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Holiday Express going high-tech

November 14, 2012
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Anyone who turned a mile or two in an eighteen-wheeler a few decades ago remembers something called a log book.

While there's still log books today, there's a major difference between log books then and now. It's called technology.

Hours of service regulations, something the US Department of Transportation requires of all interstate drivers, have taken on a new role in the world of technology - especially technology such as what you find at Holiday Express in Estherville.

Owner Bubs Johnson and safety director Sheila Schichtl told a good-sized Business After Five crowd Tuesday night about how the company has not only stepped up to the challenges of technology but embraced them, making Holiday Express one of the most state-of-the-art carriers on the road today.

"I can't do her. It takes these people here to do it," Johnson said, quickly crediting the company's 43 years of success to its employees.

Schichtl said trucks have satellite communications that allow the company to see where trucks are at any given time. A display panel Schichtl exhibited showed how they can tell where a truck is every hour on the hour. The company can even tell if trucks are running - which costs fuel. Since all trucks have bunk heaters, a driver doesn't have to run the engine to keep warm overnight.

The company can also tell how well a reefer unit is working and where the temperature is set. They can also reset it remotely via computer.

Holiday Express can send drivers information about how to get to their drops on their laptops.

Schichtl said drivers can't have hand-held cell phones while driving - a $2,750 fine sees to that. That's why all drivers have phone head sets.

Holiday Express is a key carrier for Hormel in Austin, Minn. Like other carriers, the company is looking for experienced drivers with clean driving records.



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