Con-way Freight Upgrades Fleet with 875 New Tractors

Company incorporates driver feedback as efforts continue to refresh fleet and improve safety, driver comfort and operating efficiency

Jul 16, 2015, 12:32 ET from Con-way Freight

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Con-way Freight, a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier and subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), 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 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.

"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. First adopted by Con-way in 2010, the technology suite includes forward-looking adaptive radar for front collision avoidance, lane departure warning and rollover stability control systems. In 2013, the safety technology platform was expanded to include Lytx, Inc.'s DriveCam windshield-mounted, two-way event recorder system, as well as Vnomics Corp.'s electronic on-board performance management technology to maximize fuel efficiency.

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 other systems alert drivers to potential safety risks and help them respond, improve situational awareness, provide feedback to refine safe-driving skills and maximize fuel-efficient operations.

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. 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. This input — such as providing skylights and steps on trailers for better visibility and safety— 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, Pennsylvania 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."

The company currently operates 8,750 tractors with 20,000 28-foot trailers and 6,000 longer-wheelbase city trailers. All line-haul trailers are outfitted with trailer skirts to improve trailer aerodynamics, reducing wind drag and contributing to improved fuel economy and trailer stability.

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About Con-way Freight Con-way Freight is the industry's leading less-than-truckload (LTL) freight transportation company, providing guaranteed, day-definite regional and transcontinental service with exception-free delivery, on-time service performance and faster transit times through a single, unified network of more than 425 service locations serving the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Con-way Freight offers LTL freight transportation across North America and through Global LTLTM delivery in the United States from around the world. Global solutions include international less-than-container (LCL) ocean shipments from Asia through its OceanGuaranteed® service; U.S. and Europe delivery for inbound and outbound international cargoes through an exclusive alliance with TNT; direct service to more than 30 Bahamian and Caribbean ports; and domestic offshore transportation to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Con-way Freight is a certified FAST highway carrier and is C-TPAT/PIP, ACE- and CSA-certified.

Con-way Freight is a subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), a $5.8 billion diversified freight transportation and logistics services company. For more information, visit

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