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Jul 28, 2015

BORDER TROUBLES * Canada / USA: Bringing goods across the border by truck, more costly

* Ontario - Cross-border trucking more costly after 9/11, report says

-- A more costly environment for bringing goods across the border by truck has emerged over the past decade or so, and that may be hurting the competitiveness of Canadian goods, according to one border expert... Statistics Canada released a report this month which examined the cost of bringing goods across the border before and after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001... New security regulations were brought in following those attacks, which many thought would raise the price of moving goods from the U.S.A. into Canada and vice-versa... The Statistics Canada report found that from 2004 to 2009, it cost 25 per cent more to move goods across the border, as compared to taking those goods the same distance domestically. That was well above the 16 per cent premium that was paid from 1994 to 2000... Anderson said this apparent jump in costs has implications for everyone... But Anderson said a broader concern is about what this does to our competitiveness... Asked what can be done to limit this potential impediment to trade, Anderson pointed to the federal government's plan to build a new bridge between Michigan and Ontario... 
(Photo by Jason Kryk/Canadian Press - A Statistics Canada report looking at the cost of bringing goods across the border both pre- and post-9/11 found that the costs rose after new security regulations were brought in following those attacks) Windsor Bridge, ONT, CAN - CBC News - Jul 27, 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Canada: A Luxury Tank for the street

* Canada - Armoured vehicle maker combines bling with bang

  (Video by Mike Supercars TopSpeed - Jun 1, 2015: KNIGHT XV the world's most luxurious armored vehicle $629,000 - The Knight XV is CV’s luxury interpretation of the civilian version of company AAVI’s Gurkha F5) 
-- A black tank-like truck cruises downtown Toronto, prompting stunned pedestrians to whip out their smartphones to provide proof of what they’ve seen... What they’ve seen is the Conquest Knight XV. It is a rare beast. There are only 17 in the world, sold to the likes of the prince of the United Arab Emirates and a basketball star Dwight Howard... The vehicle starts at $629,000, but often sells for several hundred thousand dollars more. It weighs twice as a much as a GMC Hummer and it can stop a bullet from an AK-47... And it’s made in Toronto. By hand... It takes about six months to build a Knight XV, and Conquest Vehicles actually machine their own parts out of stainless steel and aluminum... 
Toronto, ONT, CAN - The Canadian Manufacturing/Canadian Press, by Liam Casey - July 27, 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Europe - MAN has 170 mln euros of restructuring costs in Q2

* Germany - MAN SE cuts 2015 profit expectations after Q2 loss

-- German truck maker MAN SE cut its profit and sales expectations for this year after posting a second-quarter loss due to restructuring costs and plunging demand in Brazil... The Volkswagen-owned manufacturer last month announced plans to cut 1,800 jobs at its main trucks division in Europe as part of the parent company's efforts to slim down the unit and revive profit... MAN is more exposed than rivals Daimler and Volvo to problems in Brazil, where it has been market leader for trucks of more than 5 metric tons for over a decade, because it lacks a presence in the growing North American market... The Munich-based group said on Tuesday it incurred a 19 million-euro ($21 million) quarterly loss as costs of 170 million euros to reorganize truck production hit results... 
(Photo)  --  Munich, Germany - Reuters -Jul 28, 2015

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TRUCK SALES * India: Price increase on account of a new safety legislation

* India -  Truck sales set to rise ahead of rule change

-- Fleet operators are set to advance truck purchases ahead of an impending change in rules, which could push up prices by as much as Rs.60,000- 80,000... New safety legislation, which includes compulsory ABS and speed limiters, will push up truck prices by Rs60,000-80,000... The price increase will be on account of a new safety legislation that will come into effect from 1 October and will make features such as anti-lock braking system (ABS) and a speed-control device mandatory for trucks... While the legislation allows selling trucks without such features till 31 March 2016, it prohibits production of such models from October. To beat the deadline, a number of firms are increasing production leading up to October... Tata Motors’ Pisharody said so far, the growth in the markets is being solely driven by haulage, or cargo trucks, and the contribution from tippers, which are deployed in mines and construction, has been almost negligible... 
(Photo: Bloomberg - Truck sales set to rise ahead of rule change)  --  New Delhi, India - Live Mint, by Shally Seth Mohile - 27 July 2015

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TRUCKS SALES * USA & Canada: Navistar's 9,000 vehicles

* Illinois - Navistar completes order to supply Quality Cos. with 9,000 trucks


-- Truck maker Navistar Inc. has finalized an agreement to supply Quality Cos. with 9,000 Class 8 tractors during the next three years... Quality Cos., a provider of truck- and trailer-leasing services, is a subsidiary of truckload carrier Celadon Inc. ... Navistar said the order consists primarily of International ProStar and LoneStar Class 8 tractors powered by the Cummins ISX15 engine... The manufacturer announced last week that it had received an order for the first 1,050 of the 9,000 trucks requested by the leasing company...
(Photo by John Sommers II: Celadon offices)  --  Warrenville, ILL, USA - Transport Topics/American Trucking Associations - 27 July 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: Kenworth's

