If you live in the United States or Canada and have eaten Atlantic Salmon, chances are it bears the True North Salmon label, from Cooke Aquaculture – North America’s largest vertically-integrated and independent salmon-farming company.
“Our success is based on the quality of our fish and we do everything possible to ensure freshness,” said Ted Weaire, who serves as director of service operations for both Cooke Aquaculture and its trucking arm, Shoreland Transport. “And part of that quality is in vertical integration. We go from salmon egg to plate and handle everything in between. We have our own hatcheries and feed plant, raise our own fish and process our product, and distribute it throughout North America and beyond. It’s our way of ensuring quality every step of the way.”
With a continuing trend toward salmon consumption, thanks in part to the heart-healthy benefits of salmon’s Omega 3 oils, Cooke Aquaculture sells more than 115,000 metric tons of farm-raised salmon, plus another 24,000 metric tons of sea bass and sea bream from Cooke’s operation in Spain.
One of the critical elements to the success of Cooke Aquaculture lies in its transportation arm – Shoreland Transport. According to Weaire, the company is standardizing on the Kenworth T680 with 76-inch sleeper powered by the PACCAR MX-13 engine. “As our T660s term out of their four-year leases through Bayview Kenworth and PACCAR Financial, we’re bringing T680s on board. We also have a contract maintenance agreement through our dealer. So, we’re able to maintain concentration on our core business of producing and delivering quality salmon, and have Bayview and other Kenworth dealers take care of maintenance,” Weaire said.
“While our company began in 1985, it wasn’t until 2002 that we integrated transportation into our operation,” he said. “We now have six short-haul trucks delivering fish from our boats to our processing plant, along with 25 long-haul Kenworths. Our goal is to have fish processed and delivered to distributors on the East Coast (United States and Canada), and the Midwest within a 24- to 36-hour window. This ensures an extremely fresh product for our customers.”
Weaire said the Kenworth T680 is paying immediate benefits to the company. “With a FMV lease it’s a win-win. Kenworth’s may cost a little more up front, but when you figure the high resale value into the equation, the truck is very cost-effective to operate. Then you factor in what we’re saving in fuel – our fuel economy has risen close to 20 percent* with the T680s and PACCAR MX-13 engine. We’re spec’ing the Advantage package to maximize fuel economy, plus we have aero fairings on our trailers. We also have APUs and our idle time is less than 10 percent. Improved fuel economy is in concert with our goal of decreasing our environmental impact in all that we do.”
Since each Kenworth T680 averages close to 200,000 kilometers (124,000 miles) Weaire calculated the company saves about 5,000 gallons of fuel per year, per truck. The PACCAR MX-13 engine is rated at 450-hp and driven through 13-speed transmissions.
While the T680s are good for lowering fuel bills, and Shoreland’s carbon footprint, Weaire said drivers are also benefitting. “Shoreland offers premium equipment and a full benefits package along with a great staff that works with our drivers.”
It’s why Shoreland Transport’s driver turnover is virtually non-existent.
“Shoreland is a great company to work for. When I decided to return to the highway, after years of working in the administrative side of the industry, I didn’t want to drive for just anyone,” said Karen Spellman, who has driven for Shoreland for just over a year. “Shoreland’s equipment was a huge drawing card for me. Every truck has its qualities and I thought I had the best when I started driving 20 years ago. Now I wonder how I lived in those trucks. The T680 is just at a different level.”
Spellman typically makes two trips per week to New York City and is one of the company’s best performers when it comes to fuel economy. “Shoreland has quarterly fuel bonuses in place, and all the drivers are highly competitive to see who can come out on top when it comes to fuel mileage,” Spellman said. “We see monthly reports on fuel mileage and idle time for all the drivers.”
Karen Spellman, Shoreland Transport driver, is shown with one of the company’s Kenworth T680s.
According to Spellman, she takes advantage of Kenworth’s Driver Performance Assistant and RPM indicator. “The indicator gives you parameters for keeping the RPM’s at the optimum, and performance and efficiency levels in the sweet spot, so to speak. And The Driver Performance Assistant gives me feedback and reinforcement on all kinds of driving parameters, such as measuring gentle braking and coasting, for example. It then provides an overall driver performance rating, which I can review when I’m shut down. By paying attention to how I’m doing, it allows me to get the most out of the T680.”
Spending on average three nights a week in the sleeper, Spellman said she stays very comfortable. “I have an APU, an inverter to power a TV, microwave and refrigerator, plus a laptop and printer. I really like the swivel passenger seat and the rotating table that doubles as a desk. The room between the seats is great too, making it easy to move into the sleeper area.”
One thing Spellman said she doesn’t miss is squeaks and rattles. “There are none on the T680, and we run a lot of rough roads,” she said. “Many of the other trucks I’ve driven over the years had pieces of paper, cardboard, or a small piece of rubber squeezed into spaces that were used as shims to stop some rattle noises. This truck is tight. It’s incredibly well-made and stylish too. I really have a pride in what I drive. I take care of this truck and it makes my day when someone notices.”
Shoreland Transport Kenworth T680s are shown with their drivers.
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.
*Individual fuel economy improvement will vary depending on use, road conditions and other factors.