Fleets today are concerned with making sure their drivers are happy and that they’ll stay happy and stick around, and nothing makes drivers happier than good pay, new equipment and a few add-ons in their truck to help make their downtime on the road a little more pleasant.
To that end, Con-way Freight recently purchased 875 new Daimler Freightliner tractors to replace older units as part of its 2015 fleet replacement cycle. “We have listened to our drivers and incorporated their feedback in the process, including features they’ve identified as being critical,” says Tim Killilee, senior director of maintenance for the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based less-than-truckload company.
Con-way Freight is taking delivery of about 450 of Freightliner’s Class 8 Cascadia model, which will be used in line-haul operations. The remaining deliveries will be the Class 7 M2 model that will be used primarily in city pickup-and-delivery service.
Another carrier listening to its drivers is J&R Schugel Trucking, a New Ulm, Minn.-based employee-owned company that has partnered with EpicVue to provide DirecTV to over 25 percent of its fleet. The EpicVue package will be available for company drivers, lease-purchase drivers and owner-operators as a pass-along benefit for $60 per month. The service will be provided on a first-come first-served volunteer basis to 150 drivers.
“Providing services like DirecTV to our drivers is about being able to give them all the same comforts that they have at home,” said Clay Merches, vice president of safety and human resources. “We listen to our drivers and take their suggestions to heart. We try to provide everything they want for comfort and lifestyle, and we’re excited to offer this additional benefit to our drivers.”
Finally, third-party logistics provider C.H. Robinson is hoping to make things easier for small and midsized businesses with the introduction of Freightview, its neutral cloud-based transportation management system software platform. The company says Freightview is designed to cut the time and money these businesses spend on freight shipping by streamlining quoting, booking, tracking and reporting.
Small and midsized businesses, despite producing almost half of the U.S. private nonfarm GDP, typically ship freight using a manual, inefficient and labor-intensive process that ties up internal resources for hours every day, says C.H. Robinson, which hopes that Freightview will provide a communication tool to these businesses that remain underserved by the TMS software market.