August 17, 2017
Kenworth reports that one of its customers, Wayne Brown of Brown Transportation, started driving an aggregate hauler for his family’s business 43 years ago. He bought his own rock/aggregate hauling operation from his uncle in 2010 and added to the 24-truck fleet by purchasing Kenworth T880s with the PACCAR MX-13 engine, bringing the total number of trucks in the fleet up to 80.
Brown said each T880 weighs nearly 900 pound less than the old trucks, and is getting up to 1.5 miles per gallon in improved fuel economy. (Individual fuel economy improvement will vary depending on use, road conditions and other factors.) “When you run fully loaded with between four to 10 runs per day to a rock crusher, that extra payload really adds up,” he explained, in a Kenworth press release.
Brown’s aggregate business is diverse and able to change direction when necessary, changing from hauling frac sand to oil and gas companies to delivering aggregate and rock to construction sites. “And since we’re a large aggregate hauler in our region, we can handle jobs others can’t,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for us to get a call requesting a large delivery — due to our size, we can put more trucks on the job and complete a project in one day, versus three for our competitors.”
Brown also spec’d the T880s with the 52-inch mid-roof sleeper, which features a liftable lower bunk with a comfortable 32-inch by 80-inch pocket coil mattress and storage underneath. There is upper storage on the sleeper’s back wall as well, including a place for drivers to hang their clothes and jackets.
“While our headquarters are in Ardmore, we have our trucks domiciled in Krum, Texas, and in Davis, (Okla.), and Oklahoma City,” Brown said. “On a Monday, the trucks might have a job 100 or more miles away, so they’ll work that site all week, making runs to a crusher or pit nearby. It doesn’t make sense to deadhead back to our facility every day. So, that’s why the need for a sleeper.”
Brown said the T880s average around 100,000 miles per year, and with the fuel savings they’re seeing, it means each truck is saving the company close to $10,000 in fuel per year, which factors into the total cost of ownership. “We expect our Kenworths to perform, and we haven’t been disappointed,” he said.
Recently, the company moved to the Eaton UltraShift(R) transmission and disc brakes, so the drivers aren’t as fatigued at the end of the day. Plus, the PACCAR MX-13 engine (rated at 455 horsepower) is quiet.
Brown also said the trucks bring a sense of pride to his drivers. “We make sure the trucks are washed — even the engines — every two weeks,” he said. “One of my pet peeves is I like to have a nice looking fleet, so every other Monday, our drivers climb into a truck that looks brand new. I like it, and they like it. And they, in turn, take better care of the trucks.
“We’re family-owned here, too,” Brown said. “My son, Chad, is vice president of operations, and his wife, Sara, is our CFO. We’re small enough where we know everyone and have a true family culture. That, along with our equipment, helps keep our driver turnover significantly lower than others in our industry.”