Wright Tree Service Reaps Rewards From Long-Lasting Fleet

April 13, 2017
The national vegetation management company relies on Ford F-Series models. The trucks offer rugged, easily customizable options and make up the largest portion of the fleet.

For Wright Tree Service Fleet Manager Kevin Fitzpatrick, the choice is not whether to buy Ford but which Ford he needs for the job at hand. Operating in 43 states across the U.S., the overwhelming majority of Wright Tree Service’s 2,000-truck fleet is comprised of Ford vehicles.

“We have everything from F-150 up to F-750 models, which are the largest part of our fleet,” Fitzpatrick said. “Last I looked, we have 90% Ford products. With Ford, we can make sure we plug into the right power plant, the right cab, and the right axle. Ford gives you all these choices under one roof, and we can get a truck that will pretty much do anything. On top of that, they’re made very well, and they’re extremely rugged.”

The nationwide employee-owned vegetation management company, Wright Tree Service, requires its fleet to be durable, because it supplies storm restoration and work planning services to gas and electric companies. These companies need their transmission and distribution lines clear of trees, brush, and other vegetation.

Flexibility of Fuel Types

Ford offers both a gasoline and a diesel power plant, so it gives the company the flexibility to choose the engine best-suited to their requirements. Another benefit of the F-650/F-750 models is the availability of three horse-power ranges in the 6.7L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V-8 engine: 270 hp/675 lb.-ft. of torque, 300 hp/700 lb.-ft. of torque, and 330 hp/725 lb.-ft. of torque.

The fleet has a mix of diesel and gasoline equipped trucks, though diesel is more common. Also in the fleet is the 6.8L Triton V-10 Gas Engine. Wright has been acquiring these trucks with the available CNG/propane-autogas gaseous prep package with the assumption that they may look into alternative fuels down the line.

Convenience and Quality

“Throughout the years, the Ford cab chassis has been a consistent winner for us,” Fitzpatrick said. “More recently, I think the 6.7L diesel has been an excellent, excellent engine. It has received very positive reviews from everyone in our industry and our own people. It’s good enough that after driving our trucks, our employees go and buy a Ford truck for their personal use.”

Convenience and quality don’t have to come at high cost, Fitzpatrick added, since Ford products have an outstanding total cost of ownership, both at the time of initial purchase and through the truck’s lifetime.

The cost-effectiveness continues on past Wright Tree Service’s ownership, seeing a good return on investment when the company disposes of the vehicle. The company typically runs its Ford trucks for an average of 10 years or more on the medium-duty models. This is especially attractive for the company’s employees. As employee owners, they want to see the company make good financial investments so they can see the return in the company stock price each year.

“We definitely look for a value at retirement, and I’m responsible for bringing in revenue from selling our trucks,” Fitzpatrick said. “The value of the truck and how they hold up is definitely monitored, and the Ford trucks have consistently given us a really good value over the course over their lifetimes.”

This article was published in Ford’s Medium Duty Truck News.

WTS Fleet Department