If you are a regular reader of this blog you no doubt know about our fascination with old trucks. In particular we like the larger ones, medium duty or tractor trailer sized. These hold our interest, over say a pickup truck, as they are less common and were always made to work for a living (sure some pickups do too). Reflecting that, they are built large and burly with with only one goal in mind, to haul. Creature comforts, generally not needed. That’s why we like them – they mean business. We also love old tractors, earth moving machinery and such too
On this trip we show some random vehicles we’ve found while out researching other things in Alberta. All these date from the first quarter of 2013.
The first shots show a yard in Airdrie we’ve visited before. This pass we get photos of trucks we sort of overlooked on the previous trips. Included in that are some old Ford and Mercury pickups. The latter is very interesting as these were a Canadian only line produced for some twenty plus years after World War 2.
And speaking of trucks only sold here, a GM made Maple Leaf is seen. Some have told me these were simply Canadian-ized heavy duty Chevrolets and others say the same, but that they are a GMC instead. In any case, they are unique in themselves but at the same time have traits of both companies with a mix of components from each. Confused yet? The Maple Leaf line was produced starting in the 1930s, lasting to at least the late 1940s, if not a bit longer. If anyone knows the exact details, we’d love to hear from you.
Nearby an International K series is seen with its huge bush guard. Now that’s a truck that means business! Two others that are are all-business as well sit nearby, both being a Mack R series. These well regarded and rugged trucks were produced for decades starting in the mid 1960s and only recently were they discontinued.
Sharing the yard were a couple of very interesting trucks, a super rare Dodge Bighorn along with an REO. Not shown here, these two appear in other reports and we’ve included some links to them below.
Nearby a GMC C series medium duty is spotted with a picker crane. This model in various incarnations was produced in the 1970s and 80s and was likely the most common truck of its class from that era. You can still see large numbers of them at work even today, a testament to the soundness of the design.
Also spotted in Airdrie is a McCormick Deering W-6 tractor, an International Farmall and a Caterpillar D2 with a home made open cab. All very cool.
Moving to Bow City Alberta now, an insignificant dot on the map along the Bow River southwest of Brooks. While doing field research in the town, which was haled by promoters over a hundred years ago as “The Town”, the next bustling metropolis, the next big thing, we spotted more treasures. In a field a row of Fords is seen – an ex Lomond Alberta fire truck, a farm truck, a 1980s era pickup and even a large fake-wood-panelled Ford station wagon.
Travelling east and not far way, we found a huge yard full of all manner of trucks and machinery, extending well off into the distance. We shoot from the side of the road, but in the future, we’d like to return to better document the place.
A larger number of GMC C series medium dutys are seen, from several eras including the ubiquitous 1970s-80s boxy model we so often come across.
Also in the same yard is a couple rare birds (at least based on my sightings), a pair of Chevrolet Kodiaks from the 1980s. These models seem far less common than the GMC counterpart called the Top Kick, one example which shared the yard with its Chevrolet cousins.
Another neat one is an early Freighliner conventional. Prior to its introduction in the 1970s, this company only produced cab-over trucks (COE), something it was famous for and this model represents its first foray into the conventional market. A nice touch is the Perterbilt-like headlight pods coming off the side of the grill.
Travelling east again we soon see something in a field. It’s a huge Russian made Belarus 7010 farm tractor. This model, one of the companies largest, was made from 1976-1986 in the city of Minsk in the now independent republic of Belarus. At the time this example was produced, that country was still part of the USSR (aka Soviet Union or Russia).
I have heard of this brand before and I even knew they were sold in Canada, but this is the first one I have ever come across. It’s huge size makes it very interesting, with it massive grill, its square lines and unrefined appearance and overall size. And it’s pedigree, wow, a good strong communist machine from Mother Russia, labouring away in the conservative capitalist fields of Alberta. That alone is enough to boggle the mind, eh comrades…I mean friends.
One can assume that this brand suffered from questionable build quality, as was the case with nearly everything coming out of Soviet Union in that era (Lada anyone?) Sourcing parts must have also been a challenging proposition too and given these factors, I am certain many farmers ultimately regretted owning one of these. Even if they were cheap to buy.
In retirement now, or so one would assume given the flat tire and overall tired and weathered look, it sits far off in a field all alone. It was spotted near the tiny community of Rainier Alberta.
To see the Dodge Bighorn mentioned in this article, check out this link…
Big and orange Dodge Bighorn.
To see that REO mentioned, go here…
Old trucks on a dreary day.
If you wish more information on these trucks and tractors, by all means contact us!
Date: 1st Quarter 2013.
Location: Various – Airdrie AB, Bow City AB, Rainier AB.