We sometimes take refrigerated transportation for granted, as if we always have been able to put fresh fruits and vegetables on our table — even when they aren't in season.
As demand for refrigerated transportation grew, so did the size of his fleet. And that growth generated a need for reliable transport refrigeration unit service.
Today W&B has 17 locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana — including a new flagship location in the Dallas suburb of Duncanville.
Last year was an eventful one for W&B. After servicing refrigeration units throughout its existence, the company became a Hyundai trailer dealer in March. W&B also celebrated its 60th year in business and opened its new facility in Duncanville.
The company moved to the suburbs after years of operating in the shadows of downtown Dallas.
Updated work environment
Eaton said the company had several objectives in designing its new headquarters.
“Trailers and refrigeration units have changed a lot since we first moved into our Dallas shop,” Eaton says. “We wanted a more modernized work environment and more space to enable us to keep up with our expanded workload.”
Those expectations translated into a shop that is equipped with:
Support for working on heavy bodies.
Full overhang that can accommodate a 53-ft trailer.
Air and electrical outlets at every bay.
Energy efficient lighting.
Electric doors. “This makes our employee more productive and our shop an easier place to work,” Eaton says.
The ability to expand in the future.
One of the striking things about the building is the overhang that extends out from the shop. The overhang provides technicians with a roof over their heads — and over the entire length of 53-ft trailers.
What they do there
The new facility is designed for sales and installation of an array of products, including Carrier Transicold refrigeration units for trucks and trailers, auxiliary power units, Hyundai Translead trailers, Hercules dry-freight and refrigerated van bodies, along with truck, trailer, and refrigeration unit service. The company repairs all brands of trailers and truck bodies.
“Each of our branches has its own responsibilities,” Eaton says. “We provide them with the facilities and the equipment they need.”
W&B operates a fleet of 93 trucks companywide. Some of the trucks specialize in trailer repair. Others service refrigeration units and APUs.
Training the techs
With a fleet of 93 service trucks and 17 shops, training technicians has to be a major challenge.
W&B has addressed that issue in part by developing its own online training system. Subjects include business ethics, company policies, and basic safety practices such as the proper way to lift a load. A separate module on the fine art of driving a truck will be added in the near future.
“It's something that's coming from our insurance company,” Maynor says. “It's not anything that our insurance company is forcing on us — we found out that it's available, and we are taking advantage of it.”
“We are constantly having vendors in to train us on repairing and maintaining their products,” Maynor says.
W&B recently added Hyundai trailers to its product mix.
Hyundai presented sales awards in August. After representing the trailer manufacturer for only six months, W&B won one of the five awards that were presented.
Winning awards is nothing new, though, for W&B.
“We have won Carrier's prestigious dealer of the year award more times than any other dealer,” Maynor says.