Las Vegas’s 4.2-mile long strip is home to more than 62,000 rooms. It hosts 22,000 conventions a year. Fifteen of the world’s 25 largest hotels reside here and 40 million visitors. For Joe Dramise, president of Apex Linen Service, that means a lot of washables—from sheets and towels and terry cloth bathrobes, to service uniforms. Each day, the three-year old firm processes more than 100,000 lbs. of laundry. And, every year, that number increases.
To handle the movement of laundry, four Peterbilt Model 337 medium-duty tractors (hauling 38- and 53-ft. trailers), and two 337 straight trucks with 28-foot box vans, deliver to the hotels and casinos in a 24/7 operation. The vehicles are on a full-service lease from Peterbilt Las Vegas, the local PacLease franchise.
Dramise has been in the laundry business for more than 30 years. Twenty years ago he launched AJ Industries, which designs and builds high-capacity commercial laundry facilities with sales worldwide.
“It’s where we made a name for ourselves,” said Dramise. “But a lot of the hotels and casinos like to outsource all of their laundry needs. Four years ago, several hotel owners came to me asking if we would open a full-service laundry operation and service their businesses. We made that leap in 2011 and built a new 90,000 square-ft. laundry facility off the Las Vegas Strip.”
Although Dramise felt comfortable with his laundry business, transportation was one area where had little experience.
“I needed someone to work with who could handle our transportation needs to ensure timely delivery while letting Apex concentrate on our laundry business,” Dramise said. “We didn’t want to own our fleet, worry about paperwork or maintenance, or find replacement vehicles. And we didn’t want to be selling trucks later. We wanted our own private fleet, but we just didn’t want the headaches associated with ownership.”
That’s how Dramise found Roger Arriola and PacLease.
“We asked and they offered,” said Dramise regarding having PacLease handle routine maintenance at the Apex facility. “This saves us a lot of time in shuttling vehicles around and we know we’re always running properly maintained trucks,” Dramise said. “The last thing we would want is to have one of our trucks breakdown on the streets of Las Vegas. Image is everything in this town, so not only do we ensure we provide the area’s best service, but also we mirror that reputation with the trucks we operate.”
The Peterbilt 337 tractors feature PACCAR PX-9 engines rated at 350-hp, while the box trucks run with the PACCAR PX-7 rated at 260 horses. Allison automatic transmissions were spec’d for the constant stop-and-go traffic. The Peterbilts get more than 8 MPG.
With 24-hour turnaround for linens and towels, and same-day return delivery for uniforms (picked up at 10 a.m. and delivered back at 5 p.m.), Apex Linen has made a name for itself in service.