Savannah, GA,
25
July
2012
|
01:13 PM
America/New_York

Great Dane Champion CP composite dry vans are meeting the need of one of North America's top truckload carriers

Summary


"We have some of the newest equipment the industry has to offer," says Paul Will, vice chairman, president and COO of Celadon Group, Inc. "We want our customers to be able to count on us, and to provide a high level of reliability and dependability we have counted on Great Dane since the early 1990s."

"We have some of the newest equipment the industry has to offer," says Paul Will, vice chairman, president and COO of Celadon Group, Inc. "We want our customers to be able to count on us, and to provide a high level of reliability and dependability we have counted on Great Dane since the early 1990s."

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Celadon fields 3,000 tractors and 8,500 trailers. By the end of June 2012, the fleet will include 3,200 new Great Dane dry vans purchased over an 18-month period. "Due to interest rates and financing available, we have been on an aggressive replacement cycle," Will relates. "In the past year we have replaced two-thirds of our trailer fleet, and we have concluded that Great Dane builds one of the best trailers on the road."

In 2004, Celadon began specifying composite plate trailers for its operation. "We haul high cube freight so our shippers appreciate the capacity of The Composite and now Champion CP models we have been buying for a number of years," Will says. "With Great Dane we get high cube, reliable and durable trailers, and a brand name that helps bring in one of the highest resale value."

Brand name recognition is especially important to Celadon, which sells many of its used trailers directly to fleets at company locations in Indianapolis and Dallas. Wholesalers and the Great Dane branch and dealer network are also used to dispose of trailers being taken out of service. "With Great Dane, whether it's to trade in used trailers or to handle repairs, we always find people who know what it takes to meet our needs," Will states.

The newest Great Danes joining the Celadon fleet in 2012 are 53-ft Champion CP models. The composite plate trailers built at the Terre Haute, Indiana plant feature .30-inch composite plate sidewalls with .019-inch galvanized steel skins. The fleet also specifies .50-inch composite rear swing doors with galvanized steel cover sheets.

Close attention is paid by Celadon to the interior of its trailers. Its newest Champion CP models are specified with two rows of extruded aluminum scuffband on sidewalls, including a 6-inch high row integrated with the bottom rail at floor level that is topped with a 12- inch high row. Front wall scuffbands in the trailers are 12-inch carbon steel welded to the coupler. On ceilings, the rear eight feet of the trailers are lined with Great Dane's exclusive PunctureGuard lining. The .070-inch lining, known for its strength that comes from its high glass content, was found to be one-fourth to one-third stronger than competitive products.

Celadon's Champion CP dry vans are also fitted with Hendrickson HKANT40K-HD sliding tandem axles with air suspensions and STEMCO Platinum Performance System Plus wheel end systems, an offering exclusive to Great Dane that combines the manufacturer's Guardian HP or Discover seals, Pro-Torq axle spindle nuts, Sentinel hubcaps and heavy-duty bearings.

Landing gear on the trailers is supplied by Jost and all dry vans are fitted with Bridgestone R195F tires and Grote LED lamps including MicroNova mini LEDS in the rear header. The aerodynamic lamps have a half- inch profile, which makes them less susceptible to damage, and are designed to fit using only a three- quarter-inch mounting hole.

In keeping with its commitment to the SmartWay Transport Partnership, the collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the freight industry to increase fuel efficiency while reduc- ing air pollution, Celadon is equipping all new trail- ers with Transtex Composite trailer skirts. "Great Dane has been installing the side fairings at the plant since the end of 2010," Will relates. "On trailers with the skirts we've seen from three to five percent better fuel economy than older units without them."

Celadon's entire tractor fleet also consists of SmartWay-certified models. Other fuel saving measures employed by the carrier include recalibrating engines to produce less NOx at idle, reducing the weight of equipment with a variety of aluminum components, and employing a smaller trailer to tractor gap to minimize aerodynamic drag.

Founded in 1985, Celadon has grown from 50 tractors and 100 trailers. Today, the carrier serves customers throughout the U.S., Mexico and Canada, generating annual revenue in excess of $500 million. Celadon offers long haul and dedicated truckload service and with approximately 150,000 annual border crossings, the company is believed to be the largest provider of international truck- load movements in North America.

Recently, when Great Dane's manufacturing facility in Terre Haute, Indiana completed its 100,000th trailer; the new Champion CP dry van was delivered to Celadon. "We consider ourselves very fortunate to have such a solid, longstanding partnership with Great Dane," Will says. "Our relationship is made even more special with the 100,000th Great Dane trailer being built in our home state where we have made a commitment to support and grow the economy."
"We strive to transport cargo using only the most efficient and reliable equipment available," Will concludes. "The quality of our trailers helps us achieve that goal. Great Dane is a vital part of our mission to provide top quality equipment to our customers."