May 28, 2014 5:00 PM, EDT
Con-way Truckload Purchases 550 New Tractors, Invests in Automatics and 6x4s
Con-way Inc.

Con-way Truckload announced its purchase of 550 new tractors, 540 of which will be equipped with automatic transmissions and all with driver-preferred 6x4 axles.

Con-way says its decision was driven in part by driver requests for automatics, along with the company’s desire to lower the barrier of entry into a driving career. Previously, the Con-way Truckload fleet included 50 automatic transmissions.

“We’ve found that many younger drivers looking to enter the industry prefer the automatic transmissions because it removes the perception that operating a truck is outside of their ability,” said Gretchen Jackson, recruiting manager at Con-way Truckload. “Truck driving is an essential role within the economy and, given the current driver shortage, we want to provide career opportunities for those who have an interest but may think the job is unattainable.”

The purchase includes tractors manufactured by Kenworth, Volvo, Navistar and Freightliners. The new tractors will be on the road by December in a replacement cycle that will maintain the company’s 2,700-tractor fleet.

Con-way Truckload is an operating company of Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Con-way Inc., which is ranked No. 3 on the Transport Topics Top 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.