It's hard to say what the largest or heaviest item is that Parish Leasing has handled as a heavy haul carrier. For Eric Parish, vice president of the seven-year-old Ellisville, MS-based family-owned business, it's a toss-up.
“There was the 24-ft., 7-in.-wide boiler weighing 170,000 lbs.,” Parish says. “We also use Schnable style 9- and 13-axle trailers on a fairly regular basis to move equipment to wind power job sites.”
The Trail King Hydraulic Schnable System trailers at Parish Leasing are designed specifically to load and unload wind tower sections. Using cylinders that lower and tilt the towers for transporting and for placing them into position, the unique trailers can carry heavy and oversized loads in such a way that the load, suspended between the two ends of the cars by lifting arms, makes up part of the vehicle.
Parish Leasing also fields 7- to 13-axle lowboy trailers for handling a variety of heavy loads, including transformers and other oversize and overweight items. Fifty-five ton trailers are used to haul concrete houses.
Operating across the U.S. and in Canada, the diversified company also fields 15 Reitnouer flatbeds, including five new units purchased this year, to haul more traditional freight. A particular specialty is handling produce on the flatbeds equipped with aluminum side kits, such as palletized loads of onions in 50-lb. sacks. That equipment, Parish notes, lets the carrier haul traditional loads to help eliminate empty mileage on backhauls.
While a large part of his focus is on trailers to haul heavy loads, Parish has not lost sight of the need for highly capable power units. In the fleet are 25 Western Star tractors dating from 2007 through 2012 models. Another three 2013 models are being built for the company.
Parish Leasing's primary tractor is the Western Star 4900 in configurations including SB with a set-back front axle, the SF set-forward axle design, and a few with low-ride heights. Some units are equipped with the OEM's 54-in. low roof Stratosphere sleeper and others are day cabs.
“We need to be able to handle legal loads as well as heavy hauls with payloads of 140,000 lbs.,” Parish relates. “Weight distribution is very critical so we use different tractor configurations to get the right amount of [weight distribution on each] axle. We spec front axles rated from 14,900 to 20,000 lbs. and wide track rear axles with air ride suspensions. We also have models equipped with 52,000-lb. two-speed rears and 20,000-lb. Hendrickson pusher axles.
The newest Western Stars in the Parish Leasing fleet are powered by Detroit Diesel DD15 engines rated at 560 hp. and 1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque. Earlier DD15 engines in the fleet are rated at 505 hp., and there are some 2007 models with Caterpillar C15 engines rated up to 650 hp. and 2,050 lbs.-ft. of torque.
Eaton Fuller 13-, 15- and 18-spd. transmissions have been standard at Parish Leasing, but the most recent orders have called for the manufacturer's 10-spd. gearboxes. “We made the change without sacrificing performance,” Parish explains. “The 10-spds. are covered by extended warranties, weigh less and we've seen an improvement in fuel efficiency, with those tractors now averaging almost 7 mpg.
“To handle heavy hauls reliably, efficiently and safely, you have to know your equipment needs,” Parish states. “The right suppliers help us make the best choices so we can rely on our fleet to get the job done successfully and continue to expand our business.”