In NASCAR, this Job is Never Truly Done, but the Hauler Driver can Always Count on Cummins

The hauler containing Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford depends on a Cummins engine to get the NASCAR team to its next race.
The hauler containing Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford depends on a Cummins engine to get the NASCAR team to its next race.

When Bill “Stump” Lewis pulls the hauler containing Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford into the next track on the NASCAR circuit, he knows there’s a pretty good chance he’ll never see the actual race. 

Lewis is usually busy packing the Cummins powered tractor-trailer during a race to get back on the road as quickly as possible after the checkered flag falls.

Every second counts, both on and off the track, for Bowyer’s team, which has been sponsored in part by Cummins during the 2018 and 2019 racing seasons. It’s just part of the job, says Lewis, who has been doing this kind of work for more than 20 years. 

“Sometimes I don’t even know who won the race,” he said with a laugh, taking a short break from his duties for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan (USA).

It’s OK, the affable Lewis says, driving the truck is still one of his favorite parts of the job.

FIRST IN, LAST OUT

Hauler drivers are typically the first to arrive at a track for a NASCAR team and often the last to leave. Some say they have the toughest job on the circuit and that’s easy to understand listening to Lewis describe his typical week during the season.

It starts at the SHR garage in Kannapolis, North Carolina (USA), where Lewis gets everything loaded into the hauler – including two cars, nearly enough parts to build another, tools of all sort, and the electronic equipment used to evaluate a car’s performance on the track. Lewis is even in charge of the snacks served in the team break room inside the hauler – which usually means he makes a trip to the grocery store before leaving town.

By the time the hauler hits the road, it’s filled either at or near the legal limit – 80,000 pounds. When he gets to the track, Lewis’ work is just beginning. He gets everything out and positioned, so the crew can get right to work the minute they arrive on site. Even at 66, Lewis can run circles around many of his younger peers on the NASCAR circuit.

Rendering of Cummins car for key races
For select races during the 2018 racing season, the Cummins logo appeared on the hood of Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford for Stewart-Haas racing.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HAULER

It’s a tough job, agrees Gary “Bear” Geissman, who is the fleet manager for SHR and has been involved in the racing transportation business in various capacities for some 40 years. He oversees all of the team’s haulers and 16 to 18 drivers. Sometimes more than one driver is needed if a trip takes more than the legal time limit before a driver must rest.

The SHR team’s haulers are usually on the road for more than 220 days a year, each covering about 70,000 miles annually, crisscrossing the United States under all kinds of driving conditions. There are seldom any “empty miles” that other truck drivers experience heading home after a delivery.

Keeping the haulers clean and in top condition is paramount. First, they each carry about $1.5 million worth of equipment, Geissman said. If that weren’t enough, the haulers amount to rolling billboards for teams and their partners. 

In certain locations, the haulers even have their own rabid fans. After NASCAR’s stop at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York, Lewis said people were lined up for miles on the sides of the road to see the haulers head south into Pennsylvania.

Photo of the Stewart Haas Hauler in Bristol
The Stewart-Haas hauler at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee (USA) earlier this year.

THE CUMMINS DIFFERENCE

Nobody wants to get stuck by the side of the road, the drivers of a stock car hauler perhaps least of all. They know a race has never been delayed or cancelled because someone’s hauler had engine trouble getting to the track.

Lewis says torque and dependability are key to getting his job done and Bowyer’s hauler has had a 600-horsepower heavy duty Cummins engine for about three years. 

“We are at maximum load with our trucks,” said Geissman, who’s worked with Cummins engines for most of his career. “With a Cummins engine we get the power we need to pull all of our equipment. We can get up to and stay at the speed limit, and our Cummins engines are really good on fuel, too. ”

Hauler drivers have enough to worry about. They shouldn’t have to worry about their engines, too. 
 

The Cummins’ name debuted on the No. 14 Ford of driver Clint Bowyer at the Aug. 18, 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. To follow Bowyer’s efforts, check out the Stewart-Haas Racing website or follow the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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]

 

Cummins named a “Culture Champion,” praised for diversity efforts

Cummins' efforts at establishing a culture of diversity and inclusion were highly ranked in the new study.
Cummins' efforts at establishing a culture of diversity and inclusion were highly ranked in the new study.

A partnership between a leading university and one of the world’s largest job and recruiting websites has named Cummins a “Culture Champion,” ranking the company first in its review for employers promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston (U.S.) and Glassdoor also found Cummins ranked No. 7 for a culture of integrity, where employees “consistently act in an honest and ethical manner,” and No. 18 for a culture of respect, where employees “demonstrate consideration and courtesy for others.”

The Culture 500 study looked at more than 500 employers loosely overlapping the Fortune 500. Just 21 were named “Culture Champions,” representing “the very strongest cultures of large American employers.” MIT researchers analyzed over 1 million employee reviews on Glassdoor, using a groundbreaking artificial intelligence tool developed by an MIT-born company to make sense of employees’ words over nine key cultural values. 

Using this approach, researchers could measure how positively and frequently employees in different companies discussed cultural values, enabling comparisons between the different employers.

