Sargent Trucking upgrades fleet with major purchase

11 years ago

Sargent Trucking upgrades fleet with major purchase

By Joseph Cyr
Staff Writer

    HOULTON — With diesel fuel costs soaring, replacing an aging fleet with more fuel-efficient models proved to be an investment too difficult to pass up for Sargent Trucking of Mars Hill.

Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Joseph Cyr

    DONE DEAL — Taking part are, from left, Doug Lovely, fleet maintenance manager for Sargent Trucking; Al Maynard, branch manager for Freightliner; and Mike Tweedie, director of company development for Sargent; In back is Josh Tweedie, president of Sargent.


    Sargent Trucking recently purchased 35 new Cascadia Evolution rigs from Freightliner of Maine in Houlton, trading in 46 older model trucks in the process.
    Sargent Trucking is a second-generation family business, according to Josh Tweedie, president of the company. Tweedie has been with the company for the past 18 years.
    “We started looking at the cost of maintenance, our depreciation schedule and the aggravation of having older equipment running up and down the road,” Tweedie said. “Our average fleet age was about 7.5 years. That’s pushing it for long-haul.”
    Originally, Sargent Trucking was considering renting vehicles, while wholesaling their existing fleet on their own. Those plans quickly changed to purchasing just 10 rigs, but that number grew to 35 when Freightliner said they would be willing to take all 46 vehicles on trade. Those rigs will likely be auctioned off on a wholesale basis.
    All 35 rigs were shipped to Houlton direct from the factory in North Carolina, according to Al Maynard, branch manager for Freightliner of Maine. The vehicles started arriving at the end of September. The rigs were delivered three at a time, as that was the most that could be shipped with any single delivery due to height regulations.
    “This is easily one of the largest deals we’ve seen in Aroostook County,” Maynard said.
    Each truck runs about $140,000, Maynard said, making the purchase price about $5 million. With the new vehicles, the fuel economy will go from 4.2 miles per gallon on the old rigs to upwards of 6.5 miles per gallon.
    “Based on a 100,000 mile per year run at current fuel costs, that’s a savings of almost $3,000 per month, per truck,” Maynard said.
    “We were running 46 employee trucks and had been considering downsizing,” Tweedie said. “The new trucks will be a big boost to our business. The fuel savings alone should pay for these rigs.”
    Freightliner of Maine, which acquired DBJ McGuire, Inc. of Houlton about a year ago, celebrates its one-year anniversary on Nov. 5. Maynard said the past year has exceeded the company’s expectations, particularly in the repair portion of the business.
    All of the vehicles included in this deal will be serviced locally by Freightliner, he added.