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LTI, Inc. Sunnyside crew receives national certification for tanker cleanliness

Posted on Tue, Feb 20, 2018

Members of the LTI, Inc. Wash Bay Crew in Sunnyside, WALTI, Inc.'s Sunnyside Wash Bay Crew received a prestigious certification from the Juice Products Association (JPA) for the cleanliness of the tankers Lynden uses for carrying food-grade products. The LTI, Inc. Sunnyside location is now one of only five wash facilities in Washington state to be certified by the JPA and one of only 39 in the U.S. The JPA is a national trade association with manufacturers representing more than 80 percent of U.S. juice producers. The Lynden team put in many hours of hard work to earn the designation.

"We face intense regulatory scrutiny in the way we clean and sterilize our special commodities tanks," says Jeff Harris, Sunnyside Operations Supervisor. "The JPA certification is the gold star of tanker cleanliness. Many companies will only allow their product to be hauled in tankers that have been washed at a JPA-certified facility. We can now proudly say that we are one of those facilities."

From January through November last year, the LTI, Inc. wash bay crew cleaned and sanitized 8,317 tanks in its wash bay plus 1,210 milk tankers. LTI, Inc. is required to carry paperwork for the last three loads each tanker has hauled which dictates the type of wash it receives: a rinse, a detergent rinse or a kosher wash that calls for temperatures up to 203 degrees for sterilization.

Each product a tanker hauls requires a specific type of wash. There is a lot to know, Jeff explains, and with trucks on the road around the clock, washing takes place at all hours. Harvest time is especially hectic for the team when almost all of the company's tankers are in use.

Jeff, along with HSSE Director Anthony Knapp and the wash bay crew, spent four months working on the certification process and producing an 18-chapter manual. The Sunnyside wash bay also had to be prepared for the audit which took many weeks of coordination and physical labor.

Jeff and Anthony consider the wash bay crew unsung heroes for the hard work they do every day. "I couldn't be prouder of Jeff and this team," Anthony says. "They are a multi-talented group of individuals with an outstanding work ethic and keep our equipment spotlessly clean to protect our customers and the public."

Tags: LTI Inc.

LTI, Inc. proudly represented at Oregon Veterans Parade

Posted on Thu, Nov 30, 2017

MW-parade.jpegLTI, Inc. Director of HSSE & Compliance Anthony Knapp was in Albany, OR at the annual Veterans Day parade Nov. 11 and rode with Driver Trainer/Backup Supervisor Andrew Ruzanski in the Milky Way tanker on the parade route. "It was an honor to represent LTI, Inc. in the parade, and the Lynden Tank team should be proud of the tanks they build. I know I was," Anthony says. The Albany parade is rumored to be the largest veteran's parade west of the Mississippi. That's Andrew's daughter Maddyx proudly watching her dad Andrew behind the wheel. Anthony is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and Air National Guard.

Tags: Community Service, LTI Inc., Milky Way

New tractors for LTI, Inc. and Milky Way drivers

Posted on Tue, Oct 03, 2017

LTI, Inc./Milky Way drivers are rolling down the road in new tractors this fall, the result of a large-scale major equipment acquisition. According to Dave Seaman, Director of Equipment and Maintenance, LTI invested in new power units this year which replaced some of the high-mileage tractors. "The new equipment is allowing us to lower our operating cost by LTI new equipment - Gene Stahl.jpgreducing maintenance and improving fuel economy while maintaining payload," he explains. "The new units also provide a much better driving experience for our employees." LTI, Inc. has purchased 74 2018 Kenworth T680 tractors, the same tractor that Lynden Transport Driver John Schank drove across the country to deliver the Capitol Christmas Tree in 2015.

As of early September, 16 new tractors were in service with another 58 to be delivered this fall. The allocation of new equipment is based on demand, according to Dave. "We relocate power units between terminals in an effort to improve utilization and customer service. Since our power units are each assigned to a terminal and activity, we basically do a direct replacement," he says.

LTI, Inc. Equipment Maintenance Manager Jerry Crisp in Sunnyside and the team at Kenworth Northwest in Yakima work together on new equipment "UPFIT" which includes installation of the milk pump box, Peoplenet system, Lynden green vinyl wrap/door decal and equipment numbers, etc. Jerry and his maintenance team, along with Jeff Harris of Sunnyside operations, test run each tractor prior to delivery to LTI, Inc. Service Centers. "Our goal is delivering each tractor ready to work," Dave explains. "This is a major task for all of LTI, Inc., including administration, operations, HSSE, maintenance and specifically the Sunnyside maintenance/operations teams as they continue with day to day operations and the beginning of our harvest season. They get this done while maintaining excellent customer service." Utilization is considered along with a life cycle target of 800,000 miles, although some units run close to 1 million miles prior to replacement. "Today's engines and emissions systems are very expensive to repair and replace so at LTI, Inc., we really don't want to overhaul engines nor replace emissions systems during the life cycle unless absolutely necessary," Jerry explains.

