By Jeff Barker, Land Line columnist
It’s no secret that a large part of our nation’s truck driving population is reaching retirement. Fortunately, younger drivers with entrepreneurial spirit are coming in to replace them.
Thankfully, some have embraced old-school qualities and morals in how they start and run their trucking businesses and do so with a touch of class.
Truckers like OOIDA Member Wes Krahn from Mifflintown, PA, who have done any kind of open deck hauling know how important it is to meet time commitments to customers.
Many loads require a crane, tow truck, or some sort of special equipment and/or a specially trained crew to load and unload the trailer. Late arrivals can result in expensive chargebacks and other problems that hurt business over the long term.
With that in mind, the 30-year-old Krahn stays on top of his maintenance and repairs of his 1985 Kenworth K100 cabover and 2008 Reitnouer drop deck trailer. He’s also serious about maintaining a positive image, washing the truck himself every weekend he can.
Wes’s choice to acquire the K100 cabover only reinforces his old-school approach to trucking even more.
“I wanted to be different. When I saw this truck just over four years ago, it reached out and grabbed me. So I ended up buying it,” Wes told Land Line. “In my mind there’s less that can go wrong with a mechanical engine. The Cat 3406B that came in this truck was a big motivator for me.”
Krahn’s cabover is averaging 5.8 mpg according to his quarterly fuel tax reports. While that may not sound too great at first, it needs to be pointed out that most of his loads gross out close to the 80,000-pound limit and take him through the Appalachian Mountains.
“I know of others with newer trucks that run in similar conditions and their mileage is about the same, if not worse in some cases,” Wes said.
The truck’s frame was stretched out to a 255-inch wheelbase by a previous owner. The interior is mostly original other than a few minor updates, including a modern sound system with satellite radio.
Other than doing thorough inspections on a regular basis, Wes simply sticks to a good maintenance program.
“I use Shell Rotella T oil in the engine and change it every 12,000 to 15,000 miles along with a thorough grease job. I’m using synthetic oil in the tranny and rears,” he said.
Anyone who has trucked highways in Pennsylvania and other areas in the northeast know how hard it is on us and our equipment. Wes has made the best of that challenge. He has built a reputation of dependability in a truck that is clearly a rolling masterpiece. LL