Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Caution Persons at Work

Our friends at BigLorryBlog had an item today about safety and "tipper" bodies. That would be dump trucks on our side of the pond.

This dandy small Ford - sorry the big guy moved just as I was about to get a good shot of the cab-has a small dump body for small patching jobs, and some small doors in the tail gate to drop small quantities of hot asphalt in small holes in the street.

Of course, despite the small size of the project, it maximizes traffic tie ups for miles on either side, and maximizes employment. With seven persons on the ground (only six are males as far as I could tell) and one behind the wheel- it's an eight person job.
They are the ones with green vests. The eight orange cones are not persons, but they stand around a lot too.

If they keep stopping in front of me...........

............I will keep on taking their pictures.

By comparison to yesterday's yellow RM (RouteMaster), this is a green RML -(L is for longer) This one shows the very nice side doors that operate very smoothly - not sure it they are air operated, and the doors themselves seem very new.
Note those ouches on the roof line.

Monday, September 27, 2010

RM somemore

Don't say I didn't warn you about the Routemasters. RM 937 is sailing south on Hollis Street this afternoon looking for another load of cruise ship passengers.

This Yellow Pages model has a three digit number and is not one of the long wheelbase models. Also no side door on the right.

Aside from the colour she looks pretty much original.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

OSCO gears up

OSCO, the concrete, steel and construction arm of the Irving companies, has expanded in recent years by buying up several ready-mix companies in the Maritimes. Among them is Bedford Ready-Mix in Bedford, NS and Schurman's Concrete in Prince Edward Island.

With these acquistions they inherited a diverse fleet of transit mixers. It seems they are now on an expansion program and appear to be standardizing on Western Star twin steers, with London mixers, fitted out by Simard Suspensions of Baie St-Paul, QC.

Spotted earlier in the month this trio at Lockhart's in Burnside, one for Bedford and two for Schurman, appear identical.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Show and Shine in the Park

Victoria Park in downtown Halifax was the locale for a show and shine today featuring a number of vintage British cars, North American muscle cars and a handful of trucks.

Among the trucks there were two standouts, both Fords.

1. In the days when the name wasn't just stuck on with epoxy...

2. A 1947 Ford pick-up restored to better than new.

3. A 1953 Ford panel van, with modified suspension and souped up engine, tinted glass, fat tires and a bright paint job.

More Bus

Not all the double deckers around Halifax are Routemasters. This Bristol type can be seen from time to time as well. It was stopped at the Maritime Museum this morning.
It is run by Absolute Charters and has a driver's (right) side centre door, whch appears to have been moved there from the left side..

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Road Trip Report #4

I saw a few oddities (at least in my mind) on my Quebec trip in August.

1. This entry removed due to threat of legal action by trucking company.

2. Hyndman Transport (1972) Ltd was a real surprise to see in Quebec City. I remember them from my youth. Based in Wroxeter, ON, it turns out they have a terminal in Lévis, so it was not too far out after all. It was odd to see a Mack at the Quebec Peterbilt dealer's, particularly since Hyndman seems to have settled on Petes and Internationals for its fleet. This Mack has most of the necessary bells and whistles for an Owner/Operator, so perhaps it isn't a company truck.
[photo at Quebec City August 16]
For more on Hyndman see their site at http://www.hyndman.ca/

3. I couldn't resist this Western Star timber hauler, even though the sun was wrong. It certainly has the bells and whistles, but no bull bar. Instead it has a more modest brush bar over the grille. It doesn't seem to offer much protection from its fellow forest dwellers. [Notre-Dame-du-Lac August 15]

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sicards still fighting Snow

The name Sicard has long been synonymous with snowblowers, even thought the company has been out of business for many years. Its successor companies are still around with various brand names, but many of the original units are still on the road.
This summer in Quebec I saw several in various states of repair.

1. Fernand Harvey of La Malbaie has numerous snow clearing contracts in the Charlevoix region. This unit looks ready for work. It appears to have a newer cab than body, and has probably been reconditioned. The low hood section between cab and blower motor is typical of older units. August 21, 2010, La Malbaie, QC.

2. This late model /rebuilt blower appears ready to eat the Honda. The shear size of the unit is apparent when compared to the car and a highway semi-trailer. August 15, Notre-Dame-du-Lac, QC.

3. These units, an SMI (Sicard Motor Industries) on the left and a Sicard on the right are in process of rebuilding by J.A.Larue. The orange paint visible on the SMI unit is indicative of its history as a Transport Canada airport unit. Note the roof has been raised. August 16, 2010, Quebec City.

4. This Transport Canada airport unit looks a little worse for the wear and may also be a candidate for a Larue rebuilt. August 16, 2010, Quebec City.

Routemasters Rule

It is pretty hard to spend a day in downtown Halifax during cruise ship season without seeing several Routemaster buses in all sorts of strange colour schemes, including black, green and yellow.

This one however is in something close to its original London red livery. It is RML 2316 and has stopped under the welcoming signal flags of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Its passengers can embark safely through right hand side doors.

