Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Winter Trucking - Halifax style

Despite a heavy fall of snow last night, roads were mostly clear and wet in Halifax today. No ice roads here! Instead we have a snow followed by mild temperatures then rain - and lots of salt spread on the roads in the interim. It means slushy driving, and impossibly dirty trucks.

Mills' big Mack Titan and Paron trailer was on the road today hauling one of the imported Bell articulated off road dump trucks  - this one a B30E - which had a quantity of wet snow in its dump body.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bell Equipment Co

The Bell Equipment Company is a big name in Africa and Asia, where its Richard's Bay factory churns out a huge variety of off-road trucks, loaders, dozers, graders, tractors, harvesters and custom equipment. Their corporate brochures shows a bewildering array of gear:   Bell Equipment Co

The company also serves Europe from its factory in Kindel, Germany, which also serves North America, and since 2012 through Wajax Equipment it Canadian dealer. The company also has partnerships with Hitachi, Liebherr and Bomag.

A recent shipment of large off road dump trucks is parked in Halifax awaiting forwarding on to dealers. Most are inconveniently located backed up to a chain link fence in the Fiarview Cove terminal, but one unit was a bit more accessible to view.

A Bell B40D articulated dump truck fresh off the ship from Europe waits for delivery. Not the biggest truck in their line, but impressive even so.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Pierreville #1

A Halifax fire engine that used to wear number 1 is again wearing that number, but is no longer in service as a pumper. Instead it is listed as an antique apparatus and is brought out for ceremonial occasions such as funerals. It also makes an appearance at the annual commemoration of the Halifax explosion of December 6, 1917 when much of Halifax was leveled and nine fire fighters lost their lives. The firefighters' memorial for that horrific event is located at Station 4 on Lady Hammond Road and their ceremony takes place there.
This year, on December 5, the engine was draped in black for funeral service, which I had never seen before and was being rubbed down in preparation for the December 6 ceremony.

Now known as 76-11A on the official roster, it is a Pierreville, bearing serial number 635 (which is not listed on the Canadian Fire Truck Archive all time list).
Built in 1976 it carries a Cincinnati cab, and unknown chassis, possibly Pemfab. It is also possible that it was a Pierreville demonstrator, because it was extensively chromed and carried detailed gold leaf and pinstriping.

In its front line days for Engine Company # 1, it responded to the Derby Tavern fire on Gottingne Street in 1981.

Later in 1981 it responded to a call on Barrington Street.
By the time it was called out to the Bob McDonald Chevrolet fire in 1984 it had been reassigned to Engine Company 6.
In active service is was based at West Street, and was probably the busiest engine in Halifax for several years. It was later reassigned and carried Engine Company #6. Always beautifully maintained, it was kept in reserve until it was transferred to the antique roster where it has been painstakingly restored.

One of its characteristics was a slight squat to the rear, which was very small, but gave the rig a sort of crouching look - ready to spring. 

At the December 6, 2012 commemoration.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Paddocks with a difference

Among the finest looking trucks I see from time to time are those of Paddock Transportation from Stoney Creek, ON. They are regulars here transporting military LAVs for export to Saudi Arabia. The LAVs are built by General Dynamics in London, ON and arrive in Halifax on Paddock trucks in time to load aboard Saudi ships.

Consistently painted in black and red, there is still considerable variety in the actual trucks.
Most of the trucks are Kenworths, although I have seen a Western Star, but I got a surprise this week when a Freightliner COE put in an appearance.

 A shrink wrapped LAV waiting on the pier.

 A Freightliner COE lurks behind a piar of KWs.
Impressive Freightliner is equipped with a lift axle.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Volvos and Armour

Armour Transportation Systems of Moncton, NB is one of the largest trucking companies in eastern Canada, and its bright red Volvos are one of the most common sights on our roads. The company website says they have more than 1,900 employees and 4,000 pieces of equipment.

They do run the odd other brand - you may see a Mack or an International, but by far the most common are the Volvos, and they come in several different models of day cab and sleeper depending on the service.

They are so common, that perhaps they go unnoticed, but one that I saw last week certainly caught my eye. It was a company tow truck/wrecker, which apparently works out of their Moncton service shop. It was in Halifax to drop of a tractor for Newfoundland and to pick-up one from Newfoundland, that Oceanex delivered from Halifax.

