Sunday, June 27, 2010

International Harvester Fort Wayne

Following up on yesterday's comments about the IH Emeryville, it used the Fort Wayne cab as its basis, with some modifications for the sleeper and of course raising the cab, so that cutouts weren't needed on the doors.
The Fort Wayne cab dated back to about 1957, when Ford and GM came out with comparable short tilt cabs for highway and straight truck use.
Since my truck photography only started in earnest in 1966, I was on the tail end of these, which were replaced by the Loadstar tilt cab in 1967-68. As usual the best preserved versions were in fire departments.

1. Charron Transport, of Chatham, ON, operated this Fort Wayne tilt cab as tractor #106. It was single screw with a tag axle. The wipers are mounted low on the Fort Wayne and high on the Emeryville, but otherwise the windshield was identical. July 1966.

2. The all International Windsor, NS fire department was kind enough to identify No.10 tanker as a 1969 model, with 500 gpm pump, and 3200 imperial gallon capacity tank. It was still in front line service August 18, 1990. Other than the wheel cut outs, the doors are the same as the Emeryville, complete with the deep cut vent windows.

3. Quebec City's fire department always painted its vehicles white, and they favoured short wheelbases for their narrow streets and tight corners. Number 68 was a 1965 IH, with what appears to be a Thibault pumper body. From this angle you can see the two rear windows, and sloping roof, which was similar on the Emeryvilles. This unit paused long enough for my picture July 20, 1985.

4. Wilmot Township's New Hamburg, ON Station No.3 had retired their Unit No.39 by September 25, 1995, but it still looked pretty good. It was a long chassis model fitted with a Thibault aerial ladder. Thibault often removed the original truck manufacturer's logo, so the combined IH-V is missing here, giving a sort of noseless moustached appearance.

5. Both Ford and GM built their own versions of the Emeryville (using the small tilt cab on a high chassis) but only IH used the tilt cab components for a conventional truck too. The IH "400" was certainly distinctive! Same windshield, same doors, (but no space behind the seats) and new beefy big hood and checker plated fenders. This was a rare find especially in Bridgewater, NS September 1, 1979.
IH may have been the first to do this, but Scot also did it in its second generation conventionals.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Emeryville for BLB

Our friend Brian at Biglorryblog is on vacation. Shortly before he left he acknowledged his infatuation with International Harvester Emeryvilles. Although not universally admired, they were certainly considered to be quite the ticket in the day, and so here are few from deep within the shoebox. Despite the Emeryville name, it had essentially the same cab as the smaller Fort Wayne tilt cab, but was mounted high, and was extended to accommodate the sleeper.

1 and 2 Charron Transport in Chatham, ON had this blue coloured (instead of their usual red) Emeryville running for a year or so when I shot these in July 1966. It had a Cummins diesel, and was a single screw with tag axle - you can see the rubber bands which drove the second axle. It was tricked out with a driving light, a driver controlled spotlight and a variety of reflectors and duplicate turn signals. By this time the newer tilt cab had come in and it became the Transtar.

3 In September 1975 Charron had this red (with aluminum coloured trim) Emeryville bombing up McNaugton Ave. It was hauling a typical Charron tarped trailer. It must have had many miles on its clock by this time. It has dual driving lights, but has lost its passenger side windshield wiper. It is probably a single screw too.

International (Harvester) builds trucks in Chatham and Charron had a number in their roster, with about equal numbers of Whites in the 1960s.

Merc Obit

FoMoCo has decided to write finis to the Mercury car line, (and the Ford Crown Vic too - it is only available for fleet purchase). The Mercury car is one thing, but what about the Mercury truck?
Ford had two dealer strings in Canada in the 1940s to 1960s, much as Chrysler and GM did. The Ford car dealers were given the Ford trucks to sell and the Monarch cars (a Mercury in slightly different clothing) and Lincolns. The other string led off with the Meteor (an often better looking Ford) and Mercury. To give them a truck line, Mercury trucks came along capitalizing on the higher end and better known Mercury car.
Merc trucks were only slightly differentiated Fords, but did have some "go fasters" as we used to call irrelevant chrome do-dads, to give then a slightly up market feel compared to Ford. [Canadian Tire Corp for a time sold the Tennessee Go Faster whistling mud flaps]
Mercury trucks were introduced in 1946 and eliminated in 1968. As usual, the longest living were fire trucks, and once again Thibault used many, many Mercurys in their production over the years. It was probably because there was more chrome on them, and they looked better!

