Classic Machines Scrapers

Classic Machines: The Euclid TS-18 motorscraper

Although it had only a short production life, the Euclid TS-18 marks an important milestone in the history of Euclid’s twin engined scrapers.

 The TS-18 was Euclid’s first two-axle, twin-powered scraper and the forerunner of the amazingly successful model TS-24.

It is important to point out that the Euclid TS-18 has nothing in common with the Terex TS-18 (introduced in 1972) apart from its capacity and that General Motors had a hand in the manufacture of both.

True to the spirit of “Pioneer Pete”, Euclid’s logo, the Euclid Road Machinery Co was an innovator in the earthmoving industry offering the first workable powershift transmissions, twin-powered scrapers and unit type construction where parts commonality was spread across several models reducing ownership costs.

This is a late production TS-18 with the 21 cubic yard bowl and on the optional 33.5 wide base tyres. If you look carefully, the operator has placed some cardboard behind the seat to prevent being coated by material thrown from the tyres. Rear aircleaner intake stack has been raised higher than normal so one suspects this was probably a dusty jobsite. Photo taken 1957.
This is a late production TS-18 with the 21 cubic yard bowl and on the optional 33.5 wide base tyres. If you look carefully, the operator has placed some cardboard behind the seat to prevent being coated by material thrown from the tyres. Rear aircleaner intake stack has been raised higher than normal so one suspects this was probably a dusty jobsite. Photo taken 1957.

Euclid’s first twin powered motor scraper was introduced in 1949 and was known as the model 51FDT. This was a three-axle machine – two-axle tractor and single-axle scraper – and filled a definite niche in the construction equipment marketplace.

Euclid had this market all to itself up until the late 1950s when other manufacturers began to test the waters but it wasn’t until 1962 that other competitors finally began producing machines to challenge Euclid’s dominance.

In the genealogy of Euclid, the TS-18 replaced the models 15TDT and 16TDT on the family tree. Both of these machines were identical 18 cubic yard, three-axle designs.

They only differed in their engines, the 15TDT powered by Cummins and the 16TDT powered by GM.

Introduced in 1954 along with the S-7, S-12 and S-18, the TS-18 was heavily promoted at the time through General Motors’ travelling ‘Power Parade’ road shows, a feature of the 1950s.

Euclid gave it the type number 29LOT-27SH but it was known and sold as the TS-18.

Powered by two GM 6-71 diesels with matching Allison powershift transmissions, the TS-18 held 18 cubic yards struck and 21 cubic yards heaped and weighed almost 39 tons empty.

At first the industry was a little skeptical about the new machine, innovation not always finding ready buyers, but the new machine soon began to prove itself on jobs scattered across the USA.

The TS-18 was ideally suited to projects that had poor underfoot conditions, or sites that had grades significant enough to slow production rates of normal single engined machines.

One of the other benefits of the machine was that it could also load itself in the right material, without having to tie up a push dozer.

At the time of the TS-18’s introduction, the USA was just entering its major Interstate Highway building programme and quite a number of the machines found employment on these projects.

Euclid raised the horsepower slightly at the beginning of 1955 in answer to customers’ reports that the machine was a bit sluggish and needed more power.

A modified bowl was also offered holding 21 cubic yards struck and 27 cubic yards heaped.

This did not stop the grizzles though that the machine, while very manoeuvrable and loading well, lacked power. So in 1956, Euclid offered a custom built TS-18 “Special”, with the front GM 6-71 engine replaced by a higher horsepower GM 6-110. A larger 24 cubic yard bowl was also trialed.

This did the trick and from this modification, the TS-24 was born. By December 1956, production of the under-powered TS-18 was discontinued in favour of the larger machine.

 During the three years that the TS-18 was made, Euclid only built around 58 units in total but they paved the way for all of Euclid’s subsequent two-axle machines, and many of their competitors’ as well.

 The Euclid TS-18 Described

Built on an immensely strong chassis, something that Euclid was already famous for, the TS-18 was powered by two General Motors type 6-71 inline, naturally aspirated diesels putting out 218 horsepower each – one in the tractor unit, the other in the scraper.

These were connected to identical 600 series Allison 3-speed powershift transmissions and gave the TS-18 a top speed of around 26 mph.

Braking was by air operated shoe brakes on all four wheels.

Standard tyres were 27.00×33 with an option of the wider base 33.5×25.

Along with the S-7, S-12 and S-18, the TS-18 introduced Euclid’s newly developed double acting steering system, common on Euclid/Terex machines up to 1982.

This is quite an early TS-18 with a short spillguard on the scraper. It is working on Interstate Highway construction and being push loaded by a Euclid TC-12-1 (soft nose), an equally rare beast! The ‘hi-lite green’ paint stands out well.
This is quite an early TS-18 with a short spillguard on the scraper. It is working on Interstate Highway construction and being push loaded by a Euclid TC-12-1 (soft nose), an equally rare beast! The ‘hi-lite green’ paint stands out well.

Four interchangeable hydraulic cylinders were used for all scraper functions, two for bowl lift via lever and linkage, one for the apron which was connected by a short length of ¾” cable and the other for the roll out ejector which was connected to a lever. These were all single acting cylinders relying on gravity for return and were only powered on the outward stroke.

The ejector was hinged just behind the standard Euclid 4-piece cutting edge and had a mild ‘U’ shaped profile that helped to “boil” the earth in during loading, filling all the bowl’s corners. As many operators of Euclid scrapers over the years will attest, it also tended to pack with some of the more cohesive clays, making manual clean out necessary.

The bowl itself was an adaptation of the 23SH type used behind the former 15TDT and 16TDT machines but with a different gooseneck and the rear engine’s instrument panel on the left instead of the right.

Early production examples had a very low rear spillguard but this was increased in height after a short period to prevent chunks of material exiting over the top and damaging the aircleaner extension stack and exhaust pipe.

A sturdy pushblock with two small over-riders to prevent radiator damage made up the rear of the machine.

The operator sat just ahead of the front LH wheel arch and was provided with either a pedestal or suspension seat. Most photos the author has seen are of machines that have been fitted with a suspension seat.

Good visibility all around was a feature of the TS-18, with almost all of the 58 manufactured just having a plain windscreen.

 As both the TS-18 and TS-24 looked very similar externally, there is a way of telling which is which in unmarked photographs.

TS-18s have dimpled planetary drive covers and TS-24s do not, as the planet drives were increased in size on the later machine necessitating a redesign.

 The NZ Connection

No Euclid TS-18s were imported into New Zealand. Obviously a bit too radical for New Zealand contractors of the day, the first twin-powered, two-axle machines to arrive in the country were the TS-24s in 1957 – and we all know how successful they turned out to be, practically reshaping the country!

For the Diecast Model Collector

As precious few Euclid machines have appeared in model form to date, it will come as no surprise to the collector that there are no models to be had of the TS-18 either.

The author has seen a custom built 1:50 scale model of one however, and it was valued at over US$1000!

Perhaps some enterprising business will one day fill the large gap in the Euclid model product line as there are a great number of its products which have not been reproduced in model form. We can only hope.

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