06:25 AM

Deli Express counts on its JRTB refrigerated trucks to keep food safe point-to-point

When you deliver perishable food products, controlling the temperature, improving driver productivity and keeping food safe along the route is critical. If you can achieve those goals, and operate a sustainable fleet, you have found the keys to success.

No one knows that better than Gregg Hodgdon, head of Deli Express®/E.A. Sween Co., a family-owned food service company. As the U.S. government continues to work on its food safety initiatives within the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system, (related to all stages of a food chain), companies that distribute food continue to focus on delivery safety. As for the precautions the fleet is taking, Hodgdon notes, "We have included remote door locks (box and cab) with keyless entry to tighten up our ability to keep our products and drivers safe. The new Guardian LT Johnson single pull door latches also adds to our driver productivity by reducing the repeated motion/steps required to open traditional door latches."

Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies developed this patent-approved automotive door latch style, which is unique to the industry and a real value to customers because it helps reduce theft by keeping products secure. Hodgdon continues, "The keyless entry is also tied into the interior and exterior box lights to provide our drivers with the ability to work safer and quicker by having the lights on when the doors are unlocked. This feature also provides a reminder that if the box lights are on, the doors are un-locked."

According to Hodgdon, running the Johnson Refrigerated Truck Body's Guardian LT trucks supports the fleet's sustainability program. He says, "The Guardian LT is the perfect fit for us due to the lightweight of the box and the durability that we have come to expect from Johnson Bodies. With this new lightweight box we are able to use a smaller GVW truck chassis that has corresponding lower fuel consumption. The less fuel we burn the less carbon we output per mile. With the Guardian LT providing a long box life we also reduce the environmental impact of disposing of boxes with an old chassis. The new Guardian LT box will also be re-used on another 1 or 2 chassis. In 2014 we are also piloting our first alternate-fuel truck using the Guardian LT box."

Hodgdon specifies an eight-door Guardian LT box, which is about 13.5-ft. long. The truck chassis is an Isuzu EcoMax that has GVW of 12,000 pounds. "Our average fleet fuel economy prior to the new EcoMax and Guardian box combination was 8.8 miles per gallon; the new trucks are averaging about 12.5 miles per gallon," he notes. "We like the Guardian LT box so much that we are expanding the ability for replacements in our fleet to include a 10-door 16-ft. Guardian LT box. This new box will replace our largest trucks and reduce our fuel spend in that segment also."

Hodgdon adds, "We are great supporters of the Johnson Bodies fiberglass body and love to work with their creative team of engineers!"