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Fleet management bolsters Lafarge work on mammoth Corps contract

Lafarge North America recently added a mixer mounted on a Kenworth T800 Extended Day Cab—the 1,000th truck Paccar Leasing has delivered with an EPA 2010-compliant Paccar MX engine—to its New Orleans fleet. The producer leases 12 trucks at the operation, which serves contracts that are part of a $15 billion, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers system of linked levees, flood walls, gates and pumps aimed at quelling future storm surges.

The fleet includes five T800 Extended Day Cab-mounted, 10-yd. mixers and three T800 tractors, all delivered throughout 2011. The latter run 485-hp Paccar MX engines providing 1,650 ft.-lbs. of torque powered through Eaton Ultrashift automatic transmissions. The move to full-service leasing was made easy by Lafarge NA’s experience with Kenworth of South Louisiana-PacLease, which provides contract maintenance for many of the Louisiana operation’s 120 mixer and dump trucks, plus tractor-trailers.

“Our drivers like the [trucks’] quality,” says Lafarge NA’s David Marchand, mobile equipment manager for Louisiana. “The cross members are heavier duty, and Kenworth uses huck bolts, not rivets in the assembling of the cabs. That means our trucks don’t rattle after years of bouncing around in construction zones.

“The Extended Day Cab has become a standard specification for all of our new Kenworth trucks and has made a huge difference,” he said. “The additional length and height allows our drivers to stretch their legs. Plus, the additional storage space for weather gear and other supplies helps provide a more productive work environment.

“The Paccar MX is performing very well. It’s quiet, works in tandem with the automatic transmission and provides drivers the power and torque they need,” he adds, noting how the engine allows more payload due to a 400-lb. weight reduction against competing models.

“The fact that it took a little over a year to lease 1,000 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks with Paccar MX is a clear demonstration of the popularity of the engine,” says PacLease Director of Sales Olen Hunter, crediting the local franchise, Kenworth of South Louisiana-PacLease with the delivery. “The fact that so many customers have chosen this engine speaks highly to its performance and reliability.” —   www.paclease.com; www.kenworth.com