Redi-mix is a perishable. So is time. Lattimore Materials trucks are in a constant race against the clock. There™s no time for downtime. So Lattimore turned to Allison Automatics.
Lattimore Materials is an aggregate and redi-mix producer based in McKinney, Texas. The company has 13 redi-mix plants and five aggregate producing plants. Its fleet of 250 rear discharge mixers is equipped with Allison Automatics. The company started spec™ing Allison Automatics in 1996. It hasn™t bought a manual-equipped mixer since.
We were looking for something that would be on the road, not in the shop, said DeLynn James, fleet maintenance manager. With our manual transmissions, we had driveline problems.
Lattimore began spec™ing Allison 4000 Series to reduce maintenance costs and fleet downtime. The investment has paid off. The Allison Automatics have been virtually maintenance free. We have reduced our maintenance costs and our inventory costs, DeLynn commented.
The company has also reduced driver fatigue. With the Allison, the driver isn™t working as hard driving the truck, said DeLynn. He™s not trying to use his feet and his hands, plus trying to watch where he™s going.There™s also the issue of safety on the site. One slip of the foot off a clutch could be catastrophic, Delynn continued.
Drivers don”t worry about shifting in an Allison-equipped mixer. And that makes it considerably easier to pour- especially on inclines. “Drivers don”t need to ride a clutch or let the vehicle coast,” said Bill Smith, driver supervisor. “They need to be watching their mirrors, hand signals, controls, both side windows…that”s enough to think about.”
While getting in and around the job site easier, getting to the site is quicker with an Allison Automatic-equippe vehicle.”The performance is really good,” said Jeff Hancock, driver. “With a loaded truck, I can get up to the speed I need on the road.”
Lattimore”s driver training program is typically a minimum of one week. That”s a considerable reduction from the days when their fleet was manual-equipped. The company feels that Automatics not only increase its driver pool, they help retain good drivers.
The Texas terrain and Lattimore”s success with Allison Automatics have promoted redi-mix and aggregate company executives from around the country to bring their drivers and test drive the company”s fleet. “They can”t believe how good the trucks drive,” said DeLynn. “They”re surprised at how quick the take-off is, how good the vehicle works the job site.”