Thursday, June 23, 2016

Terradyne Ghurka - up close

Usually I can only see them through a fence and at a distance, but I managed an up close view this evening as a lone Terradyne Ghurka sat on a low bed trailer outside the fence at the Fairview Cove terminal..

This Ghurka has no military markings and is painted almost black, but which appears brown at some angles. There was no clue as to its destination, but it is for export.

See my previous post:
In that series, they did have some military marks applied.

 Perhaps this one is intended for a police force rather than an army.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Eura Mobil - tandem RV PLUS Bonus Round

Just when you think you've seen it all, something nerw comes down the pike to surprise you.

Withe rush of European RVs pretty much at an end - most travellers want to get here before June- there are a few stragglers, and this one showed up today.

It is not a current model and in fact it may be a 2008 or even as early as 2000. It appears to be a Fiat cab, with a 7 berth EuraMobil RV body. The tandem rears really stand out from the norm.

Bonus Round
I rarely see these European RVs more than once, but I was surprised this evening when the same vehicle pulled into a waterfront parking lot. I also had a chance to speak to its gracious owner, Tomas.

This is indeed a year 2000 model, front wheel drive Fiat, and is relatively under powered by current standards, but due to the absence of a lot of pollution controls, it does very well at high altitudes. The RV had recently covered several countries in South America, was shipped back to Germany then on to Halifax. Unfortunately there were many delays, and Tomas (the owner) tells me that he is now too late in the season to make it to Alaska (the Holy Grail for European RVs.)

Tomas also told me that he looked for a newer RV at a reasonable price but could find nothing that compared to this one for the roominess. He also liked the tandem real wheels for the rough roads in South America and its ability to track straight on the highway. The front wheel drive is a bit of a liability however, and he was forced to back up some steep hills in South America!


Monday, June 13, 2016

Kenworths to go (overseas)

A pair of Kenworths appeared this evening complete with dump bodies, apparently ready to head to new owners overseas. The long wheelbase tractors with tridrive rear axles indicate a far western origin - something not often seen in this part of ther world.

The two tractors appear to have some miles on them, but the dump bodies look brand new. The rigs carry Camex bumper stickers and mud flaps, indicating that they have been sold by the Nisku, AB based Camex Equipment Sales + Rentals Inc.  See:

The trailers come from the Brandon, MB manufacturer Cancade Company Ltd, see:

Delivery of the trucks from their origin to Halifax has apparently been entrusted to 1540924 Ontario Inc, d/b/a Move It Shuttle Systems of Dunnville, ON.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Kalmars for Halterm

Halterm, the container terminal operated by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners in the south end of Halifax, is getting some new container handling equipment.

The first deliveries are three new Kalmar Front End Loaders (FELS) that arrived by sea from Sweden at the Fairview Cove container terminal operated by competitor Cerescorp. Atlantic Container Line, which includes Gothenburg in its port calls, delivered the units to Halifax and Atlantic Tiltload Ltd trucked them to Halterm.

The Kalmars are truly massive units, when seen in comparison to ATL's Western Star as it exits the Fairview Cove pier.

As they come off the ship, the cab is in a lowered position, the rear fenders are not installed and the lift mast was shipped separately.
 A fully assembled unit has been doing trials with some typical 20 ft containers.

They appear to be Kalmar's biggest model, called the DCF 520 which has a lifting capacity of 52 tonnes.
See the brochure:  kalmar-forklifts-1852-ton-capacity/

Kalmar is part of the Cargotec group of companies which also includes the Ottawa brand terminal tractor, and Hiab cranes, among others. They also build straddle carriers and reach stackers, and provide various services to terminal design and operation.
See more: Kalmar Milestones

Halterm will also be getting 8 new intermodal terminal tractors, for shuttling containers within the terminal and 5 new RoRo tractors that will move containers off and onto ships.

More Euros

Dozens of RVs are moving through Halifax from Europe this week and I have only caught a few, but most are unique.

This Merc appears to be a conversion within the standard van body but has a bubbled up roof. The Tu symbol on the plate represents Tubingen (Baden-Wurttemburg) in Germany.

