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Apr 18, 2015

PICKUP TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: Ford's

* DC - Analyst: F-150's top crash rating validates Ford effort


-- Ford Motor Co.'s new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup earned the highest possible score in its first government crash test safety rating, beating the score of last year's all-steel truck... The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 truck's SuperCrew cab — its most-used type — five stars in its New Car Assessment Program, thanks to features including a stronger frame, inflatable rear safety belts, lane control technology and advanced air bags... The 12-corner crush horn was developed after computer-testing thousands of different shapes and styles to find the safest configuration, said Nand Kochhar, chief engineer of global body safety. The feature allows the frame to collapse in a safer way for passengers when it's hit head-on... Ford is seeking a patent on the technology...
(Photo from Ford Motor Co.: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 F-150 five stars in its New Car Assessment Program, thanks to features including inflatable rear safety belts, lane control technology and advanced air bags)  --  Washington, DC, USA - The Detroit News, by Michael Martinez - April 16, 2015

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TRUCKS SALES * Ireland: DAF's

* Ireland - Weight conscious DAF LF secures major fleet deal with Calor Gas

 --  Calor Gas, has put to the road its first of 20 new ‘Minibulk’ tanker vehicles based on DAF’s 18-tonne Euro-6 LF 220 FA chassis. Bodied with a 17,000-litre LPG pressure vessel by Lakeland Tankers, the DAF LF offers Calor Gas a significant 500kg weight advantage over competitor chassis... Importantly, the new DAF / Lakeland Tankers ‘Minibulk’ specification is the first in the UK to receive Whole Vehicle Type Approval through the Individual Vehicle Approval process. Equipment also includes LPG pumping and metering equipment, and a wealth of interlocks and other safety devices, combining to offer an impressive unladen weight of 9,750kg... As part of the same fleet delivery package, Calor Gas has also ordered 27 DAF LF 210 FA chassis at 15-tonnes GVW and three LF 150 FA 7.5 tonners, all with Cartwright bodies, for its gas cylinder distribution operation. 51 units on order thus far in 2015 follow a delivery of 64 Euro-6 DAF trucks previously in 2014. The DAF brand now makes up over 90% of Calor Gas’s 550+ vehicle fleet... 
Long Mile Road, Dublin, Ireland - The Irish Trucker Magazine - 17 April 2015

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SAFETY TRUCKS * USA: Troopers & Trucking working together ...

* Alabama - ... To promote safety

(Vance, ALA -- Alabama State Troopers ride with commercial truckers to as part of the Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks or TACT program)
 -- A spike in accidents is bringing renewed attention to the dangers of 18-wheelers... Big rigs have made headlines recently, from crashes that clog traffic, to accidents like the one that took the life of Montgomery Police Officer David Colley. Despite the negative perception, there are efforts taking place right now to regulate the commercial trucking industry and promote safety on the road... Trucking industry officials and law enforcement will admit commercial vehicles get a bad rap... But as the Alabama Trucking Association points out, it's usually the vehicles trying to get past these semis that are to blame... The Alabama Trucking Association cautions drivers in passenger vehicles to slow down when they are around these commercial vehicles... This week, the Alabama Trucking Association will have an operation with their motor carrier unit, known as the TACT program, Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks, working on-site and addressing issues... 
Montgomery, ALA, USA - WSFA 122, by Kacey Drescher - Apr 16, 2015


 * Pennsylvania - Truck Safety Records. Bill would block truck safety records from public

  --  Truck safety records are currently public. Every single time a truck driver is cited for a safety violation - whether it's for ignoring basic safety maintenance of equipment, disregarding hours of service requirements or reckless driving - the citation is logged into a federal database and made available to the public... The Hazleton-area Republican has introduced legislation that would shield the safety records of the trucking industry from public scrutiny. Barletta contends the system - known as Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) - is flawed and misinterpreted by users - everyone from federal agencies, local governments, to carriers and manufacturers who may be looking to book a fleet or a charter bus... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which has oversight over the trucking/bus industry, uses the database to compute a safety score, which is given to all carriers, regardless of whether it's a 100-truck fleet or a landscaping business with three trucks... Barletta says the current system serves no one - not the trucking industry nor the public - because it does not provide safety records that reflect a company's safety record. His legislation - Safer Trucks and Buses Act would temporarily suspend the publication of safety scores to allow the scoring system to be reformed...
(Photo, Pennsylvania State trooper Brain Livingston issues a citation to a trucker out of Edison, New Jersey for out of date periodic inspection and three under-inflated tires) PENN, USA - Penn Live, by Ivey DeJesus - April 16, 2015

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TRUCKER STORY * USA - Punishment is excessive: TRUCKER JAILED

* Pennsylvania - Trucker jailed twice: once for inability to pay fine, again for driving overweight on restricted road 

(Photo courtesy: CANONBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT - Trucker jailed twice: once for inability to pay fine, again for driving overweight on restricted road. Francisco V. Amarales-Amarales remains in jail this afternoon with an $850 collateral set for his $8,500 fine for driving his almost 80,000-pound rig onto a street with a 10-ton weight limit)  Canonsburg, PA. USA - The Trucker - 16 April 2015 -- A Florida truck driver is back in jail Wednesday afternoon after appearing before Magisterial District Judge David Mark Wednesday morning on charges he drove his overweight truck onto a road with a 10-ton weight limit. .. 

