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How The Titan Influenced Later Rokbak Dump Trucks

How The Titan Influenced Later Rokbak Dump Trucks

When buying heavy fleet machinery, having a name you can trust as the manufacturer and the dealer can be crucial.

This made the decision by the Volvo Group to rebrand their dump trucks from Terex to Rokbak a daring choice, as their focus on the future meant no longer using a name with over four decades of tradition behind it.

However, the legacy of Terex can still be seen in modern Rokbak dump trucks, as their ambition and drive to create the best machinery for the job is reflected in one of the most ambitious and forward-thinking machines ever made in the industry.

The Terex 33-99, often known simply as “Titan” was from 1973 until 1998 the largest haulage truck in the world, and yet despite its size was powered by an electric powertrain, seeing the electrified future of fleet machinery that is only now being truly realised.

It was one of the first moves made by Terex’s then-owners General Motors, who after themselves taking the risk of changing the long-standing brand name of Euclid, wanted to make a major statement.

At the time, GM strongly believed that mineral ore in open pit mines would need to be extracted more efficiently, requiring larger fleets of larger trucks to do so. The Titan’s first prototype was completed in 1973 and showcased the following year with a projected cost of over £1m.

However, whilst the machine was exceptionally capable when deployed at Kaiser Steel, the market for coal it was designed for ultimately wouldn’t come to fruition.

Despite aggressive marketing, aided by golfer Jack Nicklaus, the Titan prototype would ultimately be the only one they ever made, though not for a lack of trying.

The coal market itself was entering a recession by the late 1970s, and so rather than needing larger trucks to extract more, lower quality ore, coal mines made do with the equipment they had or downsized.

Terex was sold to German company IBH Holdings, which swiftly went bankrupt in the early

1980s. GM then sold it again to Randolph Lenz, who in 2013 sold the company to the Volvo group, where they have remained a powerful force in fleet machinery, with a new name to match their new ambitions.