VW pickup trucks are unknown on this side of the Atlantic, so this one will turn heads wherever it goes. The Amarok model has been produced since 2010 in Europe, but also in Algeria and Argentina, so is better known overseas. This particular unit is carrying a stylish Tischer Trail model removable camper body. It is carrying Swiss license plates. The AG prefix represents the Canton of Aargau in the North of the country.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Telus Bus

Most telephone service providers have been accused of driving their customers around the bend, but as far as I know Telus is the only one that actually does it with a bus.

This Prévost custom unit touched down in Halifax today - briefly - and I didn't take time to see what was inside, but from outside there are some interesting points.

First Prévost, the Volvo bus subsidiary based in Sainte-Claire-de-Bellechasse, QC makes more than straight highway coaches. It also now produces urban transit buses, and has for many years built custom buses and bus-based RVs (including the US President's ''Ground Force One''). So it wasn't much of a stretch to produce this unit.

It also appears to be fitted with the rooftop diffuser system for its diesel particulate filter system. Prévost was acquired by Volvo in 1995 and in 2008 replaced the traditional Detroit Diesel engines with their own Volvo engines.

Looking between the headlights on the false grille I detected the Keolis Orléans logo, which is also interesting. Orléans, a dominant bus operator in Quebec, was the owner of Acadian Lines from 2004-2012 when they abruptly lost interest in providing bus service east of the New Brunswick border.
That decision coincided with the January 2012 acquisition of Orléans by Keolis, the giant French based transportation operator. Keolis runs trains, buses and trams in 15 countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the United States where it operates Boston's MBTA rail service. It is much bigger in Britain and continental Europe where it carries most of its 3.5 billion passengers per year.

Keolis is majority owned by SNCF- the French national rail company at 70%, but is also 30% owned by  the Caisse de dépot et de placement du Québec - the Quebec pension fund. A very big owner of one of the company's smaller subsidiaries.

We haven't seen another Orléans bus here since 2012 (unless it was a charter) so it was a bit of a surprise to turn up this one.

 Here is the same unit October 3, 2013 with a different paint scheme, its extensions retracted, and an Orléans logo-which did not acknowledge the Keolis ownership.

Passenger side view shows similar pullouts in the stowed position, including the H3 45 designation next to the door.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Road Trip Report - plus

Sad to say my recent road trip didn't turn up much trucking of interest. Perhaps it is the uniformity and lack of originality in modern day trucks or perhaps they just weren't where I was. I certainly saw very few old trucks in Maine - which used to be famous for them.

Always on the lookout however I did spot some COEs, both Freightliners:

This dandy with a large drom was spotted in Quebec. Bearing British Columbia plates, it was obviously westbound, due to the concentration of New Brunswick bug life plastered to the front. Movers still like the long chassis COE to maximize the cubic carrying capacity.

Later on at one of the fish plants on the Portland, ME waterfront, this classic Freightliner with reefer box on a tandem straight chassis was getting ready to roll. Much favoured to carry fish, they are easy to maneuver into tight places, like most wholesale fish markets, and they carry relatively small quantities of high value product.

I was hoping to see some classic pinstriped trucks in Boston, but was only able to catch one:

This Mack on transit mix duty, carries on the long tradition of heavily pinstriped vehicles in what are now called vocational trucks - dumpers, mixers, and refuse - a Boston trademark. Once seen lavished on Autocars, Brockways and Macks, they are now few and far between.

In 1978 L-J Transport of Dartmouth, NS was running three similar Autocars, all imported from New England.

 By 1980 Harnum Transport Ltd of Dartmouth, NS was the successor to L-J, and although they ran R model Macks they were also pinstriped, and probably came in from the US too.

Owen Davis from Lower Sackville, NS was an Autocar man, and he made sure this pinstriped unit  advertised Owen Davis Trucking in the 1983 Natal Day parade in Halifax.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Old RVs

There are still lots of old RVs around - some of them are still up to the job of making long trips.

I have no idea how old this Merc is, but judging by the condition of the rims and door bottom it has been around for a while. The loss of sheen  on the Aleman RV body is another clue. I found this one, carrying a German plate, in the Walmart parking lot - a favourite haunt for the recently arrived tourists to stock up on supplies.

Another aged unit is Lazy Daze RV. At the time this one was built Lazy Daze was located in Pomona, CA, but has since relocated to Montclair, CA. Ford chassis have always been far more common, so it is interesting to see a Chev.

