepower in the E270.
Modifications included a much higher output hydraulic pump assembly, required to power the hydraulic elevator motor.
Twin-Disc supplied the powershift transmission which featured seven forward speed ranges plus two reverse and gave the E270 a useable top speed of around 30 miles per hour fully loaded.
International built the balance of the powertrain, including the differential and planetary final drives.
Standard tyres were 26.5×25 on the tractor and 26.5×29 on the scraper.
Air operated expanding shoe brakes were used on both tractor and scraper axles.
The steering system was a Euclid inspired (and licensed) design utilising two double-acting cylinders mounted low on the hitch and which reversed their flow halfway through the stroke to provide consistent steering effort. Having all this equipment mounted low meant a lower centre of gravity and easier servicing.
As mentioned earlier, International Harvester built the bowl and elevator assembly. Rated at 21 cubic yards capacity the bowl was of smooth sided box section construction, quite modern (for the time) and featured a three-piece reversinle cutting edge.
An 18-flight, two-speed hydraulically powered elevator with manual throat and height adjustment was used. This was capable of approximately 260 feet per minute at rated engine speed (in high range) and featured a small flywheel in its design to ease the load imposed on the hydraulic motor
Dumping was achieved via sliding floor and bulldozer ejector.
Seven bolt-on teeth could be fitted to the cutting edge to assist in breaking up hard ground and make it easier to be pulverised by the elevator mechanism.
As the cutting edge was part of the sliding floor, trimming of the fill with teeth attached could be problematic.
The operator was placed just forward of the left wheel well on an oil/air suspension seat. While great strides had been made to operators’ environments during the 1960s the operator’s position on the E270 was nothing special.
Early production examples were supplied with only a windscreen, but not long after full scale production began, standard equipment became a windshield which incorporated a sunshade (similar to LeTourneau-Westinghouse). This little feature is handy in dating photographs. One has to remember that this was all pre-ROPS legislation so the provision of any sort of protection for the operators head was a bonus!
A full set of gauges was provided on an instrument panel placed to the right of the steering wheel. All the operating levers and linkages were exposed within the operator’s compartment. Why International did not place them behind panels is a mystery and, in fact, even some of International’s more contemporary motor scrapers in the ‘400’ series persisted with this arrangement.
Visibility for the operator was very good all round, apart from to his extreme right where the air cleaner and exhaust stack obscured the outlook somewhat.
An E270 operator I have spoken to remembers the machine with fond memories as “not a race horse but not an old dray either”.

A New Zealand connection

At least two (and possibly three) International Harvester E270 elevating scrapers were imported by International Harvester Corp of New Zealand, the initial unit being delivered to Harliwich Carrying Co of Dunedin with the second unit going to Herron Contracting in Gore.
It was rumoured that another machine was in the possession of Fenton Bros of Tairua but I cannot verify this. It may have been one of the South Island machines with a new owner.
Perhaps one of our readers could confirm this. Are any still operational?

For the diecast model collector

Unfortunately when it comes to models of the E270 you are on your own as no models exist of either the conventional 270 or the elevating E270 in any scale. So, if you really want to add one of these to your collection it will have to be scratch built.

Brief Specifications – International E270

Engine: International DVT-573 four-cycle turbocharged V8 diesel rated at 260 horsepower at 2500 rpm

Transmission: Twin-Disc seven-speed full powershift

Top Speed: 30 mph

Brakes: Air operated expanding shoe

Tyres: 26.5×25 (tractor) 26.5×29 (scraper)

Steering: Full hydraulic, 90° each way

Turning Circle: 34’8”

Capacity: 21 cubic yards

Elevator: Two speed hydraulic

No of Flights: 18

Length: 38’2”

Width: 11’2”

Height: 10’2”

Weight: 25 tons (empty), 50 tons (loaded)

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