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Kenworth’s first seven-axle T880S goes to work in Pennsylvania
hwtstaff | September 6, 2017

White Oak Mills, a full-service Pennsylvania-based feed manufacturer, recently took delivery of a Kenworth T880S seven-axle straight truck, becoming Kenworth’s first customer to operate a T880S in this configuration.

To recognize this Kenworth first, selling dealer Kenworth of Pennsylvania in Carlisle, Penn. held a special ceremony for White Oak Mills.

According to Josh Long, White Oak Mills transportation manager, the seven-axle configuration with 26-foot Walinga feed body allows the company to increase the amount of animal feed it hauls into Maryland and New Jersey, going from 11.25 tons per truckload to 22.75 tons. In addition, the company can carry three more tons of feed per load within its home state of Pennsylvania.

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“This is huge for our company, especially in neighboring states where our load was restricted due to state laws,” said Long. “If you’re registered outside of Maryland and New Jersey, a tri-axle truck is considered a tandem axle, so we were not as efficient in how much feed we could deliver. However, with the seven-axle configuration that conforms to federal bridge laws, our out-of-state sales will be more efficient.”

White Oak Mills operates a fleet of 21 Class 8 trucks: the new seven-axle T880S; eight tri-axle straight trucks with 26-foot feed bodies; and 12 tractors hauling 40-foot feed trailers. The company delivers feed within a 150-mile radius of its plant, primarily for swine, dairy and poultry operations.

“We purchased five T880 models earlier. Drivers absolutely loved the ride and their productivity,” Long said. “When we worked with our Kenworth dealer and found new specs were available with the new T880S, we jumped at the opportunity. The key was a shorter hood (114-inch), the set-forward front axle, along with the PACCAR MX-13 engine (rated at 510 hp /1,850 lb-ft of torque) with an 18-speed transmission. It allowed us an overall length of 45-feet, with 45-inch spacing between the pusher axles and 54-inch space for the tag axle.”

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According to Long, the truck can deliver full loads of feed via a top mounted auger system that sends feed to storage bins. In addition, the truck is equipped with a vacuum for grain recovery.

“Oftentimes, we will have a customer who wants to move excess feed to another bin or farm,” explained Long. ”With this unit, we can vacuum up the feed, then transport and offload. It’s our do-all truck and will keep busy.”

Long said as demand increases and the T800S seven-axle proves itself, more will be purchased.

“We feel we’re getting a double bang for the buck with Kenworth,” he said. “When we first got the T880s we were looking for reliability and productivity. We work 24 hours a day, six days a week, delivering feed and have a heavy-haul permit to load to 95,000 GVWR in our state. We found the trucks to be true workhorses with a very sharp turning radius, which we need since we’re delivering off-road and often in tight quarters.

“I’ve driven the T880 myself and found it to be very comfortable. I spent many years as a driver for White Oak Mills and still maintain my CDL. Since we don’t do slip seating here, each driver is assigned a truck. So, they all take special pride in what they drive,” said Long. “Since we got the T880s, everyone wants to drive one. There is so much more room. The cab and windows are bigger than our previous trucks. We’ve got drivers who are over six-feet tall, and they just love the space. It’s a beautiful truck, and now with the seven-axle configuration, more productive than ever.”

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