Great Plains Trucking
Sherwin Fast, President of Great Plains Trucking
- “We don’t see any drop-off with the MaxxForce® 13 engine. The transition has been seamless. The torque is there. So far, I’m very impressed.”
- “The big change has been educating the drivers how to drive them,” notes Fast. “The trucks are geared differently. They’re set to run at a low RPM, so you need to learn to let them pull and not shift down too quickly. They’re so quiet, you can’t hear the engine.”
- “International helps us gain a good understanding of our equipment options before we buy. That helps solidify my relationship with International, that’s for sure.”
DELIVERING ACROSS THE BOARD
Great Plains Trucking Sees Bottom Line Benefits from the Lightweight But Powerful MaxxForce® 13
When your cargo consists of farm equipment— as well as steel, lumber and other heavy raw materials—you need a truck light enough to maximize payload but powerful enough to get the job done. For Great Plains Trucking, the only vehicle that delivered on both counts was the International® ProStar®+ paired with the MaxxForce® 13 engine.
Great Plains currently runs more than 60 overthe-road units. The all-flatbed carrier from Salina, Kansas began in 1982 when its parent company, Great Plains Manufacturing, started a trucking division to haul its own products—high quality seeding units and other farm equipment—to 1,500 dealer locations throughout the country.
Over the years, the in-house trucking company continued to grow. Today, their fleet also brings materials from vendors back to Great Plains plants in central Kansas, and does for-hire flatbed hauling for other companies.
While Great Plains has traditionally run mostly International 9900 trucks, the fleet recently added 13 new International ProStar+ trucks with 2010 emissions-ready MaxxForce 13 engines—with four more set to deliver.
After a test run with two pilot ProStar+ vehicles resulted in a half-gallon better fluid economy compared with trucks from competitive OEMs, the company’s president Sherwin Fast says the decision to go with the new International product was an easy one. Fast has been extremely pleased with the 13-liter MaxxForce.
“We don’t see any drop-off. The transition has been seamless,” he says of the truck’s pulling power. “The torque is there. So far, I’m very impressed.”
As a hauler of steel and other heavy materials, weight is a critical issue for Great Plains. The company started spec’ing 100-gallon fuel tanks to free up weight and utilizing aluminum trailers, both of which are helping further improve fuel mileage. And with the new ProStar+ trucks in their fleet, Great Plains is also benefiting from vehicles that weigh up to 1,000 pounds less than similarly spec’d competitive models.
“The ProStar+ trucks are the lightest we’ve ever run,” he says. The ride and quietness have also made an impact. Great Plains encourages its drivers to bring their spouses along during crosscountry trips, and many have commented about the smoother, more comfortable ride.
“The big change has been educating the drivers how to drive them,” notes Fast. “The trucks are geared differently. They’re set to run at a low RPM, so you need to learn to let them pull and not shift down too quickly. They’re so quiet, you can’t hear the engine.”
As the company continues to expand its flatbed customer business, the service Fast receives from International—both on the corporate level, as well as from his longtime dealer, Roberts Truck Center—has also been a huge asset. Visits to the International truck plant in Escobedo, Mexico and the MaxxForce engine plant in Alabama have furthered his confidence that International is interested in serving Great Plains as a business partner as well as an equipment provider.
“Our dealer knows our needs and they do their best to help us spec trucks that are a good fit,” Fast says. “International always helps us gain a good understanding of our equipment options before we buy. That helps solidify my relationship with International, that’s for sure.”
See full testimonial HERE.