Nova Scotia fire truck trip

For years Monty has been surfing the internet and reading the sales magazines looking for a replacement for poor old Tanker 4. He recently found a tanker in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Here was the ad:

  • 3800 gallons

  • 600 gpm Goreman Rupp PTO pump
  • 3208 Cat – turbo (new in August 2000) -- 245 hours
  • 10 speed RTO transmission
  • Honda generator
  • 2- 500 watt tower lights
  • Deck gun c/w combination nozzle
  • Kussmaul onboard battery maintainer
  • Code 3 siren and speaker
  • Tires new in 2000
  • 2- sets ISI breathing apparatus
  • 8” rear dump valve
  • 4” inlet direct to deck gun
  • 2 x 2.5” discharge
  • 1x 4” discharge
  • 1x 1.75” preconnect

The asking price was $35,000 USD. It looked interesting so he called about it. He spoke to Chief Tim MacLeod of the Wolfville Fire Department who said they had gotten a new tanker. The tanker was taking up valuable space in the municipal building and they needed to get rid of it. He said they would sell it to us for $8000 plus taxes which would be a total of $10,245. Monty passed this information on to our chief who said "Buy it!". After some discussion it was decided Chief and Monty would go get the truck and drive it back. Chief is retired and Monty only works 2 days a week on the ambulance. They decided to leave June 27th to get the truck.

June 27, 2006 - The adventure begins

They left around 2:30 am in preparation for their 6:00 am flight. LD drove them up. When they arrived at the ticket desk the clerk asked them for their passports. "Passports? We don't have any passports." Luckily they had brought picture ID and their birth certificates 'just in case' for the border crossing. They were able to get their tickets.

It took Chief several trips through the metal detector and a sweeping of the wand before he was declared to not be a threat to freedom. Their plane left promptly at 6:00 am. After a scheduled two hour layover in Washington DC they boarded their connecting flight only to wait another hour and a half for an 'alert'. During this trip Monty gave his complimentary bag of party mix to the Chief. Later he'd wish he hadn't.

They arrived that afternoon in Halifax, Nova Scotia and were taken to Wolfville.

Wolfville Fire Station.

Chief Tim MacLeod

Monty and Chief get some instruction on the truck.

Checking out the drivetrain.

Checking the pump and deck gun.

During the test drive Chief whacked the mirror on a road sign. Monty still laughs about it. One of the Wolfville firefighters is getting it back into shape.

After checking out the truck they completed the paperwork and headed for the border. They got a motel near the border in preparation for crossing the next day. It's only open from 8 am to 5 pm for processing vehicles. Chief says the roads in Canada leave a lot to be desired.

They hadn't eaten anything all day. As they drove down the highway they expected to come across a restaurant like you would here. Apparently Nova Scotia is a little desolate. They drove and drove and found nothing. Even the motel didn't have any dining facilities. The motel staff brewed a cup of coffee for Chief so he could go another day. They would have to wait until tomorrow to eat.

327 miles

June 28 - Crossing the Border

Here is the border crossing at Calais, Maine.

In preparation for the trip Monty had talked to Customs to find out what was needed to bring the fire truck across the border. They said three things were needed: proof of sale, proof of registration, and proof the engine met EPA specs. They had this ready but in true government fashion there was more red tape. There was much more paperwork to do and they had to show the truck body met DOT specs.

While waiting at the border Chief makes a few more adjustments to the pranged mirror.

Monty and Chief said the customs officials weren't all that helpful and suggested contacting a brokerage firm to assist them with the paperwork. Monty and Chief contacted several brokerage firms who showed no interest in assisting. It was looking bleak for the boys from Indiana.

Enter Officer Tim Lacasse...a knight with a gold badge. He was immediately helpful with the paperwork and put the guys in touch with a UPS broker who got the required documents completed. Thanks Tim!!!!!

The UPS broker with the needed paperwork. Our truck in limbo in the background. All in all it took 8 hours to get through customs.

With the border behind them the boys are headed back towards Indiana.

As they neared Bangor, Maine, they noticed the power steering seemed to be going out. They pulled over in Augusta to check it out. Luckily, it was just a loose belt and pump assembly. They tightened everything up and it was as good as new.

They were able to get their first real meal of the trip at a Burger King. Monty said it tasted like steak and potatoes to him. They spent the night south of Hartford, Connecticut.

427 miles

June 29 - Westbound and down

They noticed an exhaust hanger had broken so they found a muffler shop that fixed it. While at the muffler shop they noticed the tank had leaked some water. The muffler guy looked at it and said it was diesel. Chief had forgotten to put the fuel cap back on when they had fueled up. Luckily the cap was chained.

A swollen Hudson River in New York.

They passed within a few miles of Orange County Choppers. OCC is located near Montgomery.

Chief has decided if we ever purchase another truck very far away it will be delivered like that boat...on the back of a semi.

A flooded Delaware River at the New York/Pennsylvania border. The flooding was national news at the time but luckily it didn't affect the travel plans.

Monty said Pennsylvania had the prettiest scenery from the interstate.

They passed through several tunnels in Pennsylvania.

They stopped for the night in Columbus, Ohio.

679 miles

June 30 - Home sweet home

After crossing into Indiana they stopped at a Bigboy restaurant before the final leg home. Their 1685 mile adventure would soon be over.

252 miles

E-mail me