Source: Bendix post
ELYRIA, Ohio – You don’t find trucking roots running much deeper than the ones at Oak Harbor Freight Lines. The Whidbey Island, Wash. city that shares the 104-year-old company’s name was incorporated in May 1915, and Oak Harbor Transfer trucks were delivering goods up and down the island a year later.
Brothers John, Gus, and Henry Vander Pol became owners of the carrier in the 1930s, merging it with another in 1942 and adopting the Oak Harbor Freight Lines name. Today, the fleet is based in Auburn, Washington, employing 1,500 people – nearly five times the city of Oak Harbor’s first census-counted population – and running 800 tractors and 2,400 trailers across five western states.
“We specialize in on-time less-than-truckload (LTL) delivery, and we believe we’re the best in the business,” said Dan Vander Pol, grandson of Henry and director of maintenance at Oak Harbor Freight Lines. “Safety is naturally a big part of that, so we’ve always done everything we can to be the best in that respect as well.”
As part of its pursuit of safer vehicles and roadways, Oak Harbor began equipping its trucks with Bendix advanced driver assistance systems in 2017. That’s when it added Volvo tractors running Volvo Active Driver Assist, which is built on the technology of Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™. The fleet has continued to expand its use of Fusion, most recently adding 45 Fusion-equipped International® tractors.
“We’re big believers in the technology and we’ll keep on spec’ing it,” Vander Pol said. “We haven’t had any rear-end accidents involving our trucks with Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™, and I don’t know how to make a case better than that. It’s difficult to definitively determine when you’ve avoided an accident but look – if you prevent even one driver from experiencing a collision, you’ve basically paid for the system’s installation on all your trucks. It’s a no-brainer and it sells itself once you start using it.”
Launched in 2015, Wingman Fusion is the flagship driver assistance system from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles.
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