News About Fontaine Modification
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Fontaine Modification to Offer Samsara Hardware Installation to Help Fleets Access Real-Time Data
Arrangement simplifies technology implementation, makes trucks “road-ready” upon delivery
Charlotte, N.C. January 14, 2020
Fontaine Modification is now offering installation of Samsara hardware, including Vehicle Gateways, Asset Gateways, AI dash cams, and Environmental Monitors, to help fleets access important real-time data. This hardware can be installed at Fontaine’s nine locations across the United States to provide customers with faster and easier rollout across their fleets.
“At Fontaine, we strive to ensure our customers receive their vehicles ‘road-ready’,” said Jamil Young, president of fleet services at Fontaine Modification. “This means working with leading companies such as Samsara to deliver vehicles with the technology that our customers demand installed and ready to go. We’re excited to be able to upfit fleets with Samsara’s hardware to help them improve efficiency and access information in real time.”
Samsara Vehicle Gateways are advanced sensor platforms for fleets, providing operators with real-time location and analytics, sensor data, WiFi hotspot connectivity, and ELD-ready hours of service logging. Samsara Asset Gateways are designed to monitor high-value mobile assets, such as refrigerated trailers and heavy equipment, to improve operating efficiency, theft recovery, and more. Samsara AI dash cams use artificial intelligence and computer vision to detect near-misses, road signs, and high-risk driver behavior. Samsara Environmental Monitors offer wireless and waterproof data-logging with temperature and humidity sensors for environments that rely on this data to maintain quality or compliance.
“At Samsara, our customers are always looking for ways to simplify their implementation process,” said Elizabeth Yackley, Samsara senior implementation consultant. “Partnering with Fontaine will make hardware installation even easier and faster for our customers, which gives them more time to focus on their deployment, driver training, and perfecting the processes needed to deliver value to their organization.”
Fontaine Moves Modification Center Closer to New Hino Plant
Charlotte, N.C. August 26, 2019
Fontaine Modification is relocating its West Virginia modification center from Williamstown to Mineral Wells, WV. The new modification center offers double the production space and enables Fontaine to expand its truck modification and other service offerings.
Fontaine’s center is located close to the new Hino plant and will allow easy access to the increased volumes expected as the OEM introduces its XL series of Class 8 trucks. The new center features 33,000 square feet with more than 10 dedicated bays, two drive-through lanes, a paint booth and six 5-ton overhead cranes. The overhead cranes allow for safer and more efficient handling of large materials and bodies. In addition to painting services, equipment installations, and truck modifications, the additional space will enable Fontaine to offer new services.
The facility will be managed by Chris Reynolds who was the General Manager of the Williamstown center.
“This new facility gives us the capability to run several types of products simultaneously. That will be key to supporting the Hino XL series of trucks as they are introduced to customers,” says Nate Eichinger, Fontaine Managing Director. “We are optimistic that the move will allow us to continue to grow and expand the ways that we can support Hino and its customers. We also expect that growth to result in adding new jobs going into 2020.”
Fontaine Modification Recognized for Environmentally Sustainable Fleet Management Practices
STAUNTON, Va. August 15, 2019
Fontaine Modification received a Council on Environmental Standards Association (CES) recognition award for its support and advancement of environmentally sustainable fleet management.
Judy Williams, CES president and CEO, and James Williams, vice president, presented the 2019 award to Fontaine’s Brad Howard, director of fleet operations, Wes Lundy, purchasing manager, and Brian Gagnon, director of supply chain, in recognition of the company’s support and recommendation of sustainable fleet management products, practices and protocols to its many customers, which is fulfillment of one of the Association’s operational tenants.
“We cross-reference and refer Council members and like-minded consumers to companies exhibiting strong environmental stewardship - and a commitment to honoring the intellectual properties and ideas of the people who are improving our world - to help build a 360- degree, integrated system of sustainability,” says Williams. “Participants throughout the supply chain have countless opportunities to help grow green fleets across America. When Fontaine and other companies share knowledge and environmentally sound products, practices, and ideas with OEMs and the trucking industry itself, they are promoting and supporting environmentally sustainable fleet management that benefits people, planet, and profit.”
