As part of its annual equipment replacement cycle, LTL carrier Con-Way Transportation Services has scheduled delivery of 605 new Sterling tractors between now and June.
Each of the tractors will be equipped with a high-tech collision avoidance system that will help Con-Way’s drivers monitor the speed and location of other vehicles in front or beside them. The cost of the safety improvement is estimated at more than $1 million.
“We've been following the development of this technology for a number of years,” said Doug Stotlar, executive vp of operations for Con-Way. “If we get the anticipated results from these first units, our plan is to make collision avoidance systems standard equipment on all new heavy duty tractors we buy.”
The system has a set of radar antennas on the front and the side of the tractor. The antennas are connected to an on-board computer that monitors tractor speed and engine activity and matches that activity to that of vehicles in front and beside the tractor.
When the front-mounted antenna detects a faster-than-desired closing rate on a vehicle, the computer alerts the driver to the potentially dangerous situation. The side-mounted antenna gives an audible warning to the driver when a vehicle is detected in the blind spot on the right-hand side of the vehicle.
The Con-Way operating units that will be receiving the tractors are Con-Way Western Express, Con-Way Central Express, Con-Way Southern Express and Con-Way Canada Express. Stotlar said the broad geographic distribution will provide exposure and operating results from a diverse set of highway operating conditions.
Stotlar said he expects to have Con-Way’s entire fleet equipped within seven years.