Spec'ing light to conserve fuel

Hayhurst Trucking in Phoenix, AZ, is a family fleet business, specializing in hauling for rock quarries and asphalt plants. Operations manager Brad Hayhurst, whose father started the business, says they have always believed in spec'ing light where they can to increase payload capacity. We have always spec'd light because it usually results in another one-half to three-quarters of a ton of payload,

Hayhurst Trucking in Phoenix, AZ, is a family fleet business, specializing in hauling for rock quarries and asphalt plants. Operations manager Brad Hayhurst, whose father started the business, says they have always believed in spec'ing light where they can to increase payload capacity.

“We have always spec'd light because it usually results in another one-half to three-quarters of a ton of payload,” he says. “That keeps us in the 25-ton category, at the top of the pay scale.”

Specifically, that means lightweight components, such as all-aluminum frame cross members, aluminum hubs, steel brakes versus cast iron brakes and lightweight dump bodies from Reliance for their 25 Kenworth and 3 Peterbilt chassis. “We don't spec everything light, however,” Hayhurst notes. “We still run 20,000-lb. rear axles and keep them heavy, and we still rely on Caterpillar power for fuel economy and long life.

“In fact, we plan to buy two more Cat-powered trucks,” he adds. “We run them the way Cat wants them run to maintain fuel economy, and we see at least a mile per gallon better fuel economy than we get from our other, lighter-weight engines. At our maximum governed speed of 65 mph, they turn just 1,400 rpm, but even at that lower rpm they deliver the power to do what we need to do without having to push the motor.”

The company does virtually all its own maintenance, according to Hayhurst. “We do all our own maintenance and upkeep here except for heavy engine or transmission repair and body work,” he notes. “We feel like we've come up with a good combination of specs and a good maintenance program that really works for us.”

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