JET Transit Drivers Compete in State Truck Driving Championships

2013 IMTA Driving Championships                   Rich Mehling (left) and Mark King (right) earn awards at the IMTA Driving Championships JET Transit had seven drivers compete in the annual Indiana Motor Truck Association's Truck Driving Championships recently held in Indianapolis. JASPER is pleased to announce that we had two drivers earn awards. Rich Mehling placed second in the 4-Axle Class and Mark King earned the Rookie of the Year award. The event consists of a written exam, pre-trip inspection and six road course events. The score of each event is added to come up with a total score used to determine the champion in each of eight different classes, as well as a team championship. JET Transit drivers also participating in this year's IMTA competition were: Wayne Beavin in the 5-Axle division, Ron Tobin in the Flatbed division, Brian Kuhs in the Sleeper division, Denny Schepers in the Straight Truck division and Bob Pickett in the Tanker division. Congratulations to all seven drivers who competed and for a job well done.

Making Tracks Across America in a '56...

'56 Chevy 210 Del Ray Frank LaVenia stopped by the factory for a visit in his '56 Chevy 210 Del Ray. Frank purchased his Chevy's replacement 350 cid engine and TH350 transmission from JASPER 17 years ago. Over the years Frank has traveled nearly 140,000 miles on this drivetrain, touring through all continuous 48 states, twice! He says that he will complete his third round trip, yet this year. Safe travels Frank!

Promoting from Within: Changes Made to JASPER Production Leadership

Earlier this year Jasper Engines & Transmissions announced the following changes within the company’s leadership positions.

John Schroeder has been named Vice President of Drivetrain Manufacturing. John will coordinate the Transmission Divisions at Jasper and Crawford County, Indiana, and Willow Springs, Missouri, along with the Differential Division at the Jasper facility. He has served roles in the People Department (Human Resources), Division Manager of Crawford Transmission and the Jasper Production System (JPS) over his 12 years with JASPER. “I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve the JASPER family in this new role,” says Schroeder. “With a 70-year tradition as our foundation, we are committed to providing the highest-quality product and service to our customers, while improving the lives of our 1700 Associate Owners. I am honored to be a part of this mission.”

Joe Haug has been named Manager of the Transmission Division at the Crawford County facility. Joe spent many of his 33 years within the Transmission Division prior to becoming a Group Leader at Crawford many years ago.” I look forward to this challenge,” says Haug. “In my 33 years at JASPER, I have worked on each level, and it is rewarding to see our Associates grow into new positions as our company continues to grow in the industry.”

Mark Balsmeyer has been named Director of the Jasper Production System (JPS). JPS is a combination of JASPER’s workforce and the processes and systems that guide the company’s remanufacturing procedures. Mark will lead a workshop team in early 2013, along with coordinating future workshops and Continuous Improvement initiatives. During his nine years with JASPER, Mark started his career in Inside Sales, and later managed the Willow Springs and Crawford County Transmission Divisions. “I’m excited to be given this opportunity to apply the lean manufacturing tools that I have learned over the past few years,” said Balsmeyer. “I look forward to teaching these principles to our organization and continuing to build on our never-ending commitment to Continuous Improvement.”

“As JASPER continues to grow and diversify into other opportunities, we will continue to look for leaders with cross-functional experiences within our company to take on additional responsibilities,” says Zach Bawel, JASPER President and Chief Operating Officer. “These individuals have proven themselves within other roles with JASPER.”

With the above mentioned changes, JASPER Executive Vice President of Production, Mike Schwenk, will shift his focus to spend more time leading several support divisions within the company, including: Indiana Tool & Die, Jasper Certified Components, Jasper Electric Motors, our Service Department and others, along with leading JASPER’s Manufacturing Planning Group.

