“Growing up, I thought it was so cool that my uncle operated a big rig,” said Bennett. “He hauled jet fuel and on occasion, he would take me along for a ride. To this day, those memories I have riding alongside my uncle helped form the life-long appreciation I have for the trucking industry.”
Even with that special interest in the trucking industry, 25 years went by before Bennett decided he would own his own truck.
“One day, a good friend of mine told me that he was going to seriously look for a driving job in the construction industry,” said Bennett. “That got me thinking. It was a dream of mine to own a big rig, and I had the means to do it, so I decided I’d buy a truck and let my friend drive it.”
Fast-forward 13 years, Bennett now manages an all-Kenworth fleet of 12 trucks, all fitted with R/S Godwin dump bodies that haul aggregate and firm soil material to grading contractors within a 75-mile radius of the company’s headquarters in Fuquay-Varina, just south of Raleigh.
Bennett Hauling’s fleet consists of eleven T880s, purchased through MHC Kenworth – Raleigh, all spec’d with PACCAR MX-13 engines rated at 455 hp, and six-speed automatic Allison transmissions. On average, Bennett’s Kenworth T880s will accumulate around 60,000 miles each annually.
Even though Bennett grew up watching his uncle drive a Kenworth truck, his decision to build a fleet of Kenworths wasn’t a decision made based from emotion. Bennett wanted to invest in reliable equipment that would last for years, and also provide the excellent visibility and maneuverability required in the construction industry.
After some research, Bennett concluded that the Kenworth T800 would be the right truck to build a fleet around. Later, the company transitioned to the Kenworth T880 vocational leader.
“When I first started this company, I invested in high quality equipment that would last me for years. I’m a firm believer in ‘you get what you pay for,’ and while a Kenworth truck may cost more upfront, I knew in return I would be operating the best equipment that the industry had to offer.”
Bennett Hauling’s decision to go with Kenworth T880s has been well-received by the company’s drivers. According to Bennett, it has played a major role in the company’s driver retention rate.
“We make an effort to provide our drivers with equipment that they will enjoy operating and riding in day-in-day out,” said Bennett. “Many of our drivers have been with us for years, including one driver who has been with me from the very beginning. I truly believe that running new Kenworths has played a major role in keeping our driver turnover low over the years.”
The enhanced visibility and turning radius that Bennett’s drivers gain from operating Kenworth T880s helps them navigate construction sites with ease, according to Bennett. “The maneuverability of the T880 is second-to-none,” he said.
“Every now and then, our drivers are tasked with delivering to construction sites that present narrow turns. It’s key to have equipment that can get to those ‘hard to reach’ areas and our trucks are able to do just that. Our drivers comment all the time about how great the turning radius is compared to other trucks they have driven,” Bennett said.
When Bennett has his Kenworth T880s serviced, he sends the trucks to the same place he purchases them, MHC Kenworth – Raleigh. Bennett has been a customer for 13-plus years and has developed close-knit relationship with the dealership.
“MHC Kenworth knows me well and what I’m looking for. The service technicians do a fine job working on my Kenworth T880s, and minimize any downtime so I can get them back on the road,” said Bennett. “MHC Kenworth is a one-stop-shop for me when it comes to service, and branch manager Robert Henderson, understands the type of equipment I need, and how to spec it so that I’m running equipment that will perform the way I need it to.”
Looking ahead, Bennett plans to add three more Kenworth T880s in the near term, and nearly double his fleet in the next few years. “I’ve had great success running Kenworth trucks,” said Bennett. “I’ve been running Kenworths since Day 1, and I will be running Kenworths once I hit my goal of managing a 20-truck fleet.”
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.