When asked the fleet color of the company he works for, Matt Blinsky answered with a laugh. “That’s a good question. We don’t have one. We’ve got 74 trucks, and probably 25 different colors running around. It’s all by design,” he said.
Operating primarily Kenworth T680s, Yakima WA-based Floyd Blinsky Trucking doesn’t believe in conforming to the norm.
“We believe in individuality,” said Blinsky, who serves as vice-president of the company. His father, Floyd, started the company in 1977 and serves as president, though he is “semi-retired” from the company.
“Every fifth truck comes in a different color, and if you had all our trucks lined up, you’d see a sea of colors,” said Matt Blinsky. “Our drivers love it—you can see our trucks 10 miles down the road.”
According to Blinsky, the company has always had a “driver-first” mentality.
“My dad started the operation as driver and grew the business into a small flatbed fleet in Montana,” he said. “He also started buying some refrigerated trailers and got into the business of hauling produce out of Yakima. With an eye on growth, he decided to relocate the business there in 1987, and become predominantly a reefer fleet. That way new drivers could spend more time at home.”
That, coupled with a close-knit work environment, Kenworth trucks spec’d to the nines, and no truck older than model year 2015, has helped Blinsky keep driver turnover “well below the industry average,” said Blinsky.
“I, too, was once a driver for our company, so my dad and I have always understood the importance of a quality truck to drive. We wouldn’t want to have a driver operate something we ourselves wouldn’t want to drive, and to that point, I still get behind the wheel of a truck—and so does my dad. We both enjoy driving, and I think our drivers like seeing us log some miles. It keeps us grounded.”
Most of the firm’s runs are to the Midwest, hauling produce, meat, cheese and frozen vegetables east, and backhauling foodgrade products back. The 59 Kenworth T680s with 76-inch sleepers are spec’d with the Driver’s Studio, 455-hp Paccar MX-13 engine and 13-speed transmissions. The company also has 15 day cabs for local deliveries, plus it operates a small flatbed operation in the Yakima area. The T680s were purchased through Kenworth Northwest–Yakima.
Today, the Kenworth T680 and Paccar MX-13 engine are getting about a 15% boost in fuel economy compared with the previous non-Kenworth trucks.
“That’s meant more than a $6,500 a year savings in fuel, per truck,” said Blinsky, “and we’re taking full advantage of Kenworth’s TruckTech+ remote diagnostics. It’s great that we get email alerts to any issues with the trucks, and we don’t have to a technician on hand to understand what the text means. The description of the problem is very clear and straightforward, and it lets us know where the closest Kenworth dealer is in case we need to drive for service.”
Visit www.kenworth.com for further details.