Josh Chavis has a construction company in Jarrettsville, Maryland, but he buys his trucks seven states away, in Maine.
There are a lot of truck dealers along the 542-mile drive between Jarrettsville and Augusta, Maine, but none of them employ Scott Wilson, so Chavis doesn’t buy his trucks from them.
“I made up my mind that I’m going to deal with Scott, because when I call he picks up the phone,” says Chavis, who has bought 20 new and used Western Star trucks from Wilson, used truck manager at O’Connor Motor Co. in Augusta, Maine.
“He knows he can call me seven days a week and I’ll answer the call,” Wilson says. “We talk about everything. We’re friends; it’s not just business.”
LEAP OF FAITH
The two first met in 2007 in the parking lot of a Dunkin’ Donuts in New Haven, Connecticut. Chavis had been searching online for a used Western Star dump truck and found one he was interested in at O’Connor Motor. He called Wilson, who answered all his questions. Still, Chavis thought, the 10-hour drive between Maryland and Maine was a long way to go to buy a used truck sight unseen.
Wilson offered to meet him halfway, so they struck the deal at the New Haven doughnut shop. A little while later, back in Maryland, Chavis found some metal filings in the front differential of the 1999 Western Star 4900 SF. He called Wilson, who, taking him at his word, sent him $1,000 for repairs.
“We didn’t walk away from it. I had great support from my dealership,” Wilson says. Chavis respected that, so, as his company grew, he continued to buy Western Star trucks from Wilson.
“The biggest thing is the communication; it’s excellent and I trust him,” Chavis says. “I tell him what I need and he delivers it. He’s just a good guy to work with.”
“We do a lot by verbal handshake,” Wilson says. “That’s the kind of person he is. The man does what he says he will do.”
Typically, Wilson visits Chavis Enterprises several times a year and Chavis drives up to Maine once a year. The two men have traveled together to the Western Star assembly plant in Portland, Oregon, to see Chavis’ trucks get built.
Wilson, who also represents other makes, said he’s proud to sell Western Star trucks and glad that they’ve worked so well for Chavis, who now has a fleet of 16 new and used Western Star trucks with five new ones on order. They’re all 4700 SFs and 4900 SFs with Detroit™ DD13® engines, and a mix of Eaton Fuller 8LL and Allison Automatic transmissions. Chavis specs 46,000-lb rear axles and spoke wheels.
“I like Western Star trucks because they’re built tough,” says Chavis. “The 4700 is a great truck for construction—good visibility, good engines, the size of the cab gives you plenty of room.”
He said he expects to order more. “Once you find something and it works for you, you tend to stick with it.”
That applies to the relationship between dealer and customer, as well.
“I’ve told him, even if he never buys another truck from me, that we’re friends,” Wilson says. “It’s a great business relationship, but it will always be a friendship.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Western Star is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 5 through 8 vehicles and is a Daimler company, the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer. Find out more about Western Star products and services, visit www.westernstartrucks.com.