* Pennsylvania - Trucker’s punishment is excessive

 -- In response to Tuesday’s article, “Florida trucker jailed for violating weight limit,” it seems this is about nothing more than the money, a huge payday for Canonsburg... As a truck owner and operator myself, I have total respect for the police and motor carrier enforcement officers and the job they do. But this man made an honest mistake, a wrong turn in a town more than 1,000 miles from his home, and he is locked in jail and he or his company is responsible for $17,000 in fines? ... According to the article, he hit nothing and did no damage to anything... It states that “he almost hit a car at the light,” which happens at every intersection a truck turns at, due to the wide swings trucks need to make, and the fact that cars never leave trucks enough room. It also states the driver’s truck was “59,346 pounds overweight,” which is misleading. I assume he was overweight for the 10-ton road, but in actuality he was at 79,346 pounds gross, which is 650 pounds below the 80,000 pounds he is allowed on interstate highways... With increased truck traffic in and around this area, this is becoming common, and I do agree the driver should have used common sense and not relied on GPS. But his punishment and fines seem excessive to me...
Washington, PA, USA - The Observer-Repporter - April 17, 2015

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SHOPPING TRUCKS * New Zealand: "some of which have been accused of taking advantage of the poor..."

* New Zealand - Crackdown on shopping trucks wanted by minister


-- Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has hatched a plan to "curb the negative effects" of mobile truck shops in communities, and it doesn't involve her Cabinet colleagues passing new laws... Tolley, the MP for the East Coast, is lobbying councils to use their powers to close mobile shopping trucks, some of which have been accused of taking advantage of the poor... Mobile trucks have been criticised for selling goods at prices that are in many cases far higher than the supermarkets and shops. Customers are able to get the goods before paying the mobile shopping truck owner by instalment... Consumer said some mobile truck companies, of which there were about 40, were "targeting some of the most vulnerable consumers". It said an item like a jersey could end up costing $180 and a packet of cornflakes could cost $30 if purchased from rogue operators... Tolley appeared to have similar concerns... She said she had met with and written to the mayors and councils in the Opotiki, Kawerau and Whakatane districts, and believed there was an opportunity "to work together to exclude mobile trucks from preying on our communities"... 
(Photo: A mobile shopping truck, shipping container cafe, in Auckland) -- Auckland, NZ - Stuff, by ROB STOCK - Apr 16, 2015

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TRANSPORTATION SECTOR * USA: The second largest source of GHG

* DC - EPA report: transportation 2nd largest contributor of GHG emissions

-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today reported a 2 percent increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2013 from 2012 but a 9 percent drop since 2005... By sector, power plants accounted for 31 percent of total U.S.A. greenhouse gas pollution. The transportation sector contributed a reported 27 percent, an EPA report says... The transportation sector was the second largest source of GHG with power plants being the No. 1 culprit, the agency stated... The statistics were in EPA’s 20th Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks just released... In June 2013, the president's Climate Action Plan called for the Department of Transportation to develop fuel-efficiency standards and the EPA to develop GHG standards for medium- and heavy-duty on-highway vehicles and work trucks in a joint rulemaking within the president's second term. In February, 2014, the President directed DOT and EPA to complete the second phase of the standards... 
(Photo: Truck traffic to the Bronx)  --  Washington, DC, USA - The Trucker News Services - 16 April 2015

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Apr 17, 2015

TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Sweden: Scania's

* Sweden -  Scania to supply 200 trucks to leading Indian mining company

-- Indian mining company BGR Mining & Infra has placed an order for 200 Scania P 410 tipper trucks. In 2014, the company took delivery of its 150th Scania vehicle... Headquartered in the city of Hyderabad, BGR Mining & Infra is one of India’s leading mining companies. It already has a fleet of 246 Scania vehicles... Scania has been represented in the Indian market since 2007. In 2011, Scania established Scania Commercial Vehicles India Pvt. Ltd. with an ambition to strengthen its presence through sales to additional segments of the Indian commercial vehicle market and to widen its offer of sustainable solutions. Scania is currently establishing a complete service and dealer network... Scania has launched a range of on-road haulage truck models specially adapted for the Indian market - the R 500 6x4, the G 460 6x4 and the P 410 6x2 and also the off-road P 410 8x4 mining tipper. Scania has a successful partnership with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) in the mining segment... 
(Photo: Scania's P 410 Tipper) -- Söjderdale, Sweden - Scania Press Release - 14 April 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: Macks'

