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Life on the line...


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#61 dieseldog1970

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:31 AM

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Sleeper Line...not finished just yet...


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This is how Carsten first seen the motor before our chat...


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Now this is a "Signature" motor!!


Posted Image More signatures....

Edited by dieseldog1970, 27 August 2012 - 05:35 AM.


#62 dieseldog1970

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:37 AM

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Transmission Station...more signatures


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the other side...


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Yes...this is inside the bell housing!! I do not know how long Dave's name would last...but he definately left his mark!!


Posted Image Engine Prep...my station...to the right you can see the rack that I would rest the motor/trans on while draining the oil.

Edited by dieseldog1970, 27 August 2012 - 05:41 AM.


#63 dieseldog1970

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:44 AM

All these pics were taken with my old 35mm, so the quality is not that good, I tried to lighten and clean them up.

#64 dieseldog1970

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:47 AM

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Every motor that was very last one for that series, I would write the day of install.


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One of 5 signatures for me on the truck, years of service and employee number.


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Myself, John and Terry who dropped motors.


Posted Image The tombstone for "Angie"

Edited by dieseldog1970, 27 August 2012 - 05:54 AM.


#65 dieseldog1970

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:57 AM

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In the Cool Down Booth...waiting for her debut....


Posted Image Engine Drop Station

Edited by dieseldog1970, 27 August 2012 - 06:00 AM.


#66 dieseldog1970

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:07 AM

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Rolling out of Cool Down....


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On the left is my Leadhand who is sitting on the primary chassis line, you can see how close the two lines were....


Posted Image Open up and say aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!

Edited by dieseldog1970, 27 August 2012 - 06:12 AM.


#67 dieseldog1970

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:14 AM

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As the engine is getting installed, prep for fuel tanks is started. You can see how empty the line is back through the cool down booth, under normal circumstances, it would never be that bare and quiet.


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Cab and Sleeper drop.


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Bolting everything down...


Posted Image Hood drop...

Edited by dieseldog1970, 27 August 2012 - 06:23 AM.


#68 dieseldog1970

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:31 AM

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This pic should have gone before the last one, hood is ready to be installed...


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All fired up and ready to roll.....


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Coming at ya!!


Posted Image End of the line...

Edited by dieseldog1970, 27 August 2012 - 06:35 AM.


#69 dieseldog1970

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:37 AM

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Out in the daylight for the first time...


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"Angie" and myself....


Posted Image This sign was above the Tool Crib, one of the painters did this up after JD Powers rated us NUMBER 1 AGAIN in customer satisfaction, making it 4 years in a row...and we were shutting the doors...!!???

Edited by dieseldog1970, 27 August 2012 - 06:40 AM.


#70 Jim B

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:12 AM

Great story & great pics. That's a nice looking Star!

#71 lapazleo

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 03:07 PM

Cool! and sad both.

#72 ronrdrcr

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 01:10 PM

Show trucks...every year, the orders came through and we built whatever was called for. Back in 1986(?) they had a show truck that they gave away (called the Midnight Star?) through some promotion at the truck stops. I was told this thing was ALL black, except the tanks, mirrors, bumpers...whatever was usually chrome was powder coated gloss black. Interior was done up in some sort of tan leather from England(?), Brazil(?) and was the only one ever done. The guys who worked on this, said it was a very sweet looking truck...not sure what ever happened to it?


Found this yesterday in Gary Mortons collection on Hankstruckpictures

Posted Image

#73 dieseldog1970

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 07:06 PM

Thanks Ron....that is the exact truck I was talking about!!! I only seen a picture of the tractor...did not know that there was a trailer done up to match...that is one bad looking truck!!! I wonder what ever happened to it.....???

#74 lapazleo

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:05 PM

I've been looking for a pic of that truck. I remember when it was touring the country and all the ads in the magazines. If I remember right at the end of the tour they give it away in a drawing. It was pretty unique in those days now the blacked out look is common at truck shows. Would love to know the story on this one. Italeri's Heritage kit might be the base for a model of this special star.

#75 mnwildpunk

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:25 PM

Wow talk about a tear jerker :'( great stories sad ending! Not many people get to of had a job that was as full filling as your. I know it was an honor for you. W.S. was your extended family and I'm guessing it felt like someone died in that family when that last truck rolled off the line.

Edited by mnwildpunk, 28 August 2012 - 10:26 PM.


#76 dieseldog1970

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:19 AM

Wow talk about a tear jerker :'( great stories sad ending! Not many people get to of had a job that was as full filling as your. I know it was an honor for you. W.S. was your extended family and I'm guessing it felt like someone died in that family when that last truck rolled off the line.


