A trucking fleet hauling in and out of Australia’s ‘food bowl’ has bought two new Freightliner Cascadias.
The Goulburn Valley produces more than 25 per cent of Victoria’s food output, including vast amounts of fruit, vegetables, meat and milk, and much of it is exported.
This huge demand is one of the reasons that Kreskas Bros Transport is the largest road carrier of shipping containers between the Port of Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Kreskas Bros has a mixed fleet of trucks that includes Kenworth K-series trucks, Mercedes-Benz Actros and some recently arrived Freightliner Cascadias.
Its first experience with the Cascadia came about when the late John McCarroll, an industry icon and longtime friend of the Kreskas Bros team, took on a central role in the Australian test program for the new Freightliner.
‘Johnno’ drove a Cascadia test unit B-Double five days a week for 18 months and stored it overnight and the Kreskas Bros yard.
A Cascadia 126 in Kreskas Bros colours joined the fleet just months after the Cascadia was officially launched in Australia in late 2019 and soon impressed the team running as an A-Double between Shepparton and Melbourne.
One of the first things that stood out was the comfort of the advanced bonneted truck that has a spacious 48-inch sleeper cap and the latest ergonomic interior design.
“Anyone who drives it will tell you how comfortable they are to drive,” said Kreskas Brothers Transport fleet manager, Kevin Mutton.
“Keeping our drivers comfortable is very important to us, they spend a lot of time in the truck, so that is a really big positive,” he adds.
Another thing to standout early was the excellent fuel consumption.
“It’s clear that this is a very efficient truck,” Mutton said.
“After 290,000km we can say the Cascadia is clearly the most fuel-efficient truck in our fleet,” he said.
Kreskas Bros Transport also values the safety features that standard on the Cascadia, 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. Also standard is a radar-based adaptive cruise control system and a lane departure warning system in addition to Electronic Stability Program and a driver airbag.
General Manager, Adam Katsoutas, explains why these integrated active safety systems are important.
“Safety is paramount for our team at Kreskas Bros Transport, so the kind of safety features in the Cascadias are very welcome,” he says.
“This is a simple way that we can best protect our drivers and the wider community,” he adds.
The Cascadia has also proved reliable, which is especially important in the container haulage business where deadlines are rock solid.
“It hasn’t missed a beat,” Mutton says.
The Kreskas Brothers Transport trucks are kept in tip-top condition through a Daimler Truck service contract program. Service contracts ensure the trucks are maintained properly by a Daimler Truck dealership by factory-trained technicians using genuine parts.
Just like the first Cascadia to join the fleet, the two new units are 126 48-inch sleeper models running the advanced 16-litre Detroit DD16 that pumps out 600hp and 2050lb/ft.
The brawny engine meets the strict US GHG17 emission standard, which is even stricter than the Euro 6 standard that is years away from being mandated in Australia.
The Kreskas Bros Cascadias use Detroit 12-speed fully automated manual (AMT) transmissions that are able to predict the terrain it is travelling over to save fuel.
They use GPS and topographical data to determine when it can best change gear or even select neutral and even coast to make the most of the terrain and save as much fuel as possible.