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The Real TC-12

There is an article on this site about the Euclid TC-12. Having spent many enjoyable summers running this beast I wish to add something to the article found on this site.

The TC-12 was in fact two C6 tractors joined together by an axle beam located somewhere under the operator's seat. The operator sat on the left half of the machine and all the controls except for the brake for the right half were located on the left half. Directly in front of the operator were the twin powershift levers with three ranges, 1, 2, and 3. Also in front of the operator were the most used controls, the twin throttle levers which were the secret to this machines great productivity. At the left of the operators seat were two levers that controlled forward and reverse for each half. Get the picture? There were two of everything, controls, starter buttons, gauges, everything. The unit I operated was configured as a push cat so there were no blade controls. Had there been a dozer on it, it might have been a hand full to run.

The machine was extremely nimble for its 35 ton size. We trailered it from job site to job site on a standard lo-boy from which it was quite easy to mount and dismount (in those days loboys loaded from the side unlike the gooseneck trailers used today). When in operation it loaded a scraper extremely quickly and without fuss, in fact one had to be careful not to push the backend in on the scraper in tough digging. The owner of the machine would not have any other machine for pushing because the TC-12 could deliver full power pushing a scraper even when cutting ditches around cul de sacs, something that is unheard of today with this type and size equipment. Because it could turn about its center by reversing one track and leaving the other in forward it was very good at getting in behind a scraper in tight quarters. Because of the extremely good throttle response and power shift capability most pushes were done on the fly, that is the scraper never stopped in the cut to wait for the push. The TC-12 would catch up to the scraper and then after contact was made, downshift and begin loading the scraper in one fluid motion. Third gear was rarely used, and when it was only at low throttle. The TC-12 was capable of quite high speed for a tracked vehicle, something like a fast trot or almost a run in third.

The TC-12 was very reliable. We changed the oil and filters regularly, put in clean fuel and kept the radiators topped. That was about it. The radiator cores had a nasty habit of leaking when working rocky ground due to vibration. Given the age of the unit I ran this was to be expected. After some years the track began giving trouble and every once in a while it would throw a track. Putting it back on was never fun and it involved special vocabulary best left out of print. Eventually we found that the newer D8 track would fit and the owner sprung for a new set of CAT track on the old TC-12.

Paul Kellner, in, entered 2003-07-30
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