Star Transport – Fueling the South with Trucks from PacLease
October 21, 2021
For Marty Moulton, vice president of operations for Star Transport (a Big Star Company), there is one mandate for anyone wanting to do business with Star Transport.
“Know our business,” he said. “If you don’t, we will find out pretty quick and you will struggle working with us.”
Operating a fleet of 230 trucks, the majority on a full-service lease with PacLease, Moulton depends on companies that “get what we do,” he said. “And PacLease does. It’s why we lease so many trucks with them.”
Some deliveries will go as far as a 250-mile radius from a terminal. The company also has three locations where trucks are used to haul crude oil and wastewater from oil fields.
“Everything we do is very structured and organized,” said Moulton. “We run a 24/7 slip seat operation, so our trucks are always in motion and have very high utilization. That means we can’t have downtime – reliable trucks are critical to our operation.”
According to Moulton, leasing trucks has always been in the mix for Star Transport. “Typically, we will have less than 15 trucks at a terminal,” he said. “So, we don’t want to invest in a maintenance facility, or in the constant training needed for techs. We depend on PacLease for their maintenance expertise. Often, they’ll have mobile service units come to our facility to handle PMs. And if PacLease does need a truck in for service – for more than four to six hours -- they’ll provide us with a substitute vehicle so we can continue to make deliveries.”
Moulton said one of the big differentiators of PacLease from other leasing companies is the ability to custom spec trucks. Most of the PacLease trucks are Peterbilt Model 367 and 567 day cabs, with some Kenworth T880s used in various locations.
“Custom spec’ing plays a big role in improving productivity for our company,” he said. “A terminal might do 150 loads a day, with each truck doing four or five drops to C-stores, big box chains, and other fueling locations, including airports with jet fuel. They normally gross out at close to 80,000 pounds. That’s a lot of fuel delivered per truck – so it’s important to be as light as possible, yet as durable as we can be to avoid breakdowns. Working with PacLease, we build each truck specific to our location and usage. Most of the specs are similar – we typically run 500 hp engines and automated transmissions, but there are some changes, such as the use of aluminum wheels, and aluminum fifth wheel top plates. On our Peterbilts, we use the Peterbilt Flex Air suspension, which is the lightest suspension out there. It all helps us haul more product and improve our bottom line.”
Unlike other companies that hunkered down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Star Transport took the opposite approach and grew its business. “And PacLease was there to support us,” said Moulton. “In San Antonio for example, we went from one truck to 10 over the course of five months. We made the order for new lease trucks with PacLease, and they also supported us in the short term by providing rental trucks that could carry the load while our new trucks were being built. We didn’t miss a step.”
"The PacLease trucks Star Transportation operates are hard to miss. And that’s all by design," said Moulton. “We have white trucks with red frames with a nice graphics package,” he said. “Image is 100% important to us. When we deliver our loads, our Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks not only reflect well on us, but our customers as well. They too want a quality image – showing that they’re receiving their fuel from a top provider. It instills confidence.”
It also is a big benefit to the Star drivers. “Drivers are proud to drive these trucks,” continued Moulton. “We know if we take care of our drivers with the best trucks, they’ll in turn treat the trucks right themselves.”
Going forward, Moulton said the company will continue to grow with PacLease. “They understand what we do and what our business is,” concluded Moulton. “A lot of leasing companies don’t understand what we go through, or our challenges. But PacLease does. That’s what we’re looking for in a leasing company.”