Innovative Fueling Solutions Streamline Fleet Management
Ben Keeter operates two businesses in the Boulder, Colorado area: Keeter Trucking & Excavating, which includes work for individual homeowners to large commercial projects, and Hogan/Keeter — a company that recycles concrete, asphalt and screened pit run and turns it into a variety of decorative materials.
"I like being hands on myself, so though we've explored going larger, we've decided to stay somewhat small," Keeter said.
"We've got a total of 25 employees between the two companies, and it simplifies things. We do jobs that we enjoy and work for people that are good to work for. We've been here since 1957, and we've got a list of long-time customers. We're very cautious that we don't overload ourselves because we always want to take care of those customers who keep coming back."
Running two diverse businesses that rely on diesel-powered earthmoving equipment — some on job sites, some anchored in a central location — requires a solid fleet management strategy. He owns several Caterpillar excavators, including 305s, 325s, and is in the process of adding additional machines. He owns a Caterpillar D8 dozer, several skid steers, dump trucks, side dumps, a low boy truck and more.
When Keeter was in the market for a new fueling solution for all of his heavy equipment, he researched Thunder Creek Equipment's MTT 690 — a "multi-tank" fuel trailer that allows business owners and fleet managers to haul bulk diesel to their equipment and job sites without requiring a CDL or HAZMAT endorsement. This is made possible by isolating diesel in four, six or eight separate 115-gal., DOT-compliant non-bulk tanks.
Tanks are joined by a manifold to a common pump, creating complete isolation during transport and controlled dispensing of fuel at the job site. Each trailer is built to maintain a low profile and is configured to provide optimal balance and a smooth ride at highway speeds, as well as in the most rugged off-highway conditions.
"I found the MTT 690 to be a high-quality, simple product that fits into our system well. We can use it locally at our pit, fueling equipment and crushers and screening plants. And then we can also take it out onto our jobs and fuel our equipment," Keeter said.
"Because of the way that the MTT 690 is designed, we can do these things without having a special license for our employees to pull it to a job and fuel equipment. It's becoming more difficult to find employees willing to get a CDL or a hazmat license, so this is a great solution that everybody understands and can operate."
Keeter has owned the MTT 690 for four years. In that time, his crew has occasionally had questions or a need for parts — he said the customer service at Thunder Creek is top notch.
"When we call Thunder Creek, they're right on top of it. Anything we need, they really step up and take care of us. And when we call, we get to talk to the same people. They're family-oriented like our company is."
Keeter said the Thunder Creek MTT 690 has paid for itself in efficiency and time savings. It is equipped with an air pump and small gas engine, which allows for more efficiency in greasing machines than with a hand grease gun.
Instead of hauling 100 gal. at a time in a smaller truck-mounted tank, crews can haul almost 700 gal. and handle fleet-wide fueling much faster and more efficiently.
"We save hours upon hours a week with our fueling and greasing and everything with this unit. One guy can be fueling, one guy can be greasing, and it just makes our week more efficient," Keeter said. "I think that the Thunder Creek trailer would fit just about any operation. It's simple, well-built, and an excellent addition to our equipment lineup."