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A New Era And New Innovations For Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies

In February 2010, Great Dane Trailers acquired Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies. The united industry focus between the two companies opened the door to a new era of opportunity. Previously, Johnson was owned by Carlisle Companies, with global diversified holdings, and the two shared few industry commonalities.

Present opportunities with Great Dane such as purchasing scale, expanded engineering capabilities, and the factory branch and dealer retail network provide a natural platform for Johnson to develop new products and service capabilities rather seamlessly.

"The voice of the customer is paramount; it drives us to work smarter and to develop products and services to help them suc- ceed," said Ron Ricci, President." Customer requests for aftermarket support have resulted in previous failed attempts to provide nation- al service and support through independent dealers and service providers. Developing these relationships and training providers on Johnson's fiberglass truck body product line was a challenge and difficult at best to manage."

Cohesive leadership and strong synergies between Johnson and Great Dane, led to Johnson's ability to expand after-sale support on a national level in the first half of this year with the launch of FleetWise, anew aftermarket service and repair program.

For the first time in company history, Johnson equipment owners gained access to preventive maintenance and repair services, nationally, through Great Dane branches and a select group of Great Dane dealerships.

Critical to the success of the service initiative is developing the capability to work with fiberglass composite bodies, which are exclusive to Johnson and unique in the industry. A combination of on-site training and Webinars are an efficient way for the retail locations to get up to speed quickly and to have something to refer back to for ongoing support.

The FleetWise service capability requires expertise in fiberglass repair, foam insulation, door hardware, gasket replacement, steel and aluminum fabrication, lighting and electrical system service, and bumper replacement. Paint and decal work, installation of ramps and lift gates as well as body swap services are provided as well. Some locations will also offer mobile service and all-electric refrigeration service.

The first phase of FleetWise brings these services to Johnson cus- tomers through Great Dane branches and five dealers covering the eastern and central parts of the U.S. and Canada. Dealers in the rest of the U.S. and Canada, and in Mexico, will begin offering the program later in 2012.

Johnson's full line of all-electric refrigeration systems keeps improving and expanding to
meet the ongoing and ever changing needs of the marketplace.

Over the past decade, Johnson has been working to develop a refrigeration system that continues to
be powered by electricity but functions more like a traditional, diesel-powered refrigeration system. The
result is ElectriMax, a high capacity, all-electric system. The ElectriMax system has evolved over the past several years and today, Johnson is reintroducing it as the EMX Series, the newest advanced system for longer routes, extreme climates and demand- ing delivery applications.

Johnson, a pioneer in the use of cold plates is using the technology to meet present and future demand for green refrigeration. The high thermal performance of Johnson fiberglass truck bodies result in reduced consumption of electricity and fossil fuels needed to keep cargo areas at desired temperature ranges. The superior thermal efficiency coupled with the all-electric refrigeration innova- tions are the reasonsJohnson has been able to succeed in advanc- ing cold plate technology to meet a broader range of needs.

In addition to the advanced EMX Series, is Johnson's second pri-mary all-electric system consisting of traditional cold plates, the AE Series. Both the EMX and the AE Series are designed to meet a wide variety of markets, a vast number of temperature-controlled applications, and delivery requirements that are unique to each fleet.

The AE Series includes traditional free-hanging cold plates and plate blower systems with automatic defrost that deliver excellent reliability, low maintenance and exceptionally long system life.

The AE Series is available in single and multiple temperature zones and is designed to deliver consistent temperature ranges in each zone for fresh, frozen and deep frozen applications. Cold plates recharge with a stationary power-grid plug-in when the truck is at rest, eliminating diesel fuel consumption and fossil fuel emissions for significant operational savings.

The EMX Series has quicker pull-down, faster temperature recovery, exceptional air circulation, and goes beyond traditional cold plate capabilities to satisfy non-traditional or extreme route requirements.

The EMX Series is designed to deliver a consistent temperature for fresh, frozen and deep frozen applications. The cold plates recharge with a stationary power-grid plug-in when the truck is at rest for a significant savings in diesel fuel consumption and fossil fuel emissions. Select models have a battery pack that powers the refrigeration compressor when the truck is turned off for additional flexibility.

A significant upgrade in the EMX Series models is the addition of a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). The PLC provides a broader set of control parameters for several functions such as defrost, com- pressor operation and temperature management. A reporting func- tion provides useful data on compressor operation and provides indicators that help technicians with system troubleshooting. New digital temperature probe monitoring tells the system when to run and when not to run, just like the thermostat in your house. The probe provides consistent and reliable temperature monitoring and greater efficiency.

In addition, changing from 230V AC to low-voltage DC circuitry results in fewer safety issues and increased system reliability during grid plug in, and exclusive use of DC fans has increased reliability of the condenser and evaporator operation.

The beginning of a new era brings significant opportunities to a company that has grown from a small, privately-owned entrepre- neurial beginning into one with strong parent company support and synergies that will help expand the product line and make it more accessible to customers. To learn more about Johnson and upcoming changes, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/johnsontruckbodieswi or visit our website at www.johnsontruckbodies.com.