Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

It will be a green Christmas in Halifax this year - no snow anywhere in sight. It will also be extremely green wherever this Toyota will be parked. But there is a Christmas wreath in the background as  a small reminder of the season.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Aerodyne rehab

A Kenworth COE with the Aerodyne raised roof sleeper has received a new lease on life with a rebuild that includes a lift axle.
Judging by the size of the front tires, this rig is destined for some heavy work.

I have featured these revolutionary (at the time) COEs here before. See:

The classic good looks of the KW COE mean that these cabs are still in demand for rebuilds. So far Kenworth has not offered their new COE for sale in North America (Freightliner sells their on a limted basis as a glider). KW developed an upgraded COE for the Australian market several years ago:


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Autocar cab

According to most sources the last Autocar with the Custom Driver Cab was built in 1987. That cab also appeared on White trucks from the early 1960s too. Autocar/White's new owner Volvo began to use the GMC cab before introducing new cabs, and discontinuing Autocar completely.
White had bought the independent Autocar marque to get into the heavy duty market, but also to get that distinctive and roomier cab. See:

White sold off the Western Star line of trucks, and they continued to use the Custom Driver Cab for some years. Nevertheless it is rare to see one still on the road, but this low mileage model is still going strong. Carrying a concrete mixer body, it is used in the owner's fencing business to mix and add concrete to post holes. Note the wide spread on the rear axles.


Friday, November 14, 2014

It's a wrap for Can-Am Marine Transport

A pair of Volvos from Can-Am Marine Transport of Longueil, QC made some tight turns downtown this morning while delivering a couple of shrink wrapped boats to the port.

The second of a pair of CAMT Volvos makes a tight turn from Sackville to Hollis Street downtown. (I couldn't get my camera out quickly enough to catch the first one). I'm not sure why it took this route to its destination. Right behind is an Armour Transportation Volvo, also headed for the port.

The well secured and shrink wrapped boat appears to be a Canadian Coast Guard utility boat, perhaps destined for Newfoundland.

Can-am Marine Transport is a boat hauling specialist company.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kenworth medium weights

Known for its heavy trucks Kenworth also produces medium and lighter weight turks and has come up with some new models recenty.
I saw my first K370/270 tilt cab yesterday at the New Glasgow dealer.

It has a very European appearance, since the cab comes from the DAF Euro 6 line of trucks from Holland.

Parent company PACCAR, makers of Kenworths and Peterbilts also has a large world wide presence under the DAF and Leyland brands.

In September I saw an odd medium weight conventional at the Moncton dealer:

I'm not sure what model it is. The upright radiator and square hood is normally only found on the really heavy duty units. This one also has a front bumper extension for a PTO, but the chassis looks too long for a compactor body or a transit mixer.

For publicized Kenworth models see:


Winter on its way - UPDATED

 A sure sign that winter is on its way is the presence of snow plows getting ready.
The local Parts for Trucks dealer is busy assembling plow/salt bodies on Western Stars.

Using an elderly Bullmoose* to lift the spreader bodies onto the chassis is quick work.

The finished product:

Since the Province of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality use the same paint colour, it is hard to tell who's rig this is until the lettering goes on, but I believe these trucks are for the Province, since Halifax appears to be concentrating on Volvos.

Update: Thanks to a reader I have learned that these trucks are headed to Newfoundland, part of a large order of 18 trucks last year and 20 this year. The giveaway is the blue LED lights, which are not used in Halifax or Nova Scotia. 

*I couldn't confirm that this is an actual Bullmoose brand lift truck, but these single axle rear steer units are usually called Bullmoose even if built by other companies.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Drom box

A new Freightliner COE with drom box caught my attention today.

This rig carries Alberta plates, but otherwise there is no other indication of its operator or its use. My guess is that it is attached to a musical group and arrived in advance of the performers with all the gear needed for a performance.

Drom boxes have been popular with movers and others whose load may not be heavy, but requires a large volume.This drom is fitted with windows on both sides and moving van type doors on the curb side.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Night Moves

Failing to see decent trucks in daylight recently, I resorted to some early morning prowling and turned up this Mercedes Actros (posted here twice before) in action with its centipede trailer.

Arriving at the Fairview Cove container terminal this morning, its escort truck's lights illuminate the 17 trailer axles. The trailer bed remains dead flat as the air suspension takes out the dips in the pavement.

Stopped with lights off and suspension relaxed, the rig is ready to load some wind turbine components that arrived by rail.


Monday, October 13, 2014

White firetrucks

Although I have been known to complain about the recent tendency of trucking companies to leave their trucks in factory white (thus surrendering their distinctive company identities) I am a fan of fire trucks painted white.
There are still a few spotted around the country - Quebec City being one- and many in the southern US  including Washington, DC.