1. A 1952 Merc in front of 1948 Ford on Ile Madame, near Arichat, NS July 26, 1981. The larger Merc was probably a fire truck in an earlier life.

2. Valley-Kemptown NS, District Fire Brigade's Tanker 3 ran this ca. 1966 Mercury 600 series unit, complete with homemade plywood body, in June 1989.

3. By the time I caught up with Baie St-Paul's ca, 1961 Mercury/ Thibault it had been retired. It is a 700 series. May 12, 2005.

4. Annapolis-Royal, NS FD also operated a Mercury/Thibault. Their ca. 1960 No.1 is the slightly larger 750 series. September 6, 1985.

5. Sillery QC, [suburb of Quebec City] Services des Incendies #15 was a Mercury C type tilt cab of unknown vintage, with Thibault 85 foot aerial ladder, August 3, 1986. They were still relying on one cherry type red light and a siren- not the rolling Christmas trees we see these days. Perhaps other drivers paid more attention back then.

6. Alma, NS had this nifty c.1971-72 Mercury 700 series Tanker #1, with intriguing home built body. The yellow "swimming pool" was set up for tanker relays to discharge to. In rural areas without hydrants, tankers do shuttle runs from ponds, lakes or standpipes and dump into these portable reservoirs. Pumpers then fight the fire with a more or less constant supply of water.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Are You For Reo?

I am for Reo! This is a little reminder that these vehicles were always called Reo (pronounced Rio) never R.E.O. Despite the fact that the company was formed by Ransom E. Olds and used his initials. Olds had previously founded the Olds Motor Works, which built the Oldsmobile car. He sold his interest in that company and it eventually became part of GM. In 1904 he started the new company REO Motor Car Company, in Lansing, MI, to produce cars and trucks. He used his initials, to overcome objections from his prior company to the use of family name. REO built quality cars and began producing trucks in St. Catharines, ON in 1910. And yes, they did produce a truck called the REO Speedwagon.
A famous cross country trip from Halifax to Vancouver (with a slight detour through Washington State) in 1912 helped to establish Reo as a quality car manufacturer.
The Great Depression was not kind to Reo, and the company never really recovered. They stopped producing cars in 1936, and after bankruptcy and new owners took over they struggled until 1957 when they sold Reo to the White Motor Company. White used the Lansing-built Reo cab on their "vocational" trucks, but the brand did not flourish. In 1967 it was merged with another White subsidiary, Diamond T, forming Diamond Reo. Eventually in 1975 even that brand was liquidated. Executives went on to form Spartan Motors in Lansing-it is still going strong.
The best remembered Reo for me was the early 1950s model with distinctive radiator and Gold Comet engine. There were highway tractors but probably more straight trucks. The same hood and chassis was used for school buses,
1. Classic Reo from the early 1950s, seen in Fredericton, NB June 20. Something odd about the frame at the rear axles, but the front end is the Reo thing!

2. Bob and Marguerite drove this from Oklahoma to a square dance convention in Halifax in 1979.

3. It is a rear engined Reo chassis with a much modified urban bus body.

4. Under White ownership the cab remained in use for many years. Kaiser Construction and Services of Halifax were using this Reo in 1981. Hood and fenders are essentially White, but it still carries the Reo V8 engine symbol.
Reos are long gone now, although they are favourites among collectors because of their distinctive styling, and that is why I am for Reo.

