Preparing Truck for Baja Is Its Own Endurance Race

Racing up Pikes Peak in June seemed like a lifetime ago to the Cummins crew making final preparations on the red truck called “El Tropico” earlier this month for the Baja endurance race beginning this week.

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of articles about Valvoline and Cummins' attempt to compete at the 49th SCORE Baja 1000 in November 2016. Read the other articles here

They were busy as ever, working on the wiring, the gears, a bull bar to protect the grille and undercarriage and much, much more. And now they were racing the clock, because the truck was scheduled to be shipped to Mexico in just a few days.

El Tropico was the first truck Valvoline and Cummins worked on preparing for the 49th annual SCORE Baja 1000, starting and ending in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, with festivities beginning Wednesday (Nov. 16) and the racing starting Thursday (Nov. 17). The team planned to use what it learned after testing El Tropico at Pikes Peak, Colorado (U.S.A) and other locations to get its blue truck, called “El Arctico,” ready to race first.

 

Now El Arctico was complete and on display at SEMA, an automotive specialty products trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada (U.S.A), before heading to Mexico. Many of the lessons learned, however, still had to be completed on El Tropico. And completing the entire punch list on the red truck before it was shipped out was proving to be a challenge.

“It’s the same reason it’s faster to build a new house versus remodel an older home,” said Roger England, co-driver for El Tropico and Director – Materials Science & Technology at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.). “You have to figure out what you are going to keep and what you are going to tear out and that takes time.”

Valvoline, celebrating its 150th anniversary as one of the world’s foremost producers of motor oils, is entering two 1989 Dodge Short Bed Regular Cab trucks in the Baja race in part to mark the extensive research and development history between the two companies. Cummins is the lead partner on Team Valvoline, providing two 2003 vintage ISB 5.9 diesel engines for the trucks.

Team members are hoping to learn more about how their respective products handle the stress inherent in endurance racing while providing employees with a chance to develop and test their own hands-on automotive skills.

cummins-valvoline-baja-truck-prep Crew members spent hours getting the red Team Valvoline truck, “El Tropico,” ready for the Baja endurance race later this month.

 

 

As the hours counted down, England found himself joining the crew working on the red truck in a large garage at the Tech Center whenever he didn’t absolutely have to be in a meeting for his regular job. About seven employees from Cummins worked on El Tropico during this final push, three or four on the truck and the rest building parts in the Machining Lab.

England also tried to learn more about driving at Baja. Neither he nor co-driver Aaron Quinton, Chief Engineer for the Cummins G Series Engines, have driven at Baja although they both have extensive racing experience. They will take turns driving El Tropico over the roughly 36 hours of the race.

The blue truck, El Arctico, will be driven by Valvoline-sponsored professional drift drivers Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck.

“We go until we’re done,” said England, who donated his own truck as one of the chase vehicles for the race. “There are no time-outs. No yellow flags. Not even a potty break.”

The team will drive through sand, over rocks, and over and around mountains. One driver who has done the race told England to imagine driving off-road from Kentucky to Florida.

But before anybody could be driving anywhere, the truck had to be finished. Last minute tasks included re-enforcing the axles, improving the gears and upgrading the wiring to withstand the harsh conditions of the race. The team was also filling a 16-foot long trailer with spare parts for the race.

“I can’t say enough about the dedication of our crew,” England said. “These guys have worked crazy long days and weekends to get this truck ready and their dedication has just been incredible.”

England said it’s been especially rewarding to see crew members who haven’t had a lot of experience working on racing engines crawl around the truck, figuring out what needs to be done. He believes the knowledge they gain will make them more effective in their regular jobs.

But it was hard to think about anything but whether they would finish on time. Here’s the answer:

cummins-valvoline-baja-truck-load

 

The hauler was loaded up and hit the road Saturday, Nov. 5, and was in San Diego by Monday (Nov. 7) before heading south into Mexico.

Asked if he has any second thoughts about the project given all the hard work necessary to get the trucks ready, England smiled and said he had only one.

