Tractors, Class 7 And 8, Never Seen (or Hardly Ever Seen) In America Anymore By Me.

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Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

This is an interesting conversation. I just took a two week trip to Chamonix, France. It was my first time in Europe, and it was a real eye-opener.

The overwhelming impression I came back with is how terrible the quality of our products and services are, and how awful the quality of our experiences are here in the States because we focus on the bottom line with everything we do.

I realize now that we've just come to accept this as normal, everyday life. We think nothing of it, until you go somewhere where quality, style, and taste really matter and where businesses care about your experience with them. Then you realize what a generic, low-quality, crap-on-the-customer existence we live here.

For instance, my plane was supposed to take off at 2 pm. We were told it was delayed, likely for an hour. Three hours later, we were still sitting there without a plane. Finally, they told us they had come up with a solution and we'd fly out at about 7 pm. At 7 pm still no word. Then at about 8 pm they told us our plane was delayed overnight. They said they would give us hotel vouchers. We waited in line for two full hours, and just before it was our turn a lady from customer service told us our particular plane (we weren't the only one) didn't qualify for vouchers, so we should come back for tomorrow's flight at 7 am. It was 10 pm and we were on our own. Too bad for us. We sat in an airport for 8 hours being lied to and then literally kicked to the curb with no assistance of any sort from the airline.

How the hell can you do that to people?

Easy - that's the most profitable way to run the airline. Sure, it's a miserable experience for your customers and they feel like jerks for giving you their business, but when they report the earnings to Wall Street they're going to look great. Since all of the airlines do things that way in this country, there's no better alternative. That's just how you get treated.

By the way, if you fly on an international flight and you get delayed overnight, by law they have to provide you with a hotel and transportation to that hotel. My flight was a domestic flight here in the U.S. so they could legally kick us to the curb for their screwup and laugh all the way to the bank.

But that's only one tiny example. Everything over there was so much better than it is here. The coffee and pastry, the beer, definitely the food, the architecture, even their clothing styles. Everything there was about quality, taste, and a good experience. It was absolutely fantastic.

Think about this............here are the top luxury fashion brands in the world according to CNBC:

  • Louis Vuitton - $28.6 billion
  • Chanel - $20 billion
  • Hermes - $16.4 billion
  • Gucci - $12.9 billion
  • Cartier - $7.7 billion
  • Tiffany - $5.6 billion
  • Dior - $5.2 billion
  • Burberry - $5 billion
  • Prada - $4.8 billion
  • Lancome
  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Bulgari

Only one of those is from the U.S. and it's Tiffany's. They don't even make anything, they're just a store that sells other people's products.

Here are the top luxury cars in the world. Only two of these are from the U.S.

  • Ferrari
  • Lamborghini
  • Jaguar
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Aston Martin
  • Porsche
  • BMW
  • Bentley
  • Rolls Royce
  • Bugatti
  • Audi
  • Maserati
  • Cadillac
  • Pagani
  • Lexus
  • Volvo
  • Koenigsegg
  • McClaren
  • Tesla
  • Accura

I could go on all day with any type of product or service you could imagine.

I know someone who worked for the U.S. subsidiary of a company based in Germany. Whenever the Europeans would come over here they dreaded it because the quality of everything we have is just junk - bland food or fast food, strip malls, p*ss-water beer - everything is just really poor quality. I didn't understand what they were talking about until I went over there and saw the difference. Wow. It's depressing!

People famously say, "America: love it or leave it" because apparently, no one here thought of the option of improving it!

Donald, it's true - everything we do here is a chase for the almighty dollar. Fortunately, it worked - this nation is rich as hell. We're the largest economy in the world.

Unfortunately what often gets set aside is product quality, tasteful design, and customer experience.

By the way, I'm already planning on going back to Chamonix to ski and climb two more times this winter. It's surprisingly cheap to go there from the East Coast. It's cheaper for me to visit Chamonix than it is the West Coast of the U.S.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Donald B.'s Comment
member avatar

The KW T680 does have a badge on each side of the hood. Has been there for several years.

