Rather than a traditional look with similar paint schemes on all his trucks as many fleets do, owner Rafael Alers of Alers Hauling out of Tampa, Florida, takes a unique approach when it comes to growing his fleet.
Started in 2007 with two trucks, the family-owned and -operated road-hauling company keeps the momentum going and drumming up new business along the way.
Today, they operate a 30-truck fleet including a combination of 26 Kenworth T880s and W990s dump trucks purchased from Tampa Florida Kenworth, part of the CSM Companies family.
Alers built their company by buying low mileage, late model used Kenworth T880s and gave his drivers the option to choose the paint scheme to incentivize them.
“It’s simple,” says Alers. “Driver retention. The idea behind it is that they have a sense of ownership. They’re not just a number. They’re not just an employee. They take pride in that.”
With the last set of trucks Alers purchased, his drivers gave homage to Marvel characters with colors and nicknames to boot, such as Thanos (purple and white), Ironman (maroon and bronze), The Hulk (green), The Smurf (blue) and Deadpool (white, black, and red).
“These are my top tier guys who have been with us the longest,” he says. “They do an immaculate job maintaining their trucks. Once they’ve earned those stripes, we make a decision when we’re going to be buying new equipment and then we basically let them customize their trucks to a certain extent.”
After years of purchasing used units, Alers finally decided to build five new trucks. And again, instead of falling into the fleet look, he decided to stick with the different paint schemes to add to each drivers’ sense of individuality and pride.
The team has taken the eye-catching trucks to various truck shows and they always get compliments when the striking dump trucks roll into town.
The trucks are also mobile billboards for Alers. “We’ve gained business, believe it or not,” he says. “Just last week we received a call from someone who said, ‘Hey we saw your trucks running up and down the interstate and we want to work with you.’”
Those bright colors are no accident. “They’re meant to catch your attention and to send a message to the local market that we know what we’re doing when we’re investing like this into our company.”
The newest order of two 2022 Kenworth T880s and three 2022 Kenworth W990s adds Viper Red, Speed Yellow, Neon Green, Neon Orange, and Susan B Komen Metallic Pink in honor of the Alers’ family friend, Evelyn Lopez.
Although they haven’t officially given the new set of trucks catchy names yet, Alers’ drivers wasted no time in getting them primed and ready to make an impression. “The guys are dressing them up as we speak,” he said. “They spent all weekend in here polishing them and accessorizing them.”
The T880s and W990s include Cummins X15 450 horsepower and 13-speed Eaton Fuller Manuals. The W990s have the limited-edition diamond VIT interiors, and all trucks are Florida-specced dump trucks with Kenworth proprietary 10-spoke forged aluminum wheels.
Alers’ commitment to his company and his local dealership is strong. “I started buying strictly Kenworths,” Alers said. “Jason Stone [at the Tampa Florida Kenworth dealership] has been a significant help to helping us grow and to keeping up with supply and demand [as we add new trucks]. Kenworth has been an awesome partner. When I walk into the dealer, they make me feel special every time.”