Friday, June 22, 2018

Viking Destiny

The auto carrier Viking Destiny arrived this morning in calm and clear conditions. This is very different from its first scheduled arrival March 7 when it was held off the port for two days due to weather. It finally entered March 9 and sailed later the same day.

The ship was built for Gram Car Cariers in 2017 by Jiangsu Jinling and has a capacity of 6700 CEU, measuring 62,105 grt, 18,500 dwt. Gram is a Norwegian company, with offices in Singapore, and about 22 ships time chartered to other carriers. The ships are managed by OSM Ship Management, another Norwegian company. Many of Gram's executives once worked for Hoegh, a major Norwegian car carrier owner.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Classics old and new

A recent road trip turned up a couple of classic brands.

It is a long time since General Motors produced a full line of trucks from Class 8 on down. Since they agreed to sell their remaining heavy truck line to Volvo in 1986, they have only built mid-range GMC trucks, up to about Class 7.
In their heyday however they had a good share of the Class 8 market particularly when they replaced the "Crackerbox" Jimmy in 1969 with the GMC Astro and Chevrolet Titan. The trucks were very modern looking, contained novel ergonomics in the cab and eventually included Cummins and Cat engine choices in addition to Detroit.

The GMC Astro was always the more popular, and GM eliminated the entire Chevrolet truck line in 1981 - mostly because Chev dealers wanted to sell and service cars and not to be bothered with heavy trucks.
The GMC Astro continued in production ending with the 1987 model year. At that point, after a few years of White GMC, (using the White cab) they changed over to Volvo designed trucks.

This GMC Asto carries a Nova Scotia Antique Auto plate - and so it should - and  appears to be in mostly original condition.(The big rad was introduced to accommodate Cummins and Cat engines)

As Volvo took over White in 1981, the parent of Autocar, they phased out the classic model in 1987 and the WhiteGMC replacement in 2000.  However another company bought the Autocar name and the White Xpeditor cab in 2001 and began producing an Autocar branded truck again - this one strictly for the vocational market - with the Xpeditor low cab forward.
They have since expanded the line with more models and variations, including a military refueler.

Likely from the Greenwood, NS air base, this refueler was outside the fence (but not AWL) for service. It also looks fairly recent, so is by no means an antique, even though Autocar is the oldest North American truck brand still in production.



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

More contrasts

This giant MAN RV from Switzerland is on the last leg of an aborted North American tour. It's various previous odysseys are covered in the owner's website, The site is all in German, so may pose a challenge to follow (for me included). The owner decided to cut short his tour in northwestern Ontario, having seen enough of endless Canadian bush.

By clicking on the pictures on the web site various galleries open up showing how the rig was built and the trips they have made.

From the web site I did learn that the MAN is a model TGM 18.340 4X4 BB. It has a torsional frame that allows the box body to flex independently of the cab. The inside of the body is quite spectacular.

The RV body was built by F. Woelcke GmbH + Co KG  of Heimsheim, Germany.

And now for something completely different.

Spotted in a Walmart parking lot a pair of aged Mercs, with little if any interior finish appear to be for those who really want to rough it. They are early Westphalia conversions of the late 1970s or early 1980s era. Mercedes Benz introduced this van line 1977 and ran it essentially unchanged until 1986. Thomas Cook Travel had a stable of these for rent, and it is possible that these are from that fleet.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Endless Variety

There seems to be no end to the variety of German based RVs that continue to appear. Today's catch was a real contrast.

 The Fiat Ducato based Dethleffs Globetrotter Esprit is just one in a huge range of RVs built by the Dethleffs company. This one appears to have been much travelled based on the stickers affixed to the back.

More stickers on the front have been worn off, but it has certainly done the Transamerica and much of the US. I can also detect several from Asia including VietNam, Singapore and Thailand. There is also Egypt and Russia.

 The Mercedes Sprinter parked next had lots of stickers on the back but was otherwise exceptionally clean looking. It is a Riesemobile Luxor model that sleeps two on a raised platform in the back with kitchen and bathroom in the middle, and a table behind the driver seat (which swivels round to form a dining area.) Reisemobile also produces a variety of Sprinter based RVs. This is not their smallest offering - they offer a several short wheelbase models too.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Classic DIVCO and new feeder

Some contrasts today in Burnside. Scotsburn had a classic DIVCO in their lot - not delivering milk anymore, but it looks like it still could.

DIVCO (Detroit Industrial Vehicle Company), founded in 1926 produced this design from 1939 until the company folded in 1986. Subtle differences, particularly in the shape of the fenders and window frames, were about all that could be used to distinguish older and newer models. The allowed for standee operation and right had drive.
The majority served for daily dairy deliveries and since they used ice to keep the milk and dairy products  cool they usually rusted out quite rapidly. This one has been equipped with a roof top A/C unit, so will likely last longer. Traces of yellow paint around the hood lead me to suspect its history is perhaps not with Scotsburn, but another company within the Saputo Group.

Meanwhile at the Navistar International dealer this brand new HX sports a Walinga feed body. The tank contains several subdivisions, with hydraulic gates and pneumatic unloading system to deliver animal feed. It is much more common to see these as semi-trailers than as straight trucks.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Snow Groomers

Just when I thought summer had finally arrived, a fleet of snow groomers suddenly appeared. I guess you need to be prepared for next winter, but it is a bit unsettling to see these rigs on bare pavement.
Without trying to settle the argument about who invented this type of tracked vehicle, there are four different manufacturers represented and one conversion company, and there may be room for a few more.

Pisten Bully claims to be the largest manufacturer of snow groomers, and has a wide range of models - this is a small one. The company is an offshoot of the old Kassbohrer bus manufacturer (sold its Setra bus line to Diamler in 1995) and is based in Germany. It was established in 1969.

Prinorth, based in Italy, was founded by the race car driver Ernst Prinorth in 1951. Through a complex set of mergers and acquisitions, it is the successor to Bombardier's industrial vehicles division.

 Favero Lorenzo was founded in the 1980s, also in Italy, and is the builder of this Snow Rabbit 3X.

Tucker, founded in 1942 and based in Oregon makes many types of tracked snow travel vehicles, including passenger carrying types. Their registered trade mark Sno-Cat  must be one of the best known names in the  business.

I am assuming this is a Soucy Track conversion of a John Deere 6155R tractor. They build track systems for nearly every make of farm tractor available.

The two oldest contenders for tracked vehicles go well back:


I caught this Tucker dozing in a pasture near Edmunston, NB in 1994.

It had enjoyed a second career grooming snow mobile trails. Miraculously its Tucker, Sno-Cat and Medford, Oregon name plates were still intact.


Before it was a recreational vehicle the Bombardier Snowmobile was the only form of motorized winter transportation in many parts of Quebec.

This was a typical unit from the 1950s. Often used as school buses (some with a plywood body) they were fitted with skis on front in the winter.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Houston we have a BIG problem

This trucker, with a very clean looking KW, had a BIG problem this morning. After loading a Krone BIGX700 forage harvester (or silage cutter) the plank outrigger on the drivers side of his low bed broke. From information I could find on line the unit weighs about 13.5 tonnes.

This obviously placed the load in an unbalanced state. Fortunately he had just exited the pier 30 area of Halifax waterfront and some help arrived. I would like to know how the problem was solved, but I couldn't stick around.