Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ol'skool White Freightliner

"Ol' skool" is the name applied to the back of the sleeper of this White Freightliner, that earns its daily bread for T.J. Mills Express. Working the waterfront on container shuttle service, the rig is a daily sight in and around Halterm. This winter it has been wearing its rad blanket - something almost as rare as a high COE.

Drivers of COEs needed to keep their feet warm as the engine, which was under an insulated "doghouse" lost most of its heat to the outdoors and had none left for the cab. Hence the blankets, that were usually left partly open to ensure some fresh air got in when the truck was moving.

The last White Freightliner was produced in the late 1970s, so if that name plate is original to this cab, it is a very old truck indeed. It is possible that the plate was added to a later model as a bit of nostalgia, but even then this truck is getting on in years.
Freightliner's long lasting and light weight aluminum cabs were among the strong selling points, but all the undercarriage, engine and drive train are likely much newer.
Back when this truck was built Freightliner had an assembly plant in Burnaby, BC to avoid duties, so almost every White Freightliner in Canada came from that plant. Often the buyer took delivery at the plant gate, so they had a pretty long break-in drive before they got home.

Over the years, the White Freightliner name plate grew in size. A small triangle was typical for the 1950s and 1960s into the early 1970s, such as the one on the H.S.Gill + Sons, Nashwaksis, NB unit on the left dubbed "Lumber Lugger". Note the "Canada" below the name plate.
In the mid 1970s the plate was enclosed within a rectangle like "Kathy", running for Sunbury Transport of Hoyt, NB (possibly before it became part of J.D.Irving's trucking conglomerate.) Note the date - late April snow is probably a thing of the past now even in central New Brunswick.

 This rig was new in 1975 and was owner driven from the Burnaby plant to Thorburn, Nova Scotia.

For 1976, the grille grew in size and so did the name plate.

As Freightliner Corp decided to break away from White Motors they began to evolve the COE with bigger engines, and to complete with Pete and KW, added some creature comforts. Integral steps replaced the old buggy step seen in the earlier models. They even recessed the door handle, and located in the bottom corner of the door, and introduced a recessed step below the door.

This truck show demo seen in Halifax appears to be of the same vintage as "Ol'skool" seen above, which would make it 40 years old..


1 comment:

  1. My fathers truck, its actually a 1988 with the grille and headlights from a late 70's. It was originally from south Carolina a ryder truck. He hauls to newfoundland and maritimes.