Here is another great story Western Star Trucks provided Star Nation about a Western Star customer that loves this brand.
Ask Derek Wendt how he feels about Western Star trucks and he’ll roll up his left sleeve to show you the company logo tattooed on his bicep.
“After our first Western Star truck, that’s pretty much all we’ll buy now,” he said. For further proof of this commitment, he offers another arm tattoo, this one of a Western Star truck.
Since that initial purchase in 2011, Wendt & Sons has bought approximately 30 additional Western Star trucks. Wendt & Sons is based in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, but its fleet also services oilfields in Montana, Texas and North Dakota. The distinctive green-and-white trucks — a mix of Western Star® 4700s, 4800s and 4900s — are rigged with tanks, propane burners and pumps. The trucks perform a variety of oilfield duties, almost all of which involve pumping and heating liquids, including water, oil and acids. The liquids are used for everything from dissolving paraffin in pipes to pressure testing fittings and wellheads and creating the mixes used in hydraulic fracturing.
One of the largest trucks in the fleet, a frack water heating unit, is equipped with a 2,800-gallon propane tank, produces 40 million BTUs and can handle a flow rate of 20 barrels per minute. Another truck, a multi-plex unit, weighs 75,000 pounds empty.
Wendt stipulates that his trucks include 20k front axles and triple rear axles for extra traction in the dirt, mud and snow of the oilfields. Wendt & Sons also specifies triple and sometimes quadruple frames to support the pumps and tanks.
“The equipment adds a lot of weight to the trucks,” said Wendt, who noted that his specially-spec’d Western Star trucks are tough enough to handle the heaviest of loads.
Wendt’s emphasis on strength and durability is understandable given what’s required of the trucks. In addition to carrying the extra weight, the trucks must be rugged enough to handle the unpaved roads and rough terrain of oilfields. Harsh weather and sub-zero temperatures add to the load.
Depending on the job, oilfield trucks could spend a few hours on site or as long as 45 days with diesel fuel and propane brought to the location so the job isn’t interrupted.
“I don’t rack up a lot of miles, but I put a lot of hours on them,” said Wendt, who added that it’s not unusual for an oilfield truck to operate 18 hours a day, seven days a week. “You’ve got to have equipment that’s going to hold up to tough conditions at the oilfields.”
Long days also require a comfortable, roomy cab, another Western Star feature that Wendt likes.
Wendt & Sons takes special care to customize its trucks for driver comfort, which has further convinced Wendt of Western Star’s superiority: “With Western Star, we can see the difference inside and out. You can tell that each one is hand built; there’s more attention to detail.”
Like other fleet owners, Wendt hates downtime. Oilfield operators are demanding and will not hesitate to call another service company if their first choice cannot do the job because a truck is out of service.
“Downtime is a killer. If our trucks aren’t going up and down the road and visiting oilfields, they’re not making us money,” Wendt said. “Western Star has proven to us that it’s the toughest truck out there.”
For all those reasons, Wendt’s loyalty to Western Star, like his tattoos, is there to stay.
Western Star Trucks Sales, Inc., headquartered in Fort Mill, S.C., produces heavy-duty custom trucks for long-haul and vocational applications. Western Star is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 4-8 vehicles and is a Daimler company, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.