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Proper Spec'ing Helps Septic Service Improve Productivity

July 22, 2016

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Photo courtesy of Kenworth.
Photo courtesy of Kenworth.

McNel Septic Services in Ravensdale, Wash., has doubled productivity on a route by  spec'ing a Kenworth T880 to maximize payload and easily maneuver in residential neighborhoods.

The company's owner, Shawn Carlton, set up the truck to handle more payload while still being nimble enough for the constrained sites and long driveways of residential septic work. He also wanted a truck that presented a professional image that would generate referrals and repeat business.

"While there are plenty of jobs out there, there’s a lot of competition for the best jobs," Carlton told Kenworth. "The Kenworth T880 is custom-built to get more work done in a day, and it looks fantastic. It’s my calling card."

McNel Septic’s T880 makes four to six stops a day in suburban and rural Seattle, one of the fastest-growing housing markets in the country. It has been equipped with a 4,000-gallon steel vacuum tank.

Carlton considered buying a used vehicle – he even flew across the country to test drive one – but ultimately decided it was better to spec a truck that would meet his exact needs. His local dealer, Kenworth Northwest, and the body manufacturer, Erickson Tank & Pump, worked together to get the weight distribution just right across the 20,000-pound steer axle, 46,000-pound rears, and 13,000-pound pusher.

"With the 4,000-gallon tank and the payload distributed properly, I can do twice the work with the T880 compared to my old truck," Carlton said.

The T880's cab measuring 2.1 meters (82.7 inches) is 10 inches wider than its predecessor and has 23 inches of room between the seats. The extra space gives Carlton the space he needs to work comfortably and stay organized.

"I have paperwork to fill out after every job so my truck is my mobile office," Carlton said. "When you have wet gear, a couple of lunch pails, and a helper riding along who wants to get out of the rain, you appreciate the cab when you have to haul your briefcase out."

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