Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Random Shots #7 Moose Gooser

This neat looking Western Star has a load of bulk flour from Dover Mills, on the Halifax waterfront. He must be heading into moose country.
I believe moose bars originated in Australia as roo bars, but they have become a useful fashion statement in Canada as deer and moose populate our highways. This well illuminated bar should do the job on moose, deer and smart cars.

MARch should be MARmon month

The most sought after big highway trucks in my mind were always Marmons. They were so rare that some fools would risk taking a picture of one while driving. Hence my only Marmon tilt cab photo.
The conventionals were always more impressive with massive hoods and with a brick like obliviousness to aerodynamics. However as these show, there was some acknowledgement to rounded corners in later years.
Sadly these Texas size, Texas-built trucks are no longer manufactured, but there are still a few on the road.
Find out more on Hank's and at

Citgo Marmon, Tampa, Florida, April 1998. A rare day cab, fleet truck.
East Penn Trucking Co of Lehighton, Pennsylvania ran a fleet of Marmons. I like the quarter windows in the sleeper of this white painted job in Bradenton, Florida, April 1994.

Another East Penn Marmon in Bradenton, April 1994. A plain jane rig, but with rounded fenders.

At a converging speed of 120 miles per hour , a tilt cab Marmon, westbound between Fredericton and Moncton, NB, September 1975.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shots from the Pier

The Fairview Cove container pier is the source for these shots. Heavy loads often arrive by ships or a delivered to the pier to send overseas.

Bright green International for S/GT (He's still got his chains slung under the sleeper)

Red striped Kenworth for Watson

Sure Sign of Spring

It's a sure sign of spring when the new dump trucks start arriving. This crop of Western Stars has appeared in Burnside during the last month. Look for a busy road work and paving season with these haulers on the roads.

All have been post-factory fitted with twin steer axles by Simard Suspensions.
The grey dump bodies come from Parts for Trucks and the painted dump bodies come from Ocean Equipment.

Back when the world was black and white

Time travel back to 1971. G.W. Mills Ltd. had a job to do and they brought in their big Autocar. The Tilden Rent a Car office had to be moved and it would be done on the back of Mills' float trailer, with the assistance of a J.D.Irving crane.
Mills Heavy Hauling is still on the scene in Halifax, but alas no more Autocars-now it's some rugged Macks. See

Take a squint at some of the surrounding car scape, in what is now the Atlantic Super Store parking lot.

Random Shot#6

It's pretty safe to assume this KW has Cat power. Do we like the "fat stacks" - nope.
(March 22, 2010, opposite pier 21)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Random Shots#5

Peterbilts were still pretty rare in these parts in November 1977. So when these two showed up on the waterfront they were worth a shot. Operated by Dallas-Mavis, they were running out of Peoria for Caterpillar.

Mack Vocational Tilt Cabs

Besides its heavy hauling highway and off-highway trucks, Mack builds a small tilt cab for vocational trucks- usually garbage trucks, concrete pumpers, fire trucks and the like. The current model has been around a long time and shows no signs of giving up. Fairly utilitarian, and with very short bumper to back of cab dimension, it fills the bill for many uses. Here's an array of Macks spanning 23 years.

Mack / Metalfab, with crew cab, Moncton, NB, 1999.

Mack / Tibotrac, La Malbaie, QC 1995 (merged departments of Cap-a-l'Aigle, Pointe-au-Pic and La Malbaie)

New York City's famed Rescue 1, photographed in 1990. This unit was destroyed in the World Trade Centre collapse. I caught this on the fly, in the days before auto-focus.

Typical refuse hauler, Tampa, Florida, 1994.

City of Dartmouth multi-purpose vehicle, 1987. One of several in the department. Most had a more respectable looking dump body.

Who ya gonna call? If your garbage catches fire, just drive over to the the Lady Hammond Road fire hall, (Station No.4) and they'll put it out for ya-no charge. Although you can't see it in this photo, the fire engine pulled out on the apron to fight this one-a run of about 25 feet.

Is it a Mack or is it a Tor?

