Hi all! I was recently reflecting on my history with trucking and wanted to share a little story about a company my father used to work for and the story behind their show truck.
JS Crawford & Son was a trucking company ran by John Crawford Sr. and his son John Jr. They were based out of Mississauga, Ontario and their terminal was based on Britannia Road (before they were purchased by Creekbank/Siemens Group). The runs I believe were mainly on the North-East but I do remember some teams running to California. The company had black trucks with white logos. W900s, FLD 120s, Pete 377s, International 9400i, etc. They took a lot of pride in their fleet and had a lot of the trucks chromed out. Took the fleet and their drivers to truck shows all across Ontario. Drivers with ten years of senority could pick any truck of their choice to drive and the company would buy it & customize it for them. A veteran named Mike had a wicked looking Freightliner Argosy, and others had cool looking rides with their names on the doors, etc.
They decided to commemorate the company and the industry with their ultimate vehicle: a 1996 Freightliner Classic XL (I forget what trailer it was paired with) that I believe was like the 50,000th truck off the assembly line - there was an article about this in Truck News magazine way back in the day. Adorning the combo was depictions of the Statue of Liberty, The CN Tower, Ambassador Bridge, both Canada & US flags, The Skydome (now Rogers Centre). It was truly stunning to witness in person. Chrome was everywhere on this truck, including under the hood.
The driver of this truck was Bill Aylesworth. He was a company driver with a lot of senority, a great driving record and a passion for the company. He used to keep this truck as clean as it came from the paint booth. He drove this truck for years and it never had a spec of mud on it. Great guy, wonder how he's doing these days. Was always friendly with people & kids who always wanted to ask him about it.
The truck won multiple best in show classes at Fergus, Mid-Ohio, etc. Was a show stopper and a great attraction. After the company was bought out the tractor was repainted - not entirely sure what happened to the trailer. At the time it was a marvel of the industry and my hope is that at least one person here remembers it. I've left a few pictures here as a reminder of the legacy it once had.