Still Working – International KB-5

This past weekend Madison County (NY) held an open house of sorts for some of the various departments most often seen by the public. The idea is for people to learn more about the people and equipment used to plow roads, put out fires and patrol the streets. It’s a good idea and one that illustrates local government is mostly made of normal people like you and me. It’s also a perfect opportunity for truck fools like myself to openly take pictures without causing paranoia.

The Highway Department pulled out all the stops and brought an entire fleet of vehicles and heavy equipment. Despite being the smallest and not being painted bright orange this 1948 International KB-5 immediately caught my eye.

International KB-5

You’re looking at a truck the County has owned since new. Yes, this is a one owner gem right here. Originally this truck started its career as the welder’s rig, a job it carried out with ease for decades until 1971 when a dump body was sourced from an even older Chevy truck. Since that time the KB saw some light action hauling garbage from the Wampsville shop to the local landfill.

International KB-5

Inside and out this truck is mostly stock. Under the hood you’ll find 233 cu. in. six cylinder Green Diamond engine. Transfer of power takes place through a four speed gearbox connected to a 2 speed rear axle. On the dash a hand drawn tag remains indicating the shift pattern. That tag is as old as the truck itself! It’s faint but can still be seen.

International KB-5 Cab

One of 41,238 produced at the IHC Springfield plant in 1948, this old ‘binder now enjoys a relaxed life as display and parade unit. It’s a great piece of local trucking history. I commend the folks at the Madison County Highway Department for keeping this truck rolling after all these years.

More on the modern trucks to come!

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