A Brief History of the Terex Titan,
and How a 33-15 Titan Came to Bowling Green, Ohio
In 1968, the United States government filed an anti-trust suit against General Motors, claiming it had a monopoly on the off-highway truck market. To settle the lawsuit, GM agreed to sell its off-highway truck line and not produce an off-highway haul truck for four years. This was done by selling the end- and bottom-dump truck line, and all rights to the Euclid brand, to White Motors.
In the four years that GM could not sell or build trucks, they were busy designing new trucks from the ground up. GM adopted the Terex name for the remaining former Euclid products, and in 1972, the TEREX truck line was introduced to the world. These trucks would be known as the 33 series trucks.
The first trucks built were the 33-11 (80 Ton), 33-07 (35 Ton), and the 33-15 (150 Ton). The 33-11 and 33-07 were built in the Hudson, Ohio plants, while the electric-drive models – the 33-15 170 Ton and the only 33-19 built – were manufactured in London, Ontario, Canada.
In 1982, GM sold the United States operations to IBH group, making TEREX in the United States TEREX IBH. The electric-drive line was retained, and remained in the General Motors family until 1985, when the 33-15 truck line was sold to Marathon LeTourneau of Longview, Texas. LeTourneau redesigned the 33-15 into the T2000 series trucks.
In 1974, Kennecott Copper ordered eight 33-15s for its Bingham Canyon mine in Utah. One of them suffered serious damage in a wreck and was written off by TEREX. Wanting to see it saved, it was purchased by an individual and moved to Oklahoma for display as all the other 33-15s were cut up.
In the winter of 2020, it was put up for sale at auction. A group of National Directors of the Historical Construction Equipment Association purchased it specifically for permanent preservation at the National Construction Equipment Museum in Bowling Green, Ohio.
After over a year of preparations, the giant truck was disassembled and moved to the Museum in mid-May, 2021. Disassembly was arranged with crane and rigging contractors in conjunction with the IUOE Apprenticeship. The move required six trailers to move the components to Bowling Green; Geis Steel Tech Inc. and Wack Manufacturing and trucking affiliates of Charles Casturo Inc. and Jim Gangle Bulldozing & Excavating handled the transportation and provided rigging. Lakeside Sand & Gravel provided additional assistance and coordinated the disassembly.
For those who have been at the Museum, the truck will be located near the Office and Archives Building at the south end of the parking lot. National Director Don Frantz and Museum volunteers Dave Brainard, Mark Deuschle, Evan Lewis, Charlie Scherer, Scott Snyder and Nick Styacich have completed the 30 x 50-foot pad; the work involved relocating the grindings stockpiles, excavating the site to a depth of two feet, and backfilling it with grindings in compacted lifts. While they were at it, they also trucked a sizeable portion of the grindings to the storage area west of the Museum pond and laid them for additional equipment parking around our 1930s Allis-Chalmers gyratory crusher. The volunteers used a combination of Museum equipment and antiques of the future furnished by the IOUE Local 18 Apprenticeship.
Casturo also made a 15-ton capacity forklift available for assembly of the Titan at the Museum, and Ken Taylor of Ohio CAT donated a mechanic’s services for the disassembly and reassembly. Local 18 and all of the participating businesses are all Corporate Members of the HCEA.
Final assembly will occur during the 2022 International Convention and Old Equipment Exposition, to be held September 16-18, 2022 at the Museum.
So how much money needs to be raised to bring the Titan to Bowling Green, and to do all the work that will have to be done after it’s here? To be honest, we don‘t know. There are too many intangibles to set a firm goal. The truckers are donating the time to move it, but we need to cover the costs of permits for six oversized loads across five states. Fuel is not settled. The donation of crane services for disassembly is still up in the air, so to speak. If it needs painting, keep in mind that it costs $10,000 to paint a truck a third its size. And if it needs a tire . . . it’s a lot of green in more ways than one.
This truck is expected to have a major impact on the Museum as a tourist attraction. The only similar vehicle on display anywhere is the original tandem-axle 33-19 Titan at Sparwood, British Columbia. This project is truly going to put the National Construction Equipment Museum on the tourism map, and we are thrilled to see it become a reality. But to make it so, and you just knew this was coming, we need your help. Click here or contact the HCEA office (scroll down) to make a donation to our Titan fund, to help the Museum make its biggest machine the attraction it can be.
Thank you to everyone who is making this a reality.