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Nor-Cal Moving Services
Owner-Operator: Bob Hirchak, leased to Nor-Cal Moving Services/agent for Allied Van Lines
Location: Hayward CA
Bob Hirchak Jr. was named the 2014 Super Van Operator of the Year in the Household Goods category. American Moving & Storage Assn. recognized Hirchak for his remarkable safety record and dedication to superior customer service. In trucking for 31 years, Hirchak was with North American Van Lines from 1984 to 1988 and has now been with Allied Van Lines since 1988. He owns a 2014 Volvo 780 and pulls a Kentucky household trailer. Hirchak runs 48 states but typically moves household goods from the Midwest (Chicago) to California.
Q: How are maintenance and minor repairs handled? Do you use an OEM shop (truck dealer or engine manufacturer shop) or an independent truck repair shop?
A: Ninety percent of the time, I have my truck maintained at Pozzo Volvo Dealership in Gary, IN. I have it regularly inspected and always keep it in tip-top condition. I try to buy a new truck every four years, so I don’t encounter major problems. Any problem is handled ASAP, because safety is very important to me. All work is done by certified mechanics.
Q: How are major repairs handled?
A: I've been fortunate not to have major repairs, due to buying a new truck every four years or so. Also, Allied Van Lines has a mandatory DOT inspection for both tractor and trailer every six months. I have both greased every two months and tire air pressure checked weekly.
Q: What are major challenges with your maintenance/repair program?
A: The only challenge I face is wait time. Dealers can’t always get you in right away (when I’m OTR). Sometimes you have to wait a few days, so I always take my truck in for maintenance/repairs when I’m at home.
Q: How do you minimize downtime? What are your PM intervals?
A: I schedule maintenance during my time off. I service the truck every 18,000 to 20,000 mi., which is a shorter interval than the manufacturer suggests.
Q: How do you ensure good mileage from tires?
A: I rotate the tires and always make sure the tire pressure is correct. I drive the speed limit or slower and swear by Michelin Tires. I’ve never used retreads.
Q: What do you do to ensure CSA compliance for your trucks/trailers?
A: I have had a perfect CSA score since CSA started. I always keep a clean truck. I wash it at Blue Beacon two or three times a month. I keep the dashboard clean and always keep the inside spotless.
Q: What do you enjoy most about trucking and hauling the freight you do?
A: Household drivers deal with different customers every move, so it’s never the same job twice. Every move is unique in its own way, and you get to meet all kinds of wonderful people.
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