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Lynden responds to crises at home and abroad

Posted on Fri, Oct 01, 2021

The month of August brought temperatures so hot that wells ran dry in Oregon. The month also delivered devastation in Haiti with a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. In typical Lynden fashion, LTI, Inc./Milky Way and Lynden Air Cargo quickly mobilized people and equipment to help.Milky Way Driver Mike Szabo delivers water.

"Like many states, Oregon has been suffering from drought conditions this summer. When I first talked to the Oregon Emergency Management Team about this project in late July, there were 55 dry wells. That quickly increased to 187 and numbers continued to climb," says LTI, Inc. Klamath Falls Operation Manager John Bailey.

The state reached out to LTI, Inc./Milky Way to see if its tankers could haul water, instead of milk, to stranded residents. Oregon's Bootleg Fire was in full swing and water tenders were scarce. John, Regional Manager Greg Tolle and Lynden leaders came up with a viable plan and moved forward to meet the state's needs.

A milk tanker is not set up to pump water, so alterations were needed to make the deliveries. "On day one it took two drivers, one to run the pump and the other to hold the end of the hose so it wouldn't come flying out of the tank," John explains. "On the second day, we built a 2-inch PVC fitting that slips into the tanks making it a one-man job. That worked so well another water hauler copied us."

John says he was surprised at the overwhelming support from residents when they first saw the Milky Way tankers pulling down their streets. "Driving a 6,700-gallon milk tanker on city streets can be challenging. In some instances, we had to ask neighbors if it was ok to back into their driveway to get turned around." Each day, the Oregon State Water Master emails a list of homes needing water to LTI, Inc. and the delivery route is built from that information. The Lynden team will continue serving Oregon residents through October.

A half a world away an earthquake struck Haiti on Aug. 14 leaving thousands dead and many injured. Haiti is still dealing with the fallout from an earthquake in 2010 that killed an estimated 300,000 people. As it did in 2010, Lynden Air Cargo began flying relief missions immediately.
Haiti earthquake flights - LAC
"Our first three flights were assisting with the movement of a search and rescue team's gear from Washington, D.C. to Port-au-Prince in Haiti," explains Dan Marshall, Lynden Air Cargo Charter Manager.

"We have also flown two supply missions from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Port-au-Prince. Authorities that grant landing permits switch from one day to the next which adds to the confusion on the ground, however the Lynden team persevered and operated all flights very close to the originally scheduled date and times."

The two crews flying to Haiti include: Captains Brent Ellender and Chris Nichols, Flight Officers Random Dudley and Guillaume Saget, Flight Engineers John McClellan and Cliff Ayers, Loadmasters Ron Pine and Kevin Boyles, and Mechanics Bill Hamilton and Jim Brookshire.

Tags: LTI Inc., Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Milky Way, Drivers, Truckload, Specialized, Community

LTI, Inc., Lynden Transport receive SmartWay Awards from EPA

Posted on Thu, Nov 12, 2020

LTI, Inc. EquipmentThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded LTI, Inc. with its fifth SmartWay Excellence Award on November 5, 2020. The award recognizes LTI, Inc. and its Milky Way division as one of North America’s most efficient and lowest emitting tanker fleets. The SmartWay Excellence Award is reserved for the top performing SmartWay Partners and is the EPA’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in freight supply chain energy and environmental performance.

Lynden Transport also earned a SmartWay High Performer Award for operating efficiencies in its flatbed and reefer fleets. Lynden Transport is included in the top 20 percent of carriers nationwide for reducing carbon emissions and achieved top-ranking performance for all metrics, including fuel efficiency. Fewer than 10 percent of all SmartWay carriers operate fleets efficient enough to make the SmartWay High Performer list for carbon emissions.

“We are extremely proud of this award,” says LTI, Inc. President Jason Jansen. “Each year we strive to seek ongoing improvement in our operations to continue the reduction of our carbon footprint. Our success is due to the continued efforts of our entire staff, especially our drivers. Our ability to operate as one of the most efficient carriers in the nation is a true testimony to the quality and dedication of our entire team to drive continuous improvement." Jason was recently interviewed by local Bellingham radio station, 790 KGMI, to discuss the award.

LTI, Inc. and Lynden Transport have been EPA SmartWay partners for more than a decade. Each year the companies voluntarily submit operations information to the EPA for consideration. LTI, Inc. and Milky Way consistently score in the top 1 percent of tanker carriers in the nation for low carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions per ton mile while operating in extreme weather and carrying the heaviest payloads. In the last five years, LTI, Inc and Milky Way have steadily improved fuel economy to rank as one of the most fuel-efficient tanker fleets in the industry.

Tags: LTI Inc., Awards, Green Lynden, Milky Way, Lynden Transport

Everyday Hero profile: David Burgess

Posted on Wed, Nov 20, 2019

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing David Burgess, Driver at LTI, Inc. in Lynden, WA.