A very slick looking rig, it appears to be spec'd with a slightly longer wheelbase than most of the company's tractors.

Among the divisions in Armour is Pole Star, which also generally runs Volvos with slight differences in trim.
Pole Star is the present name of Jodrey + Pulsifer Transport, which operated in Nova Scotia for many years. Pole Star Transport Inc (Nova Scotia) still shares a home address with several other interests of the Jodrey family, under the name Scotia Investments. The founder, Roy A.Jodrey was an entrepreneur involved in many different businesses, including Minas Basin Pulp & Power, Canadian Keyes Fibre and was a director of scores of large Canadian corporations.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Liebherr by rail

CN delivered this large Liebherr to Halifax from AllCanada Crane in Mississauga.

It appears that the crane my be bound overseas..


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Most famous truck in Halifax

There is a proliferation of (usually ugly) food trucks these days sprouting out at odd places at odd times.

With a paint job meant to look like Graffiti, this carefully fitted out Ford is probably better looking, and in much better condition that most Halifax food trucks.

But there are still some traditional fry wagons on the street occupying regular positions.

There is nothing particularly scary about Monster Fries' Utilimaster, which has been stationed at Point Pleasant Park this year.
(Utilimaster is owned by Spartan Motors and includes the former Union City Body Co, that bought General Motors' chassis division back in 1998.)

The most famous is certainly Bud the Spud and his vintage Grumman Olson Kurbmaster. Bud and Co have been in the business for 30 years plus and are a fixture on Spring Garden Road.
(When Grumman Olson was declared bankrupt in 2001 it was purchased by an investment house. The step van line is now known as Morgan Olson.)

The white colour is no accident, since the operators stress cleanliness to attract patrons. 


Monday, October 19, 2015


As the gateway for European vehicles, Halifax sees all kinds, and if I am lucky enough to catch them before they are forwarded on.

During the past weekend I spotted this Boschung Jet Broom vehicle, manufactured  by the Swiss company:

Fitted on what looks like a Mercedes chassis, it is likely headed for demonstration work in Canada this winter.
There is also a Youtube video showing one of these units at work:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

More RVs

With the fall colour season at its height, there are still lots of tourists in Nova Scotia. Many it seems are traveling in RVs. The usual array of domestic rental types don't interest me very much, so I keep a lookout for any oddities.

There are still lots of foreign RVs around - both arriving from overseas and departing for home. The adventurous Germans are still in the lead, and they seem to come up with an infinite variety of vehicles - no two alike.

 This Fiat 130 chassis/cab mini-RV would likely be very economical to operate, but require  a great deal of cooperation for use of space.

I  particulary like the iridescent leading edge of the roof and the teardrop window. I could see no maker's name on the RV body.

Although it did not start out as an RV this Ford E-350 chassis/cab mini-bus body has made the transition. Now equipped with solid panel side doors, privacy window tints and various appurtenances on the roof deck, it seems to do the job. The solar panels are backed up with a surplus pick-up truck tool box and a Volvo ski-box. It pays to be prepared!

"Bustang" is word play on "Bus" and "Mustang" - since it is a Ford after all. Oddly the State of Colorado started up its own bus service in June 2015, and calls it Bustang, with a horse logo too.

The unit carries British Columbia plates.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bright and shinies on the waterfront

A tremendous amount of truck traffic on the waterfront these days with large project cargoes and machinery moves. Most  are oversize and require low bed trailers or drop decks and often escorts. I have not been in the right place at the right time for most of these or they have been blocked from view. My guess is that more than 30 special loads moved in or out this week.

However I did grab a few today.

Bellemare, the Quebec heavy load specialist has been front and centre with two contracts, one for project cargo and one for military vehicles (see previous post).

These three Western Stars, a Kenworth and their escort vehicle were planning their route this evening.  The escort has elaborate graphics. Note the small diameter tire tag axle.

 Bellemare's graphics sharpen up this Chev. I guess that is a clearance pole on the front .

Another bright and shiny was this big red Pete from Couture Logistics Inc. See: CLI
It is carrying one of nearly a dozen timber harvesters (and several farm tractors among other things) that moved out of Halifax this week after arriving by ship on Monday.

