INDIANAPOLIS - They have worked for the family business since they were children, and now Joe Littleton and his brother John own and manage their family sand and gravel business – Little-Ton Sand & Supply, based in Indianapolis, Ind.
“It’s the only job I’ve ever had,” Littleton said. “It’s like farming. It gets in your blood, and then it’s all you want to do. I like doing it though, and it was my dream to eventually take over the family business.”
In 1998, Littleton and his brother bought the company from their father, who started the business in the 1960s. Littleton said that business has doubled since they took over.
Little-Ton hauls sand, dirt, stone and concrete to general contractors, demolition contractors and any company in the six counties surrounding Indianapolis.
Littleton said that the family business has been a loyal customer to Sterling throughout the life of the business, and he currently runs a fleet of 60 Set-Back L-Line trucks and seven Acterra® trucks.
“Since we’ve been in business, we’ve never owned any other brand of truck. Our local dealership started selling Sterling the same year we took over the business,” Littleton said.
Littleton said he had some of the first Sterling® trucks in the Indianapolis area. This year, the company purchased 32 more Set-Back L-Line trucks and eight more Acterra trucks and ordered five more Set-Back L-Line trucks for March 2008 from Stoops Sterling in Fort Wayne, Ind.
“Sterling trucks help us succeed because they’re cost effective,” Littleton said. “I also like the Sterling dealer network. They keep an eye on us and our needs. Ninety-five percent of the time, they have the parts that we need in stock.”
Littleton said his Sterling trucks are ideal for his business and is a favorite among his drivers for its power, visibility and ease of operation. Plus, the Acterra offers the cost-saving fuel economy of the MBE 900.
“Our Sterling trucks are dependable and easy to maintain,” Littleton said. “My drivers like the comfortable, roomy cab. And I know they love the power of the MBE 900 engine.”
Littleton had his new trucks custom painted with his company’s colors. They’re also equipped with air conditioning, comfortable seats and TufTrac suspension, which is designed to maintain a uniform load over each wheel to retain maximum traction.
“The TufTrac suspension is maintenance-free,” he said. “It’s a lot better than the competition.”
The U.S. truck transportation industry has been experiencing a national shortage of truck drivers that has become a limiting factor in the operations of many companies. However, Littleton said Little-Ton has not faced any issues with driver retention. He said if a company offers decent wages and provides good equipment to its drivers, then it shouldn’t have any trouble retaining drivers.
“We pay our drivers a little more than other companies, and our Sterling trucks are very nice and well-maintained,” he said. “If you give your drivers good wages and good, reliable equipment to work with, they’ll feel more appreciated and do a better job.”
Sterling Truck Corporation, headquartered in Redford, Mich., produces a full line of Class 3-8 work trucks for regional hauling and diverse vocational applications. Sterling is a subsidiary of Freightliner LLC and is the recipient of the 2007 J.D. Power and Associates award for Highest in Customer Satisfaction in Heavy Duty Truck Dealer Service. Freightliner LLC produces and markets Class 3-8 vehicles and is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.