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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., Alaska West Express, Green Lynden, Lynden Transport, AML

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., Milky Way, Drivers, Bulk, Ground

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: LTI Inc., Alaska, Ground, Multi-Modal, Ocean, Community, AML

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, Milky Way, Bulk

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

LTI, Inc. and Milky Way receive Excellence Award from EPA

Posted on Wed, Nov 27, 2013

Brad Williamson accepting the EPA awardLTI, Inc. and its Milky Way division joined a very short list of nationally recognized companies as a recipient of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2013 SmartWay Excellence Award. The company ranked in the top one percent of partners with superior environmental performance.

LTI, Inc. earned the top score among all the large tanker fleets in the U.S. based on its carrier performance for fuel economy, payload, idle time and emissions equipment. LTI, Inc. President Brad Williamson accepted the prestigious award at a ceremony in Denver (pictured) from Joann Jackson Stephens of the SmartWay Transport Partnership.

"I am extremely proud of this award and of our entire team. It is the greatest environmental achievement a trucking fleet can receive, and it validates our ongoing efforts to make our operation the most efficient it can be," Brad says.

The EPA award honors partners that move goods with the lowest levels of CO2 and other emissions. Fleet size and impact were also considered. Out of the 37 companies selected, LTI, Inc. was one of only two carriers receiving awards in the liquid- or dry-bulk commodities category. LTI, Inc. is now included as an industry leader on the Excellence Award List.

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.

LTI, Inc. and Milky Way were recognized as recipients of the Environmental Protection Agency Excellence Award.

Tags: LTI Inc., Awards, Green Lynden, Milky Way, Bulk, Ground

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

Lynden leads the way in fuel efficiency with new technology

Posted on Fri, Dec 21, 2012

My Post - 2021-11-24T135802.636The Lynden companies are continually looking for ways to save fuel and operate more efficiently.  Lynden's Equipment Team is testing new fuel-saving technology from aerodynamics to tires to idle-reduction equipment.

Improving aerodynamics of tractors and trailers has great potential to save fuel. Brown Line can attribute at least 5 percent of its 25 percent fuel economy gains over the last three years to the use of trailer side skirts, and Lynden Transport has seen similar gains with side skirt tests in Edmonton, California, Texas and Alaska.

"In theory, every 2 percent reduction in trailer drag results in a 1 percent fuel economy gain," says Lynden Tank Company General Manager Len Kilmer. Last year, Lynden Tank worked with Western Washington University's Computational Fluid Dynamics program using digital drawings to simulate Milky Way tankers and identify areas to reduce drag.  Lynden Tank is now developing the most cost-effective options that were identified with the computer model. Milky Way is also testing a prototype tanker to determine the actual benefits of side skirts, air flow tabs, and a new smooth seam on the tank (see photo).

Experimenting with tires provides another opportunity to save fuel. Lynden Transport, Brown Line and Alaska West Express have been testing "super single" wide-base tires (pictured below).  According to Charlie Mottern of Lynden Transport, the wide-base tires are lighter by about 1,000 pounds per 5-axle set.  "They are giving us much better tire life at a slightly lower cost and better fuel economy than a typical set of doubles." Lynden companies are also testing automatic tire inflation systems that maintain proper tire pressure to optimize fuel economy and reduce tire wear.

LTII truckFor the past three years, Alaska West Express has been testing auxiliary power units (APUs) on 13 of its units. The small generators provide electricity and heat to the cab and keep the engine warm. This allows the driver to shut down the engine during winter downtime rather than idling the truck's engine. They burn about one-quarter of the fuel as an idling truck and have so far saved Alaska West about 16,000 gallons of fuel and 25 oil changes.

LTI, Inc. is currently running "head to head" testing on its Alexco ore haul between Seattle and Trail, B.C.  Fuel and other operating costs are being carefully monitored and compared between Freightliner’s DD13 engine and Paccar’s MX engine. So far, data has been collected and analyzed for nearly 800 trips.

Tags: Lynden, LTI Inc., Lynden Tank Company, Green Lynden, Milky Way, Lynden Transport, Ground

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, United States, Bulk, Ground

Lynden companies and employees weather brutal winter storms

Posted on Tue, Apr 03, 2012

Historic storms hit Alaska and Washington this winter and Lynden companies pulled together to keep the freight moving and equipment operating in the harsh temperatures and record snows. Hardest hit is the Railbelt in Central Alaska while Whittier, Fairbanks, Anchorage and Kenai have had adverse weather for most of the winter.  Whittier has had 380 inches of snow this winter, and Valdez has received 403.9 inches of snow and is considered the snowiest locale in America. Cordova and Whittier are not far behind. Anchorage has had over 10 feet of snow this year. “With snowfall expected to be heavy in March*, we have a shot at the all-time record,” says Scott Hicks, Vice President of Operations for Alaska West Express.

Whittier Storm 2012
Conditions at the Alaska Railroad Corp. yard in Whittier, AK.

Compounding problems was a cycle of storms which hampered barge arrivals off and on since October. The Whittier terminal has been dealt further blows by storms which bring heavy snow, then melting conditions. The cold temperatures cause train wheels to freeze onto the tracks and make rail, truck and forklift operations very difficult. “We have experienced crippling conditions for rail and cargo operations,” Scott explains. Excessive ice buildup throughout the terminal shut down all rail movement in or out of Whittier for days. Avalanches caused train delays extending the time required for loading and unloading our barges, and tug crews have battled through storms, rough seas and lengthy voyages. 

snowy trains

“Our crew in Whittier has worked very hard to keep the freight, trains, trucks and barges moving,” Scott says. “They have worked almost every weekend since the first part of November. This includes our drivers shuttling and trucking loads on the weekends to take care of the priority freight for customers. Anchorage yard crews have also worked around the clock to unload trains and keep the trains and trucks moving. Fairbanks crews have battled temperatures as low as minus-60 degrees.”

snowy train

The Nana Provider has been cycled in as a fourth rail barge which has helped maintain weekly service.  “We have received help from multiple Lynden companies and I would like to thank them,” Scott says. “Our partners Western Towboat and the Alaska Railroad also deserve much credit for helping us ‘weather the storm.’” Lynden employees have done an outstanding job through this very difficult time with manpower and schedule changes. It truly is a team effort and a great example of what Lynden is capable of.”

In Washington, winter storms also brought freezing rain, heavy snow and extended road closures on Snoqualmie Pass due to avalanches. The governor declared a state of emergency and waived the hours of service limits for drivers hauling milk from farms to processing plants.

“Our Sunnyside and Moses Lake Milky Way drivers did an extraordinary job given the challenges they faced. They received help from the Portland, Chehalis, Skagit, Whatcom and Seattle services centers to deliver loads and keep our customers from having to dump milk,” says LTI, Inc. President Brad Williamson. Dispatchers met twice a day via teleconference and worked around the clock coordinating with the milk plants. It was an outstanding display of teamwork throughout the organization.”

As a side-note, LTI, Inc. delivered a record amount of road de-icer salt this winter to the Washington Department of Transportation and the City of Seattle. During January, LTI, Inc. trucks moved 30,771 tons of bulk salt from stockpiles at Seattle and Moses Lake to maintenance sites around the state.

* Note: This article was originally written in mid-March, 2012.

Tags: LTI Inc., Alaska West Express, Milky Way, Alaska, United States, Bulk, Ground