Trucker 587 April Spotlight Butterfly

Spotlight on an American Trucker: William and Karen Barhite

April 12, 2016
The Barhites started their company in March 1990. They received their own operating authority in October 2013. Butterfly Xpress hauls refrigerated fruit, produce, seafood, and meats with a Volvo 770, a Kenworth T200, and two 53-ft. reefers. The Barhites strive to deliver premium customer service with on-time delivery. “We sell peace of mind” is the company motto.

Butterfly Xpress, Silt, CO
Owners: William and Karen Barhite  

Q: How are maintenance and repairs handled? What do you do in your own shop?
A: We use vendors for our maintenance.

Q: What challenges do you face with your maintenance program?
A: Location, location, location. We inspect our equipment on a daily basis. We try very hard to fix items before they break. If we suspect a water pump is ready to go even though it is not showing signs, we replace it when we are at a shop that we like to do business with.

Q: How do you minimize downtime? What are your mileage/time intervals on preventive maintenance?
A: We do our PM every 15,000 mi. and when we are not loaded in case any problems are found. We also do our annual inspections every quarter instead of once a year to ensure that nothing is missed.

Q: How do you ensure good mileage from tires?
A: We use Centramatics [balancers] on all axles, including the trailer, and spin balance each tire before it is put on. We replace our shocks on a regular basis as well. Tire inflation is also key.

Q: How do you determine when it’s time to replace a truck?
A: We replace a truck when the motor is no longer able to be overhauled. We only run pre-emissions equipment. We do not use new equipment; it is not dependable.

Q: What are your specifications for your trucks? Are you able to find these on the used market? Do you purchase used and customize them to your specs or order new trucks built to your specs?
A: We purchase used equipment and refurbish it to like-new condition before it’s allowed to pull a load.

Q: What programs do you have in place to ensure CSA compliance for your trucks and/or trailers?
A: We use Fleet Tracks [vehicle tracking systems] to monitor our equipment and miles with built-in reminders on when certain services are due.

Q: What do you enjoy most about trucking and hauling the freight you do?  
A: We enjoy the freedom of making our own choices and running our company designed around service. We enjoy  the satisfying feeling you get when a load is on time and claim-free—and customers say they’re happy.

Q: What does your company do best?
A: We do it right the first time and every time. We get lots of repeat business this way. Our rates are a little higher than most, but we always get the rate we ask for because we sell a premium service.      
We want to hear from you. Know of a trucking business we should feature? Send their contact information to [email protected].

About the Author

Tim Brady

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