On a recent trip to Oregon, I encountered two vehicles with familiar names … but quite unlike their namesakes. A few Internet searches revealed that both were in fact locally manufactured products. I managed to get a few pictures of the first one, which I encountered on a hike near Clatskanie, Oregon (home of the recently featured Vandicraft camper), but for the second, I had to use a photo pulled off the Internet, as I haven’t mastered the art of shooting quick pictures while driving.
Pictured above is a Thunderbird, which I learned is a “swing yarder”, used to pull logs up to 2000 feet from where they were felled, with 7/8″ steel cables. This T-Bird was manufactured by the Ross Corporation of Eugene, Oregon (also the home of CC!) until the company was sold in the late ’90’s. This TSY255 version was typically powered by a Cummins NT straight six, or a Detroit Diesel 8V92 V8.
The next vehicle is actually one that is quite common, at least in the western US, but for the first time I noticed the name emblazoned across the hood, “Oregon Roadrunner”. Beep-Beep. The Oregon Roadrunner is manufactured by Sunny “D” Manufacturing of Klamath Falls. It’s a “hay squeeze”, which lifts and transports large stacks of hay bales by squeezing the ones on the bottom. There is also a similar product, manufactured in Manteca, California, apparently known as a Manteca Roadrunner, or just a Roadrunner. The white one pictured above (courtesy of BidCaller.com) has a Cummins diesel and Allison transmission – no 383 or 426 Hemi or TorqueFlite in this bird. It sold at auction in May, 2018 for $120,000 US dollars.