* Washington - Kenworth truck assembly plant earns 2015 Best Workplace Award


-- Kenworth Truck Co.’ assembly plant in Renton, Wash., recently earned a 2015 Best Workplace for Waste Prevention and Recycling Award from the King County Solid Waste Division for exceptional efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle... That marks the seventh consecutive year that Kenworth-Renton has received the award, which enabled the plant to achieve King County’s Honor Roll status for the third consecutive year... Kenworth–Renton’s Zero Waste to Landfill initiative features the recycling of paper, cardboard, wood, plastics, metals, engine oils, antifreeze, batteries, electronics, light bulbs, toner cartridges — and even the cooking oil used in the cafeteria... The Kenworth program includes use of returnable shipping containers, recycling of wood pallets, reduced packaging material and waste-stream segregation... Kenworth’s plants in Renton, Wash., and Chillicothe, Ohio, both hold the prestigious ISO 14001:2004 certification for effective environmental management systems established to help build Class 8 trucks in an environmentally sustainable manner... 
(Photo: Kenworth Truck Co.’s assembly plant in Renton, Washington state)   --   Renton, Wash., USA - Trucking News - July 27, 2015

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TRUCKS' MAINTENANCE * Australia: Not enough

* Victoria - Too many trucking firms ignoring their responsibilities

-- Transport authority says recent inspections show companies need to lift their game on vehicle maintenance... The message has gone out to Victorian trucking companies to pay closer attention to vehicle maintenance procedures... Citing the findings from recent truck inspections in Melbourne’s suburbs, Victorian transport authority VicRoads says, not enough operators are implementing strong maintenance procedures... It says recent inspections as part of Operation Trishula in Melbourne’s eastern and western suburbs examined 252 vehicles, 224 of which recorded defects... VicRoads says common faults included steering and brake issues, worn or damaged tyres, broken lights, loose bolts and faulty seatbelts... 
(Photo: VicRoads says not enough trucking companies are regularly maintaining their fleet) -- Melbourne, VIC, Australia - Owner Driver -27 July 2015

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Jul 27, 2015

INFRASTRUCTURE'S FUNDS DISCUSSION * USA

* California - Conservative group offers ‘trucker-friendly’ toll plan, ATA says plan anti-truck

-- The Reason Foundation said the entire transportation system needs to be rebuilt and paid for using truck and car tolls. ATA, however, dismisses the Reason Foundations’ report and its findings... A new study by a libertarian think tank/foundation advances the idea of what it calls “truck-friendly tolls” to pay for repairing and expanding the nation’s aging interstate highway system, but a leading trucking organization says the concept discriminates against truckers and calls tolls inefficient... The Reason Foundation, which has strong libertarian leanings and is based in Los Angeles, says in its report, Truck-Friendly Tolls for 21st Century Interstates that much of our system of highways needs replacing – not just repairing – and claims a projected 40 percent increase in truck traffic will require some expansion. That would cost almost $1 trillion, according to the report authored by Reason founder Robert W. Poole, Jr. ... To pay for these major projects, Poole’s report says, “…most states could finance the replacement and selective widening of their long-distance Interstates with tolls of 3.5 cents/mile for cars and other light vehicles and 14 cents/mile for large trucks, as long as those toll rates were indexed for inflation” ... The Senate voted late Wednesday to allow a vote on the six-year DRIVE Act highway bill that, if enacted, would remove from public view carrier ... That would be made possible, according to the report, with expanded use of electronic toll systems such as Bestpass and Prepass Plus. Tolls would apply to all users – trucks and cars alike – driving on all interstates... The ATA said it believes the best way to finance infrastructure improvements is through fuel taxes... 
(Photo: Interstate-highway)   --   Los Angeles, CAL, USA - CCJ, by David Hollis - July 23, 2015

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IRREGULAR MIGRANTS & TRUCKS * GREECE / Europe

* Greece - Drop in trucks to Italy has migrants seeking other way West

-- Capital controls imposed last month have led to a significant decline in the number of cargo trucks leaving the western Greek port of Patra for Italy, which, in turn, has led to a drastic reduction in the number of irregular migrants squatting around the port in the hopes of sneaking onto a vehicle bound further into the European Union, Harbor Master Tryfon Korontzis has suggested... Korontzis said that in a single day at Patra Port, three regular ferries bound for Italy may carry a total of just 50 trucks containing cargo... The harbor master said that since the drop in vehicle traffic was noted after the imposition of capital controls, the number of migrants sleeping in abandoned buildings near the port or begging at traffic lights also appears to have gone down. He suggested that the two may be connected, with migrants seeking different routes westward into Europe... 
(Photo: Migrants at Greek Patra Port)  --  Athens, Greece - Ekathimerine - 25 July 2015

