Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Classics in view

My road trip turned up a few classics - most still operating -



The R.H.Frenette Group of Petit-Rocher, NB displays this 1959 Mack B-61 but likely fires it up for special events.

Jos. LeFrançois 2008 Inc runs this unit out of Amqui, QC, a Mack R series, but with the steel fenders and hood and centre cab (some units had an offset cab). Mounted front and centre on the hood is a golden bulldog.

Big old Binder from 1997, was parked at Remorquage Provinciale, Jacques d'Anjou Inc in Mont Joli, QC. With three newer units on the lot, it may only see occasional duty.

Big red wrecker at Rivière-du-Loup, QC, is probably newer than the year 2000, but it represents the early integral sleepers introduced by Volvo.

I look out for this truck every year south of Edmunston - maybe the only Scania operating in eastern Canada, it is a favourite sighting.

Maritime Road Recyclers from Grand Falls uses this unit to spread primer before the application of asphalt recoating.



I have seen this long wheelbase Freightliner in Halifax, but in my 2016 photo, it was painted red! It operates out of Centreville, NB area for D.Forsyth. Judging by the splatters on the front, New Brunswick continues to live up to its rep as the bug capital of the Maritimes.


2016 appearance - paint colour and stacks have changed - otherwise the same truck.


I don't recall seeing an All Wheel Drive Freighliner before- a rare truck indeed. Joseph McDonald Jr. House Moving + Construction Ltd, based in Moncton, NB, operates around the southern part of the province. I spotted this one in Elgin, NB.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Watch for Dramis



Simard Suspensions Inc of Baie-St-Paul, QC is well known for its twin steer adaptations to most major truck brands, but they are stepping up their game and expanding internationally. In 2013 they formed a subsidiary called Dramis International (Dramis=Simard spelled backwards) to produce high capacity mining vehicles.
Using their hydraulic suspension systems, coupled with all wheel drive and various other modifications, they have produced a series of dump trucks called D-55T, D-60T and D-65T, with the number indicating their capacity. However these trucks are not built only for high payloads, but with the ability to travel at highway speeds up to 90 kph. They are much more economical than off-road type rigid dumpers (of the Euclid type) and they have now exported some to Chile..
They can be built on Mack/Volvo, Kenworth/Peterbilt, Freightliner/Western Star or International HX chassis.

After five years of development Dramis has now come out with the D-150T, a 150 tonne capacity double trailer dumper. Initially built on a Kenworth C500 chassis, with 605 bhp engine and 5 axle all wheel drive, these mining trucks can cruise at 50 kph, and several have apparently gone into serive in nortern Canada.

Since it is unlikely that I would see one a Dramis at my local Big Stop, I was fortunate to catch one at Simard's yard on my recent road trip.



There are several images and videos online of both the straight truck and the semi versions of the Dramis D models.

D-150T youtube

Western Star D-55T

Monday, July 9, 2018

Crew cabs from the road trip

While crew cabs are all the rage for pickups these days, they have long been used for larger trucks such as utility and fire apparatus.

These days it seems that Freightliner has the larger market share, but Navistar International is also represented.

 CN Rail has quantities of both brands, with hi-rail conversions and a variety of utility bodies. Freightliner crew cabs, through the skillful use of sheet metal, uses the same door for driver and passengers.


International however, has a different door for the back seat users. Note the panels in the hood, allowing access to vital fluids without having to tip the bonnet.

One of the most unusual crew cabs I have seen is this extra axle, long hood, FL80, operated by a New Brunswick road building contractor Falls Construction of Grand Falls, NB.

The truck was spotted at Aulac, NB.

Pierce built this Contender 1050/800 pumper tanker on a 2007 Navistar 4400 commercial chassis with crew cab operated by the Oxford, Nova Scotia VFD.



Saturday, July 7, 2018

Country and Western (Star) Part 2 of 2

Continuing my road trip, on the return leg through New Brunswick, there was no let up in the number of Stars, but their occupations varied:


Nicely painted for GLF this Star was taking a break in Woodstock, NB with its extra long load of utility poles.


It was travelling in company with two more GLF Stars with similar loads. GLF Inc is based in St-Damien de Buckland, QC.

 This is the prototypical New Brunswick log truck. Somewhat smaller than Quebec trucks and hauling a 3 axle trailer (Quebec has many 4 axle trailers), and wearing a hefty moose bar.

Keith Nicholson + Sons Ltd run this no-rise  sleeper model pulling a Raglan live bottom trailer, out of Clearview, NB. They likely haul potatoes, since they are not far from Florenceville, NB, the capital of potato country.

Long-hauling fish is the likely occupation of this Western Star from Black's Harbour, NB, operated by B.R.S. Trucking Ltd.



Horace Construction is a paving contractor from the Halifax area, but their big twin steer dumper was taking a break at the Aulac, NB,  Irving Big Stop just across the New Brunswick border from Nova Scotia.  (A local Western Star dump truck was working on a Tesla recharging station in the background.)


 Day+Ross from Hartland, NB is a big potato hauler, and this rig, spotted in Debert, NB, was likely taking this seacan to Halifax. Many Day+Ross rigs are owner/operator - company trucks are generally plain jane white. 

More road trip reports to follow.

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Country and Western (Star) - Part 1 of 2

It may be eastern Canada, but Western Star rules the roads in some parts of the country - especially in the woods, and the roads leading in and out. On a quick road trip through New Brunswick and Quebec,  by far the majority of wood haulers were Western Stars.

One area that is particularly intense is around Amqui, QC where there is a large Western Star dealer. Centre de Camion J.L.Inc is the Truck Centre for northern New Brunswick and the lower St.Lawrence.

In their service yard, this rig is running for Allcan Holdings of Abbotsford, BC, and claims to be a 2006 model.


 In nearby St-Damase de Matapedia, this heavy, works for Yvon D'Astous and is typical of what you will see hauling logs in Quebec.

Jean-Claude Charette from St-Vianney runs a float bed trailer, but would be just as likely to haul pulp or logs with this Star. 

Since most of the time I was rolling, and so were the trucks, I didn't get much chance for more photos until the return leg when I shared the ferry from St-Siméon to Rivière-du-Loup with two Western Stars.



 This rig with a wild air brush paint job. runs for Dynamitage Express, an explosives expert.

 Fortunately for all it was not carrying any explosives- only a company service truck.

This chip hauler dwarfed the cars in line for the ferry.

Most chip haulers have huge graphics on the sides of their trailers (which are often white) so it was a bit different seeing one with no identification whatsoever.

to be continued......

 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Hi-Rail with a difference

Numerous companies produce equipment to convert vehicles so that they can travel on both roads (highways) and railroad tracks. Hence the name Hi-Rail. Major railroads have quite a fleet of these adaptations, ranging from pick-up trucks to heavy maintenance vehicles, and private constractors also have this type of equipment.

CN in Halifax is doing right of way brush clearing, using either hired equipment or a contractor with its own equipment. Last weekend there was a variety of hi-rail farm tractor conversions parked in the southend. There was a New Holland TM115, a John Deere 6145R and a John Deere 7430. Farthest from the camera was a Cat wheeled backhoe. All appeared to be fitted with brush cutter equipment.

Hi-rail wheels, mounted front and back are raised and lowered hydraulically, and the tractor's driving wheels propel the units, as they are approximately the same guage as the rail. In operaiton the tractors' front (steering) wheels are usually lifted off the tracks by the front flanged rail wheels.

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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.

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