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.