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.
A group of Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer employees recently benefited a local charitable organization with the use of the company’s new grill trailer.
Effective March 6, the Stoops’ Anderson location, 6105 Columbus Avenue, was certified as a Western Star Trucks service and parts provider.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Trip
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.
A company can never be too involved in the community and this was a milestone year for Stoops-Fort Wayne.
In 2015, General Manager Jim Ham began the philanthropic journey by leading his dealership to a partnership with the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. But this year it went further than that; Stoops also accepted an invitation from the local United Way organization to participate in their “Day of Caring.”
For more than 25 years, the United Way has hosted multiple “Days of Caring” in the Fort Wayne area where businesses volunteer to help with a project at various parks, schools and other organizations. This year, the “Day of Caring” took place on Sept. 1 and involved more than 1,600 volunteers. Stoops was among those volunteers with 16 employees from all departments dedicating their time to helping revitalize a school playground and parking lot.
During the project, the Stoops volunteers not only reset pea gravel and repaired benches, but they also had the opportunity to meet some of the children during recess where handmade signs were shared to thank the staff for their time and effort.
But the story of caring does not stop there. Fort Wayne employees were so touched by the energy of the children and the kindness of their “Thank You” signs, that the volunteers wanted to do more. The dealership decided to collect donations from employees which would be used to purchase playground toys for the children to enjoy throughout the school year. Through the generosity of the dealership, Stoops raised more than $800 which was used to purchase basketballs, soccer balls, footballs, kickballs, super balls, sidewalk chalk, a giant Frisbee, bottled water, hats, gloves, tissues, hand sanitizer and a pizza party for the entire school … all of which were presented at an all school gathering.
Gratitude and surprise are just some of the words to describe the atmosphere in the room that day. Teachers and students alike were more than grateful for the gifts and let the Stoops staff know with hugs and high fives as they returned to class.
Stoops intends to participate in the United Way’s “Day of Caring” in 2017 where they can continue to make a positive impact in the local Fort Wayne community.
For the next year, Will Gross has the bragging rights as being named Truck Country’s Top Tech.
On the Sept. 23, 16 technicians from across Truck Country’s dealership group converged in Dubuque for the second annual Top Tech Rodeo, a contest that serves to name the company’s leading diesel technician for the year.
Of course, Gross has more than bragging rights to take from the event. Overall, Gross, of the Dubuque dealership, earned $3,500 from the contest, earning $3,000 with his first-place showing and scoring $500 as a result of winning the written exam. Greg Haring, of TC-Minocqua, finished in second place, netting him a $2,000 prize, and TC-Shullsburg’s Bobby Mosley won $1,000 after taking third place. The top-three place winners were also presented with a new jacket as a result of their efforts.
This year’s Top Tech Rodeo took place at Truck Country’s new diesel technician training center, near the south edge of Dubuque. Participants took turns rotating between eight different stations, where their knowledge of all aspects of trucks was tested.
Presented with different test scenarios, technicians were challenged to find solutions to problems facing trucks in the areas of braking, starting, electrical, after-treatment, HVAC, DOT, service info and engine. A reception recognizing the winners was held later that evening at the Julien Hotel in downtown Dubuque.
Gross, a second-generation Truck Country technician who has worked fulltime with the company for 10 years, also participated in the rodeo in 2015.
While his returning experience helped, Gross said organizers did a good job of changing the stations from the 2015 event.
“I think there were a couple of stations they had last year that they didn’t have this year,” Gross said. “You just didn’t know what to expect.”
Gross, who recently was married, said belated honeymoon could be in store with his winnings.
Haring, who was participating in the Top Tech Rodeo for the first time, called the competition “intense.” However, afterward he predicted he was would try to participate again in future years.
“The McCoys treat us very well,” said Haring, who said he would invest his winnings in repairing his home and treating his family to dinner. “I definitely think it was a morale booster. It is a good time; a good learning experience.”
In response to the demand for increased payloads on a 33,000 GVWR climate control straight trucks, Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer has developed a new Stoops Specialty Trucks (SST) Lite truck. The new truck was unveiled at the Expedite Expo in Lexington, Ken., in July.
The plan to develop the new SST Lite truck started by reaching out to several key customers for their input, as well collaborating with vendors to develop a design for the truck. This collaboration resulted in a weight savings, with the new model weighing just 25,580 pounds (2,200 pounds less than similar units).
Additionally, the new chassis is not only lighter, but also features a pair of new safety features. Equipped with Bendix disc brakes, the SST Lite truck has a significantly shorter stopping distance, as well as having the new Bendix SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitor System that will alert drivers when a tire is losing air pressure to prevent damage to the tire and reduce maintenance cost.
Meanwhile, Stoops has partnered with Thermo King and Wabash National to provide the latest in refrigeration technology. Thermo King recently released its new T880 model Truck Refrigeration Unit, with electronic throttling valve technology and modulation which provides the tightest temperature control in the industry. Stoops’ newest vendor partner, Wabash National, recently released its new all-composite reefer body. Over the past several months, Stoops Specialty Trucks worked with Wabash National to create a spec especially for the Expediter business.
“This truck body is truly a ‘game-changer’ that provides 20 percent weight savings as well as a 30 percent increase in thermal efficiency,” said Jeff Jones, sales manager for Stoops’ specialty trucks.
Stoops also continues to work with Bolt Custom Trucks in developing custom sleepers. By using a new composite material in the floor and cabinet bases, the pair were able to save a significant amount of weight as well as enhance the insulation value. Bolt also recently released its new bunk restraint system to further enhance safety.
After months of preparation and construction, Truck Country moved into its new state-of-the-art facility earlier this year. The new dealership is located at 3201 Hwy 61/151, Dubuque, Iowa.
To commemorate the move, Truck Country will host a grand opening/open house celebration throughout the day on Wednesday, May 25. At 4:30 p.m., the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, as well as other community leaders, will be on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Just a few hundred yards south of Truck Country’s former dealership building, the new 52,000-square-foot operation is nearly double the size of the old location. Among other highlights, the dealership features an expanded shop, which features 21 service bays (compared with 10 at the old building), a new alignment rack, detail bay and a flywheel resurfacing area.
Meanwhile, the facility also features an enhanced parts show room and a significantly larger drivers’ lounge, as well as additional office space and a larger parts storage area.
“As a certified Freightliner Elite Support location, the new dealership can provide customers with the best in customer service and amenities,” said John Gile, general manager at Truck Country’s Dubuque location. “We look forward to showcasing our new, first-class operation to the public.”