Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Star Power

Ever see a Star Car? I am sure there is a story here, but I didn't get it when I caught up with this "Star Car Chrome Edition" at the Petro Passs yesterday.

It is quite obviously a Western Star, but much modified to suit the long haul driver from Coburg, ON running for Centennial Moving Systems.

Centennial works in all provinces but is more often seen running Ontario to Alberta and British Columbia.

Just in off the road where it has accumulated a lot of dry salt, it is still a sharp looking rig.


Hope you are having a better day............

Not a good day for this driver (February 27). First was the stack displacement - not sure how that happened. Next was the trailer sliding off the fifth wheeel as he rounded a corner. The trailer brakes immediately stopped the trailer and the driver stopped the tractor soon enough to keep the trailer from dropping off the back wheels. He may have blown a tire valve, or it was just the last of the air bleeding out of the trailer, but there was a faint hiss for a few seconds.

The driver hopped out and cranked the landing gear down to the ground, but I did not stick around for the inevitable.


Monday, February 27, 2012

International Harvester - Binders Big and not so Big

International Harvester always maintained an interesting niche in the truck business. Known for their indestructibility, they were also looked down upon by some as farmers' trucks and were called "Binders" due to their farming ancestry (from corn-binders, an early International Harvester product.) As an independent truck builder, they were an extremely large producer (120,000 to 150,000 units per year in the 1960s versus 20,000 for Mack) over the full range from pick-ups to highway trucks and many mid-size trucks of the class 5,6,7 variety, also 4x4 , 6x6, military and other unusual vehicles. They also built trucks in Canada in Chatham, ON (where I lived for a time) and were well represented in the cities and on the highways of Canada. Over the years they gave up on pickups, changed their name to Navistar International and sold off the tractor business. They are still a very big company, with a huge range of sizes and types available. They are no longer built in Canada however.

Here are some of their larger or heavy spec units from days gone by:
1. In 1981 the dealer in Rivière-du-Loup, QC had this line up on show. From the left a 4300, a big Pacific (then owned by International) and two Paystar 5000s, the last one built to a rugged spec. All four trucks shared the same cab design.

2. This new 1993 Paystar 5000 4x4 sports an unusual blue colour for a plow. Also in Rivière-du-Loup, QC.

3. A new 1989 Paystar 5000 4x4 awaits delivery next to a smaller Navistar International.

4. The S model was introduced in 1956 and was produced into the mid 1960s, and beyond for special orders. This very heavy set back was also unusual since most Inters of those days were gas jobs. Shot in Dartmouth, NS in 1989. The cab on this type was introduced originally in 1950.

5. The high mount 4x4 S-Model was found all over Canada where mid-weight plows were needed. Commercial Safety in Debert, NS ran this one in 1990. There is lots of visibility over the plow.

6. This 4x4 S-Model had a lot of years on it in 1992 at a St-Alexandre, QC used truck/junk yard. However it has outlived the Ford Louisville whose hood is in the left background.

7. The New Brunswick Dept of Highways kept their trucks busy year round. Here this high-boy 4x4 S-Model has a calcium chloride tank for dust suppression during road construction season. It looks like it could make the switch to snow plowing season in very short order. Interesting that the acquisition year of this truck appears to be 1969 - long after the S-Model was discontinued for standard trucks. Taken in Edmunston, NB in 1989.

8. In 1966 Charron Transport of Chatham,ON ran several L-Model International gas jobs in highway service (note the saddle tanks.) Some had tag axles, but some were tandems. The cab on the L-Model was introduced in 1950.

9. This L-Model is a 4x6 or 6x6 and had seen many years of work by 1988. Operated by Montpetit et Frères to lift and move buildings, it may have had military wrecker roots. The photo was taken in northern Maine, close to the New Brunswick border.

The L-Model was replaced by the S-Model in about 1957, but overlapped for a year or so.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quiz Time

I love the challenges on BigLorryBlog, but usually I am unable to participate due to an abysmal lack of knowledge about British and European trucks. So I have decided to do a little quiz of my own.

I will offer the same pie that BLB offers (it is purely imaginary and not what North Americans would know as a pie.)

