Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Must be Christmas in July

July 25 found me in Digby, NS where the ferry Princes of Acadia makes its twice daily 92 mile crossing to Saint John, NB. Frequented by tourists in cars, it also serves trucks from western Nova Scotia heading to the US or central Canada by cutting nine or more hours of driving down to a six hour sea voyage.
Some trucks are drive on drive off, but operators Bay Ferries Ltd also provide a drop trailer service. On this particular day Armour Transportation had several trailers to go, and the terminal had its two yard shunters ready to run them onto the ferry (and haul off any coming in from Saint John).

Number 1 shunter was a pretty standard looking raised roof Ottawa, but Number 5 (not an Ottawa- but it had no discernible markings) was anything but standard looking.

Number 5's driver, pedal to the metal, roars off to work, setting a Digby acceleration record, despite wielding an aerodynamically challenging snow plow. One of Armour's drop tractors awaits the arrival of new loads.

#5 made extraordinarily fast work of placing support trestles under the waiting drop trailers' king pins. The trailer's own dolly wheels are far too flimsy to withstand the rolling and pitching of the ferry, and these heavy stanchions are anchored to the ship's deck during the crossing to stabilize the trailers.

After a Don Garlitts run back through the yard, the driver makes a Mario Andretti turn into his parking slot - snow plow intact (and unneeded), but leaving a bit of rubber on the track (er ... sorry, roadway).

It was July 25, so like Christmas lights that still adorn some houses by July 25, it is safe to guess that the plow will remain onboard until next winter. Perhaps it works as a counterweight or, based  on the operating speed, maybe it is a ground effects air dam.


Transport MBM

I startled the driver of this Transport MBM truck yesterday I snapped the photo of him as he was preparing to don his boiler suit. He had arrived from Quebec with an electrical device for a new building on the Halifax waterfront and was getting ready to unload.

The silver International Eagle was striking enough with its low boy trailer, but it was the company name that made me stop. Based in Brossard, QC, Transport MBM shares initials with the author this blog. What more is there to add.


Monday, July 28, 2014

I say it's an Autocar

Always on the look out for my favourite truck - Autocar, I have had to backtrack a bit on my previous stance. The true Autocar disappeared in 1987 after Volvo stopped building the distinctive truck and applied the brand name to Volvo-Whites. To purists (as I was) that was the end of the line.
I now acknowledge the 1987 to 2000 era (when Volvo stopped using the brand name) as part of Autocar, even if that infuriates purists. Those late era trucks were hardier than the standard range of Volvos, even though there is a real debate over whether they lived up to the rugged reputation of 'real' Autocars.
This morning I spotted this dumper at work. It is devoid of any markings that would indicate whether it was built as an Autocar or a Volvo or more likely a White/GMC, but since I like the looks of it, I am declaring it an honorary Autocar.

Speaking of out of production brands, there are still lots of Sterlings on the road, even though Daimler Trucks North America stopped building them in Canada in 2009.

I guess when there are no more Autocars, except in museums, I will have to keep alert for Sterlings.


World touring Merc

German photographer Norbert Guthier uses this Merc to tour the world. The sleek camper is devoid of the usual maps and graffiti found on many of the globetrotters.

It is also in good condition in view of the many remote spots her has visited.

Caution:  Those who go to the owners website may be shocked by some of his subject matter - don't say I didn't warn you. (That is why I am not providing a direct link).


Give me air

The charm of London doubledeckers apparently wears a little thin on hot days, when their lack of air conditioning makes an upstairs ride a bit challenging - particularly for visitors from another planet. Fortunately the rear escape window folds down for some additional oxygen.

Routemaster RML 2316 (plate number CUV 316) is one of Ambassatours Halifax "Big Pink" fleet of double deckers. It was delivered new in Ocotober 1965.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Schwing Shift

Three elderly Schwing concrete pumpers were spotted on the waterfront in the last few days. They are very likely headed to new owners overseas.

Nearest the camera is the usual Mack cab - the most popular for concrete pump trucks. The other two are of special interest for they are low cab forward Freightliner COEs, with set-back axle, rarely seen anymore.  Intended as competition for Mack, Autocar/Volvo and Peterbilt, all of whom had industrial type COEs, the F'liner essentially used its highway cab, including small side windows, with few other modifications.

Schwing is one of two popular concrete pump manufacturers. The other one is Putzmeister, which seems to be in lead, at least in Halifax. Here a few recent sightings.
 Giant Mack /Putzmeister requires a special permit to travel on public roads, so is only used on special jobs.

 Quality Concrete uses this light weight Freightliner for small jobs or in tight spaces, since it stabilizer legs do not have to extend very far.

This Mack can block most of a street, since it takes two transit mixers to keep its pump going.

Macks are by far the most popular chassis for pumpers.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The long and the short (again)

The longest truck I have seen in Halifax was getting ready to hit the road last evening. The area at pier 31 in the port is being used as a staging area for wind turbine components. They arrive by rail, then are transferred to trucks for the trip to the wind farm.

 Lenron of Saint John, NB, provided the Western Star tractor and the Diamond double dolly trailer.

The six axle rear dolly is not fully visible from this angle. A three axle semi-trailer type dolly heads up the trailer. The tractor also has a lift axle.

Meanwhile not far away on the waterfront this intriguing Kenworth had left its trailer at a camp ground, and came into town unattached.

The extended crew cab has limo type seating.