To successfully run a fleet of hundreds of trucks, smart carriers look for every opportunity to maximize efficiency while simultaneously taking great care of their drivers. A prime example is coast-to-coast refrigerated carrier, Central Trucking, Inc. (CTI).
A family owned and operated freight line since 1974, CTI’s 210-truck fleet is composed entirely of Cummins ISX15-powered vehicles, 24 of which feature SmartAdvantage automated manual powertrains. CTI President, Mark Roberts, has been so impressed with these innovative power plants that he plans to transition the remainder of his fleet to SmartAdvantage in the next year.
What is SmartAdvantage?
SmartAdvantage powertrains combine the power of Cummins ISX15 engines with the smooth shifting of Eaton Fuller Advantage 10-speed automated transmissions. The engine and transmission seamlessly share data to calculate and deliver required torque for the vehicle’s power needs. This makes shifting error-free, improving performance and fuel efficiency.
CTI’s SmartAdvantage Experience
CTI did a side-by-side comparison measuring the performance of 12 older trucks with standard powertrains to 12 newer trucks with SmartAdvantage, evaluating both fuel economy and driver experience.
The SmartAdvantage-powered fleets delivered impressive results.
CTI tracked a three-quarter MPG improvement in fuel efficiency, a dramatic cost savings, especially when you consider the millions of miles their trucks cover in a year.
This creates a competitive advantage CTI uses to attract new customers. According to Roberts, “If the salesman will bring his potential customer in and educate him, show him some data from what the truck was doing in our fleet, show him how much fuel savings he’ll get and how much money will go into his pocket every year, then he’ll understand.”
Another substantial expense in today’s competitive marketplace is recruiting and training drivers, so CTI had to ensure SmartAdvantage would help them attract and retain the best talent by exceeding drivers’ expectations.
Some of CTI’s operators were initially skeptical. Could an automated manual transmission really deliver better performance than manual transmissions? SmartAdvantage soon won them over.
Roberts said, “It wasn’t even six months, and all they talked about was how they didn’t want to go back to a stick shift. They said they take off so much better, they shift so much smoother and all around have a better feel to them.”
Roberts added, “Now, when the guys call in, I hear they are saying things like ‘that better be an automated transmission. I don’t want a stick.’ When they get done with their run, they feel much more rested at the end of the day than they did with a stick.”
A Smart Investment
As demonstrated through CTI’s experience, Cummins SmartAdvantage is the ideal way to power commercial trucks, delivering both immediate benefits and long-term gains. In fact, Roberts said their investment in SmartAdvantage powertrains will pay for itself quickly, “By the time we cycle through another three years, we will actually get more money back.”
To discover how SmartAdvantage can help you get the best performance from your vehicles and drivers, contact your Cummins dealer or distributor today.