Random Shot # 31- Pete to the Rescue

Ruggles Towing's #1 was dispatched to rescue this Sterling, complete with its "skelly" trailer. The Sterling had apparently given up while delivering or picking up a container at the Halterm Container Terminal. Its skeleton type container trailer remains attached while Ruggles tows is past Tug's Pub on Lower Water Street.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Last of the Big Fords

In 1996 Ford redesigned its Louisville series of heavy trucks. A new cab with swept back windshield and a new hood gave the trucks a stylish and modern look. When Ford decided to sell off its heavy truck division to Freightliner in 1997, it was this new cab and hood that was simply rebranded as Sterling. The new Ford L series were therefore only in production for about a year under the Ford banner, and thus relatively rare.

I was pleased to see one in Truro last weekend. The Nova Scotia Department of Highways, well known for their excellent maintenance and rebuilding capabilities, have kept at least one going in plow service for the winter and construction in summer. This one is fitted with a lift off plastic tank body, used for water and dust suppression.

New Freightliners

Truck dealerships are stuffed full of new trucks these days - the economy must be on the upswing!
Nova Freightliner in Truro is no exception. These two are typical of what is on the lot. To the left a new Cascadia with 60" raised roof sleeper. Featuring the newest areodynamics, teardrop headlights and door "bubbles" it also has the supplementary hood mounted, bus style mirrors.

Somewhat more basic is the medium duty M2 112 straight truck with standard aluminum day cab. The new look is reminiscent of the Sterling [RIP] It awaits the mounting of a truck body.
Photo taken Sunday June 20.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No Wheelies in the Parking Lot Please

This is not a high performance racing Freightliner. In fact this straight truck with three axle trailer is a travelling Monroe shock absorber show room and training centre. Barely visible on the driver's side is a pull out body section. The truck must be kept level for this to work properly, so the landing gear (also just visible beneath) is deployed as part of the set up. There are also awnings which can be rolled out on the offside to provide some shade when space permits.

White/GMC lives on

Yes there are still White/GMCs on the road. This particular White is fitted for high speed, highway line painting. Of course not all lines are White, but this versatile White can also paint Yellow lines. You will not that it has two steering wheels, so it can be driven RHD or LHD depending on where the lines need to be. Paint control is in the 'caboose" cabin on the rear of the truck.

It was stopped in Truro,NS at the Irving Big Stop Sunday June 20.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mack means business

This serious looking Mack Granite was parked on Sunday in Lincoln, NB. Its B train trailers were parked nearby, with a couple of large tarped objects onboard. The driver was no doubt catching some motel shut-eye after the trip from Grimsby, ON.

The homemade deck box is the only distraction from an otherwise clean looking machine.

See for more about this small specialized oversize load mover.

Canadian Military Vehicles

Three types of Canadian military vehicles were parked at Debert, NS on Sunday.

The LSVW (Light Support Vehicle, Wheeled) is an Iveco 40.1, used by many NATO countries. The Canadian version was built by Western Star starting in 1993. Some 2800 of these were built. Two of these units can be carried on a Hercules transport plane. [see also April 13]

On the left is the newest Canadian MSV (Military Support Vehicle) called the MILCOTS (Militarized Commercial off the Shelf) It is a Navistar 7400 SFA, 6x6. For once, it is not built in Canada. Instead International opted to build them in Garland TX. Although based on a commercial model, International stated that they were not suitable for assembly line production in the Chatham, ON plant. (Soon after the contract was awarded, International laid off people at the Chatham plant, which had also received large government funding.)
Some 1300 will be supplied in several variants. These trucks are not armoured, and will not serve overseas. [see also April 15]

The old standby LVW (Medium Logistics Vehicle Wheeled) 6X6 based on the US M35 is the backbone of Canadian land forces. Although a 1950s design, they were introduced in 1982 and some 2700 were built by Bombardier. They may be replaced in 2011 to 2012 due to the wear and tear of overseas service.

Old Fire Trucks Never Die........

