Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Terex from Gruas Kirten

Terex is not a common crane name in these parts, but the brand is well known. It is now part of the Demag group, but is marketed separately.

This particular unit, which arrived by ship last week, belongs to Gruas Kirten of Soria, Spain, and is apparently a rental for use somewhere in western Canada. and appears to be a AC 250.1 model (250 ton, 300 US ton) capacity, with the 80 meter boom and 12x8x10 drive train.
I have seen several Spanish cranes in the past year, all headed west on rail cars.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pemfab - correction and expansion

In my piece about bus bodies below I referred in one of the photo captions to a fire engine in the background as a Pemfab/Thibault. This was an error - since corrected. It was in fact a Pemfab/Pierreville.
I won't get into the machinations of ownership issues between various elements of the Thibault family in the 1980s. [see Canadian Fire Truck Archive for a good explanation: http://www.firetruckarchive.ca/ ]
But here is the explanation for my mistake.
Halifax Fire Department bought a number (I think four) Pierreville 1250 gpm pumpers in 1982. They were fitted with the Pemberton Fabricators, Pemfab 93 cabs - a really stylish model that was also highly distinctive. Each of the four peninsula stations was assigned one of these pumpers (#1, #3, #4, and #7 engine companies.)
One of the pumpers (#1 engine company) was in a collision (at the corner of Spring Garden and Queen , I think) in about 1985. By that time Pierreville Fire Trucks had gone out of business, and the remains were sent to Pemfab in New Jersey for rebuilding. The Pemfab 93 cab had been discontinued, so the engine was fitted with the Pemfab 95 cab - a really ugly looking piece of work. When it came back to Halifax of course there was no Pierreville marking on it, but had the P for Pemfab on its vent grilles and the Pemfab sing on each sie of the cab.
At about the same time Halifax ordered a 30 meter aerial from Thibault. It came with the Pemfab 95 cab (also ugly) but carrying a bit more finish work.
So at one time HFD had two vehicles with Pemfab 95 cabs - one a rebuilt Pierreville and one a Thibault. Confused?
Well the pictures should be clear enough.
1. The Pierrevile logo was front and centre, and there was extensive pinstriping and gold leaf.

2. On delivery to Halifax, the first Pierreville also had the Pemfab logo on the door post. It disappeared soon after. 3. Following repairs at Pemfab it lost the Pierreville name, and had Pemfab in two locations on each side, one on the grille and one under the crew window.

4. The Pemfab 93 cab was a winner.

5. As front line engines on the peninsula they would be at every fire. (Halliday's Kempt Road, just down the street from station 7.)

6. Their low profile and well positioned lights made then look good.

7. The Pemfab 95 cab was not an improvement. It's interestiung that the top mount wipers were later moved to bottom mount.

8. The rebuilt unit was assigned to various stations in its later years as new apparatus was delivered.

9. The Pemfabs 93s remained in front line for a good many years, and were repainted at least once, losing all the gold leaf and pinstriping in the process, but gaining the reflective stripe.

10. There was a certain amount of sheet metal distortion over the years, but these rigs were worked hard. 11. The rebuilt unit made it through amalgamation and joined the HRM Fire & Emergency where it finally had its acquisition number applied, but at first lost its station assignment number.

12. This one had been somewhere else to receive a white over red paint scheme before it came back into HRM Fire & Emergency. It now sports its assignment number. I believe this is the unit that has gone to the NS Fire Fighting School.

13. At the Halifax Club fire in 1987 the rebuilt Pierreville works ahead of the Thibault aerial.

14. The brand new Thibault 30m aerial at its first fire, shares the Pemfab 95 cab, but has some nice gold leaf and pinstriping and big Thibault sign to spruce it up.

