As an environmental clean-up company, Chicago-based Ziron Environmental is on call 24 hours a day. It’s a company that never rests. Nor does its fleet of 15 tractors hauling 6,000-gallon vacuum tanker trailers and nine Class 7 and 8 straight trucks equipped with 3,000-gallon vacuum tankers.
Brian Ziron has grown the company from a vapor recovery operation at gas stations, to one where they’ll travel as far as Texas or New Jersey for multi-day clean up projects. These projects could cover various emergencies, such as pipeline ruptures to biological and infectious material clean-up.
“We’ve become very broad in environmental cleaning, but at the same time very specialized and have equipment and trained crew members to handle virtually any spill emergency that comes our way,” Ziron said. “It’s why we’re often called for help outside our home territory – companies know we’re reliable and responsive. And in environmental clean-up those are the two main attributes to success.”
With a need for specialized equipment, Ziron said he never thought full-service leasing could play a part in his operation. “But I was pleasantly surprised,” he said. “We talked with PacLease and other leasing companies about six years ago and PacLease was the only one that could provide custom trucks that matched our requirements. We require PTOs (power-take offs) and wet kits to operate the vacuums, and our fifth wheels have to be at a certain height to accommodate our trailers. These can’t be off-the-shelf tractors.”
According to Ziron, PacLease worked closely with the company to create a spec that provided operational efficiency, optimum fuel economy and driver comfort. “We began with the Kenworth T800 and have transitioned into the new T880,” he said.
“Our drivers absolutely love the new model. It’s a great truck, and it looks good on the road. Plus, we’ve been very pleased with the fuel economy.”
The T880s feature 500-hp engines and are matched to Eaton Fuller 13-speed transmissions. Since the trucks can operate in extremely cold weather, they were spec’d with a cold weather package, which includes block, fuel and oil pan heaters.
The full-service lease is also paying off for Ziron when it comes to cash flow and accounting. “The lease with PacLease is very economical and I only have to cut one check per month,” said Ziron. “PacLease handles all the maintenance and even comes out to our facility to provide maintenance services. That saves us a lot of time and ensures fleet uptime. Vehicle reliability is a critical element – the most important really – we need our equipment ready to go. We can’t have trucks in for constant service, and we can’t have trucks that aren’t reliable. When customers call with an emergency, we need to be there. And that means PacLease needs to be there.”
Two of Ziron’s T880s are spec’d with 52-inch sleepers and those rigs often go to North Dakota to provide service to the oil industry and drilling operations. “Our drivers need to stay with the trucks. They’ll often work 12-hour shifts, and then will need a place to rest,” said Ziron. “The smaller sleeper gives our drivers a comfortable bunk and rest area, while still giving us the wheelbase and hauling capacity required for our operation.”
Since Ziron drivers are also service technicians at the job site, Ziron wasn’t sure his equipment choice would make a difference with drivers. “But after running the Kenworth equipment, I can honestly say it does,” he said. “They love the trucks and the image they project. Our trucks are black with chrome decaling, and our tankers are stainless steel. They showcase our company well and present a quality image. Our customers know we run the best equipment and that gives them added confidence in working with us.”
While all the PacLease units were custom spec’d and delivered new, one T880 came in as used – but only slightly, with just a few thousand miles under its belt. “It was the T880 used to move the Capitol Christmas tree in 2014,” said Ziron. “The tractor happened to have the specs we were looking for – even the cold weather package. It’s a very special, one-of-a-kind truck in our fleet and we have a lot of pride knowing that this truck had a role in delivering the ‘People’s Christmas Tree.’”