Old fire trucks just keep on trucking. Sometimes in new and different ways.
Blues Mills and Area Volunteer Fire Department serves a rural area on the Trans Canada Highway in Cape Breton. This weekend they took delivery of a 1991 International/ Emergency-One rural attack pumper. Fitted with a Hale 1250 US gpm pump and 1,000 US Gal tank, the truck had only 28,000 miles on it. It was purchased through Fire Line Equipment of East Earl, Pennsylvania, and members of the VFD picked it up at the US border. The truck has an International DT-466 diesel engine and Allison automatic transmission. Rigid hoses, ground ladders and other equipment came as part of the deal.

This 1981 Chev with Metalfab tanker body now serves the Fredericton Race Way at the Exhibition Grounds in Fredericton,NB. It is used to water the track and perhaps carries water for other uses (the cattle barn in the background may need to be hosed down from time to time.)

If you are looking for a used fire truck have a peek at Fire Line's web site:
you will see more photos of Blues Mills' truck#1 under List number P1116

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More Western Stars

There are lots of Western Stars on the road these days, some older, some newer:
1. This GTL Transportation Inc rig was parked at Lockhart's for overnight service.
2. Big new black set-back axle model with fifth wheel on, ready to go.

3. Short hood set-back, with interesting panels on the hood. Likely destined for transit-mix service.

4. Mills Heavy Hauling had this long hood set-back axle day cab working with some oversize loads at Fairview.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Remember the Fargo?

Once upon a time Chrysler Canada marketed two distinct lines of cars and trucks. Each with separate dealerships, they were Plymouth/Chrysler/Imperial/Fargo Trucks and Dodge/DeSoto/Dodge Trucks. From 1938 to 1972 Fargo trucks were built and sold only in Canada, and over the years became less and less distinct - eventually they were merely Dodges with Fargo nameplates and chrome. Chrysler also built Fargo trucks for export to Europe and Asia, but these were US built. The largest Fargo trucks (over 3 ton) were also US built.

There were of course loyal Fargo owners. One "bulk" buyer was the fire truck builder, Thibault of Pierreville, QC. The number of fire trucks built by Thibault on Fargo chassis outnumbered any others for a time.

1. A 1947 Fargo, nicely rebuilt in Forestville QC, August 13, 2003.

2. This 1958 Fargo cab and chassis with Thibault pumper was last in service with the Trois-Pistoles, QC FD. It then migrated to a nearby commercial museum where it served as a billboard. September 8, 2004.

3. Service Incendie Estcourt, QC Station#2 at Pohénégamook had this Fargo/Thibault at a fire fighter's meet in Cabano, QC September 1, 1989. Like many rural departments, the firefighters reported to the scene, not the station, so the truck also carried all the bunker gear on board.

General Motors of course built and sold Chevrolet and GMC trucks in the US and Canada through their Chevrolet and Pontiac dealer lines. They also built the Maple Leaf for a time, also a distinctively Canadian truck. Not to be outdone, Ford built Ford and Mercury trucks, with the latter being exclusively Canadian -more on them another time!

For some more Fargo history see:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nova Scotia VFDs: #1 Merigomish + District VFD

I will be featuring Nova Scotia Volunteer Fire Departments from time to time. This is the first in the series.

A train derailment near Avondale Station, NS on Sunday brought mention of the volunteer fire departments that provide so much first line response in rural Nova Scotia. Strapped for people due to an aging population, and forced to raise their own money for equipment purchase, these departments nonetheless do admirable work.
Several departments near Avondale Station responded to the derailment, and many families were forced to evacuate their homes. One of the emergency shelters was set up in the Merigomish fire hall.
It has no doubt expanded since I took these pictures in October 1983:
1. The force had just retired their 1950s GMC Bickle-Seagrave. Fitted with rigid hose for drafting (pumping water from ponds and wells) it had a tank, hose bed and ladder rack.

2. The hall had been emptied for a fundraising event, and the apparatus was lined up outside.

3. Unit #1 was a GMC tanker, fitted with pumping gear and ladders.
Unit #2 was a similar vehicle, but on a Chev Chassis, and Unit #3 was also a Chev, a "fast attack" pumper/rescue.
This department is expected to respond to structure fires, forest fires, train and car accidents, and any sort of emergency that may happen in their territory.

