Bailey Trucking

Dump truck fleet piling up newfound profits with Eaton automation

“The fuel economy that we are getting, compared to the torque converter trucks, is much better. Right now we are seeing 1.5 miles per gallon better fuel consumption. We’re [also]seeing about 15 percent longer tire life with the Eaton UltraShift PLUS transmissions. With 50 trucks, that adds up to significant savings.”

Jerry Bailey
Owner, Bailey Trucking


Jerry Bailey has a longstanding fondness for dump trucks. He claims the attraction started when he was six or seven years old.

When other kids his age were playing in sand, Bailey was more concerned with hauling it.

“So I guess you could say I’ve been involved with construction trucks for most of my life,” he says.

In 1981 he decided to turn that liking into a livelihood and started Bailey Trucking with an initial fleet of four trucks. Today that fleet has grown to nearly 50 tri-axle and quad-axle dump trucks that include a mix of Volvo, Sterling and Freightliner nameplates.

“We started out buying one truck at a time, and then four trucks at a time,” adds Bailey in describing his company’s growth. “Now we’re buying ten trucks at a time.”

Based in Yoder, Indiana, Bailey says, ”My company does a little bit of anything you can do with a dump truck…commercial work, home building, stockpiling, road and highway maintenance, and even spread driveways for private individuals.“


“Getting in and out of a jobsite as quickly and as safely as possible without breaking anything on the truck are the biggest dayto- day challenges that we face,” adds Bailey. “That’s why, when purchasing new trucks, I always get the heaviest heavy-duty rear ends and other components that are the most robust I can find so I do not have to worry about breakdowns.”

Some sites are tougher to maneuver than others.

“We are all about pleasing the customer or contractor,” adds Bailey. “Sometimes that means taking their stone and sand into a place that you think you might not be able to get to. But we usually end up getting there… and out of there.”

Rising fuel costs, safety and employee well-being are also concerns for the veteran trucker.


To achieve all of that and also remain profitable, Bailey recently decided to experiment with a new type of transmission. As a longtime user of manual and torque-converted automatic designs, he wasn’t satisfied with the fuel consumption he was getting. Nor was he satisfied with the premature wear on his vehicles’ tires that he was getting from the trucks with automatics.

“When we placed an order for new Freightliner trucks, we decided to take a look at the new Eaton UltraShift PLUS automated manual transmissions,” says Bailey. “We’ve had them now for six months and have been very much impressed with the performance.”

Available for linehaul and vocational use, Eaton UltraShift PLUS automated transmissions offer tailored performance and efficiency for virtually any given application. All launches and shifts are automated with the use of a self-adjusting electronic actuator for fast, smooth engagements.

The Eaton UltraShift PLUS transmissions in Bailey’s fleet are a part of the Vocational Construction Series (VCS), all of which have built-in applicationspecific performance features and represent a wide range of new customized transmission designs. The VCS has an overall ratio of 20:1, has been designed with deep reduction gearing and multiple high-speed reverse to best meet the needs of fleets like Bailey’s that require extended operation in reverse.


“The fuel economy that we are getting, compared to the torque converter trucks, is much better,” adds Bailey. “Right now we are seeing 1.5 miles per gallon better fuel consumption. With 50 trucks, that adds up to significant savings.”

He cited significantly less wear and tear on the vehicles’ tires as another area that is reducing costs thanks to Eaton’s latest generation of automation.

“The automatic transmissions have a constant pull – all of the time – because torque is constantly being applied to the tires,” he adds. “Conversely, the UltraShift PLUS has a clutch that frees up the wheels whenever you’re shifting gears.

“We’re seeing about 15 percent longer tire life with the Eaton transmissions. Again, that’s significant savings.”

He believes the automated transmissions also contribute to safer vehicle operation because of the two-pedal design that allows drivers to have two hands on the steering wheel all of the time. In addition, maneuverability is right where he wants it to be, and so is the service support he gets from his Roadranger support team.

“If you need to ask them a question, they always gets back to us right away,” adds Bailey. “They have also helped us out with programming the transmissions. They get right in the truck with you and figure out what needs to be done.

“Overall I would have to say that the decision to go with UltraShift PLUS was a very good one. The transmissions are definitely helping us be profitable.” Profitable enough to bring more of the transmissions into his grownup sand box known as Bailey Trucking in the future?

”I will definitely be buying more in the future,” adds Bailey. “The next trucks I get will have UltraShift PLUS transmissions.”