Thursday, September 27, 2012

When, if ever, will it end

There must be an end to the parade of European RVs through Halifax, but it hasn't passed me yet.
Remarkably another Swiss RV showed up this week, and this time it's an MAN.
Usually known for their big trucks, this is a small MAN, TGL model, with a very luxurious looking RV body by Phoenix.

MAN is now 75% owned by VW and has been merged into their Scania truck line. They buils trucks, buses and engines (including marine and industrial).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Still no end in site - even more Euro RVs

Two more European RVs today, both Swiss plated, and both Fiats, but quite different.

First up is a larger Frankia motorhome on a Fiat chassis. Frankia apparently builds the entire body, and badges it, but uses the Fiat (Ducato?) chassis, engine and drive train:

Second is also a Fiat, but this time a cab chassis, nicely augmented by a small Rapido RV body:

Rumours persist that Chrylser Canada will begin to import the Ducato van into Canada for Dodge starting in 2013. After losing the Sprinter when Daimler backed out of Chrsyler, Dodge has no commercial van, and the Ducato is the most popular in Europe.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

No end in sight - Euro RVs keep rolling in

The European RVs keep rolling oin to Halifax, now at the end of summer, on their way back home. Today's entry is based in the Renault Master chassis/cab, with a very nifty Knaus SunTi RV body, and Swiss plates.
Although it is a relatively small vehicle, it appears to have lots of room and good amentities. The SunTi model has apparently been superceded by the SkiTi.

Friday, September 21, 2012

CFB Halifax Fire Apparatus

Canadian Forces Base Halifax is a large military operation in the Halifax area. It consists of three separate, large properties and several smaller installations. In at least three of these locations they have their own fire departments consisting of engines, rescues, an aerial and crash trucks.
They also have some form of mutual aid in which apparatus from one location travels through city streets to reach other locations.
I don't have photos of all their apparatus by any means, but during the past summer I have been able to see several pieces, and two retired engines.
1. The naval base, HMC Dockyard, has a full scale fire service, seen here on a practice session in July. The E-One aerial is blocked by the others, so no photo was possible.
2. This Sterling-Fort Garry rescue is based in the Dockyard. It entered service in 2012.
3. Spartan-Fort Garry engine also serves the Dockyard. I believe it was new in 2011.
4. On the other side of the harbour CFB Shearwater is an air base, with a large housing area. Another new Sterling-Fort Garry rescue is based there, along with other apparatus.
5. Also at Shearwater, a number of surplus military vehicles are in storage awaiting disposal. This Spartan-Thibault was once based at HMC Dockyard.
6. Another view of the same engine.
6. A second Spartan-Thibault is also in storage awaiting sale.

Other installations in Halifax are the Bedford Magazine, an ammuniton storage depot, which has its own fire apparatus and Windsor Park, where all military vehicles are maintained. The latter is served from HMC Dockyard.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Mercs from across the pond (updated)

It in the tourist season, but the campers keep rolling in from Europe.
Recent arrivals include these two Mercs:
1. This Sprinter chassis camper looks more North American in its style, and certainly isn't as rugged looking as many of the expedition type campers we see. However there is lots of checker plate and other European features on the "bimobil" body.
It says "Alemania" on the hood, but I don't think it refers to someone who is mad about beer.

2. I've never seen a Mercedes Vario in North America before, so this was a surprise. Normally used as delivery vans, this one has been very capably transformed. It took some digging to discover the meaning of the name "Fuchur" on the sign. This is the German name for the flying dog Falkor, from the Neverending Story. Despite that there is a a seahorse superimposed on the world map.

3. The rear view reveals Swiss plates and symbols, including I believe, the "Arosa" plate, which is a region in Switzerland, It may also be the van converter's name, but I can find no reference to such a company. Update:This one is on the return leg to Europe, and will be leaving by sea next week.

Added September 19, not a Merc, but it is from Germany:

4. Well travelled Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 spotted on a city street.
5. This one has a sandwich/canopy type bike carrier under the rear overhang, and a strange bit of artificial greenery on its back window.

Petes at the Pier

Two Peterbilts spotted at the Fairview Cove container terminal today:
1. All white skirted Pete with tri-axle 20 foot container chassis, contrasted with the black International in the background.

2. Multi-coloured Pete was carrying a wide load, but it couldn't have been much wider than those killer "Ben-Hur'" type lug nuts.

3. St-Germain Express has matching trailer, which certainly outclassed the used Case International 1680 axial flow combine harvester. Interestingly, the combine has no cutter head with it.

COEs - rarer and rarer

There are still out there, but their number are certainly waning. The over the road COE, once so plentiful, is rapidly becoming a memory.
Just about all that is left are Freightliners, and here are a couple I spotted recently.
1. G.K.Morse + Sons Trucking Ltd of Centreville, NS operates this F'liner in B-train service hauling windmill components. It's a frequent visitor at the Halterm Container pier in Halifax.
2. This is operated for Valmont Ouellet of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Qc, by Camionnage M.C.D.K. Trucking. It is well equipped with moose bars and a large window in the sleeper. Spotted at Enfiled, NS

3. Premium Ventures Inc of Truro Heights, NS runs this similar unit in its step deck fleet.

Enjoy them while you can -

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Veteran Wreckers from Northern Nova Scotia

Two veteran wreckers from Northern Nova Scotia:
1. MacKay's in Truro, NS is the Volvo (and now also Mack) dealer for the area. They run this early Volvo with a distinctive green paint job.