Here is the quiz :

Name the

1. Brand of truck on the lift.

2. Brands of vehicles in the picture.

3. Date of picture + 1 year.

4. Location (Province or State is close enough)

Extra bonus (whip cream topping) if you can name the model year of the trucks. (The cars are toooo easy.)

The judge's decision is final.

Answer in a day or two.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Canadian Kenworth heavies

Canadian Kenworth built conventional Kenworth trucks, indistinguishable from their American counterparts with some exceptions. The CKW interlocked logo (in several versions) on the rad was the usual one, but in some cases the word Canadian also appeared. They also seem to have specialized the big/heavy/offroad vehicles. Here is another sampling:
1. This CKW logo appears to be cast into the reservoir.

2. and 3. Dominion Bridge was using this vintage Canadian Kenworth in Fredericton, NB in the summer of 1979. It certainly was "très large" in the days before the international "Dimension" signage came into use.

4. Lackie Bros. of Kitchener, ON and Saint John, NB had a whole fleet of CKWs for their heavy lifting and rigging work. Another view of 9191 also shows"Canadian" over the Kenworth on the sides of the hood. It was working in Halifax in 1982.

5. From the other side, there is view of the trailer and three axle dolly.

6. In 1981 Lackies had this KW with the narrow tombstone radiator. I can't detect any Canadian references on this one.

7. Also in 1981 this prime mover has the CKW on the rad.

Sadly Lackie Bros is no longer in business and few of the operators run units this big anymore.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Kenworths in the oil fields and beyond

Kenworths are favourites in the oil patch and where extra big and extra heavy trucks are needed. Kenworth's willingness to custom build a truck is part of it, but they also have 6x6 and 6x8 drive versions that are well suited to the heavy work. However they only built the basic truck. Beyond that you need a specialist truck outfitter such as Lennox Welding & Supply Ltd of Edmonton. Their web site states that they produce 80 trucks a year and that they have been in business since 1953, with lots of repeat customers.
See: http://www.lennoxwelding.ca/
Some of the following are Lennox products, others are unknown to me.
1. In June 1974 Mobil Oil had this 6x6 in Halifax. It arrived by rail and was shipped out to Sable Island for exploration work. Oil was found - but not on the island.

2. This KW carries the Canadian Kenworth emblem (CKW) on its rad reservoir. Photo taken in 1991 when it was being used to move heavy steel fabrications. It appears to be a 4x6 drive.

3. Lennox outfitted this twin steer. Its extra long wheelbase would certainly spread the load out over soft ground. It also has the Canadian Kenworth emblem. 1998 photo.

4. Strait Crossing Ltd used this KW during construction of the Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. That appears to be an air cleaner perched on the right fender. It was for sale in 1997, and has the older type KW emblem, also used by Canadian Kenworth.

5. What I believe is the same truck, working for Mills Heavy Hauling. It did tow a float trailer at times, but was also fitted for some heavy duty plowing in 2001.

6. J.D.Irving Equipment use this prime mover, with all wheel drive, to pull a multi-wheel transport table for shipbuilding and other work. It is well ballasted in this shot to move a heavy refinery pressure vessel. This photo was taken in 2005. The truck is still running but now has an air conditioner on the cab roof. It has Kenworth spelled out on its radiator.

7. Lennox fitted this one out in 2005 for IHC Contractors of the Netherlands to work in the Middle East. It arrived in Halifax by rail for shipment overseas. The immense width of these rigs is apparent in this view.

8. A second truck for the same owner. It is a 6X6 and has a winch and fifth wheel in addition to the tilt bed. Interestingly these have a more conventional Kenworth radiator, with typical Kenworth logo.

