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2014-09-20

DANGEROUS TRUCKING * USA: Dispatchers vs. Truckers' Sleep

* Michigan - The danger of forcing truck drivers to drive sleep-deprived exposed

(Video from ABC News - 18/9/2014: Each year thousands of accident fatalities are attributed to truckers who may need more sleep before getting behind the wheel) 
Detroit,MICH,USA -ABC News, via 20/20, by JOSEPH RHEE and ALEXA VALIENTE -Sep 18, 2014: -- Out on the road, one trucker says many companies put unrelenting pressure on drivers to make sure loads are delivered on time... “Driving a semi-tractor like this, any small mistake can take a life,” Abe Attallah, 28, from the Detroit, Michigan area, told ABC News’ “20/20” ... Tight deadlines can mean more hours behind the wheel with fewer opportunities to rest, and drivers are only paid when the wheels are rolling... In the dead of night, Attallah was hauling a load of tomatoes to Wisconsin. About four hours into the nearly 400-mile run, Attallah said he started having trouble staying awake and was drifting into what truckers call, “microsleep” ... The dispatcher told him to drink some coffee and to go outside and walk around the truck, which Attallah had already done. He was then put on hold and transferred to another dispatcher, who also told him to get coffee and that no other trucker would be able to retrieve Attallah's load... Eventually, the company sent another driver to rescue his load of tomatoes to that he could get some rest, but the third dispatcher made sure Attallah knew there would be serious consequences for him making that phone call... A few months ago, Attallah quit his job at the trucking company and is now driving trucks between the oil shale fields of western Pennsylvania. He said he’s proud of exposing one of the industry’s biggest dangers...

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: Ram's - Japan: Mitsubishi / Fiat

* Michigan - Five years later, Chrysler’s gamble on Ram Trucks is paying off


(Warren Truck Assembly Plant - Video by Automotive Zone: The Warren Truck plant has been making Dodge trucks since 1938. Warren Truck made B-vans from 1972 to 1977, and Ramcharger trucks from 1974 to 1985; the Dodge Dakota was made at Warren starting in 1987. Because trucks have so many variations, with different size cabs and beds, different engines and transmissions, and numerous other options, the Warren Truck plant has always had to be complex and flexible)
Warren,MICH,USA -The New York Times, by AARON M. KESSLER -SEPT. 17, 2014: ... In 2009, when Ram was carved out from Dodge into a stand-alone division, it was a big gamble — and far from a sure thing. Some industry critics scoffed at the idea of a brand dedicated to pickup trucks. Others were puzzled: After the bailouts, the trend was to consolidate brands to streamline automakers’ offerings, but Chrysler was adding a new one... Five years later, the verdict is in: The gamble paid off. Ram trucks have captured an ever-greater share of the full-size pickup market dominated in the past by General Motors and Ford, and are on track to seize even more. By adding innovative features not found in other pickups, and aggressive pricing to lure truck buyers, who are among the most loyal in the automotive business, Chrysler’s Ram has managed to go from also-ran to a threat in only a few years... Here in Warren, the plant is now churning out Ram pickups 20 hours a day, six days a week, with occasional Sundays — barely able to keep up with demand... In the fourth quarter of 2009, when the new Ram division’s trucks were hitting the streets, the company eked out a paltry 11 percent of the market share for full-size trucks... In August, when sales surged 33 percent over a year earlier, Ram commanded 21 percent of full-size pickup purchases in the United States (of A)...


* Mitsubishi to supply pickup trucks to Fiat as of 2016

(Photo: Next-gen Mitsubishi L200 rendered) 
Tokyo,Japan -Bloomberg, by Yuki Hagiwara -Sep 19, 2014: -- Fiat SpA plans to cooperate with Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. on pickup trucks, enabling the Italian company to add to its lineup while conserving cash after merging with U.S. manufacturer Chrysler... Under a memo of understanding on the project, Mitsubishi will build as many as 170,000 trucks for Fiat over six years, with production beginning in the first quarter of 2016, Yuki Murata, a spokesman at the Tokyo-based company, said by phone. The mid-sized model will be based on the next version of Mitsubishi’s L200, Turin-based Fiat said in a statement... Fiat plans to combine with Chrysler later this year in a reorganization that will shift the corporate headquarters to London and move the main stock listing to New York, with the merged company focusing on higher-end cars. Chrysler sells Ram heavy-duty pickups, and its Jeep nameplate is developing a model. The Italian manufacturer’s main pickup offering is the Stada from the Fiat Professional light commercial-vehicle unit...