Fontaine Designs New Roll-Up Door Installation for Freightliner M2 Cabs
Improves Tool Access for Emergency and Vehicle Recovery Fleets
Charlotte, NC August 12, 2019
A new roll-up door design from Fontaine Modification makes it easier for firefighters, EMTs, tow truck operators and others to quickly access tools and equipment stored in the cabs of Freightliner M2 trucks. This patent-pending design allows for a watertight seal of the door to the truck, smooth, reliable operation of the roll-up door, along with easy maintenance.
Previously, storage door installation involved custom bending the mounting track to match the truck side’s curvature. Bending the track could lead to leaks and challenges with opening and closing the door.
Fontaine developed a mounting system that uses a surround to allow the door to be installed in a completely vertical orientation, rather than trying to curve to the side of the truck.
“This unique solution allows for a consistent, customized fit for these Freightliner M2 cabs from the beginning, rather than needing to modify on the fly if usability issues arise,” says Nate Eichinger, managing director, Fontaine Modification. “Vehicle operators will appreciate the smooth functionality and ability to service – clean, repair, and even replace – the door, since it can be removed from the framework we designed for this application.”
The new mounting system was developed by the engineering team led by Vocational Engineering Manager Dylan Ramsey at Fontaine’s Innovation Center for Research and Development in Charlotte. It will be installed on Freightliner M2 trucks at Fontaine’s Charlotte Modification Center, which supports Freightliner’s nearby Mount Holly manufacturing facility.
Fontaine to Offer Lytx Video Telematics Pre-wire Packages for Major Truck Brands
Clients can get vehicles pre-wired for Lytx fleet solutions as a standard option for faster and easier technology deployment
San Diego, 2019
Lytx ®, a leading provider of video telematics, analytics, safety and operational efficiency solutions for commercial and public sector fleets, today announced that Fontaine Modification will offer pre-wiring packages for Lytx fleet solutions on major truck brands including Ford, Hino, International, Volvo, Freightliner and Kenworth. Fontaine is North America’s most comprehensive provider of post-production truck modification services for OEMs, dealers and fleets.
“Fontaine’s reputation has been built on a history of providing high-quality service and innovative solutions,” said Jamil Young, president, Fontaine Modification Fleet Services. “With Lytx, we’re able to offer our customers a video telematics solution that can do it all — help improve the safety of commercial drivers, offer next-generation analytics, risk detection and fleet management — from a company that aligns with our standards for excellence. Lytx provides an innovative and dependable solution, and we’re excited to formalize our strategic relationship to offer Lytx as a standard pre-wire option for our customers as a faster, easier way to implement a video telematics solution.”
Clients who receive a vehicle pre-wired for Lytx fleet solutions will experience a simplified installation of DriveCam® SF-Series Event Recorders. Fontaine Fleet Services can help get client vehicles road-ready in a minimal amount of time so they are able to start generating revenue as soon as the vehicle arrives.
Lytx’s customizable services and programs span driver safety, risk detection, fleet tracking, compliance and fuel management. The company’s unrivaled Driver Safety Program, best-in-class DriveCam Event Recorder and proprietary machine vision (MV) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are proven to help save lives and reduce risk. With the scale of its data — more than 100 billion miles of driving data analyzed and 100,000 risky driving events captured by video every day — Lytx is unmatched in its ability to provide fleets with the knowledge needed to help protect drivers and improve their driving behaviors.
“We’re honored to be working with Fontaine Modification,” said Eliot Feldstein, Lytx senior vice president of corporate and business development. “Their reputation for being the best in the business stems from their commitment to quality assurance, engineering expertise and reliable customer service. These are values we share, and we look forward to working with Fontaine to get vehicles road-ready and pre-wired for DriveCam event recorders, so our shared customers can efficiently deploy Lytx fleet solutions for accelerated impact on saving lives, reducing claims costs and improving their safety and productivity.”
Fontaine Modification Acquires ProBilt Services of Ohio
Fontaine’s ninth modification center will support nearby Kenworth plant.
