Ex-Guard, You Are Lifesavers!

Dear Ex-Guard,

I am writing to thank you for designing and building such a great product. I have a story to tell.

Back in the beginning of August, I purchased a used truck that had come equipped with an Ex-Guard 150. The 2016 Freightliner is a mostly fiberglass and plastic front end. I had been looking for a product of same or similar for my prior rig, so having found a replacement with a guard already installed was a plus. I had heard mixed reviews about how well they worked in general and came to a conclusion that you get what you pay for. Little did I know at the time that I would get first hand experience testing your product.

In the beginning of December, I was heading west past a fuel stop with an eastern “right in-right out” entrance. As I approached this access point, a semi truck was entering the highway with a left turn signal on. Looking like he was being safe and signaling the acceleration lane to right lane change I began to overtake him. It was then I realized that he really wanted the left lane. Being this was on a 4 lane divided highway and I had a green light, I had not slowed much, up until I discovered his intentions. I then locked up my brakes and hoped he would check his mirrors before making impact and/or finishing his lane change to the one I was occupying. I know now that his intent was to make an illegal U-Turn at the west entrance to the station and the access point for the eastbound traffic. This is where the stoplight was and there is no left turn lane for westbound traffic. I was crowded to the left as far as I dared to go and when he finally initiated the left (U) turn with his tractor (without ever checking his mirrors) he pretty much cut off my only escape route. I impacted the left rear quarter of his tractor and basically pushed his truck down the road a distance of between 75-100 feet before we came to a stop. There were NO injuries other than I had a couple of scrapes from stuff in the cab. Everyone walked away.

I have had a chance in the last few months to review the photos of my truck and listen to the reports of progress from the body shop. I am told the frame was only slightly bent and they removed and replaced everything on the front end except the frame rails and the engine. Even the front engine mount and the front subframe was replaced. Additionally, the front axle was replaced.

I am firmly convinced that without your Ex-Guard xg-150 that the damage to my truck would have included the engine and have gotten up to and included the firewall and cab of the truck. I believe in looking at the photos that your product minimized the damage to my truck to the $40,000 estimate, stopped the intrusion into my rig and it absorbed a majority of the impact. I cannot thank you enough for such a great product. You can bet that I will continue to use this product on any future rigs I own.

Although I do NOT recommend testing this product this way, I do believe that your product saved me from a totaled truck and a trip to the hospital. Very good insurance in my case considering the possibilities for damage and injuries.

Once again a hearty, THANK YOU, you guys are lifesavers.

-Paul Ahles | Hopkins, MN

Ex-guard passes THE TEST! SAVES $10,000 IN PARTS ALONE!

Another testimonial about our light-duty LT-325BG2 guard…
“Just thought I’d share a new truck grill test. Guy hit a pretty big deer in an only 10k mile truck. It was only on the road 2 weeks, and after collision with a deer, this what we got. Very impressive, thank you and your engineers for an awesome save. This time it saved us about $10,000 in parts alone!”
-Vitaliy Dyachuk | Vline Inc. | Syracuse, NY

Dealer Spotlight – Vision Truck Group

Dealer Spotlight – Vision Truck Group

It all started 52 years ago with one man who had a great love for trucks. A love that evolved from driving tractors and operating machinery on his father’s farm near New Dundee. One of 12 children, John Slotegraaf Sr. was born in Holland and came to Canada with his parents. Growing up with a fascination for trucks, Slotegraaf Sr. came to believe that mechanics are the doctors of trucks, performing repairs as if they were surgeries. His vision was to open a shop that highlighted the importance of proper truck repair and the employees that do so. With a loan from a friend in 1966, Slotegraaf Sr. began his mission by opening the first, small repair garage at King and Eagle streets in Cambridge, ON. The first shop was so small that it could only accommodate cars and pickup trucks. Two years later, he moved to a larger three-bay facility, a site not far from today’s head office in Cambridge on Franklin Boulevard. He called the business Central Automotive Services and made his mark over the first 27 years repairing every kind of truck on the market.

Since then, the company has grown tremendously. Renamed Vision Truck Group (VTG) in the early 2000s, VTG specializes in not only truck repair, but as a truck dealership for both Mack Trucks and Volvo Trucks North America with a Volvo sales office in Mississauga and four Mack Trucks sales offices across Ontario located in Cambridge, London, Stoney Creek, and the newest addition, Etobicoke. Adding to the growing success, there is also a Body Shop that specializes in repairs and service and a new 50,000 square-foot parts and distribution warehouse, both situated close to head office in Cambridge.

Known to many employees as a punctual and dedicated president, Slotegraaf Sr. had a mission to expand the company so that truck drivers and mechanics alike could have the best experiences in the trucking industry imaginable. It’s easy to see that vision has come to life and will only keep on reaching new heights as John Slotegraaf Jr. leads the company.

It was during his father’s six-year battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease that Slotegraaf Jr. assumed a more prominent leadership role and ultimately took over as president.

