Superior Bulk Logistics Driven By Safety


ELYRIA, Ohio – July 9, 2019 – You’ll find a long and distinguished hauling history at Oak Brook, Illinois-based Superior Bulk Logistics, made up of the fleets belonging to Carry Transit and Superior Carriers. Through every year and every mile, you’ll also find an unwavering commitment to safety, in both product handling and the safe operation of the company’s vehicles.

“We’re one of the first carriers in the U.S. to earn Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000,” said Phil Bonnes, director of maintenance at Carry Transit. “When customers put their products in our tanks, more than anything we want them to know safety is the top concern every step of the way, and particularly on the roads.”

For more than 15 years, that pursuit of safety has included equipping Bendix® ADB22X™ air disc brakes, and Bendix air management and advanced safety technologies – such as antilock brakes and stability control, as well as air dryers and Bendix’s flagship driver assistance system, Wingman® Fusion.

“They’ve always been good, reliable products backed by an excellent support system, from technical and maintenance advice to driver training,” said Ken Shafer, director of maintenance and tank cleaning at Superior Carriers. “Just about any place on the truck where we can spec a Bendix system or component, we do.”

Safety, Safety, and Safety

Founded in 1940 and family owned for almost 80 years, Superior Bulk Logistics is the parent of Carry Transit, which handles food-grade supply chain hauling; and Superior Carriers, which offers bulk truck and transloading services for chemical products. Superior Carriers earned a prestigious Heil Outstanding Performance Trophy from the National Tank Truck Carriers in 2014. And Carry is the first transportation company worldwide to achieve the FSSC 22000 certification, a standard covering distribution, warehousing, and transportation.

Together, the fleets include 932 company tractors, 261 independently contracted trucks, and 2,423 trailers, the vast majority of which are tanks. In total, their drivers delivered more than 6.8 billion pounds of products to 49 of the United States, as well as Mexico and Canada in 2018, traveling more than 68 million miles.

And safety is always top of mind: “Any employee with the company – driver, loader, mechanic, tank washer, anyone – has the authority to put a stop to any process, any action, at any time, if they see an unsafe situation,” Shafer said. “It’s that important company-wide.”

The Superior Carriers’ fleet includes Mack, Peterbilt, and International® truck models, 130 of which are currently on the road with Wingman® Fusion.

Half the Superior tractors feature the Bendix® ADB22X air disc brake on all axles, and another quarter have the industry-leading disc brake on steer axles. Ten Superior trailers are also equipped with Bendix® air disc brakes.

Bendix air disc brakes help provide a strong foundation for overall safety and are a critical complement for Bendix® collision mitigation systems. Air disc brakes provide shorter stopping distances, virtually no brake fade or brake steer, and a passenger car-like feel favored by drivers. And, because air disc brakes offer faster pad replacement and longer pad and rotor life, fleets enjoy more uptime and reduced maintenance costs to help lower total cost of ownership.

On the Carry side, the mix of Kenworth and International tractors includes 200 all-disc-braked tractors, 70 with Bendix® Wingman® Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, and 10 including Fusion. Carry also runs 30 air-disc-braked trailers.

Bendix Wingman Fusion gathers input through radar, video, and the vehicle’s braking system, combining and cross-checking the information from sensors that are working together and not just in parallel. By creating a highly detailed and accurate data picture, Fusion delivers enhanced rear-end collision mitigation, and adaptive cruise control, along with following distance alerts, stationary object alerts, lane departure warning, alerts when speeding, and braking on stationary vehicles – all while prioritizing alerts to help reduce driver distraction. Through SafetyDirect® by Bendix CVS, event-based data – including video – can be wirelessly transmitted for driver coaching and analysis by fleet safety personnel. The forward-facing camera of Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™ is powered by the Mobileye System-on-Chip EyeQ processor with state-of-the-art vision algorithms.

Fusion also helps drivers avoid additional crash situations, including rollovers, loss-of-control, and sideswipe crashes, since it is built on the foundational full-stability technology of the Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program. Additionally, every Superior Bulk Logistics vehicle put on the road since 2002 has included Bendix antilock brakes and roll stability.

“We’re not what you’d call a ‘bleeding-edge’ technology kind of company, but we’ve always said, ‘If it helps the drivers, we want it on our trucks,’” Bonnes said. “We saw these braking and safety systems on the road making a proven, real-world difference that could support our goal of getting our men and women home safely at the end of their shifts, and protecting the families they share the roads with.”

In the Driver’s Seat

Superior Bulk Logistics’ comprehensive approach to driver training and development starts even before trucks with new equipment show up at their terminals.

“Driver training is the key when you’re adopting a new safety system or technology, and we spend a lot of time reviewing specs and videos and things like diagnostics with our drivers before they begin the in-truck experience,” Shafer said. “And we don’t stop once they’re on the road. On the Superior Carriers side, we’re using the information provided by Bendix SafetyDirect to support and coach our drivers, and soon that will expand to the Carry Transit fleet as well. We credit our ongoing coaching as a big reason for our successful safety record.”

SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS is the video-based driver safety platform featuring a user-friendly web portal that provides fleet operators with comprehensive feedback on their fleet and drivers, along with videos of severe events. The system wirelessly transmits real-time data and event-based information from a vehicle’s J1939 network to the fleet’s back office for analysis. In March, Bendix introduced the powerful new fifth generation of the processor platform.

The company’s drivers themselves are also providing positive feedback from the road, noting the benefits from the wheel-ends on up.

“Drivers like the air disc brakes’ quicker stops, and there’s no fade when they’re going down hills. And with the active safety systems, we’ve definitely heard of instances where they’ve likely prevented an accident,” Bonnes said. “One driver told us that for years, they’d been taking a particular exit ramp, but it wasn’t until the Bendix system began intervening that they realized how close to the edge of control they’d been coming. And that’s a key learning point: Even a good driver can have a bad day, and you can’t always tell how close you are to that edge until it’s too late.”

Partners in Safety

“Nobody in the commercial vehicle industry can single-handedly transform vehicle, driver, and highway safety – but when we work together to shape tomorrow’s transportation alongside teams like Superior Bulk Logistics, everyone at Bendix takes pride in knowing we’re making a difference one day, one mile, and one truck at a time,” said Lance Hansen, Bendix North America regional vice president – fleet/trailer sales and service engineering.

Hansen emphasized that Bendix safety technologies complement safe driving practices and are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques and proactive, comprehensive driver training. Responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times.

For nearly 90 years, through its ever-growing portfolio of technology developments, along with unparalleled post-sales support, Bendix delivers on safety, vehicle performance, and efficiency – areas critical to the success of fleets and owner-operators, and to improving highway travel.

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