Lynden continued its tradition of donating transportation of food and supplies for the 2018 Yukon Quest 1,000-mile sled dog race this winter by participating in the annual Fairbanks Food Drop event in January. Alaska West Express Drivers Brian Ambrose and James Elliott picked up freight in Whitehorse to support the mushers and their dog teams. Lynden Transport is also an event sponsor. Canadian Lynden Transport Dispatcher Deanna Benson received a call from race organizer Alex Olesen one day. "He said his uncle was curious about how things were going with the shipment," Deanna says. "The uncle turned out to be Lynden retiree Steven Reilly. What a small world!" Image from the Yukon Quest video. View the video and the food drop process at https://youtu.be/t5ijcCWoTvk?t=45.
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Three Lynden drivers qualified for and participated in the National Truck Driving Championships Aug. 9-12 in Orlando, FL. More than 400 drivers competed in the event which is a gathering of the best-of-the-best truckers from California to Maine. Brian Ambrose of Alaska West Express took 15th place in the Sleeper Berth, Jack Sorensen of Lynden Transport placed 32nd in the Tank Truck category and Edward Tuia of Alaska West Express came in 41st in the five-axle.
Congratulations are in order for many Lynden drivers who competed in truck driving competitions in Alaska and Washington this spring. At the Alaska Trucking Association’s (ATA) annual truck rodeo in Anchorage, Alaska West Express Driver Brian Ambrose was named overall champion for the second year followed by Eddie Tuia in second place. Eddie also took first place for Alaska West Express in the 5-axle van category with Doug Longerbone of Lynden Transport taking second place.
Other first-place finishers included Jack Sorensen in the Tanker and Brian in the Sleeper Divisions. Al Guettinger and John Schank took first and second places respectively in the Old Geezer category. John was also named 2017 Alaska Driver of the Year for the second time. Other Lynden drivers competing were: Randy Estrada, Lynden Transport, third in the flatbed category; James Elliott, Alaska West Express, tenth in the 5-axle; Greg Sims, Lynden Transport, eleventh in the 5-axle; Tanner Heisler, Lynden Transport, fifth in the 4-axle; Ray Sorenson, Lynden Transport, fifth in the 3-axle and Clayton Bonty, Lynden Transport, sixth in the flatbed division. Dan Jenkins of Lynden Transport competed in the Washington competition, placing fourth in the flatbed class.
"We are always proud of the drivers who come out to represent the Lynden companies," says Richard Hennagin, Lynden Transport Safety Supervisor. "They are up against the best in the business, which makes their top place finishes even more impressive."
The annual Earth Day celebration is a good time to recognize Lynden employees who continue to do more with less, decreasing their energy use while improving safety and productivity. Since 2008, nearly 50 energy efficiency upgrades at Lynden facilities have led to the reduction of 2,350 megawatt hours of electricity and nearly 7 million British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heating fuel and natural gas per year.
According to Anna Deal of Lynden’s Green Initiative, that’s the equivalent of the average energy used in 167 homes or 335 passenger vehicles in one year! "Some of the most impressive reductions at Lynden have come from steady and consistent efforts and continuous improvement," she says.
For example, Lynden Transport’s Anchorage Service Center has reduced its heating fuel use by 20 percent over the last eight years by repairing insulation, sealing air gaps in the dock doors and dock plates with rubber, and installing new dock shelters. Most recently, a new direct digital controlled thermostat is reducing natural gas use even further. The Anchorage team invested in a series of lighting upgrades that has reduced electricity use by 20 percent, despite adding eight electric forklifts.
"One of the unexpected benefits of using electric lifts is the CO2 fan no longer kicks on in the cross-dock," says Richard Hennagin, Lynden Transport Safety Manager. "In a way, the lifts run for free because the fans are no longer pushing warm air outside or using electricity to run."
Similarly, the LTI, Inc. Service Center in Lynden, WA has reduced its overall electricity use by 37 percent since 2008. Employees have upgraded old lighting and HVAC systems, installed LED lights in the remodel, and most recently, yard lights were replaced with LEDs.
"One of the most exciting changes in the last few years is the number of Lynden facilities moving to LED lights," Anna says. "These lights give better quality light that mimics natural daylight while using a third of the energy. They last longer, so don’t need to be replaced as often. They are dimmable and turn on instantly, so they work well with smart sensor technology and there’s no mercury to dispose of when they do burn out."
More improvements throughout the companies:
ALASKA WEST EXPRESS
Alaska West Express in Fairbanks has some of the highest energy costs of any Lynden facility due to a lack of energy options, cold temperatures and the size of the 30-acre facility. Over the last few years the team replaced high wattage lights in the maintenance and tank-cleaning facilities as well as 76 yard lights with energy efficient LED lights. They reduced their electricity usage by 14 percent with a 2.5 year payback to recoup costs. "The best part is, the guys in the shop don’t have to wear their headlamps around anymore," says Gage Schutte, Alaska West Express Service Center Manager.
