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Jun 27, 2015

TRUCKMAKER NEWS * Germany: Daimler's Trucks

* Stuttgart - Daimler bets on connectivity with Zonar Systems deal

-- Daimler, the world's largest truck maker, bought a minority stake in Seattle-based telematics provider Zonar Systems Inc on Thursday, the latest step by established vehicle manufacturers to gain know-how in the area of connectivity... Daimler has been collaborating with Zonar for five years in developing Daimler's "virtual technician", a satellite-based diagnostic system to help U.S.A.-truck customers assess the need for a service or repair... The world's established car and truck manufacturers are using internet and satellite connectivity to transmit data which help make their vehicles more intelligent in saving fuel, minimizing repairs and navigating traffic more efficiently... Daimler declined to reveal how much it spent to buy the Zonar stake, saying only that it owned less than 25 percent of the company... Rival carmaker BMW last month said it had teamed up with traffic software analysis company Inrix to give its cars real-time data to help find on-street parking. BMW's cars will use data collected by Inrix to show which streets have available parking... 
(Photo from REUTERS, by Michael Dalder - Daimler's new Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty truck ''Arocs'' is pictured during its world premiere in Munich January 28, 2013)  --  Frankfurt, Germany - Reuters, by Edward Taylor / Ilona Wissenbach / Mark Heinrich - Jun 25, 2015

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COERCING TRUCKERS will VIOLATE FMCSR * USA

* DC - Proposed Federal Trucking Regulation would prohibit shippers and transportation intermediaries from coercing drivers to violate FMCSR

-- A recently proposed regulation aimed at prohibiting driver coercion could have a significant impact on the way shippers and transportation brokers hire trucking companies to move freight across the U.S.A. ...  This proposed rule seeks to prohibit motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries from coercing drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles in violation of certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), including drivers’ hours-of-service limits and drug and alcohol testing rules... In practice, simply requiring a trucking company to deliver a load within a narrow time window can amount to coercion if the trucking company accepts the job knowing that it will require the violation of federal regulations. It is also possible that contractual language instituting penalties for late delivery could be construed as coercion. The proposed penalties for violation of this rule would be up to $11,000 per incident with a possible revocation of operating authority... Shippers and brokers would be forced to conduct thorough inquiries into a driver’s hours of service to ensure that they are not requiring drivers to violate federal regulations to complete a time sensitive delivery. We may even see a reduction in “hot shot” or rush deliveries, which all too often lead to tired drivers and fatal accidents... 
Washington, DC, USA - The National Law Review - June 24, 2015

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TRUCK SENSORS * USA: How long trucks are waiting to enter terminals

* California - Oakland Port installing sensors on nearby streets to measure truck wait times

-- The Port of Oakland said Tuesday it will place sensors along the streets leading up to its terminals to better track how long truck drivers must wait to pick up cargo... The sensors will pick up signals from cellphones or other wireless devices as they enter and leave the general area, rather than the port itself. By tracking drivers in a wider area, port officials hope to get a more complete picture of how long drivers are actually waiting... In recent years, delays have mounted at ports around the country as they scramble to handle ever-larger vessels bringing more containers at a time. Short-haul truck drivers—tasked with transporting cargo containers from port complexes to nearby warehouses and distribution centers—frequently complain of long lines outside port terminals. Since most port truckers are paid by the load, longer wait times mean fewer “turns” at the port, and that hits their paychecks, they say... Today, most ports only start tracking trucks when they enter the complex, which means they are ignoring the time spent in long lines outside the gates, said Curtis Whalen, an executive with the American Trucking Association... In a statement Tuesday, the Port of Oakland said the technology is the same used to calculate rush-hour commute times along major freeways. With accurate information about wait times, the port says, trucking companies will be able to choose the most efficient times to make their pick-ups... 
(Photo: Bloomberg News - Trucks line up at daybreak to enter the Ben E. Nutter shipping terminal in Oakland, California) -- Oakland, CAL, USA - The WSJ, by ERICA E. PHILLIPS - June 23, 2015

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* USA - TRUCKERS PROTEST at Port of New Orleans

* Louisiana - Truckers protest for changes at 

  (Video from WDSU News - Jun 22, 2015: Dozens of local truck drivers protested on Monday saying they have finally had enough of being forced to transport damaged goods that come into the New Orleans port on ships from overseas) 
-- Dozens of local truck drivers protested on Monday saying they have finally had enough of being forced to transport damaged goods that come into the New Orleans port on ships from overseas... It's a problem they say has been going on since just after Hurricane Katrina. They say instead of there being an area dedicated to handling these damaged boxes near the unloading zone, they have to carry the boxes to a separate location for inspection -- then off to a third location for storage... Darrell Williams says each time, this is process that takes several hours that they are not paid for. He says that’s forcing them to lose $200 or $300 a day... Williams says that last week they met with representatives from Ports of America, the New Orleans Terminal, the Port of New Orleans and some of the companies they work for -- but he says nothing was resolved...

