Biagi Green – Going Leaner & Greener
The air has gotten a little cleaner in California thanks to Biagi Bros’ Van Nuys terminal. Fifteen brand new, state-of-the-art Freightliners just hit the highways, leaving cleaner air in their wake – literally. The exhaust from these trucks is comprised of hydrogen and water. Those images of semis spewing black diesel exhaust will eventually become a thing of the past, but since we like to be on the forefront of the latest advancements in technology, the arrival of these 2015 trucks has been highly anticipated.
These new low emission Cascadia Freightliners are equipped with a DV-13 engine. Engineered and manufactured in Germany, this clean diesel engine has been in use for several years in Europe, at this point less than a handful of US companies have made the investment in this equipment. There is no question that other supply chain providers will be following suit eventually. Refurbishment of a Freightliner factory in Detroit is underway in anticipation of the coming demand.
The engine is only part of the buzz surrounding these new green trucks. They also feature a 12-speed automatic transmission and are 15,000 lbs lighter than the lightest trucks on the road, which translates into optimum fuel economy. With speed governors in place, we anticipate a 10% reduction in fuel over the 10-speed manual transmission day cabs being replaced.
The Cascadia was also built for optimum driver comfort and safety. This month our drivers spent over 2 hours in training with Freightliner. Each was each given a chance to test-drive the pilot truck and one lucky driver participated in a test run from a Brewery. The response has been very positive. Because of the automatic transmission, drivers are able to have both hands on the wheel, and the “creeper mode” eliminates the wear and tear on the truck and the driver in stop-and-go traffic. Driver fatigue and repetitive strain injuries are greatly reduced. In fact, one of the drivers is even rethinking his plans for retirement. The only negative comment has been that we should have gotten these trucks years ago! (You’ll have to take that one up with Freightliner fellas.)
The “virtual Technician” program is another feature of the new green machines that we are really excited about because it will help us take customer service to another level. A good maintenance program has always been the key to minimizing breakdowns and downtime which is paramount to on-time delivery. However, we don’t live in a perfect world and even the best maintenance program can’t eliminate every potential problem. This is where the Virtual Technician program comes in.
Trucks are equipped with an on-board computer remotely connected to a diagnostics center at Freightliner. If a warning light goes off, or the driver senses a problem, a qualified technician at Freightliner can perform an immediate analysis and advise the driver or fleet manager as to how best to proceed. Should servicing be required urgently, Freightliner will provide Biagi Bros with a directory of the closest approved service centers, as well as inventory information regarding the availability of parts and how long the repair should take. Because problems can be diagnosed in real time, our fleet management team can make well informed decisions. If a second truck needs to be dispatched, we will be able to arrange it right away. Anything that can be done to keep on schedule and reduce down time means better business for our customers and for us.
At Biagi Bros, we want to do all that we can to promote the success of our customers. Going leaner and greener with the new 2015 Freightliner Cascadias is helping us do just that.
If you are in need of warehousing, logistics, 3PL, supply chain management and/or transportation services or you would like to work with a company that’s progressive and green conscious, contact us at Biagi Bros.