When Mark Weisgerber, Henderson Heavy Haul’s operations manager, drove a new Kenworth W990 transporting a 211,000-pound GCW crawler crane to the top of Montana’s Big Sky Resort at 11,100-feet elevation, the performance validated the decision to add more of Kenworth’s newest model.
“In the heavy-haul business, our greatest concern is overheating during a transport, especially since we operate out of the Rocky Mountains. The transport to Big Sky Resort was the first time we got to see how our new Kenworth W990 would perform when put to the test. We especially were curious to see if the W990’s larger radiator and enhanced cooling package would make a difference,” Weisgerber said.
“We climbed more than 11,000 vertical feet that day and the truck handled the steep grade with ease. When we reached the top of the mountain, we saw no signs of overheating – in fact, it ran cooler than other trucks in our fleet. I was more than impressed. The Kenworth W990 performed flawlessly that day. From that day on, I knew the W990 would be a great addition to the fleet,” Weisgerber said.
Henderson Heavy Haul, a transportation company based in Fruita, Colorado, specializes in transporting heavy equipment. But, its mainstay business is hauling oversized components used to construct wind turbines, such as wind towers and wind blades to create wind energy throughout the continental 48 states. The company relies on its fleet of 37 trucks, primarily Kenworth long-hood and vocational trucks, to make deliveries. The fleet includes four Kenworth W990s – one with a 76-inch mid-roof sleeper, two with 40-inch FlatTop sleepers and a day cab – all spec’d with 565 hp engines and 18-speed transmissions.
“Since the company started 35 years ago, we’ve run Kenworth trucks. We continued to purchase Kenworths because they’re high quality trucks that have performed well for us over the years,” said Weisgerber. “We’ve always been a fan of the traditional long-hood look, and our drivers like driving them. Plus, they appreciate the creature comforts inside the cabs. For our W990s, we spec’d the cabs with the Limited Edition interior package, which our drivers are loving.”
The Kenworth W990 Limited Edition interior comes in midnight black with glossy Ravenwood door and dash trim accents. The special interior features rich black leather, embroidered W990 logo, Royal Blue double-stitched diamond door pads, black leather wrapped steering wheel with Royal Blue stitching, and driver and passenger seats with suede charcoal inserts and perforated leather with Royal Blue backing.
Weisgerber, who on occasion drives locally for Henderson Heavy Haul, has seen key improvements in the Kenworth W990 when compared to other long hoods in the fleet.
“Henderson Heavy Haul is located roughly 250 miles from Salt Lake City and Denver, and we provide services in both cities. When needed, I’ll get behind the wheel and make these day trips. From my time driving the W990, two things have really caught my attention – no driver fatigue and enhanced fuel economy,” Weisgerbersaid.
“I’ve always thought Kenworth makes a driver-friendly truck, but I’ve noticed that even after driving all day, I feel great. The ride is that smooth,” he said.
“In addition, the fuel savings helps us out. In a recent trip, I noticed that the W990 consumed 15 less gallons of fuel over the course of a 500-mile trip when directly compared to another truck in our fleet. That trip wasn’t a fluke. We consistently see better fuel economy in our W990s and we’ll save thousands of dollars each year,” Weisgerber said.
When it comes to providing service for wind energy customers, the company utilizes its 40-inch FlatTopKenworth W990s to transport wind turbine components from rail stations to its customers. Since ‘wind farms’ are typically located in rural parts of the country, Henderson Heavy Haul assigns drivers to work with a specific customer for up to three months. In this application, drivers will often transfer loads that weigh up to 265,000 pounds GCW and travel up to 250 miles to the customer from the rail station.
“For our drivers who work with customers long-term, we’ll typically find a hotel for them to stay in,” said Weisgerber. “The W990 with the 40-inch sleeper is a great fit for us in this division because it allows our drivers to store personal belongings or catch up on sleep in-between transports. From an over-the-road standpoint, our drivers have mentioned how well the truck handles and corners, even when pulling a lot of weight.”
The 76-inch mid-roof Kenworth W990 serves in the company’s long-haul division, which transports heavy equipment as well as wind turbine components that are unable to be delivered closer to a customer location via rail. Drivers typically spend up to three days on the road when making these deliveries.
“Our Kenworth W990 with the 76-inch sleeper provides a nice combination of driver comforts and performance. The W990 has been a great truck for all our divisions so far, but in the near-future we’ll be looking to add more trucks to our long-haul division,” Weisgerber said.
Henderson Heavy Haul will soon take delivery of three more 76-inch mid-roof Kenworth W990s, along with one 40-inch FlatTop Kenworth T880, purchased through MHC Kenworth – Grand Junction. The T880 will provide long-term services for wind energy customers.
According to Weisgerber, the company has worked with Jordan Bogue, new truck salesman with MHC Kenworth – Grand Junction for nearly a decade. Weisgerber said Bogue’s understanding of Henderson Heavy Haul’s operation, industry knowledge and progressive spec’ing ideas are an asset to the company.
“Jordan is great to work with. He’s really knowledgeable on how to spec our trucks so that they’ll work well in our operation. We place a lot of trust in him to make decisions when it comes to truck orders and he always comes through for us,” Weisgerber said. “When the Kenworth W990 was introduced, Jordan told us we needed to add that truck. At first, we didn’t think we needed to because we were happy with the long hoods in our fleet. But he was persistent. We trusted him and decided to purchase one Kenworth W990 day cab first to see how it would perform. It didn’t take long for us to see the benefits in upgrading to the new long-hood truck, so we’ve continued to add W990s since. We’re glad Jordan turned us to the W990.”