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TRUCKERS' STORY, border troubles: * UK / France: Migrants & Strikes

* France - Channel Tunnel strike: Larne trucker caught up in migrant chaos

(Photo Getty Images: UK lorry drivers became easy targets after they were caught in huge tailbacks in Calais)
-- A lorry driver from County Antrim has told how migrants, desperate to get to the UK, surrounded his truck in Calais... Steven Miller from Larne is parked in a lorry park after spending Tuesday stuck on the motorway, one mile outside the French port... Travellers and lorry drivers still face long delays following the no-warning strike by French ferry workers, which halted Channel Tunnel services. Hundreds of migrants tried to board UK-bound lorries amid the chaos... Speaking to Good Morning Ulster, Steven said: "I tried to get into the tunnel this morning, but there were a lot of trucks and immigrants on the motorway"... In the past few days, Steven says he has witnessed lots of migrants attempting to get onto trucks... About 3,000 migrants are estimated to be living rough around Calais, waiting for a chance to cross the channel... 

(Photo: Striking employees of the French company MyFerryLink stand in front of tyres set on fire as they block the access to the Channel Tunnel)
... Moreover, at 03.50 (local time) on Tuesday, employees of French ferry company MyFerryLink went on strike in protest against plans to sell two of their ferries to the rival firm DFDS... The strike forced the closure of the Port of Calais... On Tuesday, Eurostar tweeted that a fire caused by striking ferry workers had damaged the track, leading to all trains being cancelled... Steven added: "Everyone is really frustrated because this is happening a lot in Calais. If there's not an immigrant problem, there's the dockers striking, or the boat company striking..." 
County Antrim, N. Ireland, UK - BBC News - 24 June 2015

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Jun 25, 2015

SAFETY TRUCKS * USA: Trying to pass a giant 18-wheeler can be a bit unnerving

* South Korea - Samsung’s new ‘See-Through’ safety trucks are what we always needed

  (Video from SamsungArgentina - Jun 17, 2015)
 -- Not being able to see what’s in front of the truck you are trying to pass doesn’t make matters any easier... As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise overtaking trucks on one-lane roads can often cause serious car accidents... Recently, Samsung Argentina set out to solve this problem by creating a fleet of innovative trucks that essentially let you see right through them... Each Safety Truck has a wireless camera mounted on the front of the vehicle and streams live video of the road ahead onto a giant screen located on the back of the truck... Therefore, drivers will be able to see what’s in front of the trucks and know whether or not they can safely pass the rigs... With this new video technology, Samsung hopes its see-through Safety Trucks will make the roads a safer place and reduce the number of accidents... 
Seoul, S. Korea - Elite Daily, by Kaylin Pound - Jun 22, 2015

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ALTERNATIVE FUELS * Sweden: Volvo's HVO certified

Volvo Trucks certify the Synthetic Diesel HVO for all engines

-- After extensive field testing of the renewable synthetic diesel HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils), Volvo Trucks has approved the fuel for all its Euro-5 engines and are preparing certifications for Euro-6. The HVO performed the same as regular diesel, but reduced CO2 emissions between 30 and 90 per cent, well-to-wheel... In 2013, Volvo Trucks started field tests in Sweden together with Renova, DHL Freight and OKQ8 to see how the use of 100% HVO affected engine performance and components. The six field test trucks were equipped with Euro-5 engines and covered approximately one million kilometres in commercial service over a two-year period... HVO is a synthetic diesel and is produced from renewable raw materials such as vegetable and animal fats, from rapeseed oil or abattoir waste, for example. The fuel can be distributed via existing diesel depots and uses the same type of tanks and pumps as regular diesel. HVO reduces CO2 emissions between 30 and 90 per cent well-to-wheel, depending on the raw material...
(Photo: Volvo Trucks has approved renewable synthetic diesel HVO)  -- Stockholm, Sweden -  Irish Trucker (Eire) - 22 June 2015

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MILITARY TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: Oshkosh's

* Wiscosin - Oshkosh wins contract to restore Army’s Heavy Tactical Trucks


-- The U.S. Army has awarded Oshkosh Defense, a five-year requirements contract to recapitalize its Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles (FHTV). Oshkosh will bring the Army’s fleet of Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) and Palletized Load Systems (PLS) to the latest model configuration and the same zero-mile, zero-hour condition as new production vehicles... Overall, the contract’s potential value is $780 million for the recapitalization of an estimated 1,800 FHTVs, in addition to the production of about 1,000 trailers. All work performed under the contract will be completed in Oshkosh, Wis., with deliveries occurring from 2015 to 2019...  
Oshkosh, WIS, USA - Trucking News - June 22, 2015

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DRIVERS SHORTAGE & AUTONOMOUS TRUCKS * USA: It’s not ready for commercial applications

