The LeTourneau LS and LP Carryalls

We’re going right back in time to celebrate two icons of earthmoving, the LeTourneau model LS and LP Carryalls. In the 1940s and 1950s you would be hard pressed not to see one of these scrapers in use on a jobsite and, while not the most attractive of scrapers, more of these two scrapers were manufactured than any subsequent model by any other manufacturer. By Richard Campbell.

Both the model LS and LP Carryalls were improvements of previous scraper designs by R.G. LeTourneau and were extremely sturdily built from high quality steel.  What makes both of them so special is their production longevity, and also the fact that both were used as trailed equipment behind LeTourneau’s original model C and Super C Tournapulls.

The LS Carryall

Designed for use behind a D7-sized tractor, and rated at 8.2 cubic yards struck and 11 cubic yards heaped capacity, the model LS Carryall was first introduced in 1940 and was a development of the former model L (7.2 cubic yard capacity), and the even earlier model JR-8 (1937).

First production models of the model LS Carryall had the bowl pushbeam – the device that raises and lowers the bowl via a pole, cables and sheaves – projecting forwards from the scraper, but this arrangement was redesigned and a new type, whereby the pushbeam projected to the rear, was introduced on scrapers produced after 1944. This was done as a safety measure, as on Carryalls that were attached to a Tournapull, the end of the pushbeam, complete with sheave blocks, was positioned directly above the operator’s head.

Apart from dropping grease and other junk on top of the operator, should the hitch on the Tournapull break (as they often did), the pushbeam would collapse down on top of the operator killing or seriously maiming him.  Even back in those times of no OSHA, this was a bad look so a solution had to be found. This revised design worked just fine, and also allows students of earthmoving history to date LS Carryalls as pre or post 1944 by how the pushbeam is set up.

By exchanging the drawbar yoke, the LS could be converted from a standard towed scraper and be attached to a model C Tournapull, although it was highly recommended that the LS be already equipped with the optional brake package which was offered by Bendix. The brakes were hydraulically operated, but not synchronized with the Tournapull brakes. Entirely cable controlled, the model LS used 1/2” 6×19 cable for all its functions apart from the ejector which used 5/8”

On a standard towed LS Carryall, you would normally find four 16.00 x 20, 16-ply tyres, but there was also a dual rear tyre option available consisting of four 14.00 x 20, 10-ply tyres and, judging by photos from the period, these seem to have been quite often the preferred tyre equipment for those LS Carryalls attached to a model C Tournapull.

The model LS Carryall also holds the distinction of being the towed scraper with the longest production run in history, from 1940 to 1960, and the type was manufactured at LeTourneau’s facilities in Peoria, Illinois, Toccoa, Georgia and Rydalmere, Australia. Scrapers built at the factory specifically for use behind Tournapulls have “LS-C” stamped into their serial number plates. The model LS was replaced by the all-new model DT.

The LP Carryall

Almost certainly one of the most recognizable of all LeTourneau’s scrapers, the model LP Carryall also had a distinguished lineage, being developed from the model J-12 (1936), model YR-12 (1937) and model K (1938). Like the LS Carryall, the model LP was introduced in 1940 and featured a 15 cubic yard heaped capacity. It was designed for use behind a Caterpillar D8 or similar sized track type tractor, or the new Super C Tournapull that was just coming into service.  Again, by exchanging drawbar yokes, a towed LP Carryall could be converted for use behind a Tournapull or vice versa.

All cable controlled and very ruggedly constructed, an LP Carryall could be accidentally rolled over and be back in action again within minutes, the only damage being to the operator’s pride!

Normal tyre equipment was four 18.00 x 24, 12-ply tubed tyres and unlike the model LS, was rarely seen on dual rear tyres although four 14.00 x 20, 16-ply tyres could be fitted if conditions required it.

Cable requirements were similar to the model LS, ½” 6×19 cable, but 7/8” cable was used on the ejector due to the heavier nature of the loads carried.

In continuous production from 1940 through to 1953, the model LP Carryall pretty much remained unchanged structurally during its entire production life and was built, like the model LS, at LeTourneau’s manufacturing plants in Peoria, Illinois, Toccoa, Georgia and Rydalmere, Australia. Scrapers built at the factory specifically for use behind Tournapulls have “LP-C” stamped into their serial number plates. The model CT replaced the LP Carryall in 1954.

The LS and LP Carryall in New Zealand

Hundreds of these Carryalls were imported into New Zealand via several means – the Earlo Tractor Company, Dominion Motors, Gough, Gough & Hamer (all licensed dealers), and war surplus examples brought in by W.T. Gillies (and others). They have helped to reshape the contours of the land on countless jobs, built dams, airports and roads. You can still see working examples which have been converted to hydraulic operation, some eighty years after the types were first introduced, quite an achievement. Mr. R.G would be proud.

For the model collector

There are currently no models in any scale available of the LS Carryall, however there have been three issued of the model LP Carryall.  First up is Spec-Casts’ offering in 1:50 scale.  This is probably the easiest to obtain and isn’t too bad a model if slightly under-scale (it’s about 1:55). It has been issued as a towed scraper and also behind a Super C Tournapull and all functions (apron, bowl lift/lower and ejector) operate. Second LP scraper model is that from boutique manufacturer EMD, which is reasonably rare and moderately expensive.It was only issued as trailed equipment behind a cab-less Super C Tournapull but is an excellent model.

The last offering is the 1:25 scale model by Sherwood of Canada representing a towed model LP Carryall.  This is truly a museum piece model and is fully functional off the cables and sheaves installed.  There were plans by the manufacturer to issue the model behind a replica Tournapull but the company ceased trading and so that never happened. However, this is an eye-wateringly expensive model if you can find one, but looks great behind a 1:25 scale Caterpillar D8.

Brief Specifications – model LS Carryall scraper – initial production model

Capacity:        8.2 cubic yards struck, 11 cubic yards heaped.

Length:           29’ 7”.

Width:             9’ 10”.

Height:            9’ 11”.

Wheelbase:    17’ 7”.

Std.Tyre:         16.00 x 20, 16-ply.

Empty Weight: 7 tons.

Brief Specifications – model LP Carryall scraper – initial production model

Capacity:         12.1 cubic yards struck, 15 cubic yards heaped.

Length:            32’ 2”.

Width:             10’ 2”.

Height:            10’ 11”.

Wheelbase:     20’.

Std.Tyre:          18.00 x 24, 12-ply.

Empty Weight: 10 tons.








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