ALASKA MARINE LINES
Alaska Marine Lines began testing LED lights in the Seattle yard in 2015. "With a payback of less than three years and a 20-year lifespan, it seemed like a no-brainer," says Mark Gaska (now with Alaska West Express in Tacoma). Since then, M&R interior and exterior lights and salt tent lights have all been replaced with LEDs and smart sensors that adjust lighting output based on daylight levels and movement. Most recently, Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle became the first port facility in the world to use stadium style LED lights to light the yard.
"The truck entry lane in Yard 5 needed additional light for safety and security. Rather than disrupting operations and trenching power to install a new pole, we decided to use high mast LED lights. The difference is literally night and day. The safety crew and especially the night crew are very happy," says Tom Crescenzi, Alaska Marine Lines Service Center Manager.
LYNDEN TRANSPORT—Lower 48
Lynden Transport in Fife recently replaced lighting in the cross dock and yard (see photo on page 1). "The biggest benefit is safety," says Keith Johnson, Safety Supervisor. "After we moved to electric lifts, you couldn’t hear the lift approach over the buzzing sound of the old lights. The LED lights are quiet and the crew is able to read paperwork without going to the forklift for light." Lynden Transport Service Centers in Soldotna and Fairbanks also recently replaced their yard lights with LEDs.
"Even with all of the reductions at Lynden facilities to date, there is still a huge opportunity to reduce energy use further," Anna says.
Following in the footsteps of Lynden Transport Driver John Schank of Fairbanks, Brian Ambrose of Alaska West Express was named 2016 Truck Driver of the Year by the Alaska Trucking Association (ATA). Brian’s award was presented at the 17th annual ATA truck driving championships in Anchorage where Lynden truck drivers competed. Drivers also competed at a truck rodeo in Kent, WA in June, turning in impressive performances as usual.
“Brian has 36 years of commercial driving experience including 16 with Alaska West Express,” says Anchorage Service Center Manager Dave Heston. “And he has more than 3 million miles in the seat and 13 consecutive years without an accident. He has driven all types of configurations on Alaska’s highways, including heavy haul up to 13-axles and tankers.” Brian has competed in the truck driving championships every year since 2005 and has collected an assortment of trophies including three for state champion and best overall in 2015.
“We are very proud of all Brian has accomplished,” adds Alaska West Express President Scott Hicks. “We are even prouder of his work ethic and integrity. Brian is a true professional who represents our company and industry with class.”
In the June 18 competition in Kent, WA, Lynden Transport Driver Dan Jenkins competed in the Flatbed Division as a rookie and Brown Line Drivers Vincent Hannick, Carl Carter and Michael Kidrick competed in the Sleeper Berth division.
Ten Lynden Transport drivers competed in the Alaska competition, including Jack Sorensen, placing first in the 5-axle Tanker Division, and Tanner Heisler, placing third in the 5-axle Flatbed category. Other Lynden competitors were: Randy Estrada, Chris Hudson, John Phillips, Cody McFarlane, Doug Longerbone, Pha Lee, Stephanie Winder and Jay Capala. Brian Ambrose, David Lambe and Edward Tuia competed for Alaska West Express. Lynden’s Deskbound Geezers were on hand to steer Old No. 27 through the cones.
Lynden companies are known for providing customers with the latest, most versatile equipment and a hydraulic platform trailer acquired by Alaska West Express last year is proving to be useful for a variety of projects in Alaska. Manufactured by German company Scheuerle, the trailer is built to handle long and heavy loads. According to Alaska West Express President Scott Hicks, the trailer carries the weight over instead of between the axles, requiring less steel to support the load and increasing payload.
The trailer was a keystone of Alaska West Express’ recent pipeline project in Alaska (see photo above) and has greatly increased heavy haul capabilities. “Besides the 100-ton payload, the manufacturer provides a program to determine estimated axle weights for permitting,” says Steve Willford, Project Manager. By inputting load data, the program calculates the projected load distribution on the axles. This data can then be submitted to DOT for overweight permits. The program has proven extremely accurate and saves valuable employee time as well as reducing liability.
"The trailer hydraulic readings and the program have increased our capability to forecast and increases our confidence that we are exactly within limits for road and bridge crossings with our loads,” Scott says. Alaska West Express drivers and shop and maintenance employees participated in a three-day training program to learn the specialized features of the trailer once it arrived last year. The first load it carried was a survey boat 83 feet long and 23 feet wide from Prudhoe Bay to Anchorage.
Alaska West Express and Alaska Marine Lines recently completed a nine-month multimodal move of pipe skids and other freight for an oil pipeline customer. Thirty loads originated at a manufacturer in Bellingham, WA and required marine and surface moves for final delivery to Trans-Alaska Pipeline Pump Station #5 between Deadhorse and Valdez. The pump station is an important relief station to slow the flow of oil as it descends from the Brooks Valley.
“This project began as a smaller move last summer and it continued to develop as the customer learned of our heavy haul and other capabilities,” says Steve Willford, Alaska West Express Project Manager in Fairbanks.
