By Jeff Barker, contributor
When it comes to getting into a reliable truck, going new isn’t always the ticket. Matt Kreiser found this out firsthand and is now hammerin’ out the miles with less downtime in a faithful old ride that he’s been acquainted with for a long time.
As time goes on and technology advances, some have found that it isn’t always for the better. Many newer trucks out there have disappointed owners singing the blues after a lot of downtime put a crimp in their cash flow and made it difficult to make a living.
Matt Kreiser, an OOIDA member from Manheim, PA, decided to take a big step back in time and go with an older truck he believes in.
In February, he got rid of a late-model truck and bought this 1990 Kenworth W900B with an Aerodyne 1 sleeper to pull a refrigerated trailer on his 4,400-mile dedicated trip from Pennsylvania to Idaho and back.
He is the third owner of this truck and bought it from a friend who has owned it since 1993. Matt knows the history of this truck from the time his friend bought it.
Matt insists on having a truck that he can do as much of the work on as possible.
“I don’t like new stuff,” he said. “If something goes wrong with this truck I at least know where to look for the problem.”
He is among a growing number of owner-operators who are not afraid to get their hands dirty in order to get their own trucks back to doing the blacktop boogie a lot faster instead of waiting for days on end at a dealership for repairs.
This cool old K-Whopper is still jamming down the road with a Caterpillar 3406B mechanical engine that may not win any truck beauty contests. A close view will show where hoses and wiring harnesses have been secured to avoid damage from rubbing and vibration. In other words, it’s all business in there.
When it comes to hauling time-sensitive perishable loads the way Matt does, the biggest priority is to keep the truck from breaking down and causing more problems that could include, but not be limited to, rejected loads and freight claims.
By doing a thorough inspection on his truck and keeping it in great mechanical condition – including a healthy engine that sounds like a well-tuned Fender Stratocaster guitar in talented hands – Matt has been able to average 5.8 miles per gallon. That’s very good for a truck that’s normally cranking out the miles at or just under the legal gross weight limit of 80,000 pounds through a lot of mountainous terrain. LL