Saturday, June 5, 2010

Straights and Sleepers

I've always been attracted to straight trucks with sleepers. Not the lightweight expeditor trucks with huge camper-sized sleepers, but more normally proportioned, usually tandem, and often reefer trucks.They commonly seen carrying fish in this part of the world. High value perishables, that need to be taken to market quickly, often in relatively small quantities, are ideally suited to straight trucks. The sleepers come in because those markets may be as far away as Boston or central Canada, and so this series begins.

1. This however is not your typical fish truck. It was carrying fish boxes of wet (i.e. fresh) fish, just unloaded from trawlers and to be transported without delay to a distant fish plant. A very sharp International Harvester Paystar 5000, it had the industrial style checkerplate fenders, set back axle and high flotation tires. When not hauling fish, this truck would carry new wooden fish barrels, built by its owners in Chester Basin, NS. Seen on the Halifax waterfront May 1982.
[Small signs on the bumper wings, pointing to the fenders say "Socks Only" and show a sock, to emphasize the point.]

2. Some straights with sleepers are tilt cabs such as this stylish, but hard run KW taken in 2006.

3. More typical of the breed were low cost trucks, with lots of engine, like this White/GMC (a rebranded Chev or GMC) operated by Westmoreland Fisheries Ltd of New Brunswick. Taken May 26, 1993.

4. Some of the better off or higher end dealers worked up to Kenworths such as this anonymous one in Eastern Passage, NS December 18, 2004, possibly loading tuna.

5. A.J.Y. Fisheries of Halifax took over this Sterling for the lucrative sea urchin business. The truck was waiting on the wharf at St-Siméon, QC for divers to return with the latest catch September 5, 2004.

6. This integral sleeper White/GMC [and I still think one of the best looking trucks ever] with its radiator bar hinting at the future Volvo brand name, was icing up at Nova Scotia Ice in Halifax. With no reefer gear, the truck was preparing to load fresh fish July 17, 1993. "White Lightning" has a US DoT number and is likely off to Boston as soon as it is loaded.

7. Mike Boudreau Seafood Ltd of Robichaud, NB ran this International to the US. The long wheelbase gives the truck an odd looking stance, as it lays over July 25, 1995 at an Irving station in New Brunswick.

8. This big Freightliner running for B.A.Richard Ltd of Ste-Anne de Kent, NB was about as big as you would want to get before going to a semi. It is sitting in Truro, NS July 31, 1995.

9. Not all straight trucks with sleepers are conventionals. This Freightliner called "Double Trouble" is decidedly unconventional. On July 30, 1993 she was at the New Brunswick/Quebec border for East Coast Seafood of Black's Harbour, NB. In addition to her US DOT number, she also carries a Ryder number high on her sleeper, just under the stack.

10. Not all the straights with sleepers are fish trucks. This Ryder unit, leased to Abbott Health Care and called "Little Jessica" ran pharmaceuticals all over Atlantic Canada out of Halifax. She is in the Ryder lot on the weekend for servicing May 10, 1988.

11. This set back axle Freightliner picked up propane bottles at depots all over Nova Scotia, from her base in Sydney. She was parked in Halifax, September 27, 1997.

12. Don Traill Tire Sales Inc [Serving the North American Retread Industry] ran this very sharp White/ GMC with integral sleeper all over North America if her plates and stickers are to be believed. She carries Ontario and Alaska plates on the front bumper, and a wide array of permits below the sleeper. The rig is rated at 50,000 lbs GVW.

Big tandem straight jobs with sleepers. You love 'em or you hate 'em!

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