A family-owned business since 1965, Hardy Brothers Inc of Siloam NC employs team drivers to haul produce cross-country from California to the East Coast. With a fleet of 62 trucks, the company is moving to an all-Kenworth fleet based on the performance and comfort of its new Kenworth T680s.
Eddie Hardy, company president, said the new T680s “sell themselves” to drivers. Interior features such as the rotating table, 180-degree swivel passenger seat, refrigerators, power inverters, and double bunk sleepers offer over-the-road teams a higher level of comfort.
“We want happy drivers in those seats as they cover 5,000 miles each week criss-crossing the country,” said Hardy. “With these 21 new Kenworth T680s that we have put on the road over the last seven months, driver acceptance has been great. That’s probably not the perfect adjective to describe it. These have been the most well-received trucks we have ever put into the fleet.”
The 76-inch integrated sleeper and Diamond VIT Interior makes life on the road more comfortable for driver teams. This sleeper is 96 inches wide with a high ceiling and features 60 cubic feet of storage and a full-height wardrobe cabinet. Moving from cab to sleeper is easy with 23 inches between seats. The rotating table can be used for meals, working on laptops, or reading. The sleeper has a mount for a 23-inch flat screen TV and hookup for a microwave.
“All the interior features are great,” said Hardy. “The technology—electronics, NavPlus navigation, bunk heater, superior sound in the stereo experience—the new T680s have all the bells and whistles, and those can make all the difference for teams that are on the road all week.”
Hardy also is happy with the improved fuel efficiency the fleet has been experiencing with the 455-hp Paccar MX-13 engine and Eaton UltraShift transmission.
“We govern the trucks at 72 mph, and we’re averaging between 6.8 and 7 mpg,” he said. “We’re extremely pleased with the performance of the Paccar MX-13 engines, which aren’t even broken in yet. Compared with similarly equipped trucks in our fleet, the Paccar MX engines in the Kenworth trucks are outperforming the others by about three-fourths of a mile per gallon.”
Engine performance coupled with the aerodynamic efficiency of the T680 has helped Hardy Brothers achieve EPA SmartWay certification.
Along with the 21 new T680s already operating in the fleet, Hardy Brothers ordered 16 more T680s scheduled for delivery later in 2013.
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