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Jan 21, 2017

MERCEDES BENZ VANS' * USA: New, mobile logistics base

* Nevada - Mercedes-Benz transforms its vans with robots for delivery goods


--- Mercedes-Benz Vans has transformed delivery vans into a mobile logistics base. Robots previously loaded with orders ensure delivery of the last meter... The Mercedes-Benz Vans manufacturer do present sidelines on the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas... In cooperation with the young shoot Starship Technologies, the manufacturer of light commercial vehicles has changed one of its delivery vans, a sprinter, to accommodate 8 robots that will get automatically with the goods to the place of delivery, and return, even if the van has changed place. Their range would be 1.5 to 3 km... According to the manufacturer, these ground robots also have the advantage of having less restrictive authorizations than air delivery systems. Nevertheless, if the project seems interesting to save man time during the last meter, it remains to be seen how this installation can hold in real conditions in an urban environment... Even if Mercedes-Benz assures that infrastructure costs are low, the gains from Mothership should be measured and compared to more "classic" delivery. But for that, it will probably wait a little longer, given the youth of the project ...
(Image: Mercedes-Benz Vans transformed one of its delivery vans, a sprinter, to accommodate 8 robots that will be able to travel with goods within a range of 1.5 to 3 km)   --   Las Vegas, NEW, YSA - Logistics Magazine (France), by ELOISE LEYDIER - 11 JAN 2017

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CUMMINS' news * Australia: New X15 & X 12 in Oz

* Victoria - New Cummins engines set for Oz

--- CUMMINS has announced its engine line-up for 2017. The new X15 will hit our shores in Kenworths from January and in the new International shortly after... The first release X15 will have Euro V emission ratings although the Euro VI version will become available after its launch at the Brisbane Truck Show in May... Physically the X15 is the same as the current ISXe5 utilising the SCR/AdBlue emissions control system... Both the X15 and X12 will go on sale in Australia with SCR managed Euro V standard with the SCR / EGR hybrid ready for Euro VI whenever the Australian market demands it... 
(Photo: The Cummins X15 engine hooked up to an Eaton UltraShift, SCR emissions now Euro 6 in the future)  --   Scoresby VIC, Australia - Big Rigs, by Bruce Honeywill - 18th Jan 2017

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MAC DONALD's & UBER * USA: You too Mac... ?

* Florida - McDonald's,is testing at this time in 200 restaurants delivering at home, along with Uber couriers

--- According to the website of the American Business Insider information, McDonald's is currently testing home delivery. The service will concern initially that the consumers of Florida, and 200 restaurants (the brand in nearly 25,000 worldwide). It will rely on mobile UberEats, the eponymous VTC platform. For the fast-food brand, we will first check the capacity of these drivers to deliver in less than 10 minutes...

And in France ?

 If our colleagues in the Business Insider suggest the possibility of a deployment of this new offering in excess of US borders if successful, nothing is less certain in the case of France . Certainly, the Hexagon has already set up a mobile application for online booking and payment a few years ago (before the United States), but by which customers have to pick up their menu directly in one of the 1 300 French restaurants of the brand. One may wonder if home delivery gives the consumer a service sufficient to justify the additional cost of the benefit, and would limit the interest of the investment for restaurateurs, who, remember, under franchise in France... 
Paris, France - ACTU Transport et Logistique - 11 Jan 2017

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Unishippers Global will buy Worldwide Express * USA

* NC - Trucking freight brokers to merge under private-equity deal, combining companies into $1 billion third-party logistics provider

--- Ridgemont Equity Partners is acquiring trucking brokerage Worldwide Express and combining it with its Unishippers Global Logistics business, creating one of the largest third-party logistics providers in the U.S., with more than $1 billion in annual sales... As part of the deal announced Tuesday to buy Worldwide Express from private-equity group Quad-C Management, Ridgemont said it plans to merge the business with Unishippers, which it acquired in 2015. The new firm, Worldwide Express Global Logistics, will rank among the top 30 third-party logistics providers in the U.S., according to research group Armstrong & Associates... According to a source familiar with the matter, Ridgemont is paying between $680 million and $720 million to acquire Worldwide Express... 
(Photo: Worldwide Express and Unishippers act as brokers for trucking services and resell UPS parcel-delivery service to small businesses)  --  Charlotte, North Carolina - USA - WSJ, by ERICA E. PHILLIPS - Jan. 18, 2017

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Jan 20, 2017

MINOR SPILLAGES ... only fines * Australia - It is a load of crap...

