Review: Why Warren Trusts USCC

One of the top carriers for farm machinery in North America trusts US Cargo Control with its load securement needs. warren logo

Warren Transport, Inc. hauls heavy pieces of machinery across thousands of miles and needs reliable securement equipment to get the job done right.

Warren Photos (1)
A US Cargo Control strap is used to secure tarps on a Warren Transport, Inc. trailer.

Warren Director of Maintenance and Inventory Corey Vesely says his company buys from US Cargo Control because of its strong customer service and commitment to product quality. Part of that great experience is knowing USCC will provide safe, reliable products that are labeled with the legal working load limit and grade of chain.

“We find throughout the industry with securement items that some of them are not labeled. Some of them might be labeled but they are not actually what they are supposed to be,” Vesely said. “With US Cargo it’s very clear. It’s on the banding, it’s on the straps.”

Watch the video below to learn more about how Warren Transport uses load securement and why it shops USCC for equipment and supplies.

 

 

Safety is No.1 at Warren Transport

Safety isn’t just an idea at Warren Transport Inc., it’s a culture. The company’s emphasis on safety is a big reason it has been in business for more than six decades.

And it shows. Literally.

Safety awards take up an entire room at Warren Transport company headquarters in Waterloo. (Courtesy: Warren Transport, Inc._
Safety awards take up an entire room at Warren Transport company headquarters in Waterloo. (Courtesy: Warren Transport, Inc.)

Awards cover all four walls in a basement room at Warren Headquarters in Waterloo, Iowa. From top to bottom gold, silver and bronze radiate, each award exemplifying the company’s commitment to safety.

Warren has earned fourth place or higher, with many first or second place finishes, in the American Trucking Associations, or ATA, National Truck Safety Contest for eighteen of the last nineteen years.

“We have a huge, great reputation across the nation with all the states, with all of the motor carrier associations for our safe driving,” Warren Director of Maintenance and Inventory Corey Vesely said.

Warren Transport is a trucking company that is celebrating more than 65 years in business. It has two divisions – van and flatbed. The company is known across North America as one of the top carriers for heavy, farm machinery.

Warren is 100-percent owner-operator, meaning people are contracted to drive trucks they individually own. Warren does not own the trucks.

That owner-operator business model is enticing to many veteran truck drivers because they get to be their own boss while still enjoying some fleet benefits. For that reason, Warren can be picky about who it contracts to drive, opting to hire experienced drivers who value a similar safety philosophy.

“Our driver qualification department will do a very good vetting process,” Warren Director of Safety Ben Caughron explained.

That process includes a background check, criminal history and running the applicant’s Motor Vehicle Reports, or MVR. The company also completes a ten year employment check and inspects the overall application for accuracy.

“They come in here experienced, they’re not brand new. They know what they are doing,” Caughron said.

Warren bio pic
Courtesy: Warren Transport, Inc.

The company makes a point to emphasize driver qualification, safety meetings, training sessions, safety awareness programs as well as scheduled inspections and maintenance for trucks and trailers.

Part of that responsibility means understanding and abiding by federal and state safety regulations, including the federal program CSA, or Compliance, Safety, Accountability.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, CSA quantifies each driver and carrier’s on-road safety performance. It provides a safety score calculated by data derived from roadside inspections, safety based violations and state reported crashes. Performance in other federal safety programs is also considered.

“We have a huge, obvious thing with CSA now, DOT compliance and what safety regulations are out there now because that’s all changed and evolved in the last five to eight years,” Vesely explained. “It’s just getting more and more important and there is a huge, huge push for safety of these vehicles.”

It can be challenging to stay privy on state and federal regulations. That’s why the company offers Warren Technical Institute, an internet based continuing education portal.

“It’s like an online classroom so to speak,” Caughron explained. “Every one of our drivers and employees has access to that either through PC, the iPad, and your smartphone.”

Interestingly enough – Warren Transport cannot force any of its contracted drivers to participate in safety training because of its owner-operator business model. However, there are some monetary incentives for clean inspections and safe driving records, but most drivers chose to participate and make it a priority on their own.

“A lot of them don’t want to ruin their business or have any hiccups in their business so their goal is to remain safe,” Caughron said.

The company culture also helps to promote and maintain safe driving. Warren’s mission statement spells out that safety is always the top priority.

