For Tucci & Sons, enhancing productivity, driver comfort and safety is the name of the game when it comes to delivering asphalt. And with the new Kenworth T880 Super Dump, it’s a game Tim Tucci fully expects his family’s Tacoma, Washington-based full-service heavy construction business to win.
“Depending upon the location of the paving project, we’ve found that in many cases our new Kenworth T880 Super Dumps can haul up to 10 percent more asphalt in a single day than the dump trucks and end-dump trailers they replaced,” said Tucci, who serves as the company’s secretary/treasurer and fleet operations manager.
When a driver delivers asphalt using a dump truck and end-dump trailer, he must first empty the end-dump trailer. Then he gets out of the truck, unhitches the end dump trailer, dumps the load in the bed of the dump truck and then re-hitches the end-dump trailer to the truck before he can return to the plant.
Tucci said since that entire process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to half hour for each delivery, the company can add back one to two hours’ worth of revenue-generating productivity each day. After all, Tucci & Sons does not make money when its trucks aren’t moving, he said.
“Drivers in our new T880 Super Dumps can deliver their loads to the job sites, dump them and then go right back to our Lakewood or Tacoma plant for another load,” he added. “Also, job site activity and traffic can make it nerve-racking at best for our drivers to get out of their trucks when they’re delivering asphalt to a busy freeway job site at night.”
Tucci worked with Rick Barry, his longtime sales consultant at Kenworth Northwest, the local Kenworth dealer, to choose the specifications for the company’s first two Kenworth T880s compliant with federal bridge formula requirements for lift axle spacing and capacity. Both T880 Super Dumps achieve their 25-ton capacity through the use of three 8,000-pound W&C Tru-Track Super Alumilite steerable lift axles and an 8,000-pound steerable “flying tag” axle. The T880s are specified with the PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 500-hp and 1,850 lb-ft of torque.
The additional axles increase the truck’s gross combination vehicle weight to 80,000 pounds by spreading the weight over more axles, which is permitted under an alternative federal bridge formula used by the state of Washington.
The truck, with a 256-inch wheelbase, measures 40 feet from the front bumper to the rear steerable pusher axle. That’s considerably shorter than the 75-foot length of the tractor and end dump trailer units the T880 Super Dumps replaced. That makes the T880 Super Dumps more maneuverable. And the company doesn’t have to use transfer trucks to deliver asphalt to paving projects in tighter urban areas.
The trucks also feature a clear back-of-cab configuration, allowing each truck to carry 110 gallons of diesel fuel instead of the typical 75 gallons. This increased fuel carrying capacity extends the range of the truck, allowing it to go longer distances or to make more trips between refueling.
Since his grandfather, Michael Tucci, started the family business in 1950 as a small utility construction company, Tim said Tucci & Sons has always tried to choose trucks and equipment that can offer employees a comfortable and productive work environment.
Today, the company runs a truck fleet consisting of 15 tractors and end-dump trailers, six transfer trucks and six water tenders in addition to the two Kenworth T880 Super Dumps that the company acquired in May. Nearly all of the trucks are Kenworths. Besides its asphalt paving operation, the third-generation family-owned general contractor operates three other divisions – utilities, grading and earthwork, and master planned community construction and development.
The asphalt paving division, which operates two asphalt plants with a combined maximum production capacity of 800 tons of asphalt per hour, works on a variety of projects including street and highway repaving for local municipalities, Pierce County, the Washington Department of Transportation and the federal government. The operation has also done repaving for planned developments, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, local businesses and several planned developments.
While the additional productivity for the company’s asphalt operation is certainly welcome, Tucci places equal value on some other benefits the trucks are delivering for his drivers.
“Anytime we can keep them inside the truck, that’s better for us and for our drivers, especially at night,” he said. This summer, the trucks are making deliveries of asphalt to Paradise Road in Mount Rainier National Park where the company is rebuilding and resurfacing the road for the Federal Highway Administration. The trucks will also be delivering asphalt to a repaving job on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. In both cases, the trucks will be making deliveries under tight delivery windows,” said Tucci.
“The Kenworth T880 is a phenomenal truck that offers the latest in technology for improved driver comfort and productivity,” Tucci said. “Our drivers love them. And that’s really important to our company for attracting and retaining the best drivers. We’re certainly going to be getting more of these T880 Super Dumps when it comes time to replace our other dump trucks and end-dumps.”