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Stoops’ team grills up dinner for Ronald McDonald House guests

A group of Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer employees recently benefited a local charitable organization with the use of the company’s new grill trailer.
On March 30, nine employees volunteered to serve dinner to the guest at the Ronald McDonald House in Indianapolis. The group served a dinner menu consisting of hamburgers, hot dogs, coney sauce, potato salad, condiments, fruit salad, cookies, sweet tea and lemonade.
As guests at the Ronald McDonald House typically come and go while visiting their loved ones in the hospital, the Stoops team was sure to leave behind plenty of leftovers so those who weren’t able to attend the dinner were able to enjoy food after returning to the facility.
The event was an eye-opening experience for Stoops volunteers, said Mike Moore, Stoops business development manager.
“The staff gave our employees a tour of the entire campus,” Moore said. “Our employees were so appreciative that Stoops Freightliner is giving back to our community and to be able to play a big part in it.”
Representing Stoops at the event, included: Brian McCoy, Grant McCoy, Mike Moore, Mike Miller, Tom Nolan, Ron Bruce, Rick Garrigus, Lora Howard and Pam Lindsey.
Serving families since 1982, the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana provides a safe haven and home-away-from-home for parents and siblings of seriously ill or injured children. Since opening, the facility has housed over 35,000 families.

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Stoops-Anderson location expands service, parts offerings

Effective March 6, the Stoops’ Anderson location, 6105 Columbus Avenue, was certified as a Western Star Trucks service and parts provider.

Western Star logo

With the inclusion of Western Star Trucks service and parts, the addition is just the latest offerings Stoops provides its customers from the Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) family. Stoops’ Anderson location also provides parts and service offerings for DTNA’s Freightliner Trucks, Freightliner Custom Chassis and Detroit Diesel.
Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. DTNA produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses names.
Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer Anderson service and parts departments are open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to midnight and on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

 

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Stoops is now a certified Wabash National dealer in Wisconsin

Effective immediately, Stoops Freightliner – Quality Trailer is the certified Wabash National trailer dealer throughout the eastern and western borders of Wisconsin. Overall, Stoops Freightliner – Quality Trailer serves 37 counties across Wisconsin.

Wabash trailer

Stoops Freightliner – Quality Trailer is a division of Truck Country, a company with deep roots in Wisconsin, dating back to being founded by the late Robert McCoy in Shullsburg in 1958. Truck Country currently has 10 Wisconsin locations, and a total of 23 dealerships across the Midwest.

Wabash National is North America’s leading producer of semi-trailers and liquid transportation systems, with a broad product portfolio that includes leading-brand dry vans, refrigerated vans, platform trailers, tank trailers and truck-mounted tanks. Since 1985, Wabash National has revolutionized the trailer industry, building a legacy of innovation that has been recognized with over 70 patents and counting.

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Truck Country CICs honored at Elite Support Summit

Truck Country’s Iowa and Wisconsin staff members were honored in January at the CIC Elite Support Summit, which took places in Nashville, Tenn.

Stacey Takes, dealer family continuous improvement coordinator (CIC) for Truck Country of Iowa, earned a pair of awards.

Takes earned the CIC Event of the Year award for the Throughput Understanding event, which took place in Cedar Rapids. The award was presented based on Elite Support processes and the results that were achieved through using them.

Heather Groleau, left, and Stacey Takes

Takes also earned an Express Assessment award for the Truck Country-Davenport location. The award was presented based on the Davenport location’s understanding and implementation of the Express Assessment process, where within two-hours of service write-up, dealers promise to communicate single-service issue diagnosis, check part availability and provide cost and repair time estimates to customers

Meanwhile, Heather Groleau, dealer family CIC for Truck Country of Wisconsin, earned a “WOW” award.

The “WOW” award is presented to a CIC who is recognized for excellence in 5s implementation. The 5s Process includes: Sort, Set in order, Sh

ine, Standardize, and Sustain. This process is relevant in all aspects of the dealership that affects not only customers’ experience at the dealership, but also employees as well. Examples include tool room organization projects and/or customer lounge revamps.

