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During his 35-year career with Sundt Construction, Al Allen has seen almost everything there is to see in regards to lubrication. He spent 22 years on his company’s lube truck, servicing Sundt’s heavy equipment fleet, before being promoted to lubrication superintendent and charged with managing 14 lube trucks and the fleet maintenance program. Allen got his start in machinery lubrication at his father’s gas station, working beside him from the time he was 9 years old. That experience and knowledge made for an easy transition into the heavy equipment maintenance field.
Name: Al Allen
Company: Sundt Construction
Title: Lubrication Superintendent
Years of Service: 35 years
Location: Phoenix, Ariz.
Q What types of training have you taken to get to your current position?
A Through the years I have been to many Caterpillar training courses along with Noria’s Practical Oil Analysis and Advanced Oil Analysis classes, the Baldwin Filter School and Department of Transportation (DOT) hazardous materials training.
Q What professional certifications have you attained?
A I am a certified motor carrier safety/hazardous materials trainer, a certified instructor at Arizona Community College’s apprenticeship program and certified by the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA).
Q Are you planning to obtain additional training or achieve higher certifications?
A I am currently looking to obtain DOT hazardous materials training for the state of Texas.
Q What’s a normal work day like for you?
A My day usually starts by reviewing oil sample reports with any necessary follow-up and making sure service-due reports are distributed. Then, with equipment working in five states, I have a lot of traveling time on the road.
Q What is the amount and range of equipment that you help service through lubrication/oil analysis tasks?
A At any given time, we have more than 250 pieces of equipment out in the field, ranging from compressors and welders to our D10 dozer, excavators, loaders, forklifts and hydraulic and crawler cranes.
Q What lubrication-related projects are you currently working on?
A Currently, I am doing an evaluation on different brands of grease to fight the harsh conditions here in Arizona.
Q What have been some of the biggest project successes in which you’ve played a part?
A I am most proud of changing our company’s policies to sample-based oil changes on many of our components. This has saved us a tremendous amount of money over the years on oil changes, labor costs and the amount of used oil in our environment.
Q How does your company view machinery lubrication in terms of importance and overall business strategy?
A Our maintenance program is of great importance to the company, which is reflected in the training of our people and the budget they provide us. As a company, Sundt understands the monetary benefits of a quality preventive maintenance program.
Q What do you see as some of the more important trends taking place in the lubrication and oil analysis field?
A The quality of new oils, additive packages and filters available has made extending oil change intervals quite viable. These cost savings in purchases and man-hours are very evident.
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