Due to the trucker shortage, trucking companies are doing everything they can to retain their drivers and hire new ones. Some companies are doing this by increasing pay and benefits, while others are adopting impressive new technology that makes trucking easier and safer. In addition to safety features, the newly outfitted trucks also have a marked aesthetic improvement.
The EPA has recently announced that it will require all trucks made after 2018 to be more efficient. While trucking companies still have a few years before this goes into effect, some companies are already jumping on board. And a select few are going above and beyond to increase efficiency, and comfort, on behalf of their drivers. The hope is that by adding safety and aesthetic features, these companies will be able to retain their most valuable asset: the drivers.
C.R England, a carrier that specializes in refrigerated loads, said that they will be offering veteran truck drivers first dibs on the new 2016 Western Star trucks. These trucks are top of the line Class 8 trailers. They feature advanced technology like:
- Automated shift with added safety benefits. Additional features include adaptive cruise, forward collision mitigation, and technology that automatically adjusts the transmission for inclines. The adaptive cruise control will regulate speed and breaking mechanisms based on the road, which can improve fuel efficiency by up to 3%.
- Aesthetic improvements are also a big part of the new Western Star trucks. They are designed for comfort and luxury. The trucks have elegant wood grain and leather interiors, though they still have their exterior ruggedness. The new models are also designed to be aerodynamic to increase fuel efficiency and ease of driving.
- C.R England has also optimized the Western Star model for driver amenities. They announced that they will be installing satellite TV systems in every cab. There are so many truckers on the road currently that many times truck stops are just too full to park for the night. This leaves truckers without a wireless signal and no way to get internet service. The entertainment system will include a 24” flat screen that connects via satellite, so truckers don’t have to use cell phone data. Additionally, Western Star will install satellite antennas, DVRs, and TVs in its dry vans.
The truck manufacturer that makes Western Star models, Daimler, has also made a line of optimized smaller trailers for construction and urban vocations. The new M2-106V features better headlights and an efficient air conditioning system, two very important things for urban driving. Customized Allison engine packages feature options similar to the Western Star model. Shifting and other transmission functions are tailored, and the exterior of the truck is more aerodynamic and fuel efficient.
With all these changes to trucking comfort and safety being implemented, the future seems promising for carriers wishing to retain their drivers. Hopefully, other carries will start offering improved trucks that will continue to change the way truckers drive, and relax, during long hauls. In the end, this will benefit customers as well as drivers.