User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: September 2005
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2005-09-29

Hybrids - USA - Independent Testing of International Truck and Engine Corporation Diesel- Electric Hybrid Utility Truck

Affirms Promise of Hybrid Commercial Trucks, Market Continues to Grow

LOUISVILLE, Ky.,USA -PRNewswire -Sept. 28. 2005: -- With the nation's largest medium truck diesel-electric hybrid utility field test program soon to begin, there's reason for great optimism. Independent test results involving the International Truck and Engine Corporation utility truck being used in the field test, measured against driving and work cycles typical of the utility industry, showed a decrease in the amount of fuel used of 40 to 60 percent, as well as emissions-reduction benefits, significantly exceeding expectations... At $2.70 a gallon for fuel, the potential savings ranges from $3,500 to $4,500 a year. For a fleet of 10 trucks, that translates into a predicted annuals savings of $35,000 to $45,000...

TechnoNews - USA - Mack Truck shows off heavy-duty hybrid

USA -Fleet Owner (subscription) -Sep 28, 2005: -- Mack Trucks Inc. today displayed on Capitol Hill a prototype hybrid electric powertrain for Class 8 trucks mounted on an Air Force R-11 6,000 gallon refueler truck built on a Mack RD 6x4 chassis... The powerplant combines the power of an electric motor with that of a diesel engine. The electrical motor runs on regenerative energy stored during braking... Congressional supporters of the project aim to ultimately see the development of a full hybrid system capable of launching a heavy-duty truck on electrical power alone. Full hybrids would significant reduce fuel consumption and noise, especially for refuse trucks, Mack said...

More HOS - USA - Trucking regs unsafe

Letter from Jeffrey A. Burns: National Transportation Counsel for Parents Against Tired Truckers

Gallatin,TN,USA -Gallatin News Examiner -09/28/05: -- This letter is written in response to FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg’s response... Ms. Sandberg made several conclusory statements about “extensive research and public comments” that support the horrendous new regulations. She does not, however identify any research or science that backs up her claims... The truth is as follows: new Regulations gut the 70 hour per week (8 day) work limitation for drivers by letting them “restart” the 70 hours if they have 34 hours off duty. There is no legitimate science that indicates that chronic fatigue or sleep debt can be alleviated in 34 hours. In fact, the contrary is true. Nationally known sleep researcher Colonel Belenky at Walter Reed Hospital did extensive studies and found that even three nights of restorative sleep is not enough to allow individuals to recuperate from accumulated sleep loss...

Statistics - USA - Tonnage fell 0.8% in August

USA -Fleet Owner (subscription) -Sep 28, 2005: -- For-hire truck tonnage dropped 0.8% in August, following a 0.5% July decline, according to the American Trucking Assns. Although this marks the third consecutive month of declines in the index year to date, truck tonnage was up 2.2% compared with the same period in 2004...

Products - USA - International debuts class 5, 6 utility trucks

WARRENVILLE, Ill.,USA - Today's Trucking -09/28/2005: -- International Truck and Engine has announced the launch of the new class 6 International 4200 4x4, together with another recently-released member of the International 4000 series, the International 4100 class 5 conventional... The trucks build on the key features and benefits of the International 4000 series, including durability, reliability and advanced technology...

Joint Venture - Russia - GAZ and Renault Trucks to create

Moscow,Russia -Ros Business Consulting -27.09.2005: -- GAZ, a Russian car producer, is holding negotiations with Renault Trucks (a part of the Swedish machine-building concern Volvo AB) on establishing a joint venture in Russia, GAZ CEO Alexandr Yushkevich reported today... Medium and heavy-duty trucks will be assembled by the joint venture, he announced. GAZ is a member of the RusPromAuto holding...

Sales - USA - Mack Trucks' parent says deliveries up 81 percent

August figure reflects demand for vehicles made in Lehigh Valley

Allentown,PA,USA -Allentown Morning Call, by Dan Shope -27 Sept 2005: -- Mack Trucks reported an 81 percent increase in deliveries to 2,930 in August, compared to the same month a year ago... Deliveries at the Allentown company were up about 4 percent from July. But they were below the 3,470 reported in June, a level not seen since the late 1990s... Deliveries in 2005 through August reached 23,675, up 55 percent from the previous year...

