Friday, April 30, 2010

Western Star finale (2)

Digging deep into the Western Star archive, I will polish off April with part two of the finale, and an assortment of oddities.

1 Taken in 1995 in New Brunswick, this Oromocto based Star was running for McMinnimans United Van Lines. The overhanging drom probably set up some weird air stream patterns.

2 This huge drom was running for AMJ Campbell, and was based in St.John's, NF. Taken at Moncton, NB June 11, 1999.
3 Taken late in 1992, this COE was running for Sunbury- but what about that diagonal bar? Not a standard feature, maybe a Volvo precursor-but Volvo didn't acquire Western Star!
4 This is what a COE was supposed to look like (give or take a few vertical bars) taken June 3, 1989 in Dartmouth. Running for Weather B. Transport, owner /operator was Holgate Trucking of British Columbia. Note the air intake coming up through the drom, and no visible exhaust stacks.

5 Transport Canada was using this runway sweeper at the Halifax airport when this photo was taken May 31, 1999. Looks like a 4X4.

6 You are unlikely to see many of these on the road! With the look that only a mother could love, this was Western Star's short lived class 7 experiment. When Freightliner took over this model was no more. Dealer's demo February 21, 2000 in Dartmouth, NS.

7 The government of Canada used this Western Star to calibrate weigh scales. The front axle is set way back, likely to compensate for that huge Pitman crane on the back bumper. The crane was used to place specially calibrated test weights on the scales. June 1989.

And that is it for Western Stars for a while.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Western Star finale

To wind up Western Star month (almost) here is a bevy of heavies-all built to work in and out of the woods hauling timber and pulpwood. These were all taken in Quebec between 1994 and 2000 when there were thousands of tons of wood moving by road in Quebec every day. Sadly those days are gone.
Also, my favourite Western Stars, still with the Autocar cab.
1 Transport J-P, Baie-St-Paul QC, July 1, 2000.

2 Transport Emil Horth at Amqui, QC, September 5, 1997

3 Transport Janifer, Sacre Coeur QC, June 29, 1996

4 Transport A.E.S. of of Lebel-sur-Quevillon at Trois-Rivieres, QC, October 8, 1995.

5 Transport Jean-Yves Tremblay at Degelis, QC, July 1, 1994.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thru the fence (and over the fence)

Sub-title: New Chain Link Filter Adds Character to Photos. Updated photo added May 1

Sorry about this one, but apparently Ambassatours is shedding 11 doubledeckers, hard to tell if they are all Routemasters. They are lined up inside the Fairview Cove container terminal, likely to be loaded aboard an Atlantic Container Line ship in the next few days.

This leaves Ambassatours with about 15 or so in various spots in Halifax.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More KW

Beside the two Kenworths shown below was a lonely Volvo, also with a substantial moose gooser, and another Kenworth. The last of the three KWs was pulling a wood chip trailer. It was tricked out with a splashy paint job and a variety of lights and chrome.
The Big Stop parking lot in Truro was packed for Saturday supper.

Grab the Bull Bars by the Horns

This pair of Kenworths was stopped for supper at the Irving Big Stop in Truro on Saturday. Some mighty hefty bull bars should keep them safe from buffalos to bears.

Foggy Halifax Town, Gray Day for a Gray Tour

Good atmosphere for some driver training on the old Routemaster (RML 881 in this case.) This 1961 vintage former London bus has been part of the Ambassatours fleet since 2005, and has lots of foggy history behind it. The driver gave a friendly wave, so she was apparently enjoying the trip.

Freightliner Cascadia

The new Cascadias are cropping up all over. I suppose I will eventually get used to the "chipmunk cheek" look of the doors. This latest aero feature distinguishes them from their flush door counterparts.

This one for Connors Transport of Stellarton, NS (they deliver to Sobey's grocery stores from Sobey's and other warehouses) was spotted at the dealer's in Truro last Saturday. In the background is another Cascadia for Clarke Transport.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pictou Pete

I saw this big Pete at New Glasgow (Pictou County) on Saturday and couldn't resist a shot. The dump truck on the trailer is a Deere. Somewhat larger than your average garden tractor!

The rig was parked in the Kenworth Nova Scotia yard, just off the Transcanada at the Westville exit.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Random Shots#19

Hayes still alive, but barely.
This old Hayes, well past its prime, reposes in Antigonish, Nova Scotia-as it has for years-and seems to be abandoned.
I caught it Thursday afternoon on my way to Cape Breton, the same day Hemming's auto blog featured the letter "H"-more on their site.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random Shots#18

Despite the early morning light and deep shadows, this Mills Heavy Hauling rig still stands out. The Western Star with an extra axle is pulling a Loadstar-Paron trailer, with several extra axles, into the Port of Halifax this morning.

