For nearly 40 years, Farmers Oil Company of Anthony, Kan., has specialized in hauling liquid petroleum gas products, as well as liquid fertilizers, anhydrous ammonia and many other products throughout the central United States. Along these highways and byways, Farmers Oil trucks get noticed.
The company boasts an old school, nostalgic look for its fleet, which appeals to drivers and gives the company the quality image it wants to portray. Driver retention is high, and a fleet of big, beautiful trucks is the reason why.
“I keep hearing from all my drivers out on the road that other drivers think they have the nicest trucks in the world — until they see ours,” said Larry Graves, president and owner of Farmers Oil Company. For the past several years, Farmers Oil has been making old trucks ‘new’ again — with help from glider kits. “I used to purchase 10 to 15 new trucks every year,” Graves said. “Now we build glider kits. We constructed a new maintenance facility and refurbish all our equipment in our new shop.”
Graves estimates he has 70 to 80 glider kit trucks currently in operation. With about 100 trucks overall, Farmers Oil may soon be a 100-percent glider kit fleet. Gliders are a great alternative for fleets that have the tools and service technicians to bring an existing powertrain back to life in a brand new truck. Designed to be mated with customer-supplied EPA 2004 engines and matching transmissions, Kenworth Glider Kits feature the latest interior amenities and updates.
“Once we build a Glider truck, it doesn’t cause us any trouble,” said Graves. “We’ve gone through the engine and completely rebuilt it. We expect to get the same life out of these trucks as we would a brand new truck. They just don’t give us any problems. And they attract a lot of attention.”
Farmers Oil proudly displayed its Kenworth W900L Glider Kit truck at the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. Among the largest grouping of show trucks in the country, all vying for honors at the 25th annual Paul K. Young Truck (PKY) Beauty Championship, the Farmers Oil Glider truck won a Best of Show Award. The PKY Truck Beauty Championship, in conjunction with the Mid-America Trucking Show, celebrates North America’s heavy duty, working show trucks. That kind of exposure brings out many admirers from all over the country.
“I have a waiting list of people lined up to buy my used glider trucks when I’m ready to sell them,” said Graves. “The market for them is really strong.” Kenworth Glider Kits are available for the T660, T800 (split fender configuration) and W900L, in all sleeper sizes.