Insurance -USA - Loophole raises alarm

Norwalk,CT,USA -Norwalk Hour, by PATRICK R. LINSEY -27 Sept 2005: -- Richard Blumenthal decried what he termed a loophole in state law, relieving trucking companies and their insurance agencies of the responsibility to notify the state of policy lapses or cancellations... An uninsured truck operated by American Crushing & Towing killed four in a July 29 multi-car crash at Avon Mountain. The truck was nearly 20,000 pounds overweight and being driven with a broken tag axle, West Hartford Police said. The state attorney general said in a letter to the Department of Motor Vehicles that the agency should immediately demand proof of insurance from all Connecticut trucking companies. "Trucking companies without the proper insurance are accidents waiting to happen -- at a huge cost to all, ... The stark fact is that companies that lack insurance are also likely to be ignoring maintenance and safety problems on their trucks." ...

New Report - USA - Competitive Environment Existing in the General Freight Trucking Industry in the US 2005

DUBLIN, Ireland -BUSINESS WIRE -Sept. 27, 2005: -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance in the US 2005 to their offering... This report provides a detailed analysis of the General Freight Trucking, Long-Distance industry in the US, including key growth trends, the competitive environment and the key issues facing the industry...

2005-09-28

Alternative - France - French drivers illegally use vegoil as fuel

PARIS, France -Reuters, by Muriel Boselli -Sep 28, 2005: -- Some French motorists are dodging the near-record price of conventional oil by illegally using pure vegetable oil as a substitute for diesel, a French sunflower oil distributor said... "At least 2,000 to 3,000 French motorists are using between 50 and 100 percent pure vegetable oil in their tanks right now," said Alain Juste, manager of Valenergol, a southwest-based sunflower oil distribution company... Juste noted that damage can occur unless the right adjustments are made inside diesel engines... said the cost was exactly the same for cars using Diester (France's main biodiesel producer)...

Investments - India - Toyota plans Rs 1,500cr capex in India

Bangalore.India -Press Trust of India -Sept 27, 2005: -- Toyota Motor Corporation is planning to invest Rs 1,500 crore to expand operations in India... Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the joint venture between Toyota and the Kirloskar group, has submitted a proposal to the Karnataka government to set up its second car manufacturing plant...

Discussions - USA - Hybrids will stretch gas dollars, but cost more in the end

Detroit,Mich,USA -The Detroit News, by John McCormick -Sept 28, 2005: -- A new opinion poll from the Civil Society Institute, which bills itself as a nonpartisan think tank, claims that four of five Americans think U.S. automakers should follow Toyota Motor Corp.'s lead in developing hybrid vehicles... A related survey from the institute suggests it is unpatriotic to buy larger, less fuel-efficient vehicles... Here's the bottom line: You should consider buying a full hybrid vehicle (one that can run on its electric motor alone) if you want to reduce CO2 exhaust emissions, particularly if you do most of your driving in the city... But if you want to save money, taking into account the purchase price of the vehicle, then you will be better off buying a conventional model, even at today's elevated gas prices... How is this so? Currently, the most prominent hybrid models on the market -- the Toyota Prius, Honda Accord and Ford Escape -- cost several thousand dollars more than comparable conventional models...

Saving II - USA - Ford Offers Technology & Tips to Help Conserve Fuel

DEARBORN, Mich.,USA - The Auto Channel -Sept. 28 2005: -- From technical innovations in a variety of products to simple ideas that help customers conserve fuel and help the environment, Ford Motor Company continues to seek ways to help reduce fuel consumption. That need for conservation was made even more urgent this week when President Bush urged Americans to conserve gasoline... some of the items, referreds: ... DRIVING STYLE - VEHICLE SPEED - ENGINE LOAD- MAINTENANCE & OTHER TIPS...

Survey - USA - PR Puts Chrysler, Volvo Top

Which automakers are most, and least, adept players in the media relations game?

USA - The Car Connection, by Gary Witzenburg -2005-09-27: -- Conducted for MPG, the country's largest association of automotive journalists and PR practitioners, by the Gronstedt Group, a Denver, Colo.-based marketing communications firm, this first annual survey was distributed online to MPG's 400-plus journalist members plus another 100 nationally known non-member reporters... "North America's largest and most comprehensive study of automotive public relations" and the first "formulated by journalists with the real day-to-day needs of journalists in mind." ... Perhaps surprisingly, three automakers - Chrysler, Nissan/Infiniti, and Volvo - tied as the North American industry's best (of 19) with an overall score of 4.1 out of 5.0, followed by a three-way tie among Ford, Toyota/Lexus, and Jaguar at 3.9. "Chrysler is the quickest on its feet, the most responsive and has the most fun,"... "I write more about Volvo because they work to prove the product…a good team, great tech coverage, real smart, helpful people"... At the bottom with 3.2 was Mitsubishi below a three-way tie (at 3.5) among GM, Suzuki and Mazda. Such results may be somewhat understandable for Mitsubishi, given its financial troubles, and Suzuki, given its size. But the same can't be said for Ford partner Mazda (Ford and its PAG brands are near the top) or GM, which desperately needs effective media relations these days...

Saving - USA - Bush: Drive Less, Save Gas

USA - The Car Connection -Sep. 28, 2005: -- President Bush called on Americans yesterday to drive less and conserve fuel to minimize the economic troubles that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have caused across the country. With oil prices over $65 a barrel and new damage to the Gulf of Mexico's oil production due to the more recent Rita, the President told reporters in a news conference that Americans need to realize that the twin storms have caused a disruption in oil production and refining. "We can all pitch in," President Bush said...

Competitiveness - Worldwide - Europe 'losing competitive edge'

UK - BBC - 28 Sep 2005: -- Europe's old guard are losing out to their younger, livelier rivals Europe's major economies are continuing to lose their competitive edge, according to a global business survey... Britain, Germany, Spain and France all dropped in the rankings of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) latest global competitiveness report... Nordic countries again dominated the survey in 2005, with Finland remaining the most competitive country for the third year running, the WEF said... It was followed in the rankings by the US, Sweden, Denmark and Taiwan... Iceland and Norway are also in the top ten, while Australia has reached that rank for the first time...

Oil - Russia - Gazprom to buy Sibneft for $13bn


Gazprom aims to be a major player in oil as well as gas

UK -BBC -28 Sept 2005: -- Russian gas giant Gazprom has agreed to buy Sibneft oil company, controlled by Roman Abramovich, for $13bn (£7.4bn)... Their joint statement said a deal had been struck between state-controlled Gazprom and Millhouse Capital, which owns a majority stake in Sibneft... Millhouse Capital is an investment vehicle belonging to Mr Abramovich, who also owns Chelsea football club...

Cut- Germany - Mercedes 'plans 8,000 job cuts'

UK - BBC -Sept 28, 2005: -- Mercedes employs about 160,000 people in GermanyCarmaker DaimlerChrysler is planning to cut more than 8,000 German jobs at its troubled Mercedes division, according to a newspaper report... Profits at Mercedes have fallen as the company struggles to deal with quality control problems and the strong euro... The company employs about 160,000 people in Germany and has almost 385,000 workers worldwide... Mercedes made an operating profit of 12m euros in its second quarter, after registering a first-quarter operating loss because of restructuring costs at its Smart division...

2005-09-27

Request - USA - Law firm claims Ford defect

Engines in question in 17 million vehicles
USA - Automotive News, (subscription), by Harry Stoffer -Sept 26, 2005: -- A California law firm is asking federal safety officials to investigate as many as 17 million Ford Motor Co. vehicles for what it says is a costly and dangerous engine defect... The petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says spark plugs can blow out of the engines because cylinder heads have too few threads and contain a metallurgical weakness... The petition says the engines...

Sales - Israel - Hyundai Motor Tops Car Sales in

SEOUL, DS. Korea -Asia Pulse -Sept 27 2005: -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest automaker, is the top-selling car brand in Israel thanks to the surge in popularity of one of its compact models, a trade promotion agency said Tuesday...
Hyundai Motor accounted for 15.2 per cent of the overall car sales in Israel during the first seven months of the year, according to the Tel Aviv office of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency...
Hyundai Motor's strong performance was attributed to its Getz compact car, the top-selling item in Israel...

Justices - USA - Supreme Court will review tax incentives

WASHINGTON,DF,USA -The Detroit News/Associated Press, by Gina Holland-Sept 27, 2005: -- The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide how states may use tax incentives to lure companies to build car plants and other projects, a major test of job-creation strategies nationwide... Justices will review an Ohio tax program which had been used thousands of times over the last decade until an appeals court ruled last year that it was unconstitutional...

Recalls - Japan - Truckmaker Recalls 2.64M Vehicles

TOKYO,Japan -Channels Netscape News/AP, by HIROKO TABUCHI -27 Sept 2005: -- Defective vehicles recalled by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp., a Japanese truckmaker embroiled in a massive cover-up scandal, have topped 2.64 million since March last year - affecting 68 percent of Mitsubishi trucks and buses on the road in Japan... Mitsubishi Fuso, 85 percent owned by Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG, announced five new recalls Monday covering some 120,000 middle and lightweight trucks, the latest in a series of 98 recall reports filed since last year... The overall figures include some vehicles recalled up to eight times for defects such as faulty tail pipes, or wiring that can short a fuse or cause the vehicle to stop, a company spokesman said Tuesday on condition of anonymity, citing regulations...

Down - Japan - Production 3 biggest automakers fell in August

TOKYO,Japan -money.inq7 -Sept 27, 2005: -- Three of Japan's biggest automakers said Tuesday their domestic production in August fell from the same month a year ago, but two smaller automakers said production was up... Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's No. 1 automaker, said its domestic production slipped 9.7 percent on year to 229,547 vehicles... Nissan Motor Co.'s production in Japan slipped 3.2 percent to 93,349 vehicles... Honda Motor Co. reduced domestic production by 2.6 percent from a year earlier to 80,783 vehicles...

Cuts - Germany - Mercedes May Cut 5,000 Jobs in Germany

USA -Bloomberg -Sept. 27 2005: -- Mercedes-Benz chief Dieter Zetsche, after four weeks in the post, intends to eliminate at least 5,000 jobs to help revive profit at the DaimlerChrysler AG luxury car division, people familiar with the plan said... The supervisory board of DaimlerChrysler, the fifth-largest automaker, is scheduled to announce the job cuts tomorrow after a two-day board meeting in Auburn Hills, Michigan, said company officials who didn't want to be identified...

Markets II - USA - GM Seen Losing Most Of June, July Market-Share Gains

USA - Forbes, by Maya Roney -09.26.05: -- Merrill Lynch said automotive sales will continue to slow down through September and October as employee-discount pricing programs draw to a close... Merrill expects a September sales declines from a year ago of 28% for General Motors, 18% for Ford Motor, and 3% for DaimlerChrysler. Both GM and Ford's employee-discount programs have "gone kaput," said the firm, with GM giving back nearly all its market-share gains of June and July...

Markets - USA - Cummins to Repay $250 Million in High-Yield Notes

The Company, too, Repurchase $100 Million in Stock - Executives Also Outline Plans for Continued Profitable Growth

NEW YORK,NY,USA -BUSINESS WIRE -Sept 26, 2005: -- In another move aimed at decreasing its debt and strengthening its balance sheet, Cummins Inc., announced today that it intends to repay $250 million in 9 1/2 percent notes in December 2006, the first call date for the debt. The notes, which were issued in November 2002, will be repaid using cash generated from Cummins operations... The Company also announced today that it will begin to repurchase shares of common stock with the intent to buy back $100 million worth of Cummins stock within two years. This repurchase reflects the Company's commitment to returning value to its shareholders...

Sales - Sweden - Volvo deliveries up 20pc

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -CNN International/Reuters -Sept 26, 2005: -- Vehicle deliveries by Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-biggest truck maker, rose 20 percent year-on-year in January through August, the company said... in a statement that deliveries of its Mack brand rose 55 percent, totaling 23,675 units... Renault Trucks were up 10 percent to 46,835 units, with the biggest increase seen in markets outside Europe... North America registered a rise of 66 percent while South America rose 75 percent... Volvo Trucks' deliveries rose 18 percent during the period to 67,472 vehicles...

Fuel Alternatives - Nigeria - German trucks use food oil as cheaper fuel

Port Harcourt,Niger Delta,Nigeria -The Tide -Sept 26, 2005: -- German trucking companies are increasingly using normal rapeseed oil as a cheap fuel alternative to higher-grade rapeseed biodiesel, traders said on friday.. German-rapeseed trading was very active this week, powered by strong rapeoil demand as trucking firms look for alternatives to high conventional diesel prices... In Germany, biodiesel fuel is largely made from rapeseed. Oil derived from rapeseed is the country’s main food oil used in cooking and food manufacturing...

Prices - Australia - Transport industry feels the pointy end of fuel price spike


High fuel prices are putting the brakes on road transport

S. Queensland,Australia -ABC Regional Online, by Kate Raston -26 Sept 2005: -- The Australian Trucking Association says businesses should be prepared for rising freight costs, as petrochemical industry insiders warn the price of fuel could again be on the rise... fuel bills at his company have increased by 30 per cent in the last 10 months... He says transport companies have levied customers to help cover the rocketing price of fuel... More than 200 drivers disrupted traffic on the Pacific Highway at Macksville to highlight concerns over the cost of fuel and pay rates. But Ross Fraser says the blockade means truck drivers now have to work overtime to meet delivery and loading commitments.He says drivers working long hours to reach deadlines risk fatigue related accidents...

Opportunities - Canada - Increased trade with China opportunity for Canadian trucking

But it also means we need better highways, says Bradley national trucking chief

BEIJING,China - Canadian Trucking Alliance (press release) /Ottawa,ON,Canada -Sept. 26, 2005 :-) The Canadian government's bid to be the gateway for Asian trade to North America is welcome news to the Canadian freight transportation sector, including the trucking industry, says Canadian Trucking Alliance CEO David Bradley... But our government will have to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to meeting the corresponding need for a better transportation system, he adds... It's remarkable to witness the transformation of the Chinese economy first hand, he added: "China is changing the entire balance of the world economy. No sector will be immune to this. In trucking we are already seeing congestion at our ports, labour unrest and high fuel prices. Not only will we need to build on NAFTA to secure the competitiveness of North America -- we in Canada especially will need to broaden our economic perspective beyond the Canada/US trade relationship"...

Warn - Japan - Damping New-Car Smell

USA -The Car Connection/AP -26 Sept 2005 ):-/ Is new-car smell a savory scent, or a toxic combination of volatile organic compounds? Both, it turns out. And Japan's automakers are working to cut down on the new-car smell to reduce exposure by new-car owners... reports that new-car smell is the result of emission of chemicals call volatile organic compounds, which are released from plastic, vinyl, glue, and paint in the first few months after a car is built. An Australian study says the compounds can cause sore throats, headaches, and drowsiness, and as a result, Japan's automakers are working to reduce the levels of organic compounds released into their new vehicles. By 2007, the levels of the compounds in cars will have to match those in homes and office buildings in Japan. Already, the AP says, Toyota has six models that meet the new standard; Nissan, four; and Honda, the new Civic...

Opinion - USA - Slow Months Coming

Sales have been pulled ahead by employee discounts

Pleasant Ridge, MI,USA -The Car Connection, by Jerry Flint -2005-09-26 (8-/ Slow times are coming forDetroit - two months for sure, three months likely, maybe even four months. After that we're in 2006 and we'll see... There are four good reasons:
1. Payback from the sales boom of the last few months tied to the employee sales bargain days... 2. Higher prices. The Detroit companies are trying to push prices up... 3. Gasoline prices are inching their way down, slowly, but the shock won't wear off... 4. And there's the issue of confidence. That University of Michigan consumer confidence index has dropped to a 13-year low... business in September. Ward's Automotive Reports predicts a 28-percent sales decline for General Motors from a year ago, a 14-percent drop for Ford, and a slight gain for Chrysler. We'll see how it comes out in two weeks. It's reasonable to figure that October will be another down month, and probably in November and possibly December, too...


