Pacific Truck Manufacturing| History

Pacific Truck Today

Pacific Truck today arose from a number of different company histories from both sides of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

In Vancouver, three ex-Hayes employees; Mac Billingsley, Vic Barclay and Claude Thick set up their very own truck building shop. Pacific Truck & Trailer built their first truck; model "EMAD", in May 1947, on a shipping wharf at West Coast Shipyards in Vancouver B.C. The first Pacific vehicle was built for and shipped to Bowater's Pulp & Paper in Newfoundland. One year later the trio expanded to a larger facility on Franklin Street in East Vancouver. In 1967 the Pacific Truck operation again expanded and moved their production facilities to North Vancouver. A short 3 years later, in August 1970, the privately owned business was sold to International Harvester.

In September 1981, International Harvester sold Pacific Truck and Trailer (Vancouver) to Inchcape Berhad (Singapore). Pacific Truck became a casualty of both the Canadian recession and the financial woes of International Harvester. Inchcape's interest in Pacific Truck was due to Inchape's involvement in the S.E. Asia forestry boom. Inchcape's strategy was to first supply vehicles to the logging and mining companies in Malaysia, Indonesia and New Guinea, then return Pacific Truck to a profitable, respected world-class custom builder, and the growth would come mostly through the distribution of parts to the heavy-duty aftermarket. In 1988, Inchcape attempted to reformulate their strategy, down size the truck plant by outsourcing all fabrication and thus doing assembly only and grow the parts business through acquisition.

Early in 1989, Inchcape Berhad (Singapore), through their Pacific Truck (Vancouver) arm, purchased the Western Canadian region of Hayes Dana's Trucktrain Division headquarters in Edmonton. At the time of the sale to Pacific Truck (Vancouver), Trucktrain was servicing all of Western Canada, supplying a large clientele of over 7,000. Their products offered included everything to supply trucks, class 7 and 8 and trailers, but again with the exception of power related items, prioritizing the rebuilding of transmissions and differentials, driveline, valves, compressors and brakes. They were, at the time, a major warehouse distributor within the Canadian market place.

By late 1989, the parent company from Singapore had changed strategies once again and a forced sell off of all retail locations and the cancellation of all franchise contracts in Western Canada was undertaken. In October 1991, the last "production" Pacific was built then the manufacturing plant was closed and torn down, with only the Pacific Truck parts department left in operation in Vancouver. By the end of 1991, Pacific Truck had only the two wholesale parts distribution operations, one in Vancouver and one in Edmonton, as well as a distribution affiliation with 17 former Truckline outlets.

In 1993 new improvements were underway, the addition of new management, the switching of the head office from Vancouver to Edmonton, the investment in new technology and added financial assistance. Pacific also purchased the assets of Artic Gear and retained the people in order to regain a more secure distribution channel. Pacific Truck was once again a dominant heavy-duty parts player in Western Canada; the remanufacturing of transmissions and differentials remained the core of Pacific's products offered. Pacific Truck had the right people, the right locations, and a long list of good quality vendors and improving technology with financial assistance.

In early 1994, the parent company (Inchcape Berhad) decided that Pacific Truck had become saleable and one year later Crane Carrier Inc. purchased the newly styled and profitable company. Crane Carrier Inc. headquartered out of Tulsa, Oklahoma is first a major distributor of heavy-duty parts across the US and secondly a manufacturer of vehicles so the fit became obvious from day one.

In the summer of 1995 the Vancouver depot built the last Pacific Truck in the back of their parts warehouse. A hand-built 100 tonne capacity ore tractor, model P12W3. It weighed in at 57,220 lbs (dry).

With a relocation from North Vancouver to a new facility in Surrey, B.C. in February 1997 the business carried on the wholesale distribution of truck parts for North American vehicles.

On February 1, 2002 the corporate parent, Crane Carrier Inc. decided to close the Pacific Truck (Surrey) location and to consolidate all business activities from the Edmonton, Alberta office of Pacific Truck & Trailer.

Crane Carrier Inc. consolidated only the parts and re-man operations to Edmonton. The Pacific Truck proprietary business, i.e.: business/parts pertaining to the actual trucks themselves, was sold to Coast Powertrain Ltd. of New Westminster, B.C., Canada.

Coast Powertrain Ltd. physically took possession of all 55 years of original Pacific Truck blueprints, bills of material, illustrations, engineering library, jigs, moulds & templates in March of 2002. Some of the Pacific Truck personnel also moved to Coast Powertrain Ltd.

Coast Powertrain was founded in 1972 by Wilson Stewart and operated as Stewart Truck Parts until changing its name to Coast Powertrain in 1982. Coast Powertrain had been a close parts customer of Pacific Truck's for over twenty years. During those years Coast Powertrain has developed a history of rebuilding old Pacific's and putting them back to work in the field.

Currently, Coast Powertrain Ltd has it's own in-house machine shop capable of building original Pacific parts from the original Pacific blueprints, it's own in-house driveline shop, authorized by Rockwell/Meritor, where they can build any and all driveline requirements from trucking to industrial applications. In addition, Coast Powertrain has an 11 bay heavy truck repair facility along with a transmission and differential re-man shop as well as an "all-makes" parts department.

Coast Powertrain Ltd. has a well-ingrained custom manufacturing ability. They have built and continue to build:

With these facilities and history plus some ex-Pacific factory personnel on their 30+ member staff (the three mechanics who hand built the last Pacific P12W3 s/n: 2308 back in 1995, currently work full time for Coast Powertrain Ltd.), it seemed only right and inevitable for Coast Powertrain to purchase the Pacific Truck proprietary business from Crane Carrier and rename it: Pacific Truck Manufacturing Inc. In addition, all "original core" suppliers i.e.; foundries, spring makers, glass suppliers, sheet metal shops etc that had supplied product to the original Pacific Truck now supply the same product to the new Pacific Truck Manufacturing Inc.

With the backing of Coast Powertrain Ltd., Pacific Truck Manufacturing Inc. is the sole designer, manufacturer and supplier of Pacific Truck proprietary parts, Pacific sub-assemblies and complete Pacific Trucks worldwide.

The future beckons...