OJ. Watson News

Productivity key in mechanic/crane truck creations from Stellar Industries and O.J. Watson Equipment
By Jeff Rundles / February 01, 2013

DENVER – We tend to think of work equipment – hammers, trucks, cranes, diggers, graders, etc. – as tools of the trade, implements that make a tough job easier, and they are, of course, all of that. And while “easier” was one of the reasons these implements were invented and fashioned, inherent in the “easier” part is not just completing a task with less strain, but completing that task over and over again at a much quicker pace.

In other words, we create tools of the trade to make that trade more productive, as it is, after all, productivity, and not ease, that builds value on the job site.

That is the basic concept behind the custom crane and mechanic trucks created by Colorado’s O.J. Watson Equipment Co. using the stellar designs of mechanic trucks, cranes and on-board equipment from Iowa-based Stellar Industries Inc.

Crane trucks are GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) Class 6, 7 and 8 vehicles used to speed and propel productivity at job sites for road builders, utility workers, water crews, construction operations, and a wide variety of work endeavors that require productivity as a key component of competitiveness and profit.

O.J. Watson is the exclusive Colorado dealer for Stellar® mechanic trucks and cranes and as such is a value-added partner with the nation’s leading maker of heavy-duty service trucks and job-site lifting equipment.

One of the hottest applications of Stellar Industries mechanic trucks in service in Colorado through O.J. Watson is a fleet of such vehicles prepared for the Colorado Department of Transportation, CDOT. In a classic example of these types of field service trucks productivity capabilities, CDOT uses its O.J.Watson/Stellar Industries creations as completely mobile servicing centers – a shop on wheels.

CDOT, of course, has a myriad of heavy equipment pieces – graders, haulers, pavers, bulldozers, Caterpillers, and the like – out on job sites throughout the state building new roads and bridges, and repairing roadways. If one of these machines breaks down, vital productivity is lost waiting for a repair, and you can’t exactly call the road-construction AAA to come along for a tow.

What they use instead is an O.J.Watson/Stellar mechanic truck that, complete with a mobile air compressor, tool trays and a lifting crane, can act as a base for mechanics to perform everything from a simple oil change to lifting an engine for service – all on-site – and in most cases getting everyone back to work and on schedule in record time. Should the heavy-equipment engine need to be taken to a more equipped shop for massive overhaul, no problem; the field service truck has a load space that can accommodate most types of these heavy engines, and the truck’s crane can lift it and the truck haul it for service quickly. Mechanics on a field service truck with a crane can even perform on-site service in the field for a track assembly on a bulldozer to accomplish, as with most jobs these field service trucks provide, a quick return of equipment back to the important work at hand.

Watson/Stellar field service trucks can be outfitted to perform nearly any on-site task, fitted with cranes that can lift pipe in utility operations, pull and service LP propane or other tanks up to 1,000 lbs., and there are even cranes and trucks from Stellar designed for the specific needs of railroad construction operations and for underground utility work.

The Stellar crane line entered the market in 1999 with the industry’s first hexagonal shaped boom design, 28-feet of all-hydraulic reach, with a radio remote control as a standard feature, and a planetary winch speed at 60 ft/min. Today the full crane line is available in models that range in capacities up to 14,000 pounds. Stellar continues to improve and expand its product offering, such as the recent addition of the EC Series line and the Stellar® CDT™ technology that offers unique two-way communication with the operator.

These field trucks are most often equipped with air compressors and heavy-duty tool drawer systems, made by a division of Stellar Industries called American Eagle, that be designed to operate and store tools for on-site operations in nearly limitless configurations. And with O.J. Watson’s renowned custom shop in Denver, accommodating specialized equipment or tools, or any type of storage, is no problem.

Mechanic Trucks by Stellar Industries, with all cranes meeting ANSI B30.5 and OSHA 1910.180 specifications, offer the most innovative features in the industry, including:

• Complete turnkey packages available with a heavy duty steel body, air compressor and drawer system.
• Service cranes feature hexagonal booms which makes them stronger, reduces boom flex and side to side movement, as well as side-to-side extension slippage.
• A wide range from 2,000 to 14,000-pound service cranes.
• Planetary winches provide line speed up to 60-feet per minute.
• Multi-function valve banks standard on most models.
• Greaseless bushings for maintenance-free service.
• Up to 28-feet of hydraulic reach.
• 400-degree power rotation minimum on models with power rotation.
• Stainless steel pivot pins lower maintenance costs and extend life.
• Quick changing sheave to convert from two-part to single-part line operation standard on 8,600 and 10,000-pound mechanic service cranes.
• Standard anti-two block device.
• Dual acting counter balance valves integrated into hydraulic cylinders.
• Flip sheave available on most models.
• Standard proportional radio remote control provides ultimate crane control.
• Electro Deposition (E-Coat), a state of the art, custom designed electrocoating prime paint process that offers maximum protection against rusting.

“With the custom design capabilities of Stellar, and our own in-house staff of custom craftsmen, there is almost no field service requirement that we can’t fulfill,” said Mark Eckrich, O.J. Watson senior vice president and a member of the ownership family. “Our job is to find and create the right truck for our clients’ job that insures the maximum amount of on-site productivity. And since we always service what we sell, we stand behind our products so that they meet and exceed expectations.”

Stellar Industries, Inc., located in Garner, Iowa, was established in 1990 with three employees, and now employs more than 200 workers in its heartland operation. The company is dedicated to being the preferred supplier of quality hydraulic truck equipment and related accessories through innovative, responsive, and cost effective solutions to customers’ needs in a positive work environment. One of its stated “Core Purposes” in the company Mission Statement is “To make our customers more productive,” and that principle is on display – and on the job –every day with it line of Mechanic Trucks and Cranes, and in its American Eagle line of compressors and tool drawers.

O.J. Watson Equipment was founded in 1912 and is now entering its second Century of meeting the needs of working Americans. It was launched in Wichita, Kan. by Oscar J. Watson, an entrepreneur who was friends and a business associate with the likes of American business pioneers Henry Ford, Clyde Cessna, Walter Chrysler, William Coleman, John Willys, and David Sarnoff. He launched his business by taking early Ford and Willys passengers cars and basic pickups and turning them into purpose-built vehicles, which remains the core competency of the firm to this day. O.J. Watson expanded to Denver in 1974 and in 1988 the company was purchased by Richard Eckrich, who has carried on the tradition of family ownership. The firm also maintains a full-service operation in Greeley, CO.

In addition to Crane Trucks and Mechanic Trucks, O.J. Watson specializes in Service Body Trucks, Platform Trucks, Dump Trucks, Aerial Bucket Trucks, Hook Lifts, and a wide variety of Snow & Ice Control equipment. O.J. Watson trucks and equipment are on the job throughout the Rocky Mountain West for private businesses, municipal and city operations, state workers, airports, and federal work crews performing everything from the smallest tasks to heavy-duty demands in a full range of industries. For complete information call 303-295-2885 or 800-332-2124.