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Brown Line’s new tractor-trailer design improves fuel economy

Posted on Thu, May 24, 2012

Brown Line's new tractor trailerOver the last three years, Brown Line has implemented a number of changes resulting in a radical improvement in fuel economy. The company recently added 18 new tractor-trailer combinations that are achieving over 7 mpg on average.  “With the new equipment fuel economy increased by 23 percent, trailer cubic foot capacity by 16 percent, and improved payload capacity by 6 percent,” says Brown Line President Jason Jansen. 

Driver behavior has also contributed to fuel savings, with PeopleNet onboard computing systems enabling drivers to assess their fuel consumption and compete to be the best. Maximum truck speed was reduced from 68 mph to 64 mph for eastbound routes and to 62 mph for all other routes. “We adjusted the gearing to match the lower speeds, and we set low idle time standards for drivers,” Jason says. “PeopleNet also gives us the tools to improve routing, monitor tractor performance and idle time.”

As a fleet, Brown Line's average fuel economy has improved from 5.4 mpg in 2008 to 5.84 mpg in 2011. All new tractors have roof farings and new trailers have side skirts to improve aerodynamics. The side skirts are estimated to save about 5 percent in fuel economy. Brown Line now has 30 new 53-foot trailers with side skirts that have replaced the older 48-foot trailers, and will be exploring retrofit options for the older equipment.

The new 53-foot trailers are 1,900 pounds lighter than the older 48-foot trailers they replaced and compliant with California Air Resources Board (CARB) rules for reefers units. All new trucks and trailers use wide-base, low-rolling resistant single tires and have an automatic system to keep tires properly inflated for optimum fuel economy and to reduce tire wear.

Tags: green Lynden, efficiency, Trucking, Brown Line

Making cat tracks from Prudhoe Bay to Anchorage

Posted on Tue, May 22, 2012

Lynden Transport Account Manager Sam Amato took the photo below during a project for customer Marsh Creek. Lynden moved 160-plus loads of contaminated soil from Franklin Bluffs near Prudhoe Bay to Anchorage.  The soil is coming in via cat train. “The soil originates in Umiat, AK and is hauled on a two-day trip via the cat train to Franklin Bluffs,” Sam explains. “They bring in around 80 bags per train to Franklin for us to haul. This was a large project and we hauled about 50 loads north to get it started.” For two years prior to this project, Lynden was busy hauling the “cat” train to Prudhoe Bay for the customer. The cat equipment is custom built in Ohio and Edmonton. 

 Marsh Cat Train

Tags: Anchorage, Cat Train, Prudhoe Bay, Lynden Transport, Alaska

Jansen Art Center opens in Lynden

Posted on Thu, May 17, 2012

Schimmel PianoLynden’s old city hall building was reopened as the Jansen Art Center in March. The center offers studio space, classes and workshops for dancers, musicians, painters, and artists of all ages. Founder Heidi (Jansen) Doornenbal hopes that the center draws people from as far as Seattle and Canada as well as Lynden residents. The idea of a regional art center came from a group of artists who took their ideas to the Eleanor and Henry Jansen Foundation. Lynden founder Henry Jansen and his wife created the foundation in 1995 as a way of giving back to the local community. Louws With the foundation’s support, the non-profit Jansen Art Center now provides artists of all ages a place to explore their creativity. After an open house at the end of the March, classes have already begun. For more information, go to www.jansenartcenter.org.

From left to right: Cindy Louws, Heidi Doornenbal and Lynden's former mayor, Jack Louws.






Tags: Eleanor and Henry Jansen Foundation, Lynden, Jansen Art Center

Senator Begich visits Lynden booth in Boston

Posted on Tue, May 15, 2012

Boston Trade ShowAlaska is a big player in the world seafood market, and Lynden showed its support of the industry by attending the annual Boston International Seafood Show in March. “This is our third year exhibiting our services and products. It’s a great cross-company event,” says Greg Obeso of Lynden International. Alaska Governor Sean Parnell stopped by the booth as well as Alaska Senator Mark Begich.


