The story of Upstaging Inc. is one in all fixed evolution and progress. Based 48 years in the past as a stage lighting firm, Upstaging has expanded to offer occasion manufacturing and administration, customized shows and scenic work, signing and graphics, and — with a fleet of 175 drivers, 200 tractors and 400 trailers — trucking.
“There at the moment are two sides to our fleet’s enterprise: touring and logistics,” defined Chip Warterfield, fleet security supervisor.
“Our touring division carries manufacturing tools for many main live performance excursions from the southern U.S. border to the sixtieth parallel north — lights, sound, video, guitars, you title it. Look out again of any huge occasion, and also you’ll in all probability see our vans,” he mentioned. “The logistics facet is presently working Freight All Varieties (FAK) hauling within the decrease 48 states, transferring every part from groceries to tractors.”
Regardless of the place the highway takes Upstaging’s drivers, Warterfield mentioned, the corporate does every part potential to offer the women and men behind the wheel with a secure automobile. Meaning operating Peterbilt Mannequin 579s, which make up 99% of the corporate’s fleet, with Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes on all axles, and the Bendix ESP Digital Stability Program full-stability system as commonplace tools.
“We buy vans via our fleet rep at Peterbilt, and I belief them to offer me with the very best,” Warterfield mentioned. “When the choice to step as much as ADBs on all axles got here round, I used to be a lot assured from our expertise with the steer axle ADBs that we’ve got been operating for years. With the distinctive efficiency that we’ve got seen, there will likely be no want for me to look anyplace else.”
Primarily based in Sycamore, Illinois, Upstaging has six yards within the U.S. and employs about 200 folks, with the lighting division including as many as 200 extra workers in peak occasions. Security is at all times paramount, Warterfield famous.
“It’s a mindset,” he mentioned. “From Day 1, we outline security — it’s threat avoidance, plain and easy — and I’ll inform folks, ‘Do not forget that, as a result of I’ll name you up and ask it.’ We attempt to reinforce it on a regular basis to maintain folks desirous about it in a optimistic sense. Like a math quantity line, ‘threat’ is over there within the unfavorable, and ‘security’ is over right here within the optimistic.”
In pursuing security on the highway, Upstaging is selective in its hiring, looking for these with glorious driving information and the flexibility to showcase their skilled greatest day by day. The corporate additionally offers security coaching and driver-improvement applications designed to maintain the give attention to secure automobile operation.
Warterfield has been in Upstaging’s security division for 4 years, however he’s been within the entertainment-transportation commerce since 1981 — and he nonetheless holds a industrial driver’s license (CDL) and pulls the occasional load.
“I do know what goes on on the market, and I do know what our drivers are dealing with day by day, and what it takes to maintain them blissful, so I do loads of take a look at drives myself in terms of selecting new tools,” he defined.
Bendix ESP and ADB22X air disc brakes on the steer axle have come commonplace on the Peterbilt 579 for the reason that truck’s launch in 2012. The ADB22X achieved commonplace place on all axles on the automobile in 2017. In accordance with Bendix, the brakes present shorter stopping distances and ship larger reliability with extra constant stops, whereas additionally delivering ROI within the store via longer friction life and faster pad modifications than drum brakes. The ADB22X additionally has an inner self-adjustment mechanism versus an exterior slack adjuster.
“After I began getting driver suggestions on how wonderful the Bendix air disc brakes had been performing, that’s how you’ve hit a house run — and it’s tangible proof that the drivers actually perceive how dedicated we’re to security and safer applied sciences,” Warterfield mentioned. “Plus, we prepare our drivers on what to search for when brakes may have upkeep, and the discs make it one step simpler, as a result of I’m assured they’re at all times in adjustment.”
In accordance with Warterfield, Upstaging’s technicians admire the convenience of engaged on ADB disc brakes, in addition to the brakes’ friction life, and the Bendix ESP Digital Stability Program makes use of a complete system of sensors that may deal with each roll and directional stability, recognizing components that might result in automobile rollovers or lack of management.
“Moderately than implement ‘sea change’ transitions, we deliver confirmed applied sciences on board with every new mannequin yr,” Warterfield mentioned. “Now we have loads of skilled drivers who can push again on ‘newfangled contraptions’ till they expertise the advantages themselves. However once they learn the way properly these applied sciences work, they embrace it. I introduce these items step by step, brick by brick — however that’s the way you construct a basis of security.”
The groups at each Upstaging and Bendix emphasize that no know-how can substitute a secure, alert, skilled driver who practices secure driving habits and is supported by proactive, ongoing driver coaching.
“They are surely a particular group at Upstaging, and we’re extremely proud to work with them,” mentioned Lance Hansen, vp of aftermarket gross sales, fleet, service and subject operations for Bendix. “Overlaying a lot territory, operating diverse, attention-grabbing, and very important masses in demanding time situations — and doing all of it with a laser give attention to supporting their drivers and prioritizing security? Standing ovation, each time.”