* Missouri - Self-driving big rigs no solution for driver shortage

-- Self-driving big rigs could be a thing of the not-so-distance future, but it still may not put an end to the long-running national driver shortage that logistics companies have noted for years... Military technology developed by Lockheed Martin called “Autonomous Mobility Applique System” was created to help save lives in hostile areas. The trucks were tested at Fort Polk in Louisiana last year using GPS, lasers and radar to maneuver across long distances and obstacles such as pedestrians... But that doesn’t mean it’s ready for commercial applications... “Trucking is still going to need many people for the delivery of freight because of safety and security issues in cargo theft and with hazardous loads,” American Trucking Association spokesman Sean McNally said. “It could create other labor issues, too, with the need for more highly skilled technicians. There’s a lot of questions still out there and we look forward to seeing how they’re going to be answered” ... 
(Image by John Lovett - Truck drivers parked at the I-40 Travel Center in Ozark may see big rigs that can drive themselves in the not-so-distant future, but the technology may still not curb the national driver shortage proclaimed by logistics companies)   --  Ozark, MISS, USA -The Times Record, by John Lovett - June 21, 2015

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TRUCKS' TIGHTER EMISSIONS * USA: Government proposes new standards for big trucks

* DC - ​EPA lays out its plan to wring more MPG from trucks

-- The Obama administration on Friday proposed tough new standards to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide pollution from trucks and vans, the latest move by President Barack Obama to address global warming... The new rules are designed to slash heat-trapping carbon emissions by 24 percent by 2027 while reducing oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the rule... Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles account for about 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and oil use in the U.S.A. transportation sector, polluting the air and contributing to climate change. The trucks and vans account for only 5 percent of vehicles on the road... The long-expected trucks rule comes one day after Pope Francis issued a teaching document calling for the world to take action to slow climate change... Under the new rule, a best-in-class, long-haul truck carrying 68,000 pounds of cargo is expected to get at least 10 miles per gallon, up from a range of 5 to 7 miles per gallon today, the EPA said... The American Trucking Association said industry generally supports the new rules, but remains concerned that it may result in use of technologies on vehicles before they can be fully tested. ATA officials said truck and engine manufacturers need time to develop solutions to meet the new standards... The proposed standards would cover model years 2021-2027 and apply to semi-trucks, large pickup trucks and vans, and all types and sizes of buses and work trucks, officials said... The National Automobile Dealers Association and American Truck Dealers blasted the rule, saying it would add an average of nearly $12,000 to the cost of a new truck... The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association of Grain Valley, Missouri, which counts 150,000 members, said it was concerned that the rules would "push truckers to purchase technology that is not fully tested and may lead to costs such as increased maintenance and down time that will eclipse the potential savings estimated in the proposal" ... Once completed, the rules are expected to lower carbon dioxide emissions by about 1 billion metric tons... The rule builds on fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards already in place for model years 2014-2018. Those rules are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 270 million metric tons and save vehicle owners more than $50 billion in fuel costs, compared to previous standards... 
(Photo from WALMART: Walmart's WAVE concept truck is made of carbon fiber and uses a turbine-powered battery-electric hybrid drivetrain. It's all about showcasing new ways of making trucking more fuel efficient)  --  Washington, DC, USA - AP/CBS News - June 19, 2015


* Illinois - Trucker working in East Dundee to develop a more efficient rig

-- Michael Niss is a man on a mission, and come August, he'll be rolling that mission down North America's highways... Those drives will be in his own semi as he gets back to work as an operator hauling loads of all sorts through Minnesota-based Long Haul Trucking. His mobile experiment is his rig, dubbed Faith, which he has customized from existing equipment and technologies — with a few tweaks of his own making — in an attempt to reach the goal of getting 11 miles per gallon or more in fuel efficiency... Niss calls his start-up Breaking11... In his third year of driving and his first owning his own rig, Niss said he was able to experiment to improve his fuel economy from 6.4 mpg to 8.1 mpg... Moves to that end included reducing drag, changing tires and lubricants, and adjusting his driving habits to keep his speed between 62 mph and 64 mph. He also installed wheel covers, switched type of air filters, and added a custom nose and aluminum wrap on the underside of the vehicle... His current, relatively new, low-mileage vehicle — which cost about $200,000 — incorporates those prior moves with others Niss has been developing... 
(Photo: Michael Niss and his Breaking11 truck)  --  East Dundee, ILL, USA - Elgin Courier-News. by Mike Danahey - 20 June 2015

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Jun 24, 2015

NEW CAR TECHNOLOGIES * UK - JLR gets inside your head to cut crashes

* England - The new Mind Sense project hopes to harness driver brainwaves to predict if a driver is distracted or sleepy on the road

