Spotlight on an American Trucker: Ryan Brunecz Trucking LLC, Kiantone, NY

Spotlight on an American Trucker: Ryan Brunecz Trucking LLC, Kiantone, NY

Ryan Brunecz, owner

Ryan Brunecz has been trucking for 16 years. He received his own authority and started Ryan Brunecz Trucking in 2003 with a focus on hauling produce, meat and some frozen foods, with very little dry freight. His freight lanes are in the Northeast, Southeast including Florida, and Midwest. He serves several direct customers and uses a specific list of brokers when booking loads. The vast majority of his loads are on demand based on customer needs. He drives a 2005 Freightliner Columbia with 2 million mi. and pulls a 2005 53-ft. Utility reefer with a 2008 Thermo King 310 reefer unit.

Q: How are maintenance and repairs handled?  Do you stock any parts for your trucks or purchase as needed?  
A: I use BKG Truck Repair and Parts,  a local shop in Salamanca, NY. Pittsburgh Power does all my major engine repairs. The only parts I stock are fuel and oil filters.

Q: What are some challenges you face with your maintenance program? How do you resolve each?
A: Having an older truck will always present a challenge in keeping it in road-ready condition. So the challenge is staying ahead of repairing the little things so the big things don’t fail. With an older truck, it’s also very important to have maintenance and repairs consistently done by the same mechanics and shop and not while I’m on the road. This is accomplished by having the truck checked every time I’m at home for a few days, regardless of whether a preventive maintenance service is due or not. We do maintenance on the truck at 15,000-mi. intervals.

Q: How do you determine when it’s time to replace a truck/trailer?   
A: [We replace a vehicle] when it costs more to maintain than what it makes.

Q: What do you do to ensure CSA compliance for your truck/trailer?   
A: I rely on a comprehensive maintenance and repair program with detailed records of all work done on the truck and trailer; if necessary, I have an attorney on speed dial.   

Q: How do you ensure good mileage from tires?  
A: I use only virgin rubber tires. I use Firestone tires for my steers and Cooper Tires for the drives and the trailer; I constantly check for correct inflation.

Q: Do you purchase used and customize to your specs or order new?  
A: My next truck will be a pre-2000 Kenworth or Peterbilt. I’ll have it thoroughly checked, including rewired, at Pittsburgh Power.

Q: What do you enjoy most about what you do?    
A: I love driving, listening to the radio, being independent, and seeing the country.

Q: What does your company do best?
A: We pride ourselves on on-time delivery and honest, full and complete communications with my shippers, receivers, buyers, and brokers.   
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