Manager: Jaime Roberts
Title: Maintenance manager
Fleet: Stafford Transport, Mableton, GA
Operation: Refuse hauler using 88 tractors and 266 trailers
Jaime Roberts sums up his experience as a maintenance manager working in the refuse industry bluntly: It's a business that literally eats up trucks. Relentless stop-and-go operation, followed by trips to landfills littered with debris and detritus that can irreparably damage a whole slew of truck components means it's absolutely critical for Roberts to put his hands on replacement parts with as little delay as possible.
Yet Roberts, the maintenance manager for Stafford Transport's main location in Mableton, GA, along with a secondary site in Jacksonville, FL, also found himself stretched pretty thin trying to manage the parts needs for a mixed fleet of 68 heavy-duty day cab Kenworth T800s, 15 Sterling LT9500s and five Mack CH613 tractors. Stafford also operates about 250 48-ft. and 53-ft. thick-walled, aluminum tipping trailers, plus 16 39-ft. dump trailers.
Trying to coordinate the necessary parts for all this equipment through three dealerships, plus managing his own onsite parts inventory, ate up a lot of time and money. Stafford runs a very lean and mean fleet operation, so Roberts also couldn't risk any vehicle downtime due to a part being out of stock.
“We run just enough trucks in our fleet to cover our routes,” explains Roberts. “Everything we have has to be running on the streets and not waiting here in the yard for replacement parts to arrive.”
In order to cut costs yet not skimp on availability, Roberts decided to contract with Paccar Parts and two local affiliated dealerships to handle the bulk of Stafford's needs.
As a result, he saved $30,000 by significantly reducing his onsite inventory, relying on Paccar Parts and local dealers MHC Kenworth-Atlanta and Kenworth of Jacksonville to take care of all his aftermarket truck part needs, even though Stafford's fleet is comprised of trucks made by three different OEMs. “All we have to do is send over our parts list by noon, and they make sure we get the parts we need that evening,” says Roberts. “We rely on both local dealers to have the parts we need on hand, or we get them from one of Paccar's distribution centers. It's good to know that we can rely on just one source for all of our part needs, particularly now that Sterling will stop manufacturing trucks.”
“I have a full list of all their operating equipment, so there is no time wasted on trying to get the right information on the right vehicle,” says Alejandro Gonzalez, the parts specialist at MHC Kenworth-Atlanta. “Access to all-make parts through Paccar Parts is a great resource, since we can supply [Stafford] with a quality product at a great turnaround and be price-competitive at the same time.”
“Basically, now we get our parts faster and cheaper, with less work on my part,” adds Roberts. “And in the refuse business, that's an enormous advantage.”
Maintenance Bay presents case studies detailing how fleets resolve maintenance-related issues.