* New South Wales ... $550 for wee spills


--- Fines for minor spillages under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), towns complaining, arguments over liability for spillage between livestock carriers and primary producers... We're talking about effluent, that mix of faeces and urine - cow, pig and sheep shit! ... New South Wales is hitting livestock carriers hard with $550 fines for dropping small amounts of effluent... The future is clear, no matter how ridiculous it might be, effluent management systems for livestock hauliers are coming for all Australia, even if some years down the track for more remote regions... Industry associations like the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) and its state subsidiaries are jockeying to stem the surge towards national law by invoking the sharing of liability for effluent spillage "up the chain” within COR legislation... He said there is a need for transport operators, producers and livestock companies to work together to find a harmonious solution to this issue by having the cattle in the most appropriate condition, possibly after a curfew, before loading so keeping the best balance between livestock weights at the saleyard and the transport operator meeting the requirements of the law... The ALRTA is concerned that effluent is a prime vector of disease... For example in the case of a foot and mouth outbreak in Northern Australia, Mr Munro says that such an outbreak could cost the nation $60 billion... However effluent control and a simple alkaline or acid detergent wash at facilities could stop the spread of the disease... 
(Photo by Bruce Honeywill - STILL SAFE: Livestock transport across Northern Australia are still safe from effluent laws, but biosecurity might change all that)  --  Sidney, NSW, Australia - Big Rigs, by Bruce Honeywill - 16th Jan 2017

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DRIVERS' SHORTAGE * Japan - To subsidize pickup lockers to reduce parcel deliveries

* Tokyo - Online shopping, shrinking workforce pushing logistics industry to the limit

--- With the boom in internet shopping imposing a heavy burden on Japanese logistics providers, the government will start subsidizing the installation of pickup lockers at train stations and convenience stores, with an eye toward reducing repeat delivery runs... Small-lot deliveries in Japan surged 10% over five years to 3.7 billion in fiscal 2015, thanks to the growing popularity of e-retailers. But the rise in single-member and dual-income households means fewer people at home to receive the shipments. About 20% must be delivered again -- a task said to require an annual 90,000 workers, or 10% of those in the field... Logistics companies worry that the growing personnel shortage, coupled with an increase in online shopping, will make their delivery networks difficult to maintain. Parties including the ministries overseeing the economy, transportation and the environment are together supporting efforts to cut down on redeliveries... 
(Photo: Public funds will help pay for parcel pickup lockers to help cut down on unnecessary redeliveries)  --  Tokyo, Japan- Nikkei Asia Review - January 17, 2017

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Jan 19, 2017

SINOTRUCK * Nigeria: JV with the Dangote Group

* Lagos - Dangote to establish multimillion dollar truck assembly plant in Nigeria

--- The Dangote Group recently announced the establishment of a $100 million truck assembly plant in Lagos, Nigeria. In a statement Sunday, the Dangote Group said it is partnering with National Heavy Duty Truck Group Company Limited (SINOTRUCK), China’s state-owned truck manufacturing company, to establish a truck assembly plant, according to Premium Times. Dangote Group Chief Corporate Communication Officer, Anthony Chiejina said, the plant has a capacity to produce 10,000 trucks annually and has been spending a significant sum on the importation of trucks to distribute its products both locally and across African countries. The partnership between the Dangote Group and SINOTRUCK was formed in 2014, with the Dangote Group owning a 60 percent stake in the assembly plant while the Chinese truck maker holds the remaining 40 percent... 
(Photo: Sino truck) - Lagos, Nigeria - Face Africa, by MARK BABATUNDE - January 18, 2017

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TRUCKING COMPANIES * Europe - In large-scale emissions fraud

* Berlin - Report: Trucking firms using gadgets to heat on emissions

--- German public broadcaster ZDF reports that trucking companies in Europe may be using electronic equipment to commit large-scale emissions fraud... Tests commissioned by ZDF and freight industry organization Camion Pro found that one in five diesel trucks operated by Eastern European firms had suspicious emission levels... Experts at the University of Heidelberg concluded that the trucks were pumping out up to 14,000 metric tons of additional nitrogen oxide and evading millions in road toll fees... In a program airing Tuesday, ZDF claims that trucking firms may be using gadgets to fool on-board computers into thinking the driver has used a diesel exhaust fluid, known as AdBlue... AdBlue can significantly reduce emissions but represents an additional cost for the competitive freight transportation industry... 
(Photo)   --   Berlin, GERMANY - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/ABC News - Jan 16, 2017

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AMAZON's SELF-DRIVING TRUCKS + HIGHWAY NETWORK * USA

* Washington - Amazon patented a highway network that controls self-driving cars and trucks

--- Amazon was awarded a patent for a network that manages a very specific aspect of the self-driving experience: How autonomous cars navigate reversible lanes... In the patent, Amazon outlines a network that can communicate with self-driving vehicles so they can adjust to the change in traffic flow. That's particularly important for self-driving vehicles traveling across state lines onto new roads with unfamiliar traffic laws... 
(Photo: Amazon patented a highway network that controls self-driving cars and trucks)  --  Seattle, Washington, USA - CNBC, by Johana Bhuiyan - 17 Jan 2017

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*PLATOON" TRUCKS * USA: SC allowed

* South Carolina - Bill advances to allow trucks to “Platoon”

--- A South Carolina House subcommittee unanimously passed a bill Tuesday afternoon to allow trucks to follow each other much closer than they’re allowed to now, a process known as “platooning.” The bill would apply only to trucks with new technology that links them to the trucks they’re following... The new technology includes cameras, radar, and lasers, as well as the ability to link trucks’ accelerators and brakes. That way, if the technology on the lead truck spots a problem ahead, all the trucks would slow down or brake without the drivers having to take action... Following closer improves fuel efficiency, with proponents saying the technology could save up to 8 billion gallons of diesel a year nationwide when fully implemented...
(Photo: Trucks-on-highway)  --  Columbia, SC, USA - wbtw/WSPA, by Robert Kittle - January 17, 2017

