Bill Weatherston Collection

Truck Pictures

Collection of Truck Pictures from Bill ("Diesel Gypsy") Weatherstone
Most of the descriptions for the photos are in Bill's own words.

Bill Weatherstone Stories

Bill Weatherstone has decided to share some STORIES from his life as a career truck driver. THANKS BILL!

Click on the picture to bring up a larger image.
Diesel Gypsy, 1951 (in the beginning). First full time trucking job. Eaton's, 100 mile radius of Toronto.
Here is a 1952/3 Dodge tractor, gas job, with 5 and 2 speed axle, with a short 4th. The truck was Bill's stepfather's, at LONDON FORWARDERS TRANS. in Toronto.(usualy, ran around southern Ontario.) This particular load was army trucks being transported to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Their first load to the west. Hwy. # 11 was barely passable in places. The section between Hearst and Longlac, Ontario was just a bush road, and you had to sign in and out at both ends. It was 132 miles, and if you did not show up in the allotted time, they went looking for you. ( lots of moose attacks ). Most of the cross Canada traffic usualy dropped down through the states, until the Trans Canada Hwy. was opened.
Nairn Centre. Ontario, on #17 Hwy., just west of Nairn Centre, Ontario, and east of the river bridge ( old road ) On way from Calgary, Alberta, to Montreal, PQ. For lack of highways, traveled south to US #2 at Shelby, Montana, across to the Soo, Michigan, then by ferry boat to Soo, Ontario, ( no bridge at that time ) Also no bridge at Mackinac either.
"Same trip as the photo above. South from Calgary to Juct. US# 2 at Shelby, Montana. There was a makeshift truck stop there. It was a small house with a diner room and 1 diesel pump outside. It was the Husky House Truck Stop.(Canadian Owned). The photo has a 1950/51 Frieghtliner, 180 Cummins, and the first time I was involved with a 10 speed, (single stick) Roadranger transmission. Usually had, 5X3 or 5X4 Spicers & Brownings. The other truck is a Kenworth CBE (half cab), 200 Cummins, 1953 (?). The driver & co-driver sat tandem, like in a crane. (one behind the other) the bunk was across the back. The smoke stack was right in the middle of the hood, and stait up. The right rear mirror was on a little tower on the right side of the hood. Looked something like the configuration of an Ottawa shunt truck with a bunk across the back. This was before Midland joined up. It was Superior Transport only. The photo and trip was taken at the end of October 1954. Notice the mud on trucks, normal Alberta roads at the time. (oil patch boom time, lots of mud and crappy excuse for roads)."
Here is a series of shots at the loading field on the new natural gas pipeline, between Stratford and St. Mary's, Ontario. The contractor was F.E. Shaw Construction, from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. The year, 1957.

I had a 1952 / 3,(don't remember the model year, exactly) Model 22 WHITE MUSTANG, single axle, float tractor, with a 5x3 Browning trans. Equiped with a heavy, frame mounted, TULSA winch. would run a crawler up onto a flatdeck highboy float, then winch the trailer nose up onto the 5th wheel and draw it into the coupler. The highboy float has no landing gear, and sits nose on ground. Same with the pole trailers. The driver next to the truck is BILL. (first time float work) Other photo's are of the MOBILE CRANE, for loading 60' pipe lengths onto the pole trailers. The side boom dozers were TD-14 INTERNATIONALS, for unloading, and stringing pipe on the right of way. They also position the pipe for the welders to work on, then lower it into the trench for burial. The 1952 / 3 DODGE, strait job, has an "A" frame body. It really takes a beating, winching and pulling welding machines and equipment, through all kinds of terrain. (bush, swamps, etc.)

Stringing Pipe, Sideboom, 1957
Bill standing beside the White Mustang that he drove for F.E. Shaw Construction in 1957.

Every, now and then, someone does not make it home. Unfortunately, in this case there were five.