(Image: - MIND SENSE TECH: JLR's latest safety project is aimed at predicting whether drivers are distracted behind the wheel)
-- Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has revealed a range of road-safety research projects that are intended to reduce crashes caused by distracted drivers... JLR’s ‘Sixth Sense’ projects uses advanced technology from sports, medicine and aerospace to monitor a driver’s pulse, respiration and brain activity to identify stress, fatigue and lack of concentration... Its UK-based team is also looking at innovations to reduce the time a driver’s eyes are off the road and how to communicate a problem back to the driver with pulses and vibrations through the accelerator pedal... JLR director of research and technology Dr Wolfgang Epple said: “One key piece of research is to see how we can measure brainwaves to monitor alertness and concentration” ... The Mind Sense technology research tests whether a car could effectively read brainwaves that indicate a driver is beginning to, the automaker says, “daydream or feel sleepy”... The human brain continuously generates four or more distinct brainwaves at different frequencies. By monitoring which type of brainwave is dominant a computer could assess whether a driver is focused, daydreaming, sleepy, or distracted... The most common way to monitor brainwaves is to have sensors attached to a headband, something that would be impractical in a vehicle. JLR is investigating a method used by NASA to develop a pilot’s concentration and by the USA bobsleigh team to enhance concentration and focus... The automaker is conducting trials to collect more information on the different brainwaves identified through steering wheel sensors and leading neuroscientists to verify the results... Another project being tested is whether a vehicle can monitor the well-being of the driver using a medical-grade sensor in the seat of a Jaguar XJ. The sensor, originally developed for use in hospitals, has been adapted for car use and detects vibrations from the driver’s heartbeat and breathing... Monitoring the physical health of the driver would not only detect sudden and serious illness but also allow the car to monitor his stress levels... JLR hopes to reduce driver distraction by minimising the time the driver’s eyes are on the infotainment screen with a new system in testing – the predictive infotainment screen... The prototype uses cameras to track the driver’s hand movements and enables the system to predict which button the driver intends to select. This allows successful button selection to take place in mid-air, which means users wouldn’t have to touch the screen itself... The system could also use mid-air touch to provide the driver with a sensation, otherwise known as haptic feedback, that their button selection has been successful. The sensations could include a ‘tap’ on your finger or a ‘tingling’ on your fingertips... Haptics could also be used to communicate with the driver through the accelerator pedal to increase the speed of response and to ensure the correct action is taken... To create these sensations in the accelerator pedal, an actuator is fitted to the pedal and allows for vibrations or pulses to be passed through the foot of the driver. The technology also uses a torque motor, which can create resistance in the pedal feel... This resistance could be used to notify the driver that they are pushing the accelerator through a speed limit. Alternatively, if you were crawling along in traffic a timely warning through the accelerator could prevent you bumping into the car in front... 

(Video from Land Rover - Jun 9, 2015: Land Rover is researching a new type of technology that will allow cars to identify potholes while drivin. The technology will report the details of the pothole, including precise location and severity, back to the connected car technology system in order to alert fellow drivers, as well as local authorities in order to help them prioritise their repairs)
(Images: Motopress) -- London, EN, UK - Wheels 24 (New Zealand) - 19 June 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: 2016 RAM Heavy Duty Pickup Trucks

* Michigan - Ram get 900 Lb-Ft of torque from the Cummins 6.7L Diesel


-- The 2016 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks come with performance upgrades, including an improved Cummins diesel that now produces 900lb-ft (1,219Nm) of torque... According to Ram, the 6.7-liter diesel delivers the most torque ever offered in a mass-production truck. The additional 35lb-ft (47Nm) was obtained thanks to turbo boost calibration for the inline-six cylinder engine... Another important update for the 2016 model year is the Ram 3500’s increase in towing capacity from 30,000 lbs (13,607 kg) to 31,210 lbs (14,156 kg) of SAE J2807-spec towing capacity. According to the truck maker, the Ram 3500 beats the closest competitor by more than two tons... 
Auburn Hills, MICH, USA - Carscoops, by Dan Mihalascu - June 23, 2015


* Colorado - Mercedes joins growing compact commercial van segment

-- As ’16 Mercedes-Benz Metris vans enter the U.S.A. part by disassembled part, Bernhard Glaser wants to clarify just what the vehicle is and who the intended customers are... No, the Metris is not a minivan, even though it may look like one, says the vice president of Mercedes-Benz USA’s recently created van division... So, no, the midsize commercial van Mercedes will introduce to the U.S.A. market in October is not aimed at the minivan crowd. Its targeted buyers are businesses needing vans to move cargo and groups of people around... Next year, Mercedes begins construction of a $500 million Sprinter assembly plant in Charleston, SC. An existing facility there serves as a reassembly factory. That’s because of an unusual manufacturing process. Sprinters are assembled in Germany, disassembled, shipped to the U.S.A. and then put back together again... That cumbersome process is done to avoid a stiff 25% tariff on truck imports. The levy dates to the Lyndon Johnson Admin. It is called “the chicken tax.” Here’s why: Europe had imposed a duty on frozen chickens imported from the U.S.A. In retaliation, the U.S.A. slapped the 25% tariff on truck imports... Assembling, disassembling and reassembling Sprinters is an oddity in today’s world of efficient manufacturing engineering that seeks to streamline all facets of vehicle building, from how long a worker reaches for a part on the line to how long it takes to put it on... 
Telluride, CO, USA – WardsAuto, by Steve Finlay - Jun 23, 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS PROGNOSIS * USA: Navistar's