You are correct Dave, it was like a family member dying...the tombstone was a very important piece that day, it was an end of an era for Kelowna, the Canadian workers and Western Star.

#77 dieseldog1970

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:50 AM

So to continue with the story.....


I reached up and hit the switch, the door slowly went up and the the line jerked forward, pulling Angie out into the station. People were clapping and taking pictures, some of the more emotional ones had tears running down their faces. The line came to a stop, John, Terry and myself did one final look to make sure the chassis was ready, I went back over to my station and made sure my impact and bolts were ready. I was waiting for the front engine mount, a shortage that was being received in the warehouse and would be delivered when cleared. There were lots of shortages, with so little parts coming into the plant, Angie was going to be like the previous ten trucks...missing a variety of items, but this was one that had to go on, so we wait. I walked over to our drop bin as the forklift rolled up, taking out the mount, double checking the part number and turned back towards my station. I flipped the bracket over and started to write my name and employee number on it in yellow paint pen, Terry asked why I was signing the back...no one would ever see it? I responded..."Exactly! The only way my name will be seen is if they have to pull the motor, all the others may wear off over time, but this one is going to be there for a very long time!"

I checked to make sure paint was dry, and fastened the mount to the front of the engine, only thing left to do was drain the oil and install the pan heater. I quickly raised the engine up to the rack, positioned the oil drum underneath and cracked open the plug, I spun the pan heater in, tightened it done and hooked up the electrical harness. Using the control box I raised the motor up off the rack and over to the right, I handed off the controls to Terry who nodded at John that he was ready. As they started dropping the motor, I grabbed my camera and continued to take pictures, stopping to chat with my fellow workers who came to watch, flashbulbs went off as other people took pics, tears rolled down the faces of some. The motor was tightened down, fuel tanks went on and lines hooked up, everything went on without any problems, everyone was giving 150% and making sure that this truck had no mistakes. Terry, John and myself shook hands on a job well done, our foreman gathered us up and took everyone outside to the back, the company was getting pictures of all the remaining employess at each area, we were to receive a copy when they got printed. Engine line and Engine drop, we stood together for the last time...our picture, frozen in time as the line continued to move forward...taking Angie to her next station.


to be continued...

Edited by dieseldog1970, 29 August 2012 - 04:52 AM.


#78 lapazleo

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:11 AM

It's great to see the faces and people behid the scenes.

#79 dieseldog1970

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 06:54 AM

My computer hates my stories....this forum.....or ME.....OR this forum has ot out for me??? 3 times I have tried to continue the story...3 times it would not save???? Hmmmmmmm......where is that 5 pound sledge hammer.....I will try again later

#80 dieseldog1970

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 06:09 AM

So the line carried Angie forward to the other stations, at each one, my co-workers would do their normal jobs, just like every other day...but this time...we all knew it was different. Management stood shoulder to shoulder with plant and warehouse staff, there was a common bond between all of us, we were family, we laughed and joked around, cried and hugged as the sound of impacts echoed through the plant. Angie stood proud...now that she was on her own wheels, the dolleys that carried her from Frame Station all the way to this point, had been removed. The talk going around was that we were towing Angie offline due to shortages...and this did not sit well with any of the plant staff...calls were made, bins were double checked, we searched all over...seeing if there were any spare pieces that had been hidden....it was not looking good.

Without authorization from management, a group of employees hatched a plan to make sure that the very last truck we built was going to be driven offline....not towed! This group went out to our Shipping Row, here the trucks that were already built and waiting for delivery to the dealers sat...these would be the cannabalized for mission. Tools were gathered and air lines stretched outside, the workers quickly gathered what parts were needed. Four or five trucks had various components removed and taken back into the plant, top brass were not to happy about it, but I think secretly....they wanted the same thing!!! This group of workers converged onto the line, orders were given, parts went on and final checks were made....she was ready!!

As a group, we thought that the only person who should drive this thing out would be Frank...35 years with the company...he had just celebrated this with top brass during a luncheon earlier that year. Frank was our number 1 guy in senority...he spent his time in Mock-Up...working side by side with the engineers on testmules, as they constantly looked at ways to make the truck more operator friendly. During his luncheon, the company presented him with some gifts, one of which was his ORIGINAL application form...from 1967...now mounted in a nice frame!!! We managed to track Frank down and brought him back to Angie....he was laughing and joking around, surprised that he was chosen to run her out the door. He reached up and opened the door...climbing in and settling into the seat, he could look out and see all of us....like proud parents....surrounding the truck....one big family.

He reached down and turned the key.....