December 16, 2020
PacLease Location Spotlight - PacLease Rental Trucks Keep Peak Season Sugarcane Harvest Rolling
By Ryan Gaudin, Leasing Account Manager – Southland PacLease
Louisiana’s economy is a melting pot of different industries. Tourism in New Orleans, the Mississippi River and its many ports, oil and gas production throughout the state, plus the chemical plants are familiar to many across the country. However, one vital aspect of our state’s economy remains relatively unknown: sugar.
The annual harvest of sugarcane in Louisiana begins in September and continues through the beginning of January. Sugarcane harvesting provides an annual economic impact of $2 billion to cane growers and raw sugar factories, while generating an overall economic value of $3 billion to Louisiana. Sugarcane production is widespread across the state, located in 22 Louisiana parishes, spanning 400,000 acres. Every year, the sugarcane harvest supports 17,000 jobs for local residents, who work to produce almost 13 million tons of cane. Louisiana is home to eleven raw sugar factories.
What role does trucking play in the world of sugarcane? Every year, Kenworth of Louisiana and Southland PacLease provide Louisiana’s sugar mills with rental tractors. Southland PacLease provides a mix of late model, low-mileage, dependable tractors: including the Kenworth T880, T800, and T680 models. These tractors pull cane trailers, picking up cane from the fields and delivering it straight to the production mills. Once at the mill, sugar is extracted from the cane and stored as “brown” sugar until it is hauled to the refinery. At the refinery, workers process the sugar into the fine white sugar grains we all know and love. It is then packaged and shipped to stores worldwide.
Southland PacLease has steadily increased the number of tractors rented to the mills each year. Cane season waits for no one as trucks continue to roll through Thanksgiving, Christmas and sometimes New Years. For the rental department, cane season is the busiest time of the year. Combined with the tractor rentals, Southland PacLease provides continual maintenance and on-call service support for the duration of the season. The tractors work a demanding schedule, and the Southland staff is motivated to meet the ongoing challenge of keeping the tractors operating.
For the sugar mills, rental tractors are an enormous convenience to their operation. With renting, the mills are not responsible for the general expenses of heavy-duty truck ownership, such as maintenance, shop labor, licensing, and vehicle disposal. An additional benefit for the mills is cane’s short-term season. By renting, the mills can pick up the tractors when ready, and return when done, with no additional hassle. In conclusion, renting allows the sugar mills to focus on what they do best, extracting sugar.
Kenworth of Louisiana and Southland PacLease are proud to provide a helping hand to a thriving part of the Louisiana economy. We are also proud to represent and provide “The World’s Best” trucks and tractors, paired with a gold standard of service, and a team dedicated to achieving that standard. As always, we could not do it without the tireless work of our loyal customers, service technicians, rental admin department and management team. Thank you to all the Louisiana sugarcane growers, mills and refineries for keeping Louisiana sweet!
Some Trivia for you: from the American Sugar Cane League
How many Americans eat Louisiana sugar? 53 million!
How many calories does one teaspoon of sugar have? 15 calories!
Sugar history – the sugar crystallization process was perfected by planter Etienne DeBoré in 1795.
For more great Sugar Trivia visit: https://www.amscl.org/industry-info/sugar-trivia/