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DANGEROUS DRIVER on DANGEROUS ROAD * USA

* Utah - Scary dashcam video shows a truck cut off this snowplow, sending it straight into a canyon

  (Video from The Salt Lake Tribune - Jan 13, 2017: On Thursday, according to the Utah Department of Transportation, a semi truck driver tried to pass a snow plow in Spanish Fork Canyon — but clipped the plow and sent it over a 300-foot embankment in Spanish Fork Canyon)

 --- The driver of the snowplow, identified by UDOT as 59-year-old Terry Jacobson, survived the crash but suffered serious injuries. He was hospitalized with serious injuries in Provo’s Utah Valley Hospital; Jacobson has worked for the department for more than 23 years... “He says he doesn’t remember very much other than going through the rail and rolling down the hill,” Neil Lundell, a UDOT supervisor... Utah Highway Patrol Trooper, Jeff Toney, told KUTV that the truck driver that caused the accident is William Owens of Owens Brothers trucking, a company from Monroe, Utah... Toney said Owens confirmed he tried to pass the snowplow but couldn’t offer a reason why. Owens was cited for improper passing and failure to maintain a single lane of travel... 
Provo, Utah, USA - Rare - January 16, 2017

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TRUCKERS´PAYMENT * USA: Against state laws dictating truck drivers’ time and pay

* DC - To protect carriers from big payouts, Congress may stamp out state laws on driver pay, breaks


--- Carriers operating perfectly legally and within longstanding industry standards could be subject to major payouts to drivers if the Denham language isn’t passed in Congress, says ATA, WSTA and other proponents... Citing major court-ordered settlements in recent years, trucking industry lobbyists say they plan to leverage fresh Republican control in Washington, D.C., to pass the so-called Denham Amendment, which would prevent enforcement of state-level laws dictating truck drivers’ time and pay, such as those in California, and protect carriers from falling victim to such court orders... Major proponents include the American Trucking Associations and the Western States Trucking Association, both of whom have said legislation to assert federal authority over break and pay laws for truckers is a top-level agenda item in the coming years... 
 (Photo)   --  Washington, DC, USA - CCJ, by James Jaillet - January 17, 2017

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TRUCKERS´ HEALTH & CRASH RISK * USA: University Study

* Utah - New study reports link between truck driver’s poor health and crash risk

--- Commercial truck drivers with three or more medical conditions double to quadruple their chance for being in a crash than healthier drivers, reports a new study led by investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine... The findings suggest that a trucker's poor health could be a detriment not only to himself but also to others around him... Now, examination of medical records from 49,464 commercial truck drivers finds evidence that their relatively poor health may put them at risk in more ways than one. 34 percent have signs of at least one of several medical conditions that had previously been linked to poor driving performance, from heart disease, to low back pain, to diabetes... The new findings could mean that one health condition, say diabetes, is manageable but diabetes in combination with high blood pressure and anxiety could substantially increase a driver's risk... 
(Photo: Many truckers plagued by fatigue, and poor health)  --  Salt Lake City, UT, USA - News Medical Life Sciences - January 17, 2017

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TRUCKERS' SHORTAGE * Japan: Switching cargo from trucks to railways

* Japan firms shifting to trains to move freight amid dearth of new truckers

--- Logistics and other companies in Japan are increasingly switching from trucks to railways as a means of transporting freight over land, with rival firms even cooperating in some cases... The moves are driven in part by a chronic shortage of truck drivers... The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is positive about backing the so-called modal shift, as cargo transport by rail is effective in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, the main culprit in the Earth’s warming... The amount of CO2 emissions from trains is an eighth of that emitted by trucks in Japan, and ships emit about a fifth of the truck total, when the same amount of cargo is transported... The transport ministry aims to boost the volume of cargo transported by trains by about 20 percent by fiscal 2020. It is currently providing subsidies to companies that jointly devise efficient transportation business models... 
(Photo ISTOCK - Companies in Japan that move cargo are increasingly shifting from roads to rails to cope with a chronic shortage of truck drivers)   --  Tokyo, Japan - The Japan Times, by JIJI - JAN 17, 2017