These were not the only Pierreville, Thibaults or even Pemfabs in the Halifax Fire Department, but they were only ones with Pemfab 93 and Pemfab 95 cabs. It was difficult to keep track of the three Pemfab 93s because they kept changing station assignment numbers on the doors. It was not until amalgamation that the new HMR F&E began to display acquisition numbers. By then (1996) new apparatus was on the way and they were supplanted in front line service and sold off.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Keeping roads clear - its still NACL

In this part of the country the roads need to be plowed in winter, but that is only half the job. Fluctuating temperatures create multiple freeze/thaw cycles, often several in one day. We can see rain falling on frozen roads, or freezing rain falling on wet roads, causing black ice (i.e. invisible) or just plain sheet ice. In any form, ice is dangerous on roads, and the solution has been to spread the salt! Our temperatures only rarely go below the freezing point of salt water, so salt is a good solution, even if accelerates rust.
Sometimes salt is mixed with grit or sand, and this year some genius has decided to pre-salt the Halifax streets with brine. It is applied wet, dries and then is reactivated by snow. Yesterday one lone Ford F-350 was patrolling all over the downtown all day. For some reason there were two men in the truck - not sure what the second guy did unless it was the keep the other guy awake. The spreading system was totally unregulated and gravity fed. This meant lots of brine at stop lights (where it is needed most anyway) but it is a pretty unsophisticated system.
And I guess it would sure save money on equipment compared to the normal (dry) salt spreading equipment.
1. Downtown yesterday this DIY brine spreading arrangement was patrolling the bi-ways. He is heading northbound on Barrington Street, but his southbound pass, applied a half hour before hadn't dried yet.

By comparison- here are a few trucks rigged for salt spreading in 1992:2. In 1992 this aging White Western Star was ruuning for a private contractor in Dartmouth, NS. Note the exhaust stack repositioned to the driver's side to clear the wing plow elevator (it appears to be winch controlled.) The spreader body looks a bit newer.3. In the summer of 1992 this 1950s Autocar had just come out of the paint shop in St-Fidélè, QC ready for another year. The cage over the spreader body would break up frozen chunks of salt from the loader.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Part 2 (and such) bus body vehicles

Fire and police forces often used bus body vehicles, either purpose built or converted, for command posts and other uses.
One such was the Halifax Fire Department (pre-amalgamation) which converted a GM New Look bus into a mobile command for fire and police. The conversion was done in 1992, and the bus was a former Halifax transit unit. It only lasted a short time until truck based units arrived.
1. One bus side window remains, and couple of heavy duty doors were added to the curb side.

2. Only the emergency door remains to be seen on the driver's side. That is a Pemfab/Pierrevile the background.

The next is filed under Mystery Motor in my system. It was operated by the Paroisse-St-Antoine-de-la-Rivière-du-Loup in Quebec, in 1988. That is the same year in which the village merged with its neighbour to form the Ville de Louiseville, and the two fire departments combined. This unit, and the tanker parked next to it, were likely in line to be repainted about the time this photo was taken, or they may have been surplus. It is a pretty big unit for such a tiny town, so it doubtless saw service elsewhere before, likely in a big centre like Montreal. It was purpose built (school buses don't usually have tandem axles) but by whom I haven't a clue. The distinctive windshield should be a giveaway.3. The flashing lights have been removed, so this rig may have been retired from service.

Bookmobiles (and such)

The Halifax Regional Municipality still operates this bookmobile - at least for the current financial year. Threatened with the budgetary axe in April, it was saved for one more year, but by the looks of it, it will need some work to stay on the road for much longer.
Built on a Bluebird bus body the rolling library was still rolling this morning, but it was coming out of the repair shop when I caught it.

Speaking of book mobiles, the Gerstenslager Corp of Wooster, OH was the premier US bookmobile builder. They built thousands between 1956 and 1986, along with delivery bodies and fire rescue bodies on commercial chassis. The company was founded in 1860 as a carriage maker and became part of Worthington Industries in 1997, but still maintains its identity. Its plants now turn out car parts, like doors, for current models, but also have an inventory of molds to produce body panels for older vehicles.

