Blog

Blog

Let’s be friends—Connect with Dadee on social media!

Everyone is on social media these days (hi Grandma!), including us here at Dadee Manufacturing—we can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, and YouTube. By following us on social media, you’ll be kept up to date on new truck orders, company events, new product launches, trade show information, and more. For years, we have been posting photos of customer and dealer units we are producing, including the Scorpion, Mantis, and Scorpion FE, so anyone interested can see their progress.

With social media, we communicate with customers all over the country.

Dadee Manufacturing is based in Arizona, but we have units all over the country, and we’re continuing to grow. Social media is a great way for us to stay in touch with our extended (and extending) family. For customers who can’t visit our facility while their units are being built, we’ll tag you on Twitter and/or LinkedIn, so you can view a photo of your product before it’s delivered to you. In addition, we frequently use our Facebook page to let friends know when we’re going to be at a trade show or SWANA event.

Connecting with our customers on social media is also fun for all our employees because we can see the units we are producing, and where they go when they leave our facility. Some people say social media isn’t very personal, but we think it makes our jobs more personal.

Please click on the links below to connect with us social media.

Learn about our exciting new BETA Test Program!

Dadee Manufacturing’s success is solely attributable to our customers, which means we always value our customers’ opinions. Our new BETA Test Program is designed to improve product performance and durability by providing us with customer feedback regarding prototype and design changes before a new product is issued to the market. Through more direct collaboration with our customers, we strive for the advancement of innovation, quality, and safety, while minimizing the likelihood of future service issues. The BETA Test Program can encompass a wide array of components, but the key to success will be the real-time feedback received from our customers.

How the BETA Test process works…

For each BETA Test Program, an engineering test plan will be developed by DaDee Manufacturing, and provided to the customer prior to program commencement. The test plan will include the scope, testing criteria, milestones, duration, and any other relevant additional information. Each test plan will be unique to both the items in question and the customer, but generally, customers will be asked to provide relevant data, photos, impressions, suggestions, and comments regarding the equipment they are testing.

How we plan to use the results…

As Dadee Manufacturing continues to grow, we’re making a greater investment in innovation through research and development. The BETA Test Program will prove to be invaluable in the design process because new products will be fully vetted in real world applications before they’re launched. Catching any potential issues early on in testing will, in turn, limit future problems that could arise. For customers “test-driving” new products, you will receive innovative products first with minimal exposure, and you’ll have the ability to give Dadee direct feedback on possible improvements.

For more information about becoming involved in the BETA Test Program, please contact us. Together, we can reduce maintenance and servicing costs, and build the best products for all our benefit.

Get to know our Welding Department!

Our Welding Department is comprised of 21 extremely talented welders who work together to build the safest refuse trucks in the world. Every day, they build quality parts for all our departments, including Production, Service, Warranty, and Sales, in addition to fabricating components for special projects happening in our facility. Given Dadee’s emphasis on safety, strength, and durability, it goes without saying, our welders use only the highest quality elements, and significant research and development go into every project we undertake.

Our welders are highly trained and qualified, offering weld fabrication and repair solutions that would stump less experienced welders. We’re consistently impressed by our welders’ work, and ability to make ideas a reality. To support our welding team, Dadee Manufacturing maintains an extensive machine shop with the tools to meet even the most difficult requests and requirements.

We’re a diverse group, and proud of it.

We’re also proud to have a very diverse group of welders, including men and women of all ages and backgrounds. This diversity is observed company-wide, and makes Dadee Manufacturing a far stronger and better organization. With individuals from all different backgrounds we believe we’re able to arrive at the best solutions and best products because we have a wide-range of talent and experience to draw from—everyone works together and brings a unique perspective to the table.

Meet Welding Department Manager, Jason Stalbird.

The Welding Department Manager, Jason Stalbird, had been in the welding industry for 15 years. He started at Dadee Manufacturing five years ago as a welder, quickly learned our product, and helped in every department. When he was offered the manager position, he gladly took it, and is proud to run such an integral division of our company.

Improving processes and products with Engineering Change Requests

Customer feedback is very valuable to us at Dadee Manufacturing, and has help us make many of our products better and stronger. In fact, Engineering Change Requests are often a direct response to comments we receive from our customers. An Engineering Change Request (ECR) is a formal procedure designed to control and document changes we make to our products and processes, ranging from modifications to a drawing or Bill of Material to updated work instructions or any miscellaneous documents controlled by the engineering team. An ECR can be initiated by anyone in the company and then the Engineering Department takes over.

