Saturday, December 31, 2011

If you can drive this.........

Out for little driver training it says on the front bumper. Well if you can drive a Canadian military MLVW (Military Logistics Vehicle Wheeled) you should be able to drive just about anything.

Now approaching thirty years old, the Canadian version of the US M35 dates from the initial delivery in 1982 by Bombardier. It is a 6 X 6 (with big single Michelin tires) powered by a nice sounding 8.2 liter V-6 Detroit and an Allison automatic transmission. One source says 2,765 were delivered to the Canadian military.

The new Internationals are gradually supplanting these aging beasts, but the reserves will likely have then for some time. The trade mark roof racks, winterized cabs and four batteries are the main distinguishing marks from the earlier US version, which was built by AM General.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Cats in Town

I don't know when they got here, but they have arrived.

The long awaited new Caterpillar trucks are at the local dealer now, and a selection are on view out front, complete with dump boxes, fifth wheels, etc.,

Designated by Cat as a vocational truck (which means construction, trash hauling, transit mix and flatbed trailer work and just about everything else except maybe long distance over the road work) they certainly look the part of heavy duty trucks.

With the recent demise of Sterling, one had to wonder if there was room for another truck brand in the North American market.

The competition as I see it:

Volvo - has own engines, and has Mack as its vocational arm.

Daimler/Freightliner has Western Star with its vocational line, and has its own engines.

International has all sorts of model lines and its own engines, but is apparently somehow tied into the Cat truck.

PACCAR (Kenworth/Peterbilt) have their own vocational lines too and use Cat or Cummins engines as the customers requests.

Aside from some small independents, that is really it. Cat has a huge dealership network already and seem to be well placed to make a mark.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hope you enjoy a White Christmas

Here are a few snowy Whites for Christmas:
1. Just what Santa needs for those large deliveries. The Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade had just retired this White 3000 tanker in 1984.

2. A new Road Boss conventional and new COE glider await delivery in 1977.

3. Just in off the snowy roads, a Maritime Ontario White has the rad and the a/c blanketed for winter 1978. A bit of road grime doesn't detract from the solid good looks of this one.

3. A White Freightliner COE and a White Western Star, and a glider are also in the cue for delivery in 1976.

4. A nice long wheelbase White Western Star has a fancy paint job in 1976.

5. Just what Santa ordered, a white White 3000 on a pedestal.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Found A'nother one

You can't keep your Autocars hidden much longer - I will seek them out and photograph them. I spotted this late model 'car in Kentville yesterday, hidden at the end of a dead end road in an industrial park. Clever place to put it, but not quite clever enough.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Coming soon to a street near me

One of the last places on earth where the ubiquitous brown UPS trucks are never seen is the Atlantic region of Canada. The four provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia , Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland get UPS service, but it is provided under contract by Purolator (which in turn is owned by Canada Post - a competitor.)
UPS has announced that in the new year it will terminate the contract with Purolator for the three Maritime Provinces, leaving Newfoundland to carry on as is.
That will mean we will be seeing the the famous brown trucks here soon.
Because the UPS used to obliterate all reference to any maker, it was virtually impossible to tell who made the trucks. Sometimes there was a makers logo in the steering wheel, but that was about it.
Purolator of course made a big splash with their Utilimaster hybrids, which they introduced here last year. There will still be many of those on the road, but it will be interesting to see what UPS brings in.
Odd as it may seem I have never taken a photo of a UPS truck. Fortunately I was able to grab this dandy today-which I am sure is no indication of what we might seeing in 2012.
1. UPS is a proud sponsor of the Metro Food Bank Society, but this well worn GMC is likely not an example of their typical truck.

2. Purolator's Utilimaster hybrids (with their very distinctive sound) deliver UPS stuff on contract for now. Will UPS step up the plate with comparable environment savers?


Monday, November 14, 2011

Pairs day

It was pairs day in Halifax (see also following post) but not twin or even matched sets.
D.A.LePage of Brantford, ON had a pair of Peterbilts in town, but aside from the manufacturer and owner there wasn't much else in common.
1. The bright red Pete is a 386 model, which has aerodynamic features, but retains the classic cab.

2. The dark red Pete is an older 388 or 389 model, exhibiting the distinctive classic Peterbilt look.


A pair of wide loads arrive in style

A pair of big crates bound for England arrived in style today.

