BC Tel- Equipment & Vehicles

North-West, British Columbia, Canada

BC Tel Dozer, Truck and Misc Equipment

My BC Tel/Telus John Deere Dozer History Page is dedicated to:

Earl Keith “Woody” Larson
b- July 3, 1937
d- Mar 8, 2014, in a ATV Accident, in his yard, at home in Thornhill, age 76
Woody was the founder of the Skeena Valley Snowmobile Association in the late 1970's
Before he worked for BC Tel/Telus he worked for BC Hydro.
He was an avid snowmobiler, a very hard worker, and a genuine nice guy!

BC Tel John Deere Cat on BC Tel truck
Photo from Brooke's Collection

Photos below from Ron Anderson's Collection

Pretty sure this is Woody Larsen on the BC Tel John Deere Dozer early 1970's
plowing the snow road up to Copper Mountain site
This is what I did the first winter I came to Terrace, in 1969.

From the late 60’s to the late 90’s, we had a couple John Deere Cats we used. In the summer they were used for ditching and brush clearing all of our access roads. In the winter, the tracks were changed to wide snow tracks, and it was used to plough snow on Copper mountain, to keep this main road open at all times. Copper Mountain was never used as a manned site, unless an emergency, so a trip up the hill was required each day. The cat cleared all the drifts, and made a snow road for the snow-cats.

Herman Wiebe operated this Cat in late 60’s, early 70’s. My first winter job in fall of 1969 was operating the cat on the hill. It was a lot of fun, and could be scary as well.

I remember one day ploughing along and making a road wide enough for 2 Snow-cats, when behind I heard a rumble and looked and 2 feet behind the cat, half the road gave way and disappeared down the hill. I put it in high gear and headed for the bank! After that the road was not quite as wide for Phil Lepage and the Sprynt to ride on.

Woody Larson operated this Cat, and it’s replacement, for many years until he retired, and the Cat was sold. Woody passed away Mar 2014.

They were John Deere 350 & 450 models.

Herman Wiebe with the 350 John Deere Cat- 1971
note- Thiokol Sprynt Sno-Cat on right
Ice and Horror Frost on the trees and equipment.
It could be a nice place, and an ugly place, all in the same day!

Woody doing some slide clearing work, and ditching, ca Aug 1990.

Boar Mtn, Burns Lake, placing Fibre Optic- Aug 1988 Picture by Woody Larson

Stringing Cable, Near Prince George

Picture of Woody Larsen crossing the Copper River, at the Zymoetz Tramway

Vehicle made by Mercedes used in Trutch in mid 60’s
Converted to a ground pounder in Pr. George, after being removed from Trutch
These machines are still used today, and distributed by Chrysler-Daimler
Many sites on the web, show pictures and availability of the old and new machines.

Taken in 1998 at Meziadin by Glen Olver
Boy I wished I would have had access to this when I was working, would have made loading that birch fire wood so much easier!

Before this dual axle truck we had a large single axle truck with no hoist on it.

Before the Flat Deck Truck, we had a 3/4 ton pickup, and a 5th Wheel trailer, specially designed to haul our snow-cats around.

A poor picture of the 5th Wheel trailer here being used to switch diesels at Brown Bear site

Little better view from Brian Wolfe

Before the 5th wheel, we used a steel flat deck trailer, with a straight hitch. The deck had expanded metal on top. This trailer seen many uses, including hauling gravel to Meziadin to pour cement footings for the new diesel tanks, in the mid 70's. It was a killer trailer, since you couldn't get the load balanced on the trailer to give you the right tongue weight on the hitch. Either it was too heavy or too light. Both would spell disaster for highway driving.

I remember the day Brian Wolfe and myself were told to go pick up the load of gravel and take it up to Meziadin. We stopped at the cement plant, which was located across from where the travel bureau is now, and loaded up a yard or more of gravel. As it turned out, too much for the axels, and in the wrong place on the trailer.

As we took off on the highway, once we got to the 40-50 mph range the truck would get a terrible wiggle to it, and start fish-tailing. With the electric brake control on the trailer, I was able to keep it under control on the flat, and we carefully proceeded at about 40 mph max. Then came a hill, with an S curve thrown in. Behind us an ICG Propane Tanker truck, and he was right on my heels. I guess he got impatient, or seen impending disaster, but he started to pass me in the mid S. The brakes wouldn't hold the trailer, and it started to fish-tail, bad!, so bad, at one point I looked in my driver's mirror, and seen the trailer, swinging into the other lane, UNDER the propane tankers belly, and then swing back, just as he passed. Inches to spare, I am sure. The propane truck floored it, to get away from me. and remembering what Birke Brookbank told me, to stop a fish-tail, apply full power. I did, and Brian thought I was crazy I am sure, since we were already going too fast to control this thing. But it worked, the truck straightened out, and we hit the bottom of the S curve, and into the straight away, doing quite a speed. But on the flat, I was able to slowly apply the trailer brake, to bring us to a stop, where we cleaned out our pants!

I am not sure if Brian, or me, was more scared, but we came close to doing ourselves in that day. We only got up near Brown Bear, and the wheel axle broke on one side, from the heavy load. It was shortly after that, we got the 5th wheel trailer. What a difference, you could load anything on it, anywhere, and it pulled like a dream. Wouldn't mind having that trailer for myself today. I always wondered what that Propane truck driver was thinking after that!

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  • Last modified: 2018/02/18 18:59
  • by dlgent