We had just fuelled up and left Devils Lake, North Dakota, west bound on US # 2 Highway, for Calgary, Alberta. No names will be mentioned in the Canadian truck running along just ahead of Bill.

There were many bridges across the old highways that were to narrow for the newer sized trucks. In the 1950's the trucks had to move over the white line and run in the centre of the bridge, because of trailer clearance. As shown by the Hayes stopped on the bridge.

The truck running ahead of this truck made the curve and entered the centre of the bridge. Unfortunately, a carload of young service men from the local base approached the bridge in the same manner in the oncoming direction. As the truck came off the bridge, they collided. The resulting photos are self explanatory.

As in the 1950's, today is no exception. You have to be vigilant, and have foresight, and honed at all times.

Here is Les Burnet climbing up into his 1959 Hayes Clipper cabover. This picture was taken at the Husky Truck Stop, at hwy's # 1 & #2 (the crossroads) at Calgary Alberta. Les Burnet on the left and Len Wesley, on the right standing in front of the '56 Diamond T 1956 Diamond T conventional, with a factory sleeper. This picture was taken at the Husky Truck Stop, at hwy's # 1 & #2 (the crossroads) at Calgary Alberta. 1959 Hayes Clipper, parked behind the distillery in Calgary. The driver's name is unknown.

In the spring of 1960, we unloaded in Edmonton and dropped down to Calgary to pick up 3 loads at the distillery. The loads were held up because of the Calgary stampede parade and opening. We laid over a couple of days, and joined in on the western party. A great time was had by all. -------- Oh yea, COWBOY HATS are a must.

This photo, is of a 1959 Autocar, 220 Cummins & 10 speed Roadranger trans. Location was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, ( 1962 ). Maritime-Ontario is the east coast licence of the old TRANS CANADA HIGHWAY EXPRESS. (Davis Corp.) One owner/operator had the majority of the equipment. He was offered the chance to buy the licence. He changed the name to MARITIME ONTARIO, J. C. SNAPE, FREIGHT LINES, and changed the pink & gray colours, to royal blue, with white stripe. It has since been sold and the J. C. SNAPE name has been dropped.

Regent Battery. This "B 61" Mack, was ordered special for me. I had, had enough and packed it in. Went in on pay day and Eddy M. the Mack salesman was there. Old IZZY told me I could not leave, and to order myself a new truck and trailer, in any colour or acessory that I wanted. This is what I ordered, in my colours. Toronto, 1965. (the ground the picture was taken on, is now the 427 & QEW interchange.)

Here are some photos from Griffith labs in Scarborough, (Toronto) 1968. I was sent up there, to start a private fleet for them. Izzy, at regent battery, had the contract and owned the trucks. I spent 5 years with them and set everything up, (drivers, trucks, service and suggestions when required).

In 1966, I was sent up to the GRIFFITH LABORATORIES, in Scarborough, (Toronto). I took my red "B" 61 to Griffith's and started a plant to plant scheduled run (Toronto - Montreal). A year and a half later, we acquired a dry bulk tanker to service one particular customer in New England. (USA). The tank was designed and built by TRUCK ENGINEERING, (KING TRAILERS). The product to be hauled, was BREAD CRUMBS, or called breading, for fish products. It was equipped with twin compressors, that could run either in series or parallel. That way, it could not only blow off the light powders of flour or breading, but had the force to blow off a load of heavy salt. The blower was powered by electric motors, and plugged into the customers service, at 600 volts. It was a lot quieter running system than a gas engine. It would run instantly at outside temperatures of well below zero Fahrenheit.

The tractor for this tank was a, 1968 "H" Model Mack. Powered by a 225hp. Thermodyne Engine, and a 5X3, Triplex Transmission. All Mack front to back.
This photo shows the rear of the King tank. This photo shows the twin compressors. This photo was given to Bill from his friend, Smitty. This photo shows Griffith's new Toronto - Montreal truck.(in 1990).

