Every load is important to Bennett International Group, but Lenco’s hauls have added importance of being $500,000 armored vehicles used by first responders, police departments and government agencies worldwide.
Bennett comes to the rescue with extreme service.
These trucks make for a heavy cargo with weighty significance—and an unusual set of job requirements. As far as vehicle transport or step-deck trucking goes it’s one of the most specialized loads you’ll find. Lenco’s security requirements and need for white-ish glove service makes hauling them an unusual challenge.
Lenco’s unmet needs had them looking for a carrier ten years ago. Bennett Agent, Donna Nadeau, SMA saw the opportunities for improvement in the service they were receiving. She proposed a comprehensive approach that won the account for Bennett Motor Express and has kept the relationship alive and thriving over the course of hundreds of hauls.
Bennett’s bulletproof solution provided Lenco with one point of contact for accountability; clear communication procedures before, during and after the haul; and a policy of using repeat drivers who know the client’s unique requirements and have expertise in hauling step deck trailers.
Listening and communicating are the keys to success.
Nadeau says the Bear® and BearCat® vehicles being transported are handled with special care, according to strict instructions from Lenco. They’re so careful, she says, that the buyers are typically there to do an inspection while their vehicle is being loaded. Bennett Driver, Bob Parkman said he is usually in constant communication with the buyers during the entire trip.
Lenco depends on Bennett drivers like Parkman to know the ropes, or in this case, chains. “You gotta do everything by the book,” Parkman says. “You have to chain them down the proper way because on a wheeled vehicle, you have to have four binders on all four corners. And you have to stop every 350 miles to check and make sure all your chains are tight.”
A haul distinguished by unique challenges all the way.
To pull these beasts weighing 22,000 pounds each, Parkman drives a ’93 Kenworth and pulls a step deck trailer with heavy duty ramps. It’s the driver’s job to steer them onto the trailer—a white knuckle drive of only a few feet. One false move and the $500,000 truck could tip off the trailer. “It’s good to have someone guiding me, but I don’t always have that,” he says.
On the road, the load draws a lot of attention. “I just try not to talk to everyone going down the road because everyone is trying to take pictures of them and wants to know what they are. You just gotta mind your business,” he says. And paparazzi aren’t the only distraction. “From time to time I’ve had different police officers pull me over just to take a look at them.”
Going over and above sometimes means going to the movies.
A frequent destination for Bears and BearCats is tradeshows. The job requires a hands-on approach from drivers. Typically, Parkman is tasked with moving the armored vehicles, getting them washed and ready for the show and handling anything else that comes up. “I go above and beyond for these guys,” he says.
Another frequent assignment for Bennett is hauling these vehicles to and from movie sets. Parkman says they’ve been in a lot of films. He’s delivered Lenco trucks to a few of them, including one starring Tom Cruise. Nadeau says a Lenco vehicle had a cameo in a recent Terminator movie, too.
A relationship that’s been going strong for 10 years.
Parkman and other Bennett drivers go to great lengths to follow Lenco’s exacting instructions for hauling their trucks. Going the extra mile has resulted in Bennett being their go-to for hauls across the country, and recently internationally, during an extended haul of vehicles destined for Oman.
Bennett Motor Express’s Northeast Regional Manager, Rich Stoop, sees the team’s performance on Lenco’s hauls as a model for success, “Donna and her team provide unfailingly quality service. The expertise that is required to handle Lenco’s assignments, along with communication and honesty are why Bennett is the only over-the-road carrier they use and we’ve seen an increase in business every year.”
For more coverage of this life-saving cargo, view the article and video of one of the Lenco BearCat after delivery to a satisfied customer.
Bennett brings safety best practices and a service ethic to heavy machinery transports all over the U.S. For more information on Bennett’s flatbed trucking services for general freight and heavy machinery, visit www.bennettig.com/transportation-services/step-deck-trucking/