Knight Transportation

DAVID WILLIAMS Vice President of Equipment, Knight Transportation

  • “We found the ProStar® model intriguing, and we’ve been doing business with Navistar® ever since.”
  • “We are believers in the ProStar platform because of its superior aerodynamics, and we’re excited about the new engine choices of Cummins ISX15 and Navistar’s proprietary 13L engine with SCR.”
  • “We’ve found the ProStar chassis to be quite fuel efficient relative to other models in the industry.”
  • “We have very strong relationships locally and regionally, but we’ve been privileged to know right up to the chairman and CEO at Navistar. That gives us great confidence.”

DAVID WILLIAMS, VP AT KNIGHT TRANSPORTATION, EXPLAINS WHY ENGINE CHOICE IN THE PROSTARĀ® MAKES SENSE.

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When you're in charge of one of the country’s largest company-owned truck fleets, the decision about which truck and engine package to purchase is a very serious one. For the folks at Knight Transportation, that choice comes down to a number of key factors.

“Obviously there’s an emotional attachment to buying trucks,” says David Williams, Vice President of Equipment at Knight Transportation. “But, most importantly, it’s a business decision. We look at things like acquisition price, operating cost and residual value as a package, and then work to determine whether or not that fits within our business model.”

Knight’s key objective is to provide costeffective solutions for its transportation customers. Since its inception in 1990, the company has focused on safe, sensible growth through a customer-centric approach that emphasizes efficiency at every stage of the transportation process. “Our goal is really to add value wherever we can,” says Williams. “To our customers, we really believe that we can deliver more.”

The company has been running International trucks since they bought a small group of trucks in 1994. They were very excited about the introduction of the ProStar® in 2009. “We found the model intriguing,” explains Williams, “and we’ve been doing business with Navistar® ever since. Roughly 50 percent of our fleet are now ProStars, and we’re very happy with that.” 
For Knight, the decision to turn to the ProStar relied on two key factors: fuel economy and the flexibility offered by engine choice. “As a company, we’re particularly partial to the fuel economy offered by the ProStar,” says Williams. “We’ve found the chassis to be quite fuel efficient relative to other models in the industry.” This echoes other praise of the model: The ProStar’s industry-leading chassis has been meticulously designed to increase smooth airflow to the sides of the trailer, maximizing the cab’s aerodynamics.

Engine choice is a second area of the ProStar which really appeals to Knight, particularly with regards to how it influences resale value. From an engine-size standpoint, Knight has run everything from an 11L to a 15L engine, so the issue isn’t so much about whether one is better than another. It’s more that it’s nice to have choice.

“An important part of the business decision of buying a truck includes residual value,” says Williams. “To have choices is crucial. We sell about 75% of our own trucks into the secondary market, and to have different engines is an important part of being able to move those. It’s not necessarily whether you like red or blue,” Williams continues. “It’s in the risk. Any industry you’re involved in, especially an asset-intensive business like ours, you take risk. So to have something you’re comfortable with is not a bad thing.”

Recently, Knight began receiving delivery of over 500 ProStars, equipped with both Cummins ISX15 and Navistar’s proprietary 13L engines with SCR. This is the latest step in a relationship with International which is built on mutual commitment across all levels of management. 
Marty Kleker, Vice President of National Accounts, says the relationship has been built on effective communication at every level. “Our partnership with Knight has successfully evolved through collaboration with our dealer network and the leadership team at RWC International.”

From Williams’ perspective, Knight has also appreciated the accessibility they’ve been provided to Navistar’s management, as well as the support at the grassroots level. “We have very strong relationships locally and regionally, and we’ve been privileged to know many Navistar employees right up to the chairman and CEO,” he says. “That gives us great confidence, knowing their vision, knowing how they fit into our plans and our business decisions. We’re very grateful for the strong relationships across the board.”

See full testimonial HERE.