Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Break

Truckfax will be taking a break during August and will resume posting in early September, stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

40 ton Louie on the job

The legendary Halifax towtruck "40 ton Louie" was on the job this morning - and it really had a handful. Halifax Transit's articulated bus 742 had a breakdown and it had to be towed from Upper Water Street to the transit garage.

Ruggles Towing operates the Ford Louisville L9000.


Monday, August 4, 2014

More Western Stars (plus) for Pardys

Pardys Oilfield + Industrial Services vacuum truck operation seems to be expanding almost weekly. Every time I go by there's another truck I haven't seen before. Usually they are Western Stars - as are this pair I saw today.

Somebody had fun spec'ing this one - set back axle, twin steer, sleeper and drom box - oh and yes -  vacuum equipment. They must have had a dandy budget too.

Going for quantity this one is towing a three axle drawbar trailer with its own vacuum tank. Not exclusively Western Star buyers, they do have other makes as well:

A vacuum truck on International chassis and a spill response van on Peterbilt chassis give the other truck builders a bit of  hope.


Canam Freightliner from Quebec

Canam Steel is back with another load for the new Halifax Shipyard building, with another of their COEs. This is the more modern looking Freightliner with the big chrome grille. Also likely a new glider cab and chassis kitted to an engine, drive train rears. (See recent COE post: for another of their current fleet.)

Canam has long favoured COEs:

 In September 1991 they were running this rare White/GMC COE with a load steel roof joists. It was running with this White/GMC (or is it a White - it carries both labels) conventional.

 The integral sleeper had recently been re-introduced by Volvo (White/GMC) and it was another nail in the coffin of COEs. Since it meant wide cabs, with lots of room and easy access to the sleeper - the COEs lost a selling feature.


Freightliner from Alberta (updated)

I caught up with this Freightliner COE refueling at Petro-Canada's card-lock in Burnside, then heading out.

Operated by Mullen Trucking LP of Aldersyde, Alberta, the truck is a long way from home.
Based on the company's excellent website:
I would say it will be pairing up with this nine axle Knight trailer at Fairview Cove.

 The trailer has been sitting at the pier since August 1, waiting for nighttime travel and the end of a long weekend. It carries Saskatchewan plates.

Whoever pulls it, it will have a TransAction escort, using this GMC with custom utility body. Note the large arrow sign on the back (folded down onto the roof).

Updated: On Tuesday morning the Mullen Freightliner made up to the trailer and aligned it for departure about noon time.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

White GMC - veterans

Industrial fire apparatus are usually not as well equipped nor as attractive as those units used by municipal departments, but they are an interesting "sub species" nonetheless. Built to fight fires in specific industrial settings, they are usually fitted out for that one purpose, and such is the case with refinery fire apparatus, which carry large quantities of foam - much more than typical municipal pumpers usually do.

Imperial Oil - the Canadian branch of Exxon, and using the Esso brand name, operated a refinery in Imperoyal, adjacent to South Woodside, Nova Scotia, from the time of World War I until late 2013. Located on the east side of Halifax harbour, opposite the city of Halifax, the refinery was once fairly remote and thus maintained its own fire fighting capability. However as South Woodside was absorbed into the City of Dartmouth, which eventually merged into the Halifax Regional Municipality, and the area around the refiney became populated, the municipal fore departments were also able to assist in emergencies.
Nevertheless Imperial Oil kept foam trucks in the refinery. 

Now with the refinery shut down, and the facility in use as a tank storage operation, its fire department is downsizing, and two of its foam pumpers appear to be surplus. Both were built by Chubb National Fire of Exton, Pennsylvania - probably to a standard Exxon pattern. On White/GMC commercial chassis, that would date them from the 1988 to 1995 era. (Volvo acquired White in 1980, and GMC heavy truck in 1987, and used the White/GMC brand until changing to Volvo in 1995). However it was not until a few years into the new brand that Volvo dared place its diagonal arrow on the grilles.

Unit #1 is a short hood unit:

Unit #3 is a long hood version, with a few added features, including extra air horns, grille mounted lights and reflective stripe. Quad headlights were also a standard White/GMC feature by the time, as was the chrome edge on the tombstone grille. These were the best looking Whites or GMCs in many years.

These two have been parked outdoors in a parking lot on Pleasant Street for a few months now. They are still licensed, and appear to be operational, so I expect to see them gone soon.

The Chubb name was dropped when the company was taken over by Kidde, but the National Foam brand is still in use for a variety of fire fighting equipment.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Superior Signage

A self-storage operation has found an eye catching sign board.  Parked alongside Highway 103 near the Northfield Road in Lunenburg County this retired pumper now serves only as a backdrop to an ad.

It is a sad decline for a very stylish piece of fire apparatus.

New in 1981 from Superior,  it was built with the racy looking Pemfab cab, a 1500 gpm pump and 600 gal booster tank.  This style of cab, from Pemberton Fabricators in New Jersey, found its way onto several Pierrevilles, built for the Halifax FD in the late 1970s but was discontinued by the mid 1980s when Pemfab replaced it with a more upright looking plain cab.  Superior used very few of these, and it is possible they came from a stock originally intended for Pierreville. This pumper was built by Superior's short-lived plant in Kingston, ON, called Superior Fire Trucks, with serial number 16. The company's headquarters and main plant, Superior Emergency Vehicles, was located in Red Deer, AB and later became a subsidiary of Emergency-One, before shutting down in 2006.

Although it appears to be plugged into the Coke machine, it was still in the fire services in December 2003.

After a number of years on the front line for Wolfville, the unit was sold to Blockhouse and District F.D. in Lunenburg County.  They retired it in 2011, and it has popped up a few miles down the road, in its present location.

It was parked outside while the fire hall was being renovated.