When Daimler Trucks Australia hosted the Australian transport trade press in the USA in 2019, to introduce the Freightliner Cascadia, the headline story was the exceptional fuel economy US operators were attaining with Cascadia’s on their fleets.
No more than two years down the track and with a pandemic and supply issues throwing a number of hurdles in front of the Cascadia and its sales in Australia, local operators who have added the truck, which is the biggest selling heavy duty model on the US market, are starting to reveal the strong fuel figures they are getting from their Cascadia’s on Australian roads.
One such story revealed this week was from Taree based truck operator, Ken Blanch, who added a Freightliner Cascadia to his mixed nine truck fleet in the past year.
The family run business, Ken Blanch Transport carts a wide range of products up and down the eastern seaboard from its Mid North Coast base with a variety of American and European trucks from four different manufacturers.
Ken Blanch said he has been impressed with the Cascadia, especially when it comes to fuel.
“This is the best fuel consumption I’ve had from of a bonneted truck,” said Mr Blanch.
He says the fuel saving the Cascadia delivers compared to the bonneted truck it replaced is considerable.
“It does 600m per litre better and that is quite significant,” he added.
The Blanch 126 Cascadia is running a single trailer at 44 tonnes all-up, and is returning an average of 2.4km per litre.
Ken Blanch explained that he was attracted to the Cascadia because of its 16-litre Detroit DD16 engine and its spacious cabin, which the said the driver appreciates on longer runs.
The Ken Blanch Transport Cascadia was ordered with the 48-inch can, but bonneted Freighlienr is also available with a day cab, a 36-inch cab, and a 60-inch cab option, and Ken said the truck has been given a big thumbs up.
“The driver loves it,” Mr Blanch says.
Ken Blanch Transport delivers bricks, rooftop steel, fertiliser, timber and other items up and down Australia’s east coast, and was founded by Ken Blanch back in 1989 with a single Ford LNT 9000, which is a far cry from the cutting-edge Cascadia.
“Trucks have come a long way,” said Ken Blanch when asked about the difference between them. We can but agree with Ken, and reckone he could be indulging in a touch of understatement