A Look Back

Look! It’s the truck that never ends! Yes, I STILL have footage from the 2015 ATHS National Meet held in York, PA. Most likely I’ll be able to make one more video after this one. Like I’ve said before, there were A LOT of trucks at this show. I don’t believe this video contains any repeat appearances but it might. Let me know if you spot any.

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Mack Trucks Customer Center

If you saw my exhaustive coverage of the Mack Trucks Customer Center from the 2015 Trucktoberfest event you know this is place you must visit if you are even remotely interested in trucks. While homebase for the official Mack Truck museum the Customer Center is also hosts the latest and greatest trucks of the of modern lineup. Dave recently stopped by for a quick visit and took some shots of the trucks on display in the showroom.

This TerraPro is the latest iteration in the long of Mack low entry cab forward refuse trucks. Powered by the Mack MP line of engines these trucks continue to keep the tradition of using nearly all Mack powertrain and suspension components through the inclusion of M-Drive automated manual transmissions.

Mack TerraPro

Other trucks on display included a Mack Granite with Con Tech mixer and a CNG powered Mack Pinnacle.

Thanks again for the share Dave!

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Autocar Mondays – Taking It To The Strip

Head to your average drag strip across the country on any given weekend and you’ll probably find more fox body Mustangs and fourth gen Cameros than you can shake a stick at it. You’ll probably fall asleep in the stands before that day is over watching the never ending passes and qualifation trips. Yawn. Time to spice up the old routine a bit with a 1987 Autocar AT64FB with a prowling Cat 3406B under the hood. Even better, this Autocar isn’t racing some kid in Supra but another A-Car, this one a 1975 S64B with a 350 Cummins. So, who’s your money on?

You can find more videos on these two fin truck s by visiting the Youtbue channel of Autocar 87 by clicking here.

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Missing the Snow

Just about a week ago a large portion of Central New York received the first true snow fall of the season. Usually the first snow brings about panic and hysteria with people rushing to the grocery store for staples like milk and bread. Out on the roads the madness manifests in the form of two driver types. The first refuses to travel over 10 miles per hour while the second drives like a bat out of hell. This time around the world adjusted fairly well to the white stuff which is surprising considering most locations didn’t see less than of foot of heavy lake effect. I did my best to find plow footage but came up empty. I even stayed off the interstate and walked the streets during my lunch break. Nothing. The best I could do was a photo of this Case removing snow from the ice rink in Clinton Square.

Case Backhoe

Better luck next time I suppose. To fill in the gaps here are some unused photos from this past summer. Around NYS any public road is plowed by a public agency. It’s rare to find a truck like this one in private hands as most were shipped off to Massachusetts were contractors play a major role in plowing the streets.

Mack Snow Plow

More lime green trucks are on the way to the Cortland County Highway Department. I think it was just a year ago that two showed up Tracey Road Equipment. Here we see another identical pair. 

Western Star Snow Plow

In the gallery below you’ll find a few more shots of the trucks from above plus a Sno-Go in pristine shape and and old Ford that looks worse for wear.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2016


Transcribed from the text above to save your eyes.

What magic is it in the turkey that makes us all remember, late in November, to give thanks for the blessings that America provides? And why is it, as the royal bird comes in all golden-brown to the table, that appetites are so much lustier? Why are the eyes of the grown-ups and children all so much bigger than the stomachs?

There my be many answers to these questions, but the truth is that the magic is to be found in ourselves. One of our blessings is that we have within us the imagination and the happy will to recreate the harvest time holiday, year by year.

On this day it is our privilege to be thankful for a thousand other meals served each year to every man, woman, and child in the Land. Probably they are all just as important, lacking only the turkey’s gift for drama.

One hundred and thirty BILLION meals a year for Americans! Think of the fabulous stores of food, the careful handling, the countless miles of hauling! Food is humanity’s greatest need-our first thought on Thanksgiving Day. Let us be grateful for America’s great system of food production and distribution. Let us extend a kind thought this year to our own local sources of supply – the grocer, the meat market man, and the milk man, who day after day keep our larders stocked with food, garnished with the service we like!

From farm to factory, to the neighborhood store, to the family kitchen door – food travels economically in International Trucks. When you need a truck, try out an International. You will find your exact need here. Our company-owned branches and dealers are always at your service.


