Lafarge, PACCAR working on $15 billion storm surge protection system with Corps of Engineers
To protect New Orleans and its residents from surges in future storms, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on a $15 billion protection system of linked levees, flood walls, gates, and pumps surrounding the city.
To help get that work completed, Lafarge North America is counting on the performance of its fleet of trucks including PacLease’s 1,000th truck equipped with a PACCAR MX engine, leased through PACCAR Leasing (PacLease). This particular PacLease unit is a 2012 Kenworth T800 tractor operated in the New Orleans, La. area.
“PacLease is pleased to help Lafarge accomplish important projects that will protect New Orleans and its residents from future storms,” Olen Hunter, director of sales for PacLease said in a press release. “And it’s particularly gratifying that Lafarge will be doing some of that work using a Kenworth T800 tractor equipped with a PACCAR MX engine leased from our local PacLease franchise, Kenworth of South Louisiana-PacLease.
“Just 14 months after presenting the keys to a Kenworth T660 with the first PACCAR MX engine to Costco Wholesale, PacLease has leased its 1,000th PACCAR MX powered truck to Lafarge North America,” Hunter said. “The fact that it took a little over a year to lease 1,000 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks with PACCAR MX engines is a clear demonstration of the popularity of the engine. The fact that so many customers have chosen this engine speaks highly to its reputation for performance and reliability.”
David Marchand, mobile equipment manager for Lafarge North America’s Louisiana operation, agrees. Lafarge leases 12 trucks at this location, including five Kenworth T800 mixers, delivered in November 2011, and three Kenworth T800 tractors, delivered earlier in 2011. The T800 Extended Day Cab mixers are equipped with 10-yard mixers for increased load capacities and enhanced efficiency. The three T800 tractors are spec’d with the Kenworth Extended Day Cab and the 485-horsepower PACCAR MX engine providing 1,650 foot-pounds of torque powered through an Eaton Ultrashift automatic transmission.
“Our drivers really like the quality of Kenworth trucks,” he said. “The cross members are heavier duty, and Kenworth uses huck bolts, not rivets, in the assembling of the cabs. That means our trucks don’t rattle after years of bouncing around in construction zones.”
Drivers also value the comfort that a Kenworth truck offers, particularly with the new trucks that are equipped with the Kenworth Extended Day Cab, Marchand said.
“The Extended Day Cab has become a standard specification for all of our new Kenworth trucks, and it has really made a huge difference,” he said. “The additional length and height allow our drivers to stretch their legs. Plus, the additional storage space for weather gear and other supplies helps provide a more productive work environment.
“The PACCAR MX engine is performing very well,” Marchand said. “It’s quiet, works in tandem with the automatic transmission, and provides our drivers the power and torque they need. We really like the fact that the PACCAR MX engine is 400 pounds lighter than other available engines, which allows us to carry more payload.”
“It’s really the whole equipment package,” he added.
Since 2006, Lafarge North America’s Louisiana operation has been turning to Kenworth trucks and Kenworth of South Louisiana to help complete construction projects in and around New Orleans. Reston, Va.-based Lafarge North America is the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the United States and Canada with six gypsum production sites, 24 cement production sites, 302 aggregates quarries and 234 ready-mix plants. It produces and sells cement, ready-mixed concrete, gypsum wallboard, aggregates, asphalt, paving and construction, precast solutions, and pipe products used in residential, commercial, and public works construction projects across North America. Its Louisiana operation includes 22 plants in the New Orleans area and extends north of New Orleans to the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in Covington and west to Gramercy.
Marchand said the performance, durability, reliability, and comfort that Kenworth trucks have provided his operation has been critical to the success of many of the company’s projects, particularly the most challenging ones.
In addition to the T800 attributes Marchand also appreciates how full-service leasing through PacLease makes it easier for his operation to acquire quality Kenworth equipment.
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