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TRUCKS HIJACKEDS and DESTROYED * Europe: By French farmers

* France - Highland trucks hijacked and destroyed by farmers in


-- A mob of 200 angry French farmers hijacked a convoy of seven lorries carrying fish from the Highlands to the continent... Drivers were threatened, their trucks smashed open and cargoes worth £200,000 were destroyed in the terrifying incident... Their three-hour ordeal started when they were herded into a roadblock trap in Brittany in the north-west of France... Farm vehicles, bales of hay and tyres had been to create a makeshift barrier on the main route used by Lochinver-based Hunter Transport to ferry fish from Sutherland to Lorient... 
(Photo: Cargoes worth £200,000 were destroyed)  --  Lorient, France - The Press and Journal by Iain Ramage - 24 July 2015 


* France - Farmers attack trucks, IRU calls for action

-- Truck drivers have for the last two days been subjected to intimidation and seen their cargos destroyed during yet another strike in France, this time by farmers. The protests have also resulted in driving bans and significant delays. Yet again French police officers are standing by while these unacceptable attacks take place. France must act to guarantee freedom of movement in its territory. Its police must uphold the law... Marc Billiet, head of Goods Transport for the EU said, “It is absolutely unacceptable that the haulage industry is on the receiving end of total French incompetence or unwillingness to uphold the rule of law, again. We cannot have drivers being threatened, tyres being slashed and loads being destroyed” ... 
 Brussels, Belgium - IRU - July 23, 2015

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TRUCKS EFFICIENCY * USA: Corporate leaderships for green trucks

* DC - PepsiCo and FedEx among leading brands calling for truck efficiency

-- Freight is the work horse of the global economy, ensuring that the products consumers want land on shelves or doorsteps any time they wish... With 70 percent of goods in the United States being moved by truck, freight is a key source of our fuel consumption and corporate greenhouse gas emissions. Today, freight also offers companies a key opportunity to show leadership on climate... In recent weeks, Ben &Jerry’s, Cummins Inc., Eaton Corp., FedEx, IKEA, PepsiCo and Waste Management have voiced strong support for the new fuel efficiency and emissions standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks... PepsiCo Chief Executive Indra Nooyi summed it up like this in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed post she co-authored with Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp: “Less money spent on fuel means more to invest in our products, processes, people and communities” ... That kind of thinking is what we refer to as the business-policy nexus. It’s driving innovative companies to take the next step in corporate leadership, aligning corporate sustainability operations, strategy and policy... The next wave of business leadership must include helping to shape and support the regulatory and policy changes required to preserve the natural systems that people, communities and companies need to thrive... 
(Photo by Eric Aldrich) -- Washington, DC, USA - Enviromental Defense Fund, by Tom Murray - July 22, 2015

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SAFETY TRUCKS * USA: Trucking Group vs. CARB: About diesel truck filters

* California - Group blames ‘dangerous’ diesel filters for truck fires


-- A group representing California truckers, farmers and business owners is claiming the state attorney general’s office is ignoring a rash of recent truck fires it claims were sparked by faulty diesel particulate filters... The Alliance for California Business, a Chico-based nonprofit with more than 400 members, is blasting both the attorney general and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for “refusing to investigate” the truck fires — and attempting “to block others from doing so... These diesel particulate filters [DPFs] are "the most dangerous pieces of equipment ever put on a truck,” said Alliance President Bud Caldwell, 65, a former “kingpin” for the California Truckers Association and owner of Northgate Petroleum in Chico... Caldwell said he formed the Alliance in 2013 “to lead the charge” against mandatory DPF laws in California, the only state in the country that currently requires them... But Karen Caesar, an information officer for CARB did forward a CARB report claiming DPFs are “effective and reliable” in removing 98 percent of toxic diesel emissions. The filters, the 56-page study concluded, “do not increase the likelihood of truck fires and are manufactured in accordance with federal and state safety requirements” ... The Alliance continues to dispute those conclusions and is now taking depositions of key CARB executive staff responsible for approving the DPFs... The Alliance plans to conduct its own investigation, he said, and “bring forth the experts required to prove that the DPF device should not be allowed on California highways” ... 
 (This 2013 photo from TV station KTLA shows a big-rig fire in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. A group is claiming that diesel particulate filters are to blame for a rash of California truck fires)   --  Chico, CAL, USA - The Business Journal, by George Lurie - 24 July 2015