Charlotte, NC April 01, 2019
Fontaine Modification Company has acquired the assets of ProBilt Services of Ohio, Inc. The 30,000-square-foot facility is located less than half a mile from Kenworth’s truck assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio. This facility, with parking for more than 100 trucks, becomes Fontaine’s ninth modification center.
The Chillicothe Modification Center will provide fleet in-servicing and vehicle modifications on Kenworth trucks. The proximity to Kenworth means customers can have their modifications completed and their trucks made “work ready” simply and efficiently. Services include graphics installations, pre-delivery inspections, cab and chassis modifications, and equipment installations – up to and including some body installations.
We’re excited to add this well-run operation with its fine crew of technicians to our Fontaine network,” said Paul Kokalis, Fontaine Modification President. “We look forward to putting our experience to work for Kenworth dealers and customers throughout North America.”
“We’re proud of our Chillicothe team and the business relationships we’ve developed,” said Toney Fitzgerald, principal owner of ProBilt. “While we’re sad to leave Chillicothe, we trust Fontaine will continue to nurture and grow the business here. This move allows us to focus on our home operation in Denton, Texas.”
Fontaine and Daycab Company Introduce Extended Cab Option for International HX Series
Ship-through agreement allows customers to receive vehicles sooner
Laredo, TX March 27, 2019
Fontaine Modification Company and Daycab Company are offering a new extended cab option for InternationalÒ HXÔ Series trucks that adds eight inches of interior space to the rear of the cab. This cab expansion gives drivers additional space for storing personal items and adjusting their seats for maximum comfort while on the road.
Many fleets choose the HX Series for applications where length is a primary concern because of the design’s short bumper to back of cab measurement. But for applications where this is not as critical, an extended cab can expand the truck’s versatility.
“In some applications where drivers spend extended periods of time in their trucks, additional cab space can improve their safety, efficiency and comfort,” says Jamil Young, president, Fontaine Modification Fleet Services. “This new modification is a simple, effective solution.”
The cab extension was designed to use many original equipment parts, maintain the existing cab and exhaust mounting, and utilize only minimal specially designed parts. Daycab Company builds the extensions at its Tennessee manufacturing facility and paints them to match the existing cabs. Fontaine then installs them on the trucks at its Laredo, Texas, modification center, which is located near the Navistar International manufacturing plant where the HX Series is built.
After installation, Fontaine returns the trucks to International’s transportation system. Using this ship-thru process allows customers to get their vehicles quickly and efficiently, while reducing logistical time and cost.
Fontaine Designs Narrow Cab for Utility Companies and Steel Haulers
Charlotte, NC March 4, 2019
Fontaine Modification Company has developed a narrow cab for Peterbilt trucks to help fleets improve maneuverability and efficiency when hauling special loads. The narrow cab option provides a unique method for hauling utility poles and steel to off-road sites.
Utility companies and steel haulers often need to carry large items, like utility poles, to locations where tractor and trailers have trouble going. Because the cab width limits the amount of product that may be hauled on either side of the cab, fleets have typically had to use trucks that have been crudely modified, or they run over-width trucks which require permitting each time they haul a wide load.
When presented with this problem, Fontaine worked with equipment manufacturers and a utility company to develop a solution. “We narrowed the cab of a Peterbilt 365 6x6 truck by 18.5 inches, taking it from 72.5 inches wide down to 54 inches wide,” says Dan Jaynes, VP of Product Development for Fontaine. “This modification creates more space to transport poles or steel on both sides of the cab, while meeting legal requirements.”
One of the most important aspects of the modification was Fontaine’s ability to narrow the cab while maintaining the factory aesthetics particularly in the interior driver environment. The design also provides a unique door in the back of the cab that allows the driver to exit the cab when cargo is loaded on the sides.
The narrow cab was designed in Fontaine’s Charlotte Product Development Center.
Fontaine Modification Helps Fleets Improve Power Efficiency by Installing eNow Solar Power Units on Their Trucks
Fontaine modification centers nationwide now offer solar panel installation
Statesville, NC August 13, 2018
In response to increased fleet demand for the capability to collect and use solar energy to power auxiliary power units, Fontaine Modification Fleet Services now offers installation of solar panel systems from eNow Solar Energy Solutions.
