Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mack March Madness Finale?

I've pretty much run out of gas on the March letter M theme-except for Macks! Lot's more where they came from, so here is a finale - for now:
1. What would March Madness be without beer? Oland's Brewery would be pleased to deliver beer by the keg to your favourite licensed establishment using this heavy spec Mack. Seen here at their Halifax brewery in July 1984.

2. Chet's Transport Inc of Charlotte ME and St.Stephen, NB was an early cross border operator. Not seen too much on this side any more, and now based in Pembroke, ME, they had many impressive rigs on the road, including this Maine plated Superliner also in July of 1984.

3. Light weight westcoaster type tilt cabs were popular with movers, such as this one doing military re-postings in July 1980. I think it was running for Burgess of Halifax.

4. Harnum Transport had this elaborately pinstriped R-Model in float bed service in 1980. It was fitted with hydraulics and a beefy rear springs.

5. Cement Cartage of Havelock, NB ran in all the Maritime Provinces with a fleet of R model Macks. They were crudely numbered by stencil (giving the year of the truck) but some drivers added personal touches. The Mack mud flaps and "Tombstone" bug deflector were not standard issue on this basic day cab. Here they were loading a ship with cement for NASA in Florida in December 1979.

6. Mack Maritime, the Halifax dealer had this Superliner with wild colour scheme in August 1979. I never saw it on the road, so perhaps the buyer did a repaint.

7. At the same time this new F-model COE was on display. Note it has the golden bulldog.

8. Single screw lightweight COE was also new on the lot in August 1979.

So much for March, but stay tuned for April.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

M is for Military (and Medic)

On January 29, 2011 I chanced to photograph a former military ambulance, ambling up Robie Street in Halifax.
Thanks to a kind reader it was identified as a Pinzgauer. He gave a link through which all was to be made clear. Here it is again:
On February 19, 2012 I chanced to photograph (I assume) the same vehicle, at rest, in a grocery store parking lot.
So as part of the M for March theme, I offer a closer look:

The Pinzgauer in all its glory!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Macks and Maritime-Ontario

Riding the March M theme a bit more, the superb looking blue and white trucks of Maritime-Ontario Freight Lines Ltd are worth mention all by themselves.
The company, founded in 1962, has grown into a large intermodal operator, now headquartered in Brampton, ON, where it warehouses and dispatches truck-load and less-then-truck-load shipments by conventional highway truck/trailer and by rail. It now has several other lines of business, all explained very nicely on its web site
It still relies on owner-operators for its truck operations, and over the years many of those O-Os picked Mack as their vehicle of choice. Obliged to paint the truck in blue and white, they were given considerable latitude in the arrangement of those colours, and there were some impressive schemes.
Here is a selection of Macks only:
1. Mack 529 was a short hood R series Superliner with a little Mercury sleeper tucked in behind-right under the reefer unit on the trailer. Seen here in 1979 at the National Harbours Board cold storage warehouse in Halifax, it was loading up some National Sea Products fish for the trek west.

2. The same truck, showing the entire trailer this time, with National Sea Products' name prominently displayed. Seen in 1980.

3. Unit 536 was a long hood R series Superliner, with a similar sleeper. Instead of a chopped front bumper, it has one with rounded edges. Also taken in 1979.

4. Truck 545 was a twin. Both wore bug screens over the big Superliner rad. Taken in 1980.

5. Unit 546 has dispensed with the bug screen, showing off the impressive Superliner grille. It also has the cut-off style bumper and lower flap for its license plate collection.
5. A close up of 546. There was no reciprocity in 1980 and it carried plates for Ontario and Nova Scotia and PCV plates for Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

6. Mack 587 is a conventional R-Model with painted sleeper. Freightliner 549 has added a black stripe to the paint scheme. Taken in 1984.

7. Mack 567 is a long hood R-model, also with a painted sleeper. He has added some fog lights to the bumper. Taken in 1984.

Aside from the first in this series of photos, all were taken at the Mic Mac Motel in Dartmouth, a favourite stopover point for movers and Maritime-Ontario drivers. You will note that in the 1980s Maritime-Ontario was still headquartered in Dartmouth, NS.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Maine, Macks and Potatoes

Another Maine potato hauling Mack was easing into retirement in 1980. This appears to be an L-series from the 1940s. Although it had seen much better days, it probably still had some life left in it. That drivers' side mirror certainly indicates it wasn't looking back.



