Tough jobs call for rugged, dependable trucks—and James Dick Group Ltd. (JDG) of Bolton, Ontario, has plenty of demanding work to be done. Known for producing and hauling quality aggregate and concrete, the company and its staff have been in the business for 43 years.
When seeking a new truck in 2004, Terry Shacklady, JDG’s manager of the aggregate transportation division, chose a Western Star® 4900 SA Twin Steer Dump.
“We needed a dependable truck built to do severe jobs both on-highway and off the road. That’s why we selected Western Star,” said Shacklady, who also noted that JDG’s Western Stars, six in all, are both tough and driver-friendly.
Shacklady chose the twin steer for a number of reasons: the overall package with Mercedes Benz engine, pricing, service and dealer proximity.
As a major independent supplier of raw materials to concrete producers in the greater Toronto area, JDG drivers use the 4900 SA to collect and deliver sand, gravel and other aggregate materials to road work and construction job sites. The truck is also used to supply JDG’s concrete supply division with raw materials.
Shining in its Rugged Role
The 4900 SA Twin Steer Dump combination truck - with a 21.5 foot aluminum dump body and a similar pony trailer attached - spends its days hauling payloads of 47.3 tons of aggregate materials from JDG’s pits to job sites. Each day, the combination truck, totaling 75 feet in length, makes as many as five trips and travels a total of 450-500 miles.
“Our Western Star takes the rough and tough, and does the job right,” said Shacklady.
To provide the strength and safety needed for severe-duty hauling from quarries to JDG’s 13 producing locations, the truck is equipped with an MBE 4000 450 hp engine, 18-speed Eaton Fuller FR-13210B transmission and a WABCO 4S/4M anti-lock braking system.
“It’s both strong and easy to drive. The twin steer provides a better turning radius compared to single steer, and we definitely need that in the quarries,” said Shacklady.
When hauling off-road, the strong dump body and complete power take-off (PTO) hydraulic system are favorite features of the drivers, along with drivability and the premium cab interior.
“The instrument panel is functional, attractive, simple and user-friendly. The gauges and switches are placed well for accessibility,” he said. He also mentioned the 4900 SA’s super-visibility hood, Bostrom air-ride seat and upgraded Naughahyde interior as ideal comfort options.
The combination truck is also visually distinctive. Featuring exterior chrome elements and a custom red paint job with the JDG logo, it recently paused to be photographed for the January/February page of the 2007 Western Star calendar.
“Even as it is getting the toughest jobs done, the truck always looks sharp. In fact, when the photo was shot, it was down in the quarry,” said Shacklady.
“It’s definitely a serious work truck that we’re proud to show every day on the road and all year in the Western Star calendar.”
Reputation for Success
Familiar with Western Star through the purchase of five previous trucks from the brand, Shacklady has enjoyed working with JDG’s dealer, Harper Ontario Truck Centres Inc. in Oshawa, Ontario.
“Our Western Star dealership is great,” said Shacklady. “The people there are helpful with everything we need, they’re available when we need them and they are well-versed in our industry.”
Noting that the truck was delivered on time and as ordered, Shacklady shared that the twin steer has lived up to the recommendation made by the dealer and also the reputation of the brand.
Western Star Trucks, headquartered in Redford, Mich., produces heavy-duty custom trucks for long-haul and vocational applications. Western Star is a subsidiary of Freightliner LLC. Freightliner LLC produces and markets Class 3-8 vehicles and is part of DaimlerChrysler’s Truck Group, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.