Lane Transport recently celebrated 30 years of operation by introducing its second Freightliner Cascadia. The business, based in Kilarney on Victoria’s south-western coast, has a mixed fleet of 37 B-Doubles that covers an area including Australia’s eastern seaboard and stretches across to Adelaide. Lane Transport founder Noel Lane started the business off with a 1418 Mercedes-Benz and a Ford LNT 9000 hauling produce from his family’s potato farm in Western Victoria.
In 2021, Noel purchased a blue Cascadia 116 and recently added the second Cascadia to his fleet, a 126 model this time around. It wears some special signage celebrating the 30 years of Lane Transport, which has grown significantly over the years. The industry veteran is glad that he has introduced the Cascadias.
"They are just magic to drive," he says. "The comfort is amazing, it’s like driving a big car in some ways."
"They are really comfortable and quiet and have the AMTs, which really make life a lot easier."
The second Cascadia to start work for Lane Transport has a 36-inch sleeper and tows a B-double trailer set and runs at 65 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GCM) under mass management.
Lane says the Cascadia is very strong when it comes to fuel efficiency running at 65-tonnes, comparing it to the Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks in his fleet, which are well-known fuel misers.
"It would have to be close to Actros, just under the 2km per litre mark, which is really good going," Lane says.
"The Cascadias are certainly the most efficient of the bonneted trucks in the fleet."
Lane says he always goes out of his way to invest in safety, so he was pleased that the Cascadia comes standard with a vast array of active safety features.
Standard equipment has a full suite of safety features including a radar and camera-based Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS) that can automatically detect, and fully brake for, moving pedestrians in addition to vehicles.
Also standard is a radar-based adaptive cruise control system and a lane departure warning system in addition to Electronic Stability Program and a driver airbag.
Lane says the advanced safety technology of the trucks is welcome and says the cab design of the Cascadia also helps his drivers.
"The visibility of these Cascadias is really good. The shape of the bonnet means that you can see very well out the windscreen," he says.
The two Cascadias are on a Freightliner service contract, which means Lane has paid a fee for the trucks to be serviced at a Daimler Truck dealership by factory-trained technicians using genuine parts.
Lane says the team at Daimler Trucks Mount Gambier and Daimler Trucks Mildura look after his trucks and go out of their way to make sure the lane Transport trucks keep moving.
"The guys at Daimler Trucks Mount Gambier are so helpful and so are the team at Mildura," he says.
He says it makes sense for the Cascadia to be on a service contract because they more advanced and require specialist knowledge.
"Being on a service contract gives us peace of mind and we are really happy with the way it is working out for us," Lane says.