Kenworth built trucks in Burnaby, BC for many years and in 1967 parent company PACCAR (Pacific Car & Foundry) acquired the Sicard truck plant at Ste-Thérèse, QC north of Montreal and c0onverted it to manufacture KWs. They closed Burnaby in about 1982. This goes some way to explaning the brand loyalty in Quebec for Kenworths.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pacific Trucks - now long gone

Pacific Truck & Trailer of Vancouver (and later North Vancouver -yes there is a difference) was formed in 1947 and produced extra heavy duty trucks for the logging industry and heavy hauling until 1991.
Founded by three former Hayes employees, it remained an independent until 1970 when it was swallowed by International Harvester. They sold it to Inchcape Berhad of Singapore in 1981, but it was closed down in 1991. Pacific developed export markets in Austrialia, New Zealand and Asia, and built trucks to special order for locations around the world including South Africa.
Famed for its logging trucks, it also built prime movers, and in the IH era some highway rigs, even using IH cabs sometimes.
Be sure to see the Pacific Truck website for more - one of my faves, on the left.
Here are a few from deep within my bottomless shoebox, taken by coincidence within a few miles of each other in Edmundston, NB:
1. This must have been among the last trucks built. It would be at home hauling wood, or in this case a low bed trailer.

2. Even though it is coming out of the regional land-fill site (meaning dump) it still looks pretty sharp. The door sign says Gallant Enterprises, "Transport de Bois" (wood transport) so it was doing a little moonlighting here.

3. The real deal, a Pacific prime mover, operated by Gulf Construction of Caraquet, NB. This is not a truck to drive down a highway, so it is taking a ride on a low bed. The door also has the ABB initials for American Brown Boveri, makers of transformers.

4. Speedway Transport, known for their bright red trucks had this one Pacific, running with an owner/operator and stakeside trailer in 1982. It looks very much like an International Harvester Transtar cab. The bug deflector says "Seventh Son". Speedway was one of the best known eastern trucking outfits, running between Saint John, NB and Montreal.

There is an interesting history of the company here:


Pacific was shoved out of the market by the likes of Kenworth/Peterbilt and Western Star, and like Hayes, another western Canadian truck, it did not survive a takeover by a major manufacturer. Where have we heard that story before? It is a sad reality.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Freightliner Severe Duty

1. Miller waste runs this 2012 Freghtliner SD 114.

Freightliner's new SD (Severe Duty) models are beginning to show up on the streets. This SD 114 (114" bumper to back of cab) is fitted for roll off dumpster service. It is distinguished from the 108 SD model by having dual headlights. The 108" version has single lights.

Stiff competition from the likes of Volvo/Mack and now Cat, and of course the absence of Daimler's own Sterling brand, has encouraged FL to get into a market that it was never particularly noted for - the severe duty service in ready-mix, and refuse type work, but also to make those models readily distinguishable from its other lines.

Western Star still seems to be the leader in this area (also a Daimler product) but that is nothing new for the big multi-nats to have competing brands in their own stable.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Machinery of all sorts, in and out.

This mighty Kenworth hauled in from Winnipeg with a Versatile tractor on the deck.
The truck is owned by Payne Transportation LP (No Payne, No Gain) part of the Mullen Group. Founded in 2000, Payne, by acquisition has operations in Winnipeg, Fort Saskatchewan, AB and Houston, TX. It has over 200 tractors in its operation. See http://www.paynetransportation.com/
It first customer in 2000 and apparently still a customer is Versatile, makers of articulated 4WD farm tractors since the 1970s. Once part of Ford and then Fiat/New Holland they have been owned by Bühler Industries for some time. Bühler on the other hand has been 80% owned by Rostelmash of Rostov-on-Don, Russia since 2007. With 200 dealers in Russia, Rostelmash imports its tractors from Canada.
The Kenworth is a dandy, with lots of extra fittings for flat deck and long haul. The trailer also carries the outer tires for the farm tractor (which is facing away from the camera) and a certain amount of the white stuff picked up en route.

Two Shoes Specialised of Kitchener, ON had a Western Star and a Pete on the scene to take away crusher components manufactured by Tesab. See http://www.twoshoespecialised.com/
Each rig departed separately with its own flag car.

Rondeau Towing's big Kenworth had this piece of machinery (which I did not identify) on the trailer. Rondeau does not have a web site. They are based in Lanoraie, QC, and as might be expected from the name, are tow truck operators (Remorquage Rondeau.) This truck appears to have been a wrecker chassis at one time.

This 2006 Freighliner is running for Fastrax, the special commodities division of Day & Ross. It still carries the famous "Big Orange" paint colours (and a nice scheme too) now abandoned by D&R in favour of the the plain-jane factory white. The Atlas Copco mine truck is one of several recently imported through Halifax. See http://www.fastrax.com/