(Minneapolis - August 21, 2008) - What started out as a 'hand-made potato salad farmhouse kitchen operation' in Cornelius, Oregon back in 1950, has grown into one of the nation's premier manufacturers and distributors of high-quality refrigerated food products to the grocery and food service industries. No doubt, Reser's Fine Foods has become much more than founders Mildred and Earl Reser ever imagined. Despite its success and expansion through the years, there are some things that have never changed with the company. It remains family-owned and -operated. Product quality and customer service are the priorities. And Reser's is dedicated to doing things the right way, the first time. Its Thermo King-cooled fleet is a prime example.
"We don't cut corners or cobble things together," explained Dennis Fullan, corporate fleet manager. "We strive to put the best products on the market efficiently, safely and per our customer specifications. To do that, we choose dependable equipment from industry partners we can trust. That's why we choose Thermo King for our refrigerated fleet needs."
Reser's fleet delivers a product line that now encompasses thousands of foods, including deli salads, refrigerated potatoes, pasta and sauces, Mexican foods, smoked meats and sausages, dips and salsa, and desserts, all across the United States. Management, vendor relationships, and quality equipment are necessary for success.
"We make equipment choices wisely, monitor loads closely, and focus on regular maintenance," said Fullan. "Accurate cold chain management is a must in our competitive industry - load temperatures and delivery deadlines cannot be compromised when you're hauling fresh products with limited shelf lives. We use Thermo King's dataloggers to verify our performance, and we stress proper preventive maintenance (PM), scheduling it to fit our route and delivery schedules. We do most PM work in-house at our Beaverton, Oregon headquarters. We've utilized Thermo King's Education Center for proper technician training, as well as Thermo King Northwest, our local dealer. They've provided training to mechanics and staff at our manufacturing facilities all over the country.
"We rely on Thermo King's nationwide dealer network for regional fleet maintenance, but for break-down situations, we are covered by Thermo King SVC's Thermo GardTM Silver maintenance contract. If our drivers run into a down-reefer situation, they can pull into any Thermo King dealership to correct the problem. The invoice is sent to headquarters and the driver is back on the road quickly. Middle of the night phone calls, as well as many headaches, are eliminated with this great program!"
Reser's fleet consists of 130 bobtail delivery trucks of approximately 3,000 pounds, equipped with Thermo King MD-II SR and TS-200 refrigeration units or cold plate technology. The company also utilizes 130 Class 8, three-axle sleeper tractors and 150 53-foot Utility trailers with Thermo King SB-210 refrigeration units from Portland-based Southern Cal Transport, the contract carrier for Reser's.
The company's most recent fleet additions include Thermo King's TriPac Hybrid Auxiliary Idle Reduction and Temperature Management System. After testing five systems in 2007, the company added 30 of the auxiliary power units (APUs) earlier this year, and according to Fullan, is already seeing the benefits. "We save on fuel costs; we extend unit oil changes by up to a 1/3 longer, which saves us some maintenance dollars; and we improve the drivers' quality of life on the road by providing heat, cooling and an electrical source. Payback of the initial investment is realized quickly. Currently we have installed our 35 TriPac system in areas where APUs are legislatively required, but I anticipate that over the next three years we'll have them throughout our entire fleet. It"s a no-brainer."
The TriPac system is one way Reser's is combating fuel costs, but the company also specs its trucks to perform as efficiently as possible (i.e., engine and tire choices), practices regular maintenance procedures (i.e., tires that measure 20 pounds less than ideal pressure are treated as flats and replaced), and conducts driver training. "We know speed, driving habits, tire conditions, and engine performance play a big role in fuel consumption, so these are areas we focus on," explained Fullan.
When it comes to another industry challenge, driver retention, Reser's does what it can to encourage longevity. Besides providing top-notch equipment drivers can depend on and be comfortable in, the company offers regular driving routes and treats its employees like family. A 10-15 year driver retention rate is the result. "The philosophies, business practices and work ethics that represent Reser's culture are all based on the Reser family, who still leads the company today. Our products and business decisions are defined by that culture, and this includes the industry partners we choose," said Fullan.
"We are, and always have been, a Thermo King customer because of the products and service we receive. Thermo King Northwest's service is impeccable. We have a fabulous working relationship and partnership mainly because they understand our business and have similar philosophies on customer service and providing the best products possible. Our success depends on excellent vendor relationships like the one we have with Thermo King."
Reser's Fine Foods, Inc. grew from the business started by Mildred and Earl Reser in 1950 to produce and sell potato salads from Cornelius, Oregon. Reser's was incorporated in 1960, and Alvin L. Reser has served as chairman of the board since that time. In 2007 Mark Reser, Al's son, was named president of the company. Reser's headquarters is located in Beaverton, Oregon, near Portland. More information can be found at www.resers.com.
Thermo King Corporation, a business unit of diversified industrial firm Ingersoll-Rand Company Limited, was founded in 1938 and manufactures transport temperature control systems for a variety of mobile applications, including trailers, truck bodies, buses, shipboard containers and railway cars. The company operates 10 manufacturing facilities and 17 parts distribution centers worldwide. Sales and service is provided by a global dealer network of 865 independently owned companies in 75 countries. For more information, access the Thermo King web site at www.thermoking.com.
Thermo King Corporation, a business unit of diversified industrial firm Ingersoll Rand Company Limited, was founded in 1938 and manufactures transport temperature control systems for a variety of mobile applications, including trailers, truck bodies, buses, shipboard containers and railway cars. The company operates 10 manufacturing facilities and 17 parts distribution centers worldwide. Sales and service is provided by a global dealer network of 865 independently owned companies in 75 countries.
Mike O'Brien, Thermo King Corporation