READY TO ROLL: Fleet manager Sean Simpson shows off one of the new additions, a Mack Pinnacle day cab with MP8 engine.
PORT COLBORNE, Ont. –What do you do when a small, local trucking company takes delivery of 12 new trucks -roughly half its original fleet size?
If you’re B&C Truck Centre, you throw’em a party. On June 30, a few dozen industry suppliers and community business folk gathered at the Mack dealership here to celebrate a local success story. Claire’s Delivery was receiving 12 new Mack Pinnacles with EPA2010-compliant MP8 engines; all equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment systems. The purchase was necessitated by the landing of a major contract with Pinty’s Delicious Foods, which is headquartered in Burlington with its main processing plant in Port Colborne.
Claire’s Delivery will haul live chickens to the plant and then fresh and frozen product to stores in southern Ontario and as far away as Montreal and US points in the Great Lakes region.
Sean Simpson, fleet manager with Claire’s Delivery, said a commitment to service the contract with new equipment was a key component in landing the deal.
“Pinty’s was happy we went with all new equipment on this,” he told Truck News during the festivities, adding the time-sensitive nature of the business simply doesn’t allow for unplanned downtime.
Prior to the purchase, Claire’s ran 26 trucks hauling everything from bagged flour to machinery. The closure of a local John Deere plant could have proven devastating, but the company diversified and aggressively pursued the Pinty’s contract that came due three months ago.
“We had a large contract with John Deere when they closed the plant,” said Simpson. “The plant closure was a huge hit for us, but we were pursuing this contract even before that and we were successful on the bid.”
In addition to hauling for Pinty’s, Claire’s operates a household moving division, runs local courier vans and handles some automotive shipments. It also runs a warehousing and logistics division.
“We’re pretty diverse in what we do,” said Simpson. “In this economy, you have to be.”
The Mack order was worth celebrating, not only for Claire’s Delivery but also for dealer B&C Truck Centre, which will handle service, parts and warranty requirements. (Stoney Creek Mack sold them the trucks and sub-dealer B&C Truck Centre will care for them). The 12-truck order was one of the first significant orders for SCR-equipped Mack trucks in southern Ontario, said Albert Ciolfi, general manager of the dealership. He presented Larry Simpson, general manager of Claire’s Delivery, with a bottle of locally produced red wine to symbolically smash over the truck’s front fender as part of a ceremonial christening. Not to worry, no wine or trucks were damaged during the symbolic gesture.
“Together, we were able to turn a dismal economy into something positive,” Ciolfisaid during the ceremony. “We’re all local companies from Port Colborne working together to keep jobs in this city. I want to thank Larry (Simpson) for having confidence in us and having confidence in Mack Trucks.”
Fleet manager Sean Simpson says fuel economy was a top selling point for the company. SCR, he pointed out, is expected to deliver a 5% fuel economy improvement over previous generation engines. The company was previously running a mix of Mack and International tractors.
“Fuel mileage-wise, the savings is what we are looking at,” he said, adding the environmental benefits are also welcomed. “We’re trying to change the technology and go a little greener with the new SCR emissions. We think it’s the right way to go.”
The company also spec’d driver-friendly options such as power locks and windows and upgraded seats.
“Our guys have to be comfortable and happy working with the trucks,” he said. “We dress them up as much as we can.”
Claire’s plans to run the new trucks for five years or about 500,000-600,000 kms.