The Komatsu crawler is arriving in two pieces-the backhoe boom was on a second trailer nearby, pulled by a Mills Mack.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big Western Stars, Big Loads

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April continues to be Western Star month, and here is a bevy of Big Western Stars, with their big loads.

1. Construction Emma had their classic big blue Star loading a Cat crawler backhoe at Baie St.Paul, QC in August 1995.

2. Owen Davis Trucking of the Halifax area had their Star hauling a new ship's engine, just arrived from Norway. They were moving it from pier 9 to the shipyard, and it was a slow process. Since it was never on a highway or public street, they could probably take a few liberties with the weight. The ship's engine rates about 8,000 bhp.

3. Owen Davis again with a newer Star in 2000, with a Bomag land fill bucket loader. It was an import too, but would certainly be hitting the highway for a longer trip inland.

4. I didn't record who operated this Star with the huge compactor body. It was on 401 highway, very likely headed for a US dump from Toronto. What do you bet the driver was an import? The lace fringe over the windshield hints at European or even Asian origin.

Random Shots#17

I caught this Freightliner with set back axle on the waterfront yesterday. It's operated by Kingsco Transport, an interesting New Brunswick outfit. Started with dump trucks to carry potash from mines in the Sussex area to the port of Saint John, it has really branched out. It is named for Kings County, where it is based, but now runs all over North America by the sound of things. (By the look of those fuel tanks it woudn't have to stop too often.)
The company is owned by 36 shareholders, most of whom, I assume, started out with their own trucks.
More on their web site at

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Aerial exercises.

A Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services aerial ladder truck was doing exercises in the Point Pleasant Park lower parking lot this morning. The truck had its spreader legs out, but it was still at an odd angle from the front.

The truck is an American LaFrance (built when owned by Daimler/Freightliner) with LTI aerial ladder/tower. The usual apparatus number is painted on the cab: 02 for year, 305 for historical apparatus number, L for ladder. New to Halifax apparatus is the assignment number on a portable plate: Aerial 1. This means that it is the aerial assigned to station number 1 (West Street) , but can be changed when the unit is re-assigned, without re-painting.

Although classed as Ladder, she has a waterway on the ladder - see nozzle on the end- and full pumping gear.

Here is a predecessor American LaFrance, centre mounted aerial, wearing a "3" on the door signifying that it was based at Station 3 Morris Street (University Ave at Robie.) The photo was taken on Morris Street at the corner of Queen, after responding to an alarm at the Halifax Infirmary lab building in 1971 (seen in the background and since demolished.) The truck has no pump and no fixed waterway. Firemen would have to carry the hose up the ladder if needed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Serious Camper

This Merc is definitely built for some serious conditions! A 4x4, complete with winch, moose bar and oversized tires, should go just about anywhere its driver wants! It has a Fuss Mobile decal on the front. These rebuilders are serious folks-see their web site at (and click on the English language version)
Although it is a German vehicle it has a Nova Scotia temporary license sticker in its front window.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Western Star 4x4s and 6x6s

Trying unsuccessfully to hide amongst some logging trailers, this big 6x6 has the trademark Canadian roof rack on the cab, and a tool box behind. 2000 photo.
These nifty little 4x4s were on a rail flatcar and have only the tool box. 1995 photo.

Western Star, in its Canadian days, built numerous government vehicles, including this collection for the Canadian military and Department of Transport.

With the Daimler takeover, all production was moved from Kelowna, BC to Portland, Or.

Random Shots#16

Since this seems to be Western Star month, but I have shown a number of busses this month too, here is an unusual combo. This was taken in Maitland, Nova Scotia in 1993.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Random Shots#15

American Coach produces this Heritage model rolling home. American Coach is part of the Fleetwood RV organisation.

If you go to Fleetwood's website be sure to punch the American section to see interior photos and videos!

The photo'd unit has a clear plastic screen over the front below the windshield. I guess this would be a mosquito bar.

Random Shots#14


New Binders for the Canadian Forces

The land element of the Canadian Forces (this would be the Army) has acquired a whole mess of International heavy trucks to replace their older crop of Steyrs and even older things.

Navistar has retrieved the International portion of their brand name, but has dropped Harvester and the IH interlocked emblem. Nevertheless those of the historic realm will still know Internationals as "binders" - short for cornbinders.