* New York - Orders for U.S. capital goods rise as investment stabilizes

-- Companies such as truck maker Navistar International Corp. optimistic better demand for its products, including medium-duty trucks, will follow... “We’re seeing growth in this important segment in 2015 due to increasing business investment and expansion in the housing market,” Chief Executive Officer Troy Clarke said in a June 4 conference call to discuss earnings. “Improving freight rates, lower energy costs, favorable business conditions, aging fleets and better new truck fuel economy and safety, all translate into good demand for trucks” ... 
(Photo: Navistar Defense Tactical Pickup Truck) -- NY, USA - Bloomberg Business, by Victoria Stilwel - June 23, 2015

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TRAILER MARKETS * Europe: Strong start for the West European Trailer Market in 2015

* UK - Report : Demand for heavy goods trailers in Western Europe to 2019


(Video by pts50pneumatic - Oct 30, 2014: PTS50 Pneumatic Trailer Legs on Tank trailer) 
-- In 2015 the trailer market has got off to a strong start with registrations of new trailers forecast to grow by 12.8% in the first half and 4.7% in the second. Overall then, the market will be stronger than anticipated six months ago... The reason is that several markets which have struggled since the global financial crisis have started 2015 very strongly. Italy for example is up 68% in the first four months of the year and will finish the year up be a similar percentage. Spain, where registrations last year were half pre-crisis levels, has started the year up 60%... Two countries which have recovered quite well from the crisis have also had strong starts. The Netherland is up 31% for the first four months of the year suggesting that 2015 trailer demand will be very healthy. The UK, which set a new record for trailer demand in 2014 looks set for another very strong year... These four countries plus Denmark will account for almost all the extra demand for trailers compared to last year’s forecast figure. Italy and the Netherlands will also be strong in 2016... The forecast for new trailer demand is that it will match the level of 2006 by 2016. It remains unlikely that the demand level of 2007/8 will be seen again. However, 2006 was the third highest trailer registrations level on record... Trailer production, having fallen by 9.2% from the 2011 level, had a 12.2% increase in 2014. Further increases are forecast for 2015/16... 
Twickenham, UK - Prime Transport Solutions -PR- by Leila Birke - 19 June 2015

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Jun 23, 2015

TRUCKS RECALL* USA: More than 100,000 Kenworth trucks recalled

* DC - Due to a water leak in the wiper motor

-- Eleven models of Kenworth trucks from 2011-2016 have been recalled due to a water leak in the wiper motor, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration... More than 100,000 Kenworth trucks manufactured from November 2010 to April 2015 are affected...  A recall investigation found that water was getting into the windshield wiper motor, causing the intermittent setting to fail... Visibility during weather with precipitation could be reduced and increase the chance of a crash. Corrosion and electrical shorts are also possible with the water leak, increasing the risk of a fire... Notifications have not been scheduled as Paccar is still working on a solution to the issue... 
Washington, DC, USA - Land Line Magazine - 15 June 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * India: Volvo's

* India - Volvo delivers truck number 10K, sees mkt boom

-- India’s largest premium European truck retailer, Volvo Trucks, on Thursday announced its vision to grow its market share and brand presence to new heights in the country... Volvo Trucks, a pioneer in the over-400 HP premium heavy-duty commercial vehicle segment, handed over a new FMX 440 8x4 I-Shift vehicle to its customer, Mahalaxmi Infracontracts, which is the company’s 10,000th truck to be delivered in India, since 1998... 
(DH Photo by S K Dinesh - Volvo Group Truck Sales India President Pierre Jean Verge-Salamon and Senior Vice President Rama Rao A S unveil the company's 10,000th truck in Bengaluru on Thursday)  --  Bengaluru, Karnataka, India - Deccan Herald, by Hrithik Kiran Bagade - June 19, 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Europe: CUTTING JOBS at MAN