* New York - 15 New cars to avoid

(Photo: Nissan Titan) 
NY,USA -Forbes -19 Sept 2014: -- Long in need of a refresh, Nissan’s full-size pickup truck tends to be also-ran in an intensely brand-loyal segment; it’s handily outclassed by entries from Chevrolet/GMC, Ford and Ram, and to a lesser degree, Toyota. The Titan is rated both below average in residual value from ALG and in performance from J.D. Power; it’s also noted as being among Consumer Reports’ worst values...

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2014-09-19

ALTERNATIVE FUELS * USA -

* Indiana - Heavy-Duty trucks make slow switch to Natural Gas

(Photo: ATCO Gas Dump Truck) 
Columbus,IND,USA -Today's Trucking -Sep 18, 2014: -- The heavy-duty truck market is adopting natural gas at a slower rate than predicted, according to a report from ACT Research... Natural-gas-powered truck sales grew at about the same rate as the truck market as a whole in 2014. Sales for 2014 are expected to total 11,000 units, which is up 27 percent from 2013... Among the remaining barriers for the natural-gas market are the price gap between natural-gas and diesel vehicles and early-stage infrastructure build-out... The study also asked trucking industry leaders to look to the longer-term future of natural gas and offered insights based on extensive interviews, research and analysis... 

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RULES and REGULATIONS * USA: California's

* California - Wal-Mart truck drivers granted class action status in California minimum wage lawsuit


(Photo: Here's how Walmart World truck driver Oscar Montoya in Porterville, Calif., helps deliver the goods) 
Sacramento,CAL,USA -The Trucker News Services -17 Sept 2014: -- Former truck drivers employed by Wal-Mart brought a class action suit alleging that the mega retailer violated various provisions of the Califo
rnia Labor Code and Business and Professional Code by failing to pay minimum wage, provide meal and rest breaks, and provide accurate wage statements... Truck drivers employed by Wal-Mart have been granted class action status in a lawsuit over the employer’s alleged failure to pay minimum wage in violation of the California Labor Code... The California district court determined that the drivers met the requirements of Rule 23 after concluding that they identified common questions of law and fact concerning the alleged minimum wage violations and waiting-time penalties. The court also found that common questions regarding Wal-Mart’s pay formula meant that common issues predominated over individualized issues as required by Rule 23...


* DC - Groups sue to force FMCSA to issue driver training rule

Washington,DC,USA -Fleet Owner, by Avery Vise -Sep 19, 2014: -- A labor union and two safety advocacy groups have asked a federal appeals court to order the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to issue a final rule setting minimum standards for entry-level training of commercial vehicle drivers... The petition for a writ of mandamus was filed Sept. 18 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The groups seeking the action are the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters... The latest lawsuit could shatter any hope that FMCSA can use regulatory negotiation among stakeholders to adopt the long-overdue regulations as the agency said last month it was considering. The chances of that approach working appeared slim from the start as the various parties were so far apart on what they consider to be acceptable regulations on driver training... Although the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. is not a party to the lawsuit, it, too, has criticized FMCSA for failing to adopt training standards. In June, OOIDA urged the agency to focus on driver training standards instead of worrying about electronic logs or changes to the hours-of-service regulations...

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INFRASTRUCTURES * USA: Weather troubles - Trucks parking troubles

* Nevada - Washed-out Interstate 15 is truckers' nightmare


(Photo by John Locher / Associated Press: A bulldozer works on a flood-ravaged portion of Interstate 15 near Moapa, Nev) 
Las Vegas,NEV,USA -The Los Angeles Times, by JOHN M. GLIONNA - 12 Sept 2014: -- Mother Nature works in confounding ways: snow flurries in Phoenix, a balmy Christmas in Buffalo, and this week's catastrophic flood in the normally parched desert 50 miles north of this resort city... In what some term the area's worst storm in decades, a 2-mile-long stretch of Interstate 15 in rural Moapa was destroyed by 4 inches of rain that lashed the roadway in just an hour on Monday. The dying throes of Tropical Storm Norbert dumped as much rain on the area in 60 minutes as Las Vegas gets in a year... The mother of all road detours has come for thousands of vacationers, sightseers and long-distance truckers, including delays of eight hours or more, with vehicles diverted onto a gantlet of winding two-lane roads that squiggle into the cacti and scrub brush... Mario Gomez, an assistant engineer with the Nevada Department of Transportation said, the big trucks would be kept off the interstate until all four lanes reopen because there are several hilly stretches that would cause long lines behind lumbering 18-wheelers in low gear... 


