Commitment to sustainability drives upgraded fleet of cleaner Keen trucks
In the US, our inland logistics service provider, Keen Transport, is upgrading its fleet of trucks to ensure goods are delivered more safely, more efficiently and more sustainably.
Ensuring products are delivered safely and on-time to the end-customer is essential for businesses to sustain competitive advantage. For Keen Transport, this means maintaining and deploying a truck and trailer fleet that delivers for our North American customers in a cost-effective manner.
With capacity pressures continuing to impact shipping, it is vital that land-based logistics are in the best position to ensure products reach their final destination. It is Keen’s skilled team and its dedicated fleet of specialized tractors and trailers that are at the forefront of these logistics operations.
To keep that successful operation running smoothly, Keen’s assets require close attention and regular maintenance. Currently, the fleet is undergoing a major makeover with upgrades and improvements designed to improve the way we move products for our customers in construction, breakbulk, agriculture and mining.
“Upgrades to the fleet routinely are part of our normal replacement cycle and ensure we can continue to provide quality service,” says Steve Bourne, Senior Manager of Transportation at Keen.
“It also enables us to maximize our utilization of each model while allowing us to stay current with latest and emerging technologies that impact performance, drivability, sustainability and driver comfort.”
A trailer carrying Airbus products
Improved sustainability and reliability
So, what are the improvements and how will they benefit customers?
“We’ve got a whole range of upgrades going on,” says Bourne. “The headline news is that we have 23 new 2023 model-year sleeper and daycab tractor units to replace older models. We expect they’ll bring a 10-12% improvement in fuel economy.”
With those savings will come a reduction in emissions, a crucial element in today’s logistics as all businesses seek to find ways of improving their sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint, as Bourne acknowledges: “Sustainability is one of our key drivers and we continue to support both our customers’ and our own sustainability initiatives by running cleaner fleets.”
Another key driver for Keen is reliability. Customers want to have confidence in our operations and expect dependable pickups, transits and deliveries of products. Bringing in new vehicles will lead to reduced downtime for maintenance and repairs, further assisted by over-the-air diagnostics – where critical software updates are distributed wirelessly to vehicles – ensuring vehicles can spend more time on the road and out of the shop.
Increased safety on the roads
The new trucks come with new and improved visibility in front and at the sides, while mirrors are 37% larger and cowl-mounted to reduce vibration, thereby offering a better rear view.
Potentially unwanted surprises are a constant threat on the roads, so drivers can take heart from the all-wheel disc brakes with Bendix antilock braking system that offers up to 33% shorter braking distance than all-drum brakes. They are further assisted by a Smart steering wheel with radio controls, cruise control, power take-off and dashboard configuration to maintain “hands on the wheel” safety practices, as well as a much quieter cab that helps reduce driver fatigue. The more aerodynamic cab also contributes to better fuel economy.
The 13-axle trailers have increased capacity of up to 83 tons
New trailers to move new products
It’s not only the trucks that are new. Keen has introduced new trailer service offerings with the arrival of a 13-axle trailer and two new ‘stretch’ removable gooseneck trailers (RGN).
The 13-axle vehicle has an increased capacity of 83 tons (up from 75) and comes equipped with beam decks for large construction and mining equipment while machinery decks are being specced for larger breakbulk industrial machinery.
The stretch-RGNs can also be used as regular RGN trailers – either two or three-axled – with a deck length range of between 31’6” and 56’ and capable of carrying products up to 70,000lbs. By adding these two new trailers, Keen is opening the potential of working with new industries such as aerospace and carrying new products, including non-construction industrial machinery and breakbulk.
“Our diverse fleet of tractors and trailers has allowed us to provide customized solutions for all sorts of construction, mining and agricultural equipment,” Bourne says. “By upgrading and improving on them, we are providing better services for existing customers and attracting new ones.”