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Helping Maintain the Line While Lowering RCO

PowerSouth is a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Andalusia, Alabama. They supply bulk power to their 20-member system in a service area along the southern United States. Maintaining the lines and restoring power when there's an outage are a part of their primary responsibilities. And they just added six new Freightliner® trucks to their 56-truck fleet to help them do that: a 122SD Heavy Hauler, one 114SD digger derrick, one 114SD bucket truck, two M2 106 service trucks, and a 108SD knuckle-boom crane.

For PowerSouth, a dependable truck isn't a luxury. It's requirement. "Dependability is very important, especially during an outage situation," says Chuck Dutton, the fleet maintenance supervisor at PowerSouth. "You've got to get the equipment there as soon as possible to get the electricity back on, and the last thing you need is a truck breaking down."

A dependable and productive truck also makes good business sense. Which is why PowerSouth doesn't just look at the upfront costs when adding to their fleet. They look at the Real Cost of OwnershipSM of the truck. "If you save $10,000 on the front end of a purchase, but it costs you $50,000 more in maintenance over the first five years, then that's not what you want," says Joe Armstrong, transmission operation and maintenance manager. "The goal is for your overall cost of ownership to be low and the reliability to be high."

Safety is PowerSouth's number one priority and is another factor that lowers their Real Cost of Ownership. Freightliner trucks help them achieve that. "When you've got vehicles this big, part of the safety factor is the guy's comfort level," says Joe Armstrong. "If they can see, if the truck handles well, if they have confidence in the vehicle, they're going to be a lot safer." Service technician Chris Houk agrees. "When you're sitting in the driver's seat you don't have to move to look over the hood," says Chris. "And the steering has a really tight turning radius so you can get to wherever you need to be."

So what's the future look like for PowerSouth? "We plan to purchase more Freightliner trucks. Our dealership, our rep, and the product, we've been very pleased with them," says Chuck Dutton. "They have been a very valuable asset to our fleet."