TOLLESON, Ariz., Oct. 22, 2010 – Given the bite that gasoline can take out of a household budget, more drivers are looking for value whenever they fill up. Enter QuikTrip, the Tulsa-based gas station chain where customers will stop – and stop again – for the convenience of getting fuel and good eats in one place.
By "good eats," we're not talking about typical gas station fare. QuikTrip prepares fresh sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruit, pastries, and other food at company-owned kitchens and delivers them to each store daily. "Customers can buy fuel anywhere, but they'll choose QuikTrip because they like the food," said Manny Rubio, who manages QuikTrip's food distribution operation in Arizona, one of the company's top growth markets. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a fuel retailer that puts as much emphasis on consistency and quality."
That commitment extends to its trucks. QuikTrip uses Kenworth medium duty trucks to deliver fresh food from its kitchen commissary in Tolleson, Ariz., to more than 75 convenience stores and gas stations in metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson.
With the Arizona retail network expanding, the Arizona operation added three Class 7 Kenworth T370s with PACCAR PX-6 engines this year, joining a fleet of eight Kenworth medium duty trucks purchased in 2006.
"What stands out about the Kenworth T370 is that it fits both our image as a company and our everyday needs as a distribution operation," Rubio said. "It's a great-looking truck and we're proud to have our name on it, plus it provides the low operating costs and driver comfort we expect."
QuikTrip trucks make 10 to 12 deliveries on routes ranging from 75 to 250 miles. The Kenworth T370's combination of 220-horsepower PACCAR PX6 engine, automatic transmission, and a load that starts out light and diminishes with each stop can deliver impressive fuel economy and reduce the physical strain on drivers.
"We promote our drivers from within the distribution operation. It's more effective to train someone from our QuikTrip family to operate a truck than it is to train a truck driver to meet our high standards," Rubio said. New drivers adapt so well to the Kenworth T370 that they can earn a CDL and be productive in a matter of weeks instead of months. "That's huge for us," Rubio said. "They feel comfortable in the truck quickly, especially with the automatic transmission. We can spend more time preparing drivers for other aspects of the job."
The Kenworth T370 cab is a big part of the equation. QuikTrip drivers have a demanding job working around fuel islands, unloading food, stocking shelves, and staying on schedule – all during an evening shift. At a busy gas lot, the Kenworth T370's sight-lines and maneuverability can reduce the risk of scrapes and dings.
"With other makes and models of box trucks, they look pretty beat up after just a short time in service," Rubio said. "We have Kenworths nearing the end of their depreciation program that look and perform exceptionally well."
QuikTrip manages its own maintenance schedule and its truck dealer, Inland Kenworth in Phoenix, handles nearly all preventive maintenance and repairs. The arrangement helps QuikTrip improve utilization and focus on distributing fresh food instead of running a big shop.
"Other dealers have approached us about other makes of truck," Rubio said, adding that QuikTrip also has a Kenworth T660 day cab for weekly inventory delivery to its Arizona stores. "But there's a lot of value in being consistent. Our Kenworth T370s help us control our operating costs and keep our drivers happy every day. As a Class 7 truck, it also gives us the versatility we'll need as more stores and more products come on board. It's a great fit now and in the future."
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World's Best(R) heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth is an industry leader in providing fuel-saving technology solutions that help increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The company's dedication to the green fleet includes aerodynamic trucks, compressed and liquefied natural gas trucks, and medium duty diesel-electric hybrids. In 2009, Kenworth became the first truck manufacturer to receive the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Excellence award in recognition of its environmentally friendly products. Kenworth's Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth. A PACCAR Company.