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Small Towns, big trucks

by Jim Park
Untitled Document

There's something about small towns and big trucks. Minden and Carp are two of the smaller truck shows on the circuit, and while they bring out some real top-drawer iron, the competition is friendly and good-natured. Both shows enjoyed near record participation this year, and with the help of truck pulls, pick-up truck competitions, and a soiree afterward, spectators came out in numbers too.

Picturesque Minden sits in the heart of 'cottage country', which is a Toronto term for almost any place north of - and nicer than - the city. Geographically, Minden sits a couple of hours out of the big smoke and an hour's drive east of Bracebridge. It's a bit out of the way for most long-haulers, but plenty of loggers and dump truckers call the place home. This gives the show a different complexion: fewer of the super-spiffed-up highway haulers, but more equally spiffed-up or darned well-cared-for vocational trucks. Among them, Brian Cooper's '94 KW, aka: 'Mr. Meaner'.

It's a 2001 spec'd for Ontario's very liberal weight laws, with a 20,000-lb front end and 550 Cat up front. Cooper says the truck has just 345,000 km on the clock even though it's nearly four years old. He came to Minden for the truck pulls, didn't fare that well, but enjoyed the day anyway.

Speaking of truck pulls, local logger Lyle Stamp managed to tug the sled right off the end of the track with his 2003 Sterling for a record pull of ??? feet. The crowd went wild.

Local owner-op Larry Davis and his bride Tracy took the Best Decked honors with their Classic XL Freightliner (see Truck of the Month feature on page 22).

And on the very next weekend, the town of Carp, Ont. came alive to the sound of snorting bulls and roaring diesels with Strawfest 2004, a local agricultural show that features a show and shine for large and small trucks from eastern Ontario.

Carp is now a western Ottawa suburb, or just about, with a strong contingent of vocational trucks as well. The show usually attracts a big crowd of the local dump trucking crew, as well as several entries from the construction and excavating companies in the area. Tankers, oddly, make up a large portion of the entries. Trucks from Laidlaw Tank's Cardinal terminal, Perth's Glen Tay Transport, and three of Bob Lodge's 730 Truck Stop fuel tanker fleet dazzled the crowds, gleaming brightly under the early summer sun.

Like Minden, Carp seems to draw a lot of non-highway trucks too, which offers a great perspective of the industry's breadth. There was even a pair of concrete pumpers and a concrete mixer entered in the show and shine. Notable entries this year were Derek Graham of Burnbrae Farms and his Volvo daycab just dripping in chrome and lights, and a four-truck crew from Kriska Transport who even brought along a dispatcher, Dean Empey, just to make sure they all had a good time.

Minden and Carp are two great little shows that guarantee a good time: low-pressure friendly competition, a wide variety of equipment, and plenty of small town hospitality. Make sure you put them on your 2005 calendar.


Winner Lists


Minden Kinsmen Truck Pulls
Tandem Dump - Tom Prentice Jr.
Tri-axle Dump - Dave Pettes
Logging truck - Lyle Stamp

Minden Kinsmen Show & Shine
Best Decked - out Truck

First - Larry Davis
Second - Henry Tourigny
Third - Brent Speedie
2004-05 highway truck - Bill Chaffey
2000-03 highway truck - Darren Sawyer
1999 or older highway truck - Henry Tourigny
2004-05 working truck - Bernard Trumbull
2000-03 working truck - Terry Prentice
1996-99 working truck - Steve Beaver
1995 or older working truck - Tom Prentice Jr.
2004-05 logger - Gary Lewis
2000-03 Logger - Phil Cottrill
1999 or older logger - Rick Danilko
Antique (30 years or older) - Peter Farr


Carp Valley Show & Shine

2003-2004 bobtail - Doug MacDonald, Cavalier Transportation
2001-2002 bobtail - Grant Lough, Fastrax
1998-2000 bobtail - Stephane Gautier, JR Menard Ltee.
1995-1997 bobtail - Robert Chapman, Robert Chapman Transport
1009-1994 bobtail - Brian Moffatt, Brian Moffatt Trucking
Combo van - Derek Crosby, Derek Crosby Ltd.
Combo reefer - Johanne Couture, Kriska Transportation
Combo tank - Ben Findlay, Findlay Transportation
Combo flat/dropdeck - Phil Langevin, P.A. Langevin Transport
Combo construction - Glen Wright, Glen Wright Excavating
Combo trains - William Murdoch, 730 Truckstop
2003-2004 dump - Steve Thomas, independent O/O
2001-2002 dump - Mike Morris, Mac Morris Cartage
1998-2000 dump - Marcel Levesque, Marcel Levesque & Sons Cartage
Straight truck - Laurysen Kitchens
Daycab - Derek Graham, Burnbrae Farms
Vocational - Ottawa Metro Towing
Fleet, small (4 or less) - 730 Truck Stop
Fleet, large (5 or more) - Laidlaw Tank
Best 1980s - Phil Langevin
Best 1960's - Bob & Eileen Sadler
Million Mile Club - Brian Moffatt
Best restored (non-working) - Bob & Eileen Sadler
Best engine - Phil Langevin
Best interior - Stephane Gautier
Best paint - Phil Langevin
Best chrome - Derek Graham
Longest haul to show - Barry Grindrod, Atlas Van Lines, Langley, B.C.
People's choice - Lyoness Woodstock, Erb Transport