XTL Transport, Inc.
Serge Gagnon, President and CEO, XTL Goup Of Companies
- “The engine gets a pretty good workout most days and it’s been more than capable.”
- “If I’m in a strange situation where I have to blind-side into a dock, I’m not worried because the truck is that much more maneuverable. It’s a pleasure to drive.”
- “With these trucks, a driver who wants to get every mile out of a gallon, he’s going to be able to do it…On the whole, it’s a damn good package.” -- Michael O’Connor, driver for XTL Transport, Inc.
- “Our drivers say it’s a very good ride. And it’s quiet, which affects fatigue. Drivers feel better at the end of the day after driving that truck.” -- Serge Gagnon, president of XTL Transport, Inc.
A CROSS-BORDER DIFFERENCE MAKER
Our Drivers Say It’s a Very Good Ride. And It’s Quiet, which Affects Fatigue. Drivers Feel Better at the End of the Day After Driving that Truck.
From stop-and-go crawls through the tight corners of Canada’s most populous cities to the rolling hills of rural Quebec, XTL Transport throws a little bit of everything at its trucks. Every day, XTL’s 375-truck fleet—225 of which are International—fans out across both sides of the border, delivering grocery and retail products for major chains like Costco, Sobey’s, Metro and Provigo, along with massive rolls of paper to printing plants that crank out copies of The New York Times and other publications. And so far, the carrier’s 78-and-counting International® ProStar®+ vehicles are more than holding their own.
“There aren’t many straight roads in rural Quebec,” says driver Michael O’Connor. “We run all kinds of terrain. I’m all over the place in this truck.”
In addition to dealing with challenging terrain, XTL’s freight is marked by wild weight swings with its cargo. During a typical run, a truck might pull 30,000 pounds of Kellogg’s breakfast cereal along a straight shot to Quebec City—only to return to Toronto with a quad-axle trailer loaded with 76,000 pounds of bulk paper. That’s nearly twice the legal weight allowed in the US.
“That’s a heck of a difference in the weight and the work the engine has to do,” O’Connor says. “The engine gets a pretty good workout most days and it’s been more than capable.”
XTL Transport President Serge Gagnon has been impressed that a lighter, 13-liter engine (with the capability to turnout 475 horsepower and 1,700-pound-feet of torque) can handle his company’s back-breaking workload. But with 375 drivers under his employ, Gagnon also takes comfort in knowing that the ProStar+ tractors (a mix of sleepers and day cabs) help keep his drivers safe and productive behind the wheel.
“Our drivers say it’s a very good ride. And it’s quiet, which affects fatigue,” Gagnon says. “Drivers feel better at the end of the day after driving that truck.”
O’Connor compares the comfort of the ProStar+ to that of a luxury car. He experienced its smooth, quiet ride shortly after receiving his new truck earlier this year, when the 55-year-old had to pull an unexpected allnighter to make a delivery. “I’m getting to an age where driving all night can be tough,” O’Connor says. But thanks to the quietness of the engine, “I wasn’t beaten up like I would have been in an older, noisier truck,” he says. “A quiet environment let’s your mind focus. It makes a huge difference.”
The turning radius of the ProStar+ has also been a difference maker. “The trucks turn on a dime,” Gagnon says. O’Connor, who takes pride in getting his rig in and out of tight spots, comments that the maneuverability of the ProStar+ makes him more confident behind the wheel. “If I’m in a strange situation where I have to blind-side into a dock, I’m not worried because the truck is that much more maneuverable. I believe in it,” he says. “It’s a pleasure to drive.”
As a former owner-operator, O’Connor also takes pride in helping other drivers squeeze as much fuel economy out of the new MaxxForce® engines by teaching them to how to milk the Eaton® UltraShift Plus 13-speed automatic transmissions for every drop. According to his driver manager, Mauricio Kramm, the ProStar+ trucks he oversees from XTL’s Toronto location are averaging almost eight miles per gallon.
“With these trucks, a driver who wants to get every mile out of a gallon, he’s going to be able to do it,” O’Connor says. “On the whole, it’s a damn good package.”
With such votes of confidence, it’s no wonder that XTL is currently in the process of a two-year initiative to update their entire fleet with MaxxForce engines. Says Gagnon: “Right now, we’re very pleased with them.”
See full testimonial HERE.