Find of the Week: 1985 International Plow Truck

The autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week this week is a real winter car. Forget that lifted pickup or that new crossover with a faux locking differential. If you really want to show winter who the boss is, you need one of these. A snow plow. And not just some puny little tinfoil blade. This is the real deal. A highway plow. A 1985 International S series.

Just think what you could do with that plow! Like rescue valuable artworks from 24 Sussex. Or is that 1 Sussex these days? Whatever. You might be worried you can't afford that plow, but pally? This doesn't cost money. It makes money! We won't make any whip-cracking noises telling you not to discuss it with your partner, but we'll sure imply them. Okay, we won't do that. Trust and communication are both important in relationships.

Wait, where were we? Right! A plow truck!

Maybe you've got a long rural driveway. Maybe you have a barn or a shed with a big yard that you're really tired of shovelling. Unhappy with your local municipality's failure to remove every flake from your road before the storm has even ended? Or, just maybe, you're actually a plow contractor who clears properties and commercial lots for profit. If any of those sound like you, then you're probably thought of ditching that pickup for the real deal.

Something that can handle some real snow without needing a front-end rebuild annually. Something that can shove the white stuff around all day and still have enough grit in the back to de-ice a frozen heart.

This particular plow is a 1985 International S1854.

International Harvester started way back in 1902, when McCormick Harvesting and Deering Harvester merged, along with three other smaller farm machinery firms. Think of them as the General Motors of the farm world. They started building light-duty trucks in 1907, with heavy-duty truck following in 1962.

The S Series was the company's medium-duty truck, launched in 1977. Medium-duty here being several classes of truck above any pickup, no matter how "heavy-duty" the big three try and tell you their trucks are.

It's a classic truck design, and since these big trucks don't change all that often it was built from 1977 all the way to 2001. Available as class 6 and class 7–8 in this generation, it was extremely configurable. Rear axle weights ranging from 6,800 kg all the way to 20,000 kg. With single and tandem options available as well as up to six-wheel drive. If you rode on a school bus in the '80s or '90s, chances are good it was one of these underneath.

This one is an S1854. That means a single rear axle, and a max weight rating of somewhere north of 12,000 kg. Under the hood is a Navistar DT inline-six. It's a great big 7.6L diesel that makes somewhere around 180 hp. Combined with that is around 500 lb-ft of torque. Yes, that's vague, but old truck specs are not easy to find. It uses a five-speed automatic to handle sending that power to the rear wheels, leaving you free to hold your hot chocolate in your right hand.

When winter's over, the plow doesn't need to stop. With a little creativity, you can use it for summer fun too. Gravel driveway a little lumpy? Impromptu grader! Need to move some much around? You got it! Want the most elaborate way ever conceived to chop some carrots? Make sure that plow blade is sharp!

Since it's a real truck, it has air brakes. Those, combined with the heavy weight rating, mean you might need to up your driver license to own this piece of equipment, but isn't it worth it to have the biggest toy on the block?

This truck, for sale in Blainville, PQ, comes with the winter gear you need. Like a 10-foot box with salt/sand spreader. And a 12-foot Cote plow blade. That's more than enough to carve a swath down the road fit for any car to follow. The odometer reads 29 km. The seller says that means a million and 29, not an ultra-low mileage vintage truck. But hey, these trucks are built to work. Right? It's definitely built to move snow, and it's ready to help you start winter right.

Call Mr. Plow, that's your name. That name again is Mr. Plow.

Every day I'm shovellin'. 11/21/2018 10:00:00 AM