Home Truck News Erb Group comes full circle with International’s last Lonestar - Truck News

Erb Group comes full circle with International’s last Lonestar – Truck News

The Erb Group has completed a full circle with the International Lonestar. On April 15, the New Hamburg, Ont.-based carrier took possession of the last Lonestar – truck number 7,077 – that rolled off the production line in December.

In 2008, the carrier tested the model’s first prototype before International officially put the vehicle on the market. Wendell Erb, president and CEO of The Erb Group, bought that truck and showcases it in the company’s museum.   

“It’s quite an honor. These trucks are pretty special,” Erb said.

Wendell Erb with International Lonestar truck
Wendell Erb, left, with the last International Lonestar truck to be manufactured. (Photo: Leo Barros)

Jim Pinder, senior corporate fleet director, noted that Erb Transport has always had a strong relationship with International. Vernon Erb, the company’s founder, started out 65 years ago with one truck – an International.

Regarding the Lonestar, Pinder said in 2008, the carrier helped the manufacturer test the vehicle’s engine, oil, rims and other components.

Presently, more than 90% of the fleet’s 700-plus tractors are Internationals and the percentage is even higher among its 145 or so straight trucks.

The spec’s

Nick Campbell, truck sales manager – Ontario, International Trucks, said Erb Transport first testing out – and then receiving – the last Lonestar highlights the importance of their relationship and appreciation for their business.

Since it was going to be the last Lonestar, Wendell Erb said, “It needed to have the most badass spec’s.”

Matthew Kirby, vice-president – sales operations, Altruck International Truck Centers, said the tractor is powered by a Cummins X15 605 hp engine with an 18-speed Eaton manual transmission.

“You can’t get a truck with more horsepower on the highway than this one here,” Erb said.

Picture of Carl Jantzi
Carl Jantzi (Photo: Leo Barros)

A special truck needs a special driver. Erb handed the keys to company driver Carl Jantzi, who has won numerous driver of the year and owner-operator of the year awards at the company. Erb noted that Jantzi and he were in school together, from Grades 1 to 8.

“It’s very exciting to have Wendell ask me to drive it. I’m honored for that,” said Jantzi, a professional driver for 39 years, who presently has a dedicated run to Mississippi.

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