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Stoops’ Ft. Wayne location provides truck for ‘Fill this Van’

In what is looking to be an annual tradition, Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer’s Ft. Wayne location once again teamed up with area school, St. John Emmanuel, to help fill dinner tables across the community this holiday season.
After putting the decals in place, Stoops donated a box truck for operation “Fill this Van” in an effort to create awareness and housing for the non-perishable donations being made to the food drive. The van shared its time between the dealership and the school over the course of three weeks as employees, customers and students continued to give.
The non-perishable food items collected will go to benefit the St. Mark and Hessen Cassel food banks in the Ft. Wayne area,  which assists more than 225 families each month in meeting their grocery needs.
Stoops Ft. Wayne plans to continue their efforts with SJE in making this food drive an annual event and give back to the community.

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Get Ready for Adverse Driving Conditions

As winter weather sets in for most of the country, please take precautions to keep not only you and your equipment safe, but also others on the road. Please review and execute ten useful tips which will help you get your loads delivered safely this winter and bring you home safely to your family and loved ones.
Monitor the Weather
Knowing ahead of time that a storm is brewing is key to staying safe.  If a blizzard or wintery mix is predicted in your area, you can set into motion your plan of action for pickups and drop offs. Stay tuned to the radio, radar maps, or the Weather Channel for information on real-time road conditions.
Plan Your Tripadversedriving
Before getting on the road, take the time to plan and map out your route according to the weather. Take into consideration that some roads may be closed or too rough to navigate. Plan alternate routes, safe parking places and pick-up and delivery times accordingly. Make sure to have a few alternate safe stops planned in case road conditions deteriorate.
Check Equipment Pre-trip and Mid-trip
It is vital to check your equipment before you hit the road, especially when winter weather strikes. Check that all lights are working properly, air is drained from the truck and trailer tanks to avoid frozen brake lines, and tire pressures to prevent a flat tire.
Have Extra Equipment/Supplies on Board
Be prepared for adverse conditions by having a few important items on board. Make sure to have:
•    chains (the right size)
•    bungees, flashlight, cell phone
•    waterproof gloves, reflective vest,
•    boots with good traction, warm clothing
•    food and water
•    extra washer fluid
Slow Down and Maintain a Safe Following Distance
Put the posted speed limits into context. If roads are covered in snow or ice, it might not be safe or feasible to maintain the normal speed limit. Slow down and only go as fast as you are reasonably able to. Make sure there is enough cushion space between you and the car ahead of you. This leaves you with options and adequate reaction time if your brakes aren’t working as quickly as they should.
Know What to do if You Lose Traction
There’s no fool-proof method for not losing traction in bad weather. If you do lose traction, never use the clutch or engine brake as this could make the situation worse. Gently let your foot off the pedal and steer in the direction that the back end of the vehicle is going, which should allow you to then gain back control.
Stay Focused and Know You and Your Vehicle’s Limitations
Reduce distractions inside the vehicle and avoid taking your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. Remain calm and focused and avoid quick movements or evasive maneuvers. There may come a point in which the weather simply makes the roads too unsafe to travel. If your feel unsafe with adverse driving conditions, communicate immediately to your Fleet Manager and get off the road.

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Truck Country plans move to larger facility, additional jobs

In January 2016, Truck Country officials anticipate moving into a new 52,000-square-foot facility, adjacent to the company’s current dealership location on Dubuque’s south side.

Site preparation has started at the location, with construction to begin in the coming weeks.

The new facility will enhance the company’s ability to expand to serve its customers with expanded service bay areas, an enhanced driver’s lounge, a larger parts retail display area and other upgrades to provide the facility with the industry’s leading technology.

Meanwhile, the larger building will allow the company to expand its workforce. Plans call for approximately 10 positions to be added following the move.

“The expanded dealership will allow us to not only serve our customers with first-rate technology and amenities, but it also enables us to offer additional, high-quality diesel technician jobs in our service department,” said Bill Roth, Truck Country-Iowa vice president.

Located south of the current dealership building, the address of the new facility will be 3201 Hwy. 61/151.

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States look for means to fund roads

As the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee began taking action last week to rewrite Gov. Scott Walker’s 2015-17 budget proposal, there has yet to be any revenue proposal to partially replace the $1.3 billion in bonding for roads and bridges over the next two years.

In part, that’s because legislators are waiting for new state revenue estimates expected to be released on May 7. Legislators are also quietly mulling options to address the state’s well-documented transportation needs.

