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Get to Know Chad Kinnison, Director of the Maintenance Department

Hi Chad, thanks for talking to us today. Tell us who you are and what you do day to day with Total.

I’m Chad Kinnision, the Director of Maintenance. On a daily basis, I oversee the maintenance on all of our equipment and the personnel at our shops in Jackson, Olive Branch, and Loudon. Every day I personally track the progress of all the equipment in our shops until its completion. My primary job is to support our drivers with fast and quality service so they can get back on the road and turning miles as quickly as possible. We try to focus on regularly scheduled preventative maintenance before a problem arises while you are out on the road. We work diligently and in a safe, efficient, and timely manner to keep equipment moving and our drivers safe and making money from PM interval to PM interval without failure.

How long have you been with Total and how did you come to work here?

I’ve been with Total since January 2014. Prior to that I worked at US Xpress for four years. In my 4.5 years here, I have held numerous positions within the Maintenance Department.  This gives me a thorough understanding and appreciation of the different aspects and moving parts within this department.

How many people are in the maintenance department? 

Including myself, we have 76. Each shop manager reports directly to me; Mike Stone (Olive Branch), Jerome Jones (Jackson), and Tim Briggs (Loudon). We have a great team in-place with vast knowledge and experience in this industry. Even though we have three separate shops, I consider us one team.

What is your objective for the next year and how do you facilitate that?

I’m really pushing for better communication with our drivers and technicians. Each have a unique voice and I want to do whatever I can to listen to and accommodate their concerns. When drivers voice their concerns early, it actually helps us identify potential breakdown trends. This enables us to prevent possible fleet wide issues. I want the drivers to be ensured that they have a great maintenance department to keep them on the road safely and without failure.

What is your department’s greatest challenge?

Shortage of technicians is currently our biggest challenge. This same struggle is shared throughout other truck lines, and even dealers. We are currently working with a couple of colleges in Mississippi and Tennessee to recruit and train high quality technicians to help overcome the shortage.

What do you think is our greatest strength?

Our greatest strength is teamwork. The teamwork within the department is truly astonishing. All departments working together is essential in successfully operating a growing company in a demanding industry.

How are you planning for the years to come?

I am constantly seeking more and more training for our employees.  New technologies are integrated into our fleet every year. We must constantly train our technicians and coordinators with current and new OEM material to stay sharp and adapt to what’s new.  New technologies evolve constantly, we must adapt and be prepared for the technology as it changes over time.

What do you want our drivers to know about what you do?

I want our drivers to be assured that we genuinely do care about the maintenance on all of our equipment and we want to keep them on the road. We understand that breakdowns and accidents happen, that’s where we come in to help. I want our drivers to know that our goal is to get them back on the road as quickly and safely as possible. Occasionally it may take a little longer a driver would like, but sometimes it takes time to do it the right way and keep everyone safe.