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UBER FREIGHT * USA: FREIGHT BROKERAGE AT RISK

* California -  It's not just truck drivers whose jobs are at risk


--- At the end of December Uber debuted Uber Freight, into the lucrative world of logistics. Many saw Uber’s entry into freight as a death knell for trucking companies, as Uber is looking to build a fleet of driverless trucks... And while the threat to trucking is real, Uber Freight poses a more immediate threat to the thousands of mid-level, white-collar support staff jobs in the industry, also known as freight brokerage... This process seems wildly inefficient, it is! A 3PL is the definition of a middleman, and employs hundreds, if not thousands, of operations employees to input this data and brokers these deals every day... Uber is uniquely positioned to streamline the industry, though. Much like the company’s ride-hailing app cuts out the taxi dispatcher and allows people to hail rides directly from drivers, Uber Freight can create a platform where shippers and truckers broker shipping orders directly with one another, effectively rendering obsolete thousands of 3PL workers. It replaces people with software, and configures a labor-intensive industry into a SaaS (Software as a service) business... Many people have pointed out that automation, not China or Mexico, is the real threat to blue-collar American jobs. Overlooked, however, are all the non-executive white-collar administrative jobs that will be rendered obsolete, too ... Famed venture capitalist Marc Andreessen is fond of the phrase “software is eating the world,” meaning that it’s replacing many of the post-industrial, pre-internet jobs once thought to be essential. Problem is, one man’s efficiency is another’s unemployment...
San Francisco, CAL, USA - Linkedin/MEL magazine, by John McDermott - 18 JAN 2017

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Jan 18, 2017

Study: CARS POLLUTION TWICE THAN TRUCKS * France

* Paris - The NOx emissions from diesel vehicles are equivalent to double those heavyweight Euro VI

--- A study by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) reveals that in actual driving conditions, the NOx emissions from diesel vehicles Euro 6 are equivalent to double those heavyweight Euro VI... This is an unprecedented European study, published in December 2016 by independent research group, which played a key role in the discovery of cheating Volkswagen in 2015 (Dieselgate)... The document, written by Rachel Muncrief, researcher at the ICCT, restores the air pollution in terms of truth in nitrogen oxide (NOx), and the conclusions are edifying. Based on tests conducted by the Technical Research Centre of Finland on 24 trucks and those conducted by the KBA in Germany on light vehicles, ICCT shows that in real driving conditions, the latter emit twice as much NOx than the former... 
(Image: Comparison of emissions in actual driving conditions)  --   Paris, France - The Official Carrier, by LOUIS GUARINO - 17 JAN 2017

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UBER * France: A marketplace for cargo

* París - THE NEW:  Uber Freight in road transport

--- On December 27, 2016, the American company Uber launched the Uber Freight service in the United States, a digital freight exchange open to shippers and carriers. With a commercial strike force that, for now, has been put on hold... Despite the deemed discreet launch the day after Christmas, various newspapers across the Atlantic and France highlighted this digital implementation, new intermediation service for the long haul transport, with prices varying according to supply and demand... In this context, the commission ("freight brokers"), numbering more than 10,000 in the US, are the first affected. Before Uber Freight they saw implant and develop apps Lyft , Hailo, Traansmission (New York), Cargomatic (Los Angeles), Keychain Logistics (in San Francisco), which use the same principle of a scholarship freight backed mapping and geolocation freight vehicles, operating in real time... These services are remunerated through commissions on each transaction and / or subscriptions. This type of "marketplace" for freight is in vogue in the United States because of the weight that weighs the road transport... According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), road transport handles 80% of annual volumes, amounting to $ 700 billion. In this flow, the empty routes are the economic scourge that the logisticians want to limit. They would generate a cost of around 16 billion just for the only container transport, says the ATA...
París, France - The Official Carrier, by BENOÎT BARBEDETTE - 4 JAN 2017

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2017 TRUCKING PROGNOSIS * France: Time for strategy assignments

* Paris - Thought for the trucking industry worldwide


--- We will remember 2016, in road transport, as a good vintage having brought together several favorable elements. They benefited from the value of goodwill and the improvement of production tools. This is visible in the renewal of the rolling stock (see the level in net increase of the registrations in 2016). This is also evident in the IT investments initiated. Thus, the margin of maneuver of the companies was appreciated by a triptych of first choice: low interest rates opening to advantageous credits; The price of diesel fuel remained steady; A full-fledged CICE, after the earliest beginnings. These three factors have positively influenced many decisions and purchasing commitments (today's investments are the jobs of tomorrow, it is said). In addition, for many SMEs, they have relieved current cash flows, reduced debt levels and / or provided the opportunity to (re) build equity. We expect to see the balance sheets of 2016, after a period 2012/2015 which saw the proportion of TRM companies with positive current results go from 59% to 78%, according to the Banque de France. Will this alignment of planets (rare phenomenon in astronomy) continue in 2017? Despite these favorable elements, many carriers see 2017 as a turning point, subject to choice. In politics, one does not win an election by arguing a good balance. One convinces with a project and clear prospects. In economics, it's the same. Yesterday's record does not guarantee the quality of decisions for tomorrow, regardless of the nature of the growth targeted: diversification into a new business, redemption of a goodwill, geographical expansion, acquisition of new skills ... Much business leaders today are obliged to define a strategic thinking and a clear business plan before seizing the opportunities. To do this, they need to step up, get out of the business, get away from the day-to-day operations. This need also passes through a reflection on governance, which is most often bicephalous, and which is seen to develop in SMEs (between a father and a son, a president and his Dg ...). It is this red thread that will guide some of the SMEs and transport groups in 2017, for whom reflection must precede action...
(Photo: Flagged down: A police man stops a freight truck on the French-Belgian border) -- Paris, France - The Official Carrier, by BENOIT BARBEDETTE - 13 JAN 2017

