For Transport Nalaco’s Jonathan Aubut, knowing your costs means knowing your business.
“And believe me, we know both,” said the corporate development manager for the Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada-based bulk hauling company.
“We track everything from labor, to maintenance, to fuel, to routes and detention time. That data enables us to set a competitive rate per metric ton of material that we haul, and to assign internal hourly rates for our drivers.”
It’s a formula that has been successful according to Transport Nalaco, a division of Jefo Logistique, which continues to grow as a leader in transporting bulk products—primarily protein and grain, as well as dry box and container.
The company operates a fleet of 75 Kenworth trucks, consisting mainly of T680s, which Kenworth says have a low total cost of ownership. Their reliability, combined with support from decorated dealer Kenworth Maska, ensures Nalaco keeps coming back to Kenworth for its power units.
“We know our numbers, and our general manager, Steve Dillaire, talks with a lot of other fleets in our area, so he’s happy with where we’re at,” Aubut said. “We may pay a little more at the outset for our Kenworths, but we get that back in resale value. Our cost for maintenance is low, while our fuel economy is excellent—plus our drivers like being behind the wheel. That shows in the pride they have in driving and in keeping the trucks looking nice.
“They keep them as clean as possible, and the Kenworth T680s serve as our best marketing card.”
Transport Nalaco began operation in 1980. Today, 60 of its Kenworth trucks—the latest are T680s with 76-inch mid-roof sleepers—are used for two- and three-day trips to Ontario and the Maritime provinces, with the occasional short trip to Quebec. The fleet has 15 Kenworth day cabs for local deliveries into Montreal. The long-haul Kenworths average around 150,000 kilometers per year, Nalaco said.
The Kenworth T680s are spec’d with the PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 510 horsepower at 1,850 pound-feet of torque. They normally pull four-axle trailers with a gross combination at 57,500 kilograms (126,000 pounds). Differentials are full lockers and disc brakes were spec’d on the front and rears. Inside the cab and sleeper, they are loaded with options and feature the Kenworth Diamond VIT cab.
“When it comes to specs, we try to find the perfect balance between lightweight, reliability and durability,” said Aubut. “We’re on time in excess of 99% of the time and that gives us an edge. We don’t get stalled.”
According to Aubut, Transport Nalaco has been a long-time fan of the PACCAR MX-13 engine.
“It’s clearly reliable and we’ve been very pleased with our fuel economy,” he said. We know what we’re getting and the PACCAR MX-13 has enough strength to handle the loads we carry.”
And, Aubut said, his company’s trucks are being fully utilized.
“We don’t have any sitting in our yard waiting for drivers,” he said. “Driver turnover is a big problem for our industry, but we have full employment. We feel that the investment we make in our Kenworth T680s helps us attract quality drivers. Those quality drivers then help us advertise our company with other drivers.”