The allocation of LTI/Milky Way's used tractors is also carefully considered. "Our first priority is making sure we have a One Lynden approach regarding the disposal of an asset," Dave says. "Recently we have supported Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska Marine Trucking and Lynden Transport by transferring used tractors to each operation. We also sell direct, through a broker or auctions and we sometimes consider dealer trade-in values."

Milky Way Drivers like Gene Staal of Lynden, WA and Anthony Platas-Tremont of Moses Lake, WA are enjoying the new equipment. "The truck is very comfortable, rides smooth and quiet and has great visibility," Gene says. "This is a quality truck to match Milky Way's quality standards," Anthony adds. "There has been a noticeable mileage increase on my normal route."

Tags: LTI Inc., Fuel efficiency, Milky Way, Drivers

Lean & Green: Lynden facilities continue to save energy

Posted on Fri, Apr 28, 2017

Fife LTIA warehouse with lights - lean & green article.jpgThe 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."

LTI, INC.
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.

Tags: LTI Inc., Energy efficiency, Alaska West Express, Alaska Marine Lines, Green Lynden, Green Initiative, Lynden Transport

Winter weather challenges Lynden drivers

Posted on Tue, Mar 21, 2017

Moses Lake snow drift 2-213617-edited.jpg

Milky Way Driver Mike Jalomo calls it the winter that never ends. Another driver said, "I’ve thrown on more jewelry (truck chains) in the last month than most people put on in a lifetime."

Winter is never an easy season for the transportation industry, but some years are more challenging than others. "It feels like Mother Nature hasn’t backed down this year," says Kevin Greiner, Central Milk Dispatcher in Lynden, WA. From freezing rain and mountain pass closures to high winds and towering snow drifts, it’s been a tough few months for Lynden employees.

"We have seen close to 24 inches of snow at one time in Whatcom county this year but when the Northeast wind out of Canada blows 50-60 mph for a week straight, 2 inches of snow can drift up to 8 feet really quickly. At that point the county essentially shuts down," Kevin explains. "The only way we are able to get around is to put our own snowplow to work to open roads up."

To prepare for winter each year, LTI, Inc. incorporates winter driving awareness into monthly safety meetings starting in September. Everyone takes chain-up refresher classes – from brand new drivers with no mountain pass experience to 40-year veteran drivers. Coming to work prepared is heavily promoted in anticipation of the first snowfall.

"Mother Nature never sends us an email saying that a storm is headed our way," Kevin says. “We try to watch forecasts as much as possible but sometimes you go to bed and everything is normal only to wake up to the wind howling and the snow blowing sideways. Our LTI, Inc. team is made of professionals who understand that rain or shine, commodities still need to get there."

Driver safety is always a concern. If conditions warrant, two drivers will be sent out in one truck so the primary driver has a spotter and an extra set of hands. According to Kevin, "Our line of work is more than just getting in the truck and driving down the road. Local farm pickup drivers could be in and out of the truck 20 times during a shift so we really stress the importance of slowing down. Making smart decisions instead of knee jerk reactions when things get tough is what sets us apart from our competition."

Lynden is known for having some of the best drivers in the industry. "They are seasoned, know the local areas, and know exactly what to watch for when they are out in the field. We always tell new hires that this is a 24/7 company and the cows don’t care that it’s Christmas. As a company, we do a really good job of focusing on our critical customers and areas."

Mike Jalomo was stranded on the west side of Washington when both mountain passes closed. He laid over in Mount Vernon and went to work helping out Whatcom County drivers on their routes until he could make it back over to home base in Moses Lake. "I don’t think the average person realizes how much it takes to get the milk over the pass," he says. "We don’t have the luxury of sitting out a storm."

"Mike and so many others are all stars who have gone above and beyond this winter," Kevin says. "The LTI, Inc. office in Lynden, WA lost power in January for about six hours and several administrative employees were still here working. At the beginning of January, there was a record snowfall in Caldwell, ID and Jason Jansen and Bob Griggs both suited up in insulated coveralls and rode around with Milky Way’s Caldwell drivers helping chain up and navigate roads until 2 a.m."

"Our drivers and the team supporting them did the extraordinary, working safely through tough conditions and long hours to serve our customers," says Lynden CEO Jon Burdick. "I’m proud of their dedication and what they accomplished."

