Monday, April 30, 2012

Mighty Military Merc

The flagship of the Canadian military vehicle fleet must be the Mercedes-Benz Actros AHSVS (Armoured Heavy Support Vehicle System) This huge 8X8 truck was ordered in 2007 for delivery to Afghanistan in 2008. A total of 82 were delivered at a cost of $87mn (my math says this is more than $1mn per truck!) with an option for 26 more. 
The standard  truck has a palletized loading system (PLS) allowing it to mount dump, box and other packages. There were also other variants including wrecker/recovery, tanker, and tractor for towing tanks and howitzers.
Main featutre is the armoured cab produced in South Africa by LMT. It has proven to be resistant to mines and improvised explosive devices. The engine is a Mercedes twin-turbo producinig 503 bhp and it has an automatic transmission. It is definitely an off road vehicle built to ford rivers, but can achieve 88 kph on roads.
Following Canada's mission in Afghanistan the remaining units were to be returned to Canada for storage.
The three trucks recently delivered in the port of Halifax appear to be brand new, so these are likely part of the option order.

1. Front of cab has Mercedes symbol in grille.

2. Mills Heavy Hauling uses a mighty Mack to haul the mighty Merc.

3. A gantry crane and hydraulic tongue are used to load and work the various packages the truck can carry.  
4. One big truck

To see these might Mercs in action see the beautifully produced video:
For more specs and photos see:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Freightliner- Maritime Ontario- Random Shot #51

In case you were wondering from last month's ancient photos of Maritime-Ontairo trucks - they are still on the road - although they are big interrmodal users.

And the good news is some of the trucks are still painted in traditional M-O blue, but with modern twists. This impressive long nose M-O is operated by A. Bernier of St-André, NB and was just about to set out from M-O's Burnside terminal this morning. 

Plain Jane trailer is unusual for Maritime-Ontario.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A quintet of quints

The Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Services currently carries six quints on its roster. Ranging in age from 1990 to 2008, they seem to be well spread around the urban core. One lone unit (95-248Q) is based in Lakeside.It dates from 1995 and is not pictured here. It is a Pierce, with a 1250 gpm pump. 500 gal booster tank and 75 ft ladder.
The newest quits are also Pierce:
1. Quint 7, Pierce 08-435Q is rated 1750/500 with a 75 foot ladder. It is based at Knightsbride in Clayton Park., and is here responding on the Bedford Highway..

2. Quint 12, Pierce 07-417Q is housed at Highland Park in Dartmouth, and is seen at MVI in the Burnside.Industrial Park. It rates at 200/500/75

A pair of American LaFrance quints from 2001 are rated at 1750/416 with a 28m (92 feet) LTI ladder.

3. Quint 13 is an American LaFrance, 01-144Q  is based at King Stret in Dartmouth, it is seen here responding to a house fire in a crowded (but high end) Halifax south end neighbourhood. 

4. Quint 5 has identical specs. It is based at Bayers Road, but was called downtown to the same fire .
The only survivor of three quints from a pre-amalgamation order is designated as a spare now, but was in service today, working out of West Street. It is now the only Emergency One quint in the force. 1050/500.

5. Spare quint is an Emergency-One, 90-57Q, one of several ordered by the old Halifax F.D. before amalgamation.

6. This unit is rated at 1050 gpm, with a 500 gal booster. It was working out of West Street today.

7. I'm not sure if this is the same unit, photographed in 1992 at Bayers Road in the colours of the old HFD. These were the first quints in Halifax fire service. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Volvos in Truro

On a recent road trip, I spotted some interesting Volvos at McKay's the local dealer.

1. King Freight Lines of New Glasgow has several of these new Volvos on the road, all with similar paint schemes. King carries a lot of freight for Michelin tire, including containers in Halifax and runs to plants in the US.

2. The truck says Premiere, but it is operated by Atlas Van Lines- no orange anywhere on this one.
3. A low rise sleeper on a straight truck. This one picks up waste chemicals for reprocessing.

4. Across the street at Will-Kare Paving, they are selling this day cab and Manac trailer. The truck has an aggressive stance!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kenworth T800-250,000 units

The Kenworth T800 has been in production since 1986 and in that time 250,000 of the model have been produced. KW has obviously struck on a winning formula - here are a few samples.
1. Earl Paddock of Stoney Creek, ON runs a fleet of T800s, with large studio sleepers. This one has a pair of General Dynamics LAVs, built in London, ON, and delivered to Halifax for shipment to Saudi Arabia.

2. BC plated T800 gets some down time in Halifax.

3. Partners Industrial Crane Rentals runs this twin steer, Simard Suspension T-800.

4. Simard has just installed a transit mixer on this T-800.

5. A T-800 boom truck is set up on a narrow downtown street in Halifax.

6. R. Slocum if Great Village, NS runs a 2004 T800 as a log truck - on and off road. Here he is salvaging rail ties in Halifax. This one has the mid-size sleeper.

See also the recent posting for Irving Oil's new T800s.

If that was not enough see the company's brochure at:


Saturday, April 14, 2012

If I had a million dollars..... I'd buy me an A'car

My own version of the Bare Naked Ladies song "If I had a million dollars" contains a slight variation in wording. I wouldn't buy a K-car- I 'd buy an A'car. And there is one for sale. Mind you it needs some work, but it would be an impressive sight in my driveway even so.
1. Autocar - a name to reckon with.