Lazy Daze was founded in 1956, and sells direct from the factory only. It has no dealer network. Although it builds several standard models, a certain amount of customization is possible. Whether it lives up to the promise of the builder's plate is hard to tell.

I doubt the Smiths are still the owners, but the current proprietors are using Alberta plates, so it is still up to long trips. 


Fire Apparatus - more deals - Part 2

Another recently announced fire apparatus manufacturing deal is an interesting one.

Maximétal of St-George-de-Beauce, QC, which has a major hold on Quebec apparatus sales, under its Maxi Fire line, has made an arrangement to mount its unique Maxi pumper and tanker bodies on Pierce Saber custom chassis. The new units will be branded as MaxiSabers and will carry both Pierce and Maxi badges.

On my road trip I spotted a number of Maxis in Quebec, all using Spartan chassis, with their older pumper bodies. The new pumper bodies are worth a look at Maxi's web site.

La Pocatière, QC 301 is a 2007 Maxi 1050/ 1500/ 30F pumper tanker on a Spartan MetroStar chassis.

Quebec City, Caserne (Station) 2 in Limoilou houses Engine 202, also a 2007 Maxi, 1250/ 580/ Foam Pro 2002, on a Spartan Metro Star chassis. The black, white, yellow stripes dress up the standard looking apparatus quite nicely.

Pierce is the largest fire apparatus manufacturer in the US and has had a variety of deals with Canadian manufacturers over the years, most notably with Fort Garry, but that has elapsed.
Pierce, part of the Oshkosh Corp (which produces a host of other trucks and bodies) has an established dealer network in Canada, which will also now promote Maxis.

Pierce apparatus seem to have good longevity if the number I saw on my trip are typical:

Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré, QC runs this 2007 Pierce Dash 1750/ 420/ 105' quint, which used to belong to Sandy Springs, GA of all places. Its southern background could certainly help explain its excellent condition.

As for the US Pierce units are everywhere!

One such place is Freeport, ME:


Engine 1 is a 2001 Pierce Dash Heavy Rescue 2000/ 750/ 20F

 Ladder 1 is a 1997 Pierce Arrow 105' RMA

Engine 5 is a 2009 Pierce Quantum PUC 1500/ 710/ 40A

Portland, ME Ladder 6, a 2001 Pierce 105' aerial, runs out of the Bramhall Station.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Fire Apparatus - more deals - Part 1

The fire apparatus manufacturing industry has had many ups and downs, with established names disappearing or re-organizing, and many acquisitions of small fry by bigger fry.
Two recent deals are worth noting.

KME (Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corp) a highly regarded US manufacturer has just been acquired by the REV Group. Never heard of them? -until late last year they used to be called Allied Specialty Vehicles- they are huge, owning 8 ambulance brands (American, Horton, Leader, McCoy Miller, Road Rescue, Wheeled Coach and Frontline), 7 bus brands, 4 RV brands, Laymor road sweepers, Capacity terminal tractors - not to mention E-One.

REV is privately owned, as was Kovatch, so the details of the deal are unlikely to be known, but KME will remain a brand of its own, as is E-One. REVGroup hopes to go public in the next year or so, but in the meantime they have moved corporate offices from Orlando to Milwaukee, and are apparently on the hunt for more acquisitions in the specialty vehicle market. It is interesting that their biggest competitor on the fire apparatus line is Pierce, which is also based in Wisconsin. 

Pennsylvania based KME's largest customer is reported to be Chicago.

Most of the REVGroup's manufacturing is in Florida and Ohio, but with plants spread around the country.

On my recent road trip I saw a few KMEs and several  E-Ones.

Boston Engine Company 33 runs this 2011 1250/ 750 USgal  KME, Severe Service Predator cab, with Navistar Maxx Force engine (the subject of considerable controversy),

which is fully equipped with this handsome dalmatian.

They are Boston's busiest, located on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, and they occupy the oldest and handsomest fire house.

They share the station with Ladder Company 15

Ladder 15 runs a 2010 E-One Cyclone II

If you ever want to see some masterful driving, watch these guys back into the their mousehole like bays in one smooth move.

Some other E-Ones spotted on my trip:

La Pocatière, QC runs this 2008 Cyclone 1750/250/100' in a good looking Chicago-like black over red colour scheme.

Calais, Maine, Fire and EMS, Ladder 1 runs this vintage 1985 E-One 1250/300/75'.