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Preserving New Jerseys Railway Heritage since 1965

KB-5 Coal Delivery Truck

1948 International Model KB-5 ‘Hi -Lift’ (Scissors-type) Coal Delivery Truck

One of the unique pieces in the Museum’s Collection of New Jersey-related equipment is this 1948 International Coal Delivery Truck. The vehicle was used by the Denville, NJ firm of L.S. Young & Sons from 1948 until the closure of the Young’s coal yard in June 1987.

The truck is typical of the type that would deliver anthracite coal for home and business consumption during the Winter heating season.

With a full load of coal, the truck weighs approximately 8,200 lbs. The dump-body portion of the truck hydraulically lifts into the air, then tilts backward, emptying its load of coal into containment areas or basement storage bins, via the use of long “coal-shutes”.

If the delivery of coal could not be made in the traditional manner with the truck, the driver would have to hand-carry 100 pound sacks of coal upstairs or down, depending on where the storage area was located.

A typical load of coal delivered during the heating season could range anywhere from half-a-ton (1,000 lbs) to more than a ton (2,000 lbs) of coal. This gives a graphic idea of how strenuous the retail coal business really was.

The Young’s classic suburban retail coal yard was located on Route 53 in Denville, along the Rockaway Branch of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad.

It was also close to the junction of the DL&W’s Morris & Essex and Boonton branches.

For several decades, the Young’s sold “Blue Coal”, which was a product of the Lackawanna R.R. for many years.”Blue Coal” was famous for it’s coloring of blue paint on each lump of coal…a unique form of trademark that let consumers know they were purchasing the finest anthracite coal available, with superior heating qualities.

From left to right – Bob Heller, Lawyer S. Young Jr., William S. Young circa June 1989

Lovingly maintained since 1948, this coal truck is still operational…although now in need of a tune up and paint restoration. This Historic vehicle from a beloved Morris County-based family-owned business was donated to the Museum in 2005.