H R Ewell Inc positions itself for economic revival
Sep 1, 2009 12:00 PM
AS A leading regional foodgrade hauler, H R Ewell Inc transports chocolate, vegetable oil, and a veritable shopping list of other bulk liquid and dry food products across North America. Every effort is made to ensure that shipments move efficiently, on time, and without incident.
An ongoing program of strategic investments has helped the East Earl, Pennsylvania, tank truck carrier meet its operating objectives. Even in this down economy, the company added 35 new tractors in 2009. Maintenance operations were upgraded significantly over the past year. Steps also were taken to give the company a greener image.
“In trucking right now, cash is king,” says Randy Sheeler, H R Ewell vice-president of operations. “At H R Ewell Inc, that means making strategic investments at a time when many other trucking companies are just cutting costs. Our investments are positioning our company for future growth as the economy turns around.
“We have spent a lot of money on new power, but we believe that this is a worthwhile investment. The average age of our tractor fleet is now 3.5 years. Newer equipment means greater reliability and less risk of unscheduled downtime. That is important because it helps ensure that we can meet our customers' needs for just-in-time deliveries.
“We've also enhanced fleet reliability with the addition of the TMT Fleet Maintenance system. We had it fully online by April 1, and it has significantly improved overall performance of our maintenance operation. We've always had a strong maintenance focus, because we simply can't afford equipment breakdowns.
“Finally, H R Ewell has spent the last four or five years going green. This effort supports our focus on quality as a foodgrade tank truck carrier, and it's a selling point with customers. Among other things, we joined the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency's) SmartWay Program in May.”
Food hauling history
H R Ewell has been hauling bulk edibles since opening for business in 1946 and is still a family-owned trucking company. Like so many foodgrade tank fleets, H R Ewell started out as a local milk hauler. The company diversified from there into other edible cargoes, including liquid and dry sweeteners, chocolate, vegetable oil, flour, and starch.
The carrier's 148 tractors and 302 tank and dry bulk trailers are kosher certified and serve customers throughout the United States and portions of Canada and Mexico. The fleet operates from terminals in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Texas, and Illinois.
For much of its 63-year history, H R Ewell has run Mack tractors, and that is still true today. The newest units are Mack Vision conventionals. Every effort has been made to minimize tare, and new sleeper tractors weigh in at 15,500 pounds. Daycabs are a slim 14,500 pounds.
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