Saturday, December 3, 2016

Maritime-Ontario - back then - Part 1

From 1951 to 1977 the White Motor Company sold and serviced Freightliner Trucks under the White Freightliner name plate. Freightliner had been founded by Consolidated Freightways to build its own trucks, but they proved so popular that they needed a national presence, and made a deal with White, but kept ownership of the brand.
White, which produced trucks under the White, Autocar (from 1953) and Western Star banners was doing all right for a time, but eventually began to lose ground and Freightliner went its own way. Eventually Daimler acquired Freightliner and still owns it today.
White was insolvent when its assets were acquired by Volvo in 1983 and eventually merged with GM trucks. Autocar was discontinued (Boo!) and the name brand was sold and Western Star, which had been sold by White to Canadian owners, eventually reversed its way back into Daimler.
That's the short version of the long story, given here only as a preface to the main point. White Freightliners were immensely popular! The popularity continued and even increased in the post White era.

The Dartmouth, NS based Maritime-Ontario Freight Lines Ltd had a large fleet of largely Owner-Operator trucks, which had to display a blue and white paint scheme, but there was wide latitude in where and how that was applied.  There was also no uniformity in what make of truck the O-O's operated.
Not surprisingly therefore there were a number of White Freightliners in the COE days. All were built at the Burnaby, BC factory and usually had a "Canada" tag somewhere on the body.

Just in off springtime roads, this salt caked COE is carrying frozen fish.
M-O # 473

Another coat of salt after another trip.
M-O # 479

More fish, but this time a predominantly blue colour scheme. 
M-O # unknown

Similar colour scheme, but a single stack, and a bit shinier.
M-O # 550

In the early 1970s Freightliner began to build a conventional truck for the first time. Also with a light weight aluminum cab, they became popular over night, and M-O had their share.
 This rig looks quite new in 1978, so may be among the last built with the White Freightliner badge. 
Just back of the front fender and low on the hood of this one and the next two is the "Canada" tag. 
M-O # unknown

Another combo scheme, and one of the early wind deflectors.
In the background is one of the pair of Cyril L. Dauphinee trucks (both International Transtar 4200). That company had the contract to deliver newsprint to the local newspaper.
M-O # 433
There were still lots of White Freightliners on the road in 1980, by which time this rig had a good many miles on it, but still looked sharp. 
M-O # unknown 

The White name was deleted from the name plates, but there were no other changes. M-O # 549 is a Freightliner, while its fleet mate # 550 (see above) was a White Freightliner.
 Maritime-Ontario also had a lot of Macks on the road in the late 1970s and early 1980s, despite the awkward sleeper arrangement with the narrow R model cab. M-O # 587.

More on Macks in Part 2.



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Roll the Plows

With winter fast approaching in Halifax the plows are ready to roll.

Almost all municipalities and provincial highway departments have yellow vehicles these days, and apply their own graphics, so it is hard to say who will be running some of the new rigs I saw a while back at Parts for Trucks.

This brand new Freightliner had its wing plow mounted on a huge elevator.

Some of its front mounting gear was in the dump body - perhaps to improve the driver's line of sight for the delivery trip.

There was not much doubt about whose this unit was, because it still had Nova Scotia government markings.

Looking like a lion ready to pounce, it dwarfed some regular sized trucks at the GM engine shop.
Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal runs this Autocar, with number 82675.

Meanwhile back to my summer report, I saw a number of civilian snow plows that are obviously never used for other work in the summer.

This collection of 3 Internationals and a Western Star were patiently waiting to be called in Clermont, QC by Fernand Harvey. I did not record a number on the truck at the far left, but the others are number 00-01, 95-02 and 01-01. 

Little used in Nova Scotia, but still to be found in Quebec are these wonderful Sicard snow blowers.

 This older model and the newer model below also work for Fernand Harvey of Clermont.

Both bear the familiar Sicard name and logo and are AWD with separate blower engine.

Bring on the snow!


Sunday, November 6, 2016


I finally spotted a new Navistar International HX model in Halifax (sometimes abbreviated as Hfx).
It is a fully kitted out HX with dump body at the Navistar dealer in Burnside.

As mentioned before, it is to replace the Paystar series and the CAT truck which has been discontinued by Caterpillar. This particular truck is carrying a dealer's plate, so it is a demonstrator for now at least.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Long Haul Pete

This Pete, owned by RJ Express and running for Action Express of Regina, Saskatchewan was carrying a John Deere 1270G tree harvester.

The harvester was delivered to Halifax by ship, and  the driver was doing some final checks before hitting the road this morning.
Here's more on the Deere: 


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Grillled oldies on and off the road

"Customized" grilles seemed to be the order of the day this week.

This big Freightliner with a light load - touched down in Halifax Friday.

Its long wheelbase hints at a western history, but it is now operated by D.Forsyth Ltd of Centreville, NB, a US DoT license holder. Missing the normal Freightliner plate below the windshield, it has an engraved "Freightliner" over the custom grille.

I found this Mercedes lurking in Burnside. It appears to be a T2 variant, the 508D, produced as a van or bus in the 1986-1996 period. This one was likely customized as a campervan when new, but the T2 types were so ubiquitous at one time that it could have been just about anything to start with. The stainless steel marine type windows could be a giveaway to a connoisseur. 

Missing its front bumper, which may not be too far away, it has a few loose wires and a the front of the frame showing.

 Also in Burnside, standing out a amid a bunch of new Freightliner fuel trucks, this well worn Western Star features the low door latches of the late model Autocar Driver Comfort Cab.

The truck has lost some of the grille frame, and what remains is battered. It also has well wired mirrors with rear facing back-up lights in nacelles. The single centre mounted clearance light is a unique feature too.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

My summer vacation - Part 2

Always on the lookout for Autocars and COEs I saw a few of each.

All these A'cars are from the GM era:

 Hard working dumper in Quebec City must be a durable beast.

This well driller has a drop axle, and appears to be in great shape.

 With an added steering axle, this pumper is a veteran.

Some prime COEs:

A rare Mack COE, a 1983 model, runs for Scierie Bois-St-François of St-François-du-Lac and is in pristine condition.

Le ferme Guy Benoit runs Big Bull Attack II, a Kenworth Aerodyne.

And finally, need a tow?

Garage Bertrand of Neuville and its sister company Remorquage Lévis will go anywhere to pick up a tow, and have 8 big trucks to do the job. This Volvo was taking a break hauling a Kenworth.

Closer to home,  Clarke's Towing of Moncton NB runs this well worn KW that looks capable of handling just about any job.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

My summer vacation - Part 1

A little late, but here is my report for my August vacation in Quebec.

As usual I was able to find some serious - but very old - snow clearing equipment.

A 4x4 Western Star, complete with 60s era Autocar cab, appears to be on its last legs, but may be fired up if needed this coming winter.

 A classic Sicard Snomaster with its huge blower motor - the real way to clear snow.

High speed plow, spreader body and a Cat powered classic Freightliner split window cab. Does the size of the fuel tank drop a hint about how many mpg this rig gets.

It wasn't all old stuff however. I did finally get to see some new Navistar International HX series trucks. These came about as a result of Caterpillar canceling its truck production (which were built by Navistar) and Navistar needing a vocational heavy duty.

I  found this pair at Simard Suspensions in Baie-St-Paul waiting for some modifications - doesn't look like they will go to steering axle.  
Set-back long wheelbase

Shorter wheelbase has a crooked stack.

I haven't seen any of these locally yet - they were just introduced in February - but they are supposed to replace the Paystar. There is a set-forward model too, and can be straight truck or tractor.

to be continued...