Neal Worth White and his father started N.W. White in South Carolina in 1952. They had two trucks. They never intended to get any bigger. Today, they have a total of 130 units company wide.
N.W. White has a simple philosophy: people make up a company. I™ve always said that the only asset a company has that counts is its people, said Richard Jackson, president.
N.W. White drivers truck sand, gravel and asphalt throughout South Carolina. Each driver delivers eight or ten loads a day. A typical work day is 10 hours. If they™re driving a manual-equipped truck, that adds up to anywhere from 400 to 450 shifts per day. That kind of exertion is not only hard on the driver, it™s hard on the trucks.
We were replacing clutches every 35,000 miles, depending on the driver and the terrain, said Daniel Shobe, director of maintenance. That™s lost revenue of a day and a half for us to replace a clutch.
When the company began spec™ing out new trucks a few years ago, it decided to look at Allison Automatics. One of the things that we were concerned about was driver perception, said Richard. I™ve heard them say, ˜I don™t want to drive an automatic.™ But we™ve never had a man drive an automatic and then say, ˜Put me back in a straight shift.™
The company was as pleased with the performance of the automatic equipped trucks as the drivers. Not only did maintenance costs go down significantly, driver productivity immediately increased. After we got the Allison Automatics, we noticed the drivers were more productive, Richard commented. So the company ran a test. It matched auto matics against the manual transmissions. The automatic trucks at the end of the day would get up to two more loads than the manual-equipped trucks.
The Allison Automatic is a real benefit to an asphalt truck because it has to back to and creep along with a paver. If you™re in a manual-equipped truck, you have to ride the clutch, feather along, so you don™t damage the driveline, according to Richard. Dumping is simply easier with an Allison. You have infinitely variable driving speeds.
We find that the Allison-equipped trucks pull through soft terrain a lot better than the straight shifts, Richard said. The driver doesn™t have to make a decision about what gear to shift into. The transmission makes the decision for him, based on load, engine speed and road speed.
N.W. White simply wouldn™t consider purchasing a truck without an Allison Automatic. Other dump operators are going to the Allison Automatics as they trade trucks, according to Richard. I recommend them to everyone because they will save you money.