GREEN BAY, Wisc. – Schneider says it is experiencing excellent driver acceptance and fewer maintenance issues since it began converting its fleet to automated transmissions.
The company has now implemented automated transmissions across more than half its fleet. It says the new transmissions are preferred by both veteran and rookie drivers, and it is now accommodating new drivers trained only on automated transmission-equipped trucks.
“We have been testing various versions of automated transmission tractors since 2007, so we had a lot of experience behind us when we made the decision in 2015 to start transforming the fleet,” says Rob Reich, Schneider’s vic-president of equipment, maintenance and driver recruiting. “Ever since then, we have been very impressed with the dependability of these tractors. In fact, we’ve had fewer maintenance issues with them than we’ve seen with the manual transmission tractors, which is not what we expected. We’re extremely pleased with the performance of these vehicles – and more importantly, so are drivers.”
Schneider expects to have its entire fleet running automated transmissions by 2019. It claims it’s one of the few carriers that is able to guarantee drivers who’ve been trained only on automated transmissions that they will be assigned one.
Schneider says its decision to standardize automated transmissions is helping with driver recruitment, and maintenance costs.