Although many fleets have been pre-buying to avoid the October 1 EPA deadline for diesel engines with reduced emissions, Knight Transportation Inc. has announced a deal to buy tractors equipped with the new engines from Volvo Trucks North America.
The Phoenix-based carrier said it has entered into a long-term, non-exclusive agreement with Volvo to purchase the new VNL670 tractor, which was unveiled last week at Volvo's headquarters in Greensboro, NC.
"This agreement allows us to continue our long-standing relationship with Volvo, a company which has produced a tractor that is proven to be safe, cost-effective, and preferred among our drivers and mechanics," said CEO Kevin Knight.
Knight added that his company also ensured access to new tractors under favorable terms over the next several years, while retaining its ability to deal with other OEMs.
"This deal gives us a lot of flexibility in the addition of new tractors and in the disposing of used tractors," he said. "It also allows us to continue to offer our driving associates and customers one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry.
Knight said the VNL670s will be equipped with both Cummins ISX02 and the Volvo V-PULSE engines, which are both expected to be compliant with 2002 emissions standards.
"Although the new engines will cost more, we are anxious to get some of these tractors on the road and optimistic that many of the expected additional operating costs of the 2002 compliant engines will have been mitigated by the engineers at Volvo and Cummins," Knight said.
Knight Transportation recently settled a breach of contract suit against Freightliner LCC out-of-court, claiming the truck manufacturer failed to honor its four-year rolling truck purchase agreement. Knight did not say if Volvo would replace Freightliner as its primary supplier.