‘I just thought, Wow!’: Owner opens up about new J&J body

Talk to Shawn Baker about his dump truck for any length of time and the word “particular” is bound to pop up in the conversation.
The man behind Shawn Baker Trucking in Somerset, Pa., knows what he wants and isn’t prepared to cut corners to get it. That was true when he first came to J&J in 1998 and it was still the case when he had one built here in 2021.

‘I told them what I wanted’

“I had an experience between these two bodies with another body builder,” Baker said. “I had a tough time. I explained what I

Shawn Baker unloads shale from his J&J Material Hauler aluminum body
Shawn Baker said customization was key in his decision to have J&J Truck Bodies & Trailers build another dump bed for his 2022 Mack Granite.

wanted, but they didn’t want to do it the way that I wanted it done. I was upset over that. Different things weren’t right.”
His experience with J&J was far different, as inside sales representative Ed Lyons and regional sales manager Bob Hall worked to meet Baker’s exact needs.
“With J&J, I told them what I wanted – mainly Ed – and whatever I wanted, he’d draw it out and show me, ask me if it was OK. He did what I wanted to be done,” Baker said.
That was important when it came to the 16-foot polished Material Hauler Aluminum bed that J&J built for Baker, and it was just as important when it came to the work that J&J did inside the 2022 Mack Granite. Essentially, the truck is Baker’s office, and he wants a “desk” to lay his materials on while he’s in it. He worked with Lyons to make that happen.
“The console was very important to me,” Baker said. “That’s where I’m at, sitting in the cab. I wanted it built the way I wanted it built, to do certain things. He designed it on paper. We measured it. It was snowing and blowing one winter day and we were in the truck trying to figure it out. We came up with a plan and it worked very well. He did a very nice job.”

Built for the Long Haul

Baker expects this body to perform just as well as his first one did.
“My old one looked just as good as the day I had it made in ’98. I was involved in a bad accident and couldn’t use it anymore,” Baker said.

Baker says people often asked him what year that truck was – and they rarely believed him when he gave them the answer. He took such good care of his truck and the body was built so well that he had to show them the serial number to prove it was two decades old. To counter that, Baker had “Class of ‘22” painted on his new chassis.

Too pretty to use – almost

He couldn’t believe it when he saw his new J&J body mounted on the Mack.
“I was really pleased when I first saw it,” he recalled. “I remember walking up and looking at it. I just thought, ‘Wow!’ Not a mark on it. I hated to take it out and haul anything with it, but I had to make money sometime.”
That doesn’t mean Baker is going to baby his dump truck.
“I haul stone mainly out of quarries for farmers, contractors, a lot of homeowners. I haul firewood in the fall. In the spring of the year, I haul a lot of mulch. I haul some sawdust – whatever I can get in the bed and dump out,” he said.
And while Baker works it hard, he also takes care of his J&J body.
“It gets washed every weekend in the summertime,” he said. “I’m pretty particular with it. But I use it. I get in mud. I’m in rough places. I get pulled a lot – I don’t get pushed – but I get pulled with chains, but it gets cleaned up then. Every weekend it gets shined.”

Earning his recommendation

Over the years he’s also had J&J Truck Equipment perform repairs and maintenance work on his trucks, and he said he would recommend both sides of J&J.
“It really was a good experience with them. Good, quality work,” he said. “I’ve been very pleased.”
And that’s coming from a man who is very particular about his dump trucks.

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