M is (of course) for Mack

No series of truck photos with the letter M could possibly omit Mack from the list.
And of course if it's Mack, it must include the iconic B model. The Mack of all Macks.
Produced from 1952 to 1966, it exemplified Mack in many ways. Tough and long lasting, there are B-61s still on the road, and many have been restored or rebuilt.
1. A small stone quarry near Baie Ste-Catherine, QC was still running this B model in 1984. Although it saw infrequent use this gas job was kept in tip top shape, right down to its chromed hubcaps.

2. A veteran, running in 1981, had made it up to the Irving truck stop at Steeves Mountain, NB. No headache rack for this steel hauler! Maybe the flames from straight pipe welded the load together. I didn't make a note of the inscription on the truck frame, but it appears to say GoGo Leasing, Chateauguay, QC. This is a B-61 with Mack's own Thermodyne diesel.

3. Jewell Brothers of Monticello, ME, ran an all Mack fleet and wedged their B model in between a couple of F model COEs on this September day in 1980. The chrome rad and vent stack . Many Macks, used in seasonal work such as hauling potatoes, lasted for twenty years or more. Another B-61 it also had the Thermodyne diesel.

There were several B model variants for heavy and off road work, and some were fitted with the older L model cab, which had more room.


Monday, March 12, 2012

March Mystery Motor

Keeping with the letter M theme for March, I will borrow BigLorry Blog's title of "Mystery Motor."

There is no nameplate or label anywhere on the exterior of this vehicle, so I am at a loss. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 9, 2012

White/GMC still on the road

It has been better than ten years since Volvo removed the White/GMC *name from its products and began to sell under the Volvo banner exclusively. So this transit mixer I saw Thursday has been on the road for at least that long. It still looks good and will be around for a while longer.

Volvo bought out the insolvent White Motor Company in 1981 and started a joint venture with GM to produce White/GMC in 1988. Volvo bought out GM's interest in 1997, and after selling the Autocar name in 2001 has sold exclusively under the Volvo brand.

Ocean Contracting has a fleet of mixers and dump trucks of the same vintage still running.


[* a sneaky way to introduce the letter M into the March M trucks theme.]

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Metro Star for Halifax Regional

Following on our M for March theme, Halifax Regional Municipality Fire & Emergency Service has received its order of new rescue pumpers and at least two are now in service in my neighbourhood. Engine 2, based at the University Avenue station is the first of the order, and is numbered 11-528E.
1. Head on view of the new Engine 2 Metro Star cab.

2. Bumper load of noise, includes Federal Signal electronic siren, Federal turbine and air horns.

3. The Metro Star has a roomy cabin, with flat floor in the crew compartment.

4. The body has hinged doors, not the roll up type usually found on new engines. Also note the tire chain system, just ahead of the rear tires.

Built by Carl Thibault on a Spartan Metro Star chassis, it carries a 1250 gpm Watrous pump and 500 gallon tank and all the other gear required for its demanding job. Station 2 is the busiest in the Halifax Regional Municipality and this engine is called out many times a day.

One notable thing about this engine (and its three sisters, numbered 11-529E, 11-530E and 11-531E) is that it is the decibel winner! Featuring a typical electronic siren, a traditional turbine type Q-siren (really loud-123 decibels at 10 ft) and air horns (super loud) it can be heard above most urban din.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Lots of truck brands start with M, including M.A.N. (or MAN as its now called). This venerable German manufacturer is little seen in Canada, although I have posted a few on this site before.
1. Mack has its bulldog, M.A.N. has its lion.

2. One of three MAN model TGS 33,400 that arrived in Halifax by ship in December 2011. They left town on Fastrax trucks, likely for conversion work.

3. The shipping labels didn't tell me much but might be of interest.

One M.A.N. that was actually based in Halifax - and the only one on the road here, was a small single screw tractor operated by Kitchen City a seller of European style kitchen furnishings.

4. Taken on August 16, 1989, this little semi named "Annemarie" was active for a few years. It was nicely fitted with headlight screens, fog lamps and a typical Euro type cab sleeper. A pretty little rig.

It was certainly a unique sight but did not last long, as I think the company went out of business.

The only other MANs in the areas are a pair of prime movers, operated by Leil, which I have shown before.
MAN SE as it is now known, was taken over by Volkswagen last year and it is expected that there will be some combining of operations with their Scania truck line. MAN is a world wide company with truck, bus and diesel engine manufacturing as their primary activities. So far they have not attempted to crack the North American truck market. Will that change?


MARch and MARmons - again!