The ECR Process…

The ECR process begins when an Engineering Change Request form is submitted to the Engineering Department. Once submitted, a committee composed of individuals from each department evaluates the merits of the ECR, and decides whether to move forward with the change. If the committee approves the change, the Engineering Departments makes the change and sends out an Engineering Change Notification (ECN), letting each department know that a change has been made and detailing the impact the change will have on their respective departments.

Here’s an ECR in action!

ECRs are important because they address many issues that impact customer service. For example, an ECR that fixes a manufacturing issue can point-blank improve a product, or an ECR that streamlines a process can cut down on lead time. A recent ECR resulted in bolster plates being added to arm stops on the Mantis body to reinforce the existing stops. The ECR was created based on customer feedback, a committee studied the issue, and then approved the change request to redesign the stops. Reinforced stops were designed and implemented through an ECN. Change is good!

If you’re experiencing an issue with your unit, or see where any aspect of its operation could be improved, please let us know. We welcome your comments! They truly serve as our inspiration and motivation.

Improve your Mantis unit with the hose track retrofit kit!

At Dadee Manufacturing, we’re always looking for ways to improve our products. By continuously revisiting, adjusting, and tweaking our designs, we’re able to keep existing units in operation for much longer, and performing better over time, not worse. The hose track system on Mantis units before October 2016 was such a hurdle we needed to overcome. While it was an improvement over the previous hose track design, which kept the sweep hoses out from inside the body, the opening on the side of the hopper where the track system traveled was susceptible to debris falling through, or even getting caught inside. Debris would sometimes cause the track to jam, and was generally problematic.

In October of 2016, we redesigned the sweep hose enclosure for the Mantis packer blade to remedy the situation. This latest improvement to the Mantis, dubbed the “hose track retrofit kit,” not only solves the problem described above, it puts the Mantis back on the market as the ultimate choice for frontload application. The hopper area is now completely sealed, and the sweep hoses are still located outside the body. The retrofit kit is offered to all our customers and dealers who have Mantis units in their fleets, and is highly recommended.

So far, so awesome!

The job to install the retrofit kit is quite extensive—between 40 to 50 hours of labor to remove the old track system and install the hose track retrofit kit, but don’t worry, we do everything here at Dadee. So far, we have completed one city of Sierra Vista unit, one city of Peoria unit, and two city of Scottsdale units. If you have a Mantis unit built before October of 2016, please contact us to receive the benefits of the hose track retrofit kit.

Regular grease service keeps units in peak performance!

Regular lubrication is critical to keeping units up and running at peak performance, and to avoid failures. We recommend lubrication a minimum of two times per week, and, for best results, to lube the packer every other day of operation. With the addition of equipment and personnel, Dadee now offers onsite lube service to supplement our recommended greasing process, procedures, and intervals. Based on our experience and your feedback, our goal is to develop comprehensive programs, including grease service, that effectively extends equipment life , reduces the cost of operation and in turn reduces the cost of repair.

Enlist a trained technician proficient in proper lubrication and inspection of Dadee products.

Proper grease service involves having a trained technician lubricate 47 points of the Scorpion ASL, or 34 points of the Mantis AFL, and perform an inspection of components that may need to be adjusted or replaced from normal wear. For example, your grease tech may adjust the arm roller bearings or the packer V-rollers, as both these adjustments improve operation and extend the life of the unit. The tech should also inspect the hydraulic system, checking cylinders, hoses, and fitting connections for leaks, as well as the pump for leaking seals and the level of oil in the tank. Then, it’s important to conduct a “function test,” operating the arm, body, and tailgate to ensure each is functioning safely and properly. The audible alarm should be tested during these functions as the tailgate opens or the body goes up.

We “love” to help you maintain your unit!

Routine grease service ensures you meet the recommended intervals of lubrication for your unit, and you’ll have documentation of these services being performed. You’ll have information on adjustments being made to reduce downtime, and you’ll proactively prevent failures caused by inadequate lubrication and adjustments. Ultimately, grease service reduces the overall cost of unit maintenance. Please contact us to learn more.

Check out our updated Scorpion and Mantis Manuals

Each month, we plan to discuss a safety-related topic in our newsletter. This month, we’re announcing updates to our Scorpion and Mantis manuals. It’s important for Dadee customers and dealers to have updated product manuals and current literature in maintaining and operating their units. As our trucks continue to evolve, components may change or be upgraded, and you will need to order those components in specific quantities. In an operational aspect, we want to ensure you can utilize your product in the highest capacity possible, while being as safe as possible.