* Pennsylvania - Mack Defense nets GSA ontract to deliver CNG, LNG trucks


  --  Mack Defense has been awarded an indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract from the General Services Administration (GSA) to supply Mack Pinnacle, Mack Granite and Mack TerraPro models from now until the initial contract ends Oct. 31, 2015. GSA has the option to extend the contract for an additional year through Oct. 31, 2016. The GSA contract also includes natural gas-powered vehicles from Mack. Mack offers the natural gas-powered Pinnacle highway model, which runs on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). “We look forward to working with the GSA to fulfill our contract with natural gas-powered and diesel-powered Mack vehicles,” said Ryan Werling, president of Mack Defense. “We are excited to offer natural gas-powered solutions for our government customers looking for alternative-fuel vehicles. We are pleased that Mack is the only OEM under the contract to offer heavy-duty natural gas vehicles.” Mack Defense is part of the Volvo Group, a global manufacturer of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines...
(Photo: Mack Defense Nets GSA Contracted to Deliver CNG, LNG Trucks)   -- /AllentownUSA - Trucking News - April 13, 2015

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ELECTRIC TRUCKMAKERS * USA: Rather than burn fuel to drive wheels, the Wrightspeed generator-engine produces electricity

* California - Dawn of electric truck technology

-- The all-electric Tesla S car has wowed all who’ve driven it, and now the Kiwi co-founder of Tesla is working on a parallel feat by reinventing the truck powertrain... Ian Wright’s 'Wrightspeed' all-electric powertrains won’t revolutionise long-haul transport - that’s still a job for fossil fuels, Mr Wright said, or better, diesel-electric trains - but they are already transforming the operating costs of metropolitan haulage... “Here in the United States, the average Class 8 full-sized garbage truck is burning $55-$65,000 a year in fuel, and up to $30,000 in maintenance,” Mr Wright told Fairfax from his California headquarters. “Of that, we can save about $35,000 in fuel and $20,000 in maintenance. They are pretty substantial savings” ... On a big garbage truck, each drive unit is rated at 250 horsepower. On trucks with four drive wheels, the system has to be capable of generating enough electricity to produce 1000hp... A typical Wrightspeed-equipped garbage truck will get 30 miles (50 kilometres) out of an overnight plug-in recharge of its batteries. “Those are the cheapest miles, because electricity is very cheap compared to fuel,” Mr Wright said...
(Photo: Wrightspeed converts trucks into EVs with onboard diesel generators)  --  Palo Alto, CAL, USA - Farm Weekly, by MATTHEW CAWOOD - 13 Apr, 2015

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TRUCKS SEIZED * India: 500 trucks seized in one week

* Delhi - Enforcing the ban, no more space left

-- Six days after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) barred diesel vehicles over 10 years old, including commercial trucks, from plying on the roads of Delhi, the state government is facing a strange problem... It has already seized 500 trucks while enforcing the ban, and the only place to park them till legal proceedings are complete — a three-acre compound in north Delhi — is fast running out of space... Commissioner Amit Verma, who is also conducting inspections, said that government officers might soon have to stop impounding trucks... Members of truckers’ associations said they had spoken to the Delhi government about the problem, and would take up the matter with the NGT if required... Ever since the NGT asked the Delhi government to check air pollution, especially caused by trucks entering Delhi from other states, the transport department and police officials have been keeping an eye out mainly for three things: whether a truck is overloaded, whether it is evidently causing pollution and whether its papers are in order...
(Photo: It has already seized 500 trucks while enforcing the ban, and the only place to park them till legal proceedings are complete — a three-acre compound in north Delhi — is fast running out of space. It has already seized 500 trucks while enforcing the ban, and the only place to park them till legal proceedings are complete — a three-acre compound in north Delhi — is fast running out of space)  --  New Delhi, India - The Nation/The Indian Express, by Pritha Chatterjee - Apr 17,2015

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SHORTAGE OF DRIVERS * USA: Demand for truckers expected to grow 11 percent over the next decade

