Classic Machines Scrapers

Classic Machines: The Terex S-23E elevating scraper

This elevating scraper was a direct development of the Company’s TS-18 twin powered conventional scraper and also used the same 33TOT series tractor unit (with a few modifications).

Terex’s S-23E elevating scraper filled a very important gap in Terex’s product line which had been vacant up to that point of a mid-sized elevating scraper, and joined the existing 11 cubic yard Terex S-11E and 35 cubic yard Terex S-35E elevating scrapers in the range.

Field testing of prototypes began in 1970, (the same year in which the TS-18 was introduced) with the first production models released for sale in late 1971,

Traditionally, Terex and their predecessor Euclid, had relied on Clark subsidiary Hancock for the supply of elevating scraper bowls. The S-7, S-12 and S-35 all used complete bowl assemblies manufactured by Hancock, and in the case of the S-11E scraper, the entire machine was manufactured by that company, suitably re-badged and repainted of course.

The S-23E continued down this path with Hancock providing a very cleanly designed elevating scraper bowl with smooth sides which broke with normal Hancock design tradition.

Visually the new bowl had a strong resemblance to that fitted to Wabco’s model 222H elevating scraper but the two bowls were not related.

Terex had high hopes for this new machine and promoted it heavily alongside the new twin-powered TS-18.

Not surprisingly, there was considerable competition in the marketplace for this size class machine which at 23 cubic yards capacity, was not too small and not too large.

Competition came from several quarters – Caterpillar’s 623B, Wabco’s 222H, Michigan’s 210H (another Clark product) and Fiat-Allis’ 261B.

Of these, Cat and Wabco provided the most serious threat as both held big market percentages in terms of sales.

Terex’s machine, which was a late entry into the mid-size elevating scraper arena, did not fare too well and suffered with low sales.

Terex undertook a minor upgrade of the machine in 1980, changing the profile of the upper bowl to improve load retention and increasing the amount of optional tyres that could be installed but all other physical characteristics of the machine remained unchanged.

During this period Terex was sold to the IBH Corporation who were not particularly financially sound and their director even less so.

Without the financial stability that General Motors had provided the writing was on the wall for Terex and the company fell over in 1984 owing large amounts of money. It was rescued by Northwest Engineering and was diversified considerably with several of the product lines spun off to other manufacturers.

Terex has had several new owners since.

The Terex S-23E was discontinued in 1983 after a modest production run.

Terex Scotland tried to resurrect the S-23E in early 2000 by introducing a scaled down version of the machine called the S17E to compete with the Caterpillar 615 but low volume sales saw it lasting a scant 3 years before being discontinued.

Terex no longer produce scrapers of any kind.

The Terex S-23E Described

Terex designated the S-23E the model 33TOT-H-93SH. The H stood for Hancock and referred to the fact that the machine used a much larger capacity hydraulic pump for powering the elevator motor and ancillary equipment.

Chosen engine was the General Motors 8V-71T, turbocharged V8 diesel producing 310 flywheel horsepower in this application.

An Allison VCLT4465 6-speed powershift transmission was used and this unit incorporated a variable input torque converter which assisted during the machine’s loading cycle by reducing power to the drive train thereby helping to avoid wheel slippage.

In addition, an operator controlled power locking differential was standard to prevent unwanted wheel spin when loading.

In operating trim, the S-23E could attain a top speed of just under 25 mph.

Air operated shoe type brakes were employed on both tractor and scraper axles.

Terex recommended 29.5×29 E3 tyres for the S-23E but other types were available.

A steering system identical to that used on the TS-18 was employed and this allowed turns of 90° in each direction.

The Hancock bowl was constructed from five oblong box sections and was an extremely strong fabrication.

Elevator drive was full hydraulic and powered by a self-adjusting vane type motor.

This Terex S-23E has a custom-built cab, rooftop air conditioner and carries a pole for laser leaving equipment
This Terex S-23E has a custom-built cab, rooftop air conditioner and carries a pole for laser leaving equipment

Hydraulic power for the two-speed vane type motor motor was supplied by a two-section hydraulic pump on the S-23E tractor unit.

There were 18 flights on the elevator itself and it was capable of three speeds – low high and reverse.

Ejection was in the usual Hancock manner with a sliding floor and drop down strike off plate. A bulldozer-type ejector pushed out the last remnants of the load through the floor opening.

Terex used a fixed 3-piece cutting edge on the S-23E.

This was at variance with usual Terex practice which normally employed a 4-section edge.

A total of six removable cutting edge teeth could be fitted to the center edge to assist in breaking up tightly compacted material making it easier for the elevator to load.

Optional Extras

Normal options included either open ROPS or a cab with external ROPS cover, air conditioning, heater, change from Milsco to Bostrom air suspension seat, downshift inhibitor and four variations of tyres, with or without rear fenders, plus the aforementioned cutting edge teeth.

The New Zealand Connection

To the best of your author’s knowledge, and despite New Zealand Terex dealer Clyde Engineering’s best efforts, no Terex S-23E’s were ever imported into New Zealand. There were units sold in Australia, a couple of which are still in operation, but due to the low sales of the type worldwide, very few remain.

For the Diecast Model Collector

Models of Euclid and Terex scrapers are very hard to come by and those few that are available are ridiculously expensive to the point of stupidity.

Why this should be so I do not know as Euclid/Terex built some of the most iconic scrapers in earthmoving history and their omission in model form is nothing short of a crime.

If available they would sell very well so what’s the problem – some form of licensing issue ?

It will then come as no surprise to the readership to know that there are no models of the Terex S-23E available in any scale.

Wake up model manufacturers !

Brief Specifications Terex S-23E (1st year of production)

Engine:            General Motors 8V-71T turbocharged, V8 diesel rated at 310 flywheel horsepower at 2100 rpm

Transmission: Allison VCLT4465 6-speed full powershift with variable input torque converter for loading

Top Speed:     Approx 25 mph

Brakes:            Full air operated shoe type on all wheels

Std.Tyres:       29.5×29, 28 ply, E3

Steering:          Dual hydraulic cylinders allowing 90° turns in each direction

Turning Circle: 36’ 10” (11.22m)

Capacity:        23 cubic yards (17.6m³)

Operation:       All hydraulic

Elevator Drive: 2 speed vane-type motor

Flights:            18

Length:            40’ 9” (12.42m)

Width:             10’ 8” (3.25m)

Height:                        12’ 6” (3.81m)

Op.Weight:     25 tons (empty), 59.5 tons (loaded)

The Terex S-23E elevating scraper

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