Thursday, June 26, 2014

COEs rule the road

After week in Germany, where I saw only one truck with a "bonnet" - that is engine ahead of cab (and it was a Dodge Ram pickup!) -it did feel a little bit like a time warp, when COEs ruled the road in North America.
Here's a sampling of the various makes I saw last week:

 Scania, DAF, Volvo. MAN and Mercedes of all ages, but all COE.

On  arrival home I was pleased to see another Freightliner COE on Canadian soil:

Canam Steel from Quebec has a fleet of FLiners, there were three in Halifax on Wednesday, all with long loads of structural steel.
Longtime users of COEs to get more length, Canam and others have been able to purchase Freightliner COEs, new, as glider kits. As long as they could rebuild on older drive trains, Freightliner would sell new COE gliders to them. This was never publicized very much, but several owners that haul oversize and extra long loads have been buying these gliders and building them up over the past several years. Apparently Freightliner has now got the message and may be putting them into more regular production.The have been building RHD COEs for Australia and New Zealand all along, so the cabs were never really out of production.


HRM - new Quint

Halifax Regional Fire + Emergency Services has taken delivery of a new Pierce Quint 14-558Q.
Spotted yesterday outside Station 5 on Bayers Road, the crews were just beginning to equip it, so all the compartment doors were open.

It should be in service soon, so I will hope for a better picture in the near future.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Heavies in the port

There was a lot of heavy truck activity in the port today, with several trucks exiting the secured area in close succession - just at rush hour!

This International runs for Titan, and wears Saskatchewan plates. Its Lode-King trailer is carrying nested crane boom sections. There have been several of these loads recently as a large crane came in from Europe. Other components have gone out by rail.

Phillips Bros. Excavating of Moncton, NB was ferrying excavators for export. Both their Western Star and Kenworth had their tag axles lifted for the return trip.Both trailers are four axle, which are still fairly rare in these parts.

As usual Bellemare's Kenworths brighten up the road. This one is carrying its dolly on the trailer for the dead-head run back to Quebec.He was accelerating pretty well when I took this, with a little bit of torque dip and some good wheel spray - surfs up!


Routemasters are back

Now that tourist season is upon us once more, Halifax's fleet of AEC Routemaster double decker buses are back in service. Known as the Big Pink fleet, most of the buses are painted in vivid pink in support of breast cancer research and awareness. Nevertheless they do take on banner advertising -

Before the Big Pink scheme was adopted RML 2578 was completely covered with a blue restaurant ad. It has now had the top painted pink, retaining the blue below.
Although the buses retain their back doors, they have had new doors added on the right side to make entering and exiting safer.
[RML signifies the long wheelbases Routemaster variant]

For more on this bus see a previous posting from 2010:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Doors Open at Station 2

As part of a City wide program to throw open the doors of  buildings not often accessible to the public, Halifax Fire and Emergency Services welcomed the public (in droves) to the HRM's oldest fire station.
Number 2 station on University Avenue is my neighbourhood station, so I was among the many visitors this morning.
In the centre bay is the usual duty engine, 11-528E a Carl Thibault/ Spartan Metro Star 150/500.

 In the east bay, to the left, is a spare engine brought in for the kids to crawl on over and through. It is 97-109E a Superior 1250/500/25F.

In the west bay, the perennial favourite 34-04A, now classed as a parade vehicle, the 1934 Bickle 1000 usgpm pumper, named the Queen.
Named for its marathon pumping duties at the March 1939 Queen Hotel fire that killed 21 people, the unit was based at the Bedford Row fire hall (the building is now McKelvies restaurant). All Halifax fire apparatus was called out to that fire, which was only a block away from Bedford Row.
The original purchase, at $14,000, in a very questionable tendering process, saw the Bickle Fire Engine Co of Woodstock, ON beat out LaFrance and Seagrave (also with bids of $14,000) and Leyland (at $14,517). A 1,000 Imperial gallon pumping capacity  would have cost an additional $1,000 according to old City Council minutes.Complaints about the truck's heavy steering must have been resolved for it eventually entered front line service after several years relegated to third alarm status only, with no assigned driver.

Tracing its founding to 1754, the Halifax fire service is the oldest in Canada. Among its archival properties is this had drawn engine, also on display at Station No.2 .


Friday, June 6, 2014

Actros in Halifax

Every once in a while we are treated to a big European commercial vehicle. On Tuesday it was this handsome Mercedes Actros:

Equipped with a ballast body and knuckle boom crane it is ready for business. In this case it was a multi-axle steerable platform type trailer. Note the Nova Scotia commercial plate and escort truck, meaning that it was headed out of the port precinct and onto a public street somewhere.

Fahrenholz Industrie of Bremen, Germany works closely with Mills Heavy Hauling of Halifax and M+J Total Transport+Rigging Inc of Caledon East, ON to carry out major heavy loads all over Canada.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Waterloo Fire Rescue

Over a weekend in Waterloo, ON, I was able to see Waterloo Fire Rescue's 216 Weber Street North station in operation.

At 0700 the incoming shift does their checks on P-1, an impressive 2014 Pierce Impel PUC pumper.

Later in the morning responding to an alarm at University and King.

Responding to a MVA at University and Albert two days before, P-1 has earned its reputation as the busiest rig in Waterloo.

Also based at Weber Street:

  A-1 operates this 2003 Spartan Metro Star / General  / Rosenbauer 104 foot platform 1500/300/30F.

 The Platoon Chief is assigned this Chev Command Unit C-23.

Also responding to the University/King alarm was this (now classic) American LaFrance Eagle, dating from 2001.
The 1250/700/30A engine is now assigned to P-12 and is apparently a spare that was covering for another unit from a nearby station.

[All photos taken from my Samsung Galaxy 3 I-phone]