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Port Congestion * USA: A solution on NY Ports

* New York - Port will use truck appointments to battle congestion


--- A container terminal in New York Harbor is preparing to accept reservations for trucks to pick up or drop off cargo, in an effort to reduce congestion in the East Coast’s busiest port complex... Starting on Jan. 15, truck drivers headed for the Bayonne, N.J., terminal operated by GCT USA LP will be required to make an appointment if they want to enter the terminal in the first couple hours after it opens each morning... The goal is to eliminate the long lines of trucks that often queue up outside the terminal’s gates, clogging traffic in surrounding neighborhoods, slowing operations and raising costs for drivers... Truck congestion plagues many busy ports nationwide, as cargo volumes rise and bigger ships make calls at U.S. ports. The biggest vessels require thousands of truck trips to carry containers to rail yards and warehouses... Under current operations, truck drivers line up to enter container terminals and can then spend hours more inside going through checkpoints and maneuvering to drop off empty containers or pick up new loads—what truckers call turn time... In Bayonne, turn time fell by 38% during a recent test of the reservation system, the Port Authority said... 
(Photo Bloomberg News - The cargo terminals at the New York-New Jersey port complex handled more than 4 million containers last year, and trucks carrying goods routinely line up on local streets) -- NY, USA - WSJ, by JENNIFER SMITH - Jan. 13, 2017

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Dakar 2017 * Argentine - Stage 11: Nikolaev closes on second trucks victory

* Paraguay / Bolivia / Argentina - Dakar 2017, Stage 11

(Video by mcomstaff)
--- Eduard Nikolaev edged closer to his second Dakar Rally title by taking his second consecutive stage win and increasing his lead to nearly 20 minutes... The 2013 champion took over first place from Dmitry Sotnikov following Thursday's stage, and will kick off the final day with a 17m09s advantage, having beaten his Kamaz teammate by 11 minutes on Friday... Nikolaev narrowly edged out Federico Villagra for the stage win, the local driver cementing his fourth place behind defending champion and fellow Iveco driver Gerard De Rooy... 
Buenos Aires, CABA, Argentina - Motoring, by David Gruz - 13 Jan 2017

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VOLVO's TRUCKS RECALL * USA

* NC - Volvo Trucks North America recall 6,000 trucks


--- Volvo Trucks North America is recalling 6,127 of its model year 2013-2017 VNL and VNM trucks and model year 2017 VNX trucks with faulty software to prevent possible contamination of the brake system... The vehicles have incorrect software for controlling the electronic air dryer and that may result in oil and water contaminating the brake system, VTNA said... The recall is expected to begin Feb. 17, and VTNA will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the vehicle control module and replace the air dryer filter, free of charge, the truck maker said... 
(Photo)   --  Greensboro, NC, USA - Transport Topics - 12 Jan 2017

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MERCEDES BENZ * Finland - Spy Shots: Testing Pickup Truck

* Lapland - Mercedes-Benz megabucks crew cab, or G-Class Squared


--- Mercedes-Benz was spotted testing a crew cab pickup truck variant of the G500 4×4², or G-Class Squared, deep in snowy Lapland, the northernmost region of Finland... It’s a heavy-duty yet sporty version of the iconic last edition G-class before the next generation will be launched in 2019... Compared to the “normal” G500 4×4², this pickup will grow in length and wheelbase and will comfortably sit four people while also offering an open loading space behind the cabin, though a relatively short one... The company has not revealed any official plans for the boulder and ice crawler such as the G500 it was spotted testing in the tundra... But Mercedes has confirmed investing at least $1 billion in pickup truck development... 
(Photo: Brian Williams - Mercedes-Benz tests crew cab pickup truck variant of the G500 4×4², or G-Class Squared, in snowy Lapland) -- Lapland, Finlandia - Trucks.com, by Brian Williams - JANUARY 16, 2017

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ALTERNATIVE FUELS * USA: Mack Trucks' Pinnacle alternative fuel

* NC - Mack Trucks and New York Launch Dimethyl Ether Fuel Test
--- Mack Trucks is reigniting interest in Dimethyl Ether, or DME, a clean-burning alternative to diesel, with a new field test to be conducted in partnership with Oberon Fuels and New York City’s sanitation department... The test, using a Class 8 Mack Pinnacle tractor with a 13-liter engine, began this week and is scheduled to run for several weeks of evaluation, with results to be published by mid-year... It is the first commercial test of a DME-powered Mack. The truck maker, along with its parent company Volvo Trucks, voiced interest in the fuel several years ago, but low diesel prices dampened enthusiasm for alternative fuels and both companies canceled their planned DME engine projects in late 2014... But with growing political and social pressure for cleaner vehicle emissions, alternative fuels are catching on again...
(Photo: Mack - Mack Trucks launched a test of a Dimethyl Ether-powered Mack Pinnacle model in collaboration with the New York City Dept. of Sanitation and Oberon Fuels to evaluate DME, a non-toxic, clean-burning alternative fuel)   --  Greensboro, NC, USA - Trucks. com, by JOHN O'DELL - JANUARY 13, 2017

