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Good Times

by Rolf Lockwood and Jim Park
Untitled Document

The country's biggest summer gathering of chrome - the Fergus Truck Show in Fergus, Ont. - went off without a hitch in late July, and it sported record numbers in the process. Like more trade-show exhibitors and more show-and-shine competitors than we've seen before. Nearly 500 of them, which may make Fergus the biggest such event on the continent. Even the weather co-operated this year for a change.

There was a ton of beautiful machinery on hand, but two trucks stood out in particular because we hadn't seen them before. One was Lacey Dalton's mighty impressive new Peterbilt 379, complete with ceramic-tile floors and an RV-style full-height door into the bunk, though it's hardly a bunk in any ordinary sense. Call it 'living quarters'.

Lacey, who runs L.A. Dalton Systems out of Stoney Creek, Ont., has trucked hard for a lot of years and he built this spectacular rig as a reward to himself. A matching East Mfg. 4-axle flatdeck completes the picture. Fergus show-goers liked it a lot, giving him the Public's Choice award. We'll feature Lacey's Pete in a coming issue.

Then there was Gary Hammond, who rode to Fergus with wife Liz all the way from Salmon Arm, B.C. in his terrific 1992 Kenworth K100 cabover. It won the award for Best Working Cabover. He's had it for a long time, Gary told us, but last year he decided to do it up. With the help of Mike Lentz and sometimes the shop facilities at Mountain High Truck & Body in Salmon Arm (run by Mike's father Daryl), Gary stretched the KW's frame from 220 to 242 in. and created what may be the longest COE bunk we've ever seen - there's 132 in. of it behind the driver's seat.

"It's done like a camper," Gary says, and it sports a 2400-watt power inverter, an on-board gen-set, roof air, and of course all the fridge and microwave necessities. Power comes from a 430 Detroit working through an Eaton Fuller 15-over.

About seven hours north, one weekend later, the summer's loudest trucking party finished in traditional style. The 24th annual Rodeo du Camion in Notre Dame du Nord, Que., 20 clicks across the border from New Liskeard, Ont., featured as usual a show-and-shine competition, a flea market, some great retro music, and a somewhat insane drag race up a 6-7% grade on one of the main streets of this little town. Some 80 competitors faced the lights in bobtail and loaded divisions, racing side by side in two days of elimination runs for more than $30,000 in prize money. And when we say 'loaded', we mean it. With U-joints straining, competitors pull fully loaded B-trains up the hill to the roaring delight of 60,000 or so spectators, some of them sober.

The event has raised some $3.8 million for local and regional charities over the years, and general manager Gilles Dussault says next year's 25th anniversary Rodeo will be pretty special.

On the racing front, it's become a tradition in the 'unlimited horsepower' bobtail class that Terry Nychuck and his 'Wilder Thing' Kenworth should face arch rival Donny 'Baby Mad Dog' Vachon and his orange-and-white Western Star in the weekend's furious finale. This year was no different.

They were clearly faster than anyone else through the weekend's elimination runs, and the huge crowd eagerly awaited the best-two-out-of-three final battle. Last year it was Nychuck's Cat that prevailed, for the third time in five years, and he won again this year. Vachon red-lighted in the first race, and Nychuck won the second cleanly, though not by much. It was over, and the guy who goes racing on a shoestring budget had taken a popular victory once again. Don Grant finished third in the class.

Among other stories from the Rodeo, the weekend that started with great promise for Brent Kurtz, of Brian Kurtz Trucking in Breslau, Ont. Saturday saw him do some very fast bobtail runs in his elderly but pristine Kenworth, and he looked like making up for blowing his turbo last year. On Sunday, however, he tried pulling the trains up the hill, and he left the track with a driveshaft in two twisted pieces. Undaunted and still smiling, he prepared to float the truck home and begin preparations for 2005.

Next year may see a new face in the racing mix, namely Claude Robert, owner of giant Robert Transport. One of the key features of the Rodeo is a huge lottery, and the prizes include a Peterbilt 379, a Ford pickup truck, and a pair of Harley-Davidsons, as well as lesser bundles of cash. Claude won the pickup and says he may try the race next year, using an automated ZF Meritor FreedomLine transmission. He figures that, with the right ratios, the very smooth FreedomLine would be just the ticket up the hill.

In the show and shine, who should turn up but Mike Duffy, owner of that very special, brilliant blue 1992 International day-cab tractor with more lights and chrome than you can shake a stick at. It was Mike's first ride, and now it's his last because he sold off his other trucks and got out of the small-fleet game entirely just over a year ago. Nowadays he operates Duffy's Campground in Sturgeon Falls, Ont. The truck, which took the Best Show Truck prize, is for sale.

Taking second in that category, as he did at Fergus, was Lacey Dalton.

We're proud to co-sponsor both of these first-rate shows here at highwaySTAR,


Landsdowne Big Rig Show & Shine

There were lots of folk who thought the Landsdowne show and Shine wasn't going to happen this year. After a week of record rainfall, the gods smiled on organizer Terry Fodey and his crew, making Saturday, July 17 a textbook summer day.

