CEO Rick Williams of Central Oregon Truck Company (COTC) has discovered that he can have the best of both worlds.
Williams said the performance of the Kenworth T680 equipped with a 76-inch sleeper and a 455-hp PACCAR MX-13 engine taught him that he didn't have to sacrifice performance for fuel and weight savings by choosing a 13-liter engine over a 15-liter engine. Not even when his company's trucks haul open-deck, specialized or over-sized loads over mountain passes in the West.
Williams said COTC instead got a big helping of fuel economy savings and comparable power and torque performance when compared to the results of trucks equipped with 15-liter engines.
In fact, results of the company's test of Kenworth T680s with 76-inch sleepers and the PACCAR MX-13 engine convinced Williams to order 56 of them to replace older models. Central Oregon Truck Company generally replaces its trucks when they reach 550,000 miles.
"Our tests show that we're getting a half-mile per gallon fuel economy improvement with a T680 equipped with the PACCAR MX-13 engine pulling roll-top and curtain vans compared to the performance of our older Kenworth T660s equipped with the 15-liter Cummins ISX engine pulling the same size loads," Williams said. "That improvement convinced me that buying more of the T680s now would actually save us money over the long-term. That's why we changed delivery dates to this year versus next year for many of these trucks."
PACCAR MX-13 engine
The "uber responsive" dealer support from Papé Kenworth-Redmond in Oregon for the PACCAR MX-13 engine also helped seal the deal, Williams added.
"From a cab configuration, the T680 offers our driving team members more comfortable amenities with a standard 76-inch sleeper and a wider cab," he said. Williams refers to his company's drivers as driving team members because he believes the description more accurately reflects the importance of these employees to his company. It's also why he cares what they think of the equipment his company chooses for them to drive.
Chief Executive Officer Rick Williams, (left), and Chief Financial Officer Paul Coil of Central Oregon Truck Company stand next to the newest truck in the company's all-Kenworth fleet, a Kenworth T680, equipped with a 455-hp PACCAR MX engine and a 76-inch sleeper.
"Our driving team members say the T680's triple-sealed doors and acoustic treatments make for a quiet ride," Williams reported. "They tell us that driving the T680 is more like driving a car. They also like the improved visibility that comes from the T680's panoramic windshield and they really like the rotating passenger seat and the rotating table that they can use to fill out their paperwork during their breaks.
"The positive response of our driving team members to the T680's powertrain performance has offered the best feedback," Williams added. "They tell us that the 455-hp PACCAR MX-13 engine is not overburdened by the kind of driving they have to do, even when they're hauling heavy loads and topping out at 105,500 GVW. Out West, we pull loads over more hills. So, we need a truck with an engine that provides the power we need."
The PACCAR MX-13 engine, which comes standard with the T680, offers comparable pulling capacity and torque to the Cummins ISX, Williams said. "The T680 equipped with a full-height sleeper and PACCAR MX-13 engine pulling roll-top and curtain vans even gave us a nice fuel economy advantage over a test Kenworth T660 unit equipped with a 62-inch mid-roof sleeper and PACCAR MX engine pulling the same loads."
Chief Executive Officer Rick Williams of Central Oregon Truck Company stands next to a Kenworth T680 with PACCAR MX-13 engine.
Designed for linehaul and vocational heavy duty truck operators, the PACCAR MX-13 utilizes the latest common rail fuel-delivery technology, which enables injection pressures of up to 2,500 bar significantly enhancing fuel efficiency and performance. The common rail system uses controls to regulate the fuel in a central manifold, only compressing the amount of fuel mixture needed. The result is finer fuel atomization for optimized combustion, enabling lower fuel consumption and emissions.
"The aerodynamics of the T680 combined with the performance of the PACCAR MX-13 engine convinced us to adopt the T680 with the 76-inch sleeper as our company's new platform Kenworth model," Williams added.
Central Oregon Truck Co. hauls building materials, heavy equipment and other loads for major manufacturers of building products in the lower 48 states and Canada. It is a part of the Addison, Texas-based Daseke family of premier open-deck/specialized transportation companies. Williams attributes his company's success to a laser-like focus on every performance aspect of the company's all-Kenworth fleet of 215 trucks. The company keeps close tabs on vehicle performance and governs the engines to 62 mph. Idling is limited and drivers are encouraged to check tire pressures regularly.
In addition to the improved fuel economy, Williams said the T680 model equipped with the PACCAR MX-13 engine also offers his company the ability to provide driving team members more amenities for greater comfort without concerns over potential weight penalties. The PACCAR MX-13 engine is 300 pounds lighter than the 15-liter Cummins ISX engine.
"In open-deck operations, weight is a huge concern," Williams said. "Shippers hire us expecting our trucks to be able to haul between 48,000 and 49,000 pounds. Whenever we spec our trucks, we have to keep that constantly top of mind. If we can't haul 48,000 to 49,000 pounds because of the additional weight of the amenities we've chosen to attract and retain driving team members, then why would they hire us?"
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.