Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
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.
Friday, January 27, 2012
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
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
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.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
1. A typical LAV shrink wrapped and ready for export to Saudi Arabia.
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.