* Ohio - Trucking industry faces shortage of drivers

-- An aging workforce, tougher regulations and waning interest among younger workers are causing a nationwide shortage of truck drivers that is impacting local companies... Despite a need for hundreds of thousands of drivers over the next decade, local companies said they are having a tough time attracting replacements for a rapidly aging workforce... The need for more drivers is expected to become more significant in the near future, with freight revenues expected to rise as much as 70 percent over the next decade and a current shortage of about 35,000 drivers, according to a 2015 report by HireRight, a national employment services firm... Clark State offers a five-week course that allows students to earn their CDL. Despite entry-level jobs in the area that can pay between $35,000 to $40,000, attracting students to the industry is difficult, Tom Hicswa, Commercial Driver’s License Director for Clark State Community College said... The demand for drivers is likely to remain a problem unless the industry can find creative ways to recruit a younger workforce... 
Dayton, Ohio, USA - Dayton Daily, by Matt Sanctis - April 13, 2015

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WEATHER TROUBLES * USA: April Blizzard

* Wyoming - Winter weather causes 70-Vehicle Pile-Up on Wyoming Interstate


(Apr 16, 2015 - This video was shared with the PitchEngine Communities by Sherzod Kutfiddinov, whose trucker friend shot it. This wreck involved more than 30 vehicles and injured more 20.The scene of a 70-vehicle pile-up Thursday in Wyoming between Laramie and Cheyenne)
  -- As many as 70 vehicles piled up in one spot of a Wyoming interstate Thursday after a heavy April storm dropped almost 10 inches of snow on the area, authorities said... An almost 150-mile-long stretch of Interstate 80 remained closed in both directions Thursday afternoon between Cheyenne in southeast Wyoming and Rawlins in the central part of the state because of treacherous, slick conditions that caused accidents across the area, officials said. The worst spot was near mile post 342, between Cheyenne and Laramie, two of the state's major population centers... The state Highway Patrol said three major accidents happened in blizzard conditions. As many as 50 commercial vehicles and 20 passenger vehicles were piled up at the scene, it said... The National Weather Service said parts of Laramie County along I-80 got up to 9.8 inches of snow — and things could get worse...
(Facebook/Trista Stiles - An ice imprint left behind by a jeep) 
... Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories were ineffect for much of the region Thursday evening... 
Laramie, WY, USA - NBC News - 15 April 2015

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INFRASTRUCTURES * China & Vietnam: Modern expressway amidst

* Vietnam - Transport connectivity with China to help speed up Vietnam's economic development

-- In early April in northern Vietnam, cargo trucks fully loaded with fertilizer, building materials and rice, among other things, constantly flowed back and forth along the Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway connecting Vietnam's capital Hanoi and the border province with China... The newly-constructed expressway facilitated increasing trade exchanges between China and Vietnam, and boosted economic vitality in Vietnam's northern region... In September 2014, Vietnam's longest and most modernized expressway at 245 kilometers in length, connecting Noi Bai in Hanoi and northwestern Lao Cai province bordering China, officially opened to traffic... This is part of the China's Kunming-Vietnam's Hai Phong Transport Corridor and belongs to the Greater Mekong Subregion ( GMS) cooperation program connecting Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and China... 
 (Photo: The $1.5 billion Ha Noi - Lao Cai Highway enables vehicles to run from Hanoi to Lao Cai within 3.5 to 4 hours)  --  Hanoi, Vietnam - Xinhua/ Shanghai Daily, by Nguyen Thi Thuy Anh and Zhang Jianhua - Apr 13,2015

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INFRASTRUCTURES * Australia: Some stock routes were almost unusable

* Northern Territoriy - Major Central Australian stock routes still a problem as mustering and trucking hits full swing

-- As mustering and trucking cattle hits full swing across the Northern Territory, some of the major stock routes in Central Australia remain a problem... Mark Castagna, manager of a major Northern Territory trucking company said stock routes are still a problem as mustering and trucking of cattle hits full swing in 2015... Mr Castagna said the Tanami road and parts of the Plenty Highway were in a terrible state... The Federal and NT Government announced $40 million late last year to seal around 150 kilometres of the Plenty Highway from the Stuart Highway to Harts Range. Work is yet to commence... Mr Castagna said some stock routes were almost unusable and that was not good, particularly at this time of year... 
(PHOTO: A road train transporting cattle on the Stuart Highway north of Alice Springs)  --   Alice Springs, Northern Territoriy, Australia - abc net, by Nathan Coates - 13 April 2015

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Apr 16, 2015

Next Mail Truck * USA: May have rotors

* DC - U.S.A. Postal Service getting pitches from makers of drones, electric vehicles and Humvees

