Hello and welcome to our latest edition of the OpenLine.

Although we faced a more challenging freight environment at the end of 2019, things are starting to improve and trucks are staying busy. I would like to start by giving a shout out to our Driver of the Month, Petros Patronas, and our Rookie of the Month, Scott Jernigan. Both of these drivers have exhibited great work ethic, consistent productivity, and safety-conscious behaviors. Great job, guys!

Our new truck shipment for 2020 will begin arriving soon. The safety of our drivers and the public has been and will continue to be a focus for Melton; therefore, we invest in the latest & proven safety technology. Our new trucks will include:

  • Right side blind spot monitoring
  • Advanced collision mitigation systems
  • Lane departure warning
  • And more

Also, a new feature for the 500+ trucks we will be receiving during calendar year 2020 will be an electric APU. These battery-based systems will provide our drivers with heat, A/C, and electrical power for hotel loads along with reducing the idle time of the main truck engine. We have been testing these during 2019 and the results have been very positive in all weather conditions. We will provide training and information as these trucks are placed into service. 

Spring is quickly approaching, and we are looking forward to putting the winter weather behind us. As always, we thank each driver for being extra cautious during the winter season and making safety their top priority.

With spring comes the rainy season and it’s very important that drivers confirm that their tarps and securement equipment is prepared. Now is the time to roll out, clean the tarps, and inspect them for holes or areas that could potentially allow water to damage the load. Drivers should have tarp patching supplies with them to take care of the small to medium problems. If the tarp has major damage and needs exchanging, both Tulsa & Laredo will have repaired tarps available. As a reminder, it’s best to keep your set of tarps as long as possible. If you take care of your tarps, they should last for several years.

  • Always keep padding with you to help protect the tarps
  • Take the extra time to protect the tarp from sharp edges when covering the load
  • Keep plenty of patching material & glue with you

To better serve ALL our drivers, if you drop a trailer at a customer’s yard that might have some items that need repaired, such as lights, tires, flooring, etc., please send a Macro 18 with a brief description of the problems and a location of the trailer. The folks in Outside Repair will take care of the problem and the next driver who picks up that trailer will be good to go.

Nothing is more aggravating than picking up a loaded trailer and then having to wait for repairs to be completed. This cost our drivers valuable time and money for something that could have been prevented with simple communication. This has been an ongoing issue and we need your help to get this problem handled. Don’t say to yourself, “I’ll let the next guy deal with it”, because the “next” guy could be you. Please hold each other accountable for needed repairs on dropped trailers and thanks for your help in resolving this issue.

As always, I want to remind our drivers that Melton’s Outside Repair department is here to help when the need arises. Here are several ways to contact them:

  • Send a Macro 18. Please provide a description of the problem and your location
  • Call 918-779-6679, or contact Extended Coverage (918-234-1000) afterhours
  • Send a Repair Request through the Melton app (under the Maintenance menu)

Please be prepared to provide needed and accurate information for the Outside Repair staff when contacting them. If you are placed on hold, don’t hang up and call back, this will only delay the process. Calls are answered on a first-come-first-served basis, so please be patient as we work to solve drivers’ issues.

In closing, I would like to thank all our hard-working Melton drivers. The difficulties and demands of your job are certainly not overlooked. We appreciate your continuous effort in making Melton a successful company.

Drive Safely,

Jeff Robinson

Senior Vice President of Maintenance