Hello and welcome to the Hammer Down website!  The Hammer Down began as a monthly Trucking Department Newsletter for the Transportation Department of what was known back then as Better-Bilt Aluminum Products, Inc.  The complete history of how the Hammer Down came into being and how it came to be here on the Internet can be found and read on our "History" page.  This website, the Hammer Down name and domain name are NOT affiliated or associated with the current corporate owner of Better-Bilt Aluminum Products.  This website is dedicated to the Drivers, Management, and fellow Better-Bilt Employee Alumni of the Hosea Magee/Cliff Logsdon era of this truly remarkable company.

 

Click on the LINKS below to browse and visit our website.  Please sign our Guest Book.

Thanks for stopping by!

Bill Witt

"Camshaft"

 

It is with a huge, saddened heart that I report to everyone that our former Better-Bilt West Team Driver Fred Wagers lost his battle with Lung Cancer on Monday September 3rd in Phoenix, AZ.  Shown in the picture at left is Fred and his late wife Kayla when they were in Nashville in 2005.  Shortly after this picture was taken, Kayla was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  She lost her battle with Cancer December of 2010.  Fred was diagnosed with Lung Cancer this past January (2012), stage 4 when they found it.
I got to fly out to Phoenix and spend Memorial Day Weekend with Fred  and his son Douglas. While I was there his former Team Driver Partner Frank Worner and his wife Debbie drove down from Prescott Valley to visit and enjoy a cookout.  Frank is retired from trucking now, having had some serious health issues of his own these past few years.
After the great downsizing of 1995, Fred started his own computer company, custom-building computers and corporate servers for small and large companies.  The picture below was taken at his house during my visit last May.  You will note the computer and all of the CD-DVD cases with computer programs on the desk.  I have 4 of his custom-built computers in my house at this time.  Three are almost 10 years old yet they still work as well as they did when brand new.  Fred had the patience of a Saint... he had to have to teach me all that he did about using and working on computers. He was good husband to Kayla, a good father to Crystal and Douglas, and a damn good friend to me and many others in this world.  These photos and memorial are late....simply because it has been hard for me to walk in a room full of Fred-Built computers and do this.

We will all miss you Fred!

Bill Witt
"Camshaft"

 

 

 

 

Shown at left are Bill Witt, Fred Wagers, Debbie Worner, and Frank Worner.

Fred and Frank drove the Better-Bilt Team Truck for many years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got these two photos from Gary Stazenski, former Traffic Manager and truck boss of the Prescott Valley, AZ plant.  The photo at left was taken in 1981.

Gary indentified these drivers as:

            Ben Roberts, Renita Rice, Danny Colquit,  ????????,  Roger Duetsch, Bob Dean,  Jim Pahl,  Richard Surwall,  Paul Denney,  Bruce Knell,  Gary Stazenski, Carl Irwin, Gary Jeranson, Joe Phillips, Jake Foust, Tom Mckinley.

With the death of Jim Pahl in 2010, there none of the original Better-Bilt drivers still driving for BB West.  Jim was the last driver on their roster.

Any of the Smyrna drivers remember Renita in the Dispatch Office?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo had to have been taken sometime around or after 1985.  We the new Logo and Paint Scheme came into being when the Smyrna Plant got the 1985 Peterbilt tractors.

Drivers standing are:

Bobby Burt, Joe Phillips, Tom McKinley, Danny Colquit,  Pete Roberts, Roger Duetsch, Carl Irwin, Bruce Knell, Jim Stephenson, Jim Pahl, Ben Roberts,  Paul Denney

Drivers Squatting are:

                       Bob Hanson,  Gary Jeranson,  Bob Conway,, Fred Wagers, Ira Newman, Bill Gnagey
 

THANKS to Gary Stazenski for sending these photos.  I appreciate it.

"Camshaft"

 

 

 

 

              

 

              

 

 GUEST BOOK

 

The October Driver/Alumni Breakfast photos are now up on the "Driver Happenings" page!  Our next breakfast will be held in December!  The date will be announced when it is finalized.

 

 

 

Cliff Logsdon Retirement Party -- 1992

 

2008 has started off with great sadness for us former drivers of the old Better-Bilt Aluminum Products Company.

We lost our retired Traffic Manager Cliff Logsdon, shown at left, to Lung Cancer on January 2, 2008.  He was carried on his last run on January 5, 2008.

Cliff was one of the first drivers hired during Better-Bilt's first days.  Having been an owner-operator and knowing how to keep trucking records for the D.O.T, he was made Traffic Manager of Better-Bilt's Traffic and Transportation Department.  He also helped hire the first drivers at the Prescott Valley, AZ plant when it opened in the early 1980's.  Cliff was 76 years old.

He will be sadly missed by all who knew and drove for him.

Rex Smeltzer, shown at right, was one of the first drivers hired at Better-Bilt Aluminum Products back in the 1970's.  Known to drivers all across the country as "Toilet Paper", Rex lost his battle with Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease on January 30, 2008. 

Toilet Paper was one of 4 drivers who stayed with Better-Bilt in 1995 when Caradon, PLC downsized the jobs of the drivers at both plants, turning over all dispatching duties and driver personnel to Leaseway Driver Services.  He was one of the original company drivers still working for Better-Bilt when Metal Industries bought the company from Caradon, PLC and hired the lease drivers back to the company payroll.

Toilet Paper made his last run on Saturday February 2, 2008.  See photos below.

Hammer Down, Cliff and Rex!

We will miss you both!

 

 

The Hammer Down "News and Information" page is being re-named "Driver Happenings" and will be dedicated to the Better-Bilt Alumni, Family, and Friend's get-togethers and "happenings". 

Check it out!

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