If you haven't heard of Ponsse before, it is a company based in Finland, but has a worldwide business. See their website:

All the trucks were not bright and shiny however. This matte finish old Freightliner set back was certainly the weirdest truck, and certainly looked the least reliable. It was carrying an over width crate on a straight deck trailer.The lettering on the truck is "R-052357-2"


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Citroen RV

There are not many Citroens to be seen on the roads around Halifax, even among all those scores of European RVs that arrive here in the sporing and fall as they migrate between continents.

This RV appears to be based on the Citroen Relay low roof cargo van, with the German company Concorde adding a bubble on top, and of course fitting out every cc of interior space for maximum use. I am not sure I am happy with the tail pipe right under the drivers door, however I do like the Canadian and US flags in the picture window - very homey.

This Citroen, with Concorde (not the jet) body work, is part of the German organized Panamericana tour scheme, that provides guides and assistance for those who wish to "do" the Panamerican highway. The vehicles usually land in Buenos Aires, travel south around to Tierra de Fuego into Chile then northward covering 38,000 km through 16 countries in 180 days, ending in Alaska. If that is not enough the adventurers cross the continent for an east coast port. Many arrive in Halifax, which provides the shortest sea route to France, England and Germany.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mercedes Actros - comparison shopping

If you need to comparison shop between the civilian and militarized versions of the Mercedes Actros, this is an ideal time to do it.

Since I returned to Halifax in September  this big Fahrenholtz Actros and its multi-tired heavy lift trailer have been sitting the the parking lot at Pier 29 in the Port of Halifax.
An arrangement with local operator Mills Heavy Hauling and Germany's Fahrenholtz, has brought Mercedes Actros to Halifax before: in September 2014September 2011 and November 2014

But this a newer and bigger twin steer version:

Then on October 3 the Icelandic ship Reykjafoss unloaded several militarized Actros variants at nearby Pier 36. How they came to be brought here by an Icelandic ships remains to be explained.

The Canadian military acquired 86 of these beasts, named Armored Heavy Support Vehicles. Although they were secured on flat deck shipping containers, they were poorly tarped and must have received a real salt water washdown while in transit.

I have seen this type in Halifax before too: in November 2012 and December 2012

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Outbound RVs

It is the time of the year for all those European RVs that have been touring North America all summer to return home. More than a dozen a behind the fences at the Fairview Cove container terminal awaiting the arrival of the Atlantic Container Line ship.
Short of sitting at the gate all day, it is almost impossible to catch them as they arrive off the road. I was lucky enough today to catch an untypical exmaple.

This Mercedes chassis Le Voyageur is a prestige unit built in Framce. See the company's extensive web site:

A beautifully finished exterior, with numerous access doors, is matched by a roomy and luxurious interior. 


Monday, September 28, 2015

Pete carries Fassi load crane

It was hard to get photos of this Pete under the noon sun. However I did manage to get enough to show off its Fasssi F560XP loading crane. The Italian made crane has a reach of up to 54m and a lift u to 30.45 tonnes.
All mounted on a reinforced and extended chassis, with fifth wheel.

I believe, from the truck's company number and red colour that it is operated by Dexter Construction / Municipal Group. It had delivered some stone from a quarry to an art installation site.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Clean Machine from BC

The combination of a very clean classic Kenworth, a British Columbia license plate and and oversized sleeper drew my eye at Burnside this morning.

Operated by Nanaimo Minute Men 2006 Ltd, a UVL member, this truck was certainly a standout. The 53 foot Kentucky trailer was also well equipped with a variety of doors - some were open for cleaning.

Coast to coast moves are not unheard of here, because navy personel are often transferred between bases in Halifax and Esquimalt, on Vancouver Island.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Road Trip report finale - more multi-axles

To wrap up my August road trip report,  I will end it with a some more multi-axle trucks found at Simard Suspenionas in Baie-St-Paul, QC.
Yellow was the predominant colour one day when I spotted this pair.

This Freightliner 122 set back already has a Simard second steering axle added but not connected. These narrow integral mini-sleepers seems to be more common now and are popular with specialized carriers.Note the quad air horns.

 A Pete, also with quad air horns, and equipped with a pair of drop axles, and a wide stance front axle was also waiting for work. It was driven from the Pete factory in Texas.

A very odd coloured Mack also had its second steering axle in place, but not engaged. Its two tone pastel scheme must be unique.

Twin Freightliner 114 dump trucks in the fleet of Fernand Harvey et Fils Inc of Clermont, QC, are still looking good after two years' service. They have midships lift axles for heavy loads.