How one fleet handles cooling system issues

 

Jason Tinman is the owner of Tee Time Delivery, which is based in Mokena, IL, a southwest suburb of Chicago. He owns more than 20 trucks that deliver for his FedEx Ground franchise and has been delivering for FedEx Ground for 12 years within the South and Southwest suburbs of Chicago.

“Because I have purchased my trucks at different times over the last five years, some new and some used, they have had different brands of coolant in them,” he relates. “Some of the trucks I have bought have come from warm-weather operating environments. Others came from north of Chicago.

“Some had yellow-colored coolant, some had green and some had red. It was a lot of work to keep track of all that with 20-plus trucks. I wanted to consolidate my heavy duty trucks and try and utilize just one coolant brand.”

After investigating how he might achieve this, Tinman decided to convert much of his fleet over to Prestone Command Heavy Duty Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant, which he did in the fall of 2013. There were two chief reasons for this.

One was that this coolant is intended for use and compatible with any heavy duty antifreeze/coolant in diesel-powered commercial vehicle engine, he says. The other reason was that it has a “technologically advanced formulation” designed to provide up to 600,000 miles of protection against temperature extremes, rust, corrosion, scale and premature water pump failure.

 

TECHNOLOGY

“I also saw that the coolant had won a Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award,” says Tinman. “I really believe you have to take advantage of any advances in technology, whether it be state-of-the-art communication with drivers, navigation advantages or antifreeze/coolant.

“If someone is out there with something innovative, I want to take advantage of that technology.”

 

HARSH OPERATING ENVIRONMENT

“The nature of the FedEx business means my trucks have to be on the road for me to generate revenue,” Tinman explains. “In the Chicago region where I operate, in addition to the volume of packages I move on a daily basis and the constant stop and go wear-and-tear on the trucks, the temperature extremes can be brutal.

“I cannot control the weather, but I can control the products I put in my trucks and the protection I can afford them while they are on the road.”

He says the Chicago area has just come off one of “the harshest winters I have ever experienced in the 12 years I have been running my fleet for FedEx Ground. I had to deal with all kinds of issues – from trucks stuck in snow to flat tires to frozen doors, but I didn’t have a single antifreeze issue.

“Unless the roads were impassable, we were running the full fleet every day making our deliveries.”

 

THOROUGH RECORDS 

“We keep very detailed maintenance logs on every truck in the fleet,” says Tinman. “We are especially focused on the coolant. If you stay on top of the fluids in your engines, things usually work out just fine.

“I know if I stay on top of the coolant change intervals, and stay ahead of the curve, that’s one less thing I have to worry about.

“The way I look at it, the cost of the quality coolant and replenishing it on the right intervals is a much more attractive, and affordable, option than burning up an engine and replacing it.”

 

 

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