“We instill in them (the drivers) no matter what safety comes first. Everything else is secondary because we want you to get home safely and to your family,” Caughron said. “No load is more important that the health of you and the motoring public.”

Customer Spotlight: Warren Transport

Nestled in the farm fields of Iowa is the leading carrier of farm machinery in North America. Warren Transport, Inc. has been in business more than 65 years and has grown and developed  to become a driving force in transporting specialized equipment and machinery.

History & Growth

Courtesy: Warren Transport.

Warren got its start in 1949 when three brothers, by the name of Warren, moved to Waterloo. The siblings went there specifically to haul John Deere tractors fresh off the assembly line to their intended destination. Warren proved itself to be a dependable carrier for Deere, and that relationship helped the company grow.

“Essentially we’ve never said no them and that’s kind of what’s grown our business along with theirs,” Corey Vesely, Warren’s director of maintenance and inventory, said.

Warren started with six trucks and ten trailers, delivering to three states. Today it has expanded to include thirteen terminals across the US, plus two locations in Mexico. The company hauls for John Deere and also runs for other big name equipment producers like Case, Caterpillar and New Holland.

Unique Business Model

Warren bio pic
Courtesy: Warren Transport

Warren has two divisions – flatbed and van. The flatbed trailers haul large commodity like farm, construction and forestry equipment, while the enclosed trailers move smaller products like parts and supplies.

The company is unique because it is 100 percent owner-operated, meaning Warren does not own the semis. Instead, the company contracts drivers who run their own trucks. This compares to a more typical trucking model where the vehicles belong to the company, and people are hired to drive them.

“We’ve had a lot of loyalty. We’ve had a lot of great contractors that have allowed us to continue that way of business,” Vesely explained.

Warren is a desirable place for veteran drivers, allowing the company to be selective when deciding who to contract. Its unique business model lets drivers be their own boss, while still being connected to loads and fleet perks. Drivers can also set limits about where they are willing to travel. Some won’t go west of the Rocky Mountains, others won’t go east of the Mississippi River, and some will only drive to specific states and regions. Warren knows these preferences before dispatch schedules a run.

“That’s one of our goals to get them loaded, keep them safe and get then home so they can be with their families,” Vesely said.

Each driver is responsible for their own maintenance and supplies. However, Warren offers some incentives to help with those costs. Contracted drivers can access fleet discounts through select fuel and service providers. The company also inspects each truck and offers a maintenance account program, allowing drivers to put aside a set amount of cash per distance to be used exclusively for upkeep and repairs.

“Over time they have kind of built that bank account so to speak,” Vesely said. “So it’s not so hard on their pocketbooks.”

 

Cargo Securement

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A US Cargo Control strap is used to secure tarps on a Warren Transport, Inc. trailer.

Warren provides specific instructions to its contracted drivers to ensure they are using the right load securement tools and are properly tying down what they are hauling, all while following state and federal guidelines.

Warren creates custom tiedown methods for different types of commodity. Those instructions are then explained in manuals the company provides to each driver. Warren also encourages drivers to  call when they have questions or need further instruction.

“We will create a tiedown procedure, a manual showing, with pictures, how to do it so we don’t damage product,” Vesely explained. “Using the proper chain or using the proper corner pieces or winches or whatever it may be.”

Hauling heavy pieces of machinery requires reliable securement equipment. Warren trusts US Cargo Control to help keep those loads safe across thousands of miles. The company purchases securement supplies like transport chain, binders and straps from US Cargo Control.

Warren values USCC customer service and product quality, including the fact that each item is carefully and clearly labeled with the working load limit and grade of chain.

“With US Cargo, it’s very clear,” Vesely explained. “It’s on the banding, it’s on the straps, and the grade of chain is on there.”

Warren uses US Cargo Control 3/8 and 1/2 inch chain, lever binders and ratchet straps with a chain extension, including the premier heavy-duty BlackLine ratchet strap with a chain extension.

Vesely says Warren likes the flexibility US Cargo Control provides, whether flipping through the catalog or calling to get ahold of a specific securement items not currently carried.

“We’ll say ‘hey can you guys get this stuff’ which you have been very responsive in being able to do for us,” Vesely said.

What Makes Warren Different

Warren has built its business on commitment to service and safety.

You can actually see its impressive safety record when visiting company headquarters.  An entire room at is adorned, top to bottom, with colorful plaques and shiny awards dating back decades. The company has earned fourth place or higher in the ATA National Truck Safety Contest for 18 of the last 19 years.

