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Schneider continues to grow investment in intermodal equipment

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Schneider officials said benefits of the additional intermodal equipment includes consistent and cost-efficient shipping, decreased downtime and improved reliability, increased availability, improved service and load acceptance and enhanced safety. (Courtesy: SCHNEIDER)

GREEN BAY, Wis. —   Schneider completed its conversion to a company-owned and managed chassis fleet last year, and continues to invest in company-owned equipment including intermodal chassis, containers and tractors.

The company added more than 4,200 intermodal containers in 2018, bringing its total to 22,200 – a 24 percent increase year over year. The containers – combined with the corresponding number of company chassis to maintain a private fleet – allow Schneider to provide truck-like service in the intermodal segment. In a world of tight capacity, shippers and drivers are experiencing the benefits of Schneider’s company-owned intermodal equipment, according to Jim Filter, senior vice president and general manager of Schneider’s intermodal division.

“Investing in reliable company-owned equipment means we don’t have to rely on equipment pools and, as a result, we have offered a better experience to our customers and dray drivers,” Filter said. “With Schneider-owned chassis, drivers experience less downtime due to their easy access and low maintenance needs. Investing in the equipment space delivers a win-win for drivers and shippers.”

Filter said benefits and productivity gains that shippers and drivers are experiencing as a result of Schneider’s company-owned intermodal equipment investments include:

  • Consistent and cost-efficient shipping: By working with an asset-based intermodal provider that has new lightweight chassis, shippers can move up to 700 pounds more than the common pool chassis for a total of 45,500 pounds with a day-cab tractor. The weight of all Schneider chassis is the same, so the shipper knows how much weight it can haul with every load.
  • Increased availability: The demand for chassis in shared pools often outstrips supply, as recently experienced in the Chicago market. Schneider’s equipment increases supply and allows the company to precisely match the number of customer orders to equipment availability.
  • Decreased downtime and improved reliability: Schneider’s high-quality chassis and complete control over the maintenance of those chassis allows the company to maintain equipment, identify issues and make repairs before they turn into critical breakdowns and costly delays.
  • Improved service and load acceptance: Available and reliable chassis have already led to increased productivity, which has improved driver retention and dray capacity availability.
  • Enhanced safety: Consistent with Schneider’s No. 1 core value of Safety First, and Always, the company’s maintenance control over the assets also ensures all Schneider chassis are well maintained.

Schneider plans to continue investing in intermodal containers, chassis and tractors to continue supporting the needs of both shippers and drivers, Filter said.

For more information about shipping with Schneider Intermodal, visit www.schneider.com, email solutions@schneider.com or call 844-701-LOAD.

 

 

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Platooning Peloton’s vision for trucking: drivers lead, technology follows

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Driver Assistive Truck Platooning is providing real safety and fuel efficiency benefits today, according to Peloton Technology CEO Josh Switkes. (Courtesy: PELOTON TECHNOLOGY)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Peloton Technology Inc., a connected and automated vehicle technology company, Wednesday unveiled its vision for doubling the productivity of drivers through the development of its new Level 4 Automated Following solution during the Automated Vehicle Symposium 2019 here.

“We’ve taken a different approach to commercial introduction of automation in Class 8 vehicles.” said Peloton Technology CEO Josh Switkes. “We see the drivers as the world’s best sensors, and we are leveraging this to enable today’s drivers to be more productive through automated following platoons.”

Peloton’s Automated Following is an advanced platooning system using vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology to enable a single driver to drive a pair of vehicles and marks the next major milestone in Peloton’s unique approach to deploying automation to increase the safety and productivity of commercial vehicles.

Platooning and automated following systems work by utilizing V2V communications and radar-based active braking systems, combined with vehicle control algorithms. Peloton’s proprietary technologies link pairs of heavy trucks for connected driving that improves aerodynamics, fuel economy, and safety.

Peloton’s Level 1 (driver assistive) system, PlatoonPro, has a driver in both the lead and follow trucks. The driver in the follow truck steers, but the system controls the powertrain and brakes to manage the following distance very precisely and to provide immediate reaction to whatever acceleration or braking the lead truck performs.

PlatoonPro has now operated with six customers and additional customer fleet trials are under way. In each case the customer and Peloton have seen a perfect safety record.

“Customer trucks have shown fuel savings averaging over 7%, and we have seen very high percentages of miles platooned, as high as 90%,” Switkes said. “Platooned miles per day have exceeded 700 miles per truck in some cases, resulting in projected fuel savings per truck up to $7,000-10,000 per year.”

Platooning is the key enabler to making driverless semi-trucks a reality, Switkes said.

“Leveraging experience in deploying a commercial L1 platooning system, PlatoonPro, Peloton’s new Automated Following system is an SAE Level 4 autonomous solution that connects a fully-automated follow truck with a driver-controlled lead truck to platoon. The V2V link allows the human driven lead truck to guide the steering, acceleration and braking of the follow truck and connects the safety systems between the trucks. with minimal latency,” he said.

Peloton’s unique approach of combining the experience of a human driver in the lead truck with state-of-the-art sensors and hardware in the follow truck greatly simplifies many of the technical challenges the vehicle automation industry faces with deploying standalone SAE Level 4 driverless systems.  Peloton will be able to bring this solution to broad applicability for the industry on a rapidly increasing set of routes, weather conditions, and traffic conditions, expanding these operations much more rapidly than standalone (single vehicle) L4 solutions.