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TRUCK SALES * Australia - Light duty powering ahead

* ACT - Truck and heavy van sales 2016 were 32,964 units

--- The headlines from the latest truck sales figures show light duty powering ahead, according to the 2016 truck sales numbers published by the Truck Industry Council. The TIC Sales figures showed truck and heavy van sales for the 2016 calendar year were 32,964 units... The numbers reveal healthy sales at the bottom end of the market for light duty trucks combined with solid sales for much of the year for medium duty and even the heavy duty end of the market, which has been flat, saw most of the losses made from January to September erased by the end of 2016... This ongoing strength in the lighter end of the market helped Isuzu get to its 28th consecutive year as Australia’s highest selling truck maker, selling 8,307 trucks and securing over 25 per cent market share... The general conclusion would seem to be the long slow climb out from the lowest demand levels we saw after the GFC continues. The most important indicator from the point of view of the transport industry, and the general economy, is the continuing trends upwards... 
 Canberra, ACT, Australia - Diesel News - Jan 12, 2017

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Jan 17, 2017

KAMAZ * Russia: Eyes stake in Indian truck maker

* Moscow - Kamaz wants to buy the assets of Gujarat-based AMW Motors

--- The Indian subsidiary of Russia’s Kamaz Motors is looking to acquire a minority stake in privately-held Indian truck maker Asia MotorWorks Ltd (AMW)... AMW, which has almost $200 million in debt, has been in talks with Kamaz for almost a year... Kamaz entered the Indian market in 2009 via a joint venture with Britain’s Vectra Group. It bought out Vectra’s stake in 2014. It has sold around 1000 trucks in India since 2010 and looks to make India a base to expand operations into Southeast Asia... If the Russian truck maker manages to buy a stake in AMW, it would be the first deal of its kind in the industry in India... A source close to Kamaz told RIR that the deal is likely to be finalized by the end of the month. The valuation is still being sorted out, the source added... 
(Source:kamaz.ru - Kamaz entered the Indian market in 2009 via a joint venture with Britain’s Vectra Group)   --  Moscow, Russia - Russia-India Report, by ALEXANDER KORABLINOV - 16 January 2017

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HOW TO GET YOUNGER DRIVERS FOR TRUCKS * USA:

* New York - Trucking adapts to next generation? Drivers want to be proud to be seen


--- If you’re an owner-operator, or even a small fleet owner, who’s fully seated with reliable, long-time drivers, you might not pay a lot of attention to the driver recruiting and retention issues that plague larger fleets. You might even consider their problems a competitive advantage for your operation. And you’d be right—for now... But sooner or later, you’re not going to feel like getting behind the wheel every day. You’ve got good equipment and customers, and you’re still going to need an income, so the obvious next step is to hire someone to do the driving for you... And suddenly you’ve got the hiring problem too (at least until the robots take over): The real threat to the future of trucking is the aging driver population—and the inability, so far, to get younger drivers behind the wheel... At the end of the day, don’t forget the basics. Drivers want to be proud to be seen...
 (Photo)  --  New York. NY, USA - American Trucker, by Kevin Jones - Jan 13, 2017

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2017 FREIGHT RATES UP ? * USA

* DC - Over-the-road US shippers prepare to pay more

--- US shippers enjoyed a truck-pricing windfall in 2016, as lower freight demand, tumbling fuel prices and an abundance of available truckload capacity led to the best rate environment shippers had seen since the recession, at least in the truckload sector. As the US slipped into its second long patch of slow growth since the recovery began in 2009 — expanding less than 2 percent for three straight quarters — truckload rates slipped and carriers cut pricing to fill trucks... What goes down often comes up, however, and shippers who enjoyed a break from truckload rate increases and even some reduction in costs in 2016 are nervous about what they’ll encounter in 2017, especially in the second half of the year. That’s in large part due to a Dec. 18 deadline for trucking operators and truck drivers to switch from paper logbooks to electronic logging, a huge cultural and operational change that could lead to a contraction in capacity... The good news is that, based on interviews, statements and surveys over the past few months, shippers do expect 2017 to be a better year in many respects than 2016. The US economy certainly left the soft patch behind in the third quarter of 2016, when real GDP expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the 2016 second quarter, real GDP increased 1.4 percent... 
(Photo)  --  Washington, DC, USA - JOC, by William B. Cassidy - Jan 14, 2017

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LOWER TRUCKS' SPEED * USA: The Speed Limiter Rule

