Since BMC’s humble beginning in 1987, supplying general contractors and “do-it-yourselfers” in Idaho to operating locations in 18 states, BMC – now headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina – has grown to become one of the largest building suppliers in the United States. Chances are, you’ve set foot in a building that was built with products sold through a BMC location.
As BMC continues to grow, so does its fleet of medium and heavy-duty trucks – many of which are Kenworth T880 and T270s – used to deliver lumber material and other building products to customer jobsites. BMC took delivery of 100 Kenworth T880s and 50 T270s in the past two years, and plans to add more Kenworths this year.
BMC purchased its first Kenworth trucks in 1987 through Kenworth Sales Company – Boise, and has continued to buy new Kenworths from the dealer ever since. Brian Deeds, Kenworth Sales Company – Boise new truck salesman, is instrumental in BMC’s continued relationship with the dealer group.
“Brian is hands down the best truck salesman I’ve ever worked with in my career,” said Alex Eadie, BMC director of supply chain, fleet, logistics and indirect spend. “A lot has changed over the years at BMC, but one thing remains the same – buying Kenworth trucks through Brian and Kenworth Sales Company. He knows our operation better than anyone else, and he actively looks for new ways to spec our trucks to maximize our efficiency. If we ever need anything or run into a problem, he is quick to find a solution. We’ve been running Kenworth trucks since we opened, and while we will continue to add Kenworths to our fleet. We make the conscious decision to buy through Brian since he knows us so well.”
According to Deeds, he will visit BMC locations in various markets to get a better understanding on how the trucks are used, so that he can generate ideas on new ways to spec trucks to address the operational challenges the company faces.
“By having ‘boots on the ground,’ it gives me a better perspective on how exactly BMC trucks operate in specific markets,” said Deeds. “If we discover a challenge BMC drivers are faced with, then we’ll create a spec to address the issue.”
To further enhance maneuverability in tight urban areas, Deeds recently proposed taking off the step from the Kenworth T880s frame, replacing it with steps for drivers to use on the DEF tank so that they could shorten the wheelbase by 15 inches. Since spec’ing a few trucks with the adjustment, BMC decided to make it a standard spec for all future truck orders.
“That just goes to show Brian is always on the lookout for our drivers and fleet managers’ interests,” said Eadie. “He’s a great asset to have.”
The constant search to improve fleet operations trickles down to the BMC customer experience. The company prides itself on making on-time deliveries, so much so, the company tracks its on-time deliveries, and other time-based measurables through a company-wide database.
“We want our customers to know we’re serious about making timely deliveries,” said Eadie. “And, we’re very upfront with our customers with that information. We show them the numbers so they feel reassured that we’ll be at their jobsite when they need us to be. The building timeline shouldn’t rest on the shoulders of those making deliveries, and if it does, we aren’t doing our jobs.”
BMC’s Kenworth T880s are nearly an equal split between straight trucks and those that tow aluminum flatbed trailers. The Kenworth T880s are all spec’d with the PACCAR MX-13 engine, rated at 455 hp and equipped with the PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission. BMC uses its T880 straight trucks to deliver large building materials, such as trusses, lumber, and beams from BMC warehouse locations or manufacturing partner locations to jobsites. The T880s hauling flatbed trailers deliver the same products to jobsites that require more material, such as duplex or multi-story high rises.
BMC equips the ends of its T880 straight trucks and its T880 flatbed trailers with mounted forklifts to help drivers unload and place cargo where the customer needs it.
“All of the bases are covered with our T880s,” said Eadie. “Our straight trucks are especially useful when delivering to smaller projects or in the city where tights roads make deliveries difficult. We looked extensively at the T880s turning radius when making the decision to make the T880 our truck of choice for these types of deliveries, and its proven to be the right recipe for us.”
According to Eadie, BMC equips its Kenworth T880s with the PACCAR MX-13 engine because they’ve proven to be reliable – staying out of the shop and on the road. “Over the years Kenworth trucks, equipped with PACCAR engines seem to be the right combinations for our operations,” said Eadie. “We get plenty of power from the PACCAR MX-13 engine, backed by the reliability we need to assist our efforts in maintaining a good track record with our customers for on-time deliveries.”
The fleet’s Kenworth T270 box trucks all are equipped with 300-hp PACCAR PX-7 engines and Allison 6-speed automatic transmissions. With a gross vehicle weight rating up to 26,000 pounds, BMC uses its T270s to deliver products such as doors, windows, trim packages – and other items that take up ‘space’ but are light in weight – from BMC store locations to jobsites.
Eadie claims driver acceptance is especially high among drivers operating Kenworth trucks, particularly those operating new models that feature the latest technology, such as Kenworth driver assistance technologies, which aid overall driving performance.
“Kenworth seems to be on the forefront when it comes to integrating new technologies in their cabs,” said Eadie. “Some of our drivers coming out of older model trucks and into the new ones were taken aback when they first got into the new trucks and saw all of the features on board. It didn’t take them long to see how new technology can help their performance on the road.
“We like the innovation and high performing trucks Kenworth offers us, and as we continue to grow our operation, Kenworth will be there with us,” said Eadie.