History - The Blue Diamond Co. was a truck load carrier. It's primary hauling region was the mid Atlantic states, with a few customers as far west as Indianapolis,IN and Dallas,TX. In their busier days Blue Diamond was a time senstive carrier for Ball Glass,Anchor Glass and Union Camp paper products. The company used all Volvo White COE tractors that were kept in excellent condition, using Cummins diesel engines. By 1990, a sister company named E&M, out of Danville, VA was well underway in getting Blue Diamond away from it's teamsters affiliation.
I'm sending you pictures of the truck I drove in the 1980's. I drove for The Blue Diamond Co. based in Baltimore,MD. from 1984 to 1990.
|Tractor #577 is a 1987 Volvo White COE with a Fruehauf 48x102 exterior post trailer, marked for H&K the company's warehouse division. Unloading in Pittsburgh,PA. in fall of 1988.||Tractor #577 same info, just another shot.||Tractor #577 with the Empire State Building in the background, winter 1988.|
|OOPS ! there was inches of room when the trailer was loaded. Blue Diamond trailer being unloaded in the Bronx,NY. summer 1987.|
In 1985, I celebrated 10 years of accident free driving. That same year, I had my first accident, and it was a very serious one while driving for Blue Diamond. Although I did not get injured ( I walked away from it) the tractor was a total loss. I had only been driving for BD for one year.
I rear ended another 18 wheeler with the right front corner of my cab over, while northbound on New York City's Cross Bronx Expressway I -95. Top speed was under 30mph, during stop n go morning traffic. The damage was a result of my load of steel coils sliding forward in the Fruehauf box trailer I was pulling.
Once towed back to the company terminal in Baltimore,Md., the tractor was rebuilt from the frame up. A new cab was ordered from Volvo White in Pulaski,VA and installed on the original frame. Delivered in flat black,the cab was painted at the terminal by the capable Blue Diamond shop forces. Tractor 517 retained it's old number. An experimental Cummins 315 series engine was installed, replacing the original 290 series engine.
Number 517 was reassigned to me after it's rebuild, and I drove it for two years before being assigned tractor # 577.
|Wrecked #517 a 1981 White Road Commander. Right front corner cut open by crash into the rear of 18 wheeler refer van. No one was in the right side seat! ( Feb 1985)||Wrecked #517. I just washed the truck the day before the wreck. The terminal was once that of Davidson Transfer in Baltimore,MD. At one time, Davidson was the largest freight carrier in Maryland.||Wrecked #517. driver's side photo.|
|Rebuilt #517. Fresh out of the paint shop and brought out for picture taking. Notice the words " paint shop" in upper right. ( Apr 1985)||Rebuilt #517 Fresh out of the paint shop. First trip that I made with the new 517 was over the Chesapeake Bay bridge to Seaford, DE. Cummins installed an experimental 315 series engine,I had to document fuel mileage and load factors during the year test period. Tractor is seen behind the outbound row of 45' and 48' Blue Diamond trailers. (Apr 1985)|
|Peterbilt tractor pulling a very large crate. Note there are 14 axles behind the tractor. Is that an operator's seat on the rear? Photo was taken along I-83 near Shrewsbury,PA. (in 1987).||Truck warning sign at top of grade on US Hwy 322. The area known as Seven Mountains Hill is between Phillipsburg and Lewistown,PA. The grade rate is 8%, and is a real brake burner. Truck speed limit downhill is only 20mph. ( 1985)|
|Location of all photos: junk yard of US Rte. 30- Fayetteville,PA. Date: summer 2003
Photographer: Jerry Johnson
|1950's Mack H model with sleeper||Mack B model tractor with Thermodyne diesel engine||Mack B model and Great Dane refer trailer|
|Mack LJ model with after market sleeper||Great Dane trailer emblem ( note old reefer motor)|
|Mack pumper fire engine||Seagrave pumper fire engine|
A&B Marine - Annapolis, Md.
History - A&B Marine was a boat hauler in Annapolis,Md. The company hauled primarily sail boats from various marinas along the east coast. A&B also hauled newly built yachts from dealers in Annapolis,Md., Bristol,R.I., and Tarpon Springs,Fl. In 1982, the company purchased a 1975 Ford W-1000 with V6 Detroit, pulling a 40 foot boat low-boy trailer. I was A&B's first road driver, staying with them for about a year and a half. Deliveries took me to the Florida Keys, Amityville Long Island, the boat yards in Chicago and to upper Michigan. This was my only job hauling oversize loads and I learned all about route limitations and bridge limits.
|Loaded with new 35' yacht in Annapolis,Md. summer 1982||Ford tractor was former Postal Service unit with rebuilt Detroit 238 engine.||Bow of sail boat towering above tractor roof top. Notice this load is wider along the top and not the bottom, a real hazard with trees and road signs. Brunswick,GA. 1982|
|Load has 15 feet of over hang from sail mast hanging over rear end. By rule of thumb, all sail boat masts are 2/3 the length of it's boat. They are one piece and can not be taken apart. Brunswick,GA. 1982||Note the red flag at the end of the sail mast, at lower right in photo. It's required by law, and it can be seen in mirror to determine the end of the load when passing vehicles on the highway. Brunswick,GA. 1982||GoodYear blimp flying in background in Annapolis,Md. summer 1982|
Free State Truck Service - Glen Burnie, Md.
History - Free State was an ore hauler based in Glen Burnie,Md. At one time before de regulation, Free State owned almost all the rights to haul ore and natural minerals in the eastern United States. Free State carried every mineral used to produce steel. Many trucks ran loaded from the Port of Baltimore and delivered their goods to the once busy steel industry in the Pittsburgh area and along the Ohio River as well. The long hood fleet of Brockways, Kenworths and White Road Boss 2 was always home along the PA. Turnpike. Power was big, with Cummins V8 903, and Detroit 6V92 and 8V92 engines. Dump trailers,dry vans and flatbeds with iron ore containers made up their unique equipment fleet. Free State sold it's operations to Jack Gray Co. of Indiana. in 1981.
|1974 Brockway model 360 with Cummins 903 V8 engine. Apr.1978||Dumping corn at Southern States Co. in Lancaster, PA. Aug. 1978||Loading scrap metal in Elizabeth, NJ. summer 1979|
|Dumping fly ash in Stevens City, VA. spring 1979||Dumping fly ash in Stevens City, VA. spring 1979||Hydraulic piston expands 6 times, this is why dump trailers roll over so easily. spring 1979|
|Being passed by Roadway with short hood White Road Boss, I-78 in west of Allentown, PA. June 1979||I-95 near Bel Air, Md. shot of a load of nuclear waste that was removed from Three Mile Island, PA. summer 1979||Allegheny Mountain Tunnel on PA. Turnpike, east portal, spring 1978|
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