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.

How we’re staying on the cutting edge of refuse truck technology

Mantis Improvements: Hose Track Enclosure and Simpler Windscreen

Dadee Manufacturing has always strived to engineer safe and reliable solutions for our customers’ needs. Our design process begins by clearly defining goals and objectives. The next step is conducting extensive market research, and specifying product requirements. The engineering team considers all the possible solutions, and after an intensive analysis determines the optimal solution. Our key factors when considering a viable solution are:

Customer Feedback | Safety and Simplicity of Design

A design review is then held by the project lead to present the design and a development plan, including testing, prototyping, and applying the solution to new trucks. Once the solution is approved, the development plan is put into action. Here are two recent innovations developed through our design process:

  • We changed the hydraulic valves on the arm and packer of the Scorpion Side Loader, using a new expansion module for safer and more reliable electronic operations for trucks with dual grip/LST controls.
  • On the Mantis, we redesigned the hopper top and windscreens to accommodate larger containers, which helps increase the scope of the truck route, and we redesigned the hose track to safeguard the hydraulic equipment. The improved windscreen design allows for one bolt on weldment versus the previous three bolt on weldments featured on the Mantis AFL for ease of installation, and repair.
Mantis Self Cleaning Packer Blade

Of these innovations, the packer and arm valve are the backbone of the hydraulic system employed in the automated side loader (ASL). The new valves have the increased capacity to handle the various functions of the truck body more efficiently and effectively, and safeguard the entire hydraulic system. They have proven to significantly reduce the number of hydraulic component failures, and increase the lifespan of all associated components in our hydraulic system.

Scorpion Self-Cleaning Packer Blade

We strive to continuously improve our products by developing solutions to problems and concerns our customers face.

All the innovations we make at Dadee Manufacturing are customer focused, and meant to improve the safety and efficiency of truck operators and mechanics. In fact, we have set an industry standard for safety and efficiency by designing a self-cleaning hopper (patented technology), and modifying the shape of the refuse body—our tapered body shape makes garbage disposal a faster process. Our competition is still trying to catch up!

We’ll bring your finished truck to you anywhere in the country.

Several times a month, Dadee Manufacturing delivers units all over the country, and sends out service trucks in Arizona to take care of routine maintenance items for our customers. Unlike many manufacturers, we offer full-service truck delivery from our facility to your door. When you order a truck from us, we will be the ones to contact you and schedule delivery when your unit is ready, we’ll handle cost comparison for transport, and we only work with fully insured, fully vetted transporters. Our delivery service is prompt and timely, and we’ll check in with you once your truck has arrived to make sure you’re satisfied.

Our Quality Control and Systems Check processes ensure you receive a flawless product

Before we deliver a truck, however, we go through a lot of steps to make sure it’s ready to leave our facility. When a unit comes off the assembly line, it enters the Quality Control and Systems Check process, during which the QC team runs upwards of 80 cycles to ensure the unit is operating correctly. After the QC inspection, the unit undergoes the Sales Department’s final inspection, and the customer’s bid specifications and order are verified. Only then is the customer contacted to schedule delivery.

The transporters we partner with are fully insured, experienced, and reliable. When a unit is delivered, a Bill of Lading is always signed and confirmed by the transporter. As another means of follow-through, we also conduct a post-delivery inspection.

“We know we have the best piece of equipment we could buy”

There are challenges in transporting a CNG unit across the country. Because fueling stations for CNG vehicles aren’t readily available, we must make sure a mobile CNG is always available. Once, when transporting a truck across Louisiana, a driver encountered a severe rainstorm. When the customer opened the unit’s tailgate, water came rushing out. The customer remarked that because the tailgate seal was so tight, and it held that much water, “we know we have the best piece of equipment we could buy!”

How to keep your unit safe and reliable with preventive maintenance

At Dadee Manufacturing, we emphasize and specialize in preventive maintenance as a means of prolonging the life of your unit, and ensuring its safety and efficiency. Each month we’re going to share an important tip for getting the most from your equipment, its systems, and components. Many of these precautions and recommendations are simple checks you can do in just a few minutes. They are certainly items we’ll inspect and address when we service your unit, whether in-house or onsite.

So, with no further ado, here’s Safety & Maintenance Tip #1

Proper torqueing of bolts is paramount to ensuring the longevity of vehicle components. All bolts on the units should be checked during Pre-Trip Inspection.

To tighten a loose bolt, set your torque wrench to the specified torque, and choose an appropriate-size socket to fit the fastener you are working with. Install it on the torque wrench. Snap the socket onto the square drive of the torque wrench just like you would on a ratchet. Place the socket and torque wrench on the fastener and tighten the bolt, holding the torque wrench by the handle at the end of the wrench. Rotate the torque wrench slowly and smoothly, continuing until the wrench clicks. The click indicates you’ve reached the desired torque. Do not tighten beyond this point or damage could occur.

For more information on proper torqueing, or any other checks to make during a Pre-Trip Inspection, please contact us.