* Pensilvania - I-81 group: Truck traffic will increase 50% by 2040. Group feels there isn't enough parking for truckers to rest

(Photo by Markell DeLoatch — Public OpinionI: 81 Corridor Coalition estimates that I-81 truck traffic will double in less than 25 years) Chambersburg,Franklin,PEN,USA -Public Opinion, by Jim Hook -17 Sept 2014: -- Truck traffic is increasing steadily on Interstate 81, and one group wants to know where the trucks will park at the end of the drivers' shifts... I-81, stretching 855 miles from Tennessee through New York, has an estimated 5,000 marked parking spaces for trucks. That includes truck stops and rest areas... Twice that number of trucks pass Chambersburg every day on I-81... The freight that trucks haul on Interstate 81 is projected to increase 50 percent by 2040, according to data from the Pennsylvania Statewide Freight Model... Kevin Cole, interim executive director of the I-81 Corridor Coalition, goes further. He estimates that I-81 truck traffic will double in less than 25 years — even with relief that railroads offer long-haul trucking... Truck parking becomes even more crucial as the widening of the Panama Canal promises to open ports on the East Coast to worldwide trade. The Harrisburg region is at the hub of the East's distribution network...

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2014-09-18

TRUCKS RECALLS * USA: GM's ones

* Michigan - GM recall problems won't go away soon


(Photo: John T. Greilick/The Detroit News: The nearly-full moon rises over the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit after heavy rains passed through the area Friday evening, was rained out, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Puddles of rain water, gorgeous light and the buildings of Detroit made for a wonderful muse for photographic fun)
Detroit,MICH,USA  -The Detroit News, by Daniel Howes -September 18, 2014: -- Back-channel word from General Motors Co. is that the ignition-switch scandal responsible for 19 deaths, the firing of 15 company insiders and four rounds of congressional thrashings is in the rear-view mirror now... Not so fast. Compensation czar Kenneth Feinberg says he's received 131 death claims — 10 times the tally GM confirmed in a decade-long screw up. And Monday he upped the official death tally nearly 50 percent from the 13 the automaker confirmed to federal regulators... Tuesday, a Senate committee hammered the director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for lax oversight of the GM's defective switch investigation. The odyssey stretches back more than a decade, implicating both regulators and the automaker's siloed engineering, safety and legal management... Feinberg issued his first report on claims he began receiving Aug. 1. His office told The Detroit News that it would update the numbers weekly, including approved death claims that are certain to make headlines even if they don't adhere to the strict definition GM used in response to specific questions from congressional investigators...

* DC- GM compensation fund death claims hit 131


(Photo: Olivier Douliery , MCT: Family members of victims of defective GM ignition switches hold a press conference outside the Capitol April 1, 2014 in Washington, D.C.)
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -September 16, 2014: -- General Motors Co. victim compensation fund has seen a sharp increase in claims since Friday, including six additional death claims... The fund has now received 482 claims, including 131 death claims... The breakdown includes 62 claims for very serious injuries and 289 for more minor injuries... The fund — which started receiving claims on Aug. 1 and will accept them through Dec. 31 — said Monday it had approved 19 death claims and 12 other claims, including four serious injury claims... The claims stem from GM’s delayed recall of 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other cars with faulty ignition switches that can accidentally turn off the engine and disable power steering, power brakes and air bags. Some at the automaker knew of problems for more than a decade before the cars were recalled... The fund will pay at least $1 million for each death claim, along with $300,000 payments to surviving spouses and children for pain and suffering. In addition, it will calculate the economic value of the life lost... GM has set aside $400 million to pay claims but said the total could hit $600 million. GM and Feinberg have repeatedly stressed that there is no cap on total claims...

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TRAILER MAKERS * USA: Montrose's

* Michigan - Trailers help put Montrose on map for car racers, collectors

(Photo: Larry Edsall / Special to The Detroit News: Montrose makes all sorts of trailers — from those designed to be pulled by a garden tractor to those that can carry two race or show cars. These trailers are designed and built in facilities on Ruth Street in Montrose)
Montrose,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Larry Edsall -September 18, 2014: -- Back in 1971, Gary Palinsky Sr. was looking for a utility trailer but he couldn't find one that met his needs. So he decided just to build one himself... Today, Montrose Trailers is managed by Palinsky's son, Gary Jr., and produces all sorts of trailers — from those designed to be pulled by a garden tractor to those that can carry two race or show cars. Trailers are designed and built in facilities on Ruth Street in Montrose... Montrose car trailers are custom designed and built, often with built-in tool boxes or storage compartments. Their aluminum construction makes them strong but light — structures carry a lifetime guarantee — and their design makes them aerodynamic, cutting tow-vehicle fuel costs... Prices range from $175 for a small garden-tractor utility trailer to the $3,500 to $4,500 range for enclosed snowmobile trailers to $10,000 to $17,000 for single-car enclosed trailers. Montrose produces open or closed utility, motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile and automobile trailers...