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Europe: MAN's / Daimler's

* Germany - MAN celebrates 60 years at its Munich plant


-- MAN is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the opening of its Munich plant by holding a big family open day for its employees and their families on Saturday 25 July 2015. Approximately 30,000 guests are expected to attend... The anniversary is also being marked with a parade of historic trucks for truckers and vintage vehicle enthusiasts. From 8:00 on Saturday, the sound of vintage engines will fill the air as the parade of ten trucks makes its way from the MAN plant in Dachauer Straße, along Gabelsbergerstraße and the Altstadtring to the Isartorplatz, where the parade is due to arrive around 9:00... The vintage vehicles are testament to the years of the economic miracle in Germany and the early days of long-haul transportation... Production of MAN trucks and buses dates back 100 years, but for the first few decades the vehicles were only produced in Nuremberg. In the first half of the 1950s, production and sales of the Nuremberg trucks continually increased until the plant reached capacity. The company management began looking for an alternative production site and ultimately decided on the site of the former BMW aircraft engine plant in Allach, Munich. MAN's senior management, including Otto Meyer, saw the new plant in Munich as a fantastic opportunity to expand the company's commercial vehicle production and set up improved and more independent development facilities for this area... (Photo: In 1955, the first truck rolled off the assembly line at MAN's Munich plant. Sixty years on, MAN is marking the anniversary with a big family open day and vintage truck parade)   --  Munich, Germany - Newswire Today - 24 July 2015


* Baden-Wuerttemberg - Daimler plans to test self driving trucks in Germany this year

-- German carmaker Daimler is planning to test self-driving trucks as early as this year, executive board member Wolfgang Bernhard told a German newspaper... First tests of semi-autonomous trucks will take place in Daimler’s home state Baden-Wuerttemberg while the start of production is two-three years away, Bernhard, who is in charge of Daimler’s trucks business, told the paper... Apple, Google and other companies were trying to position themselves in the promising business of autonomous driving... Google earlier this month began testing its self-driving cars in Austin, Texas, expanding efforts to gather information on how the prototypes interact with traffic, road conditions and people... Technology groups as well as automotive manufacturers and suppliers have said the technology to build self-driving cars should be ready by 2020... 
(Photo from Thinkstock - Truck on a road above a boat canal in Oldenburg) -- Stuttgart, Germany - Reuters/recode - July 25, 2015

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RAM - FIAT/CHRYSLER - RECALLS * USA

* DC - Fiat Chrysler recalling 2.2 million trucks


-- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said Saturday it will recall nearly 2.2 million trucks worldwide because of air bags that can deploy without warning... The announcement of two new recalls for inadvertent air bag deployments comes a day after Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million vehicles for hacking concerns — and as it is negotiating a settlement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over concerns about its handling of nearly two dozen recall campaigns covering more than 11 million vehicles... The Italian American automaker said it will call back 1.35 million 2012-2014 Ram trucks (1500, 2500, 3500, 4500 and 5500) in the United States because of a steering wheel harness that may rub against the driver air bag module retainer spring. That could result in an inadvertent deployment of the air bag. Dealers will repair if needed the steering wheel wiring harness and will add protective caps to the air bag retainer spring ends... The recall covers 667,000 vehicles in the United States (of A.), 153,011 in Canada; 8,272 in Mexico and 14,847 outside North America. Until the recall is completed, Fiat Chrysler advises that owners of these vehicles exercise caution when closing doors... 
 (Photo: FCA - tHE 2014 RAN 1500)   --  Washington, DC, USA - The Detroit News, by David Shepardson - July 25, 2015


 * DC - Fiat Chrysler to face $105M penalty, oversight

-- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will face at least three years of oversight by an independent monitor into its auto safety efforts as part of a sweeping, record-setting $105 million settlement in the government’s investigation of nearly two dozen recalls covering 11 million vehicles... The Italian-American automaker admitted it broke the law in failing to quickly repair vehicles in three separate recall campaigns and agreed to buy back as many as 578,000 older Ram pickups for steering issues after some owners said they have waited 18 months or longer for repairs because of parts shortages... The agency is still reviewing Fiat Chrysler on other fronts... The penalty is the largest ever imposed by NHTSA against an automaker... 
(Photo by Carlos Osorio / AP - FCA headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mihigan)   --  Washington, DC, USA - The Detroit News, by David Shepardson - July 26, 2015


* Michigan  - Fiat Chrysler will recall vehicles over hacking worries


-- Under government pressure, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV agreed Friday to recall 1.4 million vehicles that can be cyber-hacked remotely — as Congress, automakers and regulators are raising increasing concerns about vehicle communications... The first-of-its-kind callback came just days after a magazine report showed hackers could wirelessly take control of some functions of a Jeep Cherokee... The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it will open an investigation into the recall to ensure all vehicles that could be affected are covered... Owners will get a USB device that they may use to upgrade vehicle software, which provides additional security features independent of the network-level measures that largely addresses the problem... Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., called on NHTSA to ensure that the problem is not limited to Fiat Chrysler... Two senators this week introduced legislation requiring NHTSA to set new rules to guard against hacking. Foxx said it was critical that automakers and the government work closely together to address the issue... 
(Photo from Reuters - Car dashboards and infotainment systems can be hacked into through DAB radio broadcasts)   --   Auburn Hills, MICH, USA - The Detroit News, by David Shepardson - July 24, 2015

