The Ultimate Simulator

About a year ago a new trucking simulation game by the name of American Truck Simulator hit the scene. Technically it is the successor to the many trucking games that came before it from the 18 Wheels of Steel franchise. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent on these games in my more formative years and honestly I don’t want to know. The latest incarnation of 18WOS does a decent job immersing you into the world of driving a big rig with manual transmissions, lowering landing gear, blind side backing and dealing with idiot four wheelers (cars). I consider myself a casual player of the game so I use the default keyboard and mouse controls but others out there have full steering wheel setups that include pedal and gearbox shifters. While impressive, all of those pale in comparison to the Sigma Integrale system that bolts onto a real Peterbilt 579. Real as in this truck drove to the show. Yeaaaah.

Using the actual gauges, steering wheel, seat suspension and more the Sigma team is able to transport you behind the wheel of actual big rig. All the blind spots, wide turns and increased stopping distances found in a real truck can be experienced using American Truck Simulator as the engine. Unbelievable! Many years ago when I went to trucking school they had a simulator in the most basic sense. It was a truck seat and a shifter mounted in front of screen that showed two gauges, road speed and rpms. You worked your way through shifting both up and down. If you missed the right combination of speed and gear it would grind the gears and refuse to shift. At the time it seemed like the most advanced system ever created, rivaling that of the space shuttle. How times have changed!

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Keeping the 80’s Alive

Of recent decades past the 80’s never truely received its due. Following on the heels of the 60’s and 70’s that witnessed a cultural explosion in music, technology and other popular culture it was easy for people to look around and claim that it was the least of times. Well, looking back at the mess the world has become 30 years later the 80’s seem pretty darn good to me!

This 1982 Akerman H14 has been seen on this site before but in slightly different shape. Back in 2015 Clarence picked up this machine and sent along some photos for us to enjoy. In the two years since we saw it last the H14 has been cleaned up a bit and now belongs to R.W. Bell Construction.

If the Akerman doesn’t convince you that there were some redeeming qualities about the 80’s maybe this 1985 Ford L-9000 powered by a 350 Cummins will help change your mind?

All this goes to prove that if you take care of your old equipment it will take care of you. Thanks for sharing these great photos Rick.

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Autocar Mondays – KT31 Pumper Tanker

Ed came across this interesting photo recently of Saulsbury 2100 gallon pumper tanker rinding a 1983 Autocar AT64.

Manufacturered in Tully, NY the Saulsbury name was popular choice amoung fire departments across the Northeast and beyond. You can still see the old plant along I-81 right near the large Suit-Kote terminal. Saulsbury was purchased by E-One in the early 2000s and subsequently closed. If you cant beat…buy em and shut em down.

Recently this cover model resurfaced when it was put up for auction by its original owner the Watkins Glen Fire Department.

Selling through RTI Auctions the Autocar found a new home for 15,000 big ones. Anyone know where? Thanks for the tip Ed!

Do you know of an Autocar that should be featured on Autocar Mondays? Email today!

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Johnny on the Spot – The International Payhauler

Construction of the Glenn Canon Dam took place from 1955 to 1966 and according to this film was built entirely with International Harvest trucks and construction equipment. A wise call. In the video below you’ll pretty much every vehicle offered by IH at work. The video has a lengthy introduction but around the eight minute mark it picks up with footage of Payhaulers being lowered to the canyon floor by a giant cable system that spanned the Glenn Canyon during construction. A particularly dramatic scene takes place around the thirteen minute mark as crews scramble to plug the Colorado river and force its historic path into the diversion tubes. Enjoy!

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Winter Continues

Well, there isn’t much going on around here worth talking about so let’s look at some plows. This past Sunday bands of lake effect passed through the region producing white out conditions one moment followed by blinding sun the next. I didn’t have much else going on so I took a cruise looking for something a little different. I happened by the airport just as a convoy of Oshkosh trucks with snow brooms began to clear a runway. I thought about getting closer to the fence but realized I’m on enough government lists as it is. Any thoughts on the make of that last rig?

Here we see one of the new International NYSDOT trucks at work. I’m glad to see the blue hood survives now that the flying T door logo has been done away with.

I’ve found another Detroit (presumably) powered parking lot warrior. This one is wearing the same Case imitation colors as the Trojan from a few weeks ago. I guess these must be the corporate colors of CNY Sealing and Plowing.

In the gallery below you’ll find truck 212 of the Syracuse DPW. Winter is about the only time this trucks make a public appearance. One of two, maybe more, this one is my favorite. I can tell because of the red cab corner clearance lights. Next is a Town of Salina truck loaded to the max with salt. Then, another CNY sealing machine. A Syracuse Airport Authority truck is next, barred from using chemicals on runways this truck makes sure that salt is still heavily used on terminal roads and parking lots. Finally we end with a NYSDOT Mack Granite shot.