Today, the company thrives from the leadership of Slotegraaf Jr. and chief financial officer Steve Brenton, the son of former vice president Boyd Brenton as they continue lifting the company towards greater heights with the help of over 300 employees across seven locations. In 2016, Vision Truck Group was named Dealer of the Year by Mack Trucks. “Vision Truck Group exemplifies the kind of organization customers are drawn to, and for good reason,” said Jonathan Randall, senior vice president of sales for Mack Trucks North America. “The service, support, and dedication they provide keep their customers on the road and earning, and Mack Trucks is proud to be their partner.”

Our Vision

Our priority is always the customers. It may sound cliché and every organization may say it but Vision Truck Group truly goes above and beyond in highlighting the importance of the customer. This can be seen in every department’s hard work and dedication. For example, did you know that Vision Truck Group was the first in putting the Uptime Center Process into motion? The main purpose of the development of Uptime Centers was to reduce wait times because technicians began noticing that trucks with short repairs would often get stuck behind those with more timely repairs and that the concept of “first come, first serve” wasn’t working so well.

“This idea was pioneered by Vision Truck Group Mississauga in 2013, and then the process was refined, developed and implemented by Mack and Volvo North America,” said Travis Brown, Vision Truck Group Director of Service Operations. “We started a process and once Mack and Volvo heard about its success, they took the reins and now there are over 110 Uptime Centers across North America.”

Through these types of examples, it is evident that at the very core of Vision Truck Group is the goal to provide customers with the best options in the trucking industry. Even in sales, customers can take advantage of free demo programs which allow them to test drive trucks for extended periods of time in order to gauge whether or not a specific truck is right for them.

Beyond that, the VTG Parts Department offers a wide range of year-round promotions and discounts that help customers save money, time, and future expenses. We know that trucks, repair, and maintenance can cost a pretty penny so we do all that we can to partner with companies such as Ex-Guard to provide the best possible deals to benefit the customer.

Moving forward, Vision Truck Group has plans to expand further across Ontario while maintaining business practices that put the customer first.


Community Involvement

Vision Truck Group is a proud supporter of the community and the organizations that we are a part of. Our charitable involvement is a way for us to give back to the people and groups who have been loyal to us over our 52 year history. Twice annually, we review applications for charity sponsorships and donations; we have an external council that provides a thorough unbiased review so that each and every application is met with equal consideration.

Over the years, we have supported various organizations such as Canadian Cancer Society, McMaster Children’s Hospital, Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Milton District Hospital, EduDeo, Bible League Canada, as well as minor sports sponsorships.

Additionally, for the past eight years Vision Truck Group has also been participating in the SickKids Foundation Annual Heat Wave Volleyball Tournament to raise money for children living with cancer. This year, three teams are already signed up to play in the Cambridge tournament during the first weekend of June.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to making peoples’ lives better and easier. Whether that’s customers, community and charity members, or employees, our company is what it is because of the people that surround us and help us be better collectively.

Alena Kondratieva
Marketing Coordinator
Vision truck group

ARE YOU AN EX-GUARD DEALER? Email [email protected] with
your story to be featured in our newsletter.


KEEPING HCR Contractors Safe


Western Region Manager Dennis Geipel and I recently attended the Western/Central National Star Route Mail Contractors Association (NSRMCA) as a vendor for their meeting held at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, NV on Monday, January 15th through Wednesday, January 17th.

Dennis and I visited with many HCR contractors and mail haulers in Las Vegas that stopped by our vendor booth. Many of these same visitors gave us testimonials as to how the Ex-Guard grille and bumper protection system performed on their respective vehicles. The majority of the comments we received were very complimentary as to how Ex- Guard minimized downtime because of its well-proven ability to sustain multiple wildlife collisions little or minimal damage to trucks.

To give all of you some background, the NSRMCA represents over 17,000 United States Postal Service Highway Contract Route Carriers (HCR). The HCR routes consist of contract box delivery routes, which resemble a Postal rural route; and also larger contract routes that consist of the utilization of straight trucks all the way up to tractor/trailer long-haul routes. The Association has two basic objectives of providing legislative and regulatory protection for its membership and ultimately for the entire postal highway contracting industry.

Having worked with this industry for several years, it is clear to see how this industry is a ‘good fit’ for Ex-Guard, and how we could assist HCR straight truck and tractor/trailer mail haulers deliver their vital product with “certainty, celerity, and security, in accordance with the operating schedule”. Many of the HCR routes begin their day at dawn, and end at dusk, running a set schedule while others provide around the clock service going from point to point, city to city, and state to state.

With the HCR routes covering so many miles per day, it is no wonder many of the drivers for these HCR contractors encounter deer and other four-legged creatures. It is a high priority with the Postal Service that the HCR contractors reach their destinations on time, but the safety of the driver and equipment is of utmost importance. Protecting these Contractors is our business and we take it very seriously.

Ex-Guard is very supportive of the United States Postal Service and all the mail haulers across the U.S. I have had the honor and privilege of working with many of the Contractors that are members of the NSRMCA for over 3 decades prior to my career with Ex-Guard.


Director of Marketing

I got hit by a flying tire!

“Everything is fine, just wanna see if you guys have tips on how to clean those marks. Just for the record, the guy in front of me had his flashers on and we were driving uphill so I couldn’t pass him as I was 80,000 lbs! The guard is like new, the best money spent in my life!”

-Andy Petrovic | Owner/Operator