Sunday, September 17, 2017

Recent RVs

As the fall tourist season peaks, the RVs continue to hover in our region before heading back to the US or Europe. Some recent finds.

This neat looking Citroen was modified by Globecar and is their Campscout model. It carries German plates.

Although wearing British Columbia plates this Mitsubishi  was built for domestic Japanese use, with right hand drive.

A Delica model, it has passed through several hands for modifications.

Featuring somewhat less gracious lines, this former delivery stepvan has been transformed with a snappy paint job and interior fittings. 

There is no outward indication of its original maker, but I have feeling there are Navistar International genes in there somewhere.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

60 is the new 40

Canadian Tire has been rolling out its groundbreaking 60 foot intermodal container across the country since May of this year, in association with Canadian Pacific.

 Ontario plated Canadian Tire Volvo out of Brampton, did not haul this can over the road to Halifax!
The immense rear overhang of the new 60 footers is not quite so obvious in this view.

Believed to be the first in North America, although Uncle Sam Walmart is breathing down their neck, Canadian Tire has been designing and testing the new big box since 2014. By first attaching Styrofoam blocks to the ends of their 53 footers (they were early adopters of that larger size too), they found that they could still remain within the various legth, rear overhang and other regulations, by using a day cab tractor.

Now they have AICM manufacturring the boxes and Max-Atlas building trombone trailers that can be pegged for 53 or 60 foot (or is it 60'-6"?).

The new 60s will be used in intermodal transport in the Toronto-Vancouver, Toronto-Calgary, Toronto-Halifax corridors and inter-Ontario. Halifax is a big Canadian Tire distribution centre and has consolidation facilities for overseas imports. Halifax is not served by CP Rail, but CN Rail handles their intermodal work here. So far Alberta and Ontario have permitted these rigs, but it seems likely the Maritimes will be on the bandwagon soon.

With the new 60 footers CT claims a 13% increase in capacity, equivalent to four pallets. When you think that CT has 6,500 of the 53 footers in service and has a 15 year plan to upgrade to 60 foot, you can see that this is a big deal.

53 foot containers, and certainly 60 foot containers for now, will be confined to intermodal work, although they do go to sea on some short sea routes such as TOTE Maritime's Florida / Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands service service and Oceanex's Newfoundland service. There is some Asia-Pacific use for reinforced 53 footers, but they are still rare on ships that are usually restricted to the more traditional 20, 40 and 45 foot lengths.

(cell phone photo used for comparison purposes only)

If drivers need sleeping accommodation, will we see the return of the Jimmy crackerbox COE with 24 inch sleeper? 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Road Report - more classics

A trip through Central and Northern mainland Nova Scotia on Labour Day revealed a few classics still on the job:

This nicely rebuilt C series Ford was once in fire service (some of the gold leaf survives on the cowl) but the doors have been so well repainted there is no outward sign of what department(s) it served. The conversion to carry a dumpster box includes hydraulics and appears to have been done very professionally. (Truro)

 Although it has a 9000 hood, I suspect this Louisville started life as another model. Not many 9000s would have been built a single screw. (Stellarton)

Some Autocars are hard to kill. This dual steer dumper appears to be a daily worker even after all these years. (Elmsdale)

 Nova Scotia's Department of Transportation has extensive shops for rebuilding and maintaining their trucks, so perhaps it is not surprising that this Comfort Cab version Western Star is still on the road.
(Milford, Hants County)

The only thing classic about this Volvo is the colour. Day and Ross, once marketed itself as "The Big Orange" but in recent years has gone to factory white (oh so boring) for company trucks. Perhaps an o/o took it upon himself to go for tradition. Normally there would also have been some black trim too.

 Probably a bargain here for someone. This GMC C8500 is a little too big to justify for my driveway, but it would be fun to give it a try. (Stellarton)


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Not so elementary Watson - UPDATED

Oversize load carrier Watson, based in Quebec, is the preferred carrier for Bombardier aircraft components that arrive in Halifax by sea. As noted previously their trucks are now sporting more subdued graphics, but are still recognizable by their red colour and beefy Kenworths, as this July 12 photo shows:

Imagine my surprise therefore when I spotted this Watson today:

Yes indeed - a Peterbilt!
I think I prefer the KW setback axle look.

Update September 6:
It was back to tradition today as another Watson truck prepared for the road. It was a typical Kenworth set back, with low rise sleeper and the older graphic scheme.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Double Take at the Big Stop

A noon time visit to the Irving Oil Big Stop at Enfield, Nova Scotia, turned up this F'liner complete with drom box:

AMJ Campbell out of Calgary operates this rig with Atlas Van Lines.

Later in the afternoon I dropped in again, and thought at first glance that the truck had moved from one spot to another, but on closer inspection I realized it was a different rig entirely.

This one operated by Matco, also from Alberta, runs for United Van Lines. Note the low rise sleeper and demountable drom box.

Matco (Mid Arctic Transportation Co) is a part of the Manitoulin Group of Companies- longtime users of drom equipped trucks. Matco has branches in Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray, AB and Hay River, Inuvik, Norman Wells and Yellowknife, NT and Whitehorse, YT.

It pays to look twice!


Friday, September 1, 2017

Road Report - Classics

During the month of August, always on the search for unusual trucks, I didn't see much until the drive home through New Brunswick. I did catch a few in Quebec however.

Pristine Mack restoration:

Badged as a Superliner, it lacks the golden bulldog, but with the R model cab and notched sleeper, it is a classic - and sounds good too. The RW (for R Western) as it was called was built from 1977 based on a Brockway prototype, and was probably never equaled until the arrival of the Titan.

Always on the lookout for working Autocars, I saw two, but only caught up with one. Both were late model (White GMC / Volvo era), twin steers.

I have shown this one here before - it is used by a foundation contractor, so does not accumulate much mileage, but was rebuilt in the last two or three years, and is still looking good.

On the way through New Brunswick, I saw a few "used iron" lots where it seems the oldies have come to roost until a buyer shows up:

Early set back with White/ Autocar cab is much used but appears to have life left in it.

Parked nearby was this 1982 Metalfab pumper tanker built on a GMC 7000 series commercial chassis.

The tank capacity is a large 1200 (imperial) gallons, and dates from October 1982.

Further down the road in Fredericton, I struck gold - at least for White GMC /Volvo fans:

 The finest looking White GMCs were these short lived models, with tombstone rad, particularly with the low rise integral sleeper.

White contributed this COE cab, which was continued for some time into the Volvo era. This former New Brunswick Department of Highways unit, was likely shop built. 

A great hi-rise plow with spreader body, was likely a Highways Department unit originally. It covers all the bases with White GMC on the rad with Volvo bar and Autocar on the hood.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

K Country

On any trip to Quebec you are bound to see mighty Kenworths. No exception this time.

These three are taking a weekend break.

 In from the woods,

 In from the long haul,
 (note the one piece windshield and single wiper.)

and in from the back roads.