BELLEVUE, Wash., Sept. 16, 2015 – For Newell Markworth, driving for the Seattle Cascades, a world-class drum and bugle corps, was both challenging and rewarding.
“After a performance, I loaded up and drove 350 to 500 miles -- from late evening to early in the morning,” he said. “Then I slept during the day – so I was on a different clock than everyone else, except for Scott (Aguillard), who drove our other Kenworth T680. But, driving for the Seattle Cascades was a great break from traditional long-haul driving – we got to be around a great bunch of young people and support their passion for music. It was invigorating.”
Markworth is a veteran truck driver with more than 25 years of experience and this was his third time driving support trucks for drum and bugle corps, which have competed across the United States. It was his first year with the Seattle Cascades, which competed against up to 21 other corps from around the United States in regional competitions. The grand finale, the Drum Corps International World Championship, was recently held in Indianapolis, at Lucas Oil Stadium, in front of 22,000 fans. Seattle Cascade made it through to the semi-finals. The event wrapped up a 21-city tour that covered nearly 8,500 miles.
Markworth and Aguillard drove Kenworth T680s that were rented from Papé PacLease. Markworth pulled a 53-foot van trailer that served as a kitchen – complete with refrigerators, ovens and stove tops. The cooking crew prepared four meals a day for the 150-person team – 125 band members plus volunteers and two paid staff members. Aguillard hauled a van trailer that carried all the band equipment and personal gear.
According to Michael Tran, Seattle Cascade’s tour director, the Cascades have been performing since 1958. Its members range in age from 14 to 21 (most are 17 to 18) and this year drew elite talent from 13 states, plus two musicians from Italy and Japan.
While finding top musical talent to participate in the tour was part of the equation, the other was handling logistics and the task of performing in so many cities, dovetailed with non-stop practices at high schools.
“This year we worked with PacLease for our rental trucks and they offered late-model Kenworth T680s with 76-inch sleepers,” said Tran, who himself performed with the Seattle Cascades in 2010. “It was a big upgrade from what we rented last year. Plus, the T680s are very-fuel efficient and that helped reduce our overall cost of transportation.”
According to Tran, schedules were tight, so reliability of equipment was his utmost concern when considering truck rental and leasing companies. “That’s one thing that sold us on PacLease,” he said. “The T680s were newer vehicles, well-maintained, and the rental rate was affordable. PacLease showed us that they had a strong network of locations to handle any concerns we might have on the road. In addition, they have PacCentral, PacLease’s emergency roadside service. Last year we had a breakdown with another rental company, so we didn’t want to experience that again.”
For Markworth, driving a 2016 Kenworth T680 made him the stand out amongst other drivers on the tour. “A lot of them came over to take a look at the T680s – they were a little bit jealous,” he said. “I think we had the best-looking trucks out on the tour. Since everyone else rents trucks, the quality of vehicles the drivers get to drive is all over the board. I wouldn’t want to drive any other truck. The T680 is very comfortable and the sleeper is great. That was my home for the last two months.”
With the 2015 tour just completed, Tran said his team of volunteers are taking time to enjoy and reflect on a great summer tour. “These kids are incredibly talented and you’ll see them next on football fields around the country with their marching bands,” he said. “But for this past summer, they were the main attraction and not the half-time show. They showed their talent to thousands of people throughout the country – they were rock stars out there. It was a summer they’ll never forget. For many, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
About PacLease and PACCAR
PACCAR Leasing Company (PacLease) is one of the fastest-growing commercial truck leasing companies in the transportation industry. PacLease has independent and company-owned full-service leasing locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia. PacLease provides customized full-service lease, rental and contract maintenance programs designed to meet the specific needs of customers. A combination of reliable, custom-built trucks and complete service offerings allows customers to maximize the value of their transportation resources.
PACCAR Leasing is a part of the financial services group of PACCAR Inc, a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. PACCAR shares are traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market, symbol PCAR, and its homepage can be found at www.paccar.com.