Freightliner pre-series Cascadia hits Bison’s fleet


Bison is testing out the new Freightliner Cascade pre-series, which will likely be released as a 2018 model.

At Bison Transport, we’re always keeping up with the latest advancements in trucking equipment and technology. We pride ourselves in keeping one of the most modern fleets on the road. Sometimes, our dedication to keeping up with the times is recognized in special ways and we get the privilege of testing new equipment.

In September, Daimler Trucks unveiled the latest model of its Freightliner Cascadia, which will be released to the public as 2018 models. Freightliner has entrusted Bison with one of 12 pre-series units in North America so we can provide feedback on the truck’s performance.

Now, on to the truck’s many great features…

This is the first full re-design since Freightliner introduced the Cascadia in 2007. According to Daimler (Freightliner and Detroit Diesel’s parent company), it will achieve as much as 8 percent in fuel savings over the current Cascadia Evolution model.

Some of the key design features of the new trucks include:

  • New one-piece windshield design with improved wiper coverage
  • Impressive-looking full LED headlight system
  • Completely re-designed interior
  • Greatly improved switch and control placement
  • Dimmable LED ambient lighting
  • New 5-inch instrument display located directly in front of the driver in the middle of the instrument panel
  • New steering-wheel mounted controls that allow the driver to control almost anything such as diagnostics, audio controls, driving assistance, setup options, trip information and more

Invisible from the outside, steering and handling improvements have also been made. These include:

  • New front suspension features longer taper-leaf springs that provide an extremely smooth ride and improved stiffness for cornering
  • Steering system moved further forward, making the steering more precise
  • Engine and cab mounts designed with a very quiet and vibration-free driving experience in mind
  • Optional insulation package featuring Thinsulate® insulation
  • Improved door seals to reduce sound, vibration, and to better protect drivers from wind and cold
  • Improved creature comforts including
  • Increased storage space
  • Usability improvements in the sleeper area
  • A convenient fold-up ladder to access the upper bunk

A new safety package, called Detroit Assurance 4.0, features Active Brake Assist with three stages of collision mitigation, and Adaptive Cruise Control that automatically adjusts the truck’s cruising speed to maintain a safe following distance. This system uses radar that tracks up to 40 objects simultaneously, up to 825 feet in front of the truck, and will identify the top 6 vehicles by level of threat, with a speed, distance and time refresh rate of 200 times per second. There is also an optional camera system available that tracks the truck’s position within the lane and features audible lane departure warnings.

Judging by the improved safety statistics Bison has experienced with older but similar systems installed in both our Freightliners and Volvos in the past, we should see even greater safety improvements with this high-tech system.

The new vehicle will also offer advanced connectivity that will allow Bison’s Maintenance department to monitor the vehicle’s performance remotely, providing us with more information that will help our Drivers to keep moving. The technology will even allow over-the-air software updates to be sent to the truck when needed.


Jack Fielding receives his two million miles safe driver award.

Bison Transport is very pleased to test this new high-tech tractor with one of our well-known award-winning Drivers, Jack Fielding. He has accumulated over 1.6 million consecutive accident free miles with Bison as a long haul and turnpike (LCV) Driver, with well over 3 million accident free miles driven in his 40 year professional driving career. Jack has also been an In-cab Instructor, a member of Bison’s Driver Advisory Board, and a member of the 2011-12 Ontario Road Knights team. He was named as the 2013 Company Driver of the Year by the U.S.-based Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), and the 2015 Driver of the Year by Volvo Trucks Canada and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA). He is an overwhelming supporter of the industry and we are very proud to have Jack on our team and to have him testing this new truck!

Watch for Jack on the road and give him a wave!

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Empowering our people through mentorship

The first principle of our Bison mission is to empower our people. One of the ways we do this is by fostering mentorship relationships – both formal and informal. As a person who has received mentorship over time, I’ve been the benefactor of working with mentors who intentionally met with me to help me grow in specific ways and they invested heavily in me as a person. I’ve also experienced ‘mentorship in the moment’ many times. Sometimes, I haven’t even realized I’ve received mentorship until I’ve looked back and gain some perspective about how a situation has progressed or changed.

One of my first mentors was a hockey coach. He had named me team captain and he often said to me ‘just do the right thing. When in doubt, always do what’s right and the rest will sort itself out.’ That statement rings in my head to this day. Even though he was focused on helping me lead the players on the ice, he was helping me form an important, long-term behaviour pattern. He tested my character and encouraged me to strengthen it.

Dave has been on both sides of mentorship.

Dave has been on both sides of mentorship.

My list of formal and informal mentors is quite long. Being mentored has been a driving force in why I wanted to be a mentor myself – to give to others as they have given to me, and even multiply that giving.

Right now, I’m mentoring a number of people formally. Each of them is at a different place in their career, and so the mentorship I’m providing them varies – they all need something a little different from me.

In a workplace like Bison, mentorship is extremely important. Working with a mentor gives an employee a more unstructured setting to develop their skills and perspective, on their own time, at their own pace. It can also provide a good complement to an employee’s relationship with their supervisor and focus on areas where the typical business-learning environment doesn’t necessarily focus, like wellness. Mentorship doesn’t have to be permanent or formal, but it has to be based on a foundation of trust and the willingness of both parties to be open, honest and to invest. Mentorship involves making yourself available to the person you’re mentoring; it doesn’t always mean scheduled meetings – it could be 10-minute check-ins or calls on the weekend when someone is struggling.