2. This rugged KW has a faded "Kenworth Nova Scotia" label on the door at the Kenworth dealer in New Glasgow. That dealership has cahnged hands and is now part of Bayview Kenworthand which is in Saint John, NB, with branches in Fredericton, Moncton, St.Stephen and Sussex. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Wildmog is a European design compact body built for the Unimog U500 chassis. Headquartered in Tucson, AZ. Wildmog caters to the adventurer and others travelling in remote areas. It has huge self contained fuel and water capacity and other features for travel off the beaten track.
Unlike many of the European travel vehicles I have shown on this site, this one is US built, and carries Oregon plates.
1. The Unimog is a 4x4 chassis produced by Daimler Benz in several civilian and military versions.
2. The Wildmog body has a lift up roof and slide out section on the passenger side. When the roof is lowered, the windows are covered. The "trunk" on the back carries motorcycles.

For more on Wildmog see their modest website:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Road Report-Part 3 - Summer Fire Apparatus

This is a round up of fire apparatus from July and August-some from around home and some from away.
1. Halifax Regional Municipality 97-258E is a Freightliner FL 80 / Metalfab,1000 gal, 840 gpm pumper tanker. It predates the amalgamation of numerous municipalities into the HRM.
2. An independent volunteer organization, Halifax Regional Search and Rescue is one of twenty such ground search groups in Nova Scotia. It operates this Sterling Acterra fitted with a Drake body as a logisitics support unit.    
4. This 1997 Spartan chassis aerial was on sale in Moncton in August.
5. A 1994 Pierce engine was also for sale. Its black over red scheme is similar to that of Chicago.  
6. An unusual Saulsbury unit was also for sale in Moncton.
7. Saulsbury was a highly regarded New York state apparatus manufacturer taken over by Emergency-One in 1998. Best known for its custom rescue units until it was shut down in 2004, and work transferred to E-One's Ocala, FL plant. 
8. La Malbaie, Qc runs this Mack Tibotrac as their front line, number one response engine.
9. It misbehaved one day and had to be towed home, but was back in service within a day or two.
10. The village of Les Eboulements, Qc has a nice engine locked behind closed doors, and this basic tanker, with wonky driver's side mirror frame. (The passenger side mirror can be seen in reflection.) 
11. There is no identification as to the tank builder.

12. The Kennetcook District FD runs this trim looking GMC C8500, with 1050 gpm pumper/ tanker built by Lewis R. Benedict Fabricators of Port Williams, NS in 2002. Now known as LRB Fabricators, the company has been in business since 1978. See (Be sure to look at the gallery and click on each album to see more photos)
  The Kennetcook rig appears to be in superb condition.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Road Report - Part 2 - Simard Suspensions

My annual trips to Quebec include visits to Simard Suspensions in Baie-St-Paul. An out of the way location perhaps, but it is a bustling enterprise. Initially established to add a second steering axle to trucks, it has branched out into all kinds of additions including special chassis work for transit mixers, dump bodies and dumpsters, and compactors to name a few, air lift axles and steering axles included.
Here is a recent selection:
1. Well known for their fire apparatus, Spartan Motors of Lancing MI, has apparently branched out for this odd rig. Despite checking on it two or three times during the month, I never did get to see it completed- I assume as a transit mixer. 
2. The distinctive one man off centre cab has no room below for the engine which looks quite exposed. Perhaps a hood will be installed to keep the weather out.
3. Speaking of transit mixers this "Red Green" Mack  is ready for delivery. Simard's delivery truck is hooked on behind for the driver to get home.
4. Western Star installs steering axles in its own factory, so this one is a candidate for some other type of work, perhaps a dumspter. The extra long chassis doesn't look like it would be able to handle a dump body or a transit mixer.
5. Colourful International Paystar has received its steering axle, and is ready for the transit mix body. TRP Ready Mix of Moose Creek ON will take delivery of this unit which is already painted in company colours and has Ontairo plates. (Moose Creek is in eastern Ontario, in the area between Ottawa and Cornwall). 
6. High -rise 8x8 Mack MRU-613 was easily the most impressive truck on the lot this summer.
7. The front drives were disconnected for the delivery to Simard.
7. Mack snow plows are not that common, but I guess they are just Volvos now anyway. However it is interesting to see one without the front plow mounted.
8. Don't be distracted by the classic Bluebird school bus in the background! This low rise Peterbilt seems destined for the garbage compactor business. Note the large off side mirror mounted to the front of the cab.
9. This Freightliner has a few extra axles for some kind of important work - not sure what though! There's also a large spread between the drivers.