Back in March 2010 when I declared that March should be Marmon month, I also declared that I had no more Marmon tilt cab photos.
Well my recent all too brief road trip to Maine reminded me that deep in a shoe box were some slides taken on another jaunt through Maine back in 1980, when I did see more Marmons!
The late lamented Texas manufacturer of premium trucks (Not the Best Known, Just the Best) produced these specialties from 1963 to 1997. Some did sneak across the border from time to time, but most were confined to the US.

Mars Hill, ME, in the Saint John River valley, shares with its nearby New Brunswick neighbours the centre of potato production in the east. Trucks come from far and wide to load the taters and and this quartet of Florida plated Marmon COEs, when I saw them on September 6, 1980, were laying over for the Labour Day weekend, just before potato harvest time started up in earnest for another year.

As you will learn in subsequent posts, there are other trucks whose names begin with M and we will have an M month after all.

Pete to beat

In my road trip posting I showed a "tow anything" Peterbilt. It may have been limited as the size of what it could tow.
This Pete, spotted this morning on the waterfront, could pretty much tow anything too. It is operated by Lussier, the used truck and equipment sales outfit from Ste-Julie, QC. It arrived towing a truck for export. I didn't see what it was towing, but it could have been anything from a school bus on up.
I've posted about them before - there's more info at

The towing gear is mounted to the fifth wheel and can be removed if the truck is needed for towing a semi-trailer.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Road Trip Results

A weekend road trip turned up many interesting vehicles. The downside was most of then I saw at night or in a snow storm!
Here are a couple of highlights.
1. Sleek Pete with a full fender skirt kit was towing an Eager Beaver trailer, with an elderly crawler and an even older engine on a pallet. Out of Southampton, NY he was laying over in Bangor, ME. He's missing the driver's side hood mounted mirror - maybe left it in the woods.

2. In addition to the low level exhaust and tool box in the skirts, this truck had a standard semi-trailer fifth wheel, a camper type 'fifth wheel' hitch, and the trailer hitch he was using. This is pretty much a tow anything rig.

3. An impossibly clean milk tanker at Salisbury, NB had just come from the company's own tank and truck wash at nearby Sussex. The set-back axle and classic Freightliner look also made this a standout at the Ultramar truck stop.

4. R&G Transport has now become Eagle Transportation, but the older rigs have not been repainted. They specialize in food grade liquids and now cover the eastern half of Canada and the US. See - "about eagle" and "a proud history" for more info.


Merc and MAN - trucks in transit

One of the advantages of living in a port city is to catch a glimpse of trucks in transit. In this case a small fleet of transit mixers from Spain. Unfortunately only two were in position for a photo, but there were about half a dozen of those on the deck of a ship. They had to be offloaded temporarily to access the cargo in the hold below, and so were landed on the dock.

As soon as the ship is unloaded, they will go back on and be delivered to their destination.

The trucks are painted for Prefabricados Luis Barros P.L., a builder in Nigran, Spain (that's in the far northeast, near Vigo.) It is likely they are headed for Central or South America.

The vehicle on the left is a Mercedes Atego and the big one on the right is an MAN. Both popular trucks in Europe, but rarely seen in these models in North America.

And of course they are COEs, which are still built in large numbers on the other side of the Atlantic, but , aside from delivery trucks, are becoming rare over here.

A couple of observations- the trucks have no clearance lights. The MAN has a broken sun visor, which reveals a pair of sensors? or some device above the top corners of the windshield.

No Pies for the Quiz

My assortment of delectable pies will have to remain in the freezer.

Since no correct answers were received by the judges, no prize will be awarded - this time. However, following Truckfax policy in these matters, the prize pie for this quiz will be added to the jackpot, so that the next time there is a quiz (if ever) - two pies will be awarded for the first correct answer.

Back to Quiz 1:

1. The truck on the lift is a Ford. It was operated by Auto Haulaway Ltd

2. The other vehicles are:

left: American Motors Corp Rambler American Classic (1961)(note gun sight mirror)

right: Mercury Meteor 600 (1961)(I LOVE the gun sights on the fenders - it was 1960s thing!)

back: GMC (in the larger photo, you can see the GMC logo in the car's windshield.)

3. The year was 1966.

4. The location was the Arrow Garage, corner of St. Clair and MacNaughton, Chatham, Ontario (note the P.C.C. license plates,)

5. The Ford is a 1961-1963 era. It has the low roof on the cab (a higher roof was added in later model years.)

The GMC is 1955-1959. The "panoramic" windshield, a.k.a the wrap around, was introduced in the 1956-57 model year.

So to those dejected losers, better luck next time!