by Nancy Ryerson
, Staff Writer | December 11, 2012
An S&A Operations tractor moving
a PET/CT Trailer. Courtesy of
The stakes are high for medical mobile trailer transporter Chris Malone, who has been with mobile service and transportation provider Shared Medical Services for six years. Each workday, he drives a mobile medical trailer valued in the millions, and it’s not just the cost of the equipment weighing on his mind – lives depend on the precious cargo.
“It’s something you think about all the time, and you definitely have to be a little gentler with it,” says Malone. Once he arrives with the trailer, it’s time to figure out further logistics, like investigating whose car is parked where the trailer is meant to go or determining how to work around facility construction projects. “That happens all the time,” he says.
Highly trained drivers like Malone are key parts of the mobile trailer transportation industry, which brings in trailers for interim service and totes imaging centers to underserved areas. In fact, for companies trying to stay on track in an uncertain economy, quality driving, hands-on customer service and more options for customers have become more important than ever.
The road not taken: a smaller transportation sector
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Mobile trailer transportation companies and those who offer transportation as part of their services note that while there seem to be fewer players in the transportation field than there once were, those who have stuck around have seen business improve over the last few years.
“Because of the downturn in new equipment sales, we no longer see the volume of the moves of new deliveries from the OEMs,” says president of Shared Medical Services Solutions Group, Patrick Buchholz. “But the interim business and the transportation of interim rentals have stayed steady.”
Dan Kelly, president of trailer transportation company Kelly Mobile Transit, says his company has not seen much movement over the last few years either, though he notes that business has begun picking up in recent months. William King, founder of King Equipment Service, says business has been steady since he passed the company on to his son a few years ago. David Leslie, founder of RoadKing Medical Transport LLC, also reports steady business.
Gary Rawlings, general manager at S&A Operations, explains that some imaging companies have gotten rid of their own logistics teams and are instead outsourcing to smaller companies.
“They’re trying to be more efficient,” Rawlings says. “It’s easier for us to move everybody’s equipment as opposed to each one of them moving their own.”
To compete for business, many offer services such as refurbishment and storage in addition to transportation.