Life on the line...
Posted 30 June 2012 - 04:25 AM
Since WST was known for being a custom truck builder, through the years, we did build some oddball trucks that stick out in my memory. Two single axle trucks were built for two different customers who I believe were retired long haul drivers. Both had small sleepers (36 inch?), one had a 3126 Cat with a 10 speed trans, the other IIRC, had a L10 Cummins and a 10 speed. Nice paint jobs with all the chrome goodies you could purchase, these little guys stuck out like a sore thumb in between all the other trucks with 72 inch bunks, twin steers and tri-drives!
One customer ordered a truck with a tri-drive and a combination of tag and pusher axles that when completed...this thing had 10 AXLES just for the tractor!!! I don't recall it having fifth wheel...so I am guessing that it had some sort of tank or body going on there.
The Kuwait government was interested in a 4X4 and had all interested bidders send over a demo...rumour at the time had them buying military equipment for a little "payback"!!! WST built two 6900 trucks that were equipped with a single axle (can't recall if it was a planetary?), t-case and front axle. I think we installed a C16 Cat and Allison, but for some reason I can picture a KT Cummins in there too??? Maybe we did one of each.....hmmmm????? Central Tire Inflation System operated from the cab, just like the Hummer!!! Military style cargo box on the back...with a canvas top. Big knobby Michelins or Goodyear tires (singles on the back). We painted up this beast in a nice flat tan to blend into the desert with, might have had a little bit of black powder coat (door handles, mirror??). Word came back from testing that OUR truck ended up being a tow vehicle for ALL the other OEM's that got stuck in the sand...which I believe were 3/4-1 ton 4X4's, I don't even know if we got paid for these things or it was a write-off for the company?? Never seen them again and nothing else came down the line bound for that country.
Being a MOPAR fanatic, the company that bought the 5-6 trucks painted in 1970 PLUM CRAZY PURPLE definately got my attention! I always checked the build sheet to see what colours we were painting the trucks, they had paint choices that were similiar to the factory High Impact hues...but that was the only time I had seen PCP listed.
One female logger here in B.C. ordered a new truck every 3 years(?), silver frame with a metallic pink cab/hood...I wish I had kept the paint listing for that one, I might have to find a candy paint a build a close replica one of these days!
post some more in between boxes....
Posted 30 June 2012 - 08:08 AM
Posted 12 July 2012 - 07:18 PM
Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:04 PM
I am going to talk about "Angie"...this was the VERY last truck built by myself and fellow Canadian workers...next month is coming on 10 years since I walked out of the plant for the last time. I have nothing but good memories of my time there building the BEST ###### TRUCK on the road....(sorry Tim...you are Red Oval Obsessed...but I myself....STAR STRUCK!!!!). Since the company did not want to be connected to any after hours party off the property, it was up to the employees to get something together. There was a local watering hole called "Angies Pub and Sports Bar" that was the destination after "D-Day"...I seem to recall MANY wobbly pops, female co-workers crying, and lots of laughs....and a pounding headache the next day!!!
Pe Ben Industries ended up with the last truck, they are based out of Edmonton, Alberta and use the trucks for oil field and bulk fuel hauls. What they ended up with was a truck that everyone put 150% into...nothing but pride and the commitment to provide the customer with a truck they would be proud to own!
As the cab was being welded together in Cabco, the framerails were being bolted together at frame station...before the cab was sent to E-coat to go through the 20 plus dip tanks for rust protection, the workers signed the cab. This carried on throughout the plant, at each station, workers were doing what they could to leave their mark among the bits and pieces that would become a truck. Framerails were signed by different workers from various areas...front axle build, rear axle, frame station...and then the two flags were strapped to the chassis. Except for the paint booth and bake oven...that truck had two Canadian flags on it at all times...and Angie carried them on her tour from station to station with pride.
Cab and sleeper were pinned onto Cabline fresh from paint...and you could see people walking over in small groups and by them selves...finding a spot to sign...whether it was on the floor, door frame, side of the sleeper...it did not matter! Assemblers, Material handlers, office staff...they came from all areas...to sign her. If 20 years from now....someone were to gut the interior...they would see all the signatures on the inside of both cab and sleeper, and comments made by different people. So we now have a cab that was signed and then E-coated, framerails signed then painted, and a cab and sleeper full of names that would soon be covered by door panels and trim...but that was not the end of it..............no, no, no!!!
