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John Searcy
Here's John Searcy in 1961 beside the 20 white he was driving at the time for W.A. Scott, Wpg., hauling culverts for the Man. Hwy #10 extension up to Flin Flon. He's enjoying a nice cold bottle of "Frontier" beer with a buddy. John's friend and mentor, "Duke" Dukalow A load of culverts ready to go north. John was with Scott from '60 to '62
At the jobsite near Cranberry Portage waiting to unload.
W.A. Scott was bought out by Reimer for its Sask. authority.
WEL (Western Expressways), out of Regina. This COE Freightliner had a 220 Cummins with a 10 speed RoadRanger and either rubber block or the Freightliner four spring suspension, which is where Freightliner got the nickname "Freightshaker". John was on the road there, his brother Gerry was dispatching, and his other brother Barry was slinging freight on the dock. Today, Gerry runs Searcy Trucking Ltd. on Chevrier Boulevard in Wpg., and Barry runs the Wpg. Volvo dealership, Beaver Truck Centre on Oak Point Road, and John is semi-retired (pun intended). John was at WEL in '62 and '63. Western closed their doors around '65-66.In 1970, John left George Smith when he obtained a contract to haul for Schneider's Meats out of Winnipeg He had two trucks running to Vancouver on peddle runs. One went Wpg-Stoon-Edmtn-Vanc and the other Wpg-Regina-Calgary-Vanc. Here's the KW at Safeways, Edmtn. That's Jim Small, his driver beside him.
Here's some guys discussing the big money in trucking - (left to right) Don Goodrich, Donny Gabel, and "Corky" from Earl Paddock. A better shot of the Schneider paint job. Here's Corky and his partner either giving a Heil Hitler, or pointing out the "custom ram air" air intake pipe that they haywired on after the factory one fell off. That's a Union 76 sign at the edge of the pic, but I can't dredge up where this is. 76 wasn't big in western Canada.
Putting on a new factory air intake hat. Earl Paddock came out of Mutual Motor Freight. Westbound at the Revelstoke Gate. John added a second truck, a conventional Hayes in '72, which he bought from Earl Paddock. At that time, John put Norm Fedderly and Ron Sterling on the KW, and he and Bill Joyce ran the Hayes. This took place westbound on Alta.#16 halfway down the grade at Mount Robson, east of Yellow Head Cache. John came a round a curve with a load of "hanging" and found a flat deck about two minutes ahead of him lying on its side and no flares out. He didn't have quite enough room to stop, so he cutthe wheel hard to avoid having the deck become part of his cab, Cut that sharp and still moving, the hanging flipped the trailer over, the fifth wheel let go, and the tractor skidded down the bank to the edge of the Fraser river. The only damage was a cracked accessory drive housing.

John lost the contract to Fedderly and Sterling when they convinced the manager of Schneider's in Wpg that all the trucks should be based in Wpg. (by this time John had moved to Chestermere, Alta). He had to drop the one truck (which they replaced) and he then got fed up with the politics and he pulled the other one too (which they also replaced).
Here's a shot of Bill McDermott's conventional KW at his home in Stoney Creek, Ont. A really pretty KW. (but then, all KWs are pretty) This is the Hayes that John bought for the Schneider job. When he pulled it, he put it back at George Smith for a few months. Unfortunately, he got a little too far behind in payments, and the finance company took both rigs, and he went to drive for Canadian Pacific Transport.
John and his partner, Howard Lagler, with the COE 'binder they ran between Calgary and Vancouver via #3 hwy from '73 to '76. They did a make and break in Trail and Cranbrook, and reversed the process on the return trip ex Vancouver. John then landed a deal with Excel Meats to haul their products in '76. He found the Hayes in a storage lot, bought it back, along with an ex-Mullen KW conventional and started hauling Toronto, Montreal,etc.. Here's the Hayes ready to roll again under the name J.G. Searcy. That worked until the Alta. Transport board shut him down because of no authority due to a complaint from Canyon Distributors. This hay hauler is in the snow so deep that he needed a shovel just to open his door.
In 1980, John started S&S Brokers and Distributers in '80 running to all points in the US and Canada. This COE 'Binder close up shows his sign. Here she is looking a little worse for the wear. She jumped the no-posts coming out of a curve on BC#3 north of Moyie along the lake.
It's just as well that there wasn't anyone in the jump seat. The same thing applies for the sleeper. She took a hell of a beating. The fifth wheel stayed with the frame,
and the pick-up plate stayed with the fifth wheel.
Some of the debris. Bill Fehr, the driver, suffered a broken shoulder and arm. Not bad for what happened. More debris - almost made it down on to the tracks. They never did recover the trailer bogie. The lake's deep there.
Loading what's left of the trailer.
They never did recover the trailer bogie. The lake's deep there.
A picture from better times before the accident.
A line-up of trucks at the S&S shop in Calgary.
Left to right; COE Freightliner, Astro, Conv. KW, Conv. Hayes
Another shot of Rick Trygg's COE Freightliner. This tan Astro, driven by Ed Forget, was heading for the PetroCan card lock to fuel up wth a can-load of fries. As he entered the intersection of Glenmore Trail and Shepard in Calgary (with a green light),a pick-up ran the red light. he rammed Ed at high speed so hard that the rig upset. Both occupants of the pick-up died instantly.
A shot of Bill Joyce with a set of joints driving for someone somewhere sometime. (He can't recall).
In 1988, John had to change the company name. A US freight broker also named S&S went belly up and the ensuing confusion made it almost impossible to operate under that name any longer. He changed it to Free Trade Transport. This COE F/L carries the new name. Free Trade went under in '89 due to a crooked accountant. John then started Containers Plus in 1990 which morphed into SKF Trucking in 1995. He finally sold to Arnold Brothers Transport in 1996 and went to work for them as a company driver until 1997. John with his uncle, Tony Miguez, when John was at Arnold
Not being able to stand the prosperity, John bought this 1988 Volvo 610, which he bought from his brother, Barry, at Beaver Truck Centre in Wpg.and put it to work for Arnold Bros. That's Jim Small again.
In 2000, John was east-bound on the TC around a mile east of the service centre on the flats at Field, B.C with a load of wine off one of the docks in Vancouver. Motoring along minding his own business, he noticed a westbound car starting to cross over the centre line and then drifting completely into his lane. By this time he was riding the eastbound guard rail. They hit him head-on so hard that it knocked the stear axle off the truck. Something started a fire, and everything turned to toast. The woman driving later tried to sue Arnolds. I can pretty well guarantee that she and her husband were gawking at the elk that sometimes are wandering in the riverbed there. No injuries, but John sure needed a new truck.
Not to worry, Volvo's got lots of them. Here's the new Volvo 770, with a 575 Detroit and a fancier sleeper. Givin' 'er through Hell's Gate tunnel on #97 in the Fraser Canyon.
In 2006 John traded the 770 for a Burgundy 880 long nose with a 600 Volvo engine. It went like stink, but burned fuel like hell. A shot of the passenger side. An outstanding looking truck. Shortly after this John started to go dowhill from a long period of liver problems and had to get off the road and he sold this truck.


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