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Kwikasair
I started with Kwik just as they were starting to phase out the single axles. These things ran 78 mph and that's where we ran them, because the union contract had a clause which required the company to pay us by the hour after the first 8 (I think) hours layover. So if you left Winnipeg in the evening and ran as hard as you could and they didn't turn you in TO (Toronto), you made a bundle just sitting there waiting for a load. Some guys did it in 22 hours. The KAS stands for Kwikasair single axle. On the northern Trans-Canada (#11in Ontario), these things would slap you around in the sleeper until you were pummeled into a semi-comatose state. Then it was your turn to drive. A lot of "goobers" were comsumed in the process. (The North Shore route (#17) was "verboten" for Kwikasair rigs.) Me and my partner had names for each other. I was Ralph.
And Bill McKee was Fred. On Saskatchewan #5, about half-way between North Battleford and Lloydminister. One of the new tandem units on the Trans Canada Highway in BC.
One of the new tandems. KAT stands for Kwikasair tandem. Don Whittaker at the wheel. North Bay, Ontario. Bill's wife left him and went to Ft. McMurray, Alberta, so he took a leave of absence to see if they could patch things up. They sent me out with another driver and in less than 36 hours he had me pinned in the cab of this scrap pile for 4 and a half hours, and then to the hospital in Kenora, ON.
I was back in Winnipeg in a few days, so I went to see the wreck. I didn't know it then, but I had a crushed peroneal nerve in my left leg, which left me with no muscle function from the knee down (a club foot). But that wasn't the worst of it... They hauled it backed to Winnipeg in a gravel trailer. There is hardly any component on this truck that isn't smashed or damaged.
Check it out . . .
Imagine the force involved to bend a frame rail that bad.
You can see pieces of the trailers in some of these pictures. One of the trailers. The KDV stands for Kwik Dry Van
This is where he rolled her, eastbound just at the Manitoba-Ontario border. He had an angina attack, and crossed over the road and through the guard rail on the first sharp curve in ON. I don't know how many times it turned over, but that shot rock fill sure tore her up. The tachometer showed 66 mph (as fast as she would go) when it stopped working. I was told I'd never recover most of the use of my leg (85% of the nerve bundles were crushed), but after six months of physiotherapy, I got 99% use of the leg back. Then the real fun started . . .

I was knocked unconscious in the event, but I had received a chronic subdural haematoma from the blow (a blood clot on the brain). If you read #7. you'll see "Evacuation Chronic Subdural Haematoma via Burrholes" What that means is thet bored two (count 'em,two) half inch holes in my skull and suck out all the blood. They had to do it again a few days after to get it all.

So much for Kwikasair . . .


This is taken at Windsor Park, London, England in 1976


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