On March 20, 2019, three new high roof cargo vans with gas engines went into service at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. We bought them because we needed vehicles that were 100% reliable and we had been having some problems with the Sprinters. We feel confident that these vehicles will meet our needs better than the two Mercedes Sprinters we had been using. We added a third van because the Missouri farm needed a cargo van of their own and it left the Janesville farm short one chick delivery van. All three new vans will be in a rotation delivering eggs to Janesville from our Missouri farm, plus hauling eggs and chicks in our normal delivery schedules.
Here are some fun facts about how many chicks or eggs we can carry at one time: The capacity for hauling chick boxes is 130 boxes per load. This equals 13,000 chicks per delivery in the Ford vans. Reefer trucks will continue to be used for extra-large chick deliveries. We can carry approximately 35,000 eggs in each delivery in the Ford vans.
We expect to be able to use the Ford vans year-round, but they will only be used for deliveries. They won’t be used around the farm. We expect to get 14-15 miles per gallon, which is about the same as the Sprinters we replaced.
Maintenance is in the process of retrofitting the new Ford vans. They are adding exhaust fans for increased circulation, in the rear doors. A circulating fan behind the driver’s seat, in the ceiling, has been added. The floors have been insulated with 1-inch thick pink board with a vinyl covering. We also have a wireless remote connected to a readout on the dash so drivers are continually aware of the temperature inside the van. Both chicks and eggs need these extra protections.
These new vans have advantages for both our company and our drivers. The drivers enjoy driving the new vans and the comfortable ride. The cost to MacFarlane’s was about 10,000 less than the Mercedes Sprinters we had, and the cargo space is very similar. We expect these new Ford vans to serve our customers well. Watch for them on your next delivery!