Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - 83

TRUCKING & FREIGHTING
the PeopleNet units in each truck instead of through cell
phones, which were used infrequently.
"We're always looking for things that really help the drivers and make their time more efficient," Niccum emphasizes. "Our crude oil drivers use an electronic ticketing system,
and we are looking at a similar system to add to most of
our fleet of NGL trucks. If we can get those guys away from
having to do handwritten tickets, we are hoping to get better
production out of them and make it easier for our back-office people, who have to process all that paperwork."
Crude and NGL
Approximately 65 percent of Connect Transport's shipments are of crude oil, and the rest is natural gas liquids
(NGL). The company has terminals in Texas, Oklahoma,
Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi. Its fleet is approximately 185 tractors and 200 soft-shell and hard-shell
tankers. The hard-shell tankers are pressurized to haul
natural gas liquids, and they are nearly 40 percent of the
tanker fleet.
To ease maintenance costs and parts inventories, most
of the tractors are Peterbilt. The company also has been
buying partially rebuilt tractors called gliders. "It's a brandnew truck, but it has a pre-emissions rebuilt motor put into
it," Niccum says. Older motors are exempt from the latest
emissions regulations.
Newer engines Connect Transport was using had to
meet the new emission regulations, and Connect was
experiencing operating issues. "We were having a lot of
problems with the systems that were added on to meet the
new emission standards," Niccum recalls. "I feel like most
companies were in a rush to meet the new requirements
and did not have time to fully test the engines sufficiently
before rolling them out.
"We had increased downtime of the equipment and our
drivers, thus making us very inefficient," she continues. "By
switching to glider kits, you get rid of those emission-related issues. We've had fewer problems and less downtime
from these units compared to our other trucks. We're really
hoping to get better gas mileage, less downtime overall and
be more productive with those units."
If you are going to truck oil, you need a place to store it
and sell it. "Murphy Energy owns anywhere from eight to
12 400-barrel atmospheric tanks at approximately eight
crude stations that are connected to pipelines in Oklahoma," Niccum says. "We sell through the pipelines a majority of the time." Crude oil may only be in the tanks for a day
or two before it is piped out and replaced with new crude.

In Texas, it is hauled into different facilities. NGLs are
primarily taken to Murphy Energy's two facilities located
in Kingfisher, Okla., and Jackson, La.
Recruiting and Retaining
Niccum says Connect Transport has been fortunate to recruit and retain good employees. The company holds safety
and "Tailgate" meetings and also offers online training six
times a year to its drivers. Training subjects include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, hazardous materials transportation and fire extinguisher use.
Connect Transport has several methods of retaining
drivers. "I think offering a good salary, safety bonuses and
being a great company to work for - that goes a long way,"
Niccum says. "We really listen to employees, and most of
our employees would say more so than other places they
have been employed. It's not uncommon to have one of the
half-owners at a safety meeting talking face-to-face with a
driver. The drivers get a lot out of that and see it as a chance
to be heard by someone who matters."

SUMMER 2015 TLIMAGAZINE.COM

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015

Contents
Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - Cover1
Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - Cover2
Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - 1
Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - 2
Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - Contents
Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - 4
Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - 5
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Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - Cover3
Transportation & Logistics International - Summer 2015 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol7issue1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2017fall_vol2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2017fall_vol1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2017summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2017spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2017winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2016fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2016summer_vol1
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2016spring
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2015fall_v2
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2015summer
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2014fall
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2014winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2013summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2013winter
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