-- More than a dozen companies, including those now making military Humvees and luxury sport-utility vehicles, are vying to bring the lowly mail truck into the future... Fifteen suppliers have been qualified in the first leg of a competition that could be worth $5 billion over several years, according to the U.S.A. Postal Service. The USPS wants a vehicle able to operate for 20 years, and intends to buy 180,000 vehicles over three years... Early contenders suggest the mail service is considering everything from drones to gasoline-powered vans to battery-powered vehicles for its fleet... The agency has received a “significant response” to its January request for bids, and is open to considering a variety of alternatives for its next generation delivery vehicles, said USPS spokeswoman Sarah Ninivaggi... Current candidates include global auto makers Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Nissan Motor Co., Indian tractor and SUV maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Humvee maker AM General LLC, Daimler AG’s heavy-duty truck unit and Wisconsin defense contractor Oshkosh Corp. ... The first round is one of many to come. Ms. Ninivaggi said a request for prototypes likely would be issued within the next 30 days. Only companies that have been prequalified can respond. The USPS intends to select several companies to supply prototypes...
(PHOTO: JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES - The Postal Service is looking to replace its aging mail delivery vehicles because current trucks are expensive to maintain, uncomfortable and becoming too small to handle package delivery growth from large e-commerce vendors)   --  Washington,DC, USA - The WSJ, by ANNE STEELE - April 15, 2015

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TRUCKMAKER LAYS OFF * Canada: Regina truck maker lays off 135 workers

* Saskatchewan - Advance Engineered Products also filed for creditor protection

--  About 135 employees at tanker truck manufacturer Advance Engineered Products in Regina were laid off with little notice after the company filed for creditor protection... The company said its Advance Tank Centre in Regina will continue to operate normally, focusing on customer service... Hugh Wagner, president of the Grain Services Union, said a skeleton crew will continue to operate in manufacturing to finish works in progress and to keep the operation alive for possible future projects... 
(Photo: Co Op petroleum truck) --  Regina, Saskatchewan, CAN - The Canadian Manufacturing, by Mike Ouellette - April 14, 2015

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RULES & REGULATIONS * Australia: COR and tie-down rules looming for Western

* Western Australia - Trucking and rural industry to prepare for updated road regulations to come into force on April 27

-- WA is changing some of its road rules, in order to better complement the laws of other states... Chain of responsibility (COR) rules are set to come into effect from April 27, along with a new directive on the types of material used to tie down open loads on flatbed trailers... Only approved webbing and certified ropes will be permitted, preventing loose loads on all vehicles... WA Road Transport Association (WARTA) CEO Ian King says it is a sensible reform that is well past its due date... COR provisions are expected to cause the most concern among WA transport operators and their customers... But not everyone is happy about the updating of road regulations in the state... WA Pastoralists and Graziers Association president Tony Seabrook says the changes add new levels of bureaucracy and risk to farmers and their families... 
(Picture)  --   Perth, WA, Australia - Fully Loaded - 19 March 2015

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Apr 15, 2015

INFRASTRUCTURES * Australia. VicRoads gets electronic curfew signs underway

* Victoria - Static signs with long messages seen as ineffective and unsafe

-- VicRoads has developed what it describes as an Australian-first electronic ‘No Trucks’ signs to enforce complex truck curfews in Melbourne’s inner west... In January, Somerville Road, Yarraville truck curfews were extended to include school drop off and pick up in a move backed by the Victorian Transport Association... To clearly and safely communicate four different curfew periods to drivers along the 2.6km stretch of Somerville Road, it turned to electronic LED signs, designed and programmed to switch on and off during truck curfew periods and display a ‘No Trucks’ symbol... The solution looked to avoid large static signs with long messages when conveying multiple and variable time-based curfews... Eleven electronic ‘No Trucks’ signs were designed and installed, of which four are regulatory signs on Somerville Road and seven are advisory signs on the approach to Somerville Road... The total cost of the project including design, electrical and civil works was $590,000...
(Picture: The advisory sign)  --  Melbourne, VIC, Australia - Fully Loaded - 17 March 2015

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY * USA: OBAMA SEEKS POWER TO MANDATE PAID WAITING TIMES

* DC - Proposal will allow the USA Government to order trucking companies to pay drivers for waiting time

 -- USA president Barack Obama is seeking new powers to require trucking companies to pay their drivers for time spent loading and unloading freight... The Obama administration’s proposed multi-billion dollar transport plan includes a clause that will, if passed, allow the federal transportation secretary to order trucking operators to compensate drivers for non-driving work at a rate at least equal to the federal minimum wage... The current USA federal minimum hourly wage is $7.25... The USA Department of Transportation says truck drivers are often not paid for time spent waiting for shipments to be loaded or unloaded... It says the proposal to require paid waiting time will ease the economic stress on long-distance truck drivers by ensuring they are paid for the hours they work...
 Washington, DC, USA - ATN (Australia), by Brad Gardner - 7 April 2015

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY SAFETY * Australia: As major crash report shows, fatigue features in highly in crash stats

