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GRASPING TECHNOLOGY: Independent foodservice distributor Pate Dawson Company of Goldsboro, North Carolina, incorporates technology into its fleet, warehousing, and business operations to continually evolve and grow. To improve fleet utilization and efficiency, which averages some 75,000 miles weekly, it recently added automated fleet management systems and mobile computing technology. Return to article | Return to photo galleries

For smaller deliveries, five non-CDL DuraStar 4300 straight trucks are equipped with Kidron refrigerated bodies and Thermo King refrigeration units. Return to article | Return to photo galleries

Kidron is the predominate supplier of Pate Dawson’s refrigerated trailers, all with Thermo King refrigeration units. Mostly 48- and 53-foot multitemperature models with two curbside swing doors, the trailers have movable insulated bulkheads for frozen, refrigerated, and dry products. Return to article | Return to photo galleries

The trailers have a R-O-M Corporation SidekicK side-door delivery system that has a folding ramp that stores conveniently in a carrier mounted transversely under the trailer. Return to article | Return to photo galleries

The system includes a slide-out platform and fold-down steps for those instances when offloading product can be done without the need for a ramp. Return to article | Return to photo galleries

The company is always looking to integrate new business systems and technology to be more efficient and improve service to customers, says Pate Dawson’s director of information technology Mark Grady. Return to article | Return to photo galleries

To improve driver retention, Pate Dawson uses personality assessments, a structured interview process, an all-encompassing orientation program, and “grows” drivers from within, says director of transportation Scott VanLue. Return to article | Return to photo galleries

Replacing manual, paper-based, order-picking process with Lucas Systems’ Jennifer voicedirected picking system has improved productivity, increased order accuracy, and reduced manpower requirements. Return to article | Return to photo galleries

Pate Dawson uses a Cadec fleet management system that combines on-board computer technology, wireless technology, and GPS tracking to monitor drivers and trucks. It recently added Cadec’s DeliverTracker handheld barcode scanner to help streamline the delivery process.