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INDUSTRY NEWS: JANUARY 2017

VAC-CON TURNS TO STERTIL-KONI TO TEST AND INSPECT COMBINATION SEWER CLEANERS, HYDRO- EXCAVATORS, AND MORE

While most customers of heavy-duty vehicle lift leader Stertil-Koni purchase lifts for speedy maintenance—and to get their truck, bus, military, or farm equipment back on the job quickly—Vac-Con Inc. uses the company’s award-winning lifts before their trucks are even delivered to the end user.
It’s all about testing and inspecting to ensure the highest quality, explains Bob Graden, Vac-Con plant manager in Green Cove Springs, Florida. “Stertil-Koni provides a quality product to better inspect our machines,” he notes. “We have several testing programs utilizing Stertil-Koni lifts before our machines go out the door. The most recent set of mobile column lifts we purchased even allows us to weigh machines more accurately, something we have never had before.”
The stakes are high, and the jobs are big. Over its 30-year history, Vac-Con has manufactured more than 7,500 sewer cleaners, industrial trucks, pumpers, jet rodder machines, and hydro-excavation vehicles across the globe. Customers who purchase the company’s equipment are typically large entities, specifically municipalities with sizeable population bases. In terms of metrics, the company’s customers are 70 percent government, 20 percent export, and the balance is contract.
Vac-Con’s technical service team continually educates and trains all end users on proper routine maintenance. In addition to cleanliness, timeliness of product delivery is key. “We have the best delivery time in the industry,” Graden adds.
Expediting the process are six Stertil-Koni EARTHLIFT mobile column lifts, which feature state-of-the-art hydraulic technology and are manufactured with high-quality, high-tensile DOMEX steel for maximum strength. These lifts provide fast lifting and lowering and feature a mechanical locking system for added safety.
Helping to manage the operation at Vac-Con, Graden has seen the company from the bottom up since its beginnings in March 1986. Today, the company’s facility is situated on 17 acres and employs 330 people. In terms of sales, Vac-Con utilizes a worldwide distributor network.

NAFA AND DONLEN ANNOUNCE CAFM® PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

NAFA Fleet Management Association’s (NAFA) Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) program is recognized throughout the fleet management community as the industry standard in fleet education. Acknowledging the superior benefits of NAFA’s education, Donlen, a fleet management company, has entered into a partnership agreement with the Association.
“NAFA is pleased that Donlen has recognized the value and career-changing benefits of CAFM education and certification,” says NAFA CEO, Phillip E. Russo, CAE. “The Association is constantly refining the CAFM curriculum to ensure it provides the most relevant and current fleet education. Donlen’s partnership confirms that value and will enable Donlen’s representatives to benefit from CAFM education.”
“Donlen is a leader in fleet management because of our commitment to excellence and customer service. NAFA’s CAFM program is key to achieving that excellence,” says Jeff Lucas, Donlen senior vice president, Customer Experience and Contact Center Operations. “We are pleased to participate in NAFA’s Certified Automotive Fleet Manager program, to continuously improve the knowledge of our employees and leverage high-level education for the benefit of our customers.”
Many employers now require fleet managers to obtain the CAFM designation prior to, or shortly after, employment. Certification identifies and recognizes exceptional fleet management professionals.
The CAFM designation identifies excellence in fleet knowledge and is the only certification program that proves an individual’s expertise in fleet. To become certified, an applicant must pass a series of comprehensive examinations to demonstrate expertise in the eight disciplines of automotive fleet management: Fleet Information Management, Maintenance Management, Vehicle Fuel Management, Asset Management, Business Management, Financial Management, Risk Management, and Professional Development.
“CAFM is the proven mark of excellence in, and knowledge of, the most-current fleet practices,” says Russo. “Partnerships—like ours with Donlen—further illustrate how pivotal professionals with the CAFM designation are to fleet.”