The judging process at Landsdowne is a bit unique in that the competitors judge the competition. Once they call rags down, each competitor is handed a stack of score sheets. Into the field they go to meet their neighbors and size up their peers.

"It's pretty hard for anyone to accuse us of rigging the event because there are so many judges, and we never know beforehand who will be out," says Fodey, an owner-operator - and competitor - working with BMD transport in Landsdowne, Ont. That's located a few minutes north of the infamous Gananoque scales on Highway 401, just east of Kingston. "And the results speak for themselves. We've never heard any complaints afterwards."

Among the interesting characters we met at Landsdowne was Tom Steacy, a company driver with G.A. McAllister Transport of Wolfe Island, Ont. Tom picked up People's Choice this year for his super clean KW T800. The public likely wouldn't have taken much notice of Tom's low-budget but effective climate-control system -- a 3000-watt, gas-powered Honda generator on the frame that runs a 5400-BTU window air conditioner (installed under the bunk) that he bought from Home Depot for $175. In winter, the generator powers a $39 micro-furnace heater. For less than $2000, Tom says it works like a charm.

Landsdowne also offers a summer fair with carnival rides, an agricultural show, and harness racing. There's enough going on to keep everyone happy.

WINNERS LISTS

FERGUS TRUCK SHOW

Public Choice Lacey Dalton, L.A. Dalton Systems

Best Owner-operator; working John Composeo, John Composeo Co.

Best Conventional; working, no sleeper Mike Holmes, E.S. Holmes Trucking

Best Cabover; working Gary Hammond, Alpine International/Westline

Best 2004 or newer; company, working Chris Hall, Sleeman Brewery

Best Pre-2004 company; working Gerry Martin, Wallenstein Transport

Best 2004 or newer O/O; working John E. Davis, Arnold Bros.

Best 2002-2003 O/O; working Steve Murphy, Tricorp Transport

Best 2000-2001 O/O; working Larry and Tracey Davis, ICE FastFreight

Best 1996-1999 O/O; working Frank Bergen, L.E. Walker Transport

Best 1985-1995 O/O; working Jeff Berry, Service Star Freightways

Best Pre-'85 O/O; working Silvo Ostronic, I-Wheels

Best Restored; non-working Terry Thompson

Best Paint Larry and Tracey Davis, ICE FastFreight

Best Paint - tractor/trailer John Composeo, John Composeo Co.

Best Mural - tractor Jay Anderson, JTS Inc

Best Mural - tractor/trailer Ron Lippert, BLM Transportation

Best Commercial Logo/Design Keith Robbins, Samuel & Son

Best Display Area Greg Kellan, LMT Transporation Services

Best Fleet (3-5) Tricorp Transport

Best Fleet (6 or more) Laidlaw Carriers Tank

Best Tractor/Trailer - reefer John Composeo, John Composeo Co.

Best Tractor/Trailer - van Ron Lippert, BLM Transport

Best Tractor/Trailer - livestock Adam Bean, Luckhart Transport

Best Tractor/Trailer - poultry Kevin Penrose, GMF Transport

Best Tractor/Trailer or Straight Truck - feed Ed Benjamins, Lakeside Transport

Best Tractor/Trailer - float, flat, curtain-side Howard Bacher, L.A.Dalton Systems Inc.

Best Tractor/Trailer - car carrier Jim Januch, Oakwood Transport

Best Tractor/Trailer - tanker Mike Ryksen, Laidlaw Carriers Tank

Best Tractor/Trailer - trains Chris Sabourin, Tim Horton's

Best Tractor/Trailer - dump Marty Crickmore, Marylynn Transport

Best Straight Truck/Pup Rueben Fries, Wallenstein Transport

Best Straight Truck Carlo Santeramo, Santeramo Transport

Best 2003 or newer - dump Terry Bushell, Gord Cooper Trucking

Best Pre-'03 - dump Lance Jelley, Jelley & Sons

Best Heavy Recovery Unit Frank Jewerr, Abrams Towing

Best Unique Purpose Alan Eadie, Comtow Heavy Recovery

Best Professional Show/Flagship Truck Brian Kurtz, Brian Kurtz Trucking

Best Lights - Single
Dennis Knapp, Lloyd Clickner Construction

Best Lights - Fleet Tricorp Transport


RODEO DU CAMION SHOW & SHINE WINNERS

Best Highway Tractor Robert Brinker

Best Logger Tractor Roland Boucher

Best Highway Tractor & Van Yanick Thibeault

Best Highway Tractor & Flat Gilbert Paiement

Best Specific Transport Transport S.L.B.