POD Transformation in JASPER's Gas Engine Division

POD                 The U-shaped area of POD 302 has made JASPER's task of assembling a gas engine more efficient. Three of four PODS at the Jasper Facility have been reconfigured in a similar way. The POD system of remanufacturing within the Gas Engine division at Jasper Engines & Transmissions is being transformed. There are four PODS within the division at the Jasper, Indiana, facility. The most noticeable changes have occured within the past year in three of the four assembly areas. "The improvements made in the assembly processes have stabilized the work flow by balancing the work among the Associates in that area," said Mark Balsmeyer, Jasper Production System Manager. This is the first major reconfiguration of the Gas Engine division since 2008, when the change was made from a progressive, or assembly style of remanufacturing, which entailed the disassembly, cleaning and repair in one facility to our POD system. The POD system allows engine remanufacturing, from a core to a finished product, within one manufacturing unit. Each POD has specific engine families that it remanufactures. This allows each POD to become specialized in those engine families which helps JASPER produce a better quality product, produce it more efficiently and provide better availability to the customer.

JASPER CNC Machining Makes for Efficient Diesel Remanufacturing

DieselCNC                         JASPER recently acquired a Haas VF-6 CNC for its Diesel Division. This machine has the ability to resurface an engine block as well as bore the cylinders. "What makes the CNC machine better is that it can resurface a block twice as fast, compared to standard machining practices, without compromising surface finish," says Ryan Dooley, JASPER Diesel Division Manager. "The machine can bore out the cylinders five times faster than standard machining." "It would take about 40 minutes to manually set up a block to be bored and resurfaced," he added. "With the CNC machine, that process is cut in half." Dooley says the Haas VF-6 currently machines the bigger medium-duty engines remanufactured within the division. "It machines all of our Cummins engines, all of our Caterpillar and Duramax engines, and we have future plans to have it machine the counterbore inline International engines," he said. "This CNC machine currently accounts for about 35% of our production." With the new CNC machining process, Dooley says the customer will see added value and benefits from a JASPER product. "We’re able to machine the same block, without compromising quality, in half the amount of time," added Dooley. "So it’s helped us become more efficient in providing a product to the customer in a shorter amount of time."

A Smart Investment for Your Tax Returns

What are your plans for this year’s tax refund? How about spending it on one of your largest investments, your vehicle. That’s right! If you’ve been holding off on a major vehicle repair, now may be a favorable time to invest that tax refund on a one-time purchase for that much needed drivetrain component. I know this sounds like an advertisement, but it does makes sense. As we rebound from the recent economic downturn, I think most of us would like to get ahead in respects to our own financial situations. By making an investment and repairing that parked vehicle ,with a JASPER product, you’ll be able to save and build that nest egg by not having the hassle of monthly new car payments and inflated insurance premiums. We all like to treat our families and ourselves to nice things, maybe a vacation, the latest flat-screen TV, or just a simple dinner and a movie. My wife may disagree but, I am not a tightwad. I do enjoy making certain purchases, but I’m also conscience of things I can do to better secure our financial future. A couple of years ago, our minivan’s transmission was slipping horribly. To me, buying the JASPER replacement made sense, not just because I work the company, but because of the piece-of-mind and long-term savings. I can still remember the evening that I picked it up after the installation, it may seem silly but I felt like I was driving a new vehicle off of the lot. I think everyone should experience what I felt that evening, confidence in a product with a great warranty and the reassurance of making a great investment. Just something to think about when you get that refund from Uncle Sam.

‘32 Ford Transmission Gets Authentic

Just before the end of 2012, the transmission department of Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrains remanufactured this three-speed manual transmission from a 1932 Ford Model B. The Model B was produced between 1932 and 1934 and was the successor to the Model A, which Ford produced between 1928 and 1931. "The biggest difference was that the transmission in the Model B used synchronizers to make shifting gears easier," says Dave Ernst, JASPER Special Projects Consultant. "The Model A did not use synchronized gears, so the driver had to be very careful not to rake the gears, and potentially damage the transmission." Obviously, this early drivetrain component is no longer offered new, nor does it fit into any production remanufacturing system. That’s where Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrains comes in. For more information on the Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrain division, call 1-800-827-7455.