* DC - Lower speeds decrease truck accidents


--- A 2012 federally-funded study conducted by the Virginia Tech University Transportation Institute and the American Transportation Research Institute, revealed that speed reduction decreases the number of truck crashes on U.S. roadways. The study included data from 20 fleets, 15,000 crashes, and 138,000 trucks... The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has used the study as supporting evidence for its new proposed rule to mandate Speed Limiters on commercial vehicles. The Speed Limiter Rule would physically prevent trucks from exceeding a maximum speed of up to 68 miles per hour... The anti-safety trucking industry lobby has objected to the speed limiter rule. The trucking industry has demanded that if trucks must have speed limiters, then the NHTSA should also mandate a national maximum traffic speed limit of 65 mph to keep the differential between trucks and cars relatively equal. However, there is overwhelming evidence that the safety benefits from speed reduction far outweigh the dangers of speed differentials...
(Photo: Failure to slow down or speed up when a truck begins to change lanes or merge.Unsafe passing, particularly passing with insufficient headway)   --  Washington, DC, USA - The National Law Review - 14 JAN 2017

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TRUCKER'S SKILL * USA

* California - Driver negotiates truck down icy mountain after it jackknifes

(Video by AMAZING/Credit: California Highway Patrol - Jan 13, 2017: A FedEx driver guides a big rig down an icy mountain road) 

--- FedEx driver guides big rig down icy California mountain road after brakes lock on trailer hitting a patch of ice and skidding off the road can cause any of us to have a slight panic attack... The FedEx driver kept his composure when his 18-wheel truck jackknifed at the high point of the snowy mountain pass Thursday near the California-Nevada border, KTLA reported... The driver was pulling two trailers when the truck jackknifed on Interstate 80 near Floriston near the Donner Pass, a pass in the Sierra Nevada that rises more than 7,000 feet at its crest... CHP blocked the traffic and escorted the truck as it drifted down the road to the next shoulder area. This location was a safer spot for the truck to wait for a tow, KTLA reported... 
 Donner Pass, CAL, USA - Cox Media Group/KTLA, by Bob D'Angelo - January 14, 2017

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* Brazil - TRUCKERS' PROTEST

* Mato Grosso - Truckers protest continues in Brazil's top grain state

--- A Brazilian truckers' protest entered its fourth day on Monday, preventing grain-carrying vehicles from taking a key road for soy and corn shipments in the state of Mato Grosso... The demonstration started on Friday as truck owners demanded greater compensation from commodities traders and transportation companies to transport soy and corn from the state to exporting ports in southern Brazil... The main harvest has just started in Mato Grosso, Brazil's No. 1 soy and corn producing state, where farmers are expected to collect 30 million tonnes of soybeans... Police said protesting truck drivers were stopping all trucks carrying grains at two points in the BR-364 road and asking them to park. The protest is not aimed at stopping flow of other vehicles... Road operator Rota do Oeste, controlled by Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht, confirmed that grain-carrying trucks are being parked on the side of the road, reducing the room for normal traffic... Abiove, the Brazilian association representing commodities traders and processors, and Aprosoja, a Mato Grosso farmers association, declined to comment... 
Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil - Reuters, by Gustavo Bonato/Marcelo Teixeira/Paul Simao -- Jan 16, 2017

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* India - Diesel cars produce 10 times more toxins than trucks

* Delhi - The study says: Average NOx emissions of heavy-duty vehicles was less than half the average emissions from cars

--- A study conducted by the International Council on Clean Transportation has revealed, diesel cars produce 10 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than trucks. The study was carried out in cities in the European Union and was released in December last year... The study says the average NOx emissions of heavy-duty vehicles was 210 mg/km, less than half the average emissions from cars (480-560 mg/km) in independent testing and Member State testing... Buses and trucks, though, have bigger engines and burn more diesel per kilometre. This means that cars produce around 10 times more toxins than trucks when NOx per kilometre is calculated... The study states that on-road emissions were below the Euro VI engine type-approval limits... The study has serious implications for India, where the number of diesel cars has grown over the years... According to the study, in 2014, the percentage of diesel vehicle sales was 52 per cent of total vehicles sales. While fuel and vehicles in Europe are of a superior Euro VI standard, fuel quality in India is still Bharat Stage III and IV — equivalent to Euro III and IV. Even if some luxury cars have a Euro VI engine, it will pollute more because fuel is still of a poorer quality... 
(Photo: The study has serious implications for India, where the number of diesel cars has grown over the years) -- New Delhi, India - The Indian Express, by Mallica Joshi - January 16, 2017


* Delhi - Pollution dips this winter in. Favourable weather, fewer trucks helped

--- The period between October and January saw better air quality this year as compared to the last, as per analysis of data made available by the National Air Quality Index (NAQI). Favourable weather conditions, a 20 per cent reduction in the number of trucks entering Delhi, and emergency pollution-control measures could be behind the reduction, experts say... According to the municipal corporation toll operator, since the imposition of a higher environment compensation charge on trucks, and a ban on trucks only passing through Delhi, was imposed in late 2015, the number of trucks entering the capital has dropped to 20 per cent... Ajay Aggarwal, an operator, said the number of trucks entering Delhi fell by another 10 per cent after demonetisation. The Indian Express analysed data of the R K Puram station for October-January 2015-16 and October-January 2016-17... There were more severely polluted days between October and January 2015-16. In November 2015, air quality was “severely polluted” in 46 per cent of all days that the NAQI recorded. In 2016, this figure was 38 per cent, despite a steep rise in pollution after Diwali last year. December 2015 saw 25 per cent severely polluted days as opposed to 16 per cent in December 2016... 
(PTI Photo - A family dresses up warmly to withstand the cold on a wintry morning in New Delhi. According to the data, October was the only month where 2015 was less polluted than 2016)  --  New Delhi, India - The Indian Express, by Mallica Joshi - January 14, 2017

