Trucking Company Adds Bendix’s Flagship Advanced Driver Assistance System to Current Fleet and Future Purchases
ELYRIA, Ohio – Aug. 1, 2017 – Employing safe drivers has been at the top of CalArk’s award-winning approach to safety for decades – along with putting those men and women behind the wheel of vehicles designed to help keep them safe. Staying true to its philosophy of continually adopting leading-edge safety technologies, the Little Rock, Arkansas-based carrier is equipping all its new trucks with Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™.
“It begins with hiring drivers who are safe, and who care,” said Vernon Nance, president of Arkansas Equipment Leasing, the CalArk subsidiary that handles the company’s truck and trailer purchases. “It makes perfect sense to invest in the right equipment to support those drivers and their commitment to safety: Even the best driver can have a bad day due to situations beyond their control, but we know Bendix Wingman Fusion can help prevent incidents from occurring, or at least reduce their severity.”
CalArk began adding Fusion – Bendix’s flagship driver assistance system – to its 750-tractor fleet in 2016, and currently equips it on both its Kenworth and International® tractors. More Fusion-equipped tractors will join the fleet as the system is added through CalArk’s normal buying cycle.
Founded in 1975, CalArk serves North America as a dry van truckload carrier, with terminals in Little Rock; Garland, Texas; and Laredo, Texas; and drop yards across the United States. CalArk’s primary fleet consists of 650 tractors and 2,000 trailers, while its warehousing division’s fleet includes an additional 100 day cabs and straight trucks.
CalArk has won the Arkansas Trucking Association Fleet Safety Award three times since 2002 – including a Grand Champion award in 2013 – and is a four-time Great West Insurance Safety Award recipient. The company’s current accident-free driver roster includes 37 million-mile drivers; six 2-million-mile drivers; a 3-million-mile driver; and a 4-million-mile driver.
“CalArk has established its spot at the forefront of trucking safety technology for many years,” said Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president – sales, marketing, and business development. “That commitment is especially impressive when viewed in context of how rapidly the landscape has changed over the past decade alone. We’ve been proud to work with CalArk regularly as we’ve refined and improved Bendix’s systems and components, because they’ve always been as eager as we are to take the next step forward for safer trucks, drivers, and highways.”
Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™ gathers input through radar, video, and the vehicle’s brakes. Its forward-facing camera is powered by the Mobileye System-on-Chip EyeQ processor with state-of-the-art vision algorithms. With video, radar, and sensors working together, and not just in parallel, Wingman Fusion combines and cross-checks information from multiple sources to deliver enhanced rear-end collision mitigation, lane departure warning, alerts when speeding, and braking on stationary vehicles. Fusion also prioritizes alerts to help reduce driver distraction. And because it is built on the Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, Wingman Fusion can also help drivers in collisions, potential rollovers, and loss-of-control situations.
“CalArk has always aimed to stay ahead of the curve of advanced technology,” Nance said. “We were equipping antilock braking systems before they were mandated; we’ve been running full stability, lane departure warning systems, adaptive cruise control, and collision mitigation technology for years, always taking the next step as the technology evolved. Sometimes that has meant paying a bit of a premium for the newest equipment, but we’ve always recognized the value to us and all of our families, because we all travel the same roads.”
In addition to full stability and earlier Bendix Wingman systems on its tractors, CalArk uses the Bendix TABS-6™ Advanced roll stability system on its trailers. TABS-6 combines antilock braking with a set of trailer sensors that monitors stability and can quickly and automatically trigger braking interventions when conditions that may lead to a rollover are detected. CalArk specs the system with four sensors and two modulators (4S2M – a step up from the basic 2S1M configuration), Nance notes, “because we always go the extra mile to make sure every part of the system is responding in the most effective way.”
“Our last rollover accident occurred in September 2010,” he said. “In fact, since CalArk has incorporated Bendix’s safety systems, there has been about a 75 percent decrease in rear-end, lane-change, and rollover incidents/accidents.”
CalArk began using air disc brakes in 2012, and now equips the Bendix® ADB22X™ air disc brake on all tractor and trailer axles. Air disc brakes complement today’s advanced safety technologies and help them perform their best by providing straight, stable stops while virtually eliminating brake fade.
The company is also evaluating SafetyDirect® from Bendix CVS, a user-friendly web portal that provides the fleet with real-time data on hard braking and lane departure events.
“Of course, there’s absolutely no technological substitute for a safe driver practicing safe driving habits, supported by proactive and ongoing training,” Nance said. “That’s why CalArk puts so much stock in finding the best team to put in our fleet’s drivers’ seats – and why we go to any lengths to keep them rolling safely.”
For further Bendix insight on advanced safety technology development, driver assistance systems, and commercial vehicle safety regulations – as well as a host of other product- and service-related content via podcasts, blogs, videos, and more – visit the Bendix multimedia center at knowledge-dock.com. More information about Bendix collision mitigation systems is available by calling Bendix at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visiting www.safertrucks.com/solutions.