American Trucker Magazine
4Kids Trucking

Spotlight on an American Trucker: 4Kids Trucking Inc.

"I'm a fourth-generation truck driver," said Robert Lowe. "My grandfather taught me how to drive an old COE Peterbilt when I was eight. My father has driven trucks for 47 years and is still driving. I've been driving for 20 years. My wife and I started our carrier three years ago. We focus on our customers and drivers. We are primarily an O/O with two drivers. We haul everything from chicken feed to equipment." —Robert Lowe and Jody Lowe, 4Kids Trucking Inc., Mt. Pulaski, IL

Make and model(s) of trucks and/or trailers you use in your business?

We run an ‘05 Kenworth W900 and a 2012 International ProStar. We use Utility reefers, Wilson 48-ft. flats and 53-ft. step decks. We also have Wilson Hopper trailers and an XL RGN. 

Do you have regularly scheduled routes or on-demand delivery?

We have both.

How do you handle maintenance?

Currently, maintenance and major repairs are jobbed out. We have plans to build our own shop soon.

What are three challenges you face with your maintenance program?

Our biggest challenge right now is having to pay someone else to do our maintenance. We have the capability but not the building in which to do it.

How do you ensure good mileage from tires?

We rotate tires every 30,000 miles. We also use the Crossfire systems on our trailers and keep to manufacturers’ recommended psi. We don’t run recaps whatsoever, and we don’t buy the cheapest tires.

Do you stock any parts for your trucks or purchase as needed?  If you stock parts, which ones?

We do keep oil and fuel filters for the trucks on hand at all times; you never know when you can get bad fuel. We do routine maintenance every 10,000 miles; roughly every 700 hours.

How do you determine when it’s time to replace a truck or trailer?

We don’t intend to replace trucks; we just retire them to a local 9-to-5 gig. No need to buy new when you keep your equipment in excellent shape.

What is the biggest business challenge you face?

The biggest business challenge has been growth along with finding quality drivers.

If you could change or add one regulation to trucking, what would it be and why?

If it was up to me, I would do away with the 14-hour, never-stopping clock. Bring back the old 10/8 rule with split sleeper berth.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? 

I enjoy getting paid to travel this beautiful country we live in. I see places most only see in books or magazines.

What does your company do best?

I would say our on-time, damage-free deliveries are what we do best as well as taking care of our drivers and the needs of our customers one safe mile at a time. Every day is a new day and every day we learn something new.

 

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