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2014-09-17

ELECTRIC TRUCKMAKERS * USA: Chicago's Garbage

* Illinois - Chicago's new electric garbage trucks give trash the wilent treatment

(Image: PRNewsFoto/Motiv Power Systems) 
Chicago,ILL,USA -AP News/Gizmodo, by Andrew Tarantola -16 Sept 2014: -- You know how I know it's garbage day? Because it's 5 am and it sounds like the trucks from Pump are getting busy on the curb. VROOOOOM, CRUNCH, SLAM, WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA, SLAM, CRUNCH, VROOOOOM. But some lucky Chicagoans will soon be able to sleep all the way through the night thanks to a new fleet of (mostly) silent dump trucks... Built by Motiv, an electric vehicle company that first gained prominence with its electric school bus for Kings Canyon Unified School District in California, the new all electric garbage truck will run a 60 mile route while collecting and compacting an estimated 9 tons of trash every day. It is also expected to save 2,688 gallons of diesel and $11,000 in maintenance costs annually. Compact-y parts of the truck are still sure to make a racket, but the driving part will be mercifully whisper-quiet... In all, Chicago aims to add at least 20 of these vehicles to its existing, 600-strong fleet over the next five years at a cost of $13.4 million. The electric truck will make its public debut on September 23rd at a Ride and Drive event put on by the CALSTART High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum—check it out before the vehicle is bathed in human refuse...

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TRUCKING SAFETY * Canada: See what truckers don't see

* Ontario - Special awareness event: A local trucking company wants you to see what truckers don’t

Belleville,Hastings,ONT,CAN -The Intelligencer, by Emily Mountney-Lessard -September 16, 2014: -- Meyers Transportation Services, based in Belleville, is hosting an awareness event entitled Do You See What We Don’t? this weekend at Loyalist College... Safety supervisor Doug Walker said the company wants people to know just how little visibility truck drivers actually have, and how other drivers can help make roadways safer for everyone... The company has around 125 drivers, each with a truck... Walker said, according to one statistic, car drivers are responsible for collisions between cars and trucks about 85 per cent of the time... Walker said often, when a collision involved a transport truck, peoples’ first instinct is to blame the driver... He said drivers can often be intimidated or irritated by transport trucks but wants people to know that “truck drivers are people too” ... He said the most common insurance claim that trucking companies have to deal with are side-swipes...

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TRUCKING INDUSTTRY * USA: CSA debates

* DC - Groups ask DOT to hide CSA scores from public view

(Photo: Truck inspection by a State Police)
Washington,DC,USA -Fleet Owner, by Avery Vise -Aug 26, 2014: -- Sticking closely to the rules of the Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program is vital in order for trucking companies and drivers alike to maintain a viable future in the freight hauling business, for acquiring even a modest series of CSA violations can “entrap” both in an enforcement web that can almost impossible to escape... That’s one of the lessons shared during a CSA-focused trucking panel at the 2014 McLeod Software User Conference this week, being held at the National Harbor resort located just outside Washington D.C. ...In the end, R and L’s Bowman stressed that if carriers and drivers alike do all the “little things” in terms of proper safety procedures – the pre- and post-trip inspections, the frequent drop yard checks to ensure trucks and trailers are in good working order, adherence to HOS rules, etc. – in the long run, CSA compliance will be far easier to maintain...

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MILITARY TRUCKS * USA: Oshkosh's - ISIS' Toyotas

* Wiscosin - Military trucks challenge for huge army contract

 Oshkosh, WIS,USA -Bloomberg/The Telegraph (UK), by Leon Siciliano -16 Sep 2014: -- Three suppliers of military trucks are battling it out for a £16.6 bn contract with the US army... A $27 bn (approximately £16.6 bn) contract will be awarded to a military vehicle contractor next summer to replace the Humvee... Among the contestants is Oshkosh, the largest supplier of military trucks in the United States of A., in 2013... Bloomberg travelled to their headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin to see the three trials every truck has to pass before the military will buy them...


