Commitment. Dedication. Excellence.
These are just three reasons TanTara Transportation was honored with the 2016 Iowa Fleet Maintenance Operation of the Year.
Selected by the Iowa Motor Truck Association (IMTA), the award recognizes a company who excels in maintenance operations. Midwest Wheel Companies sponsors the program. The award honors motor carriers that have made a commitment to their ongoing fleet maintenance services. They believe maintenance is a critical component to any company’s overall safety success. Midwest Wheel Companies created the program to showcase carriers that have committed their time, energy, and resources to a professionally run maintenance department.
“When we won the Iowa Fleet Maintenance Operation of the Year Award, it meant the world to me to be able to achieve that goal,” said Ben Garrett, TanTara maintenance manager.
“I am humbled by this honor,” he added. “Winning it (comes) from our good maintenance here, that our trucks can go out, pass Department of Transportation (DOT) inspections with flying colors and stay on the road making money instead of spending time in repair shops.”
The year before, in 2015, TanTara received a platinum award by Great West Casualty Company as part of their National Safety Awards Program. In 2014, one of TanTara’s employees was nominated as dispatcher of the year by the same company. Keeping drivers safe and on the road is at the crux of everything TanTara supports.
Garrett and his team of ten take fleet safety very seriously. In a typical year, they service upwards of 3,000 vehicles. They have strict standards for all their trucks and trailers.
“Safety is number one,” he added. “We want to make sure that, first, our trucks are safe going up and down the road. We also want to ensure we have a safe and productive workplace environment for the guys to work in.”
For the last 36 years, TanTara has been a proven safe carrier with a very low accident history.
Founded in 1981 by Mike Riggan, TanTara Transportation has grown drastically and changed over the years. But their commitment to safety has never wavered. Today, TanTara’s fleet is a mix of company owned trucks and owner operators. Riggan takes pride in his fleet.
“Our equipment is the best in the country. There’s not a lot of companies that have the quality of equipment we have,” he said. “We are a professional company. We haul for some of the best customers in the world. When we go in their plant, we go in with great-looking equipment.”
Garrett and his team of maintenance workers maintain all TanTara’s trucks. In addition to other services, they perform truck maintenance, VIK tank inspections, tractor alignments iowa, engine overhauls, tune-ups, fabrications, and trailer repairs.
In addition to taking excellent care of TanTara’s truckers, Garrett’s team also provides service for outside customers. One of their most frequent service requests is for tank inspections. Garrett says that anything his team can perform on their own equipment, they can provide for anyone else as well.
Mike’s son, Dave Riggan, TanTara safety director, has carried on the tradition of excellence his father began. He’s a member of several organizations that stress quality, including the Iowa Council of Safety Management. He’s pleased that all his drivers take great pride in their equipment. Dave sees clean and well-maintained trucks as a critical extension of his company.
“Every time the (drivers) pull into one of our customers’ locations, that’s our billboard,” he explained. “We go above and beyond when we order our equipment because we want to look good going down the road.”
The average age of the TanTara fleet is just 2.5 years old. That includes both trucks and trailers. And TanTara orders only the finest equipment. In fact, all trucks have refrigerators, great interiors, aluminum wheels, and chrome finishes.
“The inside of that truck is their home, it’s their office, it’s their breakroom; it’s everything to a driver. I mean, they spend a lot of time in that truck,” said Dave.
And drivers do appreciate the excellent care provided by Garrett and his entire department.
“We have really good mechanics here,” said Robert Squire III, an over-the-road truck driver. “If you have any issue with your truck, you come in and you tell one of the mechanics and they get on it.”
“I chose TanTara because I like their equipment,” added Driver Randy Bishop. “They have brand new trucks and brand new trailers.”
Mike Riggan sees a connection between the quality of his trucking fleet and the quality of the drivers he hires.
“We take good care of our people,” he explained. “That being said, they have to take care of us. They have to take care of our equipment, they have to help this company maintain and grow.”