The project included three oversized loads which required transfer to a shuttle barge in Bellingham (see above) and on to the mainline barge in Seattle for eventual delivery to Whittier and Valdez. “They were odd-ball pieces, over-dimensional and overweight – not easy to move over the road,” Steve says. Once they arrived in Valdez, Alaska West Express drivers Casey King, Andrew Wessels, Gary Ridall and Scott Vaughan (driving push truck) took over the delivery to the pump station. Jack Binder was the load supervisor for the Valdez shipments. Other loads arrived in Anchorage before the sailings stopped for the winter and were delivered by drivers Ken Seipel, Brian Ambrose and Del Shagen.
Lynden is known for getting the job done and providing extra services when needed. The final loads were delivered to the site when the installation contractor was on winter shutdown, so Alaska West Express arranged a jacking crew for unloading. Through careful coordination and planning, the arrival of the final loads was synchronized with the arrival of the jacking crew. “When we pulled away from the site, the loads were up off the ground where the customer wanted them. We were happy to provide literally everything they required,” says Jack.
Good weather helped the project stay on track as well as a new Scheuerle hydraulic highway trailer acquired by Alaska West Express last year. The trailer is capable of carrying 100 tons and was put to work carrying the 84-ton back-pressure module between Valdez and the pump station. But the real key to the project’s success, according to Steve, was teamwork between Alaska West Express operations in Tacoma, Anchorage and Fairbanks and Alaska Marine Lines crews handling the barge moves in Seattle, Bellingham and Anchorage. “Our joint capabilities and smooth working relationships really came together to provide our customer with a seamless, door-to-door transportation package.”
Lynden helped put smiles on a lot of faces in Fairbanks recently. Lynden Transport's Ken Hall and Alan Hoza of Alaska West Express assisted in bringing a free mobile dental clinic, the Alaska Mission of Mercy, to the community. Ken coordinated the move of a trailer filled with 60 dental chairs, 49 treatment chairs and other equipment to the two-day event. The biggest challenge, according to event organizer Dr. Heather Willis, was getting the equipment from the Lower 48 up to Alaska. "The trailer came from Tacoma to Anchorage via TOTE, then via the Alaska Railroad to Fairbanks. Lynden delivered it to the event site," Ken says. "Wolverine Equipment, our trailer maintenance provider, re-inspected the trailer to make sure everything was ready to go."
It's estimated that the dental group treated 878 patients at a donated cost of $800,000 in 24 hours (see above). Dr. Tim Woller expressed appreciation to Lynden for its assistance. "Your support and generosity are typical of the community spirit that makes Alaska and Fairbanks a great place to live and work," he says.
Alaska West Express received the Alaska Safe Truck Fleet of the Year Award from the Alaska Trucking Association (ATA) at its annual awards banquet this spring. Alaska West Express was recognized for its safety performance in 2013, including accident frequency rates, compliance, safety and accountability (CSA) scores and OSHA recordable injuries. It also received three other safety awards from the ATA including Line Haul, Local Cartage and Line Haul Most Improved.
The ATA sponsors the safety awards with ConocoPhillips to recognize and reward carriers who operate safely on the highway and in the workplace. CSA is a major safety measurement and reporting initiative of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
"This award represents the hard work, professionalism and integrity of our managers, operations team, drivers and mechanics," says Alaska West Express President Scott Hicks. "We haul a variety of commodities in very challenging conditions, including hazardous chemicals, petroleum products, dry bulk commodities and retail products. Safety is extremely important to us, and we appreciate that our efforts are recognized by the ATA and ConocoPhillips."
Alaska West Express has joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership. SmartWay is a collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and transportation companies to voluntarily improve fuel efficiency and reduce air pollution from freight transport. Partners with high scores are already utilizing most of the commercially available fuel saving strategies and evaluating the latest emerging technologies. Sister company Lynden Transport became the first Alaska trucking company to join SmartWay in 2008. Lynden companies LTI, Inc., Milky Way and Brown Line joined in 2010.
"Alaska West Express has been focused on efficient operations for many years as part of Lynden's overall Green Initiative. We are extremely proud to be recognized by the EPA as a SmartWay Transport Partner," says Alaska West Express President Scott Hicks. "Although we operate in very tough and harsh conditions we remain committed and focused on energy efficiency and air quality. We also understand and appreciate that our customers share this same commitment. Alaska West Express will continue to strive for clean operations on the road and at all of our locations." The company is now included on the SmartWay Partner List where it joins other transportation providers who are moving the freight industry forward to a more sustainable future.
Alaska West Express provides truckload transportation throughout the United States and Canada, specializing in heavy haul and bulk shipments to and from Alaska, where it is a leader in transporting liquid- and dry-bulk products, hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals and petroleum products. It is part of the Lynden family of companies, whose combined capabilities include: truckload and less-than-truckload freight to Alaska, scheduled and charter barges, rail barges, intermodal bulk chemical hauls, scheduled and chartered air freighters, domestic and international shipping via air and ocean forwarding, customs brokerage, trade show shipping, remote site construction, sanitary bulk commodities hauling, and multi-modal logistics. Lynden companies are repeat winners in the annual Quest for Quality customer service awards presented by Logistics Management magazine.