* Syria - ISIS drives Texas-made Toyota Trucks apparently modified for U.S. Special Forces

Raqqa,Syria -Daily Paul, by Ralph Hornsby/by willyloman and Scott Creighton -17 Sept 2014:
-- “We’ve got Iraqi army battalions driving around in Toyota trucks,” General McCaffrey, USA Army, 2007... Military Toyota: "So, the obvious question is, why ship brand new Tacomas all the way from the United States, when Middle East, Europe and Asia is full of Hilux trucks, which include a heavier duty frame, suspension and diesel engines. The answer is that was simply easier for the Special Forces to buy them from local U.S. dealers, outfit them as they needed and ship them over” ... The now iconic white Toyota trucks we see ISIS driving around look scarily familiar to ones purchased here in the states and outfitted by special forces which puts to rest the notion that ISIS simply ran up to a dealership in Iraq and made off with 30 or so vehicles...
(Photo: “ISIS” and their special forces edition Toyota trucks) 
They aren’t even SOLD in Iraq and certainly not with these modifications. At least not as an entire fleet... Personally, I seriously doubt these ragtag misfits could take one special forces ranger’s personal truck from a Piggly Wiggly parking lot, much less a whole fleet of them in a combat zone. Very odd indeed, ain’t it?...

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: 2015-2016 Trucks Guide - GM's - Boulder's Electric - Volvo's

* Michigan - GM adding shift to make more trucks in Missouri

(Photo from General Motors: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado) Detroit,MICH,USA - The Detroit Free Press, by Nathan Bomey -September 16, 2014: -- Strong early interest in General Motors’ new midsize pickup trucks has led the automaker to add a third shift at its Wentzville, Missouri, assembly plant... The decision will result in 750 new jobs at factory in suburban St. Louis where GM makes the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. The first trucks are arriving in dealerships now. The plant also assembles the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana fullsize vans... The automaker said dealers have ordered nearly 30,000 units of the Colorado, a “very high” figure for early orders... The Wentzville plant currently has about 2,600 hourly and salaried employees over two shifts...


* California - 2015-2016 Trucks, SUVs, and Vans: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide 

El Segundo,CAL,USA -Motor Trend -September 15, 2014: -- The process of buying a new vehicle can make you want to shred your driver's license, but with the Motor Trend 2015-2016 Truck, SUV, and Van Buyer's Guide, it doesn't have to be so overwhelming... Whether you're ready to sign on the dotted line or just dreaming, we've got the details to get you started... On the next feature, you'll find info, specs, and photos of everything from popular compact crossovers to minivans and full-size trucks. If that weren't enough, you'll also find five-year retained value percentages on many models, researched for you by the recognized leader in vehicle valuation, IntelliChoice. Follow up your buyer's guide research with a visit to the MotorTrend.com road test section, and you'll be on the road in your new SUV, truck, or van before you know it...


* Colorado - Chatsworth electric-truck facility Boulder Electric Vehicle closes

(Photo: Boulder Electric Vehicle Demonstrates Vehicle-to-Grid Charging) 
Lafayette,COL,USA -The Los Angeles Daily News, by Gregory J. Wilcox -13 Sept 2014: -- The management of Boulder Electric Vehicle has quietly pulled the plug on the company and closed its production facilities in Chatsworth and Lafayette, Colo... The ambitious start-up was trying to carve out a niche in the growing electric vehicle market for medium- and light-duty trucks that could replace gasoline and diesel guzzlers in corporate and municipal fleets... The company fell victim to a numbers game. The company’s products simply didn’t resonate with the target market, at least not at this time... Boulder made two models, both with a range of 80 miles to 100 miles on a single charge and capable of freeway speeds up to 75 miles-per hour. The 500 Series truck featured a payload capacity of 4,000 pounds and the larger 1000 Series had a 6,500 payload capacity...


* North Caroline - Volvo unveils new used truck search tool

(Image: Screengrab of search tool) 
Greensboro,N.C.,USA -Truck News (CAN) -September 16, 2014: -- In an attempt to simplify the process of finding a high-quality used truck on its Web site, Volvo Trucks has launched its Used Truck Search Tool... The tool allows users to specify what features they are looking for in a used truck across the US and Canada and even lets users search specifically for Volvo Premium Certified models... “With a rigorous inspection and reconditioning of each truck, customers can be confident that Volvo Premium Certified models deliver the quality experience they’ve come to expect from a Volvo truck,” said Pete Monize, vice-president, Volvo Trucks remarketing operations...

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ALTERNATIVE FUELS * USA: Oberon Fuels's / * Canada: TATRO's

* California - DME receives EPA’s first biogas-based fuel approval under the renewable fuel standard

San Diego,CAL,USA -Global Newswire -September 3, 2014: -- Oberon Fuels Inc., the first company to announce plans to commercialize biogas-based dimethyl ether (“DME”) fuel production in North America, announced today that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has approved its DME for inclusion under the Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”). Oberon’s biogas-based DME process resulted in an approximate 68% reduction in greenhouse gases when compared to baseline diesel fuel... “One of the exciting attributes of DME is that, at its core, DME is a simple fuel,” according to Oberon’s co-founder and COO Elliot Hicks. “It requires a simple diesel engine and has simple propane-like handling properties” ... The transportation industry, particularly the heavy-duty sector, now has another option under the RFS for a domestically produced, renewable fuel...


