K & J Trucking selects R:Com trailer management

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Blue Tree Systems Inc., a provider of reefer monitoring, trailer tracking, and in-cab fleet management systems, announced that K & J Trucking has selected the R:Com system for its trailer tracking and temperature management features to lower refrigeration unit fuel costs and provide food safety data for customers.

“We chose Blue Tree’s R:Com solution initially for location tracking and temperature management in transit,” said Michelle “Shelley” Koch, president of K & J Trucking. “One of our goals was to get ahead of the curve when it comes to food safety regulations our customers are facing, but we’re already seeing refrigeration unit fuel use drop as well. Our fuel costs are down enough that we expect the systems to easily pay for themselves within a year.”

The largest source of fuel cost savings for K & J Trucking is the ability to monitor and shut down refrigeration units when trailer doors are open. “A pre cooled trailer that is unloaded quickly actually holds its temperature more efficiently, especially on multi-stop loads, because a running refrigeration unit pulls in warm air,” Koch explained. “R:Com data confirms that this practice protects loads so even skeptical customers have been impressed with the Blue Tree technology.”

The R:Com system provides K & J Trucking with accurate, up-to-the-minute temperature data through direct connections to trailers’ Thermo King refrigeration units. The live information and alarm notifications are also enabled to alert the fleet’s managers via text message if a problem arises after hours. Historical temperature data is also available to customers and food safety agencies.

K & J Trucking has been outfitting its trailers with the Blue Tree R:Com system since June of 2012. Currently, 70 of its 165 refrigerated trailers have been equipped with the system by the fleet’s technicians. Based on the carrier’s three-year trade cycle for trailers, the entire fleet will be fitted with R:Com systems within two years, although the savings from lower fuel use, and communication costs that are as much as 50 percent lower than other options, may lead to retrofitting existing trailers sooner.

Founded in 1979, Sioux Falls, South-Dakota-based K & J Trucking provides 48-state refrigerated service with 110 tractors and 165 trailers.  The fleet, which operates from facilities in South Dakota and Oklahoma, hauls fresh and frozen meat products as well as ice cream and produce.