Con-way Freight announced its fleet upgrade cycle for 2015 features the purchase of 875 new Daimler Freightliner tractors to replace older units.
“The replacements will help refresh the fleet and enable Con-way Freight to maintain one of the newest and most modern fleets in the LTL industry,” the company said.
The company this year is taking delivery of approximately 450 of Freightliner’s Class 8 Cascadia model, which will be used in line-haul operations. The remaining deliveries will be the Freightliner M2 model, a Class 7 tractor which will be deployed primarily in city pickup and delivery service. The company also is adding 1,750 new trailers for its fleet this year, built by sister company Con-way Manufacturing. Both tractors and trailers have advanced aerodynamics packages to improve fuel economy, the company said.
“Upgrading our fleet with these advanced new tractors and trailers has many benefits,” said Tim Killilee, senior director of maintenance at Con-way Freight. “The new power units will provide greater fuel efficiency, as they are designed with better emission controls and features.”
“Most importantly, we have listened to our drivers and incorporated their feedback in the process, including features they’ve identified as being critical,” added Killilee. “We also are investing in safety, as these tractors are factory equipped with an in-cab suite of safety technologies that’s unrivaled in the industry. These systems complement and enhance the skills of our professional drivers and, in our view, represent the safest-equipped trucks on the highway.”
All of Con-way Freight’s new tractors are equipped with Drive Safe Systems, the company’s suite of driver alert and crash avoidance technologies. The collision avoidance technology uses forward-looking radar to gauge the distance between the truck and vehicle ahead. As the truck approaches, if the driver does not brake in a timely manner, the system issues an auditory alert and automatically reduces engine RPM to proactively slow the truck.
“The Freightliner Cascadia trucks come equipped with automatic manual transmissions (AMT), which requires less physical interaction with the driver to accomplish shifting, whereas the Freightliner M2 units come with fully automatic transmissions,” according to the company. “In both cases, without the need to operate a clutch and manually shift through the gears, drivers are able to place additional focus on traffic and road conditions, as well as proactive defensive-driving techniques.”
As part of the annual purchasing process, the company hosts a “voice of the employee” meeting to gain insights and input from drivers about the equipment and any desired modifications to inform future purchases, the company said. According to the company, employee input is worked into the new equipment buys each year.
“The trucks we drive are our offices, and it means a lot to work for a company that listens to driver input regarding equipment decisions,” said Bob Dolan, a driver sales representative out of the company’s Allentown, PA, service center who participated in the driver feedback sessions. “The newer equipment has a better interior ergonomic design that makes my job physically easier, so mentally I can keep my focus on the road and on driving as safely as possible for everyone out there.”