Best-in-fleet fuel economy with latest prime mover


Taree trucking operator Ken Blanch has been impressed with the fuel economy from the latest addition to his mixed fleet, a Freightliner Cascadia.

His family business Ken Blanch Transport carts a wide range of products up and down the eastern seaboard from its Mid North Coast base and boasts a nine-truck fleet made up of American and European models from four different manufacturers.

“This is the best fuel consumption I’ve had from of a bonneted truck,” said Blanch.

He said the fuel saving the Cascadia delivers compared to the bonneted truck it replaced is considerable.

“It does 600m per litre better and that is quite significant,” he added.

The 126 Cascadia is running a single trailer at 44 tonnes all-up, and is returning an average of 2.4km per litre.

Blanch explained that he was attracted to the Cascadia thanks to its 16-litre Detroit DD16 engine and spacious cabin, which the driver appreciates on longer runs.

The Cascadia is available with day cab, 36-inch, 48-inch and 60-inch cab options, and the Ken Blanch Transport truck was ordered with the 48-inch version, which has been given a big thumbs up.

“The driver loves it,” Blanch.

With the help of Steve Pinkstone at Mavin Truck Centre, Blanch specified the Cascadia with the 560hp/1850ft-lb version of the 16-litre Detroit DD16 linked to a DT12 fully automated 12-speed transmission.

The Cascadia features a full-suite of integrated safety technology that is new to the conventional truck class, including a radar and camera-based Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS) that can automatically detect, and fully brake for, moving pedestrians in addition to vehicles.

It also has radar-based adaptive cruise control and a lane departure warning system in addition to Electronic Stability Program and a driver airbag.

The Ken Blanch Transport Cascadia also comes with the four year/800,000km manufacturer warranty and five years/500,000km of complimentary servicing that is standard with all Cascadia models rated below 110 tonnes.

Ken Blanch Transport, which delivers bricks, rooftop steel, fertiliser, timber and other items up and down Australia’s east coast, was founded by Ken Blanch in 1989 with just one truck, a Ford LNT 9000, a far cry from the cutting-edge Cascadia.

Asked about the difference between them, Blanch simply said: “Trucks have come a long way.”

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