* Germany - MAN eyes 2,000 job cuts in VW-led trucks revamp

-- Germany's MAN SE could cut as many as 2,000 jobs at its main trucks division as the Volkswagen-owned company slims operations under a wider reorganization of production, company and union sources said... Management and union officials at MAN have been in talks for months on how to reshuffle truck production to achieve planned savings of more than 600 million euros ($676 million) by 2017 to make it more efficient as parent VW pushes to become a global force in trucks... VW, Europe's largest vehicle manufacturer, has spent billions of euros over the past decade on expanding stakes in MAN and Scania to fulfill a long-standing ambition to compete with truck market leaders Daimler and Volvo... But it has yet to reap significant cost savings from the combination and last month aligned MAN and Swedish peer Scania in a new truck holding company... The new strategy foresees abandoning truck production at MAN's plant in Salzgitter in northern Germany, where about 2,500 people are employed, and converting the site into a component factory, the sources said... Assembly of heavy trucks would be concentrated at the main factory in Munich, and light and medium-sized trucks would be built in Styria, Austria, they said... 
(Photo from REUTERS, by WOLFGANG RATTAY - Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn stands at the Volkswagen booth at the world's largest industrial technology fair, the Hannover Messe, in Hanover April 13, 2015)  --   Munich, & Berlin, Germany - Vienna, Austria - Reuters, by IRENE PREISINGER, ANDREAS CREMER and ALEXANDRA SCHWARZ-GOERLICH - Jun 17, 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: Mack's - John Deere's

* North Carolina - Mack Trucks deliveries stall in May

-- A slow month for Mack: Truck deliveries decline in North America... Mack delivered 2,230 heavy-duty trucks worldwide in May, up only 1.2 percent from 2,203 one year earlier, according to a report released Thursday by the Sweden-based Volvo Group, Mack's parent company... Solid gains in South America — deliveries jumped from 53 to 144 over the last year — helped offset a 2.6 percent decline in North America, where deliveries declined from 2,051 in May 2014 to 1,998 last month... Despite the decrease in North America in May, John Walsh, Mack's vice president of marketing pointed to year-to-date deliveries, which indicate the heavy-duty truck manufacturer is still well ahead of last year's production pace... So far this year, Mack has delivered 11,125 trucks worldwide, up 1,095 — or nearly 11 percent — from the same period in 2014. In North America, 10,226 trucks have been delivered this year, a 9 percent increase over last year... 
(Mack Trucks, Contributed Photo: Mack Trucks logo at the headquarters' main entrance)  --  Greensboro, CN, USA - The Morning Call, by Jon Harris - 19 June 2015 


* Illinois - John Deere E-Series articulated dump trucks feature a load of new updates


 -- Bolstered with big updates, the new 370E, 410E and 460E articulated dump trucks (ADTs) are designed to keep materials moving and profits flowing. The three models are highlighted by an EPA Final Tier 4 (FT4)/EU Stage IV John Deere PowerTech™ diesel engine and a pressurized Deere-designed cab – both of which combine to boost productivity and uptime, while minimizing daily operating costs... All three models feature a redesigned cab that is sealed and pressurized to keep out dust and noise...
(Photo: A John Deere 410E Articulated Dump Truck rolls along)  --  Moline, ILL, USA - John Deere, P.R. - June 16, 2015

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Jun 22, 2015

TRUCKING SUITS * USA: Truck driver suit against Walmart and FedEx

* California - Walmart violated minimum wage law in failing to pay truckers for all tasks

-- A U.S. District Court in San Francisco has ruled Walmart violated California’s minimum wage law when it failed to pay its truck drivers for tasks ranging waiting in line to load or unload cargo to the time it takes to fuel or wash a truck... According to Judge Susan Illston, who issued her ruling in late May, truck drivers must be paid for all the time they were under Walmart’s control, even if those tasks were officially designated by the megastore as designated unpaid activities... Fresno attorney Butch Wagner told the Fresno Bee that the judge’s ruling could amount to $100 million to $150 million in back pay — which would include interest on that money and penalties. Wagner said he represents 720 truck drivers in his lawsuit. Wagner said Walmart pays its drivers by the mile and not by the hour... However, a Walmart spokesman said there is no proof that any company driver wasn’t paid the minimum wage for each hour worked, adding Walmart contends Wagner’s interpretation of the law is incorrect. The spokesman told the Bee that Walmart drivers earn between $80,000 and $100,000 per year and that more than 90 percent of its drivers have been with the company for more than a decade... 
San Francisco, CAL, USA - Trucking News - June 18, 2015


* California - The FedEx Ground reached an agreement to settle independent contractor litigation for $228 million

-- The class-action suit covers about 2,300 drivers who worked for the company between 2000 and 2007. Last August the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court and ruled that the drivers’ status as contractors failed the state’s “right-to-control” test... FedEx disagreed with the ruling, and said that the contractor model had been upheld more than 100 times, including by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. And FedEx began using a new contractor model closely aligned with those decisions in 2011... “FedEx Ground faced a unique challenge in defending this case given the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last summer,” said Christine P. Richards, executive vice president and general counsel of FedEx Corp. “This settlement resolves claims dating back to 2000 that concern a model FedEx Ground no longer operates” ... The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and the settlement is subject to court approval...

