ASHWAUBENON - The Ashwaubenon-based trucking company Schneider National celebrated a milestone Tuesday. The delivery of its 25,000th truck from its most recent industry partner.
Schneider doesn't have 25,000 Freightliner trucks in its fleet. But the truck is the 25,000th the Oregon-based truck maker has delivered to Schneider since the two partnered in 1998.
Schneider's bought at least 500 of them each year. And as soon as the keys were handed over to Schneider, the company handed them over to Michael Darras.
Darras has been driving for Schneider since 1990 and has logged more than 3 million miles.
“This is going to be fabulous. A dream come true to have something like that to drive,” said Darras, of Van Wert, Ohio.
Of Schneider's roughly 9,500 truck fleet, only 100 are just like this one.
In Darras' brand new truck, there's one thing that's missing. Something that's been an industry standard for years. A manual transmission.
“Historically, trucking's all been manual transmissions,” said Rob Reich with Schneider National.
Reich is head of maintenance and driver recruitment. He says between technological advances in truck technology - from trucks that get better gas mileage, to ones that are easier to operate - there is room for industry growth.
"We think it's more driver friendly. It's an easier truck to learn how to drive. So, as we introduce people into the industry, we think it'll really smooth out the process,” said Reich.
Making it easier for newer drivers to log millions of miles - and potentially millions more than the 3 million-plus Darras already has.
Schneider says of its roughly 11,000 drivers, more than 1,200 have logged more than a million miles on the road.
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