Name: David BurgessEveryday Hero David Burgess

Company: LTI, Inc./Milky Way

Title: Driver

On the job since: 1974

Superpower: A driving force for 41 years

Hometown: Bellingham, WA

Favorite Movie: Chinatown

Bucket List Destination: Europe by train

For Fun: Skiing, hiking, watching Seahawks football

How did you start your career at Lynden?
I started washing trucks at age 17 in Lynden, WA. Some of them had come back from Alaska and they were caked with mud, especially underneath. We had to blast that stuff off with a high-pressure hose. Then we advanced to a wash rack for the trucks to drive through. I drove trucks around the yard and up to the Canadian border here and there. Back in those days, in the 1970s, I received a waiver from LTI, Inc. instead of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) because of my time behind the wheel. The hauls were seasonal so I worked six months in the summer, and I was laid off every winter.

What do you remember most about those early years in the business?
I remember Hank Jansen, Lynden’s founder, being around when I started. The other day I saw the house that was the office for LTI for many years. It was moved and someone is now living in it. I started out on the freight board, hauling just about anything, from 1978 to 1982. Then I was transferred to the milk board with several other drivers to replace retiring milk drivers. The transfers were by seniority and I started with Whatcom County farm pickup. It was a nice change from delivering freight. There is more involved with dairy pickup and it makes it more interesting to see the farmers every day. I also spent five years hauling molten sulphur for LTI, Inc.

What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy seeing the same folks every day. You get to know your customers really well; all the farmers at the dairies. Although they aren’t usually up when I get there during my first stops, I see them later in the day. I also like being outside to enjoy the landscape, the water and the mountains. Even the rain. Sometimes I can’t believe my ancestors settled here in this gray, dark climate, but it also makes it green and nice to look at from the inside of the truck. My job is also somewhat physical. We climb up and down ladders on the truck all day so it’s nice to get some exercise during the workday.

Lee Burgess with Lynden's No. 27Your father, Lee Burgess, was an early Alcan driver for Lynden in Alaska. What do you remember about your Dad’s legendary career?
When I was 9 years old, my dad took me on a ride-along to Fairbanks. He also took my grandfather up at one point. When I rode with dad in 1966, you had to get permission from Hank Jansen to take passengers. I have three sisters, but I guess none of them wanted to go. Dad ran pretty steady on the Alaska route for about 10 years, pictured to the right. I only saw him once a week when he was home, but we always took long summer vacations. My mom missed him, but made friends with the other drivers’ wives. They bowled in a league sponsored by Milky Way and went shopping together. Everyone stuck together. Dad is now 83 and he drives the old Alcan truck No. 27 to parades and truck shows. He enjoys still being part of the Lynden family.

What is a typical day like for you?

The biggest challenge is getting up at 3 a.m. to go to work. I live 40 minutes away from work, out by Lummi Island. I am at work and in the truck at 4 a.m. and drive to my first dairy pickup northeast of Lynden. My first load is 70,000 pounds of milk. I fill up both trailers and head to the Darigold plant. Before I leave the dairy, I take a sample of milk, run it through the lab, measure it, write down the weights, put it on a load sheet and enter it into my electronic program in the truck. We have a hand-held computer where we record the milk temperature, time and bar code labels that go on the milk.

We use a sanitized dipper and plastic vials to test the milk for bacteria and antibiotics and the sample is put in ice to keep it fresh. The procedure is very exact so you don’t contaminate the milk. Once this process is done and the milk test is clear, we open the values on the tankers and unload the milk into the tall silos at the Darigold plant. It’s about a 2-hour process from pickup, testing and delivery to Darigold. After the first load is delivered, then I have my coffee!

I go right back out to the second dairy and load up both tankers again. When I started I had around 13 stops and there were 440 dairy farms in Whatcom County. Today, I go to six or seven dairies and the number of farms has dwindled to 94. Each of those has about 50 to 1,500 dairy cows though, so there has been consolidation of the smaller farms.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Nothing has been all that challenging, just different. My years hauling molten sulphur required getting a haz-mat certification. It was just a test and wasn’t too tough, but it was a different mindset hauling that kind of freight. We picked it up at local refineries at Cherry Point in Ferndale, WA. It was Mobile and Arco back then, now they are BP and Tesoro. Most of it went to Georgia Pacific in Bellingham. They made acid out the sulphur to break down logs into wood pulp to make paper products. We drove to Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Longview and Cosmopolis over the five years I had that job.

I also drove flatbeds and hauled aluminum. We had a rock haul at one point from Kendall, WA on the way to Mount Baker and on to Bellingham to a cement plant. That was a 10-year project.

