Now, time for more from my interview with Maintenance Manager of the Year Chris Iveson, because there were so many great nuggets to share. I asked Chris how Challenger’s spec’ing process has evolved in recent years.

As it turns out, it has become more driver-focused. This year, Challenger brought in trucks from each of the OEMs and invited drivers to climb through them and provide feedback on what they liked and didn’t like from each model.

Chris Iveson
Chris Iveson

A spec’ committee was formed, comprised of drivers, folks from warranty, folks from parts, folks from operations, mechanics off the shop floor and anyone else who had a vested interest in the truck. Then, the spec’ for each vehicle was analyzed line by line. At the end of this process, in what is a big acquisition year for Challenger, an interesting and diverse selection of trucks were brought into the fleet.

They include more than 100 Volvo VNs (the company went to a larger bunk than in the past in response to driver feedback), 187 Freightliner Cascadias, about 20 Kenworths, and for the first time, 80 Peterbilts. Those Petes will feature the ISX15 engine and 16-speed Eaton UltraShift Plus transmission. That’s a powertrain I’ve driven at Challenger (albeit in a ProStar) and really found to be well suited for this market. You can read that review here.

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James Menzies is editorial director of Today's Trucking and He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 24 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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