Top 6 Semi-Truck Brands in Canada 2020

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Best Semi-Truck Brands

The trucking industry keeps the retail sector moving forward, transporting upwards of 70% of all retail goods from their manufacturing point to storefronts across the United States and Canada. It’s come a long way in the last few decades, with new technology and other advancements shaping the trucking industry. 

Let’s take a look at the top six semi-truck manufacturers in Canada and North America, as well as some of the changes we can expect to see in 2020.

1. Volvo

Volvo is one of the largest commercial truck brands in Canada, expanding during 2019 to the point that it now owns 13.9% of the market share. This percentage is up from their 10.6% market share in 2018 and showcases a dramatic growth over their U.S. market share, which has dropped from 10.7% in 2018 to 9.7% in 2019.

Volvo Semi-Truck

They’re also embracing the changing market, focusing on innovations such as autonomous trucks and electric vehicles. The company, like others in the industry, has also developed connectivity using telematics data that will allow their semi-trucks to communicate with each other on the road. 

Volvo semi-trucks have earned a reputation for multiple reasons, including: 

Their cab amenities, looking less like the interior of a commercial truck and more like a mobile hotel suite. They’re comfortable and easy to drive. 

They’re also ideal for over-the-road truckers, since most new models come equipped with remote diagnostic capabilities. If problems crop up during a trip, the Windows app allows fleet owners to diagnose them and run tests from the comfort of their home base. 

2. International

International Trucks has been providing quality commercial trucks to fleet owners throughout North America since 1902, and accounted for nearly 36% of Canada’s Class 7 truck sales in 2018. 2020 is going to be an exciting year for International, as they shift their focus to improving fuel efficiency and vehicle uptime, things that will be crucial for fleet owners in the coming years.

International Semi-Truck

The 2020 International LT Series will be improving vehicle aerodynamics by reducing or eliminating the tractor-trailer gap, enhancing the roof fairings and making other changes to the exterior with the final goal of improving fuel economy by 8.2%. The LT series isn’t the only option that’s getting upgrades for the 2020 model year. 

3. Freightliner

Freightliner is a company with 75 years of experience in creating medium-, heavy- and severe-duty trucks for commercial applications. This manufacturer is iconic for its Detroit Powertrain, which coordinates how the truck’s engine, transmission and axles work together as an integrated system that improves vehicle efficiency. 

Freightliner Commercial Trucks

When paired with safety features like a bumper-mounted radar and windshield-mounted camera, Freightliner trucks experience higher uptime rates, making it easier for fleet owners to keep their fleets moving.

The company is also working with researchers to reduce trucking emissions by switching two of their semi-trucks from diesel engines to hydrogen fuel cells. Once they’re ready, they’ll go out onto the roads between Sherwood Park and Calgary, delivering freight in 2021 and 2022. 

4. Peterbilt

The Peterbilt name is synonymous with semi-trucks, but most people expect to see massive diesel-powered trucks barreling down the highway. During the 2020 model year, they’re hoping to change that perspective by starting limited sales of electric vehicles. Currently, there are 16 electric Peterbilts on the highway, with the company hoping to increase that number to 36.

Peterbilt Semi-Trucks

Comfortable drivers remain more alert and more likely to arrive safely at their destination. Peterbilts are among some of the most enjoyable trucks for over-the-road truckers, using SmartAir to save fuel while keeping drivers cozy while they’re sleeping. They also use Smartling remote diagnostics to keep drivers safe on the road, diagnose and fix problems quickly and get trucks back on the road after a problem occurs. 

5. Mack

Mack sells trucks in 45 different countries, and has been creating commercial trucks since 1900. Today, the company is the largest manufacturer of Class 8 heavy-duty commercial trucks in North America. They’re expecting to sell upwards of 310,000 Class 8 trucks in North America, including Canada, in 2020. 

Mack Heavy-Duty Commercial Truck

Mack trucks are ideal for drivers who are moving through multiple climate zones during their trips. The Absorbent Glass Mat batteries that come as standard equipment with these trucks are designed to handle temperature changes on both ends of the spectrum. These trucks’ design maximizes fuel efficiency, and many use natural gas instead of diesel. 

6. Kenworth

Peterbilt isn’t the only company that’s working toward creating Class 8 commercial trucks that function with hydrogen fuel cells. In 2019, Kenworth announced a partnership with Toyota to convert 10 of their T680 Class 8 trucks to run on hydrogen fuel cells with zero emissions. Once they’re ready, these trucks will go to work at the Port of Los Angeles around the first quarter of 2020. 

Kenworth Commercial Truck

Those same T680s trucks, with their diesel engines, are among the most aerodynamic trucks on the highway today. Their sleeper cabs are some of the most comfortable on the market. The infotainment and navigation systems in these trucks are top of the line, and will continue to serve the Canadian market well for years to come. 

Looking Toward the Future of Trucking

The trucking industry continues to serve the North American public and will change in the years to come. The focus is shifting from carrying the most freight to creating fuel-efficient, zero-emission vehicles. 

2020 will likely mark a monumental shift in the industry, and it is exciting to see where it will go from here. Canadian businesses looking to expand their fleets this year should conduct careful research to see which semi-truck brands will fit best with their own goals.

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Holly Welles

Holly Welles is a freelance writer covering real estate, business and the construction industry. You can find more of her work on Twitter (@HollyAWelles) or on her personal blog, The Estate Update (www.theestateupdate.com).

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