Fleet Manager, Paclease Dealer Agree UltraShift HV Transmissions are the Right Move
“With the UltraShift transmissions, the electronics are doing the shifting for you and the transitions from gear to gear are always smooth. That has effectively eliminated any maintenance issues.”
Fleet Manager, Two Amigos Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Two Amigos is a furniture delivery fleet and moving company that takes its name from a storefront sign that co-owner, Larry Calen, saw while vacationing in Mexico. The other co-owner, or co-Amigo, is Doug Creighton. Together the pair has built a business that is muy bueno with facilities throughout Canada and a fleet that now includes roughly 52 trucks and highway tractors.
Brad Prociuk is fleet manager at the Winnipeg location. He has been with Two Amigos for more than 14 years and has the bulk of the company's trucks under his care in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His vehicles typically operate up to 12 hours a day, making anywhere from 10 to 16 daily deliveries.
Prociuk leases his vehicles from CTS Lease & Rental, his local Paclease representative, as part of a full service lease agreement. Kelly Whyte is the CTS service manager.
Prociuk and Whyte both have an interest in making sure the Two Amigos vehicles are on the road, making money, and not in the shop for unnecessary repairs.
"We have been using standard transmissions for a long time, but no one wants to drive them the way that you are supposed to drive them," says Prociuk. "We were going through way too many clutches and synchronizers. I had one driver who burned out a clutch in six months. It was unbelievable."
Says Whyte, "As part of the lease agreement with Two Amigos, we are responsible for all of the maintenance on the new vehicles. We have a fixed rate for the lease and a fixed rate to look after the maintenance. So if we are seeing, for example, excess tire wear or brake wear in a shorter term than what we projected, then we're spending more money maintaining them than we are bringing into the company."
The local Roadranger representative for Two Amigos and CTS, Ken Moodie, suggested that CTS Lease specify Eaton automated transmissions with the two new trucks that he was ordering for Prociuk.
Prociuk soon took delivery of two new Kenworth T370 medium-duty straight trucks with Eaton UltraShift HV transmissions, a fully automated design for Class 6 and 7 vehicles with diesel engines in the 195 to 260 horsepower range. Capable of handling torque capacities up to 660 pounds per foot and loads up to 33,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, the UltraShift HV transmission is ideally suited for pickup and delivery applications.
Other key features and benefits of the UltraShift HV transmission include Hill- Assist, which automatically minimizes rollback on up to 10 percent grades while the operator makes the transition from the brake pedal to the accelerator. This feature benefits the driver in both uphill and downhill stop and start situations. Additionally, the UltraShift HV transmission's two-pedal design eliminates manual shifting allowing operators to keep both hands on the wheel for safer, less stressful vehicle operation.
"We were told that the UltraShift transmissions were pretty much bulletproof in terms of potential driver abuse," says Prociuk. "So far, that has certainly been the case.
"With the UltraShift transmissions, the electronics are doing the shifting for you and the transitions from gear to gear are always smooth. That has effectively eliminated any maintenance issues."
Whyte attributes that to the fact that the drivers cannot be too aggressive when operating an automated transmission. "The transmission helps slow them down," says Whyte. "It's a win/win situation for us and for the customer.
"I'm excited, as the transmissions are definitely going to show some savings. Plus the reliability of the equipment is going to benefit Brad and Two Amigos.
The trucks are going to be working instead of in the shop. Everyone wins with these transmissions."
Including Prociuk and Whyte, who very much agree that the decision to make the switch to Eaton automation was, indeed, muy bueno.