However, most of those options don’t come close to generating the kind of revenue that is needed in the Wisconsin transportation industry, according to the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association. Instead, the WTBA is advocating for what classifies raising the state’s gas tax for the first time in nine years.

Here are what other states have recently done to increase transportation funds:

Iowa: GOP Gov. Terry Branstad and the split Legislature in February increased the fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon.

South Dakota: GOP governor and GOP Legislature last month approved increases of 6 cents a gallon on fuel taxes and 20 percent on vehicle registration fees.

Utah: GOP governor and GOP Legislature last month increased the fuel tax by 5 cents a gallon and created a 12 percent tax on the wholesale price of fuel to replace the flat tax in the future.

Georgia: GOP Legislature has sent GOP governor the equivalent of a 7-cent a gallon gas tax increase and Gov. Nathan Deal has indicated he will sign it.

Idaho: GOP governor and GOP Legislature agreed to increase the state fuel tax 7 cents a gallon.

New Hampshire: Last year, the Democratic governor and GOP Legislature raised the state fuel tax 4 cents a gallon.

In addition, Kentucky and North Carolina, which have variable rate taxes tied to the wholesale cost of fuel, recently took steps to prevent revenue losses because of the drop in prices at the pump.

Source: Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association

 

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Truck Country Opens Ninth Wisconsin Location

On Dec. 29, 2014, Truck Country added its ninth Wisconsin location when Truck Country – North Milwaukee opened. Located at 9202 N 107th St, Milwaukee, Truck Country – North Milwaukee is the dealership family’s first Wisconsin location licensed to offer new Western Star trucks.

In addition to Western Star truck sales, Truck Country – North Milwaukee offers service and parts for all makes and models of heavy- and medium-duty trucks and RVs. The dealerships hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“In addition to continuing to offer Freightliner trucks at our other Wisconsin locations, Truck Country – North Milwaukee gives us the opportunity to offer quality Western Star trucks to our Wisconsin customers,” said Dave Bernard, Truck Country – North Milwaukee and Oak Creek general manager.

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Longtime, colorful employee calls it a career

During her 20 years working for TruckCountry, Carol Burkart was allowed to choose the color scheme for a new truck once, and just once.

“It was the color of the Pink Panther,” recalled Carol.

Soon thereafter, Carol thought the decision, which was made during her first years with the company, would mark the end of her time with Truck Country.

Working in cahoots with others at the Dubuque dealership, Mark Johannsen, who is now general manager in Dubuque, approached Carol at her second-floor desk, which overlooked the garage.

“Mark Johannsen come up and said, ‘Carol, you have to see this,” Carol smiled. “I looked into the garage and Mike McCoy was standing in the garage shaking his head (while looking at the pink truck). I can still hear Mark say, ‘Carol, what were you thinking when you ordered the truck?’”

Not yet aware of the prank, Carol thought her dismissal was forthcoming. However, she ended up having the last laugh.

The truck was eventually put in the lot at the Dubuque dealership and 48 hours later it was sold, Carol recalled.

“It was a damn good thing for me it did,” she chuckled. The prank is just one of many fond memories with which Carol will take with her when she retires from the company at the end of the year.

Starting at Truck Country in March 1994 when she took the newly created position of New Trucks Sales Coordinator, Carol has continued on in the role during the duration of her career with company.

Shortly before starting with the company, Carol returned to her native Dubuque after spending the previous 30 years in Chicago.

Carol knew little about the trucking industry upon starting with the company.

A quick study, Carol credits Dawn McCoy and Dennis LeGrand with teaching her and helping her learn the ins and outs of the industry.

Over the past two decades, Carol has watched as the company has grown while her job evolved.

“It started out with truck sales on an 8 1/2 -by 11-inch piece of paper,” she said, noting the sheet featured around 20 trucks.

However, as a focus grew on having a larger inventory of stock trucks, the “green bar,” as truck printout sheets used to be called, grew to nine or 10 pages.

Meanwhile, Carol said other aspects of the position have “streamlined a lot” over the years, including the implementation of software to order and track orders.

“The needs of business are a lot different then they once were,” she said.

As she prepares for retirement, Carol will miss working with the many different fleet customers she has dealt with over the years.

“It has been a joy to work with the people from Wal-Mart and Lessors,” she said.

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