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Rat Rods Big Rig Style

Among the classic car and truck community the issue of rat rods is something of sore spot. Some hold the opinion that surviving vehicles should be restored or at the very least left alone. Others hold the belief that many of these rat rod vehicles were far beyond any point of restoration necessary to bring them back to original condition. I share feelings from both camps but more than often I am impressed by the amount of fabrication and passion that go into some of these builds. 

Here we see a 1946 Studebaker M16 nicknamed the Crudebaker. When I saw a 4-53 Detroit powered Studebaker Transtar at a local ATHS show this past summer I thought it was quite a unique combination. Now I find that someone has crammed a 12V71 under the hood and my whole world view has been challenged. Formerly a septic service truck, this rig now rides on International school bus axles complete with disc brakes all around. Check out the video for more on this crazy build along with a few other videos of this Crudebaker in action.

Now if you saw this truck passing you on the highway there is no way you wouldn’t do a double take. Dubbed the Big Nasty this 1941 IHC KB finds cruising power from in inline Cummins diesel. The rear suspension and axle setup is a work of fabrication art if there ever was one. Originally the owner built a replica of the suspension system out of wood just to see how everything would interact.

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Autocar Mondays – Turn up the Heat

Have you turned on you furnance yet? I’m betting the answer is yes if you live just about anywhere in the Northeast. I normally mourn that small moment in life when I hit the switch but I would feel just a little a better, maybe even excited, if my oil company had a fantastic trio of Autocar trucks used for deliveries like the ones seen below.

Autocar Tanker Truck

A very recent addition to the Tackaberry Collection these trucks come directly from Approved Oil fleet of Brooklyn, New York. Well maintained and looking they just returned from a job these trucks couldn’t have found a better home if the tried.

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Construction of the Coquihalla

Never before in the history of North American road building has a project pressed so hard at the limits of human organization. That’s a heavy sentence right there but one taken directly from the 1986 documentary of the construction of the Coquihalla, a roadway perhaps better known to many as The Highway Thru Hell.

Like many others who visit this page I’m a fan of the TV series that follows the adventures of the towing and highway crews who fight to keep traffic moving along this vital British Columbia stretch of infrastructure. While their struggle is real the construction of this highway was no easy task. It became a Herculean undertaking when a project deadline of just twenty months for the first phases of construction descended from on high. Thirty eight bridges, eighteen interchanges, over a million tons of asphalt, the numbers come at you fast and furious over the soulful 80’s saxophone and synth music. As expected, this film is loaded with classic trucks and heavy equipment. Thankfully the producers wisely kept these originally sounds and blended them expertly throughout the narration. So take a break from your day and learn more about the Coq and how it came to be. Rated D for interment scenes of Detroit Diesel powered equipment.

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Move Over For Yellow

Passing through Scranton, PA this summer via I-81 I found myself stuck in slow moving traffic that stretched over the horizon. This is not a surprising situation if you know anything about travel through this part of the world. Heavy traffic volume, constant construction and narrow shoulders conspire to cause constant traffic congestion. Sitting in the passenger seat I figured I’d make the best of boring situation and snap a picture of this Kenworth rotator of Milewski Towing. Moving further along it became apparent based on State police taking detailed photo and measurements that something more serious than a fender bender had taken place. Returning from my trip a few days later a quick web search confirmed the worst, 29 year old tow operator, David Duchnik, had been fatally injured while recovering a disabled vehicle.

It New York State it is a law that when motorist encounter a vehicle such as police, tow truck, snow plow or similar they must move over or at the very least slow down. Sadly, despite this law, there have been at least two deaths of tow and DOT operators since this tragic event in August.

Please, the next time you see a police officer, construction worker or tow operator, slow down and give them the room they need to return home to their family alive and well.

Posted in On the Job | 3 Comments

At the Dealer – Roll Offs, Packers, Lifts

Soooooooo, at first glance I thought this was a 108SD but the door badging said otherwise. I was confused for a few weeks and then I remember that truck models offering both set-back and set-forward axles configurations often have different hoods lest they look fugly. In the the case of the 114SD it uses the hood from the 108SD, a truck that can only be ordered with a set-back. A Galbreth roll-off hoist completes this setup for an unknown destination.

Freightliner 114SD

And here we have a new Mack for Waste Management also with a Galbreath hoist system. Mack or Freightliner, the choice is yours.

Mack Granite Waste Management

Sneaking into the NYS Plow Expo from last month was this Peterbilt with Loadmaster body.

30136013970_e61bd3d048_bAnd while many of these new trucks are connected in some form to the refuse industry rest assured other sectors are still buy trucks as by the gallery below.

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