The professional driver is at the heart of the new Peloton L4 Automated Following solution much like they are with Peloton’s L1 commercial system, PlatoonPro.

“We continue to leverage drivers for their skills, experience and intuition, and engage with both Peloton test drivers as well as fleet drivers in all aspects of product design, development and testing,” Switkes said. “Our vision with the new L4 Automated Following product is to develop and commercially deploy a solution that will enable drivers to benefit from the ongoing commercial driver shortage by doubling the amount of freight they can haul in a single trip. This will result in improved work for drivers through better routes, schedules, and compensation, as well as better quality of life through expanding hub-to-hub and relay-style operations that allow drivers to be home with their families every night.”

 

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Shell Rotella SuperRigs set for July 25-27 at Minnesota travel center

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Twelve drivers will be selected to have their trucks featured in the annual 2020 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar. (Courtesy: SHELL ROTELLA)

HOUSTON — The 37th Annual Shell Rotella SuperRigs will be held at Trail’s Travel Center in Albert Lea, Minnesota, July 25-27.

Contestants and attendees will be able to see the hardest working trucks in the industry and enjoy all the amenities on site throughout the three-day event.

There is no fee to enter a truck in SuperRigs and the weekend is designed to be fun for the whole family. Trail’s Travel Center is located at the intersection of Interstate 35 and I-90.

“Each year, truckers and their families bring some of the best-looking trucks from the U.S. and Canada to Shell Rotella SuperRigs for an exciting three-day event which highlights the trucking industry,” said Megan Pino, global brand manager, Shell Rotella. “The trucks showcase the hard work that drivers do every day and demonstrates their pride in the trucking industry.”

The Shell Rotella SuperRigs competition is considered the premier truck beauty contest for actively working trucks. Owner-operator truckers from across the United States and Canada compete annually for more than $25,000 in cash and prizes. Twelve drivers will be selected to have their trucks featured in the annual 2020 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar.

Shell Rotella SuperRigs highlights include::

  • Truck Convoy. SuperRigs drivers will travel in convoy from Trail’s Travel Center to downtown Albert Lea to attend Thursdays on Fountain. The local community is invited attend the concert and to see the trucks and meet the drivers.
  • Casi Joy Concert. – County music artist Casi Joy will perform at Trail’s Travel Center on Friday night at 8:45 p.m.
  • Lights Contest and Fireworks. The annual truck lights contest and fireworks show will also be held on Friday night.
  • 3-Days of Music. There will be a DJ providing music each day throughout the weekend.

Trucks entered in the Shell Rotella SuperRigs truck competition will be judged by experienced industry professionals who work for major trucking publications or broadcast companies. Judges score the rigs on exterior appearance, design, detail/finish, originality and workmanship. In total, 24 working trucks receive awards for categories such as Best of Show, Tractor, Tractor/Trailer Combination and Classic.

Judging will take place between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26, and between 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 27.  Judging takes about 20 minutes and contestants do not need to be present to win.

For updates on the Shell Rotella SuperRigs competition, visit www.rotella.com/superrigs.

Follow Shell Rotella on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for additional updates and photos from the competition. Join the conversation using the hashtag #SuperRigs.

The information contained herein is a summary of the Official Rules for the Shell Rotella SuperRigs truck competition, a full version of which can be found on www.rotella.com/superrigs.

 

 

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Volvo powertrain facility host Department of Energy 2019 summit

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Volvo Group North America’s Hagerstown, Maryland powertrain facility recently hosted a tour as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants 2019 Summit. (Courtesy: VOLVO GROUP)

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Volvo Group North America’s Hagerstown, Maryland, powertrain facility recently hosted a tour as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants 2019 Summit.

The July 9 tour highlighted the production facility, as well as the state-of-the-art crankshaft grinding machines that helped reduce energy consumption at the plant.

“We are pleased that the DOE visited Volvo’s Hagerstown powertrain facility and that we were given an opportunity to spotlight our efficiencies,” said Pierre Jenny, vice president and plant manager of the Hagerstown facility. “Our people and processes are instrumental in helping our plant achieve reduced energy consumption, and we are very proud of the work that they do.”

The Volvo Group retrofitted crankshaft grinders with Computer Numerically Controlled grinding machines, replacing 13 machines with three. The new energy-efficient machines process more crankshafts per day, while reducing electricity consumption by 56%, water consumption by 53% and coolant chemicals by 60%. The new grinding machines also generate less waste, enabling the facility to divert 68 tons from the landfill.

The project was completed in 2014 as part of the ISO 50001 EnMS and SEP certification. The achieved savings from this project helped the facility achieve platinum level Superior Energy Performance certification.

The company met its first Better Buildings, Better Plants goal – a 25 percent reduction in energy consumption at U.S. facilities – five years ahead of schedule and set a new goal of 25 percent more in savings by 2024. In the first four years of the new challenge, the Volvo Group is more than halfway to its target, reducing energy consumption by 17.5 percent compared with a 2014 baseline.

The Better Buildings, Better Plants program is just one way in which the Volvo Group has worked with DOE to improve the efficiency of its facilities. Three of the company’s manufacturing sites – Lehigh Valley Operations, New River Valley and Hagerstown – are platinum-level partners in the DOE’s Superior Energy Performance program, the highest certification available in the United States.

 

 

 

 

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