Around 1972, Overland Express, in Toronto opened up an Owner / Operator division. I was their first truck on the road. It was dedicated to Dunlop Tire, manufacturing, in Whitby Ontario. Dunlop Tire also had a plant in Centrailia, Ontario, that produced bicycle tires. It used to run a daily trip between the 2 plants, taking up rubber compound, and returning with bicycle tires. The little Mack, had a 250 hp Thermodyne Engine, a 5X3 Triplex transmission, and a Granning tag axle. The second truck hired on, started with a set of trains, ( doubles ) hauling steel from Hamilton Ontario to Detroit Michigan.

In 1978 Muire's Cartage in Toronto, had a contract with ASEA ( Swedish General Electric ) in Sudbury, ( Northern Ontario ) They were having driver problems, and found it hard to control, being a minimum 250mi. away. I was recommended to them as a replacement. I offered to go up and try it out for a month, and if I was satisfied with the run and equipment, I would take it over and purchase the truck. Of which I did.

The run consisted of 44 calls, over a distance of 2,600 miles, once a week. A regular milk run. I would go into bush camps, mines, saw mills and different contractors sites. I would pick up electric motors, turbines, etc. for overhaul and return. The territory covered was from Sudbury-North Bay, up to James Bay and over to the Manitoba border.

It was quite an experience, in and out of the bush roads, dodging moose jumping out in front of you on the icy roads, and blizzards, with wind chills as low as 75 degrees below zero F. May not see anyone for 1/2 a day or more. Coming across someone broke down, or just plain lost, would break the routine. No phones or help lines. Had a souped up CB, that got me out of trouble a few times.

The tractor was a 1966 "R" model Mack. A Maxidyne engine ( 237 ) HP. and a 5 speed trans. All kinds of power from that high torque engine. In 1979, I traded up to a new Mack, same running gear. The plant shut down permanently, and I was invited to go to Canadian General Electric, (apparatus shop) in Burlington Ontario, and set up the route in their name, and carry on.

This photo was taken at the scale shack just west of Regina, Saskatchewan, east bound. It is Kingsway Transport.(heavy haul division) formerly, BROCKLESBY FLOAT SERVICE, Montreal PQ. The original colours were solid orange, with a bit of black trim. This particular load was 14' wide, and had to have pilot escorts.
Here is a Kingsway/Brocklesby, Chev Titon taken on highway # 17 near Marathon, Ontario. A load of fiberglass tanks. William Weatherstone Collection.
American Motors V8 Mack Super Liner. "This truck was the one and only truck that AMC had on the road. I ran emergency package parts between Brampton, Ontario. ( Toronto ) and Detroit, Michigan on a daily bases. The regular driver broke his leg and I took it over for them for about 6 weeks."

These next two photos were taken when Bill was contracted out to Domtar building material division in 1986.
This flat deck hauled wallboard out of Huntsville, Ontario to southern Ontario & Quebec. They had to use tandem trailers to go state-side. "The flat deck was pain in the butt, trying to untarp the load in a parking lot with high winds, rain, -30 below; or any combination of conditions. Trying to spread out and fold, a 50' tarp, frozen, and on the ground, with the wind fighting you all the way, is no picknic; (alone, with no help). Plus there are usualy 2 tarps on a 53' load."
This van was a lot more civilized, without the need to tarp. These loads were 5,000 lb. bags of coloured glass beads, for the manufacturing of asphalt roof shingles. The plant was in Havelock, Ontario, off hwy. #7.

These next photos were taken when Bill was contracted out to Texaco Canada. These pictures span 1986 to 1989.