* Ontario/Canada - Truck seller becomes bio-fuel producer 

Chatham,ONT,CAN -Canadian Shipper –Sep 15, 2014: -- A used truck dealer plans on turning waste wood by-products into diesel fuel... TATRO sells both parts and Class 8 trucks to fleets in Canada, the USA and around the world, but the Chatham, Ont.-based company has also invested in other businesses... TATRO it's also one of the backers of Innovative Hydrogen Solutions, which has created an on-board hydrogen delivery system designed to improve the fuel efficiency of truck engines... TATRO Trucks Ltd. corporate financial controller Daryl Dawson said, turning the leftover woody residue from sawmills into something of value is especially appealing when compared with the demands of other bio-fuels like ethanol, which requires acres of prime farmland devoted to growing corn for the production process, rather than allowing those acres to be used for planting crops for human consumption... The company TATRO is investing in, celluFuel Inc., is setting up a test facility in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia at ReNova Scotia Bioenergy Inc.—the former site of the Bowater Mersey Paper Company Ltd.—which the province has been operating since 2012. Dawson describes the facility as incubator and innovation centre...

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * East Africa Countries: Kenya

* Kenia - Delays, corruption impinge on trucking efficiency in East Africa


[Photo by Rajab Ramah / Sabahi - A security officer inspects an oil tanker as it prepares to go through a weighbridge at Mlolongo, Kenya on July 2, 2014] 
Nairobi,Kenya -Sabahi, by Rajab Ramah -September 15, 2014: -- Truck driver Mark Mulago, 43, had to spent an entire night at Mlolongo weighbridge on the outskirts of Nairobi on September 1st while officials cleared his truck to proceed... "Even though at this point the officers are only supposed to weigh the vehicles and their content to make sure that only truck loads with the right weight are allowed on roads, officers are inclined to bribery so they always stage delays to cause pileups of trucks," he said. "This pushes many of us to part with bribes so we can be cleared faster" ... Mulago, who transports cargo from the port of Mombasa to Rwanda and Uganda, said lack of standardised transiting and clearance procedures across all EAC member states were making the trucking business unpredictable... 

* Kenya - Bloated bureaucracies 


(Photo: Clearance :Trucks at Malaba border)
Nairobi,Kenya -Sabahi, by Rajab Ramah -September 15, 2014: -- Last month, the East Africa Policy Centre (EAPC), a think tank focusing on free market ideas within the region, released a report detailing the challenges facing the long distance trucking industry in the EAC. EAC countries move closer to integrate trade New berth at Mombasa port aims to boost regional trade Bribery stifles growth in East Africa, report says... According to the report, titled "Struggling with Formal and Informal Trade Barriers", high transport costs caused by corruption, bureaucratic delays, and poor border infrastructure are the biggest hindrances to trade in the region. The report does not consider road conditions as the primary cause of high transportation costs but blames inefficiencies at ports and corruption as the main issues. "Border fees and bribes remain a large part of cost of trade," the report said. "We found that other overhead and bribes account for almost 19% of the trucking companies' total operation cost. Drivers who were interviewed by the appellant claimed that many unexpected overcharges and bribes have to be paid at check points and weighbridges on the borders." The report further added that highly complex clearance procedures at ports cause unnecessary delays and severe logistical constraints. Despite recent efforts to simplify the process, truckers still must go through many steps before crossing borders. For example, truckers transporting freight from Mombasa to the Rwandan capital require 52 documents and signatures for a single trip, according to the report. Delays at the Mombasa port are one of the main culprits, accounting for an estimated 40% of the cost of transport along the busy Northern Corridor route through East Africa. Other ports in the region examined by the report do not fare much better. After receiving clearance at the ports, truckers have to go through a series of port border checkpoints, which extend trips. The average wait at borders between EAC countries is about 13 hours -- roughly 12 times longer than the wait at most Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries -- which makes it difficult to predict the time between the placement of an order with a supplier and the arrival of the goods, the report said. "For those reasons, road transport in the EAC is significantly more expensive than ship and air transport to advanced economies such as the United States (of A.) and European Union," the report said. "For instance, to transport a 20-tonne container via road from Mombasa to Kigali costs $3,400-$6,500. However, to make a shipment by sea of the same tonnage from Mombasa to the United Kingdom often costs only $2,000-$4,000." EAPC executive director Mike Rotich said with more efficient ports, truckers could increase their yearly mileage by at least 20,000 kilometres, which would translate to more and cheaper consumer goods on the market. "We estimate that reducing needless delays [at ports] and in turn improving logistical performance by 50% at EAC borders would cut transport prices and increase [trade] about 15%, which will translate to a 5% growth in GDP," he told Sabahi, calling on EAC member states to remove excessive bureaucracies that have been blamed to be at the root of the poor performance...


