When it comes to trucking and shipping logistics, the key to success is running with well-specified, quality equipment—like the Kenworth T680—that gives drivers the tools to do their jobs, according to Certified Express Inc (CEI) President and CEO Scott Wade.
Founded in 2003, CEI is a refrigerated carrier operating more than 130 power units with a fleet of 53-foot refrigerated trailers. Aided by top-of-the-line equipment and professional drivers with decades of experience, CEI guarantees that every shipment is efficient, on budget and on time.
The Kenworth T680 makes up 80% of the CEI fleet. The company found that the T680 offers superior build quality, excellent fuel economy and outstanding driver comfort. The strong relationship CEI has built with the local MHC Kenworth dealerships in Tulsa OK and Joplin MO was also a deciding factor.
The company’s latest order of Kenworth T680s features the full PACCAR powertrain, including the PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 455-hp and a 1,550/1,750 ft-lbs multi-torque specification, PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission, and mid-track PACCAR 40K tandem rear axles with a 2.64 ratio.
“There is a world of difference with the PACCAR Powertrain setup when it comes to power and driveability. I average 42,000 pounds per load. It blows my mind how smooth it is,” said veteran driver Randy Rogers. “I’m sold on the PACCAR transmission, and I won’t go to anything else.”
The decision to go with automated transmissions, was based on its benefits in convenience, driveability and improved fuel economy, Wade pointed out. He estimated that there is up to a one mile per gallon fuel economy difference between the PACCAR automated transmission and a manual transmission. In a team driving situation, he also noted that predictive cruise control can level the performance gaps between the two drivers.
Rogers, who drives as a team with his wife Elizabeth, had the choice of several trucks when he joined CEI, but experience told him to pick the Kenworth T680.
“I’ve driven other makes of trucks, and spent more time tightening screws and bolts, and listening to squeaks and squeals than anything else. That is not the case with a Kenworth, and there’s just something special about the Kenworth that retains the classic truck look,” he said. “I like the nice rounded exterior features, and the interiors are very roomy with lots of storage, which makes them very comfortable, especially for a team setup,” Rogers added.
CEI handles a wide range of shipping requests from frozen and live poultry to hauling liquid tankers and 53-ft space-saver trailers. To optimize payload capacity, he firm wants equipment as lightweight as possible. Key weight-reducing components include the 12.9-liter PACCAR MX-13 engine, aluminum air tanks, aluminum wheels, disc brakes, shortened fifthwheel and rear wide-base tires.
Wade is not the kind of company owner that just stays in the office. He’s been involved professionally with the family business for the nearly 30 years—about half of that as a driver. He still buckles in on occasion, and one thing he reports is that the Kenworth T680 offers an exceptionally safe driving experience.
See www.kenworth.com to learn more.