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Ladysmith trucking company competes in North America-wide calendar contest

The restored 1987 Mack RW713 that is in the running to be featured in Mack's 2024 calendar. The restored 1987 Mack RW713 that is in the running to be featured in Mack's 2024 calendar.
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A Ladysmith trucking firm is hoping community spirit and the public's love of big trucks will help them with a mission: to get one of their big rigs a big win in a calendar contest.

Coastal Trucking operates more than 50 Mack trucks in their fleet on Vancouver Island, but one built in 1987 is part of a contest where 12 rigs will be featured in a 2024 calendar distributed to Mack dealerships throughout North America.

"We just want everybody to vote. It's North America-wide and we're really trying to get in the top 12. Currently we're 13th, but we're getting close," says Janine Cornett, the company's office manager.

Cornett says despite having a fleet of more than 50 Mack trucks, owner Jag Basi is particularly fond of the one he purchased and restored for his 50th birthday.

"It is his special truck, he is the only one that drives it, he's the one that polishes it, he's the one that keeps it in pristine condition," she says.

Basi convinced the truck's previous owner, Richard Mayer, to sell it to him even though Mayer himself had plans to restore the rig. Mayer owns Vancouver Island Mack, a big-rig dealer with locations in Ladysmith, Nanaimo and Victoria.

"Jag, one of our long term and largest Mack customers on the island convinced me to sell it to him, and the restoration was his 50th birthday present to himself," Mayer says.

The custom restoration, which also includes a train whistle, took over a thousand hours and according to Mayer, was pricier than the cost of a new rig.

"He was basically no expense spared, I want this as a show truck. He won't even drive it in the rain, but it is a working truck," Mayer says.

The calendar project is being conducted without Basi's knowledge -- he's off on holidays and out of contact, not arriving until shortly before the contest closes. The staff says they're doing the contest as a tribute to Basi and everything he does for the community of Ladysmith, including being a volunteer fire fighter for 30 years.

"He does so much behind the scenes, he donates so much to all the organizations," Cornett says.

If the voting is successful, the truck will be featured in a calendar with wide distribution.

"There's over 1,500 dealers across North America with a countless number of customers. Mack Trucks sells about 300,000 trucks a year and all their dealers get the same calendar," Mayer says.

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