* Kenyan authorities to combat corruption 


(Photo: Truck at border crossing facility (USAID). A truck passes through the border post at Malaba, Kenya) 
Nairobi,Kenya -Sabahi, by Rajab Ramah -September 15, 2014: -- When reached for comment concerning Kenyan officers accused of bribery, Kenya National Highways Authority Director General Meshack Kidenda admitted receiving complaints. "We are aware of the cartels responsible for graft on our roadblocks and weighbridges. We understand the negative impact it has on trade and generally regional integration but we have not resigned to fate. We have mounted sting operations with other agencies and in a few months we will dismantle all the cartels responsible for those vices," Kidenda told Sabahi. Working with officers from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, he said they had arrested over 19 people accused of soliciting bribes at Mlolongo and Mariakani weighbridges since mid-August. "We will continue conducting ad hoc operations until all the stations are corruption free," he said, adding that they have also started installing modern weighbridges that will see the scales record weight of trucks while in motion. "This will minimise physical contact between officers and those manning the weigh-bridges, as information on overloaded trucks will be automatically relayed to court clerks stationed away from the centres who will prepare charges on those who violate the axle load rules. This will also help minimize delays," he said. 


* Kenya - Protecting truckers from overcharges 


(Photo: Crossing borders and removing barriers) 
Nairobi,Kenya -Sabahi, by Rajab Ramah -September 15, 2014: -- Phyllis Kandie, cabinet secretary for Kenya's Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, said the EAC council had approved two pieces of regulation -- the one-stop border post bill and the vehicle load control bill -- to protect truckers from overcharges and reduce delays at borders. The one-stop border post bill aims at making the movement of goods throughout the region more efficient by combining border control activities at a single location in order to reduce the number of stops truckers have to make. The vehicle load control bill attempts to harmonise the region's axle load limit to 56 tonnes. "Most countries are aligning the rules to their national laws so as implementation can be done easily," Kandie told Sabahi, adding that improved relations and co-operation among members states are also helping eliminate both tariff and non-tariff barriers that have been a hindrance to trade within the region...

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY * USA - Recruiting Trucking and Logistics Companies

* Colorado - State governments don't worry about keeping or attracting trucking and logistics companies

(Photo: Weld County, Colorado, Road 49, truck drivers increasingly using the road) 
Denver,COL,USA -Truckinginfo -September 15, 2014: --Greg Fulton, president of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association said ... Unfortunately, over the years I have sat in various meetings where policymakers have questioned making any effort to retain or recruit logistics companies. Some view these as "dirty businesses" that could detract from the state or local community's image... I was astounded how little people knew about the trucking industry and its impact on our economy and the fact that this industry has moved faster and gone farther than almost any other in regard to environmenta; improvements... Some states realize that logistics businesses, while not as glamorous or newsworthy, provide long-term stability and tend to weather economic downturns better than most of these other high-flying businesses. They also recognize that the wages in the trucking industry tend to be significantly greater than the median pay for other jobs in the country and that these jobs generally have good benefits associated with them. In addition, in a day and age when job security is a passing ideal, the ongoing need for truckdrivers and mechanics ensures that those individuals will never need to worry about a job... Most importantly for these states to consider is that many trucking companies are currently located in small, rural communities or economically disadvantaged areas today... As an added advantage, trucking tends to support other businesses in these communities who serve them with goods and services which creates even more jobs in the community...

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2014-09-15

TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * China / India: Foton's

* India - Beiqi Foton’s India plans, involving investment of $400 mn, the largest FDI by a Chinese firm in 



(Photo Bloomberg : Foton's truck) Mumbai,India -The Live Mint, by Shally Seth Mohile -15 Sept 2014: -- The India plans of Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Pvt. Ltd, one of the world’s largest and China’s biggest commercial vehicle maker, may get a fillip with the maiden visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans... In 2011, the Beijing-based firm had announced the construction of a new factory in Chakan near Pune to produce a full range of commercial vehicles for the Indian market. Beiqi Foton’s plans, involving an investment of $400 million, the largest foreign direct investment by a Chinese company in India, is yet to take shape with a decision regarding the kind of models to be introduced in India still pending... The firm plans to bring the full range—from small commercial vehicles to a heavy duty trucks. This will give it the much-needed economies of scale and help compete with established firms like Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland...

