by Tim Brady
Editor's note: "Spotlight on an American Trucker" is a new monthly feature that aims to bring American Trucker's readership to life by putting names and faces alongside successes.
Green Bay, WI
What is the primary focus of your business?
We develop and create solutions for the transportation industry. I have a team whose passion is transportation, from my drivers to our logistics team. I built this from one truck, with the foundation of becoming the go-to carrier in transportation, specializing in open deck freight: flatbeds, step decks, RGNs. Our main goal is “customers’ success delivered.” We treat internal and external employees and contractors with honesty, respect and kindness.
How is maintenance handled?
We just purchased an office location with full shop accessibility, and we use several OEM dealerships in the area to keep our equipment top-notch. We strongly enforce safety and CSA maintenance. Our trucks are federally inspected every quarter, not just once per year as required.
How are major repairs handled?
Major repairs are usually jobbed out to OEM facilities that can offer warranty [service]. If that truck leaves and breaks down 500 mi. from home, we know an OEM dealership has access to thousands of in-network repair facilities to honor the work.
What three challenges do you face with your maintenance program? How do you resolve each?
The first is price. Shop hourly rates are about $105/hr. in my region. We definitely negotiate pricing, and work with a few shops to reduce costs.
Second is finding technicians. They are hard to find today so shops can have very limited time available for unscheduled repairs. Sometimes a shop can be backed up a week or more. We build strong relationships with them, and plan repairs in advance [when possible].
The final challenge is driver awareness. We constantly keep drivers trained to spot maintenance issues. They use this equipment daily, and if they cannot properly report a defect or federal violation, we’re failing as a team. It’s too late when a truck is broken down, or sitting out of service at a scale or port of entry. We do whatever we can to ensure communication and education, from driver to technician.
What are your mileage/time intervals on preventive maintenance?
It’s 10,000 mi. for oil and 20,000 mi. for grease. We test rear end fluids as well as engine (fluids). Every truck is different, so taking an ‘average lifecycle’ doesn’t make sense to me. On some trucks a part may last 50,000 mi.; on another, 30,000 mi. We really focus on the preventive maintenance and care of each unit.
What does your company do best?
Deliver on our promise. It’s so easy for every company to promise ‘the best, safest, on-time, efficient transportation,’ but with so many that promise this, the facts state exactly the opposite.
We send our CSA safety scores to our customers. We back our promises with facts and guarantees. Our team has passion for transportation; we make sure we have the right people on the team, and eliminate the wrong people. We deliver our customers success. We understand this, we get this, we promise this.