Friday, September 22, 2017

First day of autumn, and we know what follows

What follows autumn is no secret. Truck equipment suppliers are in on it too, and this time of year are busy fitting out salt spreaders and plows.

A few recent sights:

The St.John's, Newfoundland airport will be getting this beefy Western Star 4X4. It will likely be towing a sweeper trailer to clean up after the plows and blowers have done their work. Similar rigs are operating at numerous airports in Canada. Note the low mount headlights in the bumper and "blind" fenders.

The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is responsible for highways (among many other things) and will be using this dandy Mack once it is equipped with a plow and spreader body.

Before and after views of some Freightliners. End customer unknown. In the "after" version at left, supplementary headlights are fitted to a spreader bar on the hood. The trucks will likely see road maintenance duties during the non-snow season(s).


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Petes at work

Pete 1

Brinks has upped the ante a bit as far as armoured trucks go. Most of the others in the business use pretty basic Ford and Inters or even Freightliners, but Brinks has introduced a Peterbilt in Halifax in recent weeks.

Not wishing to appear to give it too close an inspection, I was able to determine that that the cab has been at least partially connected with the body by means of a box that looks like an A/C unit atop the cab. The moose bar on the front is a nice touch, and the fresh sticker indicates that the truck has not been in service long.

The extra heavy gaskets around the windshield may indicate special glass. The rest of the cab looks standard, but may be lined with armour plate - not for me to ask!

Note the camera peaking out under the visor on the shotgun (sorry, passenger) side windshield.

Pete 2

A nice looking Pete tilt deck  operated by Added Touch Towing + Recovery Inc came to the rescue of  broken down Bimmer in  my neighbourhood the other day.

The 2 man crew and  the car owner pushed the car out into street where it was loaded on in short order. The photo (taken by smart phone) holds one interesting detail that I did not see until after I had down loaded it  - can you spot it?

 Look directly above the right had clearance light and see two more spectators on the balcony.

Pete 3

Peterbilt has a good market share in the low cab forward market, particularly for compactor body refuse haulers. I think twin steers are rare (except in Quebec) , so I was pleased to get this one in Quebec in August.

From the shape of the second axle fender, it appears to be a Simard Suspension conversion.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


A new terminal tractor for someone arrived by sea today. The Terberg, built in Benschop, Netherlands carries no markings as to destination or model number.

Terberg makes a variety of terminal tractors in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations - the latter with a swivel seat to allow erase of backwards and forwards operation. This appears to be a basic 4x2.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Recent RVs

As the fall tourist season peaks, the RVs continue to hover in our region before heading back to the US or Europe. Some recent finds.

This neat looking Citroen was modified by Globecar and is their Campscout model. It carries German plates.

Although wearing British Columbia plates this Mitsubishi  was built for domestic Japanese use, with right hand drive.

A Delica model, it has passed through several hands for modifications.

Featuring somewhat less gracious lines, this former delivery stepvan has been transformed with a snappy paint job and interior fittings. 

There is no outward indication of its original maker, but I have feeling there are Navistar International genes in there somewhere.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

60 is the new 40

Canadian Tire has been rolling out its groundbreaking 60 foot intermodal container across the country since May of this year, in association with Canadian Pacific.

 Ontario plated Canadian Tire Volvo out of Brampton, did not haul this can over the road to Halifax!
The immense rear overhang of the new 60 footers is not quite so obvious in this view.

Believed to be the first in North America, although Uncle Sam Walmart is breathing down their neck, Canadian Tire has been designing and testing the new big box since 2014. By first attaching Styrofoam blocks to the ends of their 53 footers (they were early adopters of that larger size too), they found that they could still remain within the various legth, rear overhang and other regulations, by using a day cab tractor.

Now they have AICM manufacturring the boxes and Max-Atlas building trombone trailers that can be pegged for 53 or 60 foot (or is it 60'-6"?).

The new 60s will be used in intermodal transport in the Toronto-Vancouver, Toronto-Calgary, Toronto-Halifax corridors and inter-Ontario. Halifax is a big Canadian Tire distribution centre and has consolidation facilities for overseas imports. Halifax is not served by CP Rail, but CN Rail handles their intermodal work here. So far Alberta and Ontario have permitted these rigs, but it seems likely the Maritimes will be on the bandwagon soon.

With the new 60 footers CT claims a 13% increase in capacity, equivalent to four pallets. When you think that CT has 6,500 of the 53 footers in service and has a 15 year plan to upgrade to 60 foot, you can see that this is a big deal.

53 foot containers, and certainly 60 foot containers for now, will be confined to intermodal work, although they do go to sea on some short sea routes such as TOTE Maritime's Florida / Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands service service and Oceanex's Newfoundland service. There is some Asia-Pacific use for reinforced 53 footers, but they are still rare on ships that are usually restricted to the more traditional 20, 40 and 45 foot lengths.

(cell phone photo used for comparison purposes only)

If drivers need sleeping accommodation, will we see the return of the Jimmy crackerbox COE with 24 inch sleeper? 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Road Report - more classics

A trip through Central and Northern mainland Nova Scotia on Labour Day revealed a few classics still on the job:

This nicely rebuilt C series Ford was once in fire service (some of the gold leaf survives on the cowl) but the doors have been so well repainted there is no outward sign of what department(s) it served. The conversion to carry a dumpster box includes hydraulics and appears to have been done very professionally. (Truro)

 Although it has a 9000 hood, I suspect this Louisville started life as another model. Not many 9000s would have been built a single screw. (Stellarton)

Some Autocars are hard to kill. This dual steer dumper appears to be a daily worker even after all these years. (Elmsdale)

 Nova Scotia's Department of Transportation has extensive shops for rebuilding and maintaining their trucks, so perhaps it is not surprising that this Comfort Cab version Western Star is still on the road.
(Milford, Hants County)

The only thing classic about this Volvo is the colour. Day and Ross, once marketed itself as "The Big Orange" but in recent years has gone to factory white (oh so boring) for company trucks. Perhaps an o/o took it upon himself to go for tradition. Normally there would also have been some black trim too.

 Probably a bargain here for someone. This GMC C8500 is a little too big to justify for my driveway, but it would be fun to give it a try. (Stellarton)


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Not so elementary Watson - UPDATED

Oversize load carrier Watson, based in Quebec, is the preferred carrier for Bombardier aircraft components that arrive in Halifax by sea. As noted previously their trucks are now sporting more subdued graphics, but are still recognizable by their red colour and beefy Kenworths, as this July 12 photo shows:

Imagine my surprise therefore when I spotted this Watson today:

Yes indeed - a Peterbilt!
I think I prefer the KW setback axle look.

Update September 6:
It was back to tradition today as another Watson truck prepared for the road. It was a typical Kenworth set back, with low rise sleeper and the older graphic scheme.