When Rob Sanderson began driving for Central Point, Ore.-based TP Trucking, he had to pinch himself.
“I thought I was dreaming the whole thing,” Sanderson said. “Compared to my previous job driving trucks and hauling produce, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.”
Sanderson said the owners and managers at the privately-held flatbed hauler provide quality equipment and treat drivers well. He began driving for TP Trucking in 2014, and has been impressed by the performance and features of his latest Kenworth – a T680 with a 76-inch sleeper, Eaton Fuller Advantage™ 10-speed automated transmission and 455-hp PACCAR MX-13 engine.
“The visibility with the T680’s windshield is incredible, even with the visors down. I love the fact that I can stand up and walk between the seats without having to bend at all,” the 6-foot-3-inch driver said. “The automated transmission is easier on my shoulder, and I don’t feel sore at the end of a driving shift. And the PACCAR MX-13 engine is quiet and has all the power I need to climb mountain passes with heavy loads.”
Sanderson also appreciates the larger fuel bonuses he earns for exceeding TP Trucking’s fuel mileage goal with the T680, which provides a 7 percent enhancement in fuel economy performance over his previous 2012 Kenworth.
After leaving a 26-year career as a salesman to become a truck driver several years ago, he first hauled produce, but the experience wasn’t what he had hoped. Then he heard about TP Trucking. Sanderson said he checked out the company and found it had a great reputation not only among drivers, but also among shippers. He also liked the fact that the University of Oregon Ducks chose the company as its official football equipment hauler.
“They treat you like they care about you,” Sanderson said. “Everything I have ever asked for, they’ve worked hard to make it happen. When I had a family emergency, the managers and dispatch worked to get me home that weekend. That kind of thing really means a lot to me and my wife. In the first month, I heard my manager say my first name more times than I heard it in the entire four years I drove hauling produce. I wouldn’t work for any other company.”
TP Trucking is a flatbed hauler based in Central Point, Oregon, that operates a fleet of more than 100 trucks from its main terminal at its company headquarters and a smaller terminal in Corinth, Mississippi. The company’s trucks haul loads of primarily construction materials like lumber, steel and pipe. About 80 percent of the company’s trucks operate out of the Central Point terminal delivering and picking up loads up and down the U.S. Interstate 5 corridor. TP Trucking’s units also run in all 48 states of the continental United States and in Canada.
Craig Turner, general manager of TP Trucking, said the company began buying Kenworth trucks in 2012, two years before Rob Sanderson began driving for the company. Before choosing Kenworth, TP Trucking managers interviewed drivers and company technicians and tested trucks from four different manufacturers. Kenworth came out to be the clear choice, Turner added.
“Kenworth’s high resale value, its strong reputation among drivers, and the service we were receiving from our local Papé Kenworth dealer in Medford convinced us to choose Kenworth,” he said. “And we’ve all been very happy about that decision. With each new Kenworth model we purchased, starting with the T660 in 2012 and the T680 in 2014, we’ve improved our average fleet fuel economy by nearly a full mile per gallon. Some of our drivers are getting as high as 8 mpg* in fuel economy. That represents a huge savings.”
The T680’s fuel economy performance isn’t the only thing saving TP Trucking money. The T680s are standard with Kenworth TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics, which has helped maximize uptime by pinpointing and handling service needs sooner, according to Scott Kimmons, TP Trucking maintenance manager.
Making the right spec’ing decisions all contributes to uptime. For example, Kimmons noted that the company chooses the Kenworth AG380 38,000-pound rear suspension for its Kenworth trucks, including the latest T680s. As a result, TP Trucking has seen an elimination of the usual maintenance issues associated with springs, shock absorbers and other parts of the suspension system.
“We haven’t had to replace suspension bushings on any of our Kenworth trucks equipped with AG380 suspensions. In the five years we generally keep our trucks, we’ve had to replace those bushings at least one or twice in other trucks, which can take up to an entire day to complete,” Kimmons said.
“The excellent fuel economy of our T680s enables us to invest in the very best equipment,” Turner added. “With the creature comforts offered by our Kenworth T680s, our driver satisfaction is high and turnover low – both critical to the success of our company. To successfully haul loaded flatbed trailers takes highly trained drivers, and our Kenworth T680s help us attract and retain the industry’s best drivers.”
Kenworth is The Driver’s Truck. See what drivers are saying at www.kenworth.com/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.