A&W Water Service Relies on Kenworth Trucks To Service Remote Gas Wells in the Rockies
Extended Day Cab Option Offers Drivers Roomier Work Environment
FORT LUPTON, Colo., – Since A&W Water Service hauls water in remote farmland and rangeland to service oil and natural gas wells along the eastern slopes of the Rockies, the company needs trucks that don’t require costly frame repairs, new suspensions or new front ends after several years of operation.
“We’ve found that the Kenworth T800 is the only one that can stand up to the punishing environment we operate in,” said Gary Wright, president of A&W Water Service, an oilfield services company based in Fort Lupton, Colo.
“Other truck models we’ve tried lasted only about eight to 10 years running in our fleet before they had to be replaced,” he added. “With a Kenworth, we usually get 15 years of life out of them before we sell them, without having to sink a lot of money into repairing frames, rebuilding front ends or installing new suspensions.”
Wright said that’s why the company runs a fleet of 105 straight trucks and tractors, made up mostly of Kenworth T800s. The company also runs several Kenworth T660s for hauling water and other loads that travel over highways, taking advantage of the truck’s fuel-saving aerodynamic features. Late last year the company took delivery of 45 Kenworth T800s with the Kenworth Extended Day Cab. Wright said A&W chose to get the Kenworth Extended Day Cab option because it offers drivers a more comfortable work environment.
“Our drivers really do enjoy that extra leg room and the added storage room, particularly for their cold weather gear,” he said. The Kenworth Extended Day Cab provides an additional 6 inches of cab length and 5 additional inches of cab height compared to the standard Kenworth T800 day cab.
And Wright said he appreciates the fact that the Kenworth T800s hold more of their value when it comes time to sell them. “In fact, sometimes it’s the smaller oilfield service companies who compete with us for some of our business that end up buying our old Kenworths. That’s because they know our Kenworth trucks are spec’d right for our operation and for driver comfort and because we take good care of them,” said Wright, whose father started the company in 1954. The company was purchased in 2004 by Complete Production Services, a leading North America oilfield services provider.
A&W Water Service delivers water to newly drilled natural gas wells in remote areas on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. The water is used to force out natural gas and oil from deep shale formations using hydraulic fracturing. A&W also hauls tanks, pipes and other equipment for the oil and natural gas drilling companies. In addition, it supplies chemicals used in industrial water treatment and potassium chloride.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves creating fissures or fractures in deep shale formations by pumping water, sand and chemical additives under high pressure through well holes. The newly-created fractures are propped open by the sand, which allows the natural gas and oil to flow into the wellbore and to be collected at the surface. A fracking operation at a typical natural gas well may need to install upwards of 100 above-ground water holding tanks or more each holding 20,000 gallons of water. That’s nearly the same amount of water it takes to fill a rectangular 16-foot by 32-foot backyard swimming pool with an average depth of nearly 6 feet. A fracking operation could be performed multiple times during the life of a natural gas well.
“If we haul 100 frack tanks to a well site, it usually takes about 325 trips to fill all of those above-ground holding tanks,” Wright said. “Depending on how far they have to travel, it can take three to four days running our trucks 24/7.”
A&W Service tractors typically haul up to 6,300 gallons of water in their trailer tanks, and the straight trucks haul up to 3,400 gallons of water in their tanks, traveling between 10 and 50 miles each trip.
The trucks have to run in some pretty remote areas through farmland and rangeland where the roads are often graveled and rutted during the spring and summer. So, the company specs its Kenworth T800s with a 450-hp Cummins ISX15 engine that provides 1,650 ft-lbs of torque governed at 1,200 rpm powered through 18-speed manual transmissions and 46,000-pound Kenworth AG460 air ride rear suspensions.
“The Kenworth T800 is such a good, heavy duty truck,” Wright said. “That’s why between our company and our sister company, we’ve bought 72 Kenworths in the last two years. Plus, we get great support from our local Kenworth dealer, MHC Kenworth – Denver.” That dealership is part of MHC Kenworth Colorado, which was named 2010 Kenworth Dealer of the Year earlier this year.
“They not only help us in choosing the right specs for our trucks, but they also provide our maintenance shop great support by making sure we have the parts we need when we need them,” he said. “That’s really important because we’re often running our trucks 24/7.”
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® 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, compressed and liquefied natural gas trucks, and medium duty diesel-electric hybrids. Kenworth is the only truck manufacturer to receive the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Excellence award in recognition of its environmentally friendly products. In addition, the fuel-efficient Kenworth T700 equipped with the low-emission PACCAR MX engine was named the 2011 Commercial Heavy Duty Truck of the Year by the American Truck Dealers. Kenworth is also the recipient of the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates award for Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Medium Duty Truck Dealer Service. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth. A PACCAR Company.
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