Warren knows why it has experienced success in the past and why it will continue toward the future.

“Our safety, driving records, our contractor responses and our responses as a company — committing to something then exceeding those expectations,” Vesely explained.

 

 

US Cargo Control Customer Feedback: Review and Photos

We want to thank US Cargo Control customer Randy Eilerts for sharing these photos of his hotshot, or hot shot, rig decked out in yellow, USCC load securement straps. Thanks for being a loyal customer and trusting US Cargo Control with your bread and butter.

Here is what Randy had to say about USCC:

“Y’all make Tallgrass Trucking, LLC a lot easier. I have ordered straps chains binders flags and wide load signs. Fast delivery. Great customer service. Resonable prices. Thank You so very much!”

No, Randy. We thank you!

Randy 2 4.15 Randy 4 4 (1) Randy 4 4 (2) Randy 4.15 Randy 5 4.15 Randy 6 4.15 Randy 7 4.15

US Cargo Control Customer Review and Photos

Thanks to our loyal US Cargo Control customer Marc for these great photos of his hotshot, or hot shot, rig and positive customer testimonial.

Here is what Marc had to say:

“The aluminum platform weighs 1000 lbs. the tarpped load weighs 16k lbs. Oh yeah that’s a USCC tarp too. My platform customers loved my equipment today. I now have repeat business from them. They now want me to haul for them on the regular. This is what it’s all about. The professional look is one of my things that I bring to the table. You guys are directly the cause of my success in this tough industry. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again US Cargo Control customer for life. You guys make products that are easy to stand next to and say ‘Yes I can get the job done.'”

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Motor Vehicle Enforcement Inspections Help with Load Safety

Inspections are a key part of the safety system in place to keep cargo safe, secure and off the road.

Drivers are required to meet with a certified inspector once every twelve months and keep the results of the review in their truck. They must also self-check in the form of pre and post-trip inspections where they record and report truck and equipment issues to their carrier.

But that isn’t it.

The third inspector is a law enforcement officer outfitted in a navy blue uniform, armed with extensive expertise regarding the rules of the road – specifically for commercial vehicles.

Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement Sgt. Jeff Jones drives during patrol duty.
Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement Sgt. Jeff Jones drives during patrol duty just outside of Brandon on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officers are authorized to inspect commercial vehicles, and they do not need a specific reason to do so. It is their job to make sure drivers are following state and federal laws related to driver qualification, hours of service, driver licensing, vehicle size, weight and safety.  That includes keeping watch for adequate load securement and enforcing laws aimed at curbing crashes caused by cargo shifting or falling from the truck or trailer.

We spent a cool spring day at an Iowa weigh-station with a group of those navy-clad officers. This particular stop is located on the southbound side of Interstate 380, near the small town of Brandon.

There we encountered Officer Loren Waterman, a respected law enforcer who’s been with Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement for nearly two decades. During his time on the force he has seen securement done right, and securement done very, very wrong. Our questions jogged his memory to a situation several years ago when he came upon a truck that lost an extremely heavy load of steel rolls.

“When the truck tipped over they rolled right out the side of the trailer and into a ditch about 100 yards away,” Officer Waterman said. “They weighed about 10,000 pounds apiece.”

That story is just a subtle reminder as to why these specific law officers are allowed to search and inspect just about any commercial vehicle they come across.

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Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officer Jeff Jones pulls a truck over near Brandon and performs a roadside inspection on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

These men and women are checking for many potential violations – as for securement systems, they are looking for anything that might be weakening a tie-down. Issues range from equipment malfunctions and damage to working-load limit violations.

Federal rules require tie-downs be in proper working order. Officers look for obvious damage and distress to the equipment along with weak pieces and sections.

When inspecting chain specifically, officers use several tools. They carry gages that determine if the links have elongated, plus a handy chart to figure out the chain’s grade and limits. Chain suppliers are required to mark chain links with the grade, making it simple for the driver and law enforcement officers to identify.

Officers will cite a driver for using the wrong chain, so it’s important to understand the rules and what the different types of chain are capable of doing.