Let us help you get the most from your CNG fleet vehicles

Powering vehicles with compressed natural gas (CNG) has benefited fleets around the world for decades. According to NGVAmerica, the industry trade association, natural gas vehicles (NGVs) can produce significantly lower amounts of emissions and reduce operating costs up to 50% compared to vehicles fueled with conventional diesel and gasoline. CNG-powered fleets also help to lessen the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

But while the benefits of CNG vehicles are well-documented, one issue has loomed over the industry… what happens when a CNG vehicle fuel tank reaches its expiration date? If the tank is still operable and undamaged, can it be recertified, rather than disposing of a working tank, and possibly a vehicle?

A little background…

The NGV industry created CNG cylinder certification standards in the 1990s, setting a 15-year lifespan on cylinders, and implementing a “do not user after” date labeling requirement. Subsequent revisions extended the allowable cylinder life certification to 20 years in 1998, and then 25 years in 2007, but once expired, that was it for the tank. Traditionally, tanks could not be recertified after reaching their expiration dates, and had to be taken out of service. That left vehicle owners two options: retire the vehicle or replace the CNG cylinder.

For years, CNG industry experts have explored options for possible CNG tank recertification. Now, as recertification becomes possible, thousands of well-performing fleet vehicles that may have been forced into retirement can stay on the job with a proper inspection and recertification.

So, what should you do when your CNG tank is set to expire?

Dadee Manufacturing strives to stay on the cutting edge of advancements in NGV and CNG industry. We now offer CNG inspection and recertification, and we are kicking off this program with a bang!

Only $650 for the service!

We have a certified staff on hand to take care of CNG inspections and recertification, and get the job done in a timely manner for our customers.

Get to know a little more about our parts department

Dadee Manufacturing’s parts department is integral to our flow and ability to meet our customers’ needs. Currently, we have eight people in the parts department working together to pull parts for the weld department, service department, assembly department, and our external customer base. It takes excellent communication and focus to ensure everyone’s parts requirements are met in a precise and timely manner.

Luckily, working together as a team is one of the things our parts department does best. Jacque Wilson, Parts Department Manager, recalls the weekend everyone in the department united and counted the entire parts department in one day. (No small feat!) Everyone put their best foot forward, staying focused on the task at hand and working together to clean and count.

Working as a team for the benefit of our customers

Dadee’s parts department is unique because we have internal customers—the other departments in our company—as well as external customers—the municipalities who own and operate equipment in the field. The knowledge and experience our parts department receives from our internal customers helps us to professionally engage and help our external customers. What the parts department learns from the manufacturing side, weld, service, and assembly enables us to help the municipalities keep their equipment up and running.

On that note, the parts department would like to thank all the other departments of Dadee Manufacturing for their support, as well as our external customers who drive us to be the very best.

How we’re minimizing waste by going lean

Are you familiar with lean manufacturing? Lean is a method of working that is simple, straightforward, flexible, struggle-free, and—if executed properly—waste-free. It’s what we’re striving for at Dadee Manufacturing. With lean, we do our best to eliminate things like waiting, over-producing, creating excess inventory, transporting, and other common issues that create waste, whether waste of time, effort, or product.Are you familiar with lean manufacturing? Lean is a method of working that is simple, straightforward, flexible, struggle-free, and—if executed properly—waste-free. It’s what we’re striving for at Dadee Manufacturing. With lean, we do our best to eliminate things like waiting, over-producing, creating excess inventory, transporting, and other common issues that create waste, whether waste of time, effort, or product.

Beyond simply being waste-free, lean is a methodology that puts the customer first. For example, one of our lean program’s early goals is to find ways to meet our customers’ delivery expectations without using overtime. Lean also works to eliminate all defects, so the customer is never impacted by poor quality.

Dadee has several lean initiatives going on right now, including:

  • We have been conducting 5S Kaizens—a system of continual improvement—to eliminate everything from our work areas except the tools necessary to do our jobs. The items that remain we organize, label, and move as close as possible to the location where they are needed, called the point of use (POU). For example, we’re creating shadow boards for our tools that employees can wheel to the POU, rather than making countless trips to and from their toolboxes.
  • We’re also reorganizing our assembly area to achieve flow. By flow, we mean a logical progression of raw material through finished goods. In that progression, we try to make our processes as linear as possible, and not hopscotch around the assembly area.
  • Finally, we’re trying to change our culture from one in which we expect others to catch our mistakes to one in which we all feel accountable for our own work and empowered to take the appropriate corrective action.

Our goal with lean manufacturing is to better satisfy our customers. We are trying to understand the root cause of our defects, and we are working to correct those causes. In some cases, a cause tracks all the way back to how we sell a product. We are correcting those causes too, and not just those that occur in the way we assemble or weld our products.

By reducing defects, streamlining our processes, and eliminating time-wasting activities, we can more effectively deliver the product our customers want at the time they want it.