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Jul 26, 2015

TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA & Canada; Mack's

* North Carolina - Mack barks 25,000 telematics connections

-- The truck maker sporting the bulldog hit a milestone recently with an activation of its integrated telematics system... A Mack Trucks Pinnacle model was delivered to Texas-based 3 Star Daylighting, making it the 25,000th truck to have Mack GuardDog Connect, following the launch of the diagnostic and repair planning system in 2014... The system monitors critical fault codes that could potentially shut down a truck or lead to an unplanned visit to the dealer, reducing diagnostic and repair times by up to 70 percent and 21 percent respectively, according to the company... Standard in Mack Granite, Pinnacle, Titan by Mack and TerraPro concrete pumper models, GuardDog Connect is a key component of Mack’s customer uptime support, which is managed through Mack’s Uptime Center located near Mack’s Greensboro, NC, headquarters... 
(Photo: Mack driver in cab... GuardDog Connect heads-up and is constantly managed by Mack OneCall. The end result is that technicians are fully prepared when the truck arrives ) - - Greensboro, NC - Todays' Trucking (CAN) - Jul 23, 2015

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PICKUP TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA: Ford's

* Michigan - New Ford F-150 Lariat: Luxe truck is working class

-- Ford isn't alone: the Ram Laramie Limited, GMC Sierra Denali, and Chevy Silverado High Country are other full-size trucks who've traded their work duds for business casual attire. The simple fact is, pickups with high-end options have huge margins that equal big profits for manufacturers. That's why GM, Ford and Chrysler are fawning over buyers willing to plunk down more than twice a truck's starting MSRP for the kinds of amenities you'd find in a Mercedes or Lexus. All in a truck capable of carrying a 2,650 pound payload and towing 10,700 pounds... Next year, the dashboard will get the benefit of Sync 3. While the 2015 model's infotainment system proved perfectly serviceable, it lacks the on-board Internet that Chevy, GMC, and Ram offer. If you're running a business out of the Lariat's comfy passenger seat, you're going to have to rely on your phone's data plan to e-mail the office or download plans... Powered by Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine, the whole package exudes a quiet presence on the road — a subtlety that's missing from most trucks. It was even easy to maneuver, thanks to electric power steering and a 360-degree camera that helped out in tight parking lots and on narrow trails... 
(Photo: Reviewed.com - Ford wows with its new F-150 pickup)   --  Dearborn, MICH, USA - USA Today, by Keith Barry - July 23, 2015

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Jul 25, 2015

TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * India: Tata's

* India - Tata Motors to grow exports of trucks to offset slow India sales

-- Tata Motors Ltd, India's biggest automaker by revenue, plans to triple exports of its trucks and buses to countries in Asia and beyond to counter slow sales growth in India, it said on Wednesday... "This (exports) is something we are stressing heavily," said Ravi Pisharody, executive director of Tata's commercial vehicles business, who plans to grow exports to 150,000 vehicles in 3 to 4 years from 45,000 vehicles in the year that ended on March 31... The company, which mainly exports to neighboring nations Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, will look at increasing shipments to countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia... Tata's exports of trucks and buses grew 39 percent in the April-June quarter to nearly 13,000 vehicles from a year ago, while domestic sales fell 1 percent over the same period to about 66,000 vehicles, industry data showed... Growth in sales of large trucks in India is largely linked to the economy and reflects a pick-up in industrial activities like mining and construction... While sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles at Tata Motors grew 15 percent to more than 127,000 units in the fiscal year ended March 31, according to industry data, Pisharody said this was largely due to replacement of an ageing fleet of trucks by owners... 
(REUTERS, by Vivek Prakash - Tata Motors logos are pictured outside their flagship showroom in Mumbai, India)  --  Mumbai, India - Reuters, by AMAN SHAH - Jul 22, 2015

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INEFFICIENCIES * USA: Under HOS, shippers lose more than 44,000 miles yearly

* Arkansas - Trucking Report: Shipping customers losing driver time to inefficiencies

-- As shippers feel the crunch of a truck driver shortage, a report from one of the largest U.S. freight companies says buyers of transportation service could greatly increase capacity if they managed their time better... Titled “660 Minutes,” after the maximum time drivers can be behind the wheel each day under federal regulations, the report from J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. estimates that shippers lose more than 44,000 miles, or 63 loads, annually for each driver to excessive paperwork, long waits at distribution centers and other inefficiencies... Under the federal “hours-of-service” rules, drivers are permitted 11 hours on the road and a total of 14 hours of on duty time, with a required 30-minute break during the period. But the reality, the report says, is that drivers spend only 6.5 hours on the road after spending time on pickup, delivery, safety inspections and other tasks before running out of time—and that’s on their best days... The inefficiency leads to higher freight rates, which will either cut into the margins of retailers and other shipping customers or press them to raise the prices of their products... Several technology companies are competing to help companies get more efficient in how they deliver and receive shipments. That reduces the time needed for dispatchers to find out if specific drivers are waiting in their lots, and calling them to move forward in line... J.B. Hunt believes if shippers and receivers clean up their acts, allowing flexible appointment times and expediting loading and unloading times, each truck driver in the U.S. could travel 44,375 miles further than they do now...
(Photo: The J.B. Hunt report says each driver could carry an average of 63 more loads a year if operations got more efficient)  --  Lowell, Arkansas, U.S.A. - Bloomberg/The WSJ, by Loretta Cha - July 23, 2015

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TRUCKERS' LIFE * Australia: some of the places you go in the bush are just spectacular

* New South Wales - Throwing away long haul for a truck with a view 


(Photo: Tumut, Australia)

-- Burnt out from years of driving interstate up the east coast, Robbie Caldwell headed for the forests... He has spent more years than he cares to remember driving up and down the east coast... More to the point, most of the 22 years of his married life were spent out on the highway... He drove for Iannelli Transport for 16 of those years, including a stint behind the wheel of a gold Kenworth T604 hauling a fridge van... Things went slowly downhill for Robbie, and he ended up in hospital. Once out of hospital he decided it was time for a change, so he went for his B-double licence... He scored a job with Monaro Logging, which harvests and hauls timber for the Forestry Corporation of New South Wales (FCNSW) in Bombala, as well as harvesting for PF Olsen in Tumut... Robbie has been with Monaro Logging for six years now. His current steed is a new Kenworth T909, one of six in the Monaro Logging fleet... Robbie says when he first started with Monaro Logging, he wasn’t sure if the job would suit him... "But I do like a bit of a challenge," he says... 



(Photography by Peter Schlenk: The Monaro trucks are kept in tip-top condition)
 ... "Anyone can drive around with a single freezer van. It was good, but some of the places you go in the bush are just spectacular. When you are out near Tumut, you can look out and see forever" ...
Bombala, NSW, Australia - Owner Driver, by Peter Schlenk - 23 July 2015

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TRUCKS SAFETY STANDARDS * USA: Two senators propose to increase the size of trucks

* Wiscosin - Don’t force states to allow monster trucks


-- Truck safety standards have been delayed for decades under pressure from trucking companies... On highways across the country, large truck crashes continue their mayhem, one crash at a time, community by community. Officials and trucking companies pay little heed — it’s business as usual... Some 330 people are being killed each month, and almost 8,000 more are suffering excruciating injuries, in accidents involving trucks. Truckers aren’t always to blame, but the National Transportation Safety Board says as many as one-third of these crashes involve tired truckers... On Capitol Hill, leaders don’t seem concerned. In fact, Congress is listening to trucking industry lobbyists pressing for larger trucks to carry more cargo and further undercut safety on the nation’s highways, as well as degrade bridges and roadways... Senators pushing bigger trucks know that truck crash fatalities have increased 17 percent and injuries 28 percent in the past four years. They know that more than 75 percent of the public oppose larger trucks and longer working and driving hours for truck drivers (who now can be required to drive and work up to 82 hours a week). But they work hand in glove with trucking lobbyists and hope their constituents aren’t looking... Trucking companies, particularly FedEx and UPS, give large amounts of campaign money to Congress and spend tens of millions of dollars on lobbying. Unless individual citizens, who pay the price with their lives and wallets, demand safer trucks, not bigger trucks, even the current opposition of the White House won’t be enough to stop this dangerous legislation. Let’s make highway safety our first goal... 
(Photo: Getty Images - A truck driver navigates a rain-covered highway on the outskirts of Chicago on June 10, 2014, in Hinsdale, Illinois. Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate that would ease restrictions on the number of hours truckers can drive each week is being questioned following a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in which an allegedly sleep-deprived truck driver crashed into a limo, seriously injuring comedian Tracy Morgan and killing Morgan's friend, fellow comedian James "Jimmy Mack" McNair)  --  Oshkosh, WIS, USA - The Northwestern, by Joan Claybrook (The former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and president emeritus of Public Citizen) - July 22, 2015 


* Georgia - UPS takes leadership role for commercial trucking safety

-- UPS is making collision mitigation technology standard equipment on every new Class 8 tractor the company orders. Each of the more than 2,600 new Class 8 tractors that UPS takes delivery of in 2015 will feature this accident mitigation technology, which alerts drivers to moving and stationary objects in front of the tractor and moving objects surrounding the vehicle... The collision mitigation systems on UPS’s new Class 8 tractors feature lane departure warnings, electronic stability control, and anti-lock air disc brakes. Stability control monitors the tractor trailer’s motions and, especially during turns and slick conditions, automatically distributes braking power to each wheel for a more precise control, according to United Parcel Service of America... Each new UPS Class 8 tractor since 2012 has featured stability control, a foundational technology for collision mitigation systems, for more stable turning, shorter stopping distances, and reduced buffeting. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated on June 3, 2015, that all Class 8 tractors utilize electronic stability control within the next two years... UPS’s Class 8 tractors that pull multiple trailers also may utilize a telescoping t-dolly that automatically reduces the space between the trailers from 40 inches to 12 inches at highway speeds (45mph or more). Reducing the distance between the tandem trailers decreases buffeting, increases stability, and improves fuel economy 2.5 to 3.5 percent... 
(Photo by Dave Markvart - New UPS Freight Volvo tractors)  --  Atlanta, GA, USA - The Financial (Rep. Georgia/Europe) --23 July 2015

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BRIDGE COLLAPSED * USA: Costs $ 2,5M daily to trucking industries

* California - I-10 bridge closure 

(Photo: The heavy rain caused serious damage to a portion of I-10 in California, and collapsed a bridge)
 ... The I-10 Tex Wash bridge closure is adding an additional cost of approximately $2.5 million per day to the trucking industry, according to data collected by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)...
(Photo: One pickup truck was caught when the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 over Tex Wash bridge)
 ... The bridge, which supported eastbound traffic between Southern California and Phoenix, collapsed on Sunday afternoon after flash floods near Desert Center. According to the Los Angeles Times, more than 3,100 truck drivers travel on I-10 between Coachella and Arizona every day... Drivers are being re-routed dozens of miles off-course, which is resulting in hours-long delays that have led to the loss of productivity. Delays are showing up in shipment and fuel costs, and, since drivers are paid by the mile, when they are rerouted several hundred miles, those costs increase as well, The LA Times said... If the segment remained closed for a month, the cost would total an additional $75 million to those trucks delivering freight in that area, ATRI said... 
Sacramento, CAL, USA - Fleet Owner, by Cristina Commendatore - Jul 23, 2015

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TRUCKERS´ LIFE * India: “The worst part of our job is that everyone hates us”

* Mumbai - Six million truck drivers are employed throughout India, for medium and heavy commercial vehicles

-- Currently, in India, three million truck drivers are employed for medium and heavy commercial vehicles for seamless logistics operation throughout India... Trucks criss-cross our country for miles, irrespective of weather, ensuring that consignments reach their destination on time. They move literally everything from food grain, vegetables and fruits, meat and fish to clothes, machinery and consumer goods. With six million truck drivers in India, the trucking industry represents a notable proportion of the labour force (2.5 per cent). But what do they get in return?... “The worst part of our job is that everyone hates us,” stated Ajay Saroj, from Azamgarh, who was standing in front of his truck with a group of drivers in Azadpur Mandi, all wearing smiles on their faces... Another young driver, Ajit Yadav, who hails from western UP, joined in, saying, “The problem doesn’t stop here. While on the highway, police thinks we are rupee making machines. They harass us” ... There are many tough jobs in the world and driving a truck is one of them. Unlike other jobs, here, they don’t have a fixed time for their food, sleep and other activities. Most of their precious time of their life they spend in the cabin. For them, the truck is their home, which provides them shelter when they are on the road they sleep in it, under it and even on top of it. They hardly spend quality time with their family members... On the top of this, these drivers are continuously at risk, health-wise and life-wise. They have to drive trucks with mechanical faults, are under pressure to transport on time and the police takes advantage of their miserable condition... For all their trouble, they get paid very poorly... The outcomes and the grievances captured through this finding are that there is no proper road infrastructure, no place to eat healthy food, poor highway safety, high risk sexual behaviour and STD, low salary and low end facilities in trucks...

