Vocational Profile: Cold facts

May 5, 2017
At Land O’Frost, temperature and safety go hand in hand

Delivering on time and safely is important in any trucking operation. In the food-service business, hauling and delivering products at the right temperature is equally critical, notes Mark Brewster, distribution fulfillment director at Land O’Frost.

“We need trailers we can depend on all the time to haul chilled and frozen products to our customers,” Brewster says. “We also deliver raw materials to our production plants, and many of those need to be transported at the right temperature as well. At the same time, we strive to give our drivers the safest equipment possible.”

Today, the newest of the 51 tractors in the Land O’Frost fleet are Freightliner Cascadia Evolution models equipped with the Mobileye Advanced Driver Assistance System that monitors the road for potential obstructions and alerts drivers. Currently undergoing testing in the fleet is a 360-deg. camera system.

“We’re also switching to Detroit D12 automated manual transmissions,” Brewster relates. “Eliminating shifting means drivers have one less distraction. Being able to concentrate on the road and control the vehicle with two hands on the wheel makes that technology a plus for safety.”

Land O’Frost is also focused on safety in its 88 trailers. The latest Great Dane Everest units in the fleet, for example, have E-Track securing rails and the manufacturer’s Safety-Grip flooring. Brewster notes the positive traction surface helps keep cargo from shifting and prevents slips and falls.

“For the most part, the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act are not an issue for us because we already have practices in place for maintaining load integrity,” he explains. “Whether we’re hauling our own products or raw materials or carrying loads into distribution centers for customers, we’re tracking trailers and employing strict washing and cleaning procedures.”

Growing annually by one or two trailers per year, along with replacements after units reach the 10-year mark in the operation, the newest reefers in the Land O’Frost fleet are 53-ft. Great Dane Everest models with Carrier X4 7300 refrigeration units. Specs also call for Whiting ColdSAVER III roll-up doors.

For extra sidewall protection, Land O’Frost uses Great Dane’s Puncture­Guard scuffband. “The addition of PunctureGuard has been one of the best decisions we’ve made for our trailers,” Brewster says. “Before, our trailers were being damaged when forklifts would move pallets and tear the aluminum scuffband. PunctureGuard has made that a non-issue.

“Durability and reliability are important because we keep our equipment moving,” he continues. “Our empty mileage is below 10%. Thanks to a top-notch in-house maintenance program and the support of our Freightliner and Great Dane dealers, we can keep our equipment on the road.”

Brewster also reports that Land O’Frost enjoys very low driver turnover, which he credits to a great corporate culture and the opportunity to drive new top-of-the-line equipment. “We don’t advertise for drivers,” he says. “We don’t even have a recruiting department.”

Founded in 1958, Land O’Frost is a third-generation, family-owned business headquartered in Munster, IN.  

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