The most commonly used flatbed chains, hooks and binders are:

  • 5/16″ Grade 70 Chain
  • 3/8″ Grade 70 Chain
  • 1/2″ Grade 70 Chain
  • Grade 70 Chain Hooks
  • Drop Forged Steel Lever Load Binders
  • Drop Forged Steel Ratchet Load Binders

Officer Waterman tells us many of the drivers he comes across are aware of commercial rules because of the federal program CSA, or Compliance, Safety, Accountability.  The program requires all violations be documented and a safety record kept on file. A bad score could create issues with the driver’s current carrier and complications if they want to change carriers down the road.

Thanks in part to CSA, officers do not encounter many securement issues, but some offenses are more common than others. Typically, officers find the driver is not using enough load securement. Federal law requires a minimum number of tie-downs based on the weight and dimensions of the load.

“I always tell everybody you’ll never get in trouble for having too many tie-downs or chains on there, but you will if you’re short,” Officer Waterman explained.

Officer Waterman tells drivers they should secure anything less than 10,000 pounds with two tie-downs, and anything more than that with at least four.  Drivers must also keep the length and shape of the load in mind when determining the number of tie-downs and securement style.

At the conclusion of each inspection, the officer chats with the driver about any violations found and what must be done to fix them. The most serious cases force the officer to put the vehicle out of service, meaning the issue needs to be resolved before the driver can leave with the truck.

“We want the road to be safe for everybody out there,” Officer Waterman said.

For specific details and regulation regarding cargo securement check-out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement.

 

 

 

Summertime Swap: Snow Blower Storage Tips

It’s that time of year again – unless you’re living in northern Wisconsin – time to pack up the snow blower for the winter and swap it out for the mower. But before you shove it back in that damp corner of the garage, there is maintenance work that should be done to ensure the blower is ready to go when the snow starts falling next season.

Keep this checklist handy as you prepare your snow blower for summertime storage. checklist

First – and most importantly — take care of any remaining gasoline in the snow blower.

Most professionals recommend emptying the snow blower of all fuel. Drain or syphon the gas, and then run the engine until it’s dry or stalls. The snow blower needs to be empty to avoid the fuel from going bad and creating a gum like gunk that can accumulate inside the tank, filter, hose and carburetor. If that nasty film does form, you’ll be the sorry soul disassembling your engine and cleaning the parts during next season’s snowpocalypse.

Others recommend draining the gas then adding fuel stabilizer. The chemical mixes with the remaining fuel and is designed to slow corrosion and prevent parts from cracking, drying or rusting. Once you add the stabilizer turn on the engine for several minutes to ensure it reaches the carburetor. Again, you want to do anything you can to prevent that gunky gum from forming inside the snow blower.

Next, take out the spark plug, and then add a lubricant to the head where you removed it. Make sure the spark plug doesn’t need to be replaced before re-installing it. If it does, swap it out for a new one.

After that, check the oil and change it if necessary. Don’t forget to replace the filter. Some people wait until the fall or winter months to check this off the list, but you might as well tackle the job while the sun is shining and the garage is inviting.

Next, make sure the tires are inflated and that they don’t’ have any significant damage or wear. Add air or replace the tires if necessary.

Before you move the snow blower in to the garage, give it a bath to clean out dirt and salt to prevent corrosion. Then leave it outside to dry or wipe it down with old rags and towels.

Finally, place a customized cover or tarp over the snow blower to prevent dust and debris from getting inside the engine. Some people take an extra step and place their blower on bricks or wood pieces to keep it off the ground. Store the snow blower in a cool, dry place. Preferable a garage or storage shed. If the snow blower must stay outside, take the extra step to cover it.

Follow these easy steps and your snow blower should be ready for the next snow season. For parts and instructions specific to the make and model of your snow blower browse the owner’s manual.

 

 

What are the Differences Between Types of Shackles?

Shackles are manufactured  in a wide variety of types, styles, sizes, and fabrications, and with so many different options available, choosing the right shackle for the job can be confusing.

We’ve outlined some of the basic differences between the most common types of shackles. If you have any questions, contact one of our rigging product specialists on our sales team at 800-660-3585.


Anchor shackle/bow shackle vs.chain shackle/D-shackle

Anchor shackle
Anchor shackle

Bow shackles and anchor shackles are terms that are often used interchangeably, as both names refer to a shackle with a larger, rounded “O” shape look. However, a bow shackle typically has a larger, more defined bow area than an anchor shackle. The rounded design of anchor shackles and bow shackles allow them to take loads from many directions without developing significant side load. The larger loop shape of an anchor shackle or bow shackle does reduce its overall strength, but it is also able to handle a larger strap.

