The Peterbilt model 386 makes a statement for Long Haul Trucking CEO John Daniels, as do his trailers. Daniels has discovered the pairing a PACCAR MX engine with a Model 386 results in fuel economy as high as 8.3 mpg.
John Daniels will take every pound of weight-savings and every fraction of a mile per gallon he can get.
And thanks to Pertebilt’s model 386, PACCAR MX engine and other light weight components, he can get a lot of them.
In fact, there are times when Daniels’ Long Haul Trucking flatbeds can carry 50,000 lbs of customer cargo.
“The big reason we run Model 386s is they’re lighter than comparable equipment out there,” says Daniels, whose Albertville, MN based firm celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. “We have to be a little low on fuel, but we can scale 50,000 lbs. with them, and we’re happy to be at that level.”
“Weight has always been very inportant to us. Our trailers are all aluminum, aluminum crossmembers, aluminum fifth wheel, aluminum brake drums, wide-based single tires – they are all kinds of things we do to keep our weight down”
Loyal to Peterbuilt: There are other numbers that have kept Daniels a loyal Peterbilt buyer throughout his career – namely, fuel economy and resale value.
While Peterbilt aerodynamics play a big roll in keeping Long Haul’s fleet fuel efficiency averages at about 7.4 mpg, Daniels say it’s important to have motivated drivers involved too. To that end, he pays a fuel economy bonus, and it’s paying off both for him and the drivers.
“We had one guy come in with a load he took from Georgia to Minneapolis,” he says. “He was running light – he carried about 34,000 lbs – but his fuel economy was 8.3 mpg on that trip. that’s pretty impressive.”
Daniels had run a traditional conventional fleet for years, but it didn’t take him long to be sold on areodynamics once he made the switch to Peterbilt aeros around 2003.
“We picked up 1 mile-per-gallon right off the bat,” he says.
Another important return comes at resale time. Daniels specifies Unibilt sleepers on most of his Model 386s, but when he is ready to replace the trucks at about 500,000 miles or 3 and one half to four years, he finds a willing market from local gravel haulers, who remove the detachable sleeper.
And the price is always right, Daniels reports.
“We’ve seen comparable trucks bring $15,000 to $20,000 less than ours in the resale market, and the only difference in the spec is the logo on the hood,” he says. “We run 15 trucks a year, and when you figure out the difference, it’s a lot of money. It’s been an important part of our success.
“And I’ve heard some say that you pay more upfront to get more in the end, but I wonder about that. We have had some other manufactures make a run at us. Peterbilt is always very comparable in price.”
While his company-owned fleet is at about 60 trucks, Daniels complements their performance with the services of more than 200 owner-operators – not necessarily Peterbilt, but that’s what the independents often soon find theselves operating.
“It’s like a clique we have, the drivers who run Peterbilts,” he says. “It’s part of our culture. The guys we have who don’t run Petebilts, we’re often able to help them get into one.”
The company drivers are also pleased with the performance of the MX, and so is Daniels.
“They tell me it’s like driving a car, it’s so quiet, ” he says. “And I’m confident in the Catalytic Reduction emissions technology. The MX engine has been running in Europe for a long time, so we were comfortable purchasing the MX given the success it has been having over there.”
Another major reason Long Haul Trucking remains predominatly Peterbilt is their appearance. If you see a custom-painted Long Haul rig, you’re not likely to forget it soon.
“We’ve heard from Peterbilt, ” says Daniels. “They tell us that we represent their brand the way they like to see it represented.
“That really means someting to us. And with our level of performance and service, that’s the way we expect our cusomers to feel about Long Haul Trucking delivering their cargo.”
“That’s our whole deal, right there!”