* ACT - NTI in a safery call to motorists and industry

(Picture by Attila Szilvasi/The Sunday Telegraph: Cement truck crashes into petrol station, Pacific Highway, Chatswood)
 -- Leading truck insurer National Transport Insurance (NTI) has urged the holidaying public to increase its vigilance on roads over the Easter holiday break and the trucking industry to be alert too... Backing the message up, NTI highlights the findings of the company’s 2015 Major Accident Investigation Report that shows half of all major truck crashes occur on highways... The NTI’s accident report, compiled by its National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC), looks into 549 major crash incidents involving the large trucks it insures, with a combined cost of $71.7 million... NTI CEO Tony Clark, has particular concerns about: "Fatigue, inappropriate overtaking, lack of visibility through over-loading, and underestimating the road conditions are a dangerous mix during holiday periods, so please take extra care this Easter if you’re on the roads" ...  He recommends motorists keep in mind four tips when sharing the road with trucks this Easter: 

° Don’t cut in: Trucks are heavier than cars, so need more space when stopping. For example, at 100km/h a truck needs an extra 30m to come to a stop compared to a car travelling at the same speed. 
° Give trucks room to turn: Some trucks need extra room at corners, intersections and roundabouts. Trucks over 7.5m must carry a sign saying "Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle". This means the truck can legally use two lanes to make their turn, and may need to turn left across your path to turn left. 
° Be aware of blind spots: Remember – if you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, he/she can’t see you! 
° Overtake with care: It takes about 25 seconds to overtake a prime mover on the open road. That’s a long time if you’re on the wrong side of the road – and even longer if the truck is a B-Double or B-Triple. Make sure you have the time and clear visibility. 

... Report's some key stats include: 

* Inappropriate speed for the conditions continued to be the leading cause of serious accidents at 27 per cent, with 73.6 per cent of speed losses resulting in a rollover. 
* Fatigue related accidents increased to 12.8 per cent — the worst result since 2007. Western Australia has the highest proportion of major crashed due to fatigue at 30 per cent 
* Truck fires continued to account for 10.7 per cent of large loss incidents with electrical failure accounting for 68.5 per cent of cabin/engine compartment fires. 
* The worst performing state was Queensland, followed by Western Australia, while Victoria was the best. 
* Reported large losses occurring during an outward journey stands at 67 per cent.


(Picture: The truck crash on Hume Hwy near Ingleburn where one truck veered off the southbound road)
... The Pacific and Hume Highways in NSW were the worst performing highways. Queensland’s Bruce Highway showed some improvement... While the basic figures remain worrying, the report notes the trend reflects "one-third less major crash incidents across the decade [since the first report], and demonstrates a strong result on road safety"... 
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia - ATN - 1 April 2015


 * NSW - Authorities dismayed with results of Operation Containment

-- Officers from Roads and Marine Services (RMS) and New South Wales Police have reported "shocking" results from a five-day compliance operation across Sydney... Through "Operation Containment", the joint taskforce inspected almost 700 heavy vehicles at Wetherill Park and Botany, and found hundreds of causes for concern. Eleven trucks were grounded on the spot, while a further 12 were issued fines for weight breaches... Thirteen trucks were given formal warnings to attend to potential maintenance problems... There were also a significant number of other instances of poorly loaded or secured cargoes. Some 135 of the trucks inspected had their loads adjusted, and 286 had minor defects for load restraint... The operation also uncovered eight instances of speed limiter tampering, including one truck whose limiter had been adjusted to allow it to drive at up to 150 km/hr...
(Picture: NSW compliance officials shocked by maintenance and loading issues. Authorities grounded 11 trucks on the spot, including this one which had items protruding from the side of the load) -- Sydney, NSW, australia - ATN, by Paul Howell - 16 March 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Germany: Daimler Trucks'

* Daimler Trucks to launch software services push

-- Daimler is preparing to expand and upgrade its software services to freight operators, the head of its trucks division said, in a move designed to ensure that big customers stick with its vehicle brands... After more than a century of earning money by bashing metal, vehicle makers are looking for new revenue from connected services, which can make vehicles safer and more efficient. For large truck fleets, that can mean big savings... The German manufacturer sees digital services boosting vehicle sales rather than becoming a new profit center in their own right... Effective digital tools can significantly improve customer loyalty, he believes, making it harder for large clients to defect to a rival manufacturer... Existing Daimler products include Fleetboard, launched in 2000. The software gathers data such as average speed and braking behavior, allowing freight operators to analyze driving styles and ultimately save 10-15 percent on fuel, Daimler says... 
(Photo: A Daimler's Freightliner truck model Coronado)  --  Stuttgart, Germany - Reuters, by EDWARD TAYLOR and ILONA WISSENBACH & by Laurence Frost and Keith Weir - Apr 13, 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Australia. Hino's

