Lightweight Equipment Maximizes Payload

Background: Great Taste, More Filling

To provide great-tasting, quality water through a variety of outlets, one of North America’s leading bottled water companies required a large freight carrier to transport bottled water from the company’s 29 plants nationwide to major retailers, supermarkets, grocery chains and convenience stores. The hitch? The carrier must be able to support a heavy payload of more than 46,000 pounds – a challenge for most carriers using standard equipment to move freight.

Situation: The Pursuit of a Lightweight Tractor Solution

Payload is a key performance indicator for the bottled water company. When the company’s fleet can carry more product per truck, it needs fewer trucks to move from plant to shelf. It also fulfills a pledge to reduce its impact on the environment. Because fewer trucks create fewer miles, the company’s fuel use and carbon footprint shrink dramatically.

To accomplish these goals, the bottled water company turned to Schneider, its trusted service provider since 2007, for a lightweight equipment solution that would increase both payload and improve fleet performance.

Schneider's Solution: Maximizing Payload

Schneider’s in-house team of safety engineers tested its tractors (currently hauling 45,000 pounds or less) with various configurations of this customer’s freight.

A quick, powerful solution with new truck equipment was created that featured a smaller sleeper and no passenger seat, super-single tires and the use of lighter materials such as aluminum instead of steel. The result: a truck that is more than 2,000 pounds lighter than the standard tractor. This new tractor is able to haul more than the required 46,000 pounds using Schneider’s 53-foot trailers – the equivalent of two more pallets of water per load.

To further expand payload, drivers sitting at the helm of the new, lightweight tractors are advised to follow specific instructions prior to hauling loads, including keeping fuel levels below three-quarters full prior to a pickup.

Results: Driving Down Costs

The company has already realized significant results:

  • Achieving a 9–10 percent greater payload than standard equipment
  • Sourcing 10 percent fewer trucks, resulting in reduced mileage, fuel use and costs
  • Decreasing yard moves by 10 percent
  • Less fuel used equals better rate per mile and lower transportation costs per bottle shipped
  • Attaining a 98 percent on-time delivery
  • Minimizing carbon footprint

By using Schneider’s customized solution, the bottled water company was able to increase operational efficiency and profits. The solution has proven so successful that Schneider is expanding its fleet by 20 more lightweight tractors to further serve the bottled water company’s needs. Schneider is excited about growing its relationship with the company, quenching its thirst for a lightweight equipment solution while also quenching the thirst of consumers nationwide.

 

Published October 2014

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