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Solid rubber tired trucks


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Not wishing to hi-jack the thread about "cab over engine trucks".  I was thinking that very few people here have knowledge of local trucking in the teens, twenties and thirties and I would share some information told to me by my Grandfather.  Prior to the Great Winnipeg General Strike in 1919 he was driving a 1911 Commer truck for Teese & Persse.  Hard rubber tires and slow speed were not a real problem because his trips were from one of Winnipeg's three rail yards to the warehouse. CPR and Midland of Manitoba were 1/2 mile each way and what was to become the CNR was 1 mile.  He made three or four trips per day, six days a week.  After the strike he drove for the G MacLean Company driving a 1919 Commer.  Similar speeds and distances.  Remember at this time all the warehouses and manufacturing was on a spur line or very close to the railroads. In 1934 they replaced the last of their solid tired trucks which had included a Nash Quad with four wheel steering (apparently a good truck for backing into places but very hard to park to side load from a boxcar) and had a fleet of 3 Diamond Ts', 3 GMCs'.  Four and usually five of these delivered goods to the retailers and my Grandfather brought most of the freight from the railways to the warehouse.  Usually three or four trips a day, remember everything was loaded and unloaded a piece at a time, no pallets or pallet trucks.  Shortly after WWII they started replacing the old fleet.  The GMCs' were the first to go as they had a terribly large turning circle.The last one to go was the 1934 Diamond T that my grandfather until his retirement in 1962.  It had a total of just over 29,000 miles in 28 years.  The last picture, taken in 1955 is my Grandfather (76), my nephew (4) and myself (13) beside the '34 Diamond T.

1911Commer T&P - Copy.jpg


Grampa R R Diamond T1.jpg

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Absolutely wonderful photos and story.  Thanks so much for posting.  Reading stories from guys who were there at the time is just so rare today it’s a real treasure.  Keep them coming if you have them.  My grandma on my mother’s side grew up in Winnipeg born in 1913 among 7 kids in the family with my uncle still going at 91, who knows they could have been the recipients of merchandise hauled by your grandpa.

Edited by Modeleh (see edit history)
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They appear to me to be what we called "tapers", a tapered steel container that when empty will slide inside and nest in another. They look to be 3 in each wooden crate. The "covers" or lids may be all in the crates at the rear. Actually a very light load for that truck. You are correct, not so light and not stacked that way when filled!

Edited by Layden B (see edit history)
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19 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

I am intrigued by the first photograph. What is in the drums? Maybe they are empty, stacked like that, being taken to a facility that fills them with something. There also appear to be two sizes.

They are fiber washtubs.  Not a very heavy load

Another picture, truck unloaded except for my uncle (behind), my aunt (brunette) and my mother (blonde).  Notice the shift lever under the steering wheel that operates a dog clutch transmission. More pictures to follow.

1911Commer R R S - Copy.jpg

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Here is a photo of a truck from the Dayton Ohio Public Library that showed up on the Old Motor site about 6 years ago.  It is a picture from 1913 and was taken shortly after the great river flood that happened in Ohio that year.  This picture is in front of the Delco plant and Cole sent some trucks to Dayton to help Delco and the city clean up after the flood.  


The thing is that Cole never made any trucks so I have always wondered what kind of truck this actually was.  It is a pretty big truck for 1913.  


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This 1926 Leyland fire engine remained within the boundary of a small town north of Christchurch for all of its service life - 1927 to 1960 - and only accumulated about 2,000 miles. It has been in private ownership ever since. A group of us took it on a rally about 25 years ago. I drove it part of the way and found it would cruise at a very illegal - for a solid tyred vehicle anyway - 35 mph. We even managed to get the pumps working. The transmission has four forward speeds, the interesting part being that reverse is selected by going into first and then flipping a lockout lever and moving the gear lever further forward. Very handy for manoeuvring forward and reverse.






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Anyone able to ID this guy?


im unsure if the front is off it, I think it’s from a tractor..


Couldn’t get better pics, it’s buried under a heap of stuff.


Also found what I believe is a Leyland S type (engine has S4 36HP on it). Missing all the body. Pretty much a chassis, engine, radiator, all the running gear etc is there.. wonder if I should throw an offer at it.






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20 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

 Everybody knows that when you buy a used car, you always kick the tires.  🙂

 This came from solid rubber tires that you licked to make sure the rubber was on securely!   🤭


And I always thought it was an air pressure checking thing.

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