BURNABY, B.C., Jan. 25, 2010 ‘ For some remote communities in British Columbia, fuel and petroleum products delivered on United Petroleum Products trucks are the only things that keep goods and services moving and homes and businesses warm.
‘We’re one of the largest suppliers to the First Nations (native) communities,” said Tanya Larsson, supply and distribution manager for Burnaby, British Columbia-based United Petroleum. ‘We supply fuel and petroleum products to numerous retail locations in some very remote areas. In many circumstances, particularly during the winter, we’re the only supplier who can make it through the snowy mountain passes. So, if we weren’t able to make our deliveries, it would put many communities through some trying times. When you have many people relying on you to make those deliveries, you have to have equipment that you can rely on.”
To make it happen, United Petroleum specs Kenworth trucks to make more than 1,000 fuel and petroleum product deliveries annually to locations throughout British Columbia, Larsson said. United Petroleum Products, a division of Parkland Industries, distributes fuels ‘ including biodiesel, lubricants and home heating oil, to cardlock stations, convenience stores, lube shops, auto dealerships and auto and truck repair facilities. It also delivers fuels and lubricants to terminals and docks and companies in the aviation, transportation, construction, forest and mining industries.
United Petroleum operates a small fleet of heavy-duty tanker trucks and tractors, mostly Kenworth T800s, each specified with 525-hp Cummins engines, 18-speed manual transmissions, and dual drive axles for mountain driving conditions.
‘For us, the Kenworth T800 offers the agility to navigate in some tight locations,” Larsson said. ‘That’s important since many of our delivery locations are mom and pop stores without a lot of room for our drivers to maneuver a large tanker.”
The company has several different routes to various geographical areas of British Columbia including the south coast, the Cariboo, the Kootenays (Nelson and Castlegar) and Nehemiah Valley, west of Williams Lake. Each of the company’s trucks travels an average of about 100,000 to 250,000 kilometers (62,000 to 155,000 miles) annually, depending on its route. Some of the trucks run in a slip-seat operation, with deliveries being made nearly around-the-clock.
In the winter months, particularly during special events, the company has one truck dedicated to travel up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler and Pemberton four to five times a week. Whistler has one gas station that serves mostly visitors and one cardlock station that serves local residents and businesses, such as taxicab companies.
‘At times we have certain windows in which we can deliver the fuel, so we need trucks we can rely on and a dealer that we can depend on to keep them running in top shape,” she added. ‘Inland Kenworth has convenient locations in all of the major areas in British Columbia, which is important because our geographic delivery area is vast. Plus, Inland Kenworth offers us great after-the-sale support by making sure our trucks stay on schedule for maintenance.”
The Kenworth T800 also offers a nice cab layout featuring ergonomically placed controls and easy-to-read LED backlit gauges, which makes it easier for drivers to deliver fuel, particularly at night, Larsson said. As the company replaced older trucks with Kenworths, it was the Kenworths that company drivers clamored to drive, she added.
‘Driver comfort on Kenworth trucks seem way ahead of competitors,” said Roger Hewlett, a United Petroleum driver with 32 years of experience driving trucks for the bulk fuel deliverer and other companies. ‘Kenworth mounts the mirror brackets on the cab door post, which helps to reduce mirror vibration. The windows and driver positioning in the cab is such that you can see very well.”
‘Accountants order cheap trucks, thinking they’re saving money. But you end up paying in the long run,” Hewlett concluded. ‘Kenworth builds them tough.”
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best(R) heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth is an industry leader in providing fuel-saving technology solutions that help increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The company’s dedication to the green fleet includes aerodynamic trucks, medium duty diesel-electric hybrids and liquefied natural gas trucks. In 2009, Kenworth became the first truck manufacturer to receive the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Excellence award in recognition of its environmentally friendly products. In addition, Kenworth is the recipient of the 2009 J.D. Power and Associates awards for Highest in Customer Satisfaction for both Over the Road Segment and Pickup and Delivery Segment Class 8 Trucks, and for Heavy Duty Dealer Service. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth. A PACCAR Company.