What changes have you seen over the years?
To sum it up, tremendous growth. When I started everything was more personal because it was a smaller operation based in Lynden, WA. I went to high school just six miles from Lynden. I feel like I have grown up with the company in some ways. Equipment has changed, too. When I started in the 1970s we had the most modern equipment you could get in the day, but the new trucks are more like driving a car. Lynden always provided good equipment to use. They spent money to make money. That’s why they are so successful.

Can you tell us about your kids and grandkids?
I have three adult children, ages 37, 34 and 27, and two grandchildren.

What would surprise most people about you?
Someday I would like to hike parts of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) that runs from the Mexican border to the Canadian border.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
I learned to ski in fifth grade and still spend my winters skiing. My favorite place is Whistler. I also like to hike and would like to go on an extended backpacking trip at some point. I enjoy watching football and although Seahawks is my No. 1 team, I’m also a New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers fan.

What are your thoughts about working for Lynden?
I’m fortunate that I’ve had the job all these years. By the time you’re my age, most people have had two or three different jobs or even tried different careers. I have had one. I’m proud to work for Lynden and represent Milky Way on the road every day.

Tags: LTI Inc., Milky Way, Lynden Employees, Everyday Heroes

LTI, Inc. receives fourth SmartWay Excellence Award

Posted on Tue, Oct 22, 2019

LTI, Inc. trucksLTI, Inc. earned its fourth SmartWay Excellence Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this fall. The award recognizes LTI, Inc. as one of the most efficient and lowest emitting tanker fleets in North America – a position that the company has worked hard to maintain over the last several years. LTI, Inc. and its Milky Way division consistently score in the top 1 percent of tanker carriers in the nation for low carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions per ton mile.

LTI, Inc. and Milky Way have established a track record as environmental leaders and continuous improvement is a hallmark of the company. “We are focused on investing in modern, ultra-lightweight, and aerodynamic equipment and working with drivers to improve fuel economy,” explains LTI, Inc. President Jason Jansen. “Our drivers are truly the driving force behind the statistics. Our fuel economy achievements are a testament to the great people we have and to their dedication to operating efficiently while serving our customers.”

A driver incentive program rewards safe and efficient driver behaviors by offering an increase in hourly pay based on a weekly score of metrics that drives improved fuel economy such as reduced idle time, lower speeds and engine RPM’s and progressive shifting. Caldwell Driver Cody Brimley, Sunnyside Driver David Boothman and Vancouver Driver Harold Lagrange have all consistently scored 100 percent on the incentive program. In addition to skilled drivers, LTI, Inc. is using new generation “right-sized” engines that consume less fuel than higher horse power engines to achieve the best fuel economy, lowest emissions and best-in-class payloads. LTI, Inc. also uses “Super Single Low Rolling Resistant Tires” to reduce weight and improve fuel economy as well as aerodynamically designed cabs and lightweight trailer designs.

In the last five years LTI, Inc. and Milky Way have steadily improved fuel economy to rank as one of the most fuel efficient tanker fleets in the industry. “This is all the more impressive because the companies operate in states with 105,500 gross vehicle weight limits. This means we are achieving the award-winning high fuel economy while hauling 25,000 pounds more freight per trip than a typical tanker fleet,” explains Kevin DeKoster, LTI, Inc.’s Equipment Control Manager. “When you take into account the additional tons carried per mile, LTI, Inc. and Milky Way fleets are proven to be much more efficient than a typical tanker fleet.”

LTI, Inc. and Milky Way became SmartWay Partners in 2010. Each spring the companies voluntarily submit information on operations to the EPA. The Lynden companies consistently score among the most efficient fleets in the nation despite operating in extreme weather with steep terrain and some of the heaviest payloads.

LTI, Inc

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

Horsin' around

Posted on Thu, Sep 26, 2019

Puyallup FairIn August, LTI, Inc. continued its sponsorship of the Mt. View Belgians draft horses and shows at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden, WA. The horses are owned by Lynden Driver Dan Weidkamp and his wife Heather. The Weidkamps also participated in the Western Rodeo Parade as part of the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, WA this month. Pictured to the left, Dan is at the reins with fair board members in the back of the LTI, Inc. wagon.

 

Tags: LTI Inc., Milky Way, Lynden Employees, Drivers, Community

Lynden celebrates Everyday Heroes

Posted on Wed, Apr 17, 2019

Driver Scott PolinderEach year, LTI, Inc. honors its Everyday Heroes with dinner events at various locations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Retirees are also included to celebrate employees past and present for their many years of dedicated service to Lynden.

Milky Way Driver Scott Polinder achieved a milestone of 40 years of safe driving in 2018, and Jeff Smith celebrated 30 years without an accident. Retirees from the past year Jeff Kok, Arnie DeKubber and Mark Coppinger were also recognized for their years of service.

Tags: LTI Inc., Milky Way, Lynden Employees, Drivers, Everyday Heroes

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: LTI Inc., Milky Way, Lynden Employees, Community

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., Green Lynden, Milky Way, Drivers

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

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