Despite their bus like appearance, the Gerstenslager bookmobiles were developed independently (Gerstenslager never built buses.)

The unit shown was spotted in Malone, NY, September 16, 1986.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oshkosh no more

I received the news that Oshkosh 82654 of the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation caught fire and badly burned on January 21. This particular unit, working out of the Antigonish depot was featured here in November 2010.
Oshkoshes are becoming rarer and rarer, and so this is sad news indeed. They are notoriously long lived if they don't meet with such fates, but they are no match for fire.
Here a few more from my collection:
1. In 1986 Burke, NY was running this model WC-906, #6392.

2. In 1980 Van Buren, ME had this O chained and ready on September 6.

3. Nova Scotia #82552 was laid up in Port Hawksbury in 1984. With a little TLC it was probably ready for the road again that fall.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Canadian tanks leave Halifax

1. Fourteen tanks in a row, were landed in Halifax earlier in the week at the Fairview Cove terminal, in the background, and loaded on rail cars to head west.

2. This is the first tank on the left from the photo above.

3. This is the second tank from the left from the top photo.

Fourteen Canadian tanks left Halifax by train Friday, probably destined for Wainwright, AB. Tanks going to Gagetown, NB would go by truck. As loaded on the rail cars they have their turrets facing backwards, away from the direction of travel.

I only managed to glimpse them briefly before the snows came on and so I have little to add to the photos, except that Canada has opted for the German Leopard tank, purchased from the Netherlands. They are acquiring 100 tanks to form 5 groups of twenty.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Saudi Arabian LAVs in Halifax

Light Armoured Vehicles for export:
1. A typical LAV shrink wrapped and ready for export to Saudi Arabia.

2. One variant is a recovery vehicle with knuckle boom and towing winch.3. 25 LAVs stored for shipping.

4. Some LAVs are marked with the sickle moon shape.

5. Very early this morning a typical Earl Paddock Kenworth awaits the opening of the security gate.

6. Another pair of Paddock K'worths also waiting, one with a low rise and one with a flat top sleeper.

7. A non-typical Paddock is this Western Star B-train, note the prominent grizzly motif. He's waiting for two other trucks to convoy back to London.

The Royal Saudi Arabian National Guard is in the midst of receiving a large order of Light Armoued Vehicles (LAVs). It is hard to tell how many they are getting, because there are at least two orders that I know of. There is the recent order for 82 of the vehicles, but I believe that is on top of previous orders of 73 for the regular army and of 724 for land forces which has not been completely delivered. These are in addition to the some 1,117 LAVs delivered between the 1990s and 2000.
This type of vehicle, with many variants, was originally developed by the Swiss firm MOWAG (Motor Wagenfabrik AG) in a 6x6 and later an 8x8 and 10x10 versions. Called the Pirhana, it was built by MOWAG and licensed to other builders.
Canada’s LAV III and the US MARINE Corps LAV-25s are of this type, and were originally built by General Motors in London, Ontario. General Motors (GM Defence in later years) was taken over by General Dynamics, as was MOWAG.
Saudi Arabia’s most recent order was placed in the US, but then contracted through the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC, a government purchasing agency) as prime government-to-government contractor. CCC then subcontracted to General Dynamics Land Systems Canada.
In the recent 82 unit order, there are apparently 9 variants. There are to be 25 LAV-25 (these will be fitted with a tank turret with 25 mm cannon), 24 LAV-C2 (command and control), 8 LAV-AT (anti-tank, with missiles), 8 LAV-AG (90 mm assault guns), 6 LAV-MS (125 mm mortar) and a variety of support vehicles: 3 LAV standard personnel carriers, 3 LAV ammo carriers, 2 LAV-A (ambulance) 2 LAV recovery (with towing winch and boom) and 1 LAV engineer (with bulldozer/ mine plow.)
They can operate at speeds to 100 kph and can work in 6x8 or 8x8 configuration. I believe these are the latest Piranha IV version (LAV4) with the 300 hp engine.
All the units are being trucked from London to Halifax by Earl Paddock Transportation of Stoney Creek, ON, then shipped out on ships of the National Shipping Corp of Saudi Arabia. When they arrive in Halifax, they are shrink wrapped and unarmed, and without turrets, so it isn’t easy to guess which variant they may be, but I have spotted one with a knuckle boom. Some units carry the green sickle moon symbol and others do not. Perhaps that is the distinction between army and National Guard.
Earl Paddock runs a very neat fleet of mostly Kenworths, all with custom paint, driver’s names on the sleepers, and a big chrome grizzly on the hood and the same motif on the mudflaps. This is not a low end operation! They arrive two units per truck (either drop deck single or b-train double) and usually in convoy of two or three trucks at a time.
After they are driven off the trucks, they are stored in the open until the next Saudi ship arrives, then driven aboard by the longshoremen.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Moxy