Random Shot #42

Inter-Stage is a speciality entertainment tour carrier operated under the umbrella of les Établissements Dubois Ltée of Napierville, QC.

The Dubois firm traces it roots back to 1958 and offers all sorts of regular highway trucking including vans, reefers, B-trains, tarp and frame and flat bed. Inter-Stage however is specialty operation with a lengthy list of tours that it has handled over the years.

This KW has a bit of road grime, but is otherwise a typical example of the Dubois fleet.

Battle of the School Buses continued

As previously posted, the two big school bus makers are Thomas and Bluebird. Thomas has been owned by Daimler for many years, but Blue Bird remains independent. [See June 2 for more]

Blue Bird will build your bus on any chassis you specify, even the competitor's Freightliner. But just to avoid free advertising, I see they now insert their own badge on the grille - nice moooove!
Photos taken Cap-à-l'Aigle, QC, 2010-08-31.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pelco MPS 2

Pelco, a video security system company has three Mobile Product Showcase vehicles t0 display their wares. MPS Two touched down in Halifax this week, to attend a port related function.
This particular unit is plated in California, but is based in Alabama and is leaving here for South Bend, IN (home of the late lamented Studebaker.)
Based on a thinly disguised Freightliner, the box by "Concepts" is fully outfitted for displays, and has its own generator for power, lighting and air conditioning.

Peter- still on the road!

My posting of March 25 showed the little Mercedes with custom camper body, used by the globe trotter called "Peter on the Road"

This was a the start of his 2010 portion of his North American tour. Since then Peter has crossed Canada and made it to Alaska and back.

Have a glimpse at http://www.peterontheroad.com/ - lots of Canadian pictures.

Here he is back in Halifax 6 months later - not much worse for the wear as far as I can see.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Big Move on the Waterfront

1. Cat 785C chassis ready for the road with H.P.Royer's Kenworth and Liddell trailer.

2. H.P.Royer's KW and shorty sleeper, with the lead dolly.

3. Transport Norvinic Inc's KW at rest (September 17.)

4. First of three Cat 785C chassis on a Liddell trailer waiting for tractor. (September 14)

Three giant Cat 785C off road dump trucks arrived by ship last week. The dump bodies and chassis were separate, and they were landed on the dock for on-shipment by road. These are mining trucks rated for a 150 ton payload and about 75 cu yd capacity. They are powered by a 51.8 liter, 1450.99 bhp engine.

These huge units were then dismantled and sent out on a variety of heavy lift truck/trailers, belonging to Williams, Mills and others. Even some of the components were so large that they had to run after midnight, so photos were pretty much out of the question.

Tires and cabs went on a normal sized tractor trailer- the tires are about 8 feet in diameter, so laid flat they just fit on a trailer. It was hauled by a Kenworth belonging to Transport Norvinic Inc of Notre-Dame-du-Nord, QC (that is way over by the Ontario border, near Pembroke.)

As of today only two chassis remain on the pier, and one of those is likely to go tonight. It is on a multi-unit trailer hauled by a Kenworth from Transport H.P.Royer. Royer is associated with Norvinic, and shares an address, but seems to specialize in housemoving, whereas Norvinic look s after oversize loads.

The "shorty" sleeper on the Royer KW is common for long trucks in Quebec, and seems to allow an extra long trailer within the 75 foot length limit. In the case of this trailer it certainly exceeds 100 feet, with all the dollies fitted.

If you want to see an intact Caterpillar 78C- here is a short cut:

If you are interested in the Cat's specs look at this site:
Liddell Trailer's web site (which at time of writing was down for maintenance) is here:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Random Shots #41 - Twin Steer Crane Truck

Partners Industrial Crane Rentals operates this twin steer Western Star with a National Series 1800 hydraulic crane. Although I didn't get a close look, it appears that the Star was fitted with the second steering axle by Simard Suspensions of Baie St-Paul QC. The National Crane is also mounted on an interesting custom platform with built in steps. The hydraulic power is provided by the truck using a front mounted PTO.
Partners has painted crossed Canada and Nova Scotia flags on the crane cab.

Bus time

Fall is definitely bus season in Halifax, so expect a few more bus shots this time of year. Fall tourists arrive by bus, especially when the leaves start to turn colour, but there are also two dozen or more buses on some days to provide tours to cruise ships. Yesterday there were three cruise ships in port and today there were two, so it was bumper to bumper buses in the seaport.

This clean looking Setra was giving tours to passengers from the Caribbean Princess, which can be seen in the background. The bus is operated by Ambassatours, which is associated with Gray Line and Tauck Tours.

The bus was parked nearby after returning passengers to the ship just before it sailed.

An eagle eye will spot the red lobster on the front dashboard - a symbol of Nova Scotia hospitality. (Not sure why, we don't usually nip our guests.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Looooong Haul by Leavitt's

Leavitt's Freight Services of Springfield, Oregon specializes in carrying timber poles, engineered wood products and general commodities. The second generation concern, founded in 1958, used to concentrate its activities in the western US, but since deregulation has widened its scope to just about anywhere in North America.Some of the timber it carries is extra long - 100 feet or more - and they have the equipment to do the job.

