Michael Tucci started Tucci & Sons in 1950 as a small utility construction company. Today, the third-generation, family-owned operation is a full-service heavy construction business. It includes an asphalt paving operation plus three other divisions – utilities, grading and earthwork and master planned community construction and development.
The asphalt paving division operates two asphalt plants with a combined maximum production capacity of 800 tons of asphalt per hour, plus works on a variety of projects including street and highway repaving for local municipalities, Pierce County, the Washington Department of Transportation and the federal government. The operation has also done repaving for planned developments, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, local businesses and several planned developments.
According to Tim Tucci, who serves as the company’s secretary/treasurer and fleet operations manager, Tucci & Sons has always tried to choose trucks and equipment that can offer employees a comfortable and productive work environment. The company runs a truck fleet consisting of 15 tractors and end-dump trailers, six transfer trucks and six water tenders, as well as two Kenworth T880 Super Dumps that the company acquired in May 2016.
Added Axles Enhance Capacity and Maneuverability
Tim Tucci worked with Rick Barry, his longtime sales consultant at Kenworth Northwest, to choose the specifications for the company’s first two T880s compliant with federal bridge formula requirements for lift axle spacing and capacity. The 25-ton-capacity T880 Super Dumps feature three 8,000-lb. W&C Tru-Track Super Alumilite steerable lift axles and an 8,000-lb. steerable “flying tag” axle. The trucks are spec'd with the PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 500 hp and 1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque.
The additional axles increase the vehicle’s gross combination vehicle weight to 80,000 lbs. by spreading the weight over more axles, which is permitted under an alternative federal bridge formula used by the state of Washington. With a 256-in. wheelbase, the truck measures 40 ft. from the front bumper to the rear steerable pusher axle – considerably shorter than the 75-ft. length of the tractor and end-dump trailer units the new trucks replaced. The resulting additional maneuverability means Tucci & Sons doesn’t have to rely on transfer trucks to deliver asphalt to paving projects in tighter urban areas.
The trucks also feature a clear back-of-cab configuration, allowing each truck to carry 110 gal. of diesel fuel instead of the typical 75 gal. This increased fuel carrying capacity extends the range of the truck, allowing it to go longer distances or to make more trips between refueling.
Productivity Boost Dumps More to the Bottom Line
Tucci & Sons, enhancing productivity, driver comfort and safety is the name of the game when it comes to delivering asphalt. “Depending upon the location of the paving project, we’ve found that in many cases our new T880 Super Dumps can haul up to 10% more asphalt in a single day than the dump trucks and end-dump trailers they replaced,” says Tucci.
The benefits are substantial. When a driver delivers asphalt using a dump truck and end-dump trailer, he or she must first empty the end-dump trailer. The driver then gets out of the truck, unhitches the end dump trailer, dumps the load in the bed of the dump truck and re-hitches the end-dump trailer to the truck before returning to the plant. Since the entire process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to half hour for each delivery, the company can add back one to two hours’ worth of revenue-generating productivity each day.
“Drivers in our new T880 Super Dumps can deliver their loads to the jobsites, dump them and then go right back to our Lakewood or Tacoma plant for another load,” says Tucci. “Also, jobsite activity and traffic can make it nerve-racking at best for our drivers to get out of their trucks when they’re delivering asphalt to a busy freeway jobsite at night.
“Anytime we can keep them inside the truck, that’s better for us and for our drivers, especially at night,” he adds.