GTM positions tank fleet operations for steady growth
Feb 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
GTM and its fleet entities have C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism) certification to facilitate shipments between Mexico and the United States. Dispatchers at Transportes Jorge Ancer and Transportes Lopez e Hijos closely monitor all of the interline shipments.
Mujica says that the GTM carriers usually can turn an interline partner's trailer within a day or two after delivering the inbound load. Most of the interline trailers return empty to the United States. However, GTM companies are able to arrange some foodgrade backhauls because Transportes Minerva has a network of foodgrade wash racks that are Coke and kosher certified.
Interline shipments are handled by some of the best drivers at Transportes Jorge Ancer and Transportes Lopez e Hijos. Drivers who handle hazardous materials must be at least 30 years old, and all of the drivers go through a rigorous selection and training regime.
We probably hire one in 10 truck driver applicants, Bernal says. We want to make sure that we can perform well for the Fortune 500 companies that we serve.
Faced with a need for more well-qualified drivers, GTM established its own driver school in Monterrey. Even newly hired experienced drivers spend at least a month undergoing training to handle some of the more specialized tank cargoes. Younger drivers with little trucking experience may be in training for a couple of years.
Training continues long after a truck driver finishes the initial program. Refresher training is required two times a year for all GTM drivers. Sessions last up to a week.
Safety is a focal point of the training effort, and much of the training is modeled on customer safety programs. Weekly safety meetings are conducted at each terminal.
The safety effort goes well beyond the classroom. Drivers are assigned to well-specified tractors, many of which are less than five years old. The maximum tractor age for the fleet is 10 years. GTM bought 500 new tractors over the past three years.
Kenworth T800s are the fleet standard at GTM and the carriers under its umbrella. The tractors are specified for tough service at high gross combination weights up to 75 tonnes (165,346 pounds) for a doubles train with air suspensions for every axle but the steering axle.
Tractors (both sleeper and daycab models) are specified with 450-horsepower Cummins engines and 18- and 10-speed EatonFuller transmissions. Hard service calls for tractors with double frame rails and Meritor tandem-drive axles rated at 46,000 pounds.
Product-handling equipment includes Gardner Denver blowers on tractors pulling dry bulk trailers and Gardner Denver stainless steel foodgrade pumps on tractors in liquid edibles service. For chemical hauling, Mexico customers provide pumps at the loading and offloading locations.
GTM owns just a small number of stainless steel chemical trailers that are used to serve specific customers. Most of the chemical trailers handled by the GTM companies belong to the interline partners.
The typical chemical trailer in the GTM operation was built by Polar Tank Trailer LLC or Brenner Tank LLC. Typical capacity is 25,000 liters (6,604 gallons) for tandem-axle units. Tri-axle trailers dedicated to either chemical or foodgrade service have capacities up to 43,000 liters (11,359 gallons).
Well-specified and well-maintained equipment operated by well-trained drivers have proven to be a winning combination for GTM. These factors have left GTM well positioned to benefit as the economy improves across the NAFTA region.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus