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.

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