Best Brand New Truck Lacey Dalton

Best Antique Truck Terry Henderson

Best Tractor/Trailer - Dump Daniel Gould

Best Show Truck Mike Duffy

Best Tractor/Trailer - Tank Marcel Jean-Louis

Best Low Bed Phil Langevin

Most Representative Fleet Transport Gilmyr

Best Tractor/Trailer - Logger Richard Lepack

Nicest Chrome Brian Kurtz

Cleanest paint & lettering Pierre Cinq-Mars

Nicest interior Pete Chayer

Most attractive site Stéphane Gauthier

People's choice Robert Brinker

Best Dump Truck (10 wheels) Paul Chamberland

RODEO DU CAMION TRUCK PULL WINNERS

Class 0-424 hp - Bobtail
1- Mario Banville
2- Sylvie Paradis
3- Stéphane Labonté

Class 0-424 hp - Loaded
1- Martin Perreault
2- Mario Banville
3- Stéphane Labonté

Class 425-459 hp - Bobtail
1- Michel Normand
2- André Mallette
3- Maxime Pleau

Class 425-459 hp - Loaded
1- Michel Normand
2- Jacques Périgny
3- Léo Lafrance

Class 460-499 hp - Bobtail
1- Steve Goulet
2- Nicolas Gagnon
3- Bruce Mills

Class 460-499 hp - Loaded
1- Jacques Meilleur
2- Rémi Normand
3- Nicolas Gagnon

Class 500 hp and up - Bobtail
1- Claude Normand
2- Patrick Genesse
3- Mike Leduc

Class 500 hp and up - Loaded
1- Claude Normand
2- Denis Vachon
3- Réjean Boudreault

Special Class
1- Terry Nychuck
2- Donald Vachon
3- Don Grant

Free-for-all Race
1- André Mallette
2- Donald Vachon
3- Steve Goulet


LANDSDOWNE BIG RIG SHOW & SHINE

Day Cab Paul and Diane Wilson - CRS

Dump Truck Claude Thibert - T-Bear Trucking

Specialty Class Jeff Morrison - Pat Rogers Towing

Antique (1974 or older) Doug Webb - BMD Transportation

Highway Bobtail
2003-2004 Brad Harper - E. G. Gray
2001-2002 Larry Davis - ICE FastFreight
1999-2000 Stephane Gauthier - J. R. Menard
1999 or older Deborah Howard - BMD Transportation

Best Fleet (3-5 units) - company owned
Laidlaw Carriers
- R. Gibson, R. Travis, D. Ault, F. Holmes, M. Marshall

Best Fleet (3-5 Units) - broker owned
Laidlaw Carriers, Van
- M. Johns, M. Amyotte, S. Cassidy, J. Graham

Best Truck & Trailer Combo William Murdock -730 Truck Stop

Best Interior Paul and Diane Wilson - CRS

Best Chrome Paul and Diane Wilson - CRS

Best Lights Mark Amyotte - Laidlaw Carriers

Best Paint Larry Davis - ICE FastFreight

Best Engine Stephen Bowles - 1972 GMC

Best of Show Larry Davis - ICE FastFreight

Best Individual Display Derek Graham - Burnbrae Farms

Best Fleet Display Laidlaw Carriers, Van

People's Choice Award Tom Steacy - G. M. Transit

Burl's Creek Show & Shine

Burl's Creek Family Event Park near Barrie, Ont. held its show weekend on July 16-18, and attracted a solid crowd of competitors, including Silvo Ostronic and his head-turning, stretched, bright yellow 1984 Peterbilt 359. He brought his son and daughter along as usual and picked up People's Choice, Best Custom, and Best 1984-1994 working truck. He also took prizes at both Fergus and Notre Dame du Nord.

One of the big events was the Saturday night 'Parade Lap' featuring 10 trucks roaring around the Barrie Speedway at 100 km/h or more. It was led by Paul O'Halloran in his bright yellow Dodge Viper, followed by Marty Kroft in his bright red 1965 B-47 Mack.

There's a good chance next year's show will be moved to the end of June rather than mid-July, and we may see a driver's skill competition on the agenda next year.


BURL'S CREEK SHOW & SHINE

Best in Show Marty Kroft - 1964 Mack

People's Choice Silvo Ostronic - 1984 Peterbilt 359

Best Tow Truck James Ireland - Res-Q-Tow

Best Light Show James Ireland - Res-Q-Tow

Best Custom Truck Silvo Ostronic

Best 2000-2004 Bobtail Marc Bernard - Smith Markets Logistics

Best 2000-2004 Dump Mike Rynard - Luchka Float Haulage

Best 1995-1999 Bobtail Jay Anderson - JTS Inc.

Best 1984-1994 Bobtail A.R. Murphy and Sons Trucking

Best Company Truck Marc Bernard - Smith Markets Logistics

Best Owner-Operator Darrin Ladds

Best Cabover Gary Peters - Carla industries

Best Pre-1984 Working Truck James Herritage - D and J Enterprises

Best Paint A.R. Murphy and Sons Trucking

Best Straight Truck Drew Morning - James Morning and Sons

Best Day Cab Jeff Berrry - Service Star Transport

Best Fleet (3-6) Luchka Float Service

Best Tractor/Trailer Categories
Reefer
Marc Bernard - Smith Markets Logistics
Van
Larway Transport
Gravel
Vaughn Hurlbert
Float
Peter Jones - Dui ven Voorden Transport
Tanker
Dave White - Aitken and Partlett
Train
Dave White - Aitken and Partlett