"I had a 4 drop trip to Nova Scotia, once a week, Truro, Kentville, Bridgewater and Yarmouth. Loaded with 65,000 lbs. lubricants.Cases, drums, pails, etc. ( tri-axle trailer ). Then leave Toronto, on Saturday morning for a Monday delivery in Truro. Then go like crazy to get Kentville & Bridgewater off the same day. Then motor on down to Yarmouth, layover till morning, then unload. Unloading & reloading empty skids, drums and any returns. All freight was unloaded, and empty skids, re stacked by hand (hand bomb, only) Finish up at Yarmouth, then head up to Digby and get the ferry boat to St. John, New Brunswick, Then head back to Toronto, arriving back before noon on Thursday."

Digby, Nova Scotia, ferry dock, 1986. The ship, Princess of Acadia. Across bay of Fundy to New Brunswick. (St.John.). "Driver, Old Bill, before he got old.(still was the old man in the fleet).
"Lake Ottawa, ( Outaouais ?) Quebec. Tanker (5 compartments) hydraulic oil, for giant Korring tree harvesters. Travel a couple hundred miles north of Ottawa, Ontario, then off the highway, onto a bush road for 100 miles, to base camp then off about 30 or 40 mi into the wilderness to reach the equipment. Usualy always the first large truck to reach the ever changing sites. Had to be CAT dragged over humps and through muskeg more than once."

These photos taken on the Quebec north shore, the area, ( Starting at Quebec City and going north east along the St.Laurence River to Havre-St-Pierre, across from Anticosti Island in the gulf of St.Lawrence). This stretch of road in past, had claimed a lot of lives and equipment. With grades of up to 13 & 14%, and one in particular, at 19%. The winter running required the drivers to be totally fearless, or at the least, half nuts.The one hill was so notorious that they eventually had to tunnel through the mountain to ease the grade. Once you started down, you were committed. All the brakes you had would not stop you. Then a dirty tight turn at the bottom. Oh yea,--- no snow plows after dark."

"The truck was a set of "A" trains. The lead being a van, ( cases, drums, pails, etc. ) The pup being a tanker. (special built to haul bulk grease, for the iron ore mills). In the beginning, the van was off loaded at the warehouse in Sept-iles PQ ( 7 islands ). Then pull the tanker over to a rail siding, and transfer the load to a tank car for delivery up to Labrador City. It was all owned by the Iron Ore Co. of Canada. The tank car would take 6 days to do a round. They screwed up one time, and forgot to hook up to the train. With no storage, and no storage back in Toronto, (they formulated the load directly into the tank trailer. No storage). Well all crap hit the fan. All these million dollar executives, didn't have a clue. The train could never get to Lab.City before running out. The whole mill system runs with conveyor belts. No grease, no go. OLD BILL, to the rescue.( who else but a truck driver could save the day?). I took,( after letting them stew for 1/2 a day) the doubles back to Baie-Comeau, PQ., dropped the lead and hooked on to the pup and headed north. The first 150mi. was up and down like a yo-yo. But it was at least paved. It ended at MANIC 5 DAM. End of the line. With Another 150/200mi. to go, I entered the world of bush roads and no roads. I went over creeks climbed hills at 4/10mph. Ran all night and went through a fly in fishing camp. They almost had a fit when they saw a tanker truck passing through the bush.I followed trails and home made signs, had a nap too."

Texaco double taken along the Quebec North Shore in 1989. Texaco doubles taken at Sept-Iles, Quebec. Sagenay River Crossing, Quebec.
The bush road in this picture, was just the topsoil scraped off and when the mud underlay was exposed to the rain, and snow, it turned into an almost uncontrolabe slide ride. That was the good part, it only got worse as you went on.
These machines would literaly, walk up to a tree (about 40' to 50' high) and grab it, shear it off at the base, strip off all branches, pull the striped tree into itself, cut it into 8' lengths and self load them into the rear, then carry them, in the trunk so to speak, to the next tree. All in about a couple of minutes. You can see, the tires stand higher than Bill does at over 6'4". The tree harvesters at the job site would dwarf my (Bill's) truck in size. They seemed to have quite a thirst for the loads of hydraulic oil, brought in.

