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American Trucker Magazine
American Trucker Spotlight Jan 2018

Spotlight on an American Trucker; January 2018

Del & Deb LaBree with Castle Transport LLC in Joplin, MO are leased to Landstar Inway Inc. “We began trucking as a husband and wife team in 2006,” said Del. “We found out very quickly we enjoyed running just-in-time (JIT) freight. When we became owner-operators, we introduced ourselves to agents at Landstar, running this type of freight, and we now run about 95% of JIT freight.”

Q: Make of truck and trailer?
A: We own a 2016 Volvo 780 condo sleeper truck. We don’t own a trailer.

Q: Type of freight hauled?
A: We haul 95% just-in-time freight, and all our freight is high value.

Q: How are maintenance and repairs handled?
A: We schedule all our work, minor to major, at our local Volvo dealer. We also use our local Petro for our PMs and our 120-day inspections. We built relationships with local shops. Currently, our truck is still under warranty.

Q: What are three challenges you face with maintenance/repairs?
A: We haven’t faced any challenges to our maintenance/repair program. As soon as we know work will need to be done, we schedule ourselves home.

Q: How do you minimize downtime for maintenance and repairs?
A: We make appointments. We call our dealer and get on their schedule. Then we schedule personal business to overlap, so when the truck is being serviced, we’re taking care of whatever our needs are at home. This saves us on hotels and car rentals and allows us to enjoy our home.

Q: What are your mileage/time intervals on preventive maintenance?
A: We schedule our preventive maintenance services (full synthetic) every 25,000 to 30,000 miles.

Q: How do you ensure good tire mileage? Which brand do you prefer?
A: We prefer and use Michelin tires, and we never use retreads. We check the tire pressure regularly and look them over when we get out of the truck. We also rotate as needed and have Centramatics for tire balancing.

Q: Do you stock any parts for your truck or purchase as needed?
A: We stock light bulbs, oil, antifreeze, fuses, fuel and air filters, clamps, belts, electrical butt connectors and wiring, fifth wheel grease, and additives. We’ll carry an extra starter/alter­nator when we suspect a problem.

Q: When do you replace a truck?
A: Our first truck was used, and we knew it would be our starter truck. It was a fleet truck and we couldn’t get a full history on it. A year later, we bought brand new. We’ve determined after two years with this truck, we’ll most likely keep it. The only way we’d consider replacing this truck is if the repairs started to outweigh what a truck payment would be.

Q: Biggest business challenge?
A: Operation costs.

Q: If you could change or add one regulation to trucking, what would it be and why?
A: Hours of service. There isn’t enough flexibility for drivers, whether solo or team.

Q: What do you like about trucking?
A: The scenery. My shift is 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. and I’ve seen some magnificent sunsets. Del has seen incredible sunrises. We love hauling JIT freight as it’s quick and provides minimum downtime for customers.


TAGS: Drivers News
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