Benny Whitehead, Inc.
BENNY WHITEHEAD SR. Owner, BWI
- “The ProStar® with N13 gives us a lot of confidence in where Navistar is going. It’s been very reliable. We haven’t had any problems whatsoever.”
- “Our trucks are averaging 7.7 mpg; more than 20 of the trucks are exceeding 8 mpg. Our goal is to average 8 mpg throughout the entire fleet. We think that’s very achievable.”
- “By calibrating our N13 engines to top out at 63 mph instead of 70 mph, we’re saving an average of $8,000 per truck for every 100,000 miles driven. Overall, we’ve reduced our fuel costs by 30%.”
- “We did a study based on the price of the vehicles, but more importantly, fuel costs. Our drivers love the way the LoneStar® looks, and they’re getting great fuel economy.”
SWITCH TO INTERNATIONAL RESULTS IN BIG-TIME FUEL SAVINGS
EXCELLENT FUEL ECONOMY WITH THE NEW N13 CONVINCES BWI TO STICK WITH INTERNATIONAL
BENNY WHITEHEAD SR., the owner of Benny Whitehead, Inc., squeezes every mile he can from his fleet. In 2011, when it was time to invest in 70 new 2010-emissions-compliant vehicles, he bought comparable test trucks from three different OEMs and tracked their dependability and fuel economy over several months. The winner would get his business.
“We’re going through changing times when it comes to trucks, so we wanted to make an educated decision,” says Whitehead. “We did a study based on the price of the vehicles, but also the costs of operation and, most importantly, fuel costs.”
With one of the three trucks, aftertreatment problems resulted in frequent shutdowns; drivers commented that another truck featured too much bumpiness in the cab. Only the International ProStar® with the MaxxForce® 13 engine scored high across the board, delivering dependability and a comfortable ride, and easily beating the other two contenders in fuel economy.
Within the past few years, Whitehead has incorporated the International LoneStar® into his fleet—but stuck with the MaxxForce engine. “Our drivers love the way they look,” he says, “and they’re getting great fuel economy.” Currently, his fleet average is 7.7 mpg. “Our goal is to average 8 mpg throughout the entire fleet. We think that’s very achievable.”
Earlier this year, BWI began running a ProStar test truck with the N13 featuring SCR aftertreatment technology. So far, after more than 100,000 miles on the road, the vehicle is achieving that 8-mpg goal, averaging 8.4 mpg. “The truck has given us a lot of confidence in where Navistar is going,” Whitehead says. “It’s been very reliable. We haven’t had any problems whatsoever.”
BWI has been in business for 45 years, providing refrigerated transport of everything from fresh food to pharmaceuticals across routes from the Southeast to the West Coast. Headquartered in Eufaula, Ala., the carrier has a reputation not only for on-time delivery but also for closely monitoring its fuel costs. “Since running the ProStar with N13, we’re saving an average of $8,000 per truck for every 100,000 miles driven,” Whitehead says.
Preaching proper gear shifting also helps BWI save money on fuel. Keeping trucks in the sweet spot when it comes to RPMs is important, says Whitehead. His trucks are spec’d with direct drive transmissions, which are limited to 1,000 RPMs in first gear and 1,450 in higher gears. “The key is to try to keep it in high gear as long as you can. You have to be steady with it.”
The service he receives from five separate International dealerships throughout the state of Georgia has also solidified his relationship with the truckmaker; in fact, BWI has recently become an exclusively International fleet.
And while the trucking industry may have changed a great deal since Whitehead bought his first new truck— a 1965 International Emeryville that he says was the most aerodynamic truck of its time—his attitude about International has stayed the same.
“I’ve always said that Internationals were probably the most underrated trucks on the market. They’re very good trucks,” he says. “I’m confident I made the right decision.”
See full testimonial HERE.