It Still Pays to Tailor Your Trucks by ProQuest


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									Trucks      I   & Transportation

It Still Pays to Tailor Your Trucks
                   It’s more important than ever to spec for your operation.
                                                                            By Curt Bennink

        iven the current economic climate and the         ment — forklifts, generators, concrete forms, lum-       eral manager, there are certain jobsites where the
        ready supply of available trucks, you may         ber and other typical construction freight. We do        maneuverability and lighter weight are an advan-
        see some contractors press vehicles into          on the order of 100,000 miles a year per truck. They     tage. “It has been nice having 10-wheelers because a
unintended applications, such as mating tractors          run on the road daily, sometimes six days a week in      lot of people don’t want Super 16s.”
with sleeper cabs to dump truck bodies or using           the summer.”                                                Such was the case on a job the company recently
them to pull dump trailers. But the basic fact               The company buys all of its trucks new. “It is        completed at the Phoenix Convention Center.
remains — there is no substitute for using the right      lower cost of operation,” says Klosterman. “You          “There were weight issues. They had ramps you
truck for the job.                                        have a warranty and the latest and greatest equip-       had to get out on and they didn’t allow as much
   Consider the case of a tractor pulling a bottom-       ment for the drivers.”                                   weight,” he explains.
dump trailer. In states that conform to the bridge           There are several criteria Miron Construction            Rasmussen also has experience with truck and
formula, you are limited to 80,000 lbs. GVW. “You         uses for selection. “The weight of the truck is          pup setups. “They do work pretty well,” he says,
can fully reach the bridge formula with a bottom          always an issue, especially with fuel prices,” says      “But with the Phoenix Valley traffic, you just run
dump and a properly spec’d tractor,” notes Jim            Klosterman. “Fuel mileage is definitely another          more liability with the big trailers.” The areas the
Ladner, Landoll Corp. “A lot of these guys will go        large issue.” For jobsites, turning radius is also a     company needs to maneuver in are also too tight
out and try to buy a road tractor to do bottom-           factor. “A lot of work is happening in urban areas       for this type of setup.
dump work. You are hurting yourself by using the          these days, so turning radius and wheelbase are
                                                                                                                   Options for buying used
                                                                                                                      Previously owned trucks can offer value when
                                                                                                                   used in the right applications, and chosen carefully.
                                                                                                                      “I think that customers who gravitate toward
                                                                                                                   buying used are looking for value,” says Drew
                                                                                                                   Backeberg, manager of marketing and customer
                                                                                                                   support, Daimler Remarketing. “They are looking
                                                                                                                   for a lower monthly payment, understanding that
                                                                                                                   a newer truck may have lower maintenance costs.
                                                                                                                   Some percentage of customers naturally gravitates
                                                                                                                   to used and some are going to gravitate to new.”
                                                                                                                      A few truck manufacturers offer certified used
                                                                                                                   trucks. Freightliner’s SelecTrucks, for example, are
                                                                                                                   suited for customers looking for highway trucks,
                                                                                                                   including day cabs.
                                                                                                                      The trick to reliability wit
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