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.
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.

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