Today I spotted retired rigs from two Nova Scotia departments that are also noted for their white painted apparatus.

Early in 2014 Truro, NS received their new number 4,  a Pierce Arrow XT 95 ft aerial platform and retired the old number 4. Built in 1987 by Pierre Thibault on an International CO1950 chassis, it carried a 1050 gpm pump and 30m aerial ladder.

Down the road the Parrsboro Department can't give up on their veteran Ford pumper tanker. It isn't being given house room in their 3 bay fire hall anymore, but it is parked outside and re-assigned the number 4. It carries no makers plate or ULC plate, but other sources say it is a 1978 Ford, with 400 gpm PTO pump and 1200 gal tank, built by LRB Fabricators of Port Williams, NS. It is service from April to November (when there is no danger of it freezing up.)

 Southern US cities have long been known for their white painted fire trucks.

Frisco, TX hadn't taken delivery of their new truck in April 2002, so it was on display in front of the Emergency-One factory in Ocala, FL. Labelled for Engine 604 it appears to be a quint.

Out back of the Emergency-One factory in April 1999, this Duplex chassis pumper from the City of Sunrise, FL was in for repairs and reconditioning.

The City of Seminole, FL had an all white fleet, many of which were built by Gator, a short-lived local company, such as this pumper assigned to Engine 32. (1999 photo)

 This Spartan was assigned to Squad 32. (1999 photo)

 Tower 29 for Seminole ran this veteran Sutphen.(1999 photo)

In 1993 Engine 29 was running this Gator with sun-tan bronze stripes.

All the Gators, the Duplex and the Sutphen appear to be fitted with Cincinnati cabs.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Between a rock and a hard place

When it was time to move a big container hauling fork lift from one end of the Port of Halifax to the other, Logistec Stevedoring called in a tug and barge to move the big rig. Too wide and too high (and  not licensed) to travel on streets, the  giant forklift was loaded on the barge by a ramp at pier 30 and sailed gaily up to pier 9c. However there is no convenient ramp at pier 9c, so it was apparently the intention to drive the rig onto the pier at high tide, over a low curb.
All did not go well when the point of no return arrived - the rear (steering) wheels on land and the front (driving) wheels still on the barge. As the full weight of the rig bore down on one end of the barge, it went deeper in the water and the rig hung up. No amount of cajoling with smaller forklifts would get the big rig on shore.

Time to call in the big guns:

A pair of  twin steer Western Star /National Crane trucks from A.W.Leil, set up on either side and rigged slings to the lift tower.

 Ruggles towing supplied their No.1 Peterbilt with a pair of winch wires rigged to the forklift's rear axles.
And we had lift off.
The Taylor container handler (probably a model TXEC) overshadows a more typical singe pallet forklift.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Small size expedition camper

After the big Mercedes from Germany I saw last week (and is still here today - see Update) this small Toyota Land Cruiser/pick-up camper was quite a contrast.

Built very much in the same style, and almost the same colour, it is a miniature version. While the big Merc had "ALEMANIA" (Germany) on the front, this one has "HOLLAND" painted on the light bar over the windshield. It is also carrying a Netherlands license plate on the front bumper.



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tanker drops in

The Halifax Regional Fire + Emergency Services fleet is a huge one, covering 65 stations plus training, spares and other unassigned. It is therefore tough to keep track of assignments of apparatus. One thing is sure however, that small suburban or rural tankers are seldom seem in town. Yesterday's arrival of 02-295T was therefore unusual.

Carl Thibault delivered four Freightliner F-116s on 17 ft chassis in the 2002 order, and they were assigned to outlying stations. Fitted with a 1500 gal tank and 450 gpm pump, they also carry a 1400 gal PortaTank and portable 550 gpm pump, and have 10" discharges left and right and 10" dump in the rear.
02-295T is now a spare, but certainly appears to be fully equipped and fitted out. 02-296T is also a spare. 02-297T is based in Herring Cove and 02-298T in Lawrencetown.

For a good indication of where the apparatus may be stationed see:


Monday, September 29, 2014

Been there, done that -updated

Judging by the stickers and map on the side of this vintage Merc, the German owners have a pretty good claim on the old saying "been there, done that".

The parade of miscellaneous campers, big and little, continues, with four or five a week now showing up at the Fairview Cove container terminal to await their turn on Atlantic Container Line ships to return them to Europe. Some of them have only been in North America for a few months. Others, like this one, must have been here for much longer in order to have covered Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. From the map, it appears that it arrived in Argentina by sea, then progressed northward to Alaska, then across Canada winding up here.
This rig was built by Feuss Allrad-mobile. The company's website at appears to be glitched.

