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Tales of a Hay Hauler: The American Historical Truck Society annual show

Brad Nelson Published on 01 July 2013

I just barely found out about the AHTS show in time to make it to the event. It was held at Yakima, Washington May 30 – June 1 of this year.

It was held at the fairgrounds at Yakima, and there must have been over 300 trucks there. I arrived shortly after noon on the 31st and left as they were starting to close things down for the 8:00 “everybody out.”

1950s Ford F-3 Hall-Scott engine
The show-truck group shared the show with the historical guys, so there was every kind and shape of truck you could imagine there.

The first thing to catch my eye was this early 1950s Ford F-3 that someone had shoehorned an enormous Hall-Scott engine into.

The Hall-Scott engine was one of the “big boys” of the 1930 to 1950s era, with about a thousand cubic inches of displacement.

The engines were either gasoline or butane (propane), and some had two spark plugs per cylinder.

The engine is about four feet long, and as installed in this pick-up, there is a tunnel for the driver’s feet that is about a foot wide.

Kenworth tractor belly trailer
Terry Bosman represented the Washington state hay haulers very well with his combination of a very nice Kenworth tractor with 68 feet of trailers loaded with straw.

These are “belly” trailers, with three feet of load space in the belly, giving a height of four 3’x4’ bales in the belly area.

This gives Terry a capacity for about 57 bales.

Note that he had to hold out a bale on the rear trailer, and as his load sits, he has about 36 tons of straw with a gross weight of 105,500 pounds.

Terry said that the California hay haulers who were there were amazed at the size of the combinations that are legal in Washington. Note that in the state of Nevada, combinations up to 105 feet in length and weighing 129,000 pounds are legal. There, trucks pulling three trailers are common.

1947 International circle-track race truck
This is a 1947 International that is a circle-track race truck, campaigning with the “Rolling Thunder” group in the Pacific Northwest.

The current engine is a Detroit Diesel 6-V 92 that is not that far away from being stock.

It’s quite a show to get eight or 10 of these guys on a ¼-mile circle racetrack.

There’s lots of black smoke, and yes, they do come drifting through the corners like a sprint car.

1950s GMC Cannonball
This picture is of a 1950s GMC “Cannonball,” named after a TV show in the late 1950s and early 1960s that featured the same model of GMC truck but in the cab-over-engine model.

This one has been updated, and if my memory is correct, it now has an 8V-92TA engine of at least 450 hp.

This truck came from the factory with either a 4-71 (four cylinder) or a 6-71 (six cylinder) engine.

Sterling and Autocar are two brands that used to be highly esteemed in the big truck world.

The Sterling name came back for a few years recently when Daimler/Benz rebadged what had traditionally been the Ford heavy truck line.

They added a new Sterling name-plated version of the Dodge chassis cab work trucks to the line.

Sterling logger

(Photo: red truck) This is a Sterling logger.

Autocar logger
(Photo: blue truck) A nice Autocar logger.

Too much history to see in one afternoon, and I should have taken more pictures.

What you see here is a fraction of the pictures I did take.

In closing, there was a very nice Pete made into the vacation rig of dreams.

Just a personal note: My dear wife of almost 45 years was so-o-o-o happy that she did not have to go with me to the truck show.   FG

Photos by Brad Nelson.