Once the largest truck in the world, the monstrous TITAN is parked for all to gape at, in the little town of Sparwood. Being the town's only attraction, the truck surprisingly boasts a huge popularity. Past Crowsnest Pass, it is the next *wow* attraction on the way to Fernie. The TITAN (Terex 33-19) prototype was built in 1973. Designed by General Motors (Terex Division) in London, ON Canada, it was built as a diesel/AC electric powertrain haul truck with the largest and highest capacity in the world for 25 years. With the need for more efficient haul trucks by open pit mine operators, GM built the TITAN in response to that exact need. With an off highway, ultra class, rigid frame and 3 axle, the TITAN was the only one produced and in service for 13 years.
The TITAN was first shown at the Las Vegas American Mining Congress in October 1974. For many it may be a surprise to see such a massive truck for the first time. Although the truck was made to make coal mining more efficient, it came in a period where the worldwide coal market softened and started to lose its importance in the late 1970's. Although, the TITAN would cost an estimated $1.5 million US dollars, it never made it into regular production. The TITAN sitting at Sparwood today, is the only prototype ever built and used.
In 1975, the TITAN was placed into service at the Eagle Mountain Mine, California with Kaiser Steel. It was in service there for 4 years and hauled 3.5 million tons of earth although it did suffer numerous downtime problems. Kaiser Steel also had mining in BC and it was sent to the mine in Sparwood, BC in late 1978 which was acquired in 1980 by BC Canada Resources. When it was latered acquired again by Westar Mining in 1983, the colour changed from its original lime green to its current yellowy colour. It was in service until 1991. The truck was them bought by Teck Corporation and offered it for preservation as a public monument in 1993 in Sparwood. The TITAN had since then been an attraction of Sparwood, BC attracting numerous visitors throughout the year.
For 25 years, the TITAN was the largest truck in the world but since then, bigger and larger capacity trucks have been in use. The signs at Sparwood are still from back in the day when the truck was first put on display and clearly have not been updated. They still have written that the truck is the largest in the world to date. Granted though, the town may not want to take away its main quality, how large it is, from their only attraction. The display is off of highway 3 in Titan Park located on 141 Aspen Drive in Sparwood but it is so big that it is hard to miss off the highway.
A convenient "TitanCam" was added some time ago so you can check to see how the most popular truck in Sparwood is making out. Also handy to check out snow levels if you are skiing in the area but they do have other, more practically placed cams for that. The TitanCam can be viewed Here.
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