Florilli outsources equipment maintenance
Feb 1, 2008 12:00 PM
Selecting the right equipment maintenance partners has even helped the fleet in its driver retention effort.
“For the benefit of both our customers who want their freight delivered in a timely manner, and our drivers who want to log miles rather than wait for equipment in a maintenance facility, our vendor selection is critical,” says Fitzer. “We must have vendors who understand the time sensitive nature of our business and provide us with the service we need in a timely manner.
“We consistently get good reports from our drivers that Speedco lubes and inspections are a positive experience. They seldom have to wait in line. And once their truck is in the lube bay, our drivers are generally back on the road in less than 45 minutes.”
Realizing that a driver shortage will continue to be a challenge for the industry for the foreseeable future, the Florilli Corporation management team has made a commitment to make every interaction with drivers as positive as possible.
With data to support their tire decisions, the management team looks at making tire purchases that deliver maximum uptime, reliability, cost-per-mile, and fuel economy. Its new tractors are spec'd with Bridgestone M720FE tires in the drive-axle position and Bridgestone M287 tires in the steer-axle position.
Fleet data shows excellent wear and fuel performance, says Fitzer. The steer-axle tires are consistently delivering more than 100,000 miles of wear.
New trailers are ordered with the Bridgestone R195 tires.
According to Fitzer, the durability of Bridgestone tires helps his fleet continue to get payback from its tire investment as the casings are retreaded twice to reduce the need for new tire purchases. The retreads deliver performance comparable to a new tire at a fraction of the cost, he says.
Eastern Iowa Tire plays a key role in providing the retreading service. The first time the casing is retreaded, the Bandag Fuel Tech tread design is used for the drive-axle position. On the second retreading, Eastern Iowa Tire fits the casing with the Bandag FCR Trailer design tread. Both designs are engineered to “deliver excellent wear mileage along with optimal fuel performance.”
Safety is a key consideration for the fleet's maintenance program and tire management efforts. In 2006, Florilli Corporation was recognized among the safest fleets logging one-to-three million miles in the state of Iowa.
The fleet actually logs more than 25 million miles annually, but most of those miles are driven throughout North America.
In addition to running a modern trucking fleet with sound maintenance and uptime, Fitzer is committed to helping the entire trucking industry improve its public image. He serves as the current chairman of the Iowa Motor Truck Association (IMTA). The organization promotes the image of trucking, supports truck safety, and works on legislative issues that could impact the industry.
For Fitzer, helping to improve the trucking industry's image is not just a community service, it's a passion.
FLORILLI CORPORATION AT A GLANCE
Location: West Liberty, Iowa
Fleet: 225 tractors, 300 refrigerated trailers
Annual miles in 2006: 25 million
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