2. For Sale- oh my, what a chance.

3. The current Truckfax truck and the A'car for comparison purposes.
This is in my mind a "true" Autocar, built with the custom driver cab. It was this cab that White Motor Co coveted enough in 1953 to acquire the previously independent Autocar. When Volvo took over in 1980 they remained true to the custom driver cab until 1987, but it was downhill from there, until they sold off the Autocar brand name and refuse truck low cab forward Xpeditor line in 2001.
The surviving Autocar LLC, now of Hagerstown, IN has carved itself a nice niche in the refuse truck line, but have expanded, adding vocational models, based on the Xpeditor, their own terminal tractor Xspotter, and now a new line of LCF lighter duty, class 7 trucks called the Xpert.

About a year ago I showed their Xpeditor, see:

4. The Xspotter shunt truck or terminal tractor has a distinctive high windshield and other pleasing attributes for the terminal operator. I don't know where this one came from, but it has recently arrived at the Cummins shop.

5. The full height rear door eases access for 6 foot drivers.

Autocar has now also signed a distributorship agreement with Cummins, so expect to see more Autocars in your neighbourhood (this seems to be a pushback on Caterpillar and their new line of trucks.) Autocar uses Cummins engines, Allison transmissions and Hendrickson suspensions exclusively.

For the "new" Autocar, which actually boasts of being the oldest continuously produced truck brand in North America, see


Irving Oil update

1. Irving Oil 's typical over the road Freightliner, until recently.

2. Delivery by Freightliner to refuel a CN Rail engine, still wearing traditional Irving Oil colours. (That's a GM EMD SD75I locomotive.)

To update the previous post, I didn't happen to have any current Irving Oil Freightliners in my photo file so here are some to complete the batch.

I have also noted some Internationals among the delivery vehicles recently too.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Kenworths for Freightliners for Irving Oil

Irving Oil have been using Freightliners to haul their oil tankers for many years, so it was a surprise to see new Kenworths this week.
Another Irving owned company is Universal Truck and Trailer Sales, and they are Freightliner/Western Star dealers in New Brunswick, so it comes as something of a double surprise.
Irving has also gone with factory white paint in the past couple of years, so the distinctive yellow trucks are becoming quite rare.
1. Brand new KW with B-train at Irving's terminal in Dartmouth this morning.

2. A pair of new KWs in Dartmouth last weekend.

3. In September 1985 this set back axle Freightliner was ready for the road at Irving's Dartmouth terminal.4. In September 1980 a White Freightliner, with sleeper, was hauling a short unmarked Irving Oil trailer. Freightliner conventionals were first introduced under the White banner in the early 1970s.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

All aboard the Titanic

This year is the 100 th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, April 15, 1912, and Halifax in particular is marking the event with many ceremonies, memorials and exhibits. (Rescue ships from Halifax recovered many of the deceased and they are buried here in three different cemeteries).
1. Ambassatours have decorated one of their Prévost bendi-busses. It is not amphibious, so I am pretty sure the tour does not go offshore.

Canada Post is issuing new stamps and have decorated a number of their delivery vans accordingly.
2. The new stick-on graphic covers the entire vehicle, except for a few small areas around ventilators and body seams.

3. The standard issue Canada Post Utilimaster for comparison purposes.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Peterbilt 379 Random Shot #50

This impressive Peterbilt from Russell, Manitoba was lined up with all the rest of the trucks at Fairview Cove this morning. Some farm machinery has arrived by ship, and it will no doubt be hauling it out this afternoon, bound west.

1. Operated by Wayne Pomehichuk, the Pete is illuminated with many extra lights and has a fair amount of added chrome too.

2. The standard Peterbilt badges on the hood have been replaced with this illuminated "Pete 379" plate.

3. I saw the tuck at the Petro-Pass on Saturday too, and it is an impressive rig.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

UPS - ready for roll out

1. New long box Freightliner based UPS package car awaits delivery in the dealer's yard.

2. There are no identifying manufacturer's marks on the chassis or box, but those straps may be a a giveaway to the knowledgeable (Grumman Olsen?). This is a short box type.

3. Pullman brown is supposed to be easy to keep clean, but daily washes may be a necessity in our area.

As mentioned in these posts some months ago, UPS is finally making its presence felt directly in Atlantic Canada - the last parts of the continent where UPS trucks were unknown. Starting this month, UPS will sever its ties with Purolator and start to pick up and deliver in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador (the latter province was added after the initial announcement).

The long standing UPS tradition of removing all manufacturer's identifying marks from vehicles resulted in some curiosity about what we would expect to see on the roads starting this month.

There will be eight depots in Atlantic Canada, and it appears that all the vehicles will be built on a Freightliner chassis. There are long and short box versions apparently.

Called "package cars" by UPS, they are a plain jane step van, with fibre glass nose and teardrop headlights, painted in UPS Pullman brown (meant not to show the dirt). That may not work so well here where some dusty looking new deliveries are sitting in the Freightliner dealer's yard in Burnside.

Founded in 1907, UPS came to Canada in 1975, starting in Toronto, and has since become a publicly traded behemoth with aircraft and a freight division. They swallowed up Overnite Transportation and just last month announced an offer to take over TNT Express.

They are here to stay!

Meanwhile Purolator's hybrid delivery vans will still be around, but their business will be cut back. Prior to Purolator it was Day & Ross's Sameday Delivery that had the UPS contract.