See their web site at : www.leavitts.com/

Even so, Halifax is a bit out of their way, so it was a great surprise to see four of their trucks here on Monday. They were carrying timber utility poles from Eugene, Oregon to Halifax to go by ship to Drogheda, Ireland. The trailers were soon unloaded, and the trucks were gone by noon. I thought I had missed my chance to get pictures, but they were back again today. It turns out that they had returned to Houlton, Maine, where four other company trucks had four more loads for Halifax. They swapped trailers at Houlton, and arrived back in Halifax today.

1. Four Leavitt trucks in Halifax.

2. Leavitt Pete 304

3. Leavitt Pete 301

4. Leavitt KW 316

5. Full kit headache rack.

6. Leavitt Volvo 254

These are definitely western trucks with their distinctive long wheelbases, and are completely fitted out with headache racks, tire chains, rigging chains, ladders and shovels - ready for anything.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Random Shots #40

Sleeper overkill?

This neat cube van conversion is used to haul the owner's dirt bike or other useful objects in style and comfort. The Ford F-350 backless cab made a nice graft to the surplus fibreglass sleeper.

For a home built unit - not bad.

Photo at St-Siméon, QC Aug 30, 2010.

Random Shots #39

World's smallest sleeper, or useless back shelf or.........................?

I spotted this tired Freightliner at the dealer's in Quebec City. Normally beer trucks look pretty good, but this one was certainly past its best before date. What was really unusual was the projecting rear window arrangement. I've never noticed one of these before, but perhaps it was only because I wasn't looking.

Quebec City August 16, 2010.

Lone Stars - Will they own the road?

1. Burnside September 6, 2010.

2. La Malbaie, QC August 23, 2010.

With a multitude of new models appearing from all the majors, there is certainly a ho-hum response to many of them. Not only that but they tend to look all alike.

While KW, Pete and others have retained their Classic versions (more or less), International has really created a distinctive looking truck.

International's Lone Star, aimed at owner/operators and combining what they call classic looks (but in reality they are retro in the extreme) also introduces many positive up-to-date features. They have also succeeded in creating the most distinctive looking truck on the road today.

Love it or hate it the Lone Star is unique.

I have seen numerous tractors with sleepers, such as the black beauty at the Burnside International dealer.

The first straight truck version I have seen runs for Transport Rock Bouchard Inc, a local freight delivery operation in the Quebec City, Baie St-Paul, La Malbaie area. Among the fleet of pretty ordinary Internationals their Lone Star really stands out!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Old Fords Never Die

At least old Ford fire trucks never seem to. The following trio were all shot in Quebec this summer. Two are from the Clermont, QC fire department and one is from Beaupré and is for sale.

1. 1980 Ford, Thibualt, 840 gpm, serial number T-80-149, Département des Incendies Clermont-retired. At one time Thibault bought Ford cabs directly from Budd and did not need to use the Ford name plate.

2. C Series Ford, date unknown, probably Thibault, 840 gpm, rebuilt by Levasseur in December 1994, ex Services des Incendies Beaupré. Update16/9 from advice received it is more likely that this is a Pierreville due to the look of the pump panel and the presence of a Waterous pump.

3. 1948-50 Ford, Pierre Thibualt, 400 gpm, ex Clermont. Newly restored. I'm not sure I would want to drive with the window down if that siren was going. Serial number NC 4369P.

Pete Washout

The Peterbilt North American tour of 2010 touched down in Quebec City August 16. It was a bit of a washout - pouring rain-and not too many people showed up as far as I could see. A few damp spectators were lurking under a tent at the dealer, Transdiff's lot.
I had expected to see the new 587 aero model, but there was nary a one in view. A number of traditional Petes were lined up-more to my taste anyway, but it was bit of a let down, weather not included.

There was a hood-open 386 getting a free engine wash, and their exhibit trailer which was really promoting their new engines. However it did have a 587 grille mounted on one wall!

Road Trip Report #3

Put out to pasture literally, this classic old Scot sits forlornly in a field near Notre-Dames-des-Monts, (Charlevoix) QC. (That is in area code 418 in case you are dialling up to buy it.)

A first generation conventional, with Ford Louisville cab, it is fitted with dump truck and snow plow hydraulics, but by the look of it, it may well have been an Irving Oil highway tractor in its earlier life.

Class of 76.
Photo 2010-08-15

Back from my wanderings

Back from vacation, and now I have my pictures sorted out.

Perhaps I haven't been wandering as much as Simone and Olaf Patt, owners of this go anywhere 11 tonne Magirus Deutz. Their web site is worth a look - especially their recent tour of Nova Scotia which actually shows a Kenworth, a couple of Western Stars and and old Dodge pickup. The site is in German only, but don't let that intimidate you!

The photo was taken on the Halifax waterfront this morning - the truck had a couple of parking tickets under the wipers - a thoughtful greeting from those charming folks at the Waterfront Development Corporation.

Now that I am back I will post some of my finds in Quebec this summer and the usual local shots.