Fontaine’s Statesville, N.C., location recently upfitted 26 sleeper trucks with the panels, which are designed to capture and convert the sun’s energy into useable power for trucks. Fontaine offers installation of eNow solar panels at all of its modification centers nationwide.
Unlike the heavy glass solar panels typically used in residential and commercial markets, the panels used for transportation applications are lightweight, flexible, only 1/8” thin, and sealed with a layer of ETFE that resists ice, debris, corrosion, and extreme temperatures.
“Working with eNow made our initial installation and documentation simple and efficient,” says Jamil Young, president, Fontaine Modification Fleet Services. “The product is rugged, robust and suitable for the working environment. The installation process is simple and straightforward, and we’re pleased to provide this service to customers at all eight of our locations.”
eNow solar panels collect energy from the sun and converts it to DC power charging the truck’s auxiliary batteries. These batteries are used to power the truck’s HVAC systems, liftgate, refrigeration, telematics and other auxiliary equipment. The solar panels produce about 300 watts per day, which helps fleets extend auxiliary battery life, decrease fuel costs and reduce downtime.
“It’s an honor to team up with a company like Fontaine Modification that has the reputation for being the best in the business,” says Guy Shaffer, chief marketing officer at eNow. “They’ve stood the test of time, continue to grow and attract business from some of the biggest OEMs in the world. Their standard of excellence aligns with eNow’s commitment to provide quality, durable energy products to the transportation industry.”
Fontaine Modification Promotes Juan Salazar to Facility Manager of Laredo Modification Center
Salazar to manage facility as truck volume nearly doubles
Laredo, TX June 19, 2018
To keep pace with a significant increase in the volume of trucks coming through its Laredo, Texas, truck modification center, Fontaine Modification Fleet Services promoted Juan Salazar to facility manager.
Salazar spent the prior two years at Fontaine as lead process engineer in Laredo and supported that function at the company’s Statesville, N.C., and Springfield, Ohio, modification centers.
As facility manager, Salazar is responsible for production planning, quality control, and achieving delivery, financial and employee safety goals. Specifically, he is spearheading the transition to a more efficient production process and the addition of a second shift to ensure that the Laredo center can handle the significant increase in truck volume.
Due to the hot truck market, the volume at Fontaine’s Laredo modification center has almost doubled from 600 trucks per month in January to about 1,100 per month in May.
“The truck industry is constantly changing and growing, and there is no limit to the types of applications our customers are coming to us for,” says Salazar. “I’m thankful for this opportunity and accept the challenge of leading the Laredo modification center to make sure we deliver the quality our customers expect.”
The Laredo modification center specializes in installing work systems, off-loading and electronics systems, vehicle tracking systems, safety equipment and graphics packages for heavy-duty trucks. The modification center supports Freightliner Trucks and Navistar manufacturing plants, utilizing ship-thru agreements with both OEMs.
To help the Laredo facility meet the increased demand for its truck modification services, Salazar led a change to more of an assembly-line production process where each technician specializes in one task or area before passing on the project to the next stage in the process. Salazar says this approach, the hiring of an additional 28 technicians and the addition of a second shift starting in June, will allow the facility to meet its commitments.
“We’re excited to welcome Juan to our Laredo facility management team during this time of increased demand for our services,” says Jamil Young, president, Fontaine Modification Fleet Services. “His quality assurance experience and focus on continuous improvement in production and safety make him the right person for this position.”
Before joining Fontaine Modification as a process engineer in 2016, Salazar served four years as electrical product engineer at Navistar Technical Center in Apodaca, Nuevo León, México. He earned a master’s degree in intelligent systems and a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics engineering from Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Monterrey, Mexico.
