Golden State Lumber: Results from T880s in delivery service

Golden State Lumber1

Brandon Deering, fleet manager for Golden State Lumber, with four store locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and headquarters located in Petaluma, Calif., serves the do-it-yourselfer, professional contractors and developers with building products and lumber. The company’s 60 trucks is down from a total of 75 trucks, many sitting around as backups, Deering says, years prior.

“We were running a hodgepodge of trucks – I think around six different brands – and some were old, some were new,” recalled Deering. “Trucks would break down, maintenance costs were big … inefficient to say the least.”

With an improving economy, Deering said the company focused on building a modern fleet. “We looked at our trucks and it was clear that the Kenworths we had in operation were holding up better than other brands. Plus our drivers liked driving Kenworths – they always have,” he said.

According to Deering, Golden State Lumber is almost fully brand-standardized now with Kenworth T880s and Kenworth T370s, along with a K270 cabover with a 20-foot box, which is used around Oakland, where urban streets demand a very tight turning radius.

Deering with one of Golden State’s T880s.Deering with one of Golden State’s T880s.

“With the new fleet, we’re running 60 trucks and we’re running more mileage,” said Deering. “Most of the Kenworth T880s feature roll-off flatbeds as do many of the Kenworth T370s. At each of the four locations, two T880s have forklifts piggybacked to the back of the trucks. That makes deliveries so much easier.”

According to Deering, each location serves roughly a 100-mile radius and deliveries go to job sites for general contractors, plus homeowners. “We do our best to make even the smallest of deliveries – not all of our customers have pickup trucks,” said Deering.

The T880s are spec’d with the Paccar MX-13 engine rated at 480 hp and driven through Eaton 10-speed transmissions. The T370s feature the PX-9 engine rated at 300 hp and driven through Allison 6-speed automatics. The trucks were purchased through NorCal Kenworth.

Golden State Lumber3Drivers are positive, Deering says, on interior space in the T880 — “more room between the seats,” he noted, among other features such as the “visibility with the larger windshield.”

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The MX-13 engine, too, is quieter than previous models, he says. “Our dealer really talked highly of the MX-13 and suggested we try it. We’re glad we did. The combination of the T880 and new engine is giving us better fuel economy than other models we were running, and the engine provides plenty of power to handle all the hills we have around the Bay Area.”

The truck/engine combo of the Kenworth flagship T880 and MX-13 was selected as the 2015 ATD Truck of the Year earlier this year. Read more via this link.

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