Vancouver-Merritt Freight Lines



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There are many pictures in this collection that we have not been able to get names for the people in the pictures.
If you know the people in these pictures, please let either Hank Suderman or Kevin Duddy know via email.




Vancouver Merritt Freight Lines

During the 1930’s & 40’s freight service from the Coast to Merritt was mainly provided by Country Freight Lines Ltd en route to the South Okanagan. Merritt and Princeton were served out of Kamloops, which at the time was a big supply point, by George Newtons’ Kamloops-Merritt Freight Line. With the opening of the Hope-Princeton highway late in 1949, Merritt wasn’t as convenient a place to serve from Vancouver. In 1950/51 Shadow Reid purchased authority from Country Freight Lines to serve Merritt via the Fraser Canyon and also via Princeton, the start of Vancouver-Merritt Freight Lines Ltd. He operated out of T & H Cariboo Transport at 249 Union Street. In 1956 Shadow sold Vancouver-Merritt to Frank LePore operator of Black Motor Freight and previously a driver for Lee’s Transport. Pinky operated the business for the next thirty two years from Glen Drive and later from East 11 Ave in Vancouver. Daily LTL service to Merritt was via Princeton. Newspapers for the Okanagan were loaded late at Pacific Press on the tail of the LTL trailer by the Line-Drivers on their way out of Vancouver. At Princeton the papers were transferred to a small CF truck from Vernon before they continued to Merritt. At Merritt deliveries and pick-ups were handled by George Fairley while the Vancouver driver Harry Jenkins, Bob Graham or Ken Speer slept. George provided the sleeping quarters for the drivers at his home. Flatdeck service was as required with #12 and a new KW #16 started service in 1962/63 as well KW #14 and a new tandem van started service on the LTL run replacing #10 and the small van. With the start up of the Craigmont Mine by Placer Developments in the early sixties business in Merritt boomed. Two trucks were based in Merritt, a P&D and a Diamond T tandem dump to haul concentrates from the mine to the CPR siding at Coutlee seven miles from the mine for shipment by rail to Vancouver Wharves. Other equipment was soon added, extra daily flat loads were common. Placer was pleased with Pinky’s service so when the company began developing the Endako Mine in 1963 they asked Vancouver-Merritt for service and supported Pinky in getting license authority for Endako and later for their other mines, Gibralter, Equity and others.

Daily sleeper team service began to Endako in 1964 with Burnaby built COE KW #20 (Bill Soupronauck & Cec Robinson) and later a second sleeper team on Burnaby built COE Kenworth #22 (Bob Graham & Jim Delawrak). The two sleepers were Cummins NTC’s & 4X4’s. Many days several additional loads were dispatched to Endako. During the construction period from 1963/65 many extra loads were hauled by Pacific Freightways. Odd Longva, a driver for Pacific Freightways was hired as an owner/operator for Vancouver-Merritt during 1965 and ran to Endako for nearly ten years.

More Vancouver-Merritt Freight Lines pictures can be found on Kevin Duddy's Web Site.
Bob Graham - Vancouver Merritt Bill Souproanuck and son Carl
Vancouver Merritt
Vancouver Merritt Mack taken at Merritt
with town driver George Fairley
Ken Speer 1959 Ken Speer driver
Vancouver Merrit Freight Lines #14
taken at Boston Bar by Kevin Duddy
Vancouver Merritt Freight Lines #22
Canadian Kenworth cabover
Kevin Duddy Collection.
This Vancouver Merrit Freight Lines #16 Canadian Kenworth
rebuilt by Wayne LePore.
This truck was rebuilt again by Steve Lund.
Kevin Duddy Collection.
Vancouver Merritt Freight Lines
International service truck
Vancouver-Merritt #20 Kenworth cabover
unloading at Endako Mine
Vancouver-Merritt #22 Kenworth cabover
unloading at Endako Mine
Vancouver-Merritt #34 Kenworth cabover
A 1970 Kansas City cab KW was Bill’s rig after # 20 was retired.
VM #12 B-75 Mack 262 Cummins at Craigmont Mine
driver Sam Calbrick
Kamloops-Merritt Freight Line 1949 White WB18 owned by George Newton, driven by Gordon Heslop. (not associated with Van-Merritt)

Here are some pictures from Feb 26 1988 of Bill in KW #60 on his and the companies last trip returning from the north. (and sitting in my rig for a picture)







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