Kenworth trucks can be considered as driver retention tools—their ride and creature comforts have helped keep many drivers loyal to the companies they drive for.
That’s the case for Immel’s Dairy Service as well, but according to Troy Immel, his eight new Kenworth T680s with 52-inch mid-roof sleepers are doing him one better.
“They’re actually attracting drivers to our company,” he said. “Drivers from other companies want to come drive for us. Our latest hire came knocking on our door after seeing our trucks on the road. He liked what he saw and wanted to be behind the wheel of a T680.”
Hauling milk from farms to creameries throughout Texas, this two-generation business was launched in 1954 by Troy Immel’s father.
“My dad started hauling milk cans, and that evolved into a tanker business hauling milk from dairies to creameries,” said Troy Immel. “That’s what we still do today, but the amount of territory we cover has expanded. We mostly run in Texas, but we’ll also cover neighboring states.”
When the younger Immel bought the company in 1988, Immel’s Dairy was using a mixed fleet of trucks. That evolved into running mostly Kenworths. The T680s are replacing Kenworth T800s and the high-mileage operation—each truck runs between 160,000 and 180,000 miles annually—means that fuel economy, reliability, and driver comfort are critical considerations.
According to Immel, the eight T680s with 52-inch sleepers, equipped with Paccar MX-13 engines rated at 455 hp and 13-speed transmissions, have boosted fuel savings.
“We’re running 10 trucks total, but we run them hard. We haul a lot of weight and pull 6,500-gallon tankers,” he said. “We’re already getting a 5% gain in mpg with the T680s over our T800s, and once the trucks are broken in, we expect to approach an overall improvement of 10%. That’s huge for a small operation like ours.”
Since Immel’s Dairy Service picks up loads at dairies, the mid-roof 52-inch sleeper was spec’d. “This lowers our profile so we can slide under loading areas without fear of hitting the overhead structures,” said Immel. “Our guys will be out six days at a time, so they use the sleeper. The height, compared with the height of our other sleeper, is what I really like.”
Immel should know all about driver comfort, since he’s still driving. “I started driving back in 1980, and still drive today,” he said.
The trucks were purchased through Kenworth of South Texas in San Antonio. Immel said dealer support and spec’ing expertise gives Kenworth a great one-two punch.
The dairy service company normally holds onto its equipment for seven years or one million miles.
“That’s another reason we’re sold on Kenworth,” he said. “We’ve seen other brands shake apart after so many miles, but the quality of the Kenworth is very evident. They hold up and have structural integrity—and they keep looking good.”
Access www.kenworth.com for further details.