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Spotlight on an American Trucker: Hetzels Overland Transport

Spotlight on an American Trucker: Hetzels Overland Transport

Stacey Durbin, owner, and Shane Harrison, dispatcher

The primary focus of Hetzels Overland Transport is to be a small, family-owned trucking company that provides reputable customer service and a business where the employee still comes first. Beginning with a single truck in 1993, the company has grown to 20 tractors and 70 food-grade trailers. Hetzels currently runs 2010 International Pro Stars and 2006 9200is. Key employees include dispatchers Shane Harrison and Lee Doedtman and mechanic Devin Koester.

Q: How are maintenance and repairs handled? What do you do to minimize downtime?
A: All maintenance and repairs are done in-house. We have two full-time mechanics on site for this. We perform oil changes and inspections every 15,000 mi. on our trucks.

Q: Do you stock parts or purchase as needed? If you stock, which ones?
A: We keep often-used parts such as all fluids, filters, lights, batteries, and tires in stock.

Q: What are some challenges you face with your maintenance program? How do you resolve each one?
A: Diesel aftertreatment systems are a big challenge. We perform the suggested maintenance at the proper intervals or even before the suggested intervals.

Q: How do you ensure good mileage from tires?
A: We maintain the proper balance, inflation PSI, and alignments, and we replace shocks routinely.

Q: How do you determine when it’s time to replace a truck or trailer?  
A: We are currently in the process of replacing 10 of the trucks and will be starting a rotation schedule from here on out. The trailers are already on a rotation schedule.   

Q: Do you purchase used trucks and customize them for your operations? Or do you order new trucks built to your specs?
A: We just ordered new trucks to our specs.

Q: What do you have in place to ensure CSA compliance?
A: We audit our logs weekly and conduct regular safety meetings to update drivers on any changes that occur.   

Q: What do you enjoy most about trucking? What does your company do best?
A: [I enjoy] knowing that we are safely providing a service that helps to keep America running. I also enjoy being a small business where we are still able to put the customer and our family (our employees) first. In this  country, treating others as you would want to be treated is a behavior of the past. I believe that we provide impeccable customer service and pride ourselves in giving respect to everyone who crosses our path.  
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