Business is Booming

Ace Towing, which also has crane and boom truck and disposal service, had their Western Star #23 on the waterfront this noon time lifting some concrete blocks for wharf repair. They were using the big outrigger legs, but not the hydraulic leg on the front bumper.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shiney One in Amherst

Amherst, NS Fire Department keeps a good shine on their unit#1. It was built in 2007 by Metalfab of Centreville, NB on a Spartan Advantage chassis. (June 12, 2010 photo)

Metalfab is specialist fire truck manufacturer, using commercial and "custom" chassis- such as Spartan. Their customers are generally smaller and rural departments that do not want to make the major investments required for custom apparatus.

Spartan Motors builds its own line of fire and emergency apparatus, military vehicles, and chassis for fire trucks and motor homes.

Metalfab's web site shows recent deliveries, dating back three years or more at:

Spartan has a big website, with specific info on their Spartan chassis web site:

Clean KW

Clean Transport of Morris, MB certainly lives up to its name with this superclean Kenworth T800. I passed this rig yesterday on my way back from Moncton and caught up to him this morning at the Fairview Cove container terminal.
The Cat D400D Dumper on the back came from a Ritchie Brothers auction and is headed overseas.
Morris, MB is between Winnipeg and Pembina, ND and is a bit of a transportation centre. However I can't find any more information about Clean Transport. This truck is unit#10 and it is hauling a pretty clean looking Fontaine Magnitude trailer too.
Based on the number of bug splats I got on the trip, this truck has been washed since it arrived in Halifax.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Is it a truck, is it a train?

Is it a truck, is it a train? Well it is a hi-railer, which can travel on highways and on railway track. The unit, a Brute 150, carries a CN equipment number: CNU 70634.
Used for re-railing grounded rolling stock, repair and construction work, it was built by the Brute company, and features a Detroit Diesel engine and Allison transmission. Aside from the cab doors, which appear to be purchased items, all the rest was fabricated by Brute.
The brain child of Delmon Isringhausem, who built the first ones from 1978 to the mid 1980s, the Brute business has been sold several times over the years, but the successor is Tandano Mantis, which no longer uses the Brute name.

I saw the unit today in Moncton, NB at Lounsbury's. The boys in the shop claim they are the only ones who know how to keep it running. It does carry Manitoba license plates, so covers quite a bit of CN territory.

New Volvo models

The Volvo Canada web site is no help in identifying these Volvo models. They haven't been around long, so must be 2009 or 2010 models. The only identifiers on them other than the Volvo badge, is the "VolvoPower" label on the hood side ahead of the vent.

Keltic Transport had this unit at Lounsbury's in Moncton, NB today.
This Atlas Van Lines rig was standing by at McKay's in Truro, NS this morning. The tractor is backed part way under the trailer, but not hooked up.
Update: This is the Volvo VT 880 class, introduced in 2005 for the 2006 model year. Aimed at the owner/operator, it carries the D16 Volvo engine rated at 550 or 625 bhp, a turbo-charged 6 cylinder engine from Europe. New units are still available, but they are no longer promoted. Cruising through various dealer's ads, I found a 2008 for sale new.

Lone Stars in Moncton

International LoneStars were on display today at East Coast International Trucks Inc in Moncton, NB. Among them was a Lone Star Harley-Davidson model, with some wear and tear on it. That means it was probably a 2009 model, of which only 250 were built.
The Harley model has genuine Harley bug-eye headlights, different grille, various badges and plates and the 7 inch diameter stacks. The Harley model comes in only one body style and paint scheme, but otherwise there are several drivetrain options.

Renaud's Transport of St.Antoine, NB operates the truck for Renaud's Furniture.

There were new units too, including the big diameter angled stacks, with the standard wasp eye headlights.

Most of the other new units were facing the TransCanada Highway which races by in the background of these shots.