Hino Australia expands 500 Series with long auto

(Picture: New long-wheelbase FE 1426 Auto models from Hino Australia) 
 -- Hino Australia has unveiled new additions to its 500 series medium duty range with long-wheelbase FE 1426 Auto models... The truck maker’s FE 1426 Auto generates 191kW of power and 794Nm of torque from 1500rpm thanks to a 6.4-litre five-cylinder engine and Allison 2500 series automatic transmission... Hino’s decision to expand its automatic offering is due to a growing demand for ‘two-pedal’ small and medium trucks according to Hino Australia Chairman and CEO Steve Lotter...
(Picture: The FE 1426 Auto ships with a safety belt-equipped ISRI 6860 driver’s seat, ABS brakes, ECE-R29 crash safety compliance and SRS driver’s airbag)
... With five forward speeds and a torque converter with lock-up clutch, Hino Australia’s CEO believes automatic options allow companies to be more flexible with drivers... The Hino is available in short, medium, long and extra-long wheelbases, ranging from 3750mm to 5500mm, and has a GVM of 14 tonnes...
Caringbah, NSW, Australia - ATN - 14 April 2015

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Apr 13, 2015

ALTERNATIVE FUELS * USA: DME-Powered Trucks

* California - When will we see they?


-- Although interest in alternative fuels has cooled down a bit as diesel prices have dropped, supporters of dimethyl ether, or DME, still believe the alternative fuel has a bright future... DME is a methane-based fuel that burns clean and can be derived from a variety of sources, from natural gas to agricultural waste products. It functions similarly to propane for engine conversion and storage purposes, but delivers a similar power performance to diesel... Volvo Trucks North America so far has been the biggest supporter of the fuel in the U.S., developing DME for commercial use with Oberon Fuels and working to build infrastructure and engines to take advantage of the fuel... In February, California officially approved DME for use as a vehicle fuel. The agency determined that biogas-based DME produced from the Oberon process resulted in an approximate 68% reduction in greenhouse gases when compared to baseline diesel fuel, according to the company... Oberon president Rebecca Boudreaux predicts we will see DME trucks in significant volume within the next three years. California's more stringent emissions standards and low-carbon fuel requirements may help pave the way...
 (Photo: Martin Energy truck powered by DME in pilot program)  --  San Diego, CAL, USA - TruckingInfo, by Deborah Lockridge -13 April 2015

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Apr 12, 2015

WEATHER TROUBLES * USA / Alaska: Dalton Highway flood

* Alaska - North Slope truckers in limbo as Dalton Highway flood persists

(YouTube Video, by Push Back - 2 April 2015: Wait till breakup really hits the arctic) 
-- A 15-mile stretch of the Dalton Highway remains indefinitely closed due to a persistent flood of ice and water that has waylaid truck drivers and raised the cost of transporting commodities to the oil-producing North Slope... Some trucks have been reported dropping trailers and turning south for Fairbanks, while others remain queued at rest stops or in lines... At one point, an estimated 100 trucks waited in limbo on both sides of the closed section, Mile 390 to Mile 405, according to Alaska Trucking Association Executive Director, Aves Thompson... Crews are working around the clock in an attempt to clear a stretch of the Dalton Highway inundated by water from Sagavanirktok River. The road remains impassible. Department of Transportation officials plan to issue an update Sunday afternoon... 

(Photo courtesy of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, taken April 4 - Near Mile 400 of the Dalton Highway. The road was open at the time, but you can see the overflow and drifting) 
 ... On March 13 the Sagavanirktok, or Sag River, began depositing water and ice on the highway. DOT Northern Region spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said, some sections of the roadway are buried beneath 3 to 4 feet of ice, or up to 30 inches of water. The road has been impassable since Sunday... Snowfall, temperatures and winds are all believed to have contributed to the flooding, described by DOT as "unprecedented" ... Helzer, of Colville trucking, said increased demand has caused the cost of transporting goods to skyrocket — small helicopters are no longer available, forcing the use of larger ones that can cost 20 times more... Thompson said the governor's disaster declaration has helped what he calls a serious and daunting flood... 
Dalton Highway, Fairbanks, Alaska - News Miner, by Robin Wood - Apr 11, 2015

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Apr 11, 2015

TRUCKS DRIVERS' OBESITY * USA: A solution for

* Missouri - Trucker dives in to getting fit, former NCAA athlete is offering hope for the profession