1. The lead truck is the International Lone Star with special moose bar to match the unique configuration of the truck's nose.

2. The second unit is a well travelled Pete. Note the extra width mirrors on both trucks.

They are operated for T-Lane Transportation & Logistics of Mission, BC. They also had escort vehicles in company.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Big crane takes a ride

Delway Enterprises Ltd of Miramichi, NB, brought their classic Freighltiner set-back axle daycab and Etnyre trailer to Halifax to load a big crane truck. It will take at least three more truck loads to get the crane body itself, its counterweight, and some boom sections on the road to northern New Brunswick.

Delway is a demolition and trucking company with a nice website:


Friday, November 11, 2011

Swap Meet

Two big KWs hand over to to two Big W'Stars.
The two big Kenworths from Transport Watson Montreal brought a pair of crates to the Fairview Cove container pier parking lot. There they dropped the trailers for Mills Heavy Hauling's two Western Stars.
Mills then took the crates to the Halterm container pier at the south end of town (and though city traffic.)
Waiting for the Watson trucks were two travelling girder cranes, already on trailers, just in from Europe and ready to go.
A neatly done swap.
1. Watson KW #895 has stacks ahead of the sleeper (which also has a side window).

2. Watson KW #898 has stacks behind sleeper, and larger fuel tanks. The third axles appear to be removable tag axles.

3. Watson's return loads are these generously sized crane beams. They are to be accompanied by an escort vehicle on their return trip.

4. Mills W'Star has made it through Halifax traffic to the other end of town. His extra axle is ahead of the drivers and is an air lift.

5. The other Mills 'Star is also lined and ready to get clearance into the terminal. The trailers had Ontario plates.
Transport Watson's website is worth a peak:


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another import from Japan

1. All the gear for off road work. 2. Flush side on what is now the curb side. 3. Self defense mirrors on the "off" side of a right hand drive vehicle.

4. The Salvador Dali ladder requires explanation.

Small Japanese (right had drive) trucks and vans are spreading across the continent. Yesterday's sighting was this Mitsubishi Delica 4WD, with the Crystal Lite Roof and full off road package of winch, push bar, fog lights, miniature roo bars, etc.,

These vehicles are becoming so common now that there is a Canadian Delica owner's club and several dealers are bringing them into the country.

"Delica" apparently comes from the contraction of DELIvery CAR.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

No Dinky Toy

Used to be the only hope of seeing a Foden in Canada was to buy one of the excellent diecast Dinky Toys made by Meccano Ltd. Not so now.

Schlumberger, the world wide drilling services company, has a fleet of wireline and data logging Fodens. These trucks are fitted with electrical wires which are lowered in to wells to measure, record and then transmit data (by satellite.) The Schlumberger brothers invented wireline data collection in 1927 and have developed it to the curent state of the art.

For pure Foden fans, I should acknowledge that as with some North American truck brands the name can be misleading (OK I will only mention Autocar in passing.)

Foden, the venerable British truck manufacturer from Sandbach, Cheshire, fell on hard times in the 1970s and despite government bailouts went into receivership in 1980 and was snapped up by the deep pocketed PACCAR (Pacific Car and Foundry) the makers of Kenworth and Peterbilt.

PACCAR then proceeded to buy DAF in the Netherlands in 1996, then Leyland trucks in the UK in 1998.

Shortly thereafter the Leyland factory started to produce DAFs that were badged as Foden, and independent Foden production ceased. By 2006 the sham was given up and the Foden name was retired. Nothing against DAFs, they are fine trucks I am sure, but the Foden history was just not enough to justify a free standing brand, and now PACCAR produces only DAFs in the UK.

The Schlumberger truck pictured is interesting though, because it not only has a DAF cab, with Foden badge, but also carries Kenworth on its doors. These particular trucks are often shipped all over the work to work where needed, and so perhaps the Kenworth name is more recognizable in the oil fields.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Amongst the Movers and the Sleepers

It is always a challenge to maximize cube for the mover. The goods to be carried usually "cube out" before the truck reaches its allowable payload, so no one wants to give up valuable space for a sleeper. But for long distance movers, a sleeper is essential.
There have been lots of solutions over the years. Here are a few:
1. Premiere's Pete straight truck has the sleeper in the box. Not an uncommon solution, it uses the maximum width of the box. This particular box is built by A.M.Haire of Thomasville NC (they went bankrupt in 2009 and have re-opened as A.M.Haire Phoenix) one of the most popular straight truck moving box companies. They offered the sleeper in the box and a host of other options. In this case the sleeper is probably fairly small, extending about 3 feet into the cargo box area. Photo 2011-10-31.

