Industry Innovations

MCKENZIE TANK LINES RELISHES ROLE AS EARLY-ADOPTER OF VEHICLE SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES

Among tank truck carriers, McKenzie Tank Lines Inc stands out as an early adopter of safety-related truck technology. It is a practice that has been paying dividends for years.

Top McKenzie Tank Lines executives clearly believe that the focus on identifying and incorporating the best in new safety technology has positioned the Tallahassee, Florida- based company as an elite tank truck carrier. It is a distinction that the carrier promotes to customers, truck drivers, and others. 

CRITICAL FACTOR

Safe transportation is critical for a tank truck carrier that specializes in transporting a wide range of liquid and dry bulk cargoes that include chemicals, propane, foodgrade, and petroleum products. Founded in 1944 as a fuel transporter with two tank trailers, McKenzie Tank Lines has grown into a major tank truck carrier serving customers throughout the United States and portions of Canada and Mexico.

DOT PROGRAM

That willingness to experiment with emerging commercial truck technologies earned McKenzie Tank Lines an opportunity to participate in the Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Vehicle Initiative that was authorized in 1998 as a public/private partnership. The program focused on accelerating the development and commercialization of vehicle based and infrastructure cooperative driver assistance products that warn drivers of dangerous situations, recommends actions, and even assumes partial control of vehicles to avoid collisions.

McKenzie Tank Lines participated in the commercial vehicle portion, a 36-vehicle/$2.4 million program set up as a cost-share cooperative arrangement. The program roughly ran from 2000-2002, and program participants included:

  • Mack Partnership
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Battelle as an independent elevator
  • Multiple state departments of transportation

The Mack Partnership consisted of:

  • Mack Trucks Inc
  • McKenzie Tank Lines
  • VES—Vehicle Enhancement Systems • XATA Corporation
  • RBC—Richard Bishop Consulting • Assistware Technologies