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March 18, 2020 3:00 PM, EDT

Averitt Announces New Safety, Efficiency Initiatives

AverittAveritt Express Inc.

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Averitt Express in a pair of news releases has announced initiatives aimed at improving the safety of its drivers and the efficiency of its deliveries.

The Tennessee-based provider of freight transportation and supply chain management said on March 18 that by year’s end all of its tractors will be equipped with active brake assist and adaptive cruise control technologies. Active brake assist detects the distance to objects that lie ahead of a truck’s path, calculating speed and determining if a warning or braking action is necessary. Adaptive cruise control automatically adjusts a truck’s cruising speed to maintain a continuous following distance relative to surrounding vehicles, and stops the vehicle if the driver does not have time to react. Other safety technologies the company uses include side-guard mounted radar units to detect objects in the driver’s blind spots and a lane-keeping system, which uses the truck’s forward-facing camera to keep a truck centered within its lane.

New trucks entering the company’s fleet include many of these features, along with intelligent high- and low-beam headlights.

“We have made an enormous investment in advanced safety technology to support our professional drivers in doing their jobs,” said Jason Bolton, the company’s corporate safety manager. “The mechanics of driving haven’t changed over time — drivers still need to pay close attention to road conditions and watch other vehicles — but now technology in the truck can give drivers an added advantage to avoid potentially damaging or tragic situations.”

Host Seth Clevenger went to CES 2020 to look at the road ahead for electric-powered commercial vehicles. He spoke with Scott Newhouse of Peterbilt and Chris Nordh of Ryder System. Hear a snippet, above, and get the full program by going to RoadSigns.TTNews.com
 

Bolton added that training is an important component of safety for the carrier.

“We have formal training that begins on day one for every driver to ensure they’re ready for the job and the equipment they’ll be using,” he said. “Then we have ongoing training and communication to keep safety top-of-mind. We’ve created our own training courses that focus on current trends, such as distracted driving or dealing with bad weather. It’s important to offer a variety of ways to learn because people take in material differently. We want to make certain everyone is completely informed and always operating safely. Everything we do depends on it.”

To help streamline those operations, Averitt on March 12 announced the adoption of a new modular crate system that integrates technology geared toward reducing damage in transit. Called Smart Crate, it combines reusability with technology with the goal of promoting more efficient shipping. It uses sensors and communication technologies to provide real-time location tracking and condition monitoring.

Smart Crate

The Smart Crate. (Averitt Express Inc.)

“A great amount of detail and attention has been put into the conception and creation of Smart Crate,” Averitt President Wayne Spain said. “Our team is excited to offer this environmentally friendly product to shippers that enables them to improve the overall performance of their supply chain.”

Averitt said the modular design allows shippers to transport products of various sizes that range from computer servers to delicate mechanical components. Sensors provide a range of condition-monitoring options, including for temperature, humidity, shock, vibration, light and acceleration.

Smart Crate was designed and engineered over the course of two years, Averitt said, in collaboration with Nashville, Tenn.-based manufacturer Logistics Advanced Research Center.

Averitt specializes in customized transportation services that include cross-border, dedicated, expedited ground and air, intermodal, less-than-truckload and warehousing services.

Smart Crate is manufactured with recyclable materials.

Averitt ranks No. 32 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

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