Introducing the 122SD Sleeper Auto Hauler
An internal Freightliner announcement
Freightliner Trucks Announcement (July 11, 2017)
Freightliner announced the release of a new model auto hauler produced in cooperation with Fontaine Modification Company. Read about it here:
Fontaine Modification Opens New Truck Modification Center in Texas
Laredo facility supports Freightliner and Navistar plants
Statesville, N.C. (May 11, 2017)
Fontaine Modification Fleet Services has moved its Laredo, Texas, modification center 14 miles down the road to a new 27,000-square-foot facility adjacent to TruckMovers, the major delivery company for trucks coming into Laredo.
This modification center specializes in installing work systems, off-loading and electronics systems, vehicle tracking systems, safety equipment and graphics packages for heavy-duty trucks. The purpose-built facility at 15617 U.S. Route 83, Unit B, supports Freightliner Trucks and Navistar International manufacturing plants, utilizing ship-thru agreements with both OEMs. TruckMovers transports the vehicles from the OEM plants to the Laredo location for modification and preparation for final delivery.
“Working closely with TruckMovers greatly simplifies truck scheduling and movement resulting in smooth truck flow from the factory to the customer’s location,” says Jamil Young, president, Fontaine Modification Fleet Services.
The new modification center includes 22 truck bays, five drive-through lanes and two acres of securely fenced and lighted parking. It is fully supported by an onsite staff of engineering, quality control and inventory personnel.
Production at the new Fontaine modification center began April 3.
Jeff Kolner Named General Manager of Center in Garland, Texas
Charlotte, N.C. (November. 2016)
Jeff Kolner has been named general manager of the Fontaine Modification Operation in Garland, Texas. He is responsible for sales and operations at the 45,000-sq. ft. facility. This modification center specializes in auto transport cab lowering, dual drive controls, alternative fuel systems, paint services and chassis modifications on a wide variety of OEM platforms, with a special focus on Peterbilt trucks from the OEM’s Denton, Texas, plant.
“Jeff brings almost 30 years of operations and sales management experience — including a decade with Fontaine trailer, intermodal and military products — to his new position at the helm of our Garland truck modification center,” says Paul Kokalis, president of Fontaine Modification. “He has demonstrated the ability to significantly increase operating efficiency, grow sales, implement new processes and improve safety programs. Jeff is a valuable addition to our Fontaine Modification team, and we’re confident he will further increase our support to Peterbilt and all of our area customers.”
Kolner has a long career in industrial plant and facility management. He started his career at Rotek Incorporated, a ThyssenKrupp company, while studying business management at Kent State University, and spent 17 years working his way up to assistant plant manager. At Fontaine Modification’s sister company, Fontaine Trailer, he served as plant manager of the Aluminum Platform Trailer Division and the Heavy Haul Trailer Division, as well as general manager of Fontaine Intermodal/Renew. Most recently, Kolner was director of sales for Fontaine Military Products.
He and his wife, Katherin, currently live in the Plano, Texas, area.
Fontaine Modification Helps Fleets Waste Less Fuel with Idle Smart Truck Idle-Management System
System manages truck idle time and batteries to boost fleet efficiency
Statesville, N.C. (May 24, 2016)
Idle Smart, LLC, has authorized Fontaine Modification Fleet Services to install and distribute its Idle Smart idle management system. Idle Smart is an automatic engine start and stop technology that actively manages engine idle time and battery voltage levels while helping to prevent cold starts in Class 8 trucks. The system reduces idling time, helping ensure compliance with idle restriction laws and potentially saving fleets thousands of dollars per truck annually. Idle Smart also provides remote management capabilities and delivers performance-reporting and vehicle diagnostics, enabling fleets of all sizes to operate more efficiently.
“Reducing truck idling and lowering fuel costs while continuing to provide a comfortable environment for off-duty drivers has been a challenge for many trucking companies,” says Jamil Young, president, Fontaine Modification Fleet Services. “Idle Smart provides an innovative and dependable solution. We are happy to offer installation of this quality fuel-saving system at any of our seven nationwide modification centers.”
