In 1963, International introduced the Harvester 270 Payscraper to replace the model 2T-75. Well-liked by operators, and with a good power-to-weight ratio, it proved to be a solid performer. BY RICHARD CAMPBELL
International pretty much started with a clean sheet of paper when designing the Harvester 270 Payscraper, it bore no resemblance whatsoever to the earlier model – the 2T-75 had its origins at Heil.
The only thing the two machines had in common was their loaded capacity (International wisely choosing the popular 14 cubic yard segment of the market).
Drawing on influences from other motor scraper manufacturers – most notably Euclid, and to a lesser extent Caterpillar – the production model 270 Payscraper looked quite modern in appearance.
Powering the 270 was an International DVT-573 turbocharged V8 diesel with a 260 horsepower rating. This was connected to a Twin-Disc TD411 powershift transmission, with four forward and one reverse speed, each with torque converter lockup. This gave the 270 an effective top speed of around 32 mph, fully loaded, on a level haul road.
Planetary final drives were utilised to ease stresses on the drive axle.
The steering system was all-hydraulic, using two double acting cylinders, and was, in fact, a licensed copy of the Euclid “follow-up” system.
To prevent “nose over” during sharp turns, the kingpin was angled forward three degrees from vertical, a very good idea as many scrapers of the period were fond of doing a little unauthorised bulldozing if turned sharply.
The scraper’s braking was full air, with wedge actuated shoes.
Operator comforts on the 270 included an air-ride seat as standard and most units were delivered with a form of soft cab – actually little more than a sun shade – to protect the operator from the elements.
Visibility to the cutting edge was average but all-round visibility was good.
All instruments and controls were well-placed, although the linkages connecting the bowl operating controls to the hydraulic actuating valves wore very quickly, which resulted in quite long lever throws before anything happened.
The scraper was rated at 14 cubic yards struck and 20 cubic yards heaped. Ejection was dozer type, and the bowl featured power down, using two vertically mounted cylinders. Euclid (later Terex) would copy the 270s bowl cylinder mounting system for its TS-18.
In service, the 270 Payscraper seems to have been well liked by operators although the DVT-573 power plant gave a few teething problems.
As the 270 had a low tare weight, the machine’s power to weight ratio was quite good and it was quick out of the cut.
International’s 270s sold reasonably well in most countries where it was marketed, including New Zealand.
An Elevator Too
During 1966, International offered an elevating scraper version of the 270, which was aptly named the E270.
Rather than using a proprietary manufacturer to supply it with a bowl and elevator assembly, International designed and built its own. The E270 had a capacity of 22 cubic yards and had a hydraulically-driven elevator. Performance figures were very similar to the conventional 270 open bowl scraper.
The 270 and E270 were discontinued in 1972 with the advent of the 400 modular series machines.
The New Zealand connection
The Ministry of Works ordered the only batch of open bowl 270s to be imported into New Zealand. These were used throughout the country on roading and hydro-electric jobs, and appear to have stood up well to the task. The survivors were sold at public disposition auctions to a number of private contracting firms and some are still operational.
As far as I’m aware, there was only one E270 ever imported into New Zealand and that was originally sold to Herron Contracting in Gore.
I would welcome readers input as to if there are any more out there.
Brief Specifications – International 270 Payscraper
Engine: International DVT-573 V-8 turbocharged diesel of 260 fwhp
Transmission: Twin-Disc TD411 four speed powershift.
Top Speed: 32 mph
Steering: Full hydraulic, 90° each way
Brakes: Full air, wedge actuated shoe
Length: 35’ 3”
Width: 11’ 2”
Height: 9’ 4”
Op.Weight: 42,200lb (18.8 tons)