“I don’t know why I didn’t get involved in a project like this much earlier,” he said. “It’s been a blast.”

Come back to The Block to see more stories on the Baja project, including this story on the project’s test run at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

 

Employee drives Meal Train to feed health care workers on the front lines

The Meal Train's food and desserts have been a big hit among frontline healthcare workers in Columbus, Indiana.
The Meal Train's food and desserts have been a big hit among frontline healthcare workers in Columbus, Indiana.

Healthcare workers have been on the frontlines since COVID-19 first arrived. Cummins Tax Accountant and former Columbus Regional Health (CRH) employee Courtney Imlay knows better than most what they have been enduring during this pandemic and felt compelled to help. 

Imlay had been thinking and praying for guidance to make an impact in her home community of Columbus, Indiana, and help her former colleagues at Columbus Regional Hospital. Her prayers were answered when she heard about a Meal Train taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

"I heard on the news an individual in Indianapolis had created a Meal Train to provide meals for essential employees at the hospitals in Indianapolis,” Imlay said. “I thought that’s it! I could create one to provide meals for essential employees at Columbus Regional Hospital in the critical needs departments."

Meal Train is a crowd sourcing platform based in Burlington, Vermont, that was created in 2010 after a couple organized meals to support a neighborhood family that had a baby. The site allows community members to sign up to pay for meals from community restaurants that are then delivered to recipients and is now used by people around-the-world.  

PUTTING THE TRAIN INTO MOTION

As a former CRH employee, Imlay knew who she needed to contact to make the Meal Train happen and reached out to the CRH Director of Volunteer Services to get everything going.

“After connecting with Rebekah (Walsh) to make sure everything was good at CRH, I posted about the Meal Train on my personal Facebook page, reached out to churches in the community and asked them to post on their social media, and asked CRH to share on their social media.” 

The response by the community was immediate; several individuals, families and small groups signed up to fill the available meal slots. Additionally, several people donated money toward the effort. The response allowed the Meal Train to go beyond frontline workers at CRH and extend to two clinics in the area, PromtMed COVID Clinic and the Family and Internal Medicine COVID Clinic. 

Imlay's Meal Train provided lunch and dinner for 30 individuals at CRH, lunch for 18 employees at PromptMed COVID Clinic, and lunch for 18 employees at the Family and Internal Medicine COVID Clinic. 

“We were able to provide meals for an entire two weeks leading up to the hospital opening back up on May 4,” Imlay said. “On May 4, when the hospital opened back up allowing procedures to happen, we had 500 ice cream sundaes delivered to CRH and 18 delivered to each COVID clinic by Dairy Queen, as a welcome back and to thank the workers for everything they have done during this pandemic.” 

SIMPLE ACTS OF KINDNESS

Imlay doesn’t have any additional Meal Train meals planned, however, she has continued to help during the pandemic by cutting out fabric to make masks and grocery shopping for family members at high risk for the virus. She also has some advice for others looking to help but who don’t know how.

“Simple acts of kindness can go a long way,” Imlay said. “There are so many ways you can give back even from your home, whether that be cutting out fabric for homemade masks, sewing homemade masks, buying groceries for the elderly, making cards to send to nursing homes or shut-ins, etc. Simply sharing a smile with someone will go a long way.” 
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Creating a more diverse and inclusive society

SCOTUS

The following was authored by Marya Rose, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Cummins Inc. 

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two rulings that mark positive steps in shared efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive society.

On Monday (June 15, 2020), the Court ruled that the key federal law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace also protects gay, lesbian or transgender employees from being disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation. We are heartened that the Court ruled to make it clear that this kind of discrimination is illegal, and we will continue to advocate vigorously for the rights of our LGBTQ+ employees and their families.

Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that the Trump Administration sought to rescind in 2017.

The ruling protects more than 800,000 people, who were brought to the U.S. as children, often referred to as Dreamers, and have largely resided here for decades. Dreamers, including many of our Cummins colleagues, have built careers, raised families and contributed to U.S companies, universities and communities. They are as American as any of us and deserve to continue to live and thrive in the U.S. and this important ruling protects them from being deported.