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Jan 16, 2017

Swift Transportation Co. * USA: Truckers are not independent drivers

* DC - Federal Judge rules Swift misclassified truck drivers as independent contractors


--- A federal judge ruled against Swift Transportation Co. determining that five drivers classified as independent contractors should have been considered employees of the giant carrier... The plaintiffs claimed in the case that due to the misclassification Swift failed to pay them all the wages required by federal and state wage and hour laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act... The drivers considered themselves to be employees because Swift controlled every aspect of their work schedules – from where and how the plaintiffs delivered freight to which routes the truckers had to use... Swift also controlled the equipment the truckers used, including the maintenance and condition of the trucks, the lawsuit said... Senior U.S. District Court Judge, John W. Sedwick, ruled on Jan. 5 that the contractor agreements the drivers signed were employment contracts, making them employees... Upon hire, the plaintiffs were forced to sign employment and lease contracts before going to work for the Phoenix, Ariz.-based trucking giant... Swift employs more than 16,000 drivers and is the largest common carrier in the U.S. ... Swift did not respond to a request for comment about the case... 
(Photo: Flickr - Kenworth Studio Sleeper, 53' Swift Transportation) -- Washington, DC, USA - Trucks.com, by CLARISSA HAWES - JAN 11, 2017

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$ 1B to pay by TAKATA * USA: Over faulty air bags

* Michigan - Takata Corp. has agreed to plead guilty related to sales of defective air bag inflators

--- For the second time in less than three days, U.S. Attorney, Barbara McQuade, made clear misbehavior by international auto companies or their executives will not be tolerated in Detroit... On Friday, McQuade announced Takata Corp. has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and pay $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company’s fraudulent conduct related to sales of defective air bag inflators... Federal prosecutors in Detroit reached a settlement with Takata — one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive safety equipment — after a 25-month international investigation into the Tokyo-based company’s faulty air bags that have been linked to at least 17 deaths... The developments cast a shadow over the auto industry while the North American International Auto Show is held at Cobo Center and days before a new presidential administration takes control of the Justice Department... 
(Photo: Stephanie Erdman of Destin, Florida, testifies at a Senate hearing on November 20 about her injuries sustained last year from a Takata airbag inflator in her Honda Civic)   --   Detroit, MICH, USA - The Detroit News, by Jennifer Chambers and Keith Laing - Jan. 13, 2017

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FIAT-CHRYLSER * USA: Acused by EPA

* DC - EPA accuses Fiat Chrysler of emissions cheating in diesel trucks


--- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said Fiat Chrysler rigged more than 104,000 Jeep and Dodge trucks with software to cheat federal emissions tests... The allegations harken back to the Volkswagen emissions scandal that affected some 600,000 U.S. vehicles that were imported by the German automaker. The VW vehicles were rigged with software allowing it to show lower pollution emissions than the vehicles actually released into the air... On Wednesday, McQuade was part of a broader justice department announcement that Oliver Schmidt, a veteran Volkswagen AG engineer, was arrested by the U.S. government for his alleged role in the company’s scheme to cheat federal emission standards for its diesel cars... The EPA said Fiat Chrysler-made Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram pickups in model years 2014 to 2016 with a 3-liter diesel engine contain software that was not reported to federal regulators that allows the vehicles to appear to be letting off less exhaust than they actually are... The company did not immediately respond to the EPA's allegations...
(Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler - A Fair Oaks Chantilly Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has accused Fiat Chrysler, which manufctured the vehicle, of installing software in some 104,000 diesel trucks meant to hide illegal emissions)  --   Washington, DC, USA - UPI, by By Eric DuVall - Jan. 12, 2017)

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Bharat Forge * India: Orders for these trucks fell 23 per cent YoY

* Pune - Bharat Forge faces weak Class 8 Truck order sales in US

--- Bharat Forge, a Pune-based company with interests in heavy vehicles and defence equipment, faces bleak prospects in the US where it sells its Class 8 trucks and earns about a fifth of its revenues. In December 2016, orders inflows for these trucks fell 23 per cent YoY, according to the Freight Transportation Research (FTR)... Order inflows for Class 8 trucks in North America dropped to 21,200 units last December YoY, though there was an increase of 10 per cent when compared to November 2016 due to the seasonality factor, Nomura analysts said in a note on Monday, citing preliminary FTR data... The company's revenues from domestic medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales, which generates about 17 per cent revenues on a standalone basis, are also bleak. Revenues from new business lines comprising railways and aerospace are negligible to offset the main streams of sales...
(Representational image/Reuters file - A truck arrives through the tunnel at the Port of Miami in Miami, Florida, U.S., May 19, 2016) - Mundhwa, Pune, Maharashtra, India - IBT, by s v krishnamachari - January 9, 2017

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