2. Hope that's not an extra sleeper behind the tilt cab on this Hayes. It's more likely additional storage. COEs offered various size sleepers, and that was one option. August 1984 photo.

3. Your basic dog coffin, which required slithering through the rear window hole, was the most basic option for the conventional cab. This Campbell Brothers IH didn't even have a side door to the sleeper. May 1980 photo.

4. Make a bigger sleeper, with a bunk beds and a side door on the curb side, and an escape hatch on the drivers side. This unmarked AVL contractor got room, but not much help in the aerodynamics. The KW set back gave a bit more length to work with. It has extra fuel tanks for the long hauls. August 1980 photo.

5. Keep going up, and go out over the cab was the solution for D. Armstrong's International. This one had big windows and a penthouse, with interesting bi-level roof. July 1984 photo.

6. Go all the way up and out was the answer on this Kenworth. The only giveway that this is not a cargo drom box, is the little escape hatch from the penthouse, with slanted window. This guy has extra tanks and a super big extra horn on the side of the hood. Maybe he uses that when someone is trying to sleep upstairs. No doubt there is a door and maybe a window on the curb side to access the camper box. August 1982 photo.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rare CM-1s made it to Nova Scotia

1. The Windsor, Nova Scotia Fire Department operated this 1984 King CM-1 with a rear mount Snorkel platform, which King sold as the Fire King line. 1990 photo.

2. Nearby Kentville operated this 1984 King CM-1 with a 100 ft aerial device. This truck was removed from service after an accident. 2003 photo.

3. Amertek used CM-1 cabs on their airport crash trucks. 1987 photo.

The illustrious King fire apparatus company of Woodstock, ON, could trace its roots back through various iterations as King-Seagrave, Bickle-Seagrave and just plain Bickle, to 1906. In its last years in the early 1980s, it offered the usual array of devices mounted on commercial chassis, but also developed its own cab chassis, called the CM-1.

Only 12 CM-1s were ever built before King went out of business and so it is one of the rarest Canadian trucks. Two of them made it as new vehicles to nearby towns in Nova Scotia.

A successor company which became Amertek, used the cab components for its large series of airport crash trucks. Many of these were operated by the Canadian government and it is likely some were stationed in Nova Scotia at one time. Amertek also went out of business, and it is unlikely that many Amerteks are still operating.

You can read more on the history of this company on the Canadian Fire Truck archive at:


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Big Load for Big Mack

Mills Heavy Hauling's heavy hitter Mack Titan #T41 arrived at Fairview Cove Friday with its low bed Paron trailer for a heavy load. The load turned out to be an unidentifiable shrink wrapped object on a Hapag-Lloyd container. It was loaded onto the trailer Friday, strappped down Saturday, and will likely hit the road Sunday.

We don't see many Mack Titans on the road, but they surely live up to the Mack reputation in looks at least.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gliders to go

1. Pete delivers vehicles for export.

2. This Eagle has been stubbed off to form a glider.

3. Another Inter with a stub chassis.

3. New glider kit at the Western Star dealer June 11, 2011.

Truck manufacturers will build glider kits from time to time. I know Western Star has been doing it for many years, and I suppose others do too. Essentially a glider is the truck minus engine, drive train and rear end. The owner is then free to install those components himself, perhaps from new or more commonly by re-using them from another truck.

Today on the waterfront I spotted deliveries of used vehicles from the Lussier Centre de Camion Ltée of Ste-Julie, QC. This company specializes in vehicle salvage and parts, and runs a large export business of used trucks, buses and equipment. They are also Peterbilt dealers.

Interestingly there were two gliders in the mix, and these are used truck cabs and stub frames, ready to be connected to drive trains and rears.

The Lussier operation is a huge one, see their web site:


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

'nother one

Those Autocars just keep on getting in front of my camera.

The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal runs this big high mount A'car out of its Middleton plow garage. I hope to see it when they get the plows mounted.

This one has the butterfly hood panels (there's no tilting the hood with all that plow gear) and the sloped back cab. Wow.