Originally developed for Cargill, another NationaLease customer, the proprietary automated system was customized to meet specific PIC USA requirements. Oetjen explains the program manages the driver, trailer, tractor and all of movements. “The driver can’t use a trailer that’s been used for delivery to a production facility until it has been disinfected, dried and ‘baked’—a new term in the industry—to remove any bacteria.”
The program doesn’t permit trailer movement from one producer to the next until it is cleaned. The driver is required a certain amount of down time and must take a shower and have a clean uniform.
“The truck has to be disinfected and can only be matched to a trailer that’s been disinfected and those can only be matched to a driver that’s had downtime,” notes Oetjen. “If any one of those is out of kilter, it will red flag it and the trailer can’t go. Obviously that helps prevent the transfer of disease from one producer to the next. Typically infection will be picked up in a processing plant because you have deliveries from a variety of sources. Our trucks go back to their domicile locations where they undergo what we call the ‘washout.’ We moved our domiciles to be closer to source farms and closer to our washout facilities.”