What's better for hauling premium cars than a premium truck? Perhaps that's why Dan Pedersen relies on his 2005 Western Star 4900 SA when transporting high-end, custom-made automobiles across the United States and Canada.
Pedersen drives for Reliable Carriers, a company dedicated to hauling concept, prototype, classic, test, and engineering vehicles for manufacturers and private collectors.
Unlike more common open-rack haulers, Pedersen drives a specially designed enclosed carrier not only to protect the vehicles on board, but also to protect the privacy of the manufacturers. In the automobile industry, concept and prototype vehicle designs are highly confidential.
Pedersen chose the Western Star 4900 SA with a Detroit Diesel Series 60 515-horsepower engine and Eaton Fuller UltraShift transmission. He also added automatic traction control, a feature he has never had before and never plans to be without again. This is particularly helpful when driving in the mountains through rough winter storms.
“A lot of thought went into the dash design and the components on the truck,” Pedersen said. “For example, the Western Star has extra plugs for battery-powered accessories.
“The truck has outstanding visibility and really handles well,” Pedersen said. “The maneuverability is great; no other set-back axle I've driven has had this kind of maneuverability. Plus, with the high bumpers, I can actually clear snow banks and turn easier.”
“I recently had some electrical work done, and the mechanics said it was the easiest set-back axle they've ever worked on under the hood,” he said.
Western Star's 24-hour Customer Assistance Center provides support to drivers on the road in need of technical support or repair work.
“I had a problem and the dealers were closed,” he said. “I called the 1-800 number and talked with someone who provided me a repair person. They got me going in a few hours without a penny out of my pocket.”
Another reason Pedersen likes his new Western Star: his wife, Brenda, likes it too. She's been driving with him for the past six years and enjoys the ease of operation and the automatic transmission. “This is the first truck we've owned that she enjoys driving,” he said.