CUMMINS DELIVERS ON DIVERSITY

Culture Champion Logo"At a time when many large American employers are struggling to deliver on these values, employees speak about Cummins’ diverse culture 3.2 standard deviations more positively than the average company in the Culture 500," say the study’s authors, Donald Sull, Charles Sull and Andrew Chamberlain.

While pleased by the findings, Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger says there is more the company can do to create a successful work culture.

“Cummins has been working on diversity and inclusion for many years and it’s ingrained in our corporate values and culture,” Linebarger said, addressing the company’s top ranking in the study. “We have done, I think, some really good things. But there is still much more that we can do and we’re taking aggressive steps to get there. We know that a diversity of people, working styles and ideas is critical to our company’s success.”
 

The study by the MIT Sloan Management Review focused on the values of agility, collaboration, diversity, execution, innovation, integrity, performance and respect.

“A growing body of research by financial economists has shown that a good corporate culture is correlated with high profitability and returns to shareholders,” the study says. “Companies listed among the best places to work based on their corporate culture, for example, delivered nearly 20% higher returns to shareholders than comparable companies over a five-year period.”

AN EMPHASIS ON VALUES

Noting that a separate study identified more than 60 distinct values that companies listed in their corporate values statements, the authors said measuring across dozens of values would be overwhelming. So, they narrowed their list down to nine values they said are cited most frequently in creating great corporate cultures, which they call “the Big Nine.” 

“Culture is often about tradeoffs,” said Donald Sull, the Lead Researcher for the project and a Senior Lecturer at MIT. “But Culture Champions buck this trend, excelling across multiple cultural dimensions at once. They win medals in multiple sports.”

Cummins puts a major emphasis on corporate culture, identifying five key corporate values: integrity, diversity and inclusion, caring, excellence and teamwork. The company has an extensive diversity and inclusion program, including employee resource groups, special conferences for employees from under-represented demographic groups and targeted recruiting initiatives to bring diverse people into the company.

The company’s Ethics and Compliance team also strives to create a just and ethical workplace, the target of Cummins’ Treatment of Each Other at Work policy and training. The company was named in 2020 one of the  World’s Most Ethical Companies for a 13th consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute, a leader in advancing ethical business practices.

Other companies designated Culture Champions in the MIT-Glassdoor study range from institutional investor BlackRock to media provider Netflix and Trader Joe’s grocery stores.
 

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]

 

Company honored for initiatives on the environment, veterans and creating a great place to work

Cummins' Columbus Engine Plant was honored by Indiana's governor for its continuous improvement on the environment.
Cummins' Columbus Engine Plant was honored by Indiana's governor for its continuous improvement on the environment.

Cummins has been recognized for its efforts on the environment, providing opportunities for veterans and creating a great place to work from a trio of organizations.

The company's historic Columbus Engine Plant (CEP) was recognized by Indiana (U.S.) Gov. Eric Holcomb for a range of initiatives to save energy, conserve water and reduce waste. The company was also named a 2021 Military Friendly Employer® for providing opportunities to veterans and their spouses. Finally, Forbes and Statista named Cummins to its 2nd Annual America’s Best Employers by State list for Indiana.

GOVERNOR’S ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD

CEP was one of six Indiana organizations and government agencies honored for its work on the environment as part of the governor’s annual awards for environmental excellence.

“By using innovative environmental practices, they have reduced waste, saved money, and contributed greatly to environmental protection efforts for Hoosiers,” Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Bruno Pigott said of the honorees.

The Cummins plant was specifically recognized for five years of continuous environmental improvement, including an upgrade to more energy efficient LED lighting in 2017, an energy-saving manufacturing controls project started that same year enabling CEP to convert a continuously running coolant system to on-demand service, and engine test cell improvements saving 3.4 million gallons of water per year in the system to cool engines undergoing testing.

CEP also achieved Zero Disposal status under Cummins’ environmental management program, and the plant's popular Community Recycling Day for residents in the company’s headquarters city of Columbus diverted some 740,000 pounds of material from reaching area landfills.

“To have a successful environmental management system, it takes every department, every team and every individual working together to create change,” said David Wehrkamp, CEP’s Environmental Supervisor. “This recognition is the result of their hard work and dedication.”

MILITARY FRIENDLY EMPLOYER

Military Friendly employer logoCummins was also one of 240 employers recently named to the 2021 Military Friendly Employers list for its work in the U.S. to create opportunities for veterans and their spouses both through employment and supplier initiatives. 

“Companies that have earned this designation have invested in substantive programs to recruit, retain and advance veterans within their organizations,” said Josh Rosen, who leads the organization that puts the list together. “To them, hiring veterans isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s good for business.” 

Employers are evaluated using public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Established in 2003, the Military Friendly Employers list provides a comprehensive guide to veterans and their families. In addition to Cummins employment efforts for veterans, the company has a very active employee resource group dedicated to veterans and veterans are also included in Cummins’ supplier diversity initiatives.