ARI’S NEW TOOL MAKES IT FAST AND EASY TO FIND THE RIGHT VENDOR

ARI®, a leading global fleet services provider specializing in complex car and truck fleets, has developed a simple way to find just the right vendor to help manage a repair.
The ARI Vendor Locator®, which is new to both ARI insights® and ARI Driver insights®, allows users to search ARI’s extensive vendor database by name, type, profile, and services offered. It also allows a user to limit the search to a specific mile/km radius up to 25 miles/km from a specific location. This can help both fleet managers and drivers in finding exactly the right vendor quickly and easily, which means the vehicle can get in and out of the shop faster, too.
Search results can be viewed as a list or an interactive Google map, which can be zoomed and moved, with numbered pins showing the location of the vendors. Results also can be filtered by the specific kind of work needed, allowing users to quickly determine which vendor is best suited for a specific job. A chosen result can be opened in Google maps independently, allowing a user to access driving directions, as well.
For each vendor, a user will see its contact information, available services, and the volume of repair activity both by the number of vehicles serviced and the number of purchase orders completed, which gives users an understanding of that vendor’s capacity to handle fleet-specific needs. Users are also provided with a street view of a vendor’s facility so they know what to look for if they choose a certain location.
Users are able to contribute and view reviews and ratings from other individuals within their organization, providing additional insight for those looking for a shop to assist with maintenance needs.
“When you’re in need of a vendor in an unfamiliar area, the ARI Vendor Locator will help you find the closest and best option available to you,” says Tony Candeloro, vice president of product development and client information services. “This is just the latest example of how ARI is evolving its technology to ensure that every aspect of fleet operation is as efficient as possible.”

LINK MANUFACTURING RECOGNIZED BY PACCAR AS A TOP PERFORMING SUPPLIER

Link Manufacturing announces it has been recognized as a Leader in the 2016 Supplier Performance Management (SPM) program by PACCAR.
Each year, PACCAR recognizes the top performing suppliers in its SPM program. The SPM program evaluates a supplier’s performance in the areas of product development, operations support, and business alignment. Through the SPM program, suppliers and PACCAR cross-functional teams collaborate to identify performance enhancements and to develop product innovations. Link Manufacturing has been developing and supplying suspension solutions for PACCAR trucks for nearly 30 years.
“We are honored to have earned the highest score among seven suppliers reaching the 2016 SPM Leader level,” says Jim Huls, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Link Manufacturing. “The recognition reflects our customer-focused culture and team’s driven-to-outperform work ethic by supplying Tier 1 component systems with an on-time delivery score of over 99 percent. In addition, we continually strive to lower our delivered quality PPM metrics and have a continuous improvement mindset that strives to further align with our customers’ business objectives. We are excited to continue our collaboration with PACCAR as a Leader of the SPM program in the new year.”

UNPRECEDENTED: FORD F-SERIES ACHIEVES 40 CONSECUTIVE YEARS AS AMERICA’S BEST SELLING TRUCK

Ford, America’s truck leader, is celebrating a major milestone as F-Series now reigns as the top-selling truck in the country for 40 consecutive years and best-selling vehicle for 35 years.
Ford has now sold more than 26 million F-Series trucks since January 1977. Think of it like this: That many trucks could circle the globe more than three times or, lined up bumper-to-bumper, would span 90,000-plus miles.
Ford truck leadership was established with the sixth generation of F-Series for the 1977 model year. The company was riding a sales wave—based on an all-new F-150 light-duty pickup featuring an improved 351-series V8 engine, standard front disc brakes, and an extended SuperCab offering.
Yet, continuous innovation is at the very core of F-Series’ success and even with the momentum in 1977, Ford engineers were already at work on a clean-sheet design for an all-new lineup. That seventh generation F-Series not only set sales records for trucks, but also, by 1982, had become the overall best-selling vehicle in America.
“The 1980 model was a breakthrough generation for Ford,” says historian and author, James Wagner. “It was all new—probably the greatest change in 40 years. It was fresh and had a strong emotional appeal with the twin I-beam front suspension. It seems from that point on, things really went Ford’s way, as far as trucks were concerned.”
1997 marked the beginning of a split for F-Series into two distinct platforms—the 10th generation F-150 was geared toward light-duty truck customers, while new F-250 and F-350 Super Duty brand trucks debuted in 1999, targeting heavy-duty commercial vehicle buyers.
Customers and critics alike appreciate the continued innovation of Ford F-Series trucks. And, now, the 2017 Super Duty winning the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award marks the seventh time in 30 years Ford has taken home the honors.
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MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: JANUARY 2017 ISSUE

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