With a fleet of 65 Kenworth C500s, ATK Oilfield Transportation provides oil rig moving services throughout the oilfields of Western Canada and Texas. Founded by Artie Kos, who previously had built and sold one of the largest privately-held trucking companies in Canada, ATK was launched in 2010 with brand new Kenworth C500s carrying the load.
“Most critical to our business are our large tandem-tandem C500s,” said ATK Chief Operating Officer Les Ovelson. “With a 430-inch wheelbase and a large, long bed used to physically dismantle drilling rigs, the C500 is the most significant piece of equipment we have.”
ATK specs its new Kenworth C500s with all the heavy-duty bells and whistles it can pack into each truck. The largest bed C500s with tandem steer axles and tandem drive axles are spec’d with Cummins ISX15 600-hp engines, Allison automatic transmissions and four-speed auxiliaries, Dana 22,000-lb. steer axles and 90,000-lb. Kessler rear axles.
“Kenworth is synonymous with ‘oilfield tough’ and always has been,” said Ovelson. “One of the biggest advantages to running Kenworth C500s is the straight frame rail that runs to the very front of the truck. When we get stuck in the mud with 230,000 pounds of gross weight, we’re able to tie a couple of trucks together to pull. That strong foundation is vital in the oilfields.”
The rough roads can really take a toll on equipment, too, and Kenworth stands up better overall, said Ovelson. “In the extreme environment that we operate in, Kenworth stands above the crowd, hands down. In our industry, if it’s not a Kenworth, it’s second fiddle. Nobody wants to drive an inferior truck in the oilfields. Getting into a Kenworth makes you happier to go to work. And when a driver is happy inside his truck, he’s going to be more productive and take pride in his job.”
For durability and driver preference, Kenworth cabs, chassis and suspensions hold up over the long haul so ATK can get the most out of every truck. “Our C500 winch tractors pick up the heavy loads and, for the most part, travel up and down the highway taking rigs from point A to point B. We’ll keep those trucks maybe five years before we trade them. While we haven’t reached that point yet, as our company is too new, everyone in our industry knows that Kenworth trucks, without a doubt, carry much better resale value,” said Ovelson.
“Our heavy tandem-tandem bed trucks work on location with their winches to physically dismantle drilling rigs. They put on a lot less miles than our hauling trucks, so their service life is a lot longer,” he said. “And because there’s so much capital involved in building them – $850,000 to $1 million each – we’ll just rebuild every 10 years or so. We can do that with Kenworth trucks because they’re built for the long haul.”
While quality-built C500s have helped ATK succeed quickly, the company is depending on its fleet of Kenworth trucks to continue growing in the future. C500s deliver long-term dependability and durability in some of the toughest working conditions imaginable. “My whole life, I’ve been around the oilfields,” said Ovelson. “I grew up in a Kenworth and the C500 will always be the truck for me.”
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.