A mentorship relationship can be a safe place to talk about the struggles you’re having – whether personally or professionally. It can help you see yourself in a different light. Professional mentors can help you navigate your way through a company’s culture and be a sounding board and a resource for feedback. Mentors often offer wisdom; some past experiences of their own (both successful and unsuccessful) that can help you find the right path.

If you have wisdom to share, consider being a mentor. If you have a desire to improve and grow, find a mentor. The process of sharing and listening to wisdom can be a powerful force.

This is the first post in a series of blogs highlighting the importance of mentorship. Watch for the second installment next week. If you have a story to share about how mentorship has played an important role in your life, we encourage you to share it in the comments.

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Practicing environmental sustainability the SmartWay!

Bison Transport takes sustainability seriously. We are consistently promoting creativity and innovation to drive a sustainable business. We invest in the growth of our people, organization and communities, and embrace our responsibility to the environment.

We’ve been recognized for our environmental sustainability efforts in a big way, and are proud to be a recipient of a 2016 SmartWay Excellence Award for outstanding environmental performance and leadership.

The SmartWay Excellence Award is reserved for the top performing SmartWay partners, and is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in freight supply chain energy and environmental performance.


Bison Transport President Rob Penner accepts the SmartWay Excellence Award.

As one of Canada’s largest transportation companies, Bison understands that we have a responsibility to our customers and society when it comes to delivering environmentally conscious transportation solutions. We invest large amounts of time and energy to be an industry leader when it comes to environmental sustainability.

Sustainability is an important yet challenging opportunity in the trucking industry and at Bison, we’re committed to operating in the most sustainable way possible to keep our planet healthy for generations to come.

Bison is an active member of Natural Resource Canada’s FleetSmart Program, in addition to the SmartWay partnership.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing several blog posts that shed light on Bison’s sustainability-relate initiatives and practices. As a transportation provider, our carbon footprint is almost directly related to how much fuel we burn, and the greenhouse gases (GHG) we emit. The most impactful and effective way for a carrier like Bison to become more environmental sustainable is through increased fuel-efficiency. This blog series will explore many areas of Bison’s sustainability initiatives, technologies and strategies that increase our fleet’s fuel economy and help set us apart as leaders in energy and environmental performance.

This is part one in a four part series on Bison’s sustainability efforts. Stay tuned for part two!

To learn more about how Bison’s environmentally sustainable practices can benefit your business, and to inquire about our shipping services, click below to contact us today! 


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Following an “unconventional” dream

Here at Bison we celebrate diversity. Last month, we held Diversity Week across our terminals: a week of learning and recognition of the many diverse employees in the Bison Family. We don’t just embrace diversity during this one week; we take pride in being a diverse company every day of the year.


Billie-Jo Laird is a Level 1 Tracor Apprentice at Bison’s Winnipeg Maintenance Shop

Billie-Jo Laird is making big strides in a largely male dominated profession. She is a Level 1 Tractor Apprentice in the Bison Maintenance Shop. Bison has seen an increased interest from women looking to get into this profession.  Read more ›

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Posted in Careers, Culture

Bison teams ‘bring it’ for charity


Blazing Bison team members paddle their hearts out at the FMG Dragon Boat Festival

Spirit and service are two of Bison Transport’s integral core values. Bison employees sure know how to show spirit and this past weekend was a perfect example of both our spirit and our service, as Bison teams brought their best at three charitable events.

The Blazing Bison Dragon Boat rowers paddled their hearts out at the FMG Manitoba Dragon Boat Festival in the qualifying round on Friday, and the finals on Sunday and took home first place in the third division – the best the Bison paddlers have ever done! In addition to their big win, the team collectively raised upwards of $8,000 for CancerCare Manitoba Foundation and the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Bison Transport participated in the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics Manitoba. Out of the 192 trucks involved in the event, Bison Transport accounted for 29, and took home the trophy for the most trucks involved! The event raised more than $60,000 for Special Olympics Manitoba. And, Bison Drivers in Ontario also took part in the GTA’s inaugural event, with 29 trucks in total, raising more than $20,000 for Special Olympics Ontario.

Bison Transport Trucks at Manitoba's World's Largest Truck Convoy

Bison Transport Trucks at Manitoba’s World’s Largest Truck Convoy

While our charitable contributions are extremely important, what’s also important is seeing the smiles on the faces of the Special Olympics athletes who are able to participate because of the help of generous donations. Bison Driver Rob Glesby was accompanied by Special Olympics athlete Miles Moffitt in his tractor trailer during the convoy. Miles had such a great day and he and his family passed along the following note to Rob and to Bison: 

“Rob, thank you to yourself and to Bison Transport for doing this for Special Olympics! We make sure Miles can attend but so many can’t afford to participate without the help from you and companies like Bison! Keep up the great work – Pat, Rick & Miles Moffitt.”


A note from Miles to Bison Driver, Rob Glesby.

Bison Transport also participated in the Manitoba Trucking Association’s Truck Pull for United Way Winnipeg. Bison and took home third place. Bison employees held their own competition to determine who would represent our company at the MTA event. Team members who entered had to donate to Bison’s semi-annual Bison Cares campaign in order to enter the competition. The winning team went on to the MTA competition.


Bison Team members at the MTA Truck Pull

Thanks to everyone who donated, supported, and cheered on our Bison teams at these events this weekend! We couldn’t have done it without you.

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