SIDNEY — For 366 days this year, Kirk NationaLease will maintain a truck and trailer work force of approximately 100 service technicians spread over eight states and 17 cities that will perform repairs to various makes and models of all trucks and semi-trailers.
“Our customers depend on Kirk at our Shop facilities as well as relying on our Mobile Service Units. When a vehicle needs repairs, the time of day or weather conditions aren’t considered as obstacles … the work must be done, regardless,” said Mike Trabue, president of Kirk NationaLease Co. “All of our livelihoods depend on the transportation world to deliver virtually everything we use on a daily basis and it’s with this nonstop tremendous need that our services are required. We pride ourselves on our employees’ abilities to accomplish these tasks and keep the trucks rolling for all of us.”
His report continues:
This last year we have seen a progressive increase in the school bus maintenance services needed. For decades Kirk has been involved in providing maintenance services which also includes passing the annual State Inspections required, yet we have seen a lot of growth in multiple cities for this maintenance need. Additionally, we are servicing more and more Fire Department related equipment than in the past.
As a result of providing maintenance services to Off Road and On Road “Yard” trucks for some existing customers we have become quite familiar with the various products utilized in the material handling business and in 2019 made the decision to partner with Autocar, a manufacturer of Yard trucks. We are very pleased to be a Warranty and Parts supplier for Autocar whose product is extremely well built and powered with engine and drive train components that are also very reliable, which is what our customers need to rely on each and every day. Our Technicians are currently completing their Certification requirements and our Sales staff is currently quoting our customers wishing to acquire this product for new or used applications.
Again, in 2019 Kirk NationaLease received the “Platinum” award voted on by the 550 NationaLease affiliates across the country, for providing the highest level of reciprocal service to all the members requiring our services.
Three new shop locations are planned for Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina this year for new business.
Our owner, Jeff Phlipot, and his brother-in-law, Mark Schneider, are now co-inventors and in 2019 received their Provisional Patent for an automated unloading system, or informally a “roller floor” trailer. The latest model now has a full bulkhead that automatically moves from the nose of the trailer to the rear doors. It effectively pushes 40,000 lbs. of freight to the rear, allowing a lift truck to drive up and fork the skids and deposit on the dock. This automated feature saves approximately 30 minutes of manpower time with each load and keeps the lift truck from having to enter the trailer, which greatly reduces damage to the trailer structure and the freight itself. Currently, Kirk has scheduled demonstrations in various states with various material handling companies. This new product may be a solution for companies experiencing a shortage of qualified lift truck drivers.
During 2019, Kirk NationaLease implemented a new Technician Incentive Plan that rewards our most productive mechanics for their high productivity accomplishments. We wanted to maximize the earning potential for the aggressive and productive employee. Our initial feedback from the technicians has been positive and we hope this will be a recruiting benefit along with the “on the job” training programs we provide. Our training allows the technician to become fully certified while working for us.