What is the make and model of truck and/or trailer you use?
2009 Freightliner Cascadia.
Do you have regularly scheduled routes or on-demand delivery?
Combination, depending on the customer. We have direct-ship customers and pull broker freight as needed.
How is maintenance handled?
When it’s time for preventive maintenance service, I have a list of dependable shops that I use based on where I’m located.
How are major repairs handled?
I’m a firm believer in using the OEM for major repairs.
What are three challenges you face with your maintenance program?
Parts availability is one of my biggest complaints. Time is always of the essence when it comes to repairs. The more time a truck is down, the more revenue that is lost that can never be recouped. And when it takes a week for a part to arrive on a repair that only takes a few hours, it makes a big dent in the truck’s revenue. Having a warranty many times doesn’t help if the part isn’t stocked. I do my best to pre-plan repairs and make sure the shop has all the parts necessary to complete it on a timely basis.
What are your mileage/time intervals on preventive maintenance?
How do you ensure good mileage from tires?
I check tire pressure weekly and use only Michelin tires. Also, at 100,000 miles I remove the steers and store them until I have eight, and then use them to replace all eight worn drive tires.
Do you stock any parts for your trucks or purchase as needed?
I carry a spare alternator, fuel filters, and belts.
How do you determine when it’s time to replace a truck or trailer?
My plan is to keep the current truck through careful maintenance, TLC, and repairs as necessary.
What’s the biggest business challenge you face with your operation?
Health care on the road. Staying healthy is the biggest challenge I face, especially being a cancer survivor who is still on the road. It takes a good attitude to begin with, finding affordable health insurance as a single truck carrier who has had cancer.
My advice regarding health care is if you’re not feeling well and it continues or gets worse, it means something isn’t right. See a doctor.
If you could change or add one regulation to trucking, what would it be?
HOS needs to be changed. We need flexibility in an unpredictable environment; it’s next to impossible to find a place to park. If you find one, it’s like winning the lottery.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy the road and the view. It’s a great place to learn and where I can enjoy a good cup of coffee.