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Canadian Coachways' Custom "Bruck" Bus-Truck


Canadian Coachways Bruck
Coachways B-151, a 1947 Western Flyer "Bruck" bus-truck

From The Thunderbird, Vol. 1, No. 1, June-July 1966:

New Twist To An Old Refrain:

Canadian Coachways Bruck
The Coachways garage at Dawson Creek, BC
 
    Every bus operator is quick to voice the opinion that service is the big factor in encouraging new business, but Coachways did something about it. Realizing the need, created by increased northern business activity, for a dependable, frequent express service, Mickey Collins set out to design a custom carrier that would combine passenger facilities with increased express capacity, He found exactly the answer in "The Bruck". Directing the entire project, he had the unit custom made by Western Flyer Coach of Winnipeg.

    At first a highway oddity, "The Bruck" was quick to prove itself in service. Reaction was immediate and favorable, so favorable that each year has seen additional units ordered and placed in service until there are at present ten of these "Brucks" operating in Northern Alberta, Northern BC. and the N.W.T.

    First unit of its kind to appear on Canadian Highways, "The Bruck" boasts seating for twenty passengers and an express capacity of 600 cubic feet. The "Bruck", according to Designer Mickey Collins, proved to be "the biggest step forward in company service in recent years".


From "1967 In Review", The Thunderbird, Vol. 3, No. 2, March-April 1968:

    A total of 53 buses were disposed of during 1967 through the sale of transit systems, school runs, and excess units. Ten new units were added to the bus fleet, including six MC5 Challengers and four GMC 4107 Thunderbirds. Bus innovations this year include four new tandem-axle, 46-passenger, 40-foot-long PD4903 Thunderbirds expected in June. These units have theatre-type seating, no back bench (all seats recline), a retractable rear axle and 403 cubic feet of baggage space.

    Among the units disposed of in 1967 were ten of the 12 Western Flyer Brucks. One unit is still in service on the Fairview-Hines Creek run and the other is being preserved. Accommodating 20 passengers and 400 cubic feet of cargo space, the Bruck's exceptionally high clearance and unusual weight distribution made it ideal for its designed purpose of operating over rough roads and pioneering new ones in the north. Some of the units sold have been converted to mobile campers, a combination camper and horse trailer, a mobile home for 20 students travelling to Expo '67, and one prospective buyer was thinking of using a Bruck as a camper in summer and transportation for a hockey team in winter.




The CPTDB Wiki, compiled by members of the Canadian Public Transit Discussion Board, has a list of all of the Brucks as well as the other motorcoaches up to 1966 (they list 13 of them, not 12 as stated in the article above, and they start in 1947, not 1943 as Wikipedia states below).



Wikipedia has this to say about brucks in North America:

The first brucks in North America were introduced in Canada by Western Flyer Coach in 1943. This is also where the word bruck comes from. The company built both new brucks, and some were rebuilt from other buses, for Canadian Coachways, who operated a number of these in the far north. They had a storage compartment accessible from the outside by a rear door, replacing the last rows of seats.

In the United States, the brucks were introduced in 1951, when Kenworth built a tri-axle one for Northern Pacific Railroad, which had a front part for 17 passengers and a taller, 18 ft long cargo compartment and a 136 hp Hall-Scott engine. Brucks were also available from Crown Coach, both as a 40 ft tri-axle carrying 20 passengers and with a 20 ft cargo compartment, or as a shorter 35 ft two-axle with 12 seats.

Kenworth also delivered a batch of twelve tri-axle brucks to Great Northern Railway in Montana, where the front half was based on the Kenworth Model T-126 SchoolCoach body, while the second half was custom built. They were fitted with a Hall-Scott under-floor "pancake" engine. One of these, that had been doing the local route from Kalispell to Whitefish and Columbia Falls between 1951 and 1971, have been preserved and is exhibited at the Whitefish Depot.




Bus & Motorcoach History: Yukon & Northern British Columbia