Dadee Manufacturing strives to produce the safest products in the refuse industry

Our goal at Dadee Manufacturing is to produce and deliver the safest products in the refuse industry. One way we work to achieve this goal is by providing our customers with updated literature to explain how to operate units in the safest manner possible. We also aim to provide the most intuitive and resourceful manuals in the industry with part numbers, photos, procedures, diagrams, troubleshooting guides, and schematics all in one place. The Mantis product manual has recently been completely updated and revised, featuring new content on the hose track, hydraulic hoses and tubing, and new part numbers.

Access your updated unit manual

Dadee customers and dealers can access the updated Scorpion and Mantis manuals from our website. Click here to create an account. Moving forward, we plan to keep these manuals as up-to-date and current as possible by adding content regularly. We’re also asking customers and dealers who access the manuals to provide feedback, which we’ll incorporate into our updates. So, please let us know how we can improve our manuals in any way.

Exciting advances in our warranty claim process

In September, we announced our updated Warranty Guide, and new, easy-to-use warranty request submission form—you can now submit a warranty request through our website, thus significantly simplifying and streamlining the warranty process. (Please note you must be logged in as a customer or dealer to access the form.) Here’s more information on what to expect when using our online warranty request system.

We’ve made our warranty process simpler and easier

As part of our recent website update, we’ve not only published our 2017 Warranty Guide online, we’ve introduced Automated Warranty Claim Processing. Simply adding our Warranty Guide to our website puts the warranty process in writing, so dealers, customers, and we here at Dadee Manufacturing are all on the same page. With Automated Warranty Claim Processing, you can submit a claim on our website, providing pertinent information through the claim form, as well as easily uploading supporting documents or photos.

After you submit your claim form, you’ll receive an automatic reply, so you’ll know your claim has been received by the Warranty Department. Then, an RMA (Return Materials Authorization) number is sent via return email, for tracking purposes. Upon receipt of the returned part, a disposition is made, and your warranty claim will be processed as required. With these technological advancements, we’ll be able to handle warranty claims faster, more efficiently, and with less errors.

Meet our Service Department!

Dadee Manufacturing’s Service Department repairs all current Scorpion and Mantis trucks that are in service and experiencing issues. Our technicians are trained, qualified, and equipped to diagnose and fix units that customers cannot recover at their site, and we assist the Assembly Department with any need they may have when preparing new trucks for service or the dealership, from troubleshooting to fabrication. We also help to do all the retrofits for our Product Improvement Campaigns.

Get to know our team

The Service Department is led by Service Manager Bob Loers. Bob has been with Dadee Manufacturing for about three years, and has been charge of the Service Department for two months. Before coming to Dadee, Bob worked in waste management for 10 years, and was a mechanic in the Army for seven years. He also served our country in the National Guard for three years. In the Service Department, Bob is backed by Venus Howard (Service Writer), Erv Rowley (Quality Control), and our team of awesome technicians, Glenn, LT, Luis, Cory, Marcus, Joe, Stan, and Tim.

Visiting with an old “friend”

Right now, the Service Department is working on the VERY FIRST SCORPION ever built and put into service. The truck belongs to Arizona City Sanitation, and is our SC-ASLB-0100 #1 Unit#7039X. The unit has been up and running since May 18, 2009. With a little TLC, it should have many more great years ahead!

Recent process improvements at Dadee Manufacturing

At Dadee Manufacturing, we’re always looking for ways to improve our processes to better meet our customers’ needs. Currently, we’re implementing cycle time reduction on the body lines, point-of-use work stations for tooling, and safety training. All our continuing process improvements work to better the quality of our products, and the efficiency with which we can design and build units. We are also able to get new employees up to task faster. Here are a few examples, of specific improvements we’ve made:

Shadow Board
  • A ladder was in a precarious, hard-to-reach location surrounded by clutter. It was moved to one, central location, safely stored and secured with a chain.
  • We had shelves of randomly-stored boxes where you could not see the boxes’ contents, the boxes were not labeled, and boxes had been tilted to remove the contents. We cut vertical slots in each box, so the content is visible, and marked the contents on the outside of each box. Boxes were then stored sequentially by size, with excess stored on the top shelf.
  • We have created tool shadow boards with durability coating added to the boards, and each tool marked and labeled. Our shadow boards are showpieces in every sense of the word—a place for everything and everything in its place!
Labeled Boxes with Easy Access for Contents Inside

At Dadee Manufacturing, we look at every day as opportunity to improve a process or two—repetition, trial and error, and evolution go a long way toward identifying where we can make a task safer and/or more efficient. Our goal is to make routine improvement part of our company culture. Process improvement is not a fad, gimmick, or flavor-of-the-month club—it’s a way of work, and a way of life, to constantly drive our company to be a better version of itself each day.