Actually this KW T680 model has a KW emblem on the side, yes. Only the "classic" look current-production KW models (W900, T800, C500) still have the word "KENWORTH" spelled out in bold silver letters on the sides of the hoods.

The T800 is common for construction use these days. Cement mixers, dump trucks, etc. It's sort of a classic-aero hybrid for style. A radical sloping hood with a conventional-look square front grille, classic-look cab and classic fenders. I think the T800 has a shorter wheelbase than the W900 for tighter tuns. The sloping hood probably gives nebbert driver visibility than the W900's high long hood. The more modern "retro-look" KW model, T880, disposes of the classic KENWORTH hood letters. Here is a sweet red T800 day cab with a nice chrome tank trailer, a T680 still probably makes more sense these days for OTR use, the T800 seems more like a truck for short haul or construction:

View post on imgur.com

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Pete M.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett

Bingo!!!

Donald B.'s Comment
member avatar

This is an interesting conversation. I just took a two week trip to Chamonix, France. It was my first time in Europe, and it was a real eye-opener.

The overwhelming impression I came back with is how terrible the quality of our products and services are, and how awful the quality of our experiences are here in the States because we focus on the bottom line with everything we do.

I realize now that we've just come to accept this as normal, everyday life. We think nothing of it, until you go somewhere where quality, style, and taste really matter and where businesses care about your experience with them. Then you realize what a generic, low-quality, crap-on-the-customer existence we live here.

For instance, my plane was supposed to take off at 2 pm. We were told it was delayed, likely for an hour. Three hours later, we were still sitting there without a plane. Finally, they told us they had come up with a solution and we'd fly out at about 7 pm. At 7 pm still no word. Then at about 8 pm they told us our plane was delayed overnight. They said they would give us hotel vouchers. We waited in line for two full hours, and just before it was our turn a lady from customer service told us our particular plane (we weren't the only one) didn't qualify for vouchers, so we should come back for tomorrow's flight at 7 am. It was 10 pm and we were on our own. Too bad for us. We sat in an airport for 8 hours being lied to and then literally kicked to the curb with no assistance of any sort from the airline.

How the hell can you do that to people?

Easy - that's the most profitable way to run the airline. Sure, it's a miserable experience for your customers and they feel like jerks for giving you their business, but when they report the earnings to Wall Street they're going to look great. Since all of the airlines do things that way in this country, there's no better alternative. That's just how you get treated.

By the way, if you fly on an international flight and you get delayed overnight, by law they have to provide you with a hotel and transportation to that hotel. My flight was a domestic flight here in the U.S. so they could legally kick us to the curb for their screwup and laugh all the way to the bank.

But that's only one tiny example. Everything over there was so much better than it is here. The coffee and pastry, the beer, definitely the food, the architecture, even their clothing styles. Everything there was about quality, taste, and a good experience. It was absolutely fantastic.

Think about this............here are the top luxury fashion brands in the world according to CNBC:

  • Louis Vuitton - $28.6 billion
  • Chanel - $20 billion
  • Hermes - $16.4 billion
  • Gucci - $12.9 billion
  • Cartier - $7.7 billion
  • Tiffany - $5.6 billion
  • Dior - $5.2 billion
  • Burberry - $5 billion
  • Prada - $4.8 billion
  • Lancome
  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Bulgari

Only one of those is from the U.S. and it's Tiffany's. They don't even make anything, they're just a store that sells other people's products.

Here are the top luxury cars in the world. Only two of these are from the U.S.

  • Ferrari
  • Lamborghini
  • Jaguar
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Aston Martin
  • Porsche
  • BMW
  • Bentley
  • Rolls Royce
  • Bugatti
  • Audi
  • Maserati
  • Cadillac
  • Pagani
  • Lexus
  • Volvo
  • Koenigsegg
  • McClaren
  • Tesla
  • Accura

I could go on all day with any type of product or service you could imagine.