Tags: LTI Inc., Winter conditions, Milky Way, Drivers

Lynden companies carry ceremonial totem pole to Hoonah, AK

Posted on Thu, Jun 16, 2016

Totem_Pole_with_three_carvers_in_Hoonah.jpgAlaska Marine Lines and LTI, Inc. donated the transportation of a ceremonial totem pole from Bellingham, WA to Hoonah, AK for a June 4 dedication in the Tlingit village. Carved by Scott Jensen, Jeff Skaflestad and Fred Fulmer at Jensen's Bellingham studio, the totem was requested by elders of the Chookaneidee Clan to replace an ancestral totem pole that, according to legend, served as a source of wisdom, protection and direction for the clan's shaman when the clan was located at Glacier Bay, AK.

The advance of the "Little Ice Age" between 1300-1870 drove the Tlingit out of Glacier Bay. The pole remained and was eventually enveloped in ice.  "After Glacier Bay was designated a national park, the clan was not allowed to return to their homeland," explains Master Carver Scott Jensen. "The clan relocated in Hoonah and, years later, the totem reappeared in the creek there.  Although the pole is now gone, the clan elders have wanted to replace it for generations."

Skaflestad relocated from Hoonah to Bellingham and Fulmer from Juneau to help Jensen carve the totem in his studio. After five months of work, the totem was finished and ready to begin its journey to Hoonah. Jensen called Lynden for help.

The Alaska Marine Lines team arrived at Jensen's Bellingham studio in May to pick up the 11-foot, 2,000-pound totem, which is considered both a clan and shaman pole. The crated totem pole was secured on a trailer for the ride to Lynden, WA where LTI, Inc.'s Tom Rainey used a forklift to carefully place it into a container for the ride to Seattle and transfer onto the barge for the journey to Southeast Alaska. In Petersburg, AK, the pole was transferred barge to barge for the final leg to Hoonah. "As a company serving Alaska for over 60 years, Lynden is proud to provide the transportation to bring this important ancestral piece back to Hoonah," says Executive Vice President Alex McKallor.Totem_Pole_in_shop.jpg

Although the elders who requested the new totem passed away before the dedication in June, the carvers say the ceremony was very moving. "We felt the presence of our ancestors," says Skaflestad who is part Tlingit. "There were many tears as we placed the totem pole in its ceremonial location in the creek. It was a proud moment of unification for all of us."  

"We feel very blessed to have Lynden's support in this project," Jensen says. "Each member of the Lynden team took great care in making sure the totem was safe and secure along its journey."

 

 

Tags: Community Service, LTI Inc., Alaska Marine Lines, Southeast Alaska, Alaska

LTI, Inc. receives third consecutive EPA SmartWay Excellence Award

Posted on Mon, Oct 19, 2015

SmartWay logoLTI, Inc. and its Milky Way division received a third consecutive SmartWay Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA awards recognize the top one percent of SmartWay partners for superior environmental performance and leadership. LTI, Inc. earned a top score in the Tanker Fleet Category based on its exceptional fuel economy, payload, idle time and modern emissions equipment.

"We are extremely proud to receive a third Excellence Award from the EPA. Our entire team deserves credit for maintaining our high standards of productivity, efficiency and environmental stewardship," says LTI, Inc. President Jason Jansen. "We will continue our efforts to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions while serving our customers."

Milky WayLTI, Inc. was one of 39 truck carriers to receive this distinction, representing the best environmental performers of SmartWay's nearly 3,000 Partners. The carrier awardees were honored at American Trucking Associations Annual Management Conference & Exhibition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania today.

"EPA is pleased to honor these SmartWay Partners with a 2015 Excellence Award," said Chris Grundler, Director, EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "SmartWay carriers work diligently to bring our families the goods we need each day, while contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future for our children."

LTI, Inc. specializes in the transport of liquid and dry bulk commodities, and its Milky Way division is a leading bulk milk hauler in the Pacific Northwest. The company uses the most efficient engines available, lightweight equipment with enhanced aerodynamics, automatic tire inflation systems and onboard computers to manage highway speed, progressive shifting, best routing options and idle times. Drivers are trained on these systems to better understand the impacts and effects while driving.

EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership empowers businesses to move goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible, while protecting public health and reducing environmental impacts. Since 2004, SmartWay Partners have saved 144.3 million barrels of oil and $20.6 billion in fuel costs. SmartWay's clean air achievements (61.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, 1,070,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 43,000 tons of particulate matter emissions avoided) help to protect the well-being of citizens.

LTI, Inc./Milky Way became a SmartWay Transportation Partner in 2010. Sister company Lynden Transport became the first Alaska trucking company to join SmartWay in 2008, and Lynden companies Brown Line, LLC and Alaska West Express are also members.