 

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Chain shackle

Chain shackles are also known as D-shackles. Both refer to the “D” shape design. A d-shackle is narrower than a bow or anchor shackle and generally have a threaded pin or pin close. The smaller loop is designed to take high loads primarily in line. Side and racking loads may twist or bend a D or chain shackle.

Both types of shackles are generally always available in galvanized  metal and stainless steel, and all come with different pin options as well.

 

Stainless steel vs. galvanized 

Both stainless steel and galvanized metal offer excellent protection from rust and corrosion, making either a good choice.

In general, galvanized shackles are ideal for industrial applications where moisture is not a major issue. Galvanized steel has a thin coating of zinc oxide to protect the steel from elements that lead to corrosion and oxidation. Galvanized is also a great value as it tends to be less expensive than stainless steel, but still maintains the shackle’s strength and durability.

Stainless steel shackles are more corrosive-resistant and, are therefore ideal for marine applications. Our stainless steel shackles are made of type 316 stainless steel, which is considered “marine grade.” Type 316 marine grade stainless steel contains molybdenum, which makes it resistant to ocean water mist or spray, so it’s especially useful in extreme conditions or moisture or in a high chloride environment. Type 316 stainless D shackle equipment is ideal for sailing and yacht rigging uses.

 

Snap shackles

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Swivel Eye Snap Shackle

A snap shackle is designed with a spring-activated mechanism so it can be used quickly and with one hand. These are excellent for jobs where speed is important, or when it needs to be repeated connected/disconnected. Because they generally  have lower working load limits than comparable bolt type or pin type shackles, snap shackles are not recommended for heavy-duty applications. We offer four main types, all in Type 316 stainless steel: Swivel Eye, Swivel Jaw, Fixed Snap, and Rope Snap.

 

Pin options

The pin that locks a shackle can be a deciding factor on which will work best for your job. Pin styles range include loose pins, captive pins, round pins, screw pins, and bolt type pins. Screw pin shackles are popular because they offer a pin that is easy to connect and disconnect. Captive pin shackles offer a pin that cannot be removed from the bow of the shackle which is essential in various marine applications. Captive pins are also particularly  popular for marine uses because they can’t be accidentally dropped in the water. Bolt type shackles secure with a bolt/nut/cotter pin combination and are popular for more heavy duty securement.

Shop our full selection from our website:

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Hiring Professional Movers? Five Quick Tips for a Smooth Move

If you’ve never used a professional moving company before, you may just feel like you are living in the lap of luxury. Professional movers are trained not only in customer satisfaction, but in moving furniture efficiently, courteously, and carefully. While the movers will gladly disassemble and reassemble items for you, there are many things you can do in advance to prepare for them.iStock_000009587805Medium

Furniture fix
Big dressers, entertainment centers, or other bulky furniture? Take a few minutes before the movers arrive to take off mirrors, glass doors, or other fragile or breakable pieces. No need to pack up your clothing or other items inside since the movers will pad and stretch wrap the drawers and doors— and their contents— closed for you. Bed frames can also be broken down beforehand so they’re ready to load immediately.

Clear the way
You can also prepare by removing any railings that may hinder the smooth movement of furniture up or down stairs. Just be sure not to remove anything that could create a safety hazard. Make sure there is a clear path to and from every room in your home.

Cut the trip short
Try to bring as many of your belongings to one central location in the home. That way the movers can easily grab items and load them onto the truck. This location should be a room on the ground level of the home, or even the garage. This will save time, which in turn will save you money.

Easy out
Any debris outside can slow the movers, cause injuries and possibly damage your items. Make sure all cars are parked in the street so the movers can pull the truck right up your home or business and get as close as possible to the exit.

Communication is key
It’s imperative you talk with a customer service representative (CSR) to ensure they have your most up-to-date inventory list. If there is an attic, storage shed, or basement, make sure you tell the CSR. Be sure and let them know if you have a particular piece that is overly large or awkward to handle so they can bring any additional tools or straps they might need. Also be sure to share with them any obstacles with parking or spiral staircases. If there are trees or plants you are concerned about, please share with your CSR and the message can be communicated to the driver and mover.

If you follow this advice, you will be in good shape prior to move day! Get ready to kick your feet up like royalty and let the pros take over. box

About the author: Arika Ford moving expert for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® / INTERNATIONAL, Inc. the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!