It’s an almost magical place that can capture the imagination of those who visit.  Especially if you’re a Toad who loves antique heavy duty equipment.  You could seriously get lost in here for hours on end and come back the very next day and start all over discovering the most amazing things.

We’re visiting the BC Forest Discovery Centre today where we continue our long-running photoblog series “The Toad’s Tonka Toys“.  This extensive series features a large collection of photographs we captured spending an entire afternoon at the museum.

Fordson Utility Vehicle - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Fordson Utility Vehicle – BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

I’ve said it before and I am certain to say it again here some day, necessity is the mother of all invention.  It’s through this constant desire for advancement that solutions are found to problems.  Some of these solutions are rather elegant, and for me I find it even more so the case when simple designs are brought to bear on complex issues.

This old converted Fordson tractor is a great example of this kind of ingenuity.  During the early days of settlement here on Vancouver Island logging and mining were the key industries that were driving the economy.  And as things grew and continued to evolve here, the scale of the problems encountered only grew.  Vancouver Island is a fairly big island, full of dense and mountainous forests.  Today the island is beribboned with highways and roadways making travel fairly easy.  A hundred years ago this most certainly was not the case.  By encountering the challenges head-on, those who worked here in the early days set out to create solutions to common problems faced during the days work.

The engineers who created this piece started by designing a stationary mount for it to sit on, then they replaced the back wheels with a chain drive system to power all sorts of things that could be hooked up to the back of it.  Instead of designing something entirely from scratch, they simply took what they had around them and put it all together in a very unique way, and viola!  Problem solved.  Today we get to benefit from the fabulous photography opportunities it presents.  How great is that?

Hayes K-37 Logging Truck - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Hayes K-37 Logging Truck – BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

In the early days trains were the primary tool used to deliver goods up and down the island.  As time marched on and our roadways became more prevalent, it started to make sense to supplement this with semi trucks.  Today we find the island here full of old logging trucks, many of them lovingly owned and restored by enthusiasts.  The BC Forestry Discovery Centre certainly has their own fair share of these vehicles on display, and each exhibits its own personality.  Who were the people who drove these every day for their livings?  It’s easy to imagine the connection one would eventually make with the truck they drive every day, in some ways almost personifying it as a member of the family.

Hayes K-37 Logging Truck - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Hayes K-37 Logging Truck – BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

I have a personal love for these types of detailed shots.  This photograph shares some of the intricate lines that make up the cab design of the truck, as well as some of the finer details.  We can clearly see here how wonderfully preserved and maintained this truck is today, looking like it can be called into service with a moment’s notice.

When I was growing up in school learning about history, I found some of the lessons difficult to comprehend without the benefit of context or scale.  Museums like the BC Forestry Discovery Centre play an important role in maintaining these links to our past by providing exhibits that allow the visitor to immerse themselves in the display creating a much deeper awareness.

Learning can be fun!

Thanks for your kind visit to our little corner of the world here today, we really appreciate it.  As always, we encourage all our visitors to leave us any comments you may have as we truly do love to hear from everyone!




  1. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Yay…got my email notification…and I’m glad I did. I love the Toad’s Tonka Toys. I lvoe the detail that you bring out in your images Toad.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much for everything Edith. Now that you and I have tested this mechanism I will migrate everyone else over. Really appreciate all your help on this. And THANK YOU for your super-kind visit today as well! It always is a total highlight of our day when you pop by!!

  2. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    I so love that K-37 truck. Something about it’s harsh lines and brute force feel make it appeal to me. Nicely done Toads!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you Chris! Come on up and we’ll take it out for a ride! I’m not sayin’ I have the keys or anything, but when the folks who manage the museum meet us and realize how awesome we are and how much we love that truck, there’s now way they wouldn’t let us drive it! Would they? 🙂 Thank you for your visit and most wonderful comments my friend!

  3. So the theme for this weeks 52 week challenge is “Antique” Could I just show your shots instead?? 😉 Love these shots Toad! I could see myself spending a lot of time here. Looks like another addition to the “what to see” list if I ever get up there to visit.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      What an honor to even be considered for such a thing! LOL 🙂 You, sir, are the real deal Howard. Thank you so so much for your visit here, we sure do appreciate it!

  4. avatar ehpem says:

    I really enjoy your visits to the Forestry Museum – so much terrific hardware to capture, and you always do that so well.
    No email notification for me, but if others are getting them again, that is a good sign.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I am going to migrate everyone over to the new Subscribe2 system we have embedded here on our blog, that appears to be working for our tests. Thanks for your patience, my friend, and we’re really sorry for any inconvenience.

      Thanks a ton for popping by to see us here today, we sure do appreciate it!

  5. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    A wonderful journey back in time! Lovely post and awesome images my dear friend! 🙂

  6. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Love your forays to see your Tonka toys Toad. Awesome machines my friend.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you Len, that really is so kind of you to say! Many thanks for taking the time to swing on by for a visit!!

  7. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    I always enjoy these trips back through time, so enjoyable. The photos are awesome, Toad. What a great place to visit and have an opportunity to create some great images.

    Well done, my friend.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks ever so kindly there, Jimi, you sir are both a scholar and a true gentleman!! 😀

  8. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Learning can definitely be fun thanks to wonderful pictures and articles like these! With big semi trucks being so common, it’s hard to think of them as part of our ‘history’, but seeing them in this light helps to do so! As I was looking at the aider pic of the truck I was thinking, “They should have taken a detail shot”. Low and behold, the next shot was exactly that, and a great one too! Well done Toads!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Jim!!! 😀 You made my whole day here with your fabulous visit and comments! We sure do appreciate all the friendship and support you show us, my friend!!

  9. avatar Jim Nix says:

    cool stuff Toad! that little utility vehicle in the first shot is awesome!

  10. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Man that’s some thick steel on that K-37! Nothing is stopping that thing!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      No kidding, my friend! Isn’t it amazing how rough edges and sharp lines can be so engaging? We just love photography!! Thank you so much for your very kind visit today, Rick, that means an awful lot to us!

  11. avatar Tom Tork says:

    …..well oiled machines can last forever. I see another successful adventure my friend. Now you’ve got me checking in to see what you’ve been up too. The old Fordson tractor really is a multi-purpose machine, with a belt or a chain it can run just about anything. But it kinda looks like its perminatly parked and bolted down to become a stationary engine. I need to follow your lead and start doing multiple exposures, like it.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Hi Tom, wow my friend, thank you SO much for taking the time to both visit us, and for leaving these wonderful comments! This is the exact sort of feedback and connection we love to make here, as your thoughts on these topics add so much depth to our stories. And they are fascinating! Thank you ever so kindly, Tom, we look forward to seeing more of you around here at The Hollow!! 😀

  12. This is my kind of museum – Machinery! That is so cool that someone redesigned the tractor to perform some other kind of task. Wonderful images Toad!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Really glad you had a chance to pop by and see this one, Michael! Thanks for your kind comments, good sir! One of our friends and fans has sent me links via email to places out back east that really love these old pieces and work hard on maintaining and preserving them. Many of them are fully operational today! It’s so cool… one of the neatest things I have seen from this connection was a working steam crane! Totally cool….