Thursday, September 22, 2011

When trucks had names, ranks and serial numbers.

Back in the day General Motors Corp was a player in the heavy truck business. They built a lot of class 7 and 8 trucks, under the GMC and Chevrolet banners, and of course had their own line of diesel engines. (Cummins and Cat were also available.)
Like all GM car lines, the truck model lines had names.
In 1978 GMC decided to go military in their naming, and built the Brigadier (class 7) and General (class 8.) Chev went with critters and had the class 7 Bruin and class 8 Bison.
They certainly had a significant share of the heavy truck market, but Chev discontinued heavies in 1980, so Bisons and Bruins were rare beasts on the road. GMC carried on until 1988, so there were lots of Brigs and Gens.
Of course GMC heavies were combined with White under Volvo ownership and eventually disappeared from the scene altogether, taking Autocoar (sob) with them.
But back to the past........
1. The town of Madawaska ME, Public Works ran this convincing Brigadier tanker-perhaps a surplus fueler. Note the two piece windshield in the 9500 series cab (which dated back to 1966.)

2. Brigadier chassis short hood, with extended bumper for PTO and side access panels in the hood. The tilt hood would not open easily when the PTO was set up for a transit mixer or plow, the side panels could be used for oil changes and minor maintenance. 1985-09-14, Halifax waterfront.

3. Imperial Oil had this Brig fueler at the Halifax airport 1987-04-11. Note the non-typical narrow grille.

4. Awkward sleeper transition meant that this was a rare configuration. I like the porthole though. Halifax 1987-07-04. This was a 1982 truck according to my records.

5. Eisner's Transport added some chrome to this straight truck. Note the tag axle, which is not in contact with the ground. 1988-08-12.

6. The Lobo Dragster travelled in style with this single screw Brigadier tractor and "Custom Motor Home" sleeper. 1990-07-06, Fredericton, NB.

7. My only photo of the Chev Bruin version, is this driver training tractor with extended cab. 1990-06-02, Onslow, NS.

You have now been promoted to General:

8. Heavy haul specialists G.M.Smith, more noted for its heavy haul Macks, ran this GMC General 1987-07-17.

9. Thompson's Transfer of Halifax had this General in their lineup. Note the extra width of the cab - a real plus compared to some of the competition. 1988-01-23.

10. Just in off the winter roads. Day & Ross, Fastrax (flat bed) division had this Gen with a huge sleeper, reminiscent of the KW Aerodyne. 1988-02-12.
11. A typical Quebec lumber load, and low profile sleeper, for this single stack General at Rivière Malbaie, QC, 1990-07-01.

12. Location La Malbaie had this General owned and operated by Denis Dufour. As a truck rental agency, perhaps it was necessary to overdo the advertsing somewhat. 1992-09-05.

13. A rare straight General [don't ask-don't tell] on the Tampa, FL shrimp dock, delivering CO2 ? cylinders, has an extra big visor to ward off the heat. 1993-04-28.

14. An equally rare set back axle General hauls a low load of pulpwood for Oxford Transport of Oxford, NS, seen 1994-07-05 at Steeves Mountain, NB.

15. Denis Dufour decided to redecorate (see #12 above) with a somewhat cleaner look, 1996-06-30. By this time the truck is at least eight years old if not more.

16. You didn't expect me not to have a twin steer in the mix? Excavation Camille Dumont of Isle Verte, QC was still running this massive General 1997-09-05. Not bad for eleven years after the General was discontinued.

17. Garage Desmeules of Causpscal, QC advertised short and long distance towing, and this General was still up to the job 1997-09-06. The 400 Cat was once state of the art.

18. Apologies for this one, but it's my only Chevrolet Bison, caught on the fly at the Baie St-Paul, QC fire hall. This rural pumper/tanker #2 was built by Pierreville for les services des incendies intermunicipale de Baie St-Paul. 1992-07-03.

And that's it for the last of the big Jimmys.

1 comment:

  1. Ha, that "Sexe Machine" is great! I had completely forgotten about those neon pink and yellow big-nosed bug-deflector-peeking dudes, takes me back to my childhood!