The International/ Navistar emblem is well concealed by the brush bars, but can be spotted on close inspection.

This early evening shot-complete with utility pole shadow, shows a few of the typical Canadian truck fixtures, most particularly the cab roof rack.

Just for contrast here's a photo of the best known Canadian military vehicle the CMP (Canadian Military pattern) of World War II. This one is a Chev, fitted with a communication body, and still going strong for the St.Lawrence Seaway Authority in 1972. Why it was in Halifax I don't know!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Air Liquide/ Liquid Air

Air Liquide runs this Mack on oxygen deliveries to various scientific establishments in the Halifax area. This is the first time I've been able to catch this one sitting still.

It appears that the giant "MACK" letters on the grille didn't appeal to someone, and have been removed. Looks okay too!

Eagle Transportation Services of Havelock, New Brunswick, specializes in refrigerated bulk cargoes. Their web site is under construction, but from it I can tell that their address is in Sussex, but their office is in Roachville. (And I thought that was somewhere else.)

Back in 1988 they were still calling themselves Liquid Air, and they were running this Western Star in company colours, although I believe it was operated by a contractor.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

How small can you go

This morning's sight of a 1990s Honda Acty [top picture] reminded me that I also recently saw a Suzuki Carry [bottom picture.]
These miniature pickups, built by most manufacturers for service in Japan are being sold used in Canada now. How they can be considered safe, with no front crumple zone is beyond me, but they are here-and cheap.
Even in Japan they are building them bigger now, so these minis (called keis in Japan) are small by any standard.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dynamic Tilt

Our friends at Big Lorry Blog have been giving truck photo lessons, and some of the techniques and ideas are really wonderful, so I am not poking fun at them with this shot, although I admit they did give me the idea.

This little Freightliner semi makes numerous down town stops delivering food to restaurants. They have to get into some very tight spaces and make some very tight turns, so it is a very good size.

Not having a super wide angle lens at my disposal when I took this, I was able to get it all in with a bit of "dynamic tilt."

The Great Dane trailer is fitted with a hitch, to be made up as an A-train for highway work. The warehouse in Moncton makes up the orders and dispatches the A-train to Halifax at night. On arrival the trailers are given over to two tractors for daytime deliveries.

Competitor GFS has an almost exact replica, but has a sliding rear wheel assembly on the trailer to make up as a B-train. Their highway tractor is an International ProStar daycab with elaborate air foil. Trailers are also Great Dane.

Random Shots #13

Osco (short for Ocean Steel Co) has become an umbrella for several of the Irving owned construction operations. In the past year they have expanded into the the ready-mix concrete business in a big way by acquiring Sackville Concrete and Bedford Concrete.
This Western Star with Simard Suspensions twin steer is one of the fleet and was stopped for lunch when I caught it.
I haven't seen a Bedford Concrte truck recently- hope they picked a better colour.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Big Pink near the Drink

It was photoshoot day for this RML at the Point Pleasant Park lower parking lot. No passengers yet, but I hope they admire this unusual pink paint scheme, promoting a worthy cause.
According to various London bus web sites RML 2689 (license number SMK 689F) was one of 524 RMLs (Routemaster Long) built, of a total of 2,876 Routemasters.
True devotees of the London Bus AEC Routemaster have established quite a few web sites, and from these I was able to determine that this one was built in September 1967 and worked until 2004. At that point it migrated via Bristol to California.
I'm not sure when it arrived in Halifax, but it, along with half a dozen others which have also acquired garish paint jobs, will be working the tour beat this summer.

Call me a purist, but the London red bus can't be improved upon.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Random Shots #12

This new Western Star has been making the rounds of the container piers. No owner's name has been painted on yet.

Conrad Brothers still in the game

The first truckers to really get into container hauling on the Halifax waterfront were Conrad Brothers. The Ford gas job was one of the first trucks they used, but they soon graduated to the heavy Chevy. It was dubbed the Queen Mary on the waterfront, because for its time it was a monster.
By the 1980s they had gone to Western Star for a great long hood tractor.
They are still at it with the Freightliner spotted April 6. Sorry no complete view of the b-train trailer (the second trailer was not connected.)
April 6, 2010 Freightliner with cool chrome air deflector and low rise sleeper.

Late 1970s photo of an impressive Western Star - longer than the container they were hauling.

1973 photo of Chev diesel-a very big truck for its time.

1973 photo of Ford gas job, more typical of early container haulers. Taken at old Shed 36.

Container hauling is only part of what Conrad's are up to-they are still major quarry operators. There is a bit more info on their web site: