Manager: Lew Hayes
Title: President and owner
Fleet: Hayes Trucking, Novi, MI
Operation: Heavy-hauling aggregate fleet serving metro Detroit
A family-owned firm for two generations, Hayes Trucking serves the metropolitan Detroit area with a rugged fleet that hauls aggregate and dirt into and out of commercial building and residential construction sites as well as for major highway projects in the Wolverine State.
Since Michigan is not a federal bridge formula state, Hayes hauls loads that gross up to 154,000 lbs. on a truck and pup trailer combination. Obviously, with a duty cycle like that, equipment selection and spec'ing is crucial, according to Lew Hayes.
Hayes Trucking's power units are all Kenworth T800 models that the fleet selected and spec'd with an eye toward ensuring maximum reliability in a demanding heavy-duty application.
“My father drove a 1938 Ford Model AA dump truck when he started this business,” Hayes recalls. “He had to crank it by hand to get the bed to dump.” To be sure, truck technology has advanced steadily since then but so have the operational demands on the fleet's equipment.
“We started buying Kenworth T800s five years ago and found that they've been the best trucks for our company,” Hayes says. “Kenworth has done a very good job of spec'ing and building these trucks to handle the rigors of our operation.” According to Hayes, the fleet's managers worked with the local Kenworth dealer to craft job-specific specs for the trucks.
The truck specs start with a 475-hp. engine and 13-speed manual transmission. “The higher horsepower and torque enable our trucks to get up to speed even with the heavy weight they haul,” Hayes points out. “With the electronics in the engines, we can control each truck's top speeds and rpms to help maintain good fuel economy.”
Other key features of the trucks include a setback front axle for greater maneuverability and a shorter 167-in. wheelbase. Hayes says the fleet also specs the OEM's proprietary AG460 air suspension both for a smooth ride and reduced maintenance.
“The T800s are much easier to maneuver, so drivers don't have to spend valuable time trying to get them in and out of job sites,” says Ron Lorenzen, Hayes Trucking's shop supervisor. “The shorter wheelbase means that our T800s are much less likely to bottom out, which reduces the chances of damaging the driveline.”
Hayes Trucking operates its own vehicle maintenance and repair facility and Lorenzen is quick to point out that anything done to make the fleet's equipment easier to maintain makes a difference in the company's bottom line. “Everything under the T800's hood is easy to access, which saves our mechanics about 30 minutes per truck on routine maintenance,” he remarks. According to Hayes, dealer service is also a major reason why Hayes Trucking turned to Kenworth T800s. “The willingness of Eastern Michigan Kenworth to keep repair parts in stock is crucial to our operation,” he says.
Driver comfort is also important to Hayes. “Our drivers occasionally work overtime to get projects completed or to fulfill orders,” he says. “When we're very busy like that, it can take a toll on drivers. It's good for driver morale when they can get out of their truck after a 10-hour shift and not feel beaten up at the end of the day.”
That's a far cry from Hayes' memories of sitting on the passenger seat of his father's dump truck when he was delivering aggregate, sand and gravel.
Maintenance Bay presents case studies detailing how fleets resolve maintenance-related issues.