History of Opie Tractors

A 1968 International 2000 series would be considered by most the loudest most obnoxious sounding truck going down the road in today’s era, but Unit #12 was the first over the road tractor bought by Opies Transport or in 1982 known as Opies Milk Haulers. Unit #12 had a red painted 426 cubic inch 2 stroke diesel engine manufactured by Detroit Diesel powering a 10 speed manual transmission with a single axle drive chassis configuration and a tag axle to follow. The pearl white Opie day cab featured a window in the back and a doghouse in between the seats that created a sound that would deafen most drivers. Unit #12 had over 750,000 miles, 2 Engine rebuilds, and an idle sound that would make most think the Engine was sick. This truck was the building block and creator of what we are fortunate enough to have today. We have learned a lot on what equipment works best for our customers and drivers, we always try to incorporate ergonomic features in a lightweight package to keep our competitive edge for both drivers and customers.

In the early days of Opies Transports, most of our trucks were International branded with ranges of day cabs, or sleeper trucks that were cab over and hooded models. In 1985, Opies started trending towards a new model truck that had just reached the market, it was a T600 Kenworth. The T600 Kenworth was a popular model truck that was first manufactured as a 1985 half year truck. While the first batch of T600 trucks come with 290 Big Cam Cummins we have used the 3176 Caterpillar, Detroit 11.1L and for the home stretch of the model years we had C13 Caterpillar Engines. To this day, the T600 is one of the most functional trucks that Opies Transport has ever operated.

Over the years we had experimented with different chassis configurations but the most common configuration that we have used was an 8-bag air suspension, dual tires, and super singles. Kenworth also had multiple cab specs that featured a flat top design, aerodynamic, and sunroof top windows that made it stand alone from the pack. For a short 3-year stint, Opies had joined the rest of the pack and purchased fifty-five 378 Peterbelts starting in 1999. These trucks didn’t work particularly well for our style of transportation but we did enjoy the look of them while we had them. The most recognizable and memorable truck at Opies is still the T600 Caterpillar with a C13 Engine and 10 speed Eaton and Fuller Transmission, we were able to enjoy this model truck from 1985 all the way until 2007.  

From 2008 to 2014, Opies Transport purchased and operated another new model Kenworth tractor with an updated Caterpillar C13 Engine with after treatment. The T660 Kenworth was very similar to its successor the T600 in design. It featured a white painted bumper, and side step covers to match the rest of the truck along with a polished chrome grille and large cab lights to differentiate from the T600. The New C-13 Caterpillar featured an after treatment system that incorporated a spark plug to help ignite the regeneration process. This was the first time a spark plug had been incorporated on a diesel motor!

In 2010, Caterpillar stopped the manufacture of commercial motor vehicle engines which lead us to buy a new Engine manufacturer’s product, this engine was the MX-13 Paccar. We later ran the T660 Kenworth and Mx-13 Paccar combination until 2014 when they stopped the production of the T660 and started operating Freightliner Cascadia’s. Our Freightliner Cascadia started out with a DD13 Engine and a 10 speed manual Eaton and Fuller Transmission. This truck was our first dive into the Freightliner brand and a role model for what we now have today.

Today, Opies Transport owns and operates Freightliner New Cascadia’s. They have DD13 Generation 5 Detroit Diesel motors with a 12-speed automated transmissions. The DD13 has 470 hp with 1650 ft-lbs. of torque. The tractor itself sets on a 223” wheelbase and dual Michelin tires. Most of our units now feature an Auxiliary Power unit (APU/Tripac) that is made by Thermo King. This unit helps keep the batteries charged and driver comfortable while the truck engine is not running. The truck is specked with a 60” sleeper to help keep us as competitive as we can be in the heavy hauling weight market.

Even since the beginning of Opies Transport we have always tried to balance the best combination in a truck that works great for our drivers and customers alike. The New Cascadia has worked well for us the past 3 years but we are always looking out for what’s new in technology and the trucking industry. Our experience with the different model trucks over the years has allowed us to get to where we are today and become one of the most modern and safest fleets in the trucking industry.

What Are the Different Driver Positions Available at Opies?

There are several different driver opportunities with Opies Transportation from home nightly drivers to regional drivers to over the road drivers.

At Opies Transport we have many different hiring needs all depending on where the driver lives.  As a family based company who understands the value of our drivers’ time at home, we pride ourselves in taking care of each driver getting them home when they need to be. We know that our drivers work hard to provide for their families, so we want them to enjoy time with their friends and family as often as possible. In fact, when our dispatch team receives an order, they often consider whether there is a driver on staff whose home is nearby so that a driver can possible take their break at their home. More than that, once our drivers arrive home and complete their 34 hour restart, our team asks the driver when they want to get back on the road, opposed to forcing them out immediately. Our team recognizes good communication and can get drivers home on weeknights to attend a t-ball game, dance recital, birthday dinner, anniversary, and other family-oriented events.

Home Nightly Drivers

If you live in the Memphis, Tennessee or Dallas, Texas area, Opies has an immediate opportunity for home nightly drivers. Thanks to the many lanes we have in these areas, our dispatchers plan and get our drivers home every night while offering a good daily wage.  Every driver is paid by the mile, but some of the loads in those areas deliver within 100 miles of the shipper, so, in order to take care of our driver and make it worth his or her time we pay by the mile and add a “short haul pay” with each of these loads. We even have customers who are 250 miles away from the shipper, which allows our driver to load and deliver the same day and make it home by night.

Regional Drivers

If you live in Chicago, Illinois, Dallas, Texas, Eldon, Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri, Keokuk, Iowa, Memphis, Tennessee or North Houston, Texas, we are looking for regional drivers to join the Opies family! Our dispatch works hard to get drivers in these areas home a few times each week and provide weekends off.  In this role, some orders load and deliver the same day; while others load one day and deliver the following day.

Over the Road Drivers OTR)

If you don’t live in one of the aforementioned areas, we still want to welcome you to the Opies team as an over the road (OTR) driver! OTR driver’s work 10-12 days and are guaranteed home every other weekend. Our team works to get OTR drivers home on a Thursday or Friday, but depends on what load they deliver. Our dispatch will reach out the Tuesday before the driver’s weekend home to decide when they would like to leave the house and start working again. With some drivers preferring a restart immediately and others preferring 2-4 days off, this communication plan helps us best support our team!

Work With Opies

We know that every driver has different circumstances and responsibilities, and we want to do our best to accommodate each of our drivers. As a smaller trucking company that truly respects and takes care of all employees, all we look for from our drivers is clear communication about their needs and we can work with you to make sure you never miss a special family event. Click here to fill out our form and learn more about joining the Opies team today!

Safety is always our 1st Priority

In support of our Safety First policy, Opies conducts a three-day driver orientation and Student Trip for all new hires, believing that first-hand experience is the most effective way to protect those who are working on behalf of our company and our clients.

At Opies Transport, our number one objective is to get our drivers and their product to the final destination safely. We will do everything in our power to ensure our employees and owner-operators are knowledgeable and properly prepared for secure transport. Learn more about our Safety First initiatives.

Equipment Leasing

Through our leasing division, Opies offers top-of-the-line trucks and trailers, including Freightliner Cascadia, Stainless Steel Walker Tankers, and Ozark Utility dry van trailers. Our trucks and trailers are well-maintained for driver safety, and ensuring the quality of the product being transported. See more on our Equipment Leasing page.