His-and-Hers Logging Trucks are Anything but CutesyFreightliner Trucks Severe Duty Newsletter
Jeff Havela Trucking is a husband-and-wife logging team that operates on the south shore of Lake Superior in Michigan. They average 60- to 150-mile runs hauling raw products from the woods to the mill, and after 22 years of driving other trucks, they made the switch to Freightliner.
Jeff drives a Freightliner 122SD seven-axle with a self-loader, and his wife, Christy, drives a Freightliner Cascadia® seven-axle. His has a legal gross weight of 150,000 pounds, and hers is 142,000 pounds. Both trucks have 50-foot trailers for a total of 10 axles each. While Jeff has been driving all 25 years, Christy is new to the business.
“Our kids grew up and Christy didn’t want to stay around the house, so she started riding with me,” said Jeff. “One thing lead to another, and then she started driving, too. However, my wife is 4′11″ and couldn’t see over the dash of my truck. The sloped hood of the Cascadia and automotive-style dash are a better fit for her, and now she loves it.”
In addition to the Freightliner Cascadia being a good fit for Christy, Jeff prefers his 122SD to the trucks he was driving previously, as well.
“At this point I would never go back,” said Jeff. “My dealer, Mike, talked to me about Freightliner and the Real Cost of Ownership℠. You need to factor in what it costs you to operate the truck in addition to the sticker price, and with the Freightliner it’s much less than any truck I owned before.”
And it runs better, too.
“We get rain, mud, snow, hills, rocks, and sand. The last couple of winters were mild, but we can average 250 to 300 inches of snow a year,” said Jeff. “I’ve noticed a big difference in the way the Freightliners handle, the visibility in the woods on corners and tight areas, and it doesn’t seem like the truck stresses as much going through tough areas.”
Jeff said another big selling point for him are the heat controls in the Freightliner trucks.
“When we go out into the woods in the morning we’re cold, but once we get the truck loaded we’re sweating,” said Jeff. “Previously when I would adjust the temperature it would take 20 to 25 minutes to cool off. But with the Freightliner, one click on the temperature dial actually means something. Another big advantage is that the windows don’t fog or ice up in extreme cold situations.”
The Havelas’ trucks are equipped with Detroit Connect Virtual Technician®, which is a remote diagnostic service that helps fleets and owner-operators make informed service decisions within minutes of an engine or aftertreatment fault event.
“Up here being so rural, the ability to do engine diagnostics on my truck wirelessly is a huge help,” said Jeff. “My mechanic gets an email if the check engine light comes on and that’s big, because sometimes it can take us three hours just to get to the shop.”
The Freightliner 122SD has the endurance to get through the toughest environments.
“At this point I would never go back. My dealer, Mike, talked to me about Freightliner and the Real Cost of Ownership. You need to factor in what it costs you to operate the truck in addition to the sticker price, and with the Freightliner it’s much less than any truck I owned before.”
– Jeff Havela