Con-way Truckload adds 635 new trucks with AMTs

One of the nation’s largest full truckload carriers has purchased 635 new, twin-screw tractors, each of which will be equipped with an automated manual transmission (AMT).

Con-way Truckload adds new tractors and trailers

Con-way Truckload, a full truckload carrier and subsidiary of Con-way Inc., today announced its purchase of 575 new Kenworth T680s and 60 new Freightliner Cascadias, which are being delivered starting this month through November. This purchase represents an increase from 23 percent to 48 percent in the number of trucks outfitted with AMTs.

In a statement detailing the purchase, Con-way said driver surveys have indicate AMT-equipped trucks are becoming increasingly popular, particularly with new drivers entering the profession, as they eliminate the need for the driver to operate a clutch and manually shift the truck through its gears. Much like an automatic transmission in an automobile, AMT’s shift the truck through its gears without intervention from drivers, which enables them to place additional focus on traffic and road conditions ahead, checking mirrors and employing proactive defensive driving techniques, said Con-way.

“Driver safety and comfort is of paramount importance to our company’s success, and we value our drivers’ input when we make fleet purchasing decisions,” said Joseph Dagnese, president of Con-way Truckload. “As a result, all of these trucks are not only equipped with the very latest safety technology, they also include features installed based on feedback from our drivers that help make these vehicles a better home away from home.”

Con-way said that in addition to the increased traction and improved handling provided by the twin screw axle configuration, and advanced safety features such as lane departure and blind spot warnings, front-end collision avoidance and electronic stability control, the new trucks provide drivers with many comforts and conveniences not provided by older models. The 2015 models have significantly more head and legroom, a larger area between the seats and better visibility. They also feature 1,500-watt power inverters that take DC power from the battery and convert it to AC power — allowing the driver to use small household appliances for preparing meals during rest stops, as well as other conveniences such as flat-screen TVs, DVD players and music players.

At the same time, Con-way Truckload is upgrading its trailer fleet, retiring 1,000 existing trailers and replacing them with new trailers.

Based in Joplin, Mo. Con-way Truckload provides time-definite dry-van full-truckload transportation services throughout North America. With 3,350 employees, 2,900 of whom are company drivers and dedicated owner-operators piloting a fleet of 2,900 tractors and 8,000 trailers, Con-way Truckload provides solo, team and dedicated trucking operations. Con-way Truckload is an operating unit of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Con-way Inc.