(Video from FOX Sports Live - Feb 8, 2015: Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka overcame difficult circumstances and found an interesting ways to keep truck drivers healthy and fit) 
--  Truck driving can be an unhealthy occupation... But see the story of Missouri-based truck driver Siphiwe Baleka... Baleka was a top-rated NCAA swimmer at Yale University with dreams of Olympic gold. When he fell short of that dream, Baleka spent years bouncing around the world before settling in to a full-time job as a truck driver... Quickly, he learned that changing gears from swimmer to trucker presents risks – he started gaining weight... Nearly 7 in 10 long-haul truck drivers are obese – more than twice that of the national average for working adults, according to NIOSH. With obesity comes an increased chance of developing health ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer or stroke... Faced with this reality, Baleka created a plan. He would spend about 15 minutes working out at truck stops in between driving trips. It worked – Baleka lost weight, got back in shape and returned to his old sport... But he wasn’t satisfied with just helping himself. Soon, Baleka began training other truck drivers, offering them tips on how to stay in shape on the road. As the video notes, due to the program, Baleka’s fleet has cut its obesity rate 20 percent from the national average... 
Springfield, Missouri, USA - Safety and Health Magazine, by Kyle W. Morrison - April 9, 2015

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GREEN TRUCKING NEWS * USA: California's Ports Clean Air Program

* California - Green port, truck, rail programs lauded in reducing emissions


  --  Green programs implemented by the port, trucking and rail industries in California have contributed mightily to harmful emissions reductions in the state over the past 20 years, according to a University of Southern California study published last month in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association... The study covers pollution from all mobile sources, including the worst offender, private automobiles, and freight transportation-related emissions are but one piece of a larger picture. Nevertheless, the message for container ports, the trucking industry and intermodal rail operators across the country is clear: Emissions-reduction programs work... For example, nitrogen dioxide, which is a by-product of engine combustion, decreased by 28 to 53 percent between 1994 and 2011 in communities from San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast to San Diego. Inhalable particulate matter, which are microscopic pieces of dirt floating in the air, decreased by 13 to 54 percent in the region. Those pollutants are directly linked to a host of respiratory illnesses such as asthma, heart disease and cancer... The study cites specifically freight transportation-related emissions reductions from ocean-going vessels, harbor craft, cargo-handling equipment, drayage trucking and rail carriers serving the ports, and provides a link to the watershed Clean Air Action Plan implemented by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in 2006. The CAAP resulted in an overall 80 percent reduction in several pollutants in the nation’s largest port complex. The study notes that port-related emissions were slashed even though cargo activity increased 160 percent from 1994 to 2011... 
(Photo Credit: Port of Long Beach - The clean-trucks portion of the CAAP slashed diesel emissions from harbor trucks by more than 90 percent)  --   Long Beach, CAL, USA - J.O.C., by Bill Mongelluzzo - Apr 09, 2015

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PICKUP TRUCKS RECALL * USA: NHSA are taking the action instead of pursuing a recall.

* DC - Regulators find no brake-line defect in older GM trucks, SUVs

  --  The National Highway Safety Administration said it found no manufacturing defect in a probe of failing braking lines in some older GM vehicle models, including the 2002 Chevrolet Silverado... Federal regulators closed a five-year probe into failing brake lines in older General Motors Co. trucks and sport-utility vehicles without finding a manufacturing defect, underscoring the limits of the government’s ability to intervene on safety issues even amid numerous complaints... The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration instead on Thursday is issuing a safety advisory urging owners of the vehicles and all other truck, SUV and car models more than seven years old to inspect brake lines and thoroughly wash the undersides of the vehicles to remove salt and other chemicals that can lead to corrosion over time... Regulators didn’t receive any reports of severe crashes or serious injuries, an agency official said... The result is a vindication for GM, which claimed the problems were a maintenance issue affecting vehicles across the auto industry and not a manufacturing defect...
(Photo from AP, by MIKE SPECTOR)  --  Washington, DC, USA - AP/ The WSJ - April 9, 2015

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TRUCKS PARTS MAKER * USA: Maxwell Technologies new ultracapacitor

* California - Report: Maxwell Technologies' initiatives remain in place


-- Maxwell Technologies Inc. is considered as the market leader in the growing ultracapacitor market. In the fourth quarter of 2014, the company’s ultracapacitor revenues soared 56% year over year, primarily on growing hybrid transit vehicle and wind energy markets. The long-term prospects for the automotive, wind and hybrid bus markets remain positive... Recently, the company announced that Kenworth will provide a new engine start module and an inverter for increased performance on new trucks. The U.S. truck maker will now offer Maxwell Technologies’ ultra-capacitor-based Engine Start Module (“ESM”) as a factory-installed option on new Kenworth T680 and T880 trucks. The ESM is designed to start an engine in temperatures ranging from -40°F to 149°F, even when the batteries have low voltage...
(Photo: The Kenworth T680 with the new 52-inch mid-roof sleeper)  --  San Diego, CAL, USA - ZACKS - Apr 9, 2015

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