Some people just know what they want to do in life. They realize it at a young age and are driven to accomplish their goals. Kevin Newsome is one of those individuals.
Growing up, Newsome’s father owned a single-axle dump truck. That was Newsome’s first introduction to the trucking industry at age five.
Eventually he learned to drive his dad’s dump truck, sometimes making deliveries when his dad was out of town. Through his teens, he gained valuable knowledge about the industry and how the trucking business works. By 1994, he started Newsome Trucking, Jasper, Georgia, with one truck. A few years later, KRN Logistics followed.
Newsome says, “I always wanted to have my own trucking company. So I worked with my dad and at other jobs and saved my money. Then I ordered a new dump truck when I was still in school. When I turned 18, it came in. I put $10,000 down, started the company with one truck and went from there.”
Today, Newsome Trucking and KRN Logistics have 47 employees. Newsome Trucking operates within the state of Georgia, hauling everything from dirt and gravel to construction and demolition (C&D) materials. KRN Logistics focuses on long haul and over-the-road services. Newsome’s fleet of trucks tops 30 and includes a half dozen Trail Ox End Dump Trailers for the C&D side of the business from dump body manufacturer Ox Bodies, Fayette, Alabama, a Truck Bodies and Equipment International (TBEI) company.
Ox Bodies formally introduced its Trail Ox Series of steel end dump trailers in 2013. According to Henry Bell, vice president of TBEI, the products have been well received and are a logical extension of the company’s established dump body line.
He says, “We felt that there was an opportunity in the market for highly durable, carbon steel end dump trailers so it was a natural fit for Ox Bodies.
The family of trailers was designed for applications ranging from sand-to-large aggregates to rip rap and asphalt. The product line comes in frameless, full and quarter frame versions with three body styles in square bottom L; elliptical U; and a J body, which is square with a radius at the floor.”
All of the end dump trailers that Newsome operates are 28-foot long, quarter frame elliptical bodies. According to Newsome, the trailers are used to haul anything from dirt and gravel to mulch, shot rock, concrete and more.
“They’re really tough,” says Bell of the truck bodies. “You can haul just about anything in them.”
Bell says he uses full quarter-inch steel in the manufacturing of the truck bodies which also results in strong floors.
“That’s a big deal,” he says. “They don’t dent or get dinged up. They’re very durable and resistant.” He adds, “We have vibrators installed which really help provide a great clean out.”
Aluminum trailers typically don’t allow for hauling heavy loads. Steel Ox trailers gain about 7 to 8 tons per load, which means a reduction in trips and fuel savings.
“That is extremely important when hauling C&D materials that aren’t as heavy. You get a lot more volume, 30 yards versus 15 yards when dealing with the lighter weight material,” Bell describes.
ON THE JOB
According to Bell, the business climate for end dump trailers is very positive right now.
“We have seen a growth in the end dump trailer market, and I think a lot of that has to do with the construction industry,” he says. “Whenever we see an uptick in construction, roadwork, infrastructure projects and so on, we tend to see more demand for the end dump trailers.”
Bell has noticed some significant projects going on for transportation infrastructure and site redevelopment in Atlanta and other parts of the southeastern U.S. New stadium projects and general construction is also pretty active.
Those types of projects keep Newsome Trucking busy. On a recent project for Georgia Power, the company hauled gravel for the development of a roadbed, then supplied approximately 30 trucks per day to haul dirt to a local landfill. All totaled, Newsome Trucking hauled over 260,000 tons of material on that one particular project.
Newsome has also noticed an increase in environmental and contaminated soil cleanup projects over the last 10 years. The company holds several hauling certifications, including a certification to handle asbestos materials. Dealing with those types of materials requires a high level of training and preparation.
Newsome says, “In Atlanta in particular, there are a lot of environmental cleanup projects. As older properties turn over, new owners are doing soil tests and analysis in areas that were developed decades earlier when environmental restrictions weren’t as strict as they are today. So redevelopment is driving a lot of the environmental cleanup work and a lot for the projects we’re involved in.
Newsome says his employees are all skilled and trained. The companies have monthly safety meetings in-house as well as safety meetings before every job.
“We make sure that everyone is aware of what they’re hauling, and that they are properly prepared, well rested and operating within the prescribed hours. We want to keep everyone safe and make sure there are no accidents or spills,” he says.
Equipment performance also plays a role in safety, especially in the projects that require extra care. Newsome says, “The end dump trailers are extremely stable in landfill situations.”
Stability is big deal to for Newsome. His company hauls a lot of material to landfills and often the ground itself in those facilities is not solid. He says if you’re not careful, it is easy to get into a difficult situation.
“At landfills the drivers are often not allowed to leave the cab of the truck for liability reasons,” Newsome describes. “Being able to utilize the high lift tailgate in those situations allows the driver to remain inside the truck, while still getting the material unloaded effectively.”
DOWN THE ROAD
Both Bell and Newsome are optimistic about the future, both for the end dump trailer line and the types of projects they’re designed for.
Newsome says, “I think things are good right now. Looking out at the next five years or so, I think the industry is strong. We have recurring projects that we gear up for every year, and we’re always on the look-out for new projects and new challenges.”
Bell predicts the C&D market will continue to drive innovation and push engineers because of a strong desire for lighter weight products.
Engineers at Ox Bodies are working on applying some of the lightweight technology the company has developed on the dump body side into the trailer line. “That’s our challenge, to continue to develop products that are able to increase payloads by taking weight out of the product, he says.