With Idle Smart, drivers no longer need to idle their vehicles to keep their truck batteries charged, or their cabs and their coolant warm. Idle Smart provides fleets managers remote management capabilities to continuously monitor a truck’s batteries and program a voltage threshold from their desktop or in the vehicle. The app automatically starts the truck when the battery voltage gets low, charges it back up, and then shuts it down again. For safety, the engine won't start if the truck isn't in neutral, doesn't have its parking brake on, or has its hood open.
Fleets and drivers can also monitor cabin comfort and coolant temperatures, and Idle Smart will start the trucks at a specified temperature and run them until the desired cab or engine coolant temperature is reached.
Idle Smart's real-time performance metrics and diagnostic capabilities show truck- and fleet-level operational results. The remote management function allows fleet managers to be more proactive in day-to-day operations and easily make necessary changes to any system setting, whether they be truck-specific or fleet-wide, to ensure optimal performance.
“We are excited to be working with Fontaine Modification, given the company’s long history of innovation and excellence,” said Jeff Lynch, president of Idle Smart. “Fontaine is the proven leader in efficiency and workmanship, which allows for a seamless experience for our mutual customers.”
To learn more about Idle Smart, visit www.idlesmart.com.
Fontaine Modification to Install FlowBelow™ Fuel-saving System for Fleets
Product reduces aerodynamic drag between and behind tandem rear wheels
Statesville, N.C. (Jan. 21, 2016)
FlowBelow Aero, Inc. has authorized Fontaine Modification Fleet Services to install and distribute its patented FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit™, a system of aerodynamic wheel covers and tractor tandem fairings. This agreement enables Fontaine to offer customers a complete aerodynamic system to manage the airflow around the rear wheels of a Class 8 tractor, providing significant fuel savings.
“The FlowBelow design is ruggedly engineered and measures up to the high quality standards of Fontaine and our mutual customers,” says Jamil Young, president, Fontaine Modification Fleet Services. “With the FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit, we can offer fleets a consistently high-quality, fuel-saving opportunity even if they are ordering trucks from multiple locations or OEMs.”
For today’s fleets, improving fuel mileage plays an important role in competitiveness. The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit is an effective and affordable aftermarket option for improving tractor aerodynamics. It has been proven to reduce fuel consumption by more than 2 percent through independent, third-party tests including SAE Type II, wind tunnel, CFD modeling and on-road fleet tests.
Fontaine has completed more than 300 post-production FlowBelow AeroKit installations. Long-haul fleets typically report a return on investment within a year.
“We are very pleased offer fleets the ability to spec our product on new trucks routed through Fontaine Modification for PDI or other services,” said Josh Butler, founder and CEO of FlowBelow. “Fleet owners that utilize the services provided by Fontaine will be able to enjoy the convenience and affordability of having FlowBelow products installed on their new equipment before taking delivery.”
Fontaine Modification will make FlowBelow installations available at all seven of its modification centers across the U.S. The system will fit nearly any tractor, regardless of manufacturer, and can be retrofitted on most vehicles currently in use. It is available in custom colors and finish to match the truck.
Fontaine Modification President Paul Kokalis Elected to NTEA Board of Trustees
Indianapolis (March 14, 2016)
Paul Kokalis, president of Fontaine Modification, North America’s most comprehensive provider of truck modification services, has been elected to serve as a Manufacturer Trustee on the NTEA Board of Trustees. NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, represents nearly 1,800 companies that manufacture, distribute, install, sell and repair commercial trucks, truck bodies, truck equipment, trailers and accessories. Kokalis assumed his new role at the President’s Breakfast and NTEA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with The Work Truck Show® 2016, and will serve a three-year term.
Kokalis has spent 28 years at Fontaine Modification, which is part of Marmon Highway Technologies (MHT). He joined the company in 1986 in a sales and marketing role. He went on to hold several sales positions, including serving as the sales manager of a new Charlotte, N.C., modification center in 1988. In 1993, he led the opening of a modification center in Dublin, Va., and operated it as general manager. He was promoted to vice president of operations for the entire company in 2010, and to president in 2013. As a long-time NTEA member, is looking forward to adding Fontaine’s voice to the conversation guiding development of new vocational truck products and services.