Update October 1:
The rig was still there this evening and was joined by another, and I was able to get these photos from the passenger side:

Another crop of stickers shows travels in North Africa and the Middle East. It also shows some curious west African shipping routes.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Newest Quint

I finally got to see Halifax's newest Quint 14-558Q on Saturday. (There was a preview earlier in June :
Unfortunately not long enough for much of an inspection - more like a driveby.

They were just cleaning up on Bedford Highway in front of Feed Nova Scotia. (Only about two doors away from the long decommissioned Rockingham fire hall.)
Since its specs have not been listed on the web site yet, I don't know any more details except that it is a Pierce and based at Station 5 on Bayers Road, allowing it to cover the west end of  the peninsula and the Fairview Rockingham mainland.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Volvo out to pasture

For a time, Volvo brought in tilt cabs for sale in Canada, and they were popular for a few years. They were in direct competition with Mack's Renault COE and Ford's Cargo. Many were used for fire apparatus and there were several around the Halifax area. However when enclosed, connected crew cabs with doors became mandatory, these commercial type tilt cabs became obsolete.

This 1995 Volvo with pumper body built by Superior Emergency Vehicles of Red Deer, AB (serial number SE 1435) has been retired to a parking area off the Hammonds Plains Road in suburban Halifax.  By the look of the sticker mark on its side it served the Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services, after amalgamation, but probably belonged to one of the suburban departments before that.

Superior was a subsidiary of Emergency-One when this unit was built, and the company badge was the same shape as E-One's. It also had an E-One design pumper body. I am not sure if E-One in the US ever built a crew cab for a Volvo, so that part may be unique to Superior.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Merc invasion

Add two more Mercedes Actros to the list of these heavies showing up in Canada. I spotted this pair today, more or less fresh off the boat (they arrived earlier in the and have now cleared customs.) The Actros is actually a range of truck types and styles - these are the 4144 model.
For Mercedes' Actros full brochure see:

They appear to be in driveaway condition, but they as yet have no plates, and no indication of their destination. Due to their 8x4 configuration, there is a wide range of possibilities, including custom work and re-export. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Actros back (end)

On June 6 I reported a large Mercedes Actros with Nova Scotia plates, imported from Germany for work here with a multi-wheel trailer.

Today it is back, apparently headed home to Europe on completion of the work. This time I got to see the back-end of the truck, through the fence, with its massive knuckle boom crane and other gear. Apparently there is a winch hidden in there somewhere, as what appears to be a marine type fairlead shows low down at the centre.

As mentioned in June Fahrenholz and Total Transport & Rigging Inc works together with local company Mills Heavy Hauling..


More Meanies for Saudi Arabia

Canada has ramped up its exports to Saudi Arabia again. A huge contract was signed in April with General Dynamics, but those  8 wheelers aren't into delivery yet. In the meantime Saudi Arabia continues to bulk up with armoured trucks like these 4 wheelers:

I am not sure what these are or what their designation is, but they are likely 4 x 4.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Major fire brings out aerials

A major fire this morning in downtown Halifax brought out a wide range of Halifax Regional Municipality Fire and Emergency Services apparatus from both sides of Halifax harbour. At the height of the fire at least four pumpers and numerous support and utility vehicles were on scene but also four aerial devices were at work.
The building, a laminated timber framed former curling rink, was jammed in on two sides by other buildings and only aerials were able to centre in on the seat of the fire.
 Three of four aerials at work on the fire (two at left, on the north side of the building and one on the right on the south side). By the time this was taken the main part of the building had burned and collapsed, and only the office structure in front was still standing.

Most of the pumpers on the job were HRM's newest Spartan Metro Star / Carl Thibaults, like 12-538E and 11-529E.

However Engine 15 responded with Pierce 10-509E. (This unit is based at Station 15, on Pleasant Street in Dartmouth.)

Tactical 8 runs this veteran Freightliner 95-95TS. 

It would not normally be seen downtown, so is likely filling in for another larger unit.

It was joined by this Sterling 04-347S with Drake trailer 04-351T, which is fitted with food and toilet facilities.

E-One Bronto aerial platform 09-489P  was set up closest to the building on its north side.

Down hill, and accessing the east side of the building was LaFrance  LTI 02-305L with its 110 foot ladder. I believe it is also based in Dartmouth.

On the south side of the building, Pierce quint 08-439Q  was wreathed in smoke.
A weary hoseman dismantles a hose line on the west side of the building. LaFrance quint 01-144Q has finished its work. It appears to have damaged its front bumper.  13-554U is one of  several Ford Explorers in the Utility category.

All four aerial devices are rated at 1750 gpm, and were able to bring down unstable portions of the building with their water pressure.

The building was a total loss, along with its contents, which included a corporate headquarters, a framing shop, an adult learning centre (used for police training) and a used furniture warehouse/store. No lives were lost and as far as is known there were no injuries, but many police and firemen inhaled smoke.

For more on the Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services, including a complete fleet roster see: