Leveraging supplier relationships to navigate new truck technologies

Leveraging supplier relationships to navigate new truck technologies

Sponsored by Hendrickson

As the trucking industry moves towards more sustainable and technologically advanced operations, fleet managers are finding themselves at a crossroads of opportunity and challenge. It can be exciting and intimidating to implement new technology, new equipment—pushing fuel efficiency and truck productivity further than before, but how can you be sure you’re making the right investments and working with the right companies?

The more the industry changes, in some ways, the more it stays the same, at least in terms of the industry partnerships you can lean on. That’s the key to navigating change, and it means you should ask your trusted partners what they think about the latest equipment advances.

Consider a supplier like Hendrickson. Known for tried-and-true suspensions, wheel ends, brakes and beyond, Hendrickson also has an Advanced Technology Group that focuses on bridging the gap between traditional trucking solutions and future needs. This team, composed of a diverse group of engineers, is tasked with exploring and validating new technologies over a three-to-five-year horizon, ensuring that advancements are both technically feasible and commercially viable.

Through initiatives like fleet councils, Hendrickson collaborates directly with fleet managers to understand and address the specific challenges they face. These councils are not about selling but about listening and responding to the needs of the fleet, which can lead to bespoke innovations that directly impact fuel efficiency and vehicle performance.

“By understanding the challenges that fleets face, we can guide them through the technology landscape, offering solutions that not only meet their immediate needs but also provide a competitive edge,” said Jeff R. Zawacki, vice president of advanced technology, Advanced Technology Group, Hendrickson.

A couple notable products of Hendrickson’s approach are the INTRAAX fully integrated top-mount air suspension/axle/brake system, and the ZMD self-damping air spring. These were developed from a deep understanding of underlying fleet challenges. These technologies have proven to be critical in enhancing the efficiency and performance of heavy-duty trucks.

Moreover, Hendrickson’s history of partnerships, even with potential competitors, illustrates a broader trend of “coopetition” in the industry. By collaborating with other market innovators, Hendrickson leverages collective strengths to bring the most advanced, efficient technologies to market. This ecosystem of collaboration can extend to fleet managers, who, through their relationships, can influence and expedite technology adoption within their operations.

By tapping into the expertise and innovative spirit of trusted suppliers, fleet managers can effectively navigate the complexities of modern trucking technologies, leading to smarter, more efficient fleet operations.

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