(Photo: Container trucks are seen parked in Torkham, close to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, on July 4, 2012)
 ... Mostly truck drivers are illiterates and school dropouts or from poor families. They begin life on the road as cleaners and later learn how to drive. It’s a harsh life right from start. A majority of drivers do not have their own trucks and are dependent on their owners. This leads them to drive non-stop, 12-15 hours daily. “Usually we are on salary basis, but on each trip we get extra money or we save whatever money our owner gives us to spend on the journey. Therefore, we drive fast and continuously, so that we can get maximum number of trips,” asserted a truck driver, in Azadpur Mandi... Vineet Kumar, who owns a fleet of trucks, didn’t hesitate to admit that the drivers are highly underpaid. “They are the most vulnerable creatures on the road. They don’t have any proper time for food, sleep or rest. They are highly dependent on roadside eateries. They have to drive 400-600 kms per day, which leads them to consume drugs,” said Kumar. According to several studies, they are twice as likely to contract HIV infection... Less pay, over-stretched duty hours and mental pressure have made this job less popular among today’s generation. These days, hardly anyone is interested in this grueling job. They would rather focus on going to abroad to drive. If this trend continues, many fear that one day the Indian trucking sector, which contributes about 4.5-5 per cent of the GDP, is in danger... One can only hope concerned authorities can provide some succour in the form of regulations for these drivers, to create a safe and decent working environment for these hapless truck drivers... 
Mumbai, India - The Statesman, by Rakesh Kumar - 23 July, 2015

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Jul 23, 2015

WEATHER TROUBLES * South Africa: Blowed, whipped, trucks at tunnel

* South Africa - Winds blow trucks over at Huguenot Tunnel


-- Gale-force winds (A gale is a very strong wind, as high as 90 knots/170 km/h) tore through the Western Cape on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, uprooting trees, flipping over trucks and leaving key routes barred to commuters... Four trucks travelling over the bridge just before the Huguenot Tunnel were whipped by the winds and eventually flipped on to their sides... The tunnel was still closed on Wednesday morning... While the truck drivers managed to escape unharmed, on Wednesday morning their vehicles were still lying where they fell, the gale force winds making it too dangerous for teams to retrieve the toppled vehicles, said Bergh...

... Bain's Kloof pass, situated on the R301 between Wellington and Ceres, was also closed on Tuesday night after the winds uprooted trees, sending them crashing into the road... Chapman's Peak was closed to motorists after tons of weathered sandstone became dislodged in the windy conditions... 
(Photos by Rays Towing/Arrive Alive, via Facebook: Winds blow trucks over at the Huguenot Tunnel on the N1 in the Western Cape) -- Western Cape, Cape Town, SA - RDM News Wire - 22 July, 2015

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DRIVERLESS VEHICLES * Australia: Trucking implications

* South Australia - To host automated vehicle trials

-- ARRB Group and the SA government announce a series of single vehicle trials with trucking implications... Driverless vehicles are set to face their first real testing in Australia, with the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB Group) today announcing a month-long series of trials in South Australia... The car-only trial will use a Volvo XC 90 with a number of driver aid systems including lane departure correction, self-parking, and self-driving. It will be tested away from general public traffic, on closed-off parts of the Southern Expressway in Adelaide, Adelaide Airport, and the Tonsley Innovation Park... While the vehicle will have a human occupant during the trial, it will rely solely on these aids – with systems designed to keep drivers engaged and alert switched off... Other supporters of the trial include technology partners Telstra and Bosch, the Royal Automobile Association of SA, Adelaide Airport, Codha Wireless, and Flinders and Carnegie Mellon universities... Waldron says widespread adoption of automated vehicles, including in the transport sector, would depend on governments and road users accepting the improved safety and efficiency value that automated technology can bring... Those gains are most prevalent when it comes to road transport businesses, he says, where a driverless truck could save operators up to 40 per cent of their journey costs through saved labour and more efficient fuel use... 
(Photo: ARRB Group is the trusted advisor to road agencies)  --  Adelaida, SA, Australia - Fully Loaded - 21 July 2015

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MISCLASSIFYING TRUCKERS * USA: As independent contractors

* Georgia - Legislators told trucking companies deliberately misclassify workers

-- Two independent truckers choked up separately as they testified before a legislative committee Tuesday about the toll they say comes from companies misclassifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees... A study by the National Employment Labor Project estimates that nearly one in every three workers nationally is improperly classified and compensated. That resulted in $2.7 billion in taxes going paid in 2006, the most recent year available... In Georgia 82 percent of truckers hauling freight from the ports are misclassified, according to Rebecca Smith, the project’s deputy director. That means they earn about $29,000 yearly compared to $35,000 for drivers paid as employees... As contractors, the owner-operators have to cover their own expenses, and most drivers don’t buy health insurance because money is so tight, said Carol Cauley, a veteran driver representing the group Stand Up for Savannah... Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City Terminal averages more than 200,000 truck turns a month... A trade association executive said the system works well for most of the industry... 
 (Photos by Walter Jones/ Morris News Service- Veteran truck driver Carol Cauley of Stand Up for Savannah choked up as she testified Tuesday before a Senate committee in Savannah. She said because trucking companies classify owner-operator drivers as independent contractors instead of employees there is no health insurance)   --   Savannah, GA, USA - Business in Sasvannah, by Mary Carr Mayle and Walter C. Jones - 21 July 2015

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