Carsten Reindhart was the man in charge...seen him many times at announcments and different functions, very approachable...not some stuck up manager type! He came out and walked past my station...looking down engine line....the last Cat motor sat there, the pin was pulled up, guys would just push it to the next station, no reason to rush....behind them....there was just the empty chain....nothing else....I think that looking back....as each station finished their job....that small piece of the puzzle moving forward....that is when it probably sunk in for most there. The line moved forward, but some workers were packing up tools, cleaning out bins of nuts and bolts, forklifts were in and out of these areas....moving benches and racks....cleaning the place out....for good.
He was standing there....looking down the line towards that last Cat....I could not tell if the look on his face was anger or frustration...as I finished up my job, I grabbed a rag to wipe my oily hands and walked up to his side.......
to be continued............
Edited by dieseldog1970, 10 August 2012 - 06:11 PM.
Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:51 AM
I asked him what he thought of this...his response..."I have no problem with people wanting to sign the truck, but when it is inside the cab and sleeper, it will all be covered. I am not sure if it is a good thing to have signatures all over the motor...every time the hood gets opened up, they will see this...?"
I responded..." Well Carsten, if I was the one to buy the LAST Western Star being built and it was going to a Canadian company...and the employees wanted to sign the truck...it shows the pride they have in their job, despite the fact that this is it...the last one. Owning this truck would be a privilege...and I would not have any problem with anybody associated with this truck who wanted to sign it. I would be the guy who who pop the hood and proudly show off those names to whomever wanted to see them...this pride, commitment...the desire to build the best. This did not happen overnite, this was 35 years in the making, this is a reputation that is known worldwide...it is not about the truck...it is about the people who built it!"
He smiled and said..."Your right, who would not be proud to own this!" and with that, he walked away, heading to the oversee the rest of the build.
I returned to my station, gathered the last parts for "Angie" and set them on my workbench, I looked over as the leadhand from frame station and our union rep walked up to the end of the cooldown booth. They were carrying the two Canadian flags rolled up on wooden poles, John, Terry and myself took this and entered the booth, part of our job was to strip all the tape and masking paper off the frame, getting it ready for engine drop. Normally we would open up the overhead door, but we kept it down this time until we were ready. We stripped the frame, removed all the excess garbage, and mounted the two flags to the back of the frame, making sure they were secure for the trip down the line.
As we were doing this, more people seemed to gather outside, from all areas of the plant and office, some people in street clothes (their jobs and work areas already done and cleaned out), others still in coveralls waiting to finish up their job. Some could not hold back tears...a number of employees have been here from the start..35 years...all they ever knew. Cameras clutched in hand..they waited.....it was time...I reached over to the switch to open the door.....
to be continued...
Edited by dieseldog1970, 12 August 2012 - 06:51 AM.
Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:31 PM
Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:59 PM
Keep going with the stories! Good stuff.
Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:34 AM
Posted 26 August 2012 - 05:35 PM
Posted 27 August 2012 - 03:44 AM
Posted 27 August 2012 - 04:59 AM
Log into Photobucket, then go the the album where the pictures are that you want to post. Once you get there, hover your curser over the picture you want to post. When you do that, you'll see a drop-down menue that has several different links. The one you want is at the bottom of that menu, and it the "IMG code". Place your curser over that link and LEFT click. It will then say "copied". Come back to the Forum, and paste that link into your post. You will ONLY see the link code, not the picture at this time. Hit enter a couple of times to put a line space below your link, and do it for your next photo. Once you have all of the pics you want, post as you normally would, and you pictures will be in the post so you can see them.
Hope this helps.
Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:20 AM
Frame Station...just before the chassis goes into the prep booth for final masking and prep.
Found this sign while the chassis was at Frame Station
Cab Line...most of the interior is already installed
Proud to be...
Edited by dieseldog1970, 27 August 2012 - 05:25 AM.