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The Hulk's Daily Driver: Terex Titan, the First Ultra Heavy Truck of Automotive Universe
Vocabulary is not the proper tool to comprehend the magnitude of this machine; we'll have to rely on the mathematics to retort the full image. At 230 tons empty and 550 tons with a full load, the Titan was in a class of its own. We mean that in the literal sense: the Ultra-class of heavy haulers was established by this very machine.

The Hulk's Daily Driver: Terex Titan, the First Ultra Heavy Truck of Automotive Universe

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A two-stroke Diesel generator output 2,461 kW of alternating current for the four motors coupled to the eight rear wheels. Had it been the vehicle's engine, the gross power output would have been 3,300 HP. Talk about a massive power train…

And, since I said "train," perhaps it's a good moment to point out that the engine, built by General Motors' Canadian Diesel Division, was regularly used in engines. S,o no, it's not a typo; I meant train locomotives.

The six-cubic-feet (10,320 cubic inches, or 196-liter) V16-cylinder turbocharged intercooled generator was the powerplant to harness the moving mountain of steel. All-wheel power steering reduced the turning radius to the width of a large aircraft landing strip: almost 100 feet - 30 meters.

Speaking of wheels, the Titan had 10 of them, with 40x57 tires that needed a change twice a year. At 50 grand a piece, it wasn't exactly the sort of news to spark joy in the financial department of a mining company. Quite costly, but mere chicken feed compared to the price of a significant breakdown. Because if that were to happen, it would instantly write off $1,5 million from the books (that was the retail price for the machine when it came to the market).

It was cheaper to just decommission the ultra hauler rather than to perform repair work. The Diesel engine alone was priced at about $800K! Keep in mind that these are mid-70s prices. In today's coinage, the whole truck would be around $7M.

It could carry 320 tons of earth, rock, coal, or oil sand at a steady 30 mph (48.0 km/h). When it came around in 1973, the Terex Titan was the largest, heaviest, and highest payload-capacity hauler ever built. It held on to that Guinness-recognized record for a quarter of the century. Almost 25 feet wide, 66 feet long, and 23 feet high (20x8x7 meters roughly), the T(e)Rex set the yardstick for the ultra-class heavy hauling dump trucks that followed. With the box up, it reached 56 feet in the air (17 meters).

It wasn't until 1998 that a larger-capacity Caterpillar truck would reign supreme. And in 2013, the ultra-heavyweight champion of the world (Dump-Truck version) title was claimed by another big industry name. The former Soviet BelAZ 75710 currently has the largest payload, at 450 tons, for a total gross weight of almost 810 tons. That's roughly 500 family cars, everyone!

Also, the BelAZ of present-day Belarus is longer, wider, and taller than the Terex (68x32x27 feet, if you really care; 20x10x8 meters). It has two Diesel generators, totaling 32 cylinders, 8.000 ci – 130 liters – and 3,400 kW – 4,300 HP). And it's faster than the Terex, with a top speed of 40 mph (64 kph).

Back to our Titan, its fate was not favored by the gods since only one was ever built. As it turns out, General Motors timed the heavy truck's commercial launch on the brink of the oil crisis that killed the muscle cars. Fatefully for the locomotive-powered hybrid, the mining industry didn't have much approval for its operational expenses and questionable reliability. During its first four years of service, the ultra-large dumpster reportedly suffered frequent downtimes. Despite that, it managed to move about 3,5 million tons of earth. That averages to eight trips every day.

However, things improved later, and, with an average uptime of 70% from 1978 to 1991, the truck moved enough dirt to build a mountain. Even so, the prototype Terex remained a one-off. It did serve its purpose, though, for a full eighteen years. In 1991, it was sent into retirement and displayed as a public monument in Titan Park, 126B Aspen Drive, Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada. It can be viewed as a public monument painted in its original lime-green livery. The engine was removed. Besides that, the truck holds the same impressive demeanor as it did almost half a century ago.

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