Sister companies Christensen Oil and Crest Distributing are well-known in Utah for their fleet of dark blue KWs, mostly seen pulling tankers. Keeping their fleet clean and well-presented is nothing new for Christensen. The company, which was started in 1956 by Owen Christensen, originally operated for AMOCO Oil as a lubricants and fuel consignee. Later, Mr. Christensen would go on to build what is now a twenty truck fleet, as well as five Crest Gas & Convenience Stores.
Hauling mostly fuel (and other oil products) with traditional tractor-trailer combinations, as well as truck and pull-tankers like the one pictured here, the company moves over 750,000 gallons of lubricants and 36 million gallons of fuel every year. They also transport petroleum products such as motor oil, various additives and other compounds. Operating within several segments of the oil industry, they also provide fuels, oils and automotive components like wiper blades, greases, and both oil and air filters. Needless to say, this company is very diverse.
As a perennial competitor at the Salt Lake City “Kidney Kamp” truck show, our feature on Crest began at the show this past August. With beautiful weather and scenic grounds, there was little reason to go elsewhere for the photo shoot. Once the show ended, we waited for enough trucks to roll away so we’d have room to move around. After several hours of waiting and then shooting, a storm began coming in and we finished right as the wind kicked up and it started to rain. But, even in a storm, these trucks are beautiful rigs. Pictured here are two prime examples of the Christensen/Crest fleet.
The pull-tanker truck is a new 2011 Kenworth W900L, powered by a C-15 Caterpillar with an 18-speed Eaton and 3.55 rears. Outfitted with a 38-inch AeroCab flattop and painted Medium Concord Blue Metallic with white and red striping, this cool truck features a drop-visor and extra cab lights. Driven by Christensen/Crest driver Kennley Savage (who was in Alaska at the time of the shoot), this new truck is equipped with a Beall body-mounted tank and pulls an 8,000 gallon, 4-axle 2011 Beall tank trailer. Polished out, the truck needs little else, as far as chrome goes.
The second truck pictured here is run by Brandon Scott, who is a driver for Christensen/Crest, and is a slightly darker 2002 Kenworth W900L. Painted Dark Concord Blue Metallic with the signature Christensen/Crest white and red stripe, this tractor is powered by a C-12 Cat with a “PDI attitude problem” and an 18-speed Eaton with 3.36 rears. Sitting on a 265-inch wheelbase, the truck has a 52-inch AeroCab flattop sleeper. This clean Kenworth is tasteful and somewhat understated, featuring six-inch Dynaflex stacks, a boxed-end bumper, plenty of extra cab lights, and a custom light bar featuring nine bright LEDs and four side-by-side mudflaps. Hooked to a matching 1997 48-foot spread-axle Great Dane dry van (used for hauling packaged oil products like motor oil) with smooth rear trailer doors, LED taillights, and the same mudflap arrangement as the truck, this combination may have a small motor, but it undoubtedly turns heads as a “big ride” wherever it goes!
Brandon doesn’t remember when he learned to drive, but when growing up, he often went out on trips with his father and friends, and sometimes even got the chance to get behind the wheel. From there, it didn’t take long for him to go driving on his own. Brandon got his first driving job the day he turned 18, hauling feed from a railhead to the feed company. After that, he began doing mechanic work for Christensen, polishing and washing the trucks, and then eventually earned his way into the driver’s seat hauling fuel.
As a single father, Brandon (see photo) says, “what you see is what you get” – his kids always come first. With two young boys, Hagen (4) and Ryker (2), whenever he isn’t behind the wheel of his truck he spends time with his kids, and they’re already following in his footsteps. Hagen, Brandon’s oldest boy, already knows the shift pattern of his dad’s truck and knows that trucks need to have low seats, shiny wheels and loud pipes! Brandon’s father, Kent Scott, and Brandon’s younger brother, Austin, are also part of the Christensen family. Brandon’s father drives and works as a mechanic for Christensen, while his younger brother polishes and works full time as a mechanic. It’s a family affair whenever there is a truck show, as all of the Scott boys always get together to get the trucks cleaned up and ready to show.
All of the hard work on the part of Christensen/Crest and their dedicated drivers, like Kennley and Brandon, do not go unrewarded. Aside from being part of a successful company, the two trucks pictured here also did well at the previously-mentioned Salt Lake City truck show in August. Kennley’s 2011 Kenworth truck and pull-tanker took home the first place trophy in the “New Combo” category, as well as second place in both the “Custom Paint & Graphics Combo” and the “Lights Combo” classes. Brandon’s rig made a great showing, as well, taking home the first place trophy for “Small Fleet Combo” and coming in third place behind Kennley’s KW in the “Lights Combo” class – not a bad showing, and the awards were all well-deserved.
Good public image is vital in trucking, especially when your fleet of trucks is a rolling billboard for your operation. Both Christensen and Crest have earned a good reputation, and that is no easy task in an industry (trucking) that is muddied by a negative image, and an even bigger accomplishment considering that Christensen/Crest is involved with oil – another industry suffering from a poor public opinion. But with quality service, great drivers and a super clean fleet, the company has overcome these perceptions.
Brandon Scott would like to thank Todd and Kurt Christensen for a great job and an awesome truck. We at 10-4 would like to thank Christensen Oil and Crest Distributing for their time in allowing us to put together a photo shoot and article. Taking time off for a photo shoot, even after a truck show, is never easy in the trucking industry, so we tip our hat to them.
So, keep your eyes out on the roads of Utah for Christensen Oil/Crest Distributing and their clean fleet of trucks, and plan on seeing them at the Salt Lake City “Kidney Kamp” truck show next year in August (2012). But if you’re coming to compete, you’d better bring your game, because the Christensen/Crest rigs always make a good showing, and they are tough competitors to beat. And that is no surprise, considering the caliber of trucks they operate. Keep up the good work, guys – we’ll see you there!