The rulings are encouraging, but there is still much to do on both fronts.

Our immigration system in the U.S. is broken, and we need more systemic change to make it fairer. We need to be able to hire and place the most talented workers in the world where we need them if we are to continue to compete globally. And we need to continue to advocate for equal protection for all LGBTQ+ persons.

Dreamers and the LGBTQ+ community are our colleagues, our friends and our neighbors. This week, our nation’s highest court took two important steps to acknowledge that everyone deserves respect and equality.

Our country continues to face many other challenges when it comes to diversity and inclusion. At Cummins, we are committed to being an agent of positive change, whether it is in the workplace, in the community or across all levels of our government, and I encourage all of you to do the same.

Marya Rose
Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
Cummins Inc. 

Marya Rose - Cummins Inc.

Marya Rose

Marya Rose is the Chief Administrative Officer of Cummins Inc., reporting to the CEO. She is responsible for eight global functions including communications, marketing, government relations, compliance, facilities, security, corporate responsibility and Cummins’ global shared services organization; managing a budget of approximately $685M and more than 2000 employees. Rose sits on the senior leadership team at the Company.

Rose was named CAO in 2011, after serving as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for ten years.

Sharon Barner: "I am black. I am a mother."

Sharon Barner - Cummins Inc.

The following originally appeared in the June 19, 2020 edition of The Indianapolis Recorder. It was authored by Sharon Barner, Vice President and General Counsel, Cummins Inc. 

Sharon Barner - Indianapolis Recorder
"Speak up. Speak out. Take action. Vote." Click on the image to view the ad.

We see our sons and daughters in George Floyd, Dreasjon Reed, Breonna Taylor and so many others. On the other side of our sorrow, anger and despair, we dig deep to unleash our unrelenting commitment to fight injustice, tell our stories and build allies. 

I know it's not fair. I know we are tired. But we cannot give up. Our lives and our children's lives depend on us. In the spirit of our ancestors, we must be undaunted and undeterred in our efforts to undo systemic racism. 

Speak up. Speak out. Take action. Vote! 

#BlackWomenInCharge | #WeWillNotBreak

Sharon Barner
Vice President and General Counsel
Cummins Inc. 

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Sharorn Barner - Cummins Inc.

Sharon Barner

Sharon Barner is Vice President and General Counsel for Cummins Inc., where she is responsible for worldwide legal matters and oversees a team of lawyers, paralegals and other professionals. With more than 30 years of experience in the legal profession,

Sharon primarily specializes in intellectual property law. Prior to joining Cummins, she served as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). During the two years she spent in that role, Sharon led 15 foreign missions to meet with government representatives, as well as leaders in academia and industry to raise awareness about the impact of intellectual property on business and innovation.

Kamloops branch supports meals for truckers

on highway truck

The Cummins Sales and Service Kamloops branch recently sponsored truck driver meals from a local food truck, Cookshack Cravings, as part of the Meals for Truckers initiative at Chevron Cardlock in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.Food truck to feed truckers

Meals for Truckers exists to ensure meals and facilities are available for truckers across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. Deemed essential service providers, truck drivers are working hard to deliver everything needed – food, medicine, medical supplies. At the same time, many restaurants have been closed, leaving drivers with limited access to food and restrooms. This program was established by a group of British Columbia business owners and the trucking industry. For the meals, the program also mobilizes the food truck industry, supporting an industry severely impacted by reduced revenues.

employees helping feed truckers"Kamloops employees jumped at the opportunity to show support for truckers who have been working hard to maintain critical supplies in our communities during the pandemic,” said Ehtisham Anwer, General Manager of the Kamloops branch. “The truckers were very thankful of our generosity and were excited to know about Cummins’ new state-of-the-art service centre in Kamloops."

Cookshack Cravings also thanked Cummins Kamloops for its sponsorship. 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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