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The Real Stars of Hollywood

Many consider the Golden Age of Hollywood to have taken place near the end of the silent era of films and continuing through to the early 1960’s. During this period of time some of the greatest actors and movies of all times graced the silver screen. When thinking about trucking films the golden age unquestionably took place in the 1970’s with an explosion of movies and television series. No doubt everyone is familiar with the truck used by the Snowman to carry a load of Coors across state lines. And who hasn’t looked in their rearview mirror to find nothing but truck bumper and immediately thought of Dennis Weaver being chased by a demonic Peterbilt. This past summer at the annual Southern Classic Truck show five of the most iconic trucks of yesterday came together to awe truck lovers of all ages.

Former American Trucker star Robb Mariani was on hand to document this historic occasion.

Did your top five make the cut?

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The Coming Jet Age

There once was a time when the future was envisioned as one in which nearly everything would be jet powered. Cars, buses, trains, and even lawnmowers were set to be powered by the engine of tomorrow.

As we all know by now that didn’t happen. We came close to a few vehicles being powered by gas fed turbine engines but the dream never fully took shape. The old internal combustion engine held on for victory and doesn’t appear ready to give up that tile any time soon. Oddly enough this old Pettibone speed swing loader with 2 stroke diesel has found a way to marry the two engine technologies together. Or, at the very least, place them in an uneasy alliance.

I prefer the looks of the Pettibone to the more typical track only mounted blower commonly seen at work on the local rail lines.

Related: Jordan Spreader – The Ultimate Rail Plow

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Autocar Mondays – 1940 U-10

It takes a special set of skills to bring a 1940 Autocar U-10 back from the brink of extinction. Thankfully the crew at Eastern States Construction Service possessed these skills along with the desire and the vision to save this old rig from the scrap man.

The U-10 was found languishing in a Boston junkyard four years ago. At the time it had a small fuel oil tank out back and was rumored to have been used in the delivery of lamp and cooking oil. As with many trucks of this time the cab is a unique marriage of metal and wood. To restore the cab two shipwrights worked for a month and half removing all the sheet metal and replacing nearly half of the rotted wood supports.

If you’re lucky enough to drive this classic you’ll be sitting on top of a Hercules gas engine connected to a Warner four speed transmission. A Schramm air compressor hangs over the rear axle now and is powered by a 4 cylinder gas diesel engine. No, that is not a mistype. The large engine is started on a gas and then switched over to diesel at the appointed time. Too cool.

A huge thanks to Stephen and the folks at Eastern States Construction Service for keeping this Autocar rolling!

Got an Autocar you think should be featured on Autocar Mondays? Send in your photos to

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Allis Chalmers M100 Graders

Here’s important news from one of the world’s foremost producers of quality construction machinery.

I want one now, it seems like the perfect machine.

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C-Series Fords Never Die

Few heavy truck manufactures recouped their cab development and tooling cost like Ford Motor Company when they introduced the C-Cab styled trucks in 1957. 

For over three decades Ford produced the C-Series for a variety of trucking vocations. The model was particularly popular among fire departments and inner city delivery companies as the cab over style allowed for easy driving in tight urban areas. As late as 2001 I can recall the local Roadway terminal still employing a C machine as local runner! If only I had taken a picture. Thankfully Zach of Refuse Truck Media and Consulting wasn’t as foolish as me when he came across this ’86 model of Royal Refuse Service.

This truck still enjoys regular use as a yard dog while spotting various bins around the Royal yard in Eugene, Oregon. Over the years the C-Series remained largely unchanged in outward appearance undergoing cosmetic changes only when mandated by law. Early year C’s sported quad-style headlights but after that change in 1960’s the details became more subtle.

Above you see what is reported to be a ’69 model. If you look closely you’ll see that the side reflective markers and emblems are missing (mandated in 1968) while an empty trapezoid stained space on the front suggests a gear and lighting bolt emblem that was in use until replacement by the iconic blue oval in 1967. When it comes to old trucks who can tell what has happened over the years. Sometimes to keep these old rigs running you have to steal from an decade you can to make a complete truck. This could explain the discrepancies in trim pieces that point to a different time period.

Various engines of both the gas and diesel variety could be found under the floor of C-Series. Take a listen to this old gal in action and see if you can figure it out.

Among the famous cabs of years gone by the C-Series ranks right up there with the Mack R-Model and the Kenworth W series in life span. Once found on the highways of this great nation in prodigious numbers the C-Series is now rarely found outside of books in your local library. Thanks for the share Zach!

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