2020 Schneider trucks upgrade driver experience, comfort, safety

By Jake VandeLoo Mar 30, 2020
Schneider 2020 truck spec

Schneider’s new 2020 truck spec showcases our continued investment in upgrading the driver experience through improved comfort and safety features.

The tractors entering our fleet are primarily enhanced 2021 Freightliner Cascadia models with Schneider-customized features. We conduct 30-50 tests of new equipment and technology every year and work directly with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to optimize a spec unique to Schneider.

2021 Freightliner Cascadia truck with trailer

New 2020 Schneider truck spec highlights

We’re starting the major rollout of the new trucks in April 2020, with more added to the fleet every month. Our average fleet age will continue to be less than three years. Here’s what the new trucks include:

Battery-powered APU

Schneider began adding diesel-powered APUs (auxiliary power units) to most trucks with our 2018 truck spec, based on driver feedback and 2017 APU testing. This gave drivers comfortable conditions around the clock, including an improved experience with the use of power inverters — all without idling the engine.

We’ve continued testing, and with improved battery capacity, performance and the integration with optimized idle, we’re upgrading to new battery-powered APUs for 2020. Enjoy convenient temperature controls in the sleeper berth, with the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system housed under a cabinet.

Tanker drivers will also get the new APUs, and Team trucks will get optimized idle (opti-idle) for use during the few hours the truck isn’t moving.

New driver-assist technology and cameras

2020 Freightliner truck dash

Forward-facing cameras (no audio recording, not driver facing), radar, telematics and predictive analytics technology combine to give drivers the following in 2020:

  • Adaptive cruise control to 0 mph, making for a smoother driving experience in traffic congestion.
  • Pedestrian detection/braking that takes award-winning collision mitigation efforts to the next level.
  • Intelligent high beams that scan traffic to turn your brights on and off automatically.
  • Side guard assist to warn drivers of objects in the passenger side blind spot, and a trailer sweep assist to alert drivers to possible stationary objects in the path of a turn.
Side gauard assist technology demo

We’re also adding cameras to the side mirrors (not driver facing) that will serve the same benefit of forward-facing cameras — to protect drivers against false claims if a motorist side swipes or drives unsafely near you.

2020 Freightliner mirror camera

We’re continuing to test lane keep assist (lane centering) and lane departure protection technologies as well.

More 2020 equipment spec features:

  • Air disc brakes at all tractor wheel positions for improved braking performance.
  • All new trailers have upper brake lamps and upper corner directional lamps to increase safety.
  • Pre-trip aid that cycles all trailer lights (including brake lights) without the driver in the cab to ensure all are functioning and helps protect driver CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) score.
Trailer upper corner directional lamp

More Schneider truck spec features

Our equipment and technology page showcases features in greater depth, but here are a few other driver-requested specs we’ve been featuring in our fleet, and will continue to in 2020:

  • Automated transmissions – we’re now at 97 percent auto.
  • Memory foam mattresses – rest more comfortably.
  • High-torque engines with a 2.28 rear axle ratio for optimal performance and fuel economy.
  • Automatic tire inflation system on all trailers since 2016.
  • Satellite radio antennae built into dash – Teams get a subscription.
  • Built-in refrigerators – improve mealtime with cold food and drinks on the road.
Freightliner truck built-in refrigerator

Don’t forget about our new driver tablets that give drivers enhanced abilities inside and outside the cab.

Upgrade to a better truck and driving career

Now that you know what you’ll be driving, let’s get you a set of keys. Explore driving jobs near you, apply to the one that fits best, and start the engine on your next step.

Find driving jobs near me


About the Author

Jake VandeLoo

Jake VandeLoo is vice president of equipment engineering at Schneider. He joined Schneider in 2004 as a maintenance team leader. In 2006, he moved into the role of engineering manager, providing purchasing support for several divisions, before progressing to roles as director of refrigerated maintenance (2011) and regional maintenance director (2014) and finally his current role (2016). Prior to joining Schneider, VandeLoo worked as an ASE Master Technician in a dealership setting. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stout.

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