Great Dane reefers are helping this refrigerated hauler provide superior service
"We've operated Great Dane reefers exclusively for more than 15 years," says Tim Anderson. "We switched our fleet to
Great Dane Super Seal trailers when our local dealer began representing the manufacturer and we have not looked back. Our customers rely on us to deliver temperature-sensitive shipments in an efficient and timely manner and with Great Dane we know we can meet their needs."
Headquartered in Brandon, South Dakota, A & A Express specializes in nationwide, refrigerated hauling of fresh produce, meat and frozen foods, as well as dry goods. Founded in Walnut Grove, Minnesota in 1945 as Vince Anderson Trucking, Inc., the company was originally a livestock hauler. In the late 1970s, as demand for its highly efficient service grew, the company expanded into refrigerated trucking and A & A Express, Inc. was born. Today, Larry Anderson and Tim Anderson, son and grandson of the late founder, operate the business.
A & A opts for the STEMCO Platinum Performance System Plus wheel end system, an offering exclusive to Great Dane. The integrated solution combines components from the manufacturer's line of wheel end products including Guardian HP or Discover seals in hub or a spindle mount configurations, Pro-Torq axle spindle nuts, Sentinel hubcaps and heavy-duty bearings.
Two specifications on A & A Express trailers are keeping costs down. The Meritor Tire Inflation System (MTIS) keeps tires inflated properly, helping ensure longer tread life, fewer breakdowns and improved fuel efficiency. The carrier also specs MTIS with ThermALERT, a high-temperature protection solution.
The Grote LongLife Light System with LED lights is standard on all A & A Express reefers. The completely sealed system is designed to help prevent damaging moisture intrusion. The modular and maintenance-free system combines a custom wiring solu- tion with the durability, reliability and simplicity of a fully sealed harness.
Grote MicroNova upper front, rear side marker and header lamps are also on A & A Express reefers. The aerodynamic LED clearance marker lamps are designed to fit in the narrow top rail of the trailer using only a three-quarter inch mounting hole. The low half-inch profile of the lamps also makes them less susceptible to damage.
Preventing damage is something that A & A Express focuses on every day. "Whether our customers are shipping frozen, deep-frozen, refrigerated products or produce, or confectionary or baked goods, A & A Express promises to delivers temperature-sensitive shipments in an efficient and timely manner," Anderson says.
"Our trailers are designed to properly cool and refrigerate shipments to minimize or eliminate product loss," Anderson adds. "A & A Express is a premier refrigerated transport company featuring a state-of-the-art fleet of superior Great Dane reefers."
A & A Express fields 120 company-owned tractors and uses the services of about 60 dedicated owner-operators to haul its 210 Great Dane Super Seal refrigerated trailers. Replaced every three-and-a-half to four years, the reefers are built in the Wayne, Nebraska manufacturing plant.
"We put a lot of hours on our refrigeration units so we find it cost effective to replace trailers on a shorter trade cycle than most refrig- erated trucking companies," Anderson explains. "We have no issues with the Great Dane reefers. In fact, selling relatively new trailers of such high quality and integrity means we get top resale value for our trade-ins."
The Great Dane Super Seal reefers now in service at A & A Express will soon be joined by 60 new Everest SS models scheduled for delivery between April and July of this year. The 53-ft trailers will be equipped with Carrier Transicold refrigeration units and have aluminum duct floors with composite sills, along with stainless rear frames and bumpers, and swing doors with a bright finish stainless steel exterior.
Inside its reefers A & A Express specifies Great Dane's unique PunctureGuard lining for its strength and lightweight attributes. With an inherent stiffness that comes from its high glass content, PunctureGuard helps ensure that force from pallets, cargo or forklifts during loading and unloading operations does not damage the foam insulation in the trailer walls, causing it to lose thermal integrity.
PunctureGuard, which is incredibly thin and considerably lighter than plywood and FRP linings was found to be one fourth to one third stronger than competitive products in comprehensive tests. The lining is also easy to repair, lowering maintenance costs, and is easy to clean, making it simpler to maintain the trailer's appearance.
Also helping save weight on A & A Express reefers are aluminum hat type crossmembers forward of the landing gear and aluminum I-Beams in the bay area. Running gear on the trailers includes sliding tandem axles with Meritor RideSentry air suspensions and 295/75R22.5 Bridgestone R195F tires on aluminum wheels. Meritor Q Plus service brakes and Meritor WABCO Easy Stop ABS are standard as well.