“I am excited about collaborating with others in our industry to come up with innovative ways to guide our future,” said Kokalis. “Key issues such as attracting young talent to the industry, better perception of alternative fuel systems, and the challenge of regulatory compliance will be high priorities for me. The NTEA is a capable ally for our customers – and their customers – in fostering and adapting to the realities of what’s ahead.”
Fontaine Modification Springfield FacilityReaches 1,000-Day Safety Milestone
Charlotte, N.C. (September 8, 2015)
Modification center provides steering conversions for Navistar vehicles
Employees at Fontaine Modification Vocational Services' modification center in Springfield, Ohio, were treated by the company to a lunchtime celebration on Aug. 27 for working their 1,000th consecutive day without a lost-time incident. The streak, which started when the Springfield facility reopened in 2012, is the third safety milestone within Fontaine’s network of modification centers in the past year.
“Workplace safety is a company-wide initiative at Fontaine,” says Todd Sheets, Springfield operations manager. “The management team holds regular safety update calls, and all employees attend a daily safety meeting. Any time there is a close call on the facility floor, we document it and discuss how to prevent occurrences in the future. That way, everyone learns from each other how to best prevent an incident.”
Fontaine’s Springfield modification center primarily provides dual-drive steering modifications for refuse and street sweeper trucks built at Navistar’s Springfield assembly plant. The modification center features four drive-through bays and space to service up to 15 vehicles simultaneously. Sheets has overseen production at Springfield since 2013 and has been with Fontaine for more than 20 years.
The other Fontaine Modification facilities that recently celebrated safety streak milestones are Charlotte, North Carolina, and Williamstown, West Virginia. Employees at the Charlotte and Williamstown modification centers were recognized for reaching 2,000 consecutive safe days.
Fontaine Opens New Truck Modification Center in Avon Lake, Ohio
Facility will process F-650/F-750 trucks built at Ford Ohio Assembly Plant
Charlotte, NC (January 26. 2016)
Fontaine Modification Vocational Services has opened a new modification center in Avon Lake, Ohio, to provide modifications for Ford F-650/F-750 medium-duty trucks. The facility is located across the street from Ford’s Ohio Assembly Plant, where F-650/F-750 production moved from Mexico last summer.
“Fontaine has put significant effort into developing modifications specifically for the all-new F-650/F-750 platform, including an exclusive tractor package for beverage fleets that we developed in conjunction with our sister company Fontaine Fifth Wheel and Ford Motor Company,” says Steve Boyer, president of Fontaine Vocational Services. “Our new Avon Lake location will enable us to complete these modifications efficiently, taking advantage of our ship-through agreement with Ford to provide customers with their vehicles quickly and efficiently.”
In addition to the beverage tractor modification, Fontaine will use its new modification center to install all-wheel drive systems, make wheelbase changes and perform CNG tank upfits on the F-650/F-750. Customers also can work with Fontaine to develop custom modifications for their specific applications. Fontaine’s ship-through agreement with Ford (31V) allows modifications to be completed without any additional shipping cost to the customer.
Fontaine Modification Achieves NTEA MVP Status
Charlotte, N.C. (March 24, 2015)
Fontaine Modification has earned Member Verification Program (MVP) status from NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry. The NTEA MVP program recognizes North American truck distributors, manufacturers and upfitters that have distinguished business practices, quality employee education and training programs, and effective safety and regulatory compliance programs.
“The key criteria for achieving NTEA MVP status are closely aligned with Fontaine Modification’s operating standards and company values,” says Paul Kokalis, president of Fontaine Modification. “We continuously work to improve our products and services, and have successfully made workplace safety a top priority. NTEA’s recognition reaffirms that we have the right processes in place, but we will continue to evolve as a company in order to provide the best possible truck modification services and support for our customers.”
Through its Vocational Services business unit, Fontaine Modification provides steering conversions and other cab and chassis modifications for customers in a variety of vocational industries. Its Fleet Services business unit provides on-highway truck modifications for fleets. In October, employees at Fontaine’s Charlotte, N.C., modification center worked their 2,000th straight day without a lost time incident, and other Fontaine facilities are on track for similar incident-free milestones this year.