These photos are from Imperial Oil, (Keele St. Div. Toronto) in 1994.

When Texaco was selling out, in Canada, Imperial Oil purchased them, lock stock and barrel. They also were in the process of disbanding their own transport fleet. Then they would contract out all their product deliveries. When they acquired the package goods fleet, they found out that outside carriers could not compete with the efficiency of an in house fleet, especially in this particular division. They still maintain this fleet today.

The first photo is of a 1954, F-600 FORD strait truck. They had just taken delivery of this new truck at the Calgary, Alberta, terminal.
This photo shows an Esso International taken in Ontario.
The photos of the tandem tank, at the unloading pipes, is in Timmins Ontario, at the Kidd Creek Mine. It was about 36 below zero F. that morning. Pumping off a load of motor oil (15W40) at that temp, even in an insulated trailer is a slow process.
The Superliner Mack was in there to pick up a front end loader, and take it to another mine site for snow removal. He had a 425hp CAT, and a heavy 15 speed Direct, Roadranger trans.

The triaxle tank in this photo is an un insulated gasoline tank that we used for motor oil. the load sat on this trailer for 3 days, in sub zero cold. It was Cutting Oil. This was in Marieville Quebec.

I had the same trailer one trip up to Iroquois Falls, Ontario. The oil was practically in a state of molasses. That load took 13 hrs. to pump off. After that episode I had them change my pump over to a gear pump. The next winter I had little or no flow problems.

The van photos at the Arctic water shed is N. E. of Thunder Bay, Ontario. ( The Lakehead, if you are old like me.)

Bill's truck, a 1990 International Eagle 9300 with a 400 Cat, 13 over. "The truck was set up to run like a jack rabbit.
When I sold it, it had over 800,000 Miles and still did not use a drop of oil."
Bill's Truck, at Oakville, Ontario, Trimac terminal in the year 2000.
"This was taken at a restaurant just east of YUMA ARIZONA, about 4 yrs. ago. I sent it to my friend in CALGARY, and his young son got it out of the computer and modified it and sent it back to me. Kids and electronics can do anything today."
This is Bill's retirement photo. These photos were taken on the summit of Rogers Pass, east bound, from Delta, BC. Liquid latex from Toronto to Delta, for Colour Your World Paint Manufacturing.


A couple of trucks from this past year.

Smitty, Bill's friend of more than 35 years, has this 1998 FRIEGHTLINER, ( super deluxe condo ) Powered by a 430 DETROIT, Trans. is a 13 over. The interior is set up as a home away from home. Certainly not like the old days. He travels coast to coast in both the USA and CANADA.

Smitty's neighbour, has this new NAVISTAR (INTERNATIONAL), EAGLE, with a set of hopper "B" trains. He hauls silica sand to the docks in Montreal, for export.

When we were on our way home from Alberta last week (early May 2003). I caught sight of a float at the West Hawk Lake, Manitoba scales. (Ontario border) Couldn't resist grabbing a few shots. He had to lay over for Ontario police & pilot car escorts. The load is 25 ft. wide and a whole bunch ft. long. (never thought to ask the length). The box is coming from Edmonton and going to a mine site near Armstrong, Ontario. (north of Thunder Bay) The drivers name is Jack Murray, and he drives for T-LANE TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS, out of Edmonton & Coquitlam.
Jack Murray standing next to his Kenworth T800 The load 25 feet wide Mrs Diesel Gypsy
West Hawk Lake at the Ontario/Manitoba border.
Dump box headed for Armstrong, Ontario.

Final Trip

Diesel Gypsy, 2001. / 50 yrs. later. (In the end) Last full time trucking job. TRIMAC, all of CANADA, and the USA.

What does a truck driver do after retirement ? Why, ------ He just gets up on a BIKE, or SLED, and motors off into the sunset.


Bill ( "Diesel Gypsy" ) Weatherstone

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