Tags: LTI Inc., Green Lynden, SmartWay certification, Milky Way, Environmental efforts

Jason Jansen named president of LTI, Inc./Milky Way; Bill Johansen new president of Brown Line

Posted on Fri, Oct 17, 2014

Milky WayThe Lynden family of companies announced earlier this month two executive appointments: Jason Jansen was named president of LTI, Inc. and its Milky Way division based in Lynden, Washington, and Bill Johansen is the new president of Brown Line, LLC based in Mount Vernon, Washington. LTI, Inc. is one of the Lynden family of companies and specializes in the transport of liquid and dry bulk commodities. Its Milky Way division is a leading bulk milk hauler in the Pacific Northwest. Brown Line is a trucking company providing temperature-controlled transportation to customers throughout the U.S. and Western Canada.

Jansen was previously president of Brown Line and Johansen was regional sales manager for Lynden Transport in the Vancouver/Portland area.

"LTI, Inc. will be well served by Jason's proven leadership ability, focus on safety and efficiency, and passion for our business and its people," says Brad Williamson, LTI, Inc. board member and former president.

Jansen began his Lynden career as an equipment operator with Knik Construction Co. and worked in various departments at LTI, Inc., before becoming regional manager of the Lynden, Wash. Service Center and five satellite locations. Jansen has served as a member of the Lynden Airport Board, the Lynden Chamber of Commerce Board and volunteered for the Lynden Boys & Girls Club.

Brown Line"Bill has over 30 years of experience in the transportation industry and an impressive record of success including leadership roles in air, LTL trucking operations and marketing," says Lynden Executive Vice President Alex McKallor. "His enthusiasm and positive approach will be a great addition to an already strong team at Brown Line."

Johansen joined Lynden Transport in 2007 and was named salesman of the year in 2008. Prior to his Lynden career, he served as operations manager at Joel Olson Trucking and spent over 20 years in various leadership positions at Alaska Airlines. Johansen also served as a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. He has coached youth sports in his community and received many awards during his extensive career.

 

 

Tags: LTI Inc., Milky Way, Lynden employees, Brown Line

Lynden continues to help employees work safer and smarter

Posted on Wed, Jul 17, 2013

Lynden companies are customer-focused, but helping employees work smarter and safer is an ongoing goal as well. Last month LTI, Inc. Eastern Region Safety and Compliance Manager Allison Russell participated in hands-on research at the Milky Way Service Center in Sunnyside, WA with Han Kim from Labor and Industries (L&I). Han is an ergonomist representing L&I’s Safety & Health Assessment and Research Prevention (SHARP) program and the Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis Study (TIRES) division. Allison, along with Operations Manager Darrell Scott, Driver Joey Fayard, Dispatcher and former driver Robert Tripp and Vice President of Operations Bob Griggs spent two days working together at a Sunnyside dairy and in the Sunnyside yard to explore ways to work safer while hauling liquid bulk products.

Picture for NewsletterDarrell Scott, Jr. hooks up a milk hose at the Sunnyside Milky Way yard. His movements are mirrored on a computer program provided by Han Kim of Labor & Industries.


“We invited Han to Sunnyside to guide us in safety education and training,” Allison explains. “Han’s visit was to focus on best practices for tasks such as ascending and descending fixed ladders attached to milk trailers as well as pulling and carrying hoses.”

The team wound milk hoses, simulated different workplace scenarios and “did a ton of pulling and winding,” Allison says. “We discussed stresses on different body parts, low back stress, balance.” LTI, Inc. will take this information and work with Han to develop training videos and educational tips on proper posture and injury prevention. LTI, Inc. and Milky Way have regularly scheduled safety and training meetings but this is one more valuable tool to add to the mix. “We value our employees and want them to be at their best each day while serving our customers. This is one more way to improve customer service,” Allison says.

Lynden Transport has also worked with the TIRES group, most recently in Fife, WA. “We have been involved in several projects,” says Trevor Lindberg, Safety & Loss Prevention Manager. “We were featured in safety poster photo shoots and research projects including forklift safety, load binders and safe working practices. We appreciate any opportunity we are given to help increase a focus on working safely, and were happy to participate.”

Tags: LTI Inc., Milky Way, Lynden employees, Safety, Lynden Transport

Milky Way begins milk pickup in Montana

Posted on Thu, Apr 19, 2012

Milky Way/LTI, Inc. began farm pickup operations for 32 Darigold farms in Montana on Jan. 1. The farms and newly hired drivers are located around Bozeman and Missoula. Some of the milk will be delivered to Darigold in Bozeman and some will be delivered a longer distance to Spokane, Jerome and Billings. “I would like to welcome Gear Lemon and Brandon Barnez back to the Lynden family of companies. These two men worked for Dairy Express in Montana in the 1990s,” says Brad Williamson, LTI, Inc. President.


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Tags: LTI Inc., Milky Way, Lower 48

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