Howard’s Transport Services, Inc. First to Purchase Extreme-Duty Truck
REDFORD, MICHIGAN… When Western Star Trucks began production of its largest truck ever – the Twin-Steer 6900 XD – Howard’s Transport Services, Inc. was first on the recipient list.
Howard’s Transport in Stony Plain, Alberta, has been in the oil rig-moving business for nearly 20 years. With temperatures on the rough terrain of the Canadian oil fields ranging from extreme hot to unbearable cold, Howard’s Transport needed a rugged, durable vehicle to withstand the environment and get the job done.
“Since we’re primarily in off-road terrain, our trucks really take a beating,” said Gerry Moeller, operations manager for Howard’s Transport Services. “That’s why we needed a fleet of heavy-duty, rugged trucks that could handle the conditions of our job. Our Twin-Steer 6900 XD has been working well for us because it allows us to easily navigate tough job sites and traverse severe terrain, while staying comfortable in the cab.”
With several years of experience in the Canadian oil fields, Moeller has experienced firsthand the ups and downs of the oil industry. As oil prices continue to rise and as oil drilling customers produce more oil to meet increasing demands, Moeller also has felt the effects of the fluctuating market. “Right now, the oil drilling business is doing well,” he added. “Although it’s always changing, a lot of our customers are working hard out there.”
In November 2003, Howard’s Transport added the Twin-Steer 6900 XD to its fleet of 21 other Western Stars. The extreme-duty vehicle is used for the most demanding oil field work, including transporting rigs, mud tanks, and mud pumps weighing up to 110,000 pounds across Alberta and British Columbia. The truck also has a 446-inch wheelbase, 550 horsepower engine, and an all-wheel drive Twin Disc transmission for superior handling, torque, and durability.
The Twin-Steer 6900 XD incorporates several advances in steering and suspensions, and is larger and more powerful than previous models. The truck offers the benefit of a dual circuit steering system to provide increased capacity to steer the 17.5R25 tires in deep mud. For superior mobility, the front suspension utilizes four asymmetrical taper leaf slipper springs with four parallel torque rods to control each front steer axle through the 12-inches of suspension travel.
A family-run business, Howard’s Transport also is comprised of Moeller’s father, Howard, who owns the company; brother, Darrell; and sister, Lori. Another part of the “family” is their Western Star dealer in Edmonton. They have been working together for several years and look to the dealership to help them spec the best trucks for their demanding applications.
“Our Western Star dealer always listens to us and helps us spec out our truck according to our needs,” added Moeller. “We have continued to purchase trucks from Western Star because of their performance as well as outstanding service. Service is extremely important to us, and our dealer has been really good to us over the years.”
In fact, Howard’s Transport recently purchased four more Western Stars: a second Twin-Steer 6900 XD, a 4900 SA tandem-steer tri-drive rear, a 6900 XD tri-drive tractor, and a 4900 SA tri-drive tractor.
Western Star Trucks, headquartered in Redford, Mich., produces heavy-duty custom trucks for long haul and vocational applications. Western Star is a member of the Freightliner LLC Group. Freightliner is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.