Beware truckspotters. What may seem to be a Mack tilt cab on the surface may in fact be a Tor!
Tor Trucks Ltd manufactures special truck chassis and then uses the Mack tilt cab. Minus the bulldog ornament and the name Mack, the cabs are the same.
Even though they seem to be in direct competition with Mack in several areas, Tor seems to just carry on trucking.
I've shown a couple of Tors at the Emergency-One factory in Ocala, Florida, awaiting completion of their Bronto Skylift towers. These Tors came complete with twin steer and set back engine.
A pair of comparable Macks were found at Simard Suspensions in Baie-St-Paul, Quebec, for installation of twin-steer axles. Another one already has its concrete pumper body installed.
Concrete pumpers seem to be a favourite for the Mack tilt cab, although refuse bodies are equally popular. Tor also does concrete pumpers - so take a closer look!
See aslo

1999 Mack at Simard Suspensions for installation of twin steer.

1998 Tor at Emergency-One in Ocala for installation of Bronto Skylift.

1997 Tor at Ocala with Bronto installed and ready for certification trials.

2001 Mack at Baie-St-Paul with Putzmeister concrete pump and triple-steer installed.

Sunbury repositions

Sunbury Transport will close its Fredericton HQ and transfer operations to Saint John, and share space with RST within the Irving group, according to press reports.

Sunbury is a special commodities carrier, unlike its Irving cousin Midland, which carries general freight. Nevertheless Sunbury unveiled its own Long Combination Vehicle in Halifax back in 2008. Compared to the Midland green, Sunbury's yellow really stands out on the highway!

The photo was taken on the waterfront, with Holland America's cruise ship Eurodam in the background.
Before Sunbury was part of the Irving family, it was an independent trucking company in Hoyt, New Brunswick. It was running this White Freightleiner , named Kathy in 1974.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chev / GMC Tilt Cab

Never as popular as Ford's C-series tilt cab, its main competitor, Chev/GMC's L series steel tilt cab managed to stay in production from 1960 to 1981 (some sources say ca. 1984)
Most of my photos of this type are fire apparatus, so here's a sampling............
Onslow Belmont, Nova Scotia, GMC (taken 1993)

Just repainted Chev (taken 1988)

GMC- King tanker pumper, Chester Basin, Nova Scotia (taken 1987)

GMC King, Sussex, New Brunswick, with extended cab (taken 1986)
A beautifully maintained Chev, St-Aime des-Lacs, Quebec, (taken in 2003)
GMC Thibault, near Sorel, Quebec (taken in 2007)
GMC? Chev? Thibault aeriel in its second incarnation as a bucket truck, seen on the Quebec City waterfront (taken in 2007) Note the cab is set higher, and there are fender extensions to accommodate a larger engine.
1972 brochure


This Autocar was operated by Charron Transport. I photographed this in 1966 at their yard on McNaughton Avenue (corner of Sandy Street) in Chatham, Ontario, which I passed every day on the way to school.
The company is still in existence and has an interesting history...go to
Their trucks usually had single rear drives with tag axles-usually on dollies, and some operated with a rubber belt connected to the drivers!
They also operated Whites and Internationals, which you will see in time.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Random Shots#3

Not a throw back photo-I caught all this vintage stovebolt iron in the Atlantic Acres Industrial Park this afternoon.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Random Shots #2 Diamond Reo

An oldie from my collection. As BLB (Big Lorry Blog) says, the world was black and white back then.This is a Diamond Reo day cab, with a tarp top trailer. The photo was taken on Dutch Village Road (now Joseph Howe Drive) in Halifax, just up from the Rotary. Bethany United Church is in the background. It is no longer visible from this position because the IMP building was since built on the corner of Clinton Ave.
It's a Cole's Express tractor (from Maine.) If you are ever in Bangor, Maine look up the Cole Land Transportation Museum-worth a visit! If you can't make it, see this web site:
Date of photo: August 1970.

Under Contol

Halifax Regional Municipality Fire & Emergency Service has its own vast website. Tucked into it is an apparatus listing, complete in many instances with photos. Five stars for the list (two stars for the photos, which are generally poor.)

One of their newer pieces is this Tactical Support vehicle - an Emergency-One Cyclone -it is not pictured on the web site, even though I sent them this photo about a month ago. It seems to have replaced the Pemfab Tactical Support unit that used to cover downtown.

CN Trucks

Canada's largest railway is also a significant truck operator.

CN freight trucks look sharp in their locomotive derived paint jobs. This fairly new Freightliner is typical of the red nose, white stripe on black scheme.
However CNs "in house" trucks have a more basic look. The high-rail Freightliner was working on a rail car. (You can see two men in the wheel well area of the container car.)