NTEA introduced the MVP program in 2005 to help its member companies create mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationships with their suppliers, distributors and customers. Program participants submit documentation about their quality assurance practices and safety policies, among other requirements. Periodically, requirements and criteria are updated to reflect the changing nature of the work truck industry. MVP companies must be re-verified every three years
Mainstay Delivers New CNG Fuel Systems to Car Hauler
Charlotte, N.C. (December, 2015) — In this press release from Mainstay, see how Fontaine collaborated to bring an innovative solution to market.
Fontaine Introduces Cab Lowering Options for Volvo VAH 630 Extended Sleeper
Charlotte N.C. (Feb. 3, 2015)
In February, Volvo Trucks released its long, premium sleeper model of the Volvo auto transporter line, the VAH 630. Fontaine Modification Company's Vocational Services played an integral part of this product expansion by designing the cab lowering features which allow the truck to accommodate a wide range of vehicles hauled over the cab.
"We listened to what Volvo, their dealer and customers needed in the longer sleeper model in order to make it an efficient and productive auto transporter for long distance hauling", said Steve Boyer, President of Fontaine's Vocational Services. "Working with all parties to produce innovative solutions is our normal way of doing business."
"Starting with Fontaine’s patented design we've used on the previous VAH 200 and 430 models gave us a good starting point", said Dan Jaynes, Vice President of Engineering for Fontaine Modification Company. "Our partners at Volvo, dealers and customers were easy to work with."
Fontaine Modification Recognizes Williamstown Employees for 2,000 Consecutive Safe Days
Streak started in 2009 at facility that provides services for Hino Trucks
Charlotte, N.C. (May 19, 2015)
When the workday ended on May 8 at the Fontaine Modification Vocational Services modification center in Williamstown, W.Va., it marked the 2,000th consecutive day without a lost-time incident. Fontaine celebrated the safety streak, which started in 2009 when the facility opened, by treating the facility’s employees to lunch and unveiling a banner recognizing the milestone.
“Everyone at the Williamstown modification center, from the technicians to managers, shares responsibility for keeping the workplace safe,” says Chris Reynolds, Williamstown facility manager. “We have a meeting every morning where we encourage employees to offer their thoughts and suggestions about safety practices. Their input is important because it helps us keep our employee safe, which prevents downtime, improves productivity and lets us better serve our customers. That’s why safety is such a priority at Fontaine.”
The 15,000-square-foot Williamstown modification center features 12 truck modification bays. It primarily provides chassis modifications and paint services for Hino Trucks built across the street at Hino’s Williamstown assembly plant. Reynolds has served as facility manager since 2012. The safety practices in place at Williamstown are also used at Fontaine Modification’s six other modification centers located across the country.
Fontaine to Shift Production to Garland, Texas Modification Center
Charlotte, N.C. (Dec. 15, 2014)
Fontaine Modification Vocational Services is reopening its modification center in Garland, Texas. The Garland facility has been closed since 2012, when most of the truck production that it supported moved away from Garland.
Since 2012, demand for modifications on Peterbilt trucks produced in Denton, TX, has grown steadily. Currently those trucks are modified in Charlotte, NC, and Gainesville, GA, for use in the auto transport and street sweeper markets. Moving all Peterbilt production to Garland allows trucks to be modified and then be placed back in the OEM shipping system, improving efficiency for many body builders.
“Using the Garland facility enables us to be closer to Peterbilt’s manufacturing facility in Denton and also to consolidate work that had been done in Charlotte and Gainesville,” explains Ivan Barnes, GM of Fontaine’s Garland facility. “There has been a lot of growth over the past year in the auto hauler segment, along with requests for additional modifications on Peterbilt trucks. This consolidation will help us be more efficient and improve vehicle turnaround time.”
Limited production will begin in Garland this month, and the facility should be fully operational in early 2015. Fontaine expects to staff the modification center with a mix of relocated current personnel, employees who previously worked at the Garland facility and new hires.
The shop at 725 S. Jupiter Road in Garland features 45,000 square feet of workspace and will be fully updated before being reopened.