Call for Calendar Entries 2014

The Jasper Engines & Transmissions 2013 calendar is out. We had some great entries, and a big "Thank You" goes out to everyone that submitted their images. We’re in the preliminary stages for our 2014 calendar. Do you have a vehicle that’s calendar worthy? Don’t hesitate! Send us your entry! Entrants must submit a color photograph (35mm or larger) and information about their unique vehicle, or performance car or truck, along with information on the JASPER remanufactured product that has been installed. Vehicles should be placed in a "show" type setting. Low resolution digital images transferred onto photo paper cannot be accepted. High-resolution digital images, 8" x 10" at 300 dpi, are preferred. All entries will be judged based on adherence to the category, equipment appearance and the quality of the photograph. REMINDER!!! The deadline for 2014 Calendar entries is August 1st. If you have vehicle images, and would like to request an entry form, or for additional information, contact Roxanne Sherman at: rsherman@ jasperengines.com.  

JASPER is Ready for Racing in 2013!

Brad Keselowski won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for Penske Racing. Clint Bowyer finished second for Michael Waltrip Racing. What did these two drivers have in common? Their race cars used components built by the NASCAR Driveline Division of Jasper Engines and Transmissions. Keselowski ran a JASPER Differential in 2012, and Bowyer used a JASPER 4-Speed Transmission. Sprint Cup Series cars equipped with JASPER products accounted for 16 Wins in 2012, 72 top-five finishes and 134 top-ten finishes. "Everyone was very satisfied with our products in 2012," says Terry DeKemper, JASPER NASCAR Driveline Manager. "We had no issues with any of our components last year and we’re definitely looking forward to 2013, particularly with the new body styles the Cup teams will be using." The Driveline Division has not rested on the laurels of their previous season’s success. Their work has been non-stop in preparation for the new season. Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth will once again have their cars equipped with the JASPER traditional three-rail 4-Speed Transmission. Michael Waltrip Racing drivers Martin Truex, Jr., Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer will use JASPER’s single-rail version of the 4-Speed. Both versions of the transmission utilize an exclusive ‘floating’ input shaft design. "Instead of using a solid shaft going into the clutch and the back of the engine, our patented design uses a splined hub that flexes with the car’s torsional movement," says DeKemper. "Any time the engine and transmission flex together, where the bellhousing absorbs the movement, the floating shaft will flex eliminating a bind up within the internal gears. Through dynamometer testing, this design has shown greater gearbox efficiency." Keselowski, and Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, will have their Sprint Cup Series cars equipped with a JASPER Differential for 2013. "When we prepare a differential, we use the same type of components that are available to any team," says DeKemper. "Our assembly process differs for each unit depending on track layout." During the off-season, JASPER has worked with each of the teams to make additional gains in the differential and the transmission. DeKemper says his department’s continuing goal is to repeat the successes of 2012 with no component issues. Another goal is to grow the division. "New teams have been looking," says DeKemper. "We have units currently being tested by a few teams while they prepare at Daytona. You never know where it will lead, but it would be great if we could pick up more teams."

Your JASPER Customer Advisory Council

The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Customer Advisory Council is made up of Independent Repair Facility owners and managers from around the country. Members make a two-year commitment to be on the Council. Meetings are held in Jasper, Indiana, twice a year. The Council discusses issues facing Independent Repair facilities as well as the automotive repair industry as a whole. Jasper Engines and Transmissions gains insight from these meetings and they help to guide future decisions made by the company. JASPER has utilized a Customer Advisory Council for over 25 years. Nominations to the Council are made by JASPER Factory Representatives. Since members can only serve one 2-year term, we have been able to get many customers involved over the past 25 years. We want to thank our current members as well as past members for helping to shape Jasper Engines and Transmissions as a company committed to our customer’s success.