The recognition as a Military Friendly Employer follows the company’s designation in July as a Top-Scoring Company on the 2020 Disability Equality Index, a national benchmarking tool that offers business an opportunity to evaluate their disability inclusion policies and practices. Companies scoring 80% or higher are recognized as “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” 

BEST EMPLOYERS BY STATE 2021

Finally, Cummins was named to the 2nd annual list of America’s Best Employers by State 2021 for the company’s headquarters state of Indiana.

The list is prepared by Forbes magazine and Statista, which specializes in consumer and market data. It is based on an independent survey of more than 80,000 U.S. employees working for companies employing at least 500 people in their U.S. operations. The surveys were administered using a series of online panels selected to get a representative sample.

Cummins is one of 80 top employers on the list for the state, ranking only behind Salesforce in Indiana. Other highly ranked employers include Eli Lilly and Company (third) and the Indiana University School of Medicine (fourth).  
 

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]

 

Cummins named a Top-Scoring Company on the 2020 Disability Equality Index

Cummins has been named a Top-Scoring Company on the 2020 Disability Equality Index® (DEI), a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to self-report their disability inclusion policies and practices. Companies that score 80% or higher are recognized as “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” Cummins scored 80% on this year’s index.

Cummins has been named a Top-Scoring Company on the 2020 Disability Equality Index® (DEI)

“I’m so pleased to see Cummins’ progress on the DEI,” said Mark Smith, Vice President – CFO  and the Executive Sponsor of the company’s disability inclusion initiative.  “Last year, we participated in this survey for the first time and found that we had a good deal of work to do to ensure we’re creating an environment that enables people with disabilities.  I’m extremely proud of all that has been accomplished over the last several months.”

From 2019 to 2020, the Cummins Disability Inclusion initiative, led by Dennis Heathfield, made great strides in the following DEI survey categories:

  • Internal and external communications 
  • Leadership engagement
  • Employee Resource Group network and alignment
  • Recruiting practices
  • Facilities accessibility

Going forward, the work will be focused on improving technology and web accessibility, designing and implementing a global workplace adjustments system, and supporting site-specific disability inclusion efforts.

The Disability Equality Index is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN. It was first launched in 2015 and is acknowledged today as the most comprehensive disability inclusion assessment tool designed and embraced by both business leaders and disability advocates. This year, 247 corporations used the DEI to benchmark their disability inclusion efforts.

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.

High tech tools enable Cummins to safely support customers amid pandemic

Cummins Sales and Service technicians can work collaboratively with experts many miles away using RemoteConnect.
Cummins Sales and Service technicians can work collaboratively with experts many miles away using RemoteConnect.

A suite of high-tech tools called RemoteConnect is enabling Cummins to support customers while maintaining social distancing and travel restrictions implemented during the COVID-19 crisis.

The tools, which allow experts to remotely see what technicians see in the field, were created by the Cummins Care team in 2017, prior to the COVID-19 crisis, to support customers in hard-to-reach locations. Now, with travel discouraged to prevent the spread of the virus, the use of RemoteConnect has increased dramatically, making the tools more important than ever. 

“RemoteConnect was created to be an alternative solution when a Cummins subject matter expert cannot be onsite,” said Cummins Care Manager Joe Brooks, who has been leading the initiative since 2017. “This has quickly turned into the only solution to service our customers in certain situations due to COVID-19. RemoteConnect has been a real game-changer during these unprecedented times.”

HOW THE TOOLS WORK

The suite of tools comes in a kit that looks something like a suitcase and includes safety glasses equipped with a tiny camera that technicians can use to work collaboratively with company experts known as “CFSEs” to diagnose and fix problems. CFSEs can literally see what the technician sees even if they are many miles away.

RemoteConnect quickly demonstrated its ability to improve repair quality while reducing misdiagnosis, un-recoverable labor expenses and most importantly, customer pain and suffering. The kits have been placed in more than 140 Cummins locations, primarily in the U.S. and Canada but Cummins Care is working to deploy them elsewhere, too.

Before COVID-19, CFSEs spent a significant time on the road, working with Cummins technicians at a particular Cummins Sales and Service location to collaborate on difficult service work. In addition, they would also collaborate with technicians via RemoteConnect. 

When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, suddenly a simple flight, train, or even a car ride to service a customer was no longer a routine option. Many CFSEs discovered RemoteConnect was the next best thing to being there.

IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS

While the safety glasses equipped with cameras to live stream two-way audio and visual communication has perhaps the biggest wow factor, the kits also include:

•    LogMeIn Rescue: A tool providing the CFSE the ability to remotely collaborate with onsite technicians by taking control of their desktops.
•    Network Bridge: A tool allowing CFSEs working remotely to connect to an engine’s electronic control module (ECM), which is the command center on an engine controlling its operation.

As of April, over 5,402 remote support cases had been completed since November of 2018, including 621 that would have required travel, and 3,488 days of downtime were saved. The kit was used 166 times just between February and April.

Brooks and others at Cummins expect those numbers will go up in the days and months ahead. RemoteConnect is just another way Cummins puts technology and innovation to work for its customers. 
 

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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