Mar 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By David A Kolman
The company's single drivers then deliver the team loads. They also make deliveries throughout the East Coast. Single drivers are usually out a couple of nights per week.
The majority of the company's hauling is truckload with preset appointment times and structured, dedicated runs.
“When we first started running the West Coast,” Hudson says, “our teams made their own deliveries. We soon realized that this would not allow a team to be as productive as it could. Making their own deliveries takes away their time to make trips.
“By having them drop their return loads in our yard for our single drivers to deliver, the team can get two days off and be able to make one turn to California per week.”
Today, Englander Transport owns and operates a fleet of 27 tractors and 50 refrigerated trailers. It has standardized on aerodynamic Kenworth tractors, Utility insulated trailers, and Thermo King refrigeration units.
Until 2006, all tractors had been T600 Studio Sleeper models. That model has been replaced with Kenworth's T660 Studio Sleeper, so the fleet is moving to them as it replaces older equipment.
All tractors, now purchased at Truck Enterprises in Lynchburg, Virginia, are spec'd the same, with 475-horsepower Caterpillar C-15 diesel engines and Eaton Fuller AutoShift or Super 13 transmissions. The 86-inch sleepers have the deluxe VIT interior, double bunks, refrigerators, numerous accessories, and plenty of storage space.
“We've outfitted our trucks to make our drivers, including our husband and wife teams, feel ‘at home’ as possible,” says Hudson.
“One of our guiding principles is to hire safe professional drivers, train them well, pay them well, and provide them with late model, top-of-the-line trucks that have plenty of creature comforts and amenities. This helps us attract and retain drivers.”
Tractors are assigned. The company has about 50 fulltime drivers, of which there are 16 teams. There also are a number of part-timers, including several part-time teams.
Tractors are kept for three years, logging around 500,000 miles, then traded-in or sold. “We run our tractors for two years on the team operation and then move them into the singles operation for a year,” Hudson says.
All equipment is kept well-serviced to help prevent breakdowns and repair problems. “The only thing we have to offer in the trucking business is service. We don't want to have our equipment broken down on the side of the road and have to call a customer and tell him we'll be late.”
When it came time for Englander Transport to purchase its first new tractor in 1985, Hudson decided to deal with Truck Enterprises in Roanoke because of its service manager at the time, John Jones.
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