An older Moxy showed up today. It is a model MT30XT. It appears to be a model dating from the late 1990s (when Komatsu still had a piece of Moxy) to the early 2000s. An earlier MT30 (without the XT, goes back to the 1980s)

The newer MT31 is certainly a better looking rig, but does essentially the same job with the same powertrain and running gear.


Monday, January 16, 2012

No more Moxy in these trucks

1. A Moxy on level ground puts on a turn of speed.

2. A second moxy climbs a little grade effortlessly.

In the checkered history of most truck building companies the owners have usually managed to capitalize on the good name and reputation of the truck to keep it going in good times and bad.

In a bit of a reversal the "new" owners of the Moxy brand have dropped the name in favour of the parent company's moniker.

Dating back to a 1970 prototype articulated dump truck, the Norwegian Moxy Engineering Co established a good reputation for tough and hard working trucks. In 1981 Komatsu acquired 1/3 of the shares and a Norwegian state investment company took the rest. But in 2000 Komatsu withdrew and the company lost a lot of dealers and sales. Moxy then went through another Norwegian, then a British owner before winding up in the hands of Doosan Infracore in 2008. That South Korean equipment builder has now decided that its own name will appear and Moxy will disappear from their product line.

A couple of Moxys are at work in Halifax on a pier construction project, moving dredging spoil. They are model MT31 with a 28 tonne payload capacity, and powered by the Scania 5 cylinder engine (335.3 bhp) and ZF automatic transmission. The 2 foot ground clearance and independent bogeys are ideal for this work. They are running 24 hours a day, 6 days a week


Thursday, January 12, 2012

In town too

Not to be outdone by the Province of Nova Scotia, the Halifax Regional Municipality is also ready for winter. With a storm on the way for later today the HRM has mobilized its fleet of plows and salt spreaders for the coming onslaught.

While the eastern side of the harbour, the former City of Dartmouth, seems to have a preference for Volvos, the peninsula of the old City of Halifax has this Sterling loaded with salt and standing by.

Note the removable hood panels, which allow engine servicing without tilting the hood.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ready for Winter

Mack in Middleton, NS is ready for winter when it arrives.
Under hood maintenance is possible due to the placement of the plowing gear.
Sterling is doing construction duty but is rigged for winter. Note cut out in the grille to allow the hood to tilt. Also note the dual chrome stacks, and mirrors mounted on the elevators.
Wing plow is in place and ready on this unit based in Brooklyn, Hants County.
The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (DOTIR), is responsible for provincial highways, and they have been geared up for some time to respond to winter conditions. There hasn't been consistent winter weather however, so as usual the trucks have been doing multiple duty with other road work.
The department has equipment from nearly all manufacturers, so there is always a good variety to be seen at their various depots around the province.
With most trucks now having tilt hoods, DOTIR has rigged the front plow apparatus to allow the hoods to be tilted at least part way for maintenance.