New Kenworth T660s Proving Popular with J&R Hall Transport Management and Drivers
AYR, Ontario,– J&R Hall Transport was one of the first fleets in Canada to take delivery of the new, aerodynamic Kenworth T660 model and management and drivers like what they’ve seen during the initial months of operation.
“It’s all good. We’ve taken delivery of half of the 22 Kenworth T660s that we ordered and our drivers have been very enthused. They love the truck,” said Jeff Hall, president of J&R Hall Transport, an expedited LTL carrier based in Ayr, Ontario.
The smooth and aerodynamic styling of the Kenworth T660, which has created Kenworth’s most fuel-efficient tractor, is paying off at the fuel pump. “Kenworth has done everything possible to further enhance the aerodynamic styling. Our fuel economy average with the new T660s is the same as we were getting with our T600s,” said Hall, even though the company’s first T660s are still in the early engine break-in period.
Founded in 1947, J&R Hall Transport is a third-generation trucking company that provided expedited LTL service from Ontario into Western Canada, often on roundtrip routes that typically exceed 6,000 miles.
“We need good, reliable trucks and I have that in the Kenworth T660,” said Hall. When a J&R Hall truck returns to Ontario, it is serviced, washed, cleaned, fueled and sent out again, often the same day. “I want those trucks in motion as much as possible, not sitting idle in the shop or along the road somewhere,” he said.
The long trips make comfort especially important to Hall and the company’s drivers, about 40% of whom run in teams. Hall selects Kenworth’s spacious 86-inch Studio AeroCab(R) sleeper with Diamond VIT interiors, Kenworth QuietCab(R) package, new Kenworth Driver Information Center, Kenworth, automatic traction control, and electronic stability system on his T660s. “The T660 has many driver-friendly features,” said Hall.
On the road, Jon Seffelaar, who drives team with his brother, Chris, said the new Kenworth T660 is more comfortable and quieter than his previous ride. “We drive two weeks straight so it’s real important to have a comfortable truck and be able to get good rest when the other is driving,” he said.
Hall said drivers have also commented about little things on the T660 that make team driving a better experience. “As an example, the fold-away armrests give the guys four extra inches to get through to the sleeper area. It’s the little details that Kenworth addresses – they all add up to make a better truck,” Hall said.
During the day, J&R Hall Transport drivers say pride in their ride is in evidence at truckstops, where other truckers see their new Kenworth T660s and want a tour to learn more about the innovative new truck. “Other truckers come up and do a walkaround – they say it’s a very sharp looking truck,” said veteran J&R Hall driver Toby Hofer. “The chrome mirrors we have and the new hood design is smart and sharp,” added Jon Seffelaar. “I’ve given quite a few tours of the truck and there are a lot of oohs and ahhs.”
At night on the road, drivers benefit from Kenworth’s optional, dual high-intensity discharge Xenon headlamps which transmit 75% more light than sealed beam headlamps. Kenworth’s world-class advanced forward lighting system that Hall selected is especially important for drivers running on wildlife-laden roads, such as between Thunder Bay, Ont. and Winnipeg, Man.
“When driving at night we’re always on edge – we might see 20 or more deer per night on the road. It can be stressful,” said Hofer. “With Kenworth’s new lighting system, the beam is wider and shoots out much farther – and that’s with low beam. The high beam is really incredible.”
“Better lighting eases the stress,” adds J&R Hall’s Seffelaar. “We can see wildlife in the distance – even make out if it’s a buck or a doe. It allows us to drive more confidently and it improves our reaction time.”
According to Hall, that has a bottom line benefit. “We’re expecting that our encounters with deer and moose to be reduced by at least half,” he said. “This will save us in repairs and it creates a more comfortable driving environment for our drivers.”
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