John Newbauer, Chuck Palmquist and Roger Johnson paint the wheels and bottom portion of the Wabco haul truck recently at the Minnesota Museum of Mining in Chisholm.

CHISHOLM — A large Wabco haul truck, which has been a fixture at the Minnesota Museum of Mining for around two decades, is getting a fresh look.

“It's something the Museum simply couldn't have done without the generous support of folks who care about saving these old trucks — but it is a big job,” said Museum of Mining Board Treasurer Carol Borich.

This project entails prepping, priming and painting the truck. Glass on the cab and the rear tires are being replaced. Plans call for jacking up and placed the vehicle on improved supports.

The project is ongoing and will be completed as the weather allows.

Funding is provided from the Chisholm Community Foundation, the Society for Mining Metrology and Exploration, and donations from Museum of Mining members.

Industry partners for this project are Ziegler of Buhl, Ellefson Off-Highway of Iron and Range Glass of Hibbing.

Back in September a group of volunteers consisting of Museum of Mining members and board directors took on the task of scraping and adding a coat of primer. A crew from Restorative Justice aided in the prep work.

The plan was to begin spraying the fresh coat of paint, soon after the primer was applied, but the weather just did not cooperate.


Dave Pessenda applies a new coat of paint to the Wabco haul truck recently at the Minnesota Museum of Mining in Chisholm.

“It rained, and we can’t paint when it’s wet,” said Borich.

Cold temperatures and even some snow accompanied the rain, delaying the project.

Temperatures in the upper 50s on Thursday, Oct. 18, provided the break volunteers were waiting for – it was finally time to paint.

Some of the original paint was still in tact, so a matching yellow-orange color paint was found for the portions of the truck to be repainted, said Borich.

While one group of volunteers applied paint with brushes and by roller to the wheels and under portion of one side of the truck, another volunteer sprayed a fresh coat on the upper portion.

Few details are known about the truck other than it was donated to the museum by U.S. Steel in the late 90s. Borich said It had previously used for mining natural ore in the 70s and later, for mining taconite.

The 127-ton Wabco end dump Electro haul production truck and has also been referenced at the museum as a 120-ton truck, said Borich. It’s front and back tires differ in size, and a Detroit Diesel engine generates electricity for the driving motors, which are mounted in the rear wheels.

Even though the Wabco is the larger of the two mine trucks in the museum’s collection, it pales in comparison to the trucks used in modern mining.

“It would fit inside of a large modern truck,” she said.


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