I know someone who worked for the U.S. subsidiary of a company based in Germany. Whenever the Europeans would come over here they dreaded it because the quality of everything we have is just junk - junk food, strip malls, p*ss-water beer - everything is just really poor quality. I didn't understand what they were talking about until I went over there and saw the difference. Wow. It's depressing!

People famously say, "America: love it or leave it" because apparently, no one here thought of the option of improving it!

Donald, it's true - everything we do here is a chase for the almighty dollar. Fortunately, it worked - this nation is rich as hell. We're the largest economy in the world.

Unfortunately what often gets set aside is product quality, tasteful design, and customer experience.

By the way, I'm already planning on going back to Chamonix to ski and climb two more times this winter. It's surprisingly cheap to go there from the East Coast. It's cheaper for me to visit Chamonix than it is the West Coast of the U.S.

Brett, I noticed LINCOLN (Ford Motor Company) isn't even on that list. No surprise. Their flagship Navigator SUV is not even putting them on the top list. The Lincoln automobiles were renowned back in the days of those huge, heavy Continentals and Town Car boats. Cadillac today is now junk. No more true heavy all-American boats, Fleetwood Brougham, from them either. Think Chrysler Imperial from the 1950's - 1970's. My favorite personal vehicles of today? Toyota Corolla and light trucks, Tundra not Tacoma.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Donald B.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I've been told that cab-overs were once preferred in the city for tight maneuvers and I would never expect them for long haul usage anyway.

double-quotes-end.png

Cab-overs existed to allow for longer trailers and still stay within the overall length restrictions imposed at many a state level...those restrictions have long since changed. And they were used exclusively well into the early 90s for long haul trucking, especially for coast-to-coast LTL Team driving. Those are the facts.

So...you broached the subject of O/O...

You should read this link before continuing to salivate at the reality of owning a Large Car...Confessions of an Owner Operator

The only time I might try O/O with my own rig is if I were to become super rich as from hitting the super lotto jackpot just to have a cool "hobby" in a Kenworth W900 classic hood. I would never sweat about not making any profit. Otherwise it's become a driver as an employee for a freight carrier for me. Let the motor carrier outfit, Hunt or whoever, suffer the costs.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Seabee-J's Comment
member avatar

100% Agree with Brett's post . I too have been to Europe, Italy and Greece in addition to Korea and the quality is superior as well as many services . They may cost a bit more and turn less profit but they still turn one and people make solid livings . I think Brett's quote that we haven't tried improving things and are so narrowly focused on the bottom dollar is why we've neglected all the other aspects to consumer services and products . Its contributes to the throw away culture we have become accustomed to where it's cheaper to just buy new instead of maintaining and replacing or repairing old . So much of what was made decades ago was built better stronger and lasted whereas today it gets tossed after a fee years or is just immediately obsolete. I find this very sad . Another great example is services . Thanks for mentioning the airline industry as this is an easy one . I've flown domestic and international airlines and the difference and standard in comparable services economy vs economy is night and day . There is a reason no US carrier is rated in the top 10 , which as ticks me off personally but it goes to show where the focus had led us . Anyway sorry to hijack the thread. I loved the Diamond Rios as well but haven't seen one in ages .

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

One thing I always wondered about is driver visibility. How does it compare in a long, flat nosed Pete and the Roman nosed Frightliner I drove? I've never even sat in the seat of those beauties, but I wondered if that long straight nose had visibility disadvantages. I'm sure many of you have driven both. How do they compare?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Seabee-J's Comment
member avatar

Hey Bruce , I got a chance to operate a Scania and Hyundai while on duty and can say that the blind spots in front are much smaller if practically nil compared to any US conventional as well as much shorter wheel bases so turning radius is lot tighter. You do sit a bit higher as well which gives a nominal advantage in traffic . I drive transit buses with flat fronts as well so I'm more used to it than the curb sniffers but they are a bit on the cramped side and getting in and out is a little more difficult.

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