Saturday, April 19, 2014


Ford Motor Co produced the Mercury truck for sale in Canada at its Lincoln-Mercury-Meteor car dealerships between 1948 and 1968. A slightly upgraded version of the basic Ford truck it was much admired by fire truck builders, because of the extra chrome and by pick-up owners for its larger engine.
I suspect the 1952 Merc I saw today in Bible Hill, NS (just outside Truro, NS) has an even beefier engine that the one it came with.
The rebuilt truck has been true to its original body work, but the wide tires and chrome wheels hint at some extra muscle. The clearance lights are not required on pick up trucks, but are a nice touch too.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2 count 'em 2 Freightliners

I still see Freightliner COEs on the road after who knows how many years out of production. Yesterday I saw three - I only got photos of two...

One was the well known Watson Freightliner that I have shown here before. It was at the Cerescorp Fairview Cove container terminal to pickup more aircraft components form Europe for Bomardier. On arrival it had a very light payload - couldn't someome buy this guy a nice aluminum gear storage box or headache rack?

 World's smallest container?

 At the other end of town I spotted another, that was new to me. It was running of the Halterm container terminal for Clarke's Flatbed Division, and had a long wheelbase, extra size sleeper, and a headache rack, with twin upright stacks behind the cab.
It also appears to have the swing out steps on the driver's side of the cab, although they weren't in use.

I just missed the third one at Halterm, it is operated by G.K.Morse, and it has been shown here before.  Surely if COEs are still on the road, there must be some demand for them in North America. I am surprised that some manufacturer is not building COEs once in a while.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CBC's GMC Class 8 truck

In 2009 General Motors ceased production of the Chev Kodiak and GMC Topkick lines of class 6 to 8 trucks (the heaviest truck classifications). They had previously exited heavy truck production  in 1986 when they sold the line to Volvo, but re-entered in 1995.
GM tried to sell the heavy truck operation, including the Flint Michigan plant to Isuzu (with whom they had a longstanding relationship) and Navistar, without success, and the last truck was built July 31, 2009.
Since then there has been talk off and on that they might re-enter production, but only in the 5-6 or 7 categories.
Therefore the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's GMC C8500 audio mobile truck with Isuzu diesel engine may symbolize the end of the line.
For a time GM had a stake in Isuzu of up to 49%, but that diminished, and Isuzu (and its car making branch Suzuki) backed out of the US, and instead concentrated on building engines.
When GM first introduced their new class 6-8 trucks in 2003, the class 8 came in 16 different wheelbase options, with several engine choices from Cat, Isuzu and others. The largest, with a 296 inch, single axle, wheelbase could accommodate a 96 inch wide x 30 foot long body.

CBC Radio's audio mobile truck is big (although I don't think all of Canada could live inside, unless they took turns) and is quite self-sufficient. It travels around the region for remote broadcasts and has its own electrical generator , air conditioner and other special equipment.  There is no manufacturer's sign on the van body, which was custom built for the CBC.
CBC has 19 trucks across the country of which 8 are audio mobile:

GMC often lead the pack in making trucks more civilized looking (as compared to say Peterbilt of Kenworth) and so this truck may represent the epitome of that styling.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

American LaFrance continued

As some alert readers pointed out I did not cover all of the Halifax Regional Fire + Emergency Services' LaFrances in my last post.

There are three commercial pumper/tankers in the fleet, all dating from 2002. They are built on  Freightliner tandem axle chassis:

02-302T runs out of Station #18 on #7 Highway in Cole Harbour.

02-303T is an identical unit.
02-304T is also the same.
They are equipped with 1750 gpm pump, 1800 gallon tank and 200 gallon foam tank.

The off side, shows some differences in arrangement.

It is hard to find any American LaFrance references on the these units, except for the ULC Panel 
(too bad they couldn't find some stainless steel rivets)
There are lots of Hale Pump and Foam Pro logos on the pump panel, but no other reference to American LaFrance. When these units were built American LaFrance was part of the Freightliner/ Daimler empire.

There is also a fourth American LaFrance unit on the roster. 04-353E is a custom pumper, which was based at Pleasant Street in Dartmouth. It has a 1750 gpm pump, 700 gallon booster tank and 25 gallons foam, but always eluded my camera. It seems to have been reassigned recently.


Mammoet - goes biggish

Considered to be the most compact of its big mobile cranes, the Liebherr 1400-7.1 appears massive nonetheless. Its 7 axle chassis has front and rear steering axles, and a lifting capacity of 400 tonnes (at 3 meters outreach).

Mammoet Cranes of Ayr, Ontario, the eastern Canada division of the huge Dutch lifting company, will soon add this one to their stable, having recently arrived from Europe by ship.
Mammoet's parent web site is worth a visit just to see what they can do:
Normally the Mammoet cranes we see in transit here are new from the factory in elaborate black and red paint schemes. This unit appears to be used and carries a more standard colour scheme. A smaller unit is also in transit  from the Fairview Cove terminal.

Sharp Volvo for IAM

IAM Transportation Ltd of Hamilton, ON specializes in carrying equipment and machinery, with flat decks and oversize loads. Their sharp looking Volvo was parked in Halifax this evening carrying crane jib gear.
Unit 137 also shows up on the company's web site:


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Metro Tow Trucks goes BIG

Ottawa based Metro Tow Trucks operates the largest tow truck fleet in eastern Ontario with more than 150 trucks at its command. Not only that, it builds tow trucks in its own factories in Ottawa and in China. It sells tow trucks all over the world, using chassis to suit its customers.
The big yellow MAN sitting in the Fairview Cove terminal is therefore likely an export, built in Canada for a  European customer. Certainly a twin steer COE five axle truck would be a rare beast indeed on Canadian roads.
Note the air lift axle in the photo above taken 2014-04-11.
By this morning the axle had descended to the ground.
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