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Jun 20, 2015

DRIVERS' SHORTAGE * USA: Truckers' payment and incentives

* California - Why paying truckers by the mile is unfair and dangerous


-- Truckers say a big factor in the driver shortage is how they get paid, not how much... The trucking industry is in crisis for one simple reason: It cannot find enough people to sit behind the wheel... The American Trucking Assns., a trade group, estimates that trucks carry more than 67% of the country's total freight by weight. Trucking is the nation's most important mode of commercial shipping... Many carriers have trucks sitting idle because there's no one available to drive them; many want to buy new trucks but won't do so for the same reason. Carriers need more operators to fulfill shipper requests not only as the economy expands, but also as it stands now... The shortage is most acute in long-haul operations. However, it is now affecting short haul and regional carriers as well as drayage trucks that do short hops between, say, a railhead and a nearby port. The driver shortage also hurts other transportation modes such as ocean shipping and rail, which rely on trucks to carry their freight “the last mile” ... The industry has tried to mitigate the shortage by offering drivers signing bonuses and shorter routes so they can be home more often, paying the cost for commercial driver's license training, reaching out to ex-military, women and immigrant groups, and paying more for tenure. Carriers say these incentives help only incrementally and the shortage is not abating... There are several reasons for the shortfall. First, drivers are older, on average, than the general working population, 49 versus 41.9 years, and many are retiring because they can no longer keep up with the physical demands of the job. Young people are not signing on to replace the folks who are leaving... Second, federal regulations have cut back on the number of hours that a driver may spend behind the wheel, so additional drivers are needed to pick up the slack...While the simple answer is to pay drivers by the hour instead of by [the mile], carriers are reluctant to do so because it would mean a dislocation of their business model... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2012 that fatal crashes of large trucks and buses cost the U.S economy $40 billion that year. Fatigue and speeding are major crash factors...  It's better for everyone if drivers don't have to engage in dangerous behavior just to clock more miles, in the name of simply making a living... 
(Photo Los Angeles Times: Big rigs - Automobiles and trucks mingle on the 710 Freeway at the Willow Street bridge) -- Los Angeles, CAL, USA - The Los Angeles Times, by LARRY KAHANER - 15 June 2015 


* Minnesota - While raising pay, trucking firms seek new ways to keep drivers

-- Time is money, especially in trucking, where productivity hangs on how many shipper pickups and deliveries can be made in a week and a driver’s pay often depends on how many miles he or she travels... Transport America is trying to address both points by raising driver pay and also increasing the maximum speed for both its long-haul and regional trucks from 64 to 68 miles per hour... Last week, Transport America raised owner-operator pay to at least $1 per mile and eliminated differences in base pay between hazardous materials and non-hazmat owner-operators. “We’re invested in our drivers’ careers as much as they are,” Mike Bash, director of recruiting operations at Transport America, said when announcing the owner-operator pay hike... Raising per mile pay by itself, however, isn’t necessarily the best way to keep drivers happy and behind the wheel. That’s why a higher maximum speed, which could bring drivers additional miles and give them the ability to catch up their schedules after delays, can be attractive... “We listened to what our drivers wanted and we’ve delivered it. A first-year driver can earn over $51,000 a year and our top veteran driver is expected to earn over $78,000 a year” ... That’s well above the average U.S. tractor-trailer driver annual wage last year of $41,930, which according to Labor Department data increased 2.4 percent from 2013... 
(Photo: Transport America Corp., headquarters at Eagan, Minnesota) Eagan, MINN, USA - J.O.C., by William B. Cassidy - Jun 18, 2015

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TRUCK SALES * USA - May: Mixed orders

* Indiana - Classes 5-7 Truck orders climb in May as Class 8 orders descend

-- Net orders for Class 8 tractors totaled just over 20,500 units in May, while Classes 5 through 7 trucks posted 19,900 net orders, according to the latest State of the Industry report, just released by ACT Research Co. (ACT). The report covers Classes 5 through 8 vehicles for the North American market... Steve Tam, ACT’s vice president of the commercial vehicle sector, said that, amid an economy sending mixed signals, the North American Class 8 market performed to expectations in May... 
(Photo: The B.O.S.S. Bug Out Survival Shelter)  --  Columbus, IND, USA - Trucking News On Line - June 19, 2015

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TRAILER SALES * USA - May: 29% year-over-year in

* Connecticut - FTR Reports Trailer Orders plummet


-- FTR reports net orders for new trailers in the United States totaled 15,200 units in May — 14 percent below the previous month and 29 percent year-over-year... The traditional summer slide continues, earlier and more pronounced than normal; however, there is still plenty of backlog available to support strong build rates through the end of the year. U.S. trailer orders have annualized over the past 12 months at 326,000 units... While backlogs are strong, they have fallen 15 percent since the January peak. Dry van, flatbed, and liquid tank were the primary segments affected by the lower order rate in May. Refrigerated vans and the dump trailer market continue with positive comparisons. Production remains steady for all trailer types... 
Three High Ridge Park Stamford, CT, USA - Trucking News - June 19, 2015