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DEATHS in TRUCKING ACCIDENTS * USA: Report

* DC - Trucking deaths down 8% last year

Washington,DC,USA -Truckinginfo -September 11, 2014: -- New U.S. Labor Department figures show the number of deaths in trucking last year accounted for about 10% of all fatal work injuries... There were 461 deaths in what the department labels the truck transportation sector, 8% lower than in 2012, with 67% of these incidents occurring on the roadway. This includes deaths to vehicle occupants resulting from traffic incidents that occur on public roadways, shoulders or surrounding areas, but excludes those occurring entirely off the roadway, such as in parking lots and on farms as well as incidents involving trains... Nine percent of the trucking deaths were due to being struck by an object or equipment, 5% were caused by falls and 1% was due to homicides... Of the wider transportation and warehousing sector there were 687 deaths, accounting for about 16% of all the 4,405 on the job deaths in 2013, down from 4,628 in 2012. While a smaller share of these happened on the roadway, 53%, a level similar to trucking involved being stuck by an object or equipment as well as falls. However, a greater portion, 5%, was attributed to homicides... Total U.S. transportation deaths were 1,740, or 40% of all work fatalities, a decline from 1,923 in 2012. Just over 990 of these fatalities happened on roadways...

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TRUCKER HONOURED * Australia

* Victoria - Trucking honour

(Photo: The honoured trucker Ryan Geoff) 
Quambatook,VIC,Australia -The Northen Times, by KEN JENKINS -Sept. 12, 2014: -- Geoff Ryan moved a myriad of essential products long distances across this vast land during 56 years as a transport driver... During that time, he reckons he has clocked up more than eight million kilometres transporting sheep and cattle, grain, fuel and a range of other goods... That half century-plus service has earned the Quambatook resident a permanent place on the National Road Transport Wall of Fame... The Road Transport Historical Society is a volunteer based project dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Australia's unique road transport heritage... Its charter is not only to remember the great trucks, buses and vehicles of the past, but to recognise the contribution of the men and women who drove and lived with these great machines of the past... Mr Ryan was inducted into the hall of fame during a ceremony at the museum...

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TRUCKING NDUSTRY * USA: Rules, regulations and troubles

* DC - When Government targets truckers, everything becomes more expensive


(Photo from UPI) 
Washington,DC,USA -The Ludwig von Mises Institute/Personal Liberty Digest -September 12, 2014: -- Enduring the bureaucratic and regulation-ridden work environment, U.S. truckers work tooth-and-nail to keep supply chains moving and on schedule. Because of regulatory interference, U.S. trucking outfits are among the few remaining industries that are still largely run and/or owned by mom-and-pop operations. According to the American Trucking Association, nearly 70 percent of all goods moved in the U.S. are transported on trucks. That comes to almost $670 billion in real, physical goods, from durable and manufactured goods, to finished parts for assembly, to consumer goods... There are about 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S.A., and of those, 1 in 9 are owner-operators. Trucking represents 84 percent of all commercial transport revenue, and 68 percent of all freight tonnage in America. Rail, on the other hand, makes up less than 6 percent of freight tonnage transport... In 2009, $33.1 billion was paid by commercial trucks for federal and state highway taxes. It makes up roughly 5 percent of GDP, and 1 out of 13 private sector employees are involved in the trucking industry, not just drivers but office staff, warehouse, and engine and truck manufacturers. Go one step more and include accountants, attorneys, insurance companies, and other related services... In spite of trucking’s importance to both consumers and producers, however, the State has been preying on trucking companies and seeking to squeeze truckers of their productivity... In February the Obama administration announced a rigorous set of new fuel requirements for big-rigs and tractor-trailers that is putting small companies in a financial bind. According to the Washington Examiner, the EPA is ordering large trucks and buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 percent and overhaul engine design starting with models built in 2014. Most operators will need to spend thousands upgrading their rigs or buying new vehicles, with prices starting at $50,000 on average. According to John Salez, owner of B and H Trucking in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, he claims the new rules have prevented him from investing nearly $2 million in buying new trucks... Altogether, with the mandatory requirements of expensive exhaust systems, regulating hours, and an absurd point system that is falsely believed to reflect accurate safety records, it all spells lower productivity and higher prices. What once took ten trucks, now takes twelve, thus leading to an increase of the cost of goods which of course is passed in part on to the consumer. Meanwhile, the resulting increases in the price of entry into the trucking industry squeezes small trucking businesses, leading to labor shortages which could have been prevented had the industry been left to the owner-operators...

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