The Tirex Titan

George Cousins

North Saanich,British Columbia, Canada

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The gigantic Tirex “Titan” 33-19, the only such vehicle every produced, is on permanent display in the town of Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada,where for some years it had been used in the coal mine. For those interested in such huge machines, the Titan has quite a story of innovation and outstanding design.

Here’s the story, as reported in Wikipedia:

The Terex 33-19 “Titan” was a prototype off-highway, ultra class, rigid frame, three-axle, diesel/AC electric powertrain haul truck designed by the Terex Division of General Motors and assembled at General Motors Diesel Division’s London, ON, Canada assembly plant in 1973. Only one 33-19 was ever produced and it was the largest, highest capacity haul truck in the world for 25 years.It served in several locations before coming to Sparwood, and after 13 years in service at the Sparwood mine, the 33-19 was restored and is now preserved on static display as a tourist attraction in Sparwood, BC, Canada.


General Motors developed the 33-19 “Titan” in response to open pit mine operators need for more efficient haul trucks. GM believed that a general decrease in mineral ore quality combined with an projected need to mine oil shale and tar sands would increase the quantity of ore hauled by mine operators world wide.The 33-19 “Titan” was the largest in the Terex 33 series of off-road haul trucks, which also included the 33-03, 33-05, 33-07, 33-09, 33-11 and the 33-15. The 33-19 “Titan” and the 33-15 both used diesel/AC electric powertrains, while the other, smaller members of the 33 series of haul trucks used mechanical powertrains.

The 33-19 “Titan” was assembled at the General Motors Diesel Division’s London, Ontario, Canada assembly plant in 1973.

Public Debut
The 33-19 “Titan” was first shown to the public in October, 1974 at the American Mining Congress in Las Vegas, NV.


GM predicted that when the 33-19 entered regular production, the 33-19 “Titan” would cost approximately US$1.5 million in 1976 dollars (approximately US$5.8 million in inflation-adjusted 2011 dollars). However, the 33-19 “Titan” never entered regular production. The worldwide coal market softened in the late 1970s, causing coal mines to decrease production and economize by re-building existing equipment or purchasing smaller haul trucks with proven operational records. The projected market for the 33-19 “Titan” never materialized and the prototype was the only unit ever assembled.


The 33-19 “Titan” has a payload capacity of 350 short tons (320 t), a net vehicle weight of 509,500 pounds (231,100 kg) and a gross vehicle weight of 1,209,500 pounds (548,600 kg). At the time of its construction in 1973, the 33-19 “Titan” was the largest, highest payload capacity truck ever built. The 33-19 “Titan” remained the highest capacity haul truck in existence for 25 years until the debut of the 360-short-ton (330 t) payload capacity Caterpillar 797 in September, 1998.
Fully loaded, the 33-19 “Titan” had a top speed of 29.8 mph (48.0 km/h)
The 33-19 “Titan” required ten 40.00×57 tires.


The 33-19 “Titan” used a diesel/AC electric powertrain that consisted of an Electro-Motive Division model 16-645E4, 16-cylinder, gross 3,300 hp (2,461 kW), 10,320-cubic-inch (169.1 L), turbocharged, intercooled, unit injection, locomotive engine directly coupled to an Electro-Motive Division model AR10-D14, 10-pole, AC electric alternator sending DC power via a rectifier to General Motors model D79CF traction motors at each of the four rear wheels.


The 33-19 “Titan” utilized a power, all-wheel steering system. The front wheels swept through a 71 degree arc. At a preset point as the front wheels moved off-center, the eight rear wheels would also begin to steer, moving up to a maximum of 10 degrees off center.

Service history

Terex placed the 33-19 “Titan” into service with Kaiser Steel at the Eagle Mountain, CA iron mine in January, 1975. The 33-19 “Titan” suffered frequent downtime problems but over the course of its four years of service at the Eagle Mountain mine, the 33-19 “Titan” hauled approximately 3.5 million tons of earth.

In late 1978 the 33-19 “Titan” was sent to Kaiser Steel’s Sparwood Canada mine. The mine was acquired from Kaiser Steel by B.C. Resources in 1980. The mine was subsequently acquired by Westar Mining in 1983 and the 33-19 “Titan” was repainted from its original lime green to Westar Mining’s blue and yellow livery. Shortly after, Westar Mining directly purchased the 33-19 “Titan” from General Motors, for US $200,000 and $1 million in spare parts. During Westar Mining’s ownership, the 33-19 “Titan” had an uptime rate of more than 70%, regularly hauling loads exceeding 350 short tons (320 t). Westar Mining retired the 33-19 “Titan” from service in 1991.

After acquiring the Sparwood mine in late 1992, Teck Corporation offered the 33-19 “Titan” for preservation as a public monument in 1993. The Sparwood, BC Chamber of Commerce completed a fund raising effort, restored the 33-19 “Titan”, and promotes it as a tourist attraction. The 33-19 “Titan” is on static display off Highway 3 in Titan Park, 141 Aspen Drive, Sparwood, BC, Canada. Although the 33-19 “Titan” was restored, the engine has been removed.
End of Quote:

Hope your truck enthusiasts enjoyed the story.

August 2006
Sony DSCF828 Camera

Artwork Comments

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