From left to right: Dennis Mitchell and Kevin Adderson, Lynden International; Ron Beach, Movers; Senator Begich, Greg Obeso, Lynden International; Dan Bonney, Alaska Marine Lines and Alan Hartgraves, Brown Line.  

Tags: Boston International Seafood Show, Lynden, Governor Sean Parnell, Senator Mark Begich

Lynden employees play Easter Bunny!

Posted on Thu, May 10, 2012

Lynden International and Lynden Transport employees in Houston had a chance to play Easter Bunny this spring after Business Support Analyst Joyce Teehan responded to a request for help from Montgomery County Child Protective Services and Child Welfare Division. After the Easter Basket Project lost its corporate sponsor, Joyce and Lynden employees volunteered to secure donations then gather and assemble 800 Easter baskets during lunch hours and after work to distribute to foster children. “Everyone at Lynden Houston has been involved,” Joyce says. “I don’t think the organization expected Lynden to collect all the baskets they needed, but they were pleasantly surprised!” says Houston International Service Center Manager Vickie Gould. Below, employees load the baskets for delivery.

Lynden employeesLeft to right: Leo Rodriguez, Francisco Martinez, Rigo Rodriguez, Angela Black, Cathie Norwood and Lucky Thompson. Front: Romeo Longoria.

Tags: Lynden International, Community Service, Lynden employees, Lynden Transport, Easter Basket Project

Unique challenges brought by Alaska's record-setting winter

Posted on Tue, May 08, 2012

Cold day in PrudhoeBroken thermometers, frozen brakes and landing gears, and frostbite. These are just a few of the challenges Alaska employees dealt with during the record-setting winter.  The record high snowfalls and low temperatures made operations challenging for employees throughout the state. According to John Jansen, Terminal Manager at Lynden Transport in Prudhoe Bay, the challenges on the North Slope were not unique but more extreme than usual.

“Prudhoe Bay doesn’t get a lot of snow, maybe a foot or two a year, but the little bit we do get doesn’t melt for seven months,” he explains. “It just blows back and forth all winter causing extreme whiteout conditions, the strongest of which halts all outdoor operations on the oilfield.”

The winter was so brutal that even ice road construction was affected.  

“At 30 below zero, the water they pour to create the ice roads freezes so fast it becomes difficult to form a smooth surface. It’s been too cold this winter to make good White-out in Prudhoe Bayice,” says Bering Marine Captain Jack Rasmussen. “It’s also been tough on the hovercraft. We’ve had some 68-below days that became 80-below with the wind chill,” he explains. “Our heaters and thermometers stop working in the hangar.”

The trucks were left running around the clock. “Besides the issues of freezing braking systems and valves, we have the additional challenge of hooking up to our trailers,” John explains. “We do this 20 to 30 times a day and it usually takes three to five minutes. At these temperatures, it can take 30 minutes. Instead of being slippery, the grease on the fifth wheels becomes stiff and tacky. It sometimes takes a blowtorch to warm up the landing gear cranks.”

And equipment isn’t the only thing that freezes. Employees on the North Slope sometimes needed to come inside to melt the frost off their clothes and faces. Dressing the part for these temperatures is serious business. Cell phones don’t always work in remote, frozen delivery areas, so John enforces a policy that employees check in every 30 minutes to let the team know they are o.k. “We are dealing with critical conditions up here and safety is our No. 1 priority for customers and employees,” he says.

Haul Road Winter 2012Lynden’s oilfield customers enforce safety shutdowns at 35-degrees below or colder for any hydraulic powered equipment used outdoors such as forklifts and loaders. When this occurs, the Prudhoe Bay team spends the downtime organizing and stripping loads to build one-stop and two-stop drops so they can quickly deliver freight to the waiting customers in the short window of warmer weather. “We had a situation this winter where we couldn’t deliver for six days. As soon as it warmed up we had all hands on deck to make as many deliveries to our customers as we could before the temperatures dropped again,” John says. “The whole crew will be glad when this winter is over.”

Tags: Prudhoe Bay, Winter conditions, Lynden Transport, Alaska

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