Dalton Trucking aims to treat its clients like members of the Klenske family by finding creative ways to solve problems.
As a family owned and operated logistics company, Dalton Trucking makes sure its clients are treated like a part of the Klenske clan. With his sons in the business today, that has been the best advice President Terry Klenske has passed on thus far.
“We try to be a family-oriented company, so when somebody has a problem, they come and see us to find a workaround,” Klenske says. “I told my son Josh if you’re working in either the flatbed, bulk trucking, or mining division, etc., unless you want to do the job yourself, learn how to talk to these people so they won’t walk away.”
Dalton Trucking was founded in 1963 and was incorporated in 1970. In 1977, Klenske bought the four-truck operation as a hobby while working for Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., a large mobile home and RV manufacturer.
Since then, the company has grown to more than 200 employees and 100 trucks, offering specialized services in bulk transportation, low-bed, general freight on flatbeds and vans, rail service, intermodal and third-party logistics services.
The company also provides off-loading services for everything from lumber to steel, and Dalton Trucking’s off-road division operates loaders, dozers, blades, screen plants and water trucks. The company also offers customized services to cement plant customers, contractors and municipalities.
Dalton Trucking’s headquarters in Fontana, California, sits on a 28-acre campus. At this site, trucks are maintained, repaired, fueled, washed and parked. Commodities including lumber, pipe and steel beams, iron ore and photovoltaic galvanized posts also are stored at this location. Dalton Trucking operates a second location on 10 acres in Adelanto, California, consisting of a 10,000-square-foot shop, dispatch office, fuel island, wash rack and ample parking for 50 trucks. This terminal has various types of flatbeds, an extensive fleet of dump trucks to service the High Desert, Central and Northern California. This location also has many hauls into and out of Nevada and Arizona.
Off-site Scale Operations
Dalton Trucking operates a Power Screen Commander screening plant at California Steel Industries (CSI), previously Kaiser Steel. CSI produces iron fines called mill scale, which is a byproduct created when CSI rolls thick steel plates into thin coils and sheets. The mill scale by product is then used in the manufacture Portland cement, mill scale when burned in a Kiln adds strength and a consistent gray color to the cement.
The CSI mill, according to Klenske, is the largest mini-mill in California, a survivor of the closing of Kaiser Steel. CSI today buys slabs of steel cast from throughout the world, which are delivered on rail to its facility in Fontana. There, when needed, slabs are placed in a soaking pit at a temperature of about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
From here, the white hot slabs are placed on a rolling mill with a series of five hydraulically activated rollers that squeeze slabs as thin as necessary. Mill scale – or flecks of steel – stick to these rollers, and they must be removed to avoid creating imperfections in the steel.
Mill scale as well as trimming off the side of the flattened slabs called slitter scrap are collected in a flume line under the rolling mills. The mixture of water, mill scale and allow and slitter scrap – trimmed from the sheet steel as it is rolled out – are then dumped in a shallow lagoon. Klenske says the sun dries out the water from this mixture until all that’s left is dried mill scale and slitter scrap. Once the slitter scrap is screened out, the oily mill scale heads to the cement plant.
“Our job consists of maintaining the drying lagoons or pits where the sun evaporates the water out of it, and screening the raw mill scale through our plant to remove all the foreign objects the cement plants can’t use or don’t want such as the slitter scrap which can ruin a cement plants conveyor belts,” Klenske says. “We then supply mill scale to four different local cement plants to help replace iron ore.”
Screened for Success
According to Dalton Trucking, the company also employs a Read RD 90 portable plant that work in flood control basins to screen out 8-to-12-inch boulders for decorative applications by eliminating the smaller, finer stone from the mix. The company also uses this material to line detention/retention basin spillways to minimize water erosion.
Two large 5-foot-by-20-foot, three-deck plants – a McCloskey and a Sandvik – work at a gypsum mine producing both agricultural and cement plant grade gypsum.
Transloading and Warehousing
Approximately five acres of Dalton’s 28-acre facility in Fontana is dedicated to transloading commodities as diverse as mine run ore fines delivered in dump trucks – for export to China loaded in 20-foot containers – to unloading 53- foot intermodal vans shipped from Ohio loaded with galvanized posts used for mounting photovoltaic solar panels used in the many solar farms in California’s Mojave Desert.
Klenske says he is always on the alert for a product or service that will add value to Dalton’s trucking operation.
This is the reason for Dalton operating three different configurations of dump trucks, covered dome and pneumatic hopper tanks, three different types of flatbeds, five different configurations of lowbeds from five to nine axles and even a few vans.