From Show Truck to Work Truck
Ever wonder what becomes of those bright and shiny, glammed-up trucks on display at industry trade shows? They attract a lot of attention, and then they go to work.
Arvin Lanser, operations manager for Skyline Ready-Mix in Pella, Iowa, saw the first Freightliner® 114SD upfit with a McNeilus concrete mixer at CONEXPO in Las Vegas in March 2011, and now it’s on the road in central Iowa, hauling ready-mix concrete for everything from paving roads to building houses.
Although the Skyline fleet didn’t include any other Freightliner trucks at the time, Lanser liked the looks of the new 114SD, and he definitely was interested. After the show, Lanser talked to Brian Schaefer, a regional sales manager for McNeilus mixer bodies, about the show truck.
Skyline’s fleet includes 21 ready-mix trucks, and the company buys about one truck a year. Like a lot of small fleet operations, Skyline likes the one-stop shopping convenience of buying a mixer truck directly from an upfitter like McNeilus. McNeilus sells ready-mix trucks of all sizes and brands, and the company has worked with Skyline for years.
[I'm] very happy with the new Freightliner. My guys like the visibility from the cab and say it handles very nicely.—Arvin Lanser, operations manager, Skyline Ready-Mix ”
This was McNeilus’ first Freightliner 114SD, too. In fact, that metallic blue 114SD set-forward axle (SFA) with a McNeilus bridge formula mixer chassis was the first one off the Freightliner assembly line.
“Because this was our first Freightliner SD truck, I did some research,” says Schaefer. “I wanted to know how it would perform and what kind of service the customer would get after the sale. Our customers rely on our opinion.”
The truck was fitted with a 10.5 cubic yard Bridgemaster® Transit Mixer in McNeilus’ main production facility in Dodge Center, Minn., where the body builder does mounting, welding, painting and testing. “From a mounting standpoint, the easy access to the PTO flange made our assemblers’ jobs easier and faster,” notes Schaefer.
This hard-working Freightliner 114SD was fitted with a 10.5 cubic yard McNeilus Bridgemaster® Transit Mixer for a 2011 trade show.
This was the first 114SD truck McNeilus sold to be put into a Class 8 severe duty environment for ready-mix, and since then five more customers in Schaefer’s region have purchased 114SDs. Schaefer admits he took a chance with that first 114SD, and he’s glad he did. “Now I tell folks, if you like the truck, the way it’s serviced and the features, put one to work, you will be delighted.”
Lanser, who’s responsible for purchasing all trucks for Skyline, says he’s “very happy with the new Freightliner. My guys like the visibility from the cab and say it handles very nicely.”
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