 * California - Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. history

  Video from UtilityTrailerMfg - 10 June 2015 - Company history video

-- Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., the industry’s largest manufacturer of refrigerated trailers and a leading manufacturer of dry freight vans, flatbeds, and curtainsided trailers, has released four videos featuring the 4000D-X Composite dry van, 3000R reefer...
City of Industry, CAL, USA - Trucking News - June 19, 2015

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TRUCKERS' SHORTAGE * USA: Brand is the future for recruiting drivers

* California - Your brand really matters when recruiting truck drivers


-- In the ever-competitive world of attracting good commercial truck drivers, it’s getting more and more difficult to stand out and be noticed among a growing crowd of competitors... Phrases such as “New Pay Plan,” “Late Model Equipment,” “Not a Number,” and “Home Time” are in almost every ad targeting truck drivers. Even if those things are true about your company, they’re not going to make you sound very different from what’s being bandied out there by competitors... So how do you stand out as a black dot in a sea of white dots and truly differentiate your company? An effective brand is the single-most important ingredient to becoming one of those stand out companies that are like magnets to drivers... A strong employer brand can be a talent magnet for that increasingly elusive prospective driver. An authentic driver brand that is honestly shared by a recruiter and adhered to by operations can also be a powerful retention tool... What is a brand? A brand is not a logo or a catchy slogan. In fact, it’s not anything your marketing person or committee says. It’s what your drivers (and potential drivers) say your company is all about... The definition that we like to use is that a brand is a person’s gut feeling about your organization. It how people perceive the experience of working with or for your organization... The future of trucking lies with those companies that can attract and retain the best drivers. A strong brand will give you that unfair advantage to be one of the leaders that pulls ahead in the years to come... 
Ladera Ranch, CAL, USA - Trucking News On Line, by Chris Tanke - June 15, 2015

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ENGINE MAKERS * USA - EPA: New Rules

* DC - EPA proposes tougher mileage standards for trucks


-- The Environmental Protection Agency issued new rules that would lower carbon dioxide emissions from trucks and vans by 24 percent by 2027. It would cut fuel costs by about $170 billion and reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels over the lifetime of vehicles sold under the rule... Companies in the trucking industry initially expressed mixed feelings about proposed standards. Cummins, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of diesel engines, came out in support of the rules, but Lisle-based truckmaker Navistar International was hesitant to draw any conclusions... Navistar is still licking its wounds from a failed engine strategy to comply with federal engine emission rules that took effect in 2010... Medium and heavy-duty vehicles account for about 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and oil use in the U.S.A. transportation sector, but comprise only 5 percent of vehicles on the road... 
(Photo by Susan Walsh, AP - The Obama administration on Friday proposed tougher mileage standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks) -- Washington, DC, USA - The Chicago Tribune - 19 June 2015


* DC - Engine-Maker Cummins among winners in U.S. trucking proposal

-- U.S. regulators delivered a victory for engine makers such as Cummins Inc. in a battle over emissions regulations for heavy-duty trucks... The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department proposed fuel-economy standards Friday that would mandate efficiency gains in engines and transmissions made by companies such as Cummins and Eaton Corp. The rules are intended to encourage the development of new technology, and the replacement of engines... The American Trucking Associations, whose members include the industry’s largest companies, expressed overall support for the proposal as a way to reduce fuel expenses. Among freight carriers, publicly traded companies like Con-way Inc., Swift Transportation Co., ArcBest Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. should be able to absorb the added costs or pass them along to consumers, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Lee Klaskow said... Small truckload companies and owner-operators may have trouble affording the more expensive trucks, even with the two-year payback period estimated by the regulators. “This could push some smaller companies out of business,” Klaskow said... Based on an initial review, the agencies’ reliance on untested technologies “ may lead to costs such as increased maintenance and down time that will eclipse the potential savings,” the Grain Valley, Missouri-based group’s executive vice president, Todd Spencer, said in a statement... Truckmakers had pushed for the elimination of a standard for engines, and backed just testing the whole vehicle the way automobiles are assessed. That way, fuel consumption targets could be met with less expensive changes, such as improved aerodynamics... Volvo AB’s North American unit told the agencies that overemphasizing engines in the regulations could result in added costs, weight and vehicle complexity. Daimler Trucks North America LLC warned against engine standards that aren’t aligned with real-world operations... The agencies are expected to accept comments on the regulation over the next few months and publish the final rule sometime next year... About 350,000 new heavy-duty trucks were sold in 2013 in the U.S., according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Daimler had the largest share, or 37.3 percent, of the 2014 market for the heaviest trucks, followed by PACCAR Inc., Volvo and Navistar International Corp... “The rule should reflect realistic vehicle production and operating conditions, and consider the cost-efficient, fuel-saving technologies in fleet operations,” said Sean Waters, director of product compliance and regulatory affairs at Daimler Trucks North America... 
Washington, DC, USA - Bloomberg, by Jeff Plungis - June 19, 2015

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