After Hurricanes - USA - Industry Recovers from Katrina and Rita

The long months ahead are fraught with salvage titles and total losses

Pleasant Ridge, MI,USA -The Car Conection, by Mike Davis -2005-09-26 :-( Estimates of vehicle losses vary widely Carfax Inc. guessed 250,000 to 500,000, according to Automotive News. A Dallas newspaper predicted 300,000. These may be as exaggerated as the early, panicked predictions of 10,000 lives lost in New Orleans, but there's no question the number of vehicles lost is huge... A report September 21 by the online New Orleans Times-Picayune said Louisiana State Police estimated 200,000 vehicles lost in the state to Katrina. That was before Rita. Likewise, the largest auto insurer, State Farm, told the Times-Picayune it already had nearly 80,000 Katrina-loss auto claims in the four-state area, with numbers expected to rise... Filling this vehicle loss gap will boost used-car values in the South and likely raise new-car sales transaction prices as well. People desperate for wheels aren't likely to be overly concerned with shopping for the best deal. Replacing depleted or lost - dealer inventories also generate higher production volumes for the manufacturers. And car owners who have been unexpectedly turned into new-car buyers prematurely, before their loans were paid off, may take advantage of the timing to switch to more economical models in the face of today's higher gas prices... FURTHERMORE: What can you do to minimize damage to car and home when the next hurricane blows your way? For one thing, advise experts, get a stronger door for your attached garage...

2005-09-26

Grants - USA - Case study: Volvo Trucks North America

Greensboro,NC,USA -News Tecord, by Taft Wireback -Sept 25, 2005: -- Grants from the One North Carolina Fund are supposed to be given in competitive situations only when a company needs the money to put its project in the Tar Heel State... The company: Truck maker, based in Greensboro for about 25 years... The project: $10 million headquarters expansion, adding 150 jobs... The offer: $400,000 grant for creating new jobs and investment within three years... The competition: Allentown, Pa., "main" competitor...

Cut - Ireland - Mack Trucks to lay off 190 workers in Dublin

For the second time in a month, a major Dublin manufacturing firm announces layoffs.

Roanoke,VA,USAThe Roanoke Times By Angela Manese-Lee -Sept 24, 2005: -- Mack Trucks Inc. will reduce production at its Dublin assembly plant, shedding 190 employees in the process... The decision comes as a result of a shift in Mack's production mix to focus less on the highway products made in the New River Valley and more on the vocational vehicles produced in Macungie, Pa...

Union - USA - Back truckers’ organizing drive!

USA -The Militant -Oct 3, 2005: -- Independent truckers are fellow workers. The fact that they own their rig—basically an expensive tool—does not change that reality. They need a union to defend themselves in face of the long work hours, decreasing real wages, and dangerous conditions imposed by the profit-hungry trucking capitalists... As a growing number of independent truckers in Miami sign up with the Teamsters and demand that the shipping companies register with the union and employ drivers through its hiring hall, the labor movement should extend them solidarity in action...

Insurance - USA - Demand insurance proof from trucking cos.

Blumenthal calls to DMV
HARTFORD, Conn.,USA -The Advocate/Associated Press -Sept 23 2005: -- State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal called on the Motor Vehicles Department on Friday to demand proof of insurance from all trucking companies in Connecticut... The request came after survivors of a fiery, 20-vehicle crash that killed four people in Avon on July 29 were told by Maine-based Acadia Insurance that the owner of the dump truck that caused the wreck did not have liability insurance...

Production - Iran, China: Sign truck manufacturing contract

TEHRAN,Iran -mehrnews -Sept. 23, 2005: -- According to an initial agreement made between Iran Khodro Diesel Co. and China National Heavy-Duty Truck Corporation (CNHTC), the Iranian company has set to import and buy the technology of manufacturing heavy-duty trucks... The Chinese company has also accepted to set up a production line for trucks in Tehran. A marketing official in the Iranian company put the total value of the contract at about $150m. “The trucks we want to buy from CNHTC have acquired several quality standards including Euro2,”... The Chinese company will soon deliver 400 of the heavy-duty trucks to Iran Khodro Diesel...

HOS - USA - Groups file for reconsideration

The Hours of Service Final Rule issued in August may not be final after all.
WASHINGTON DF,USA - The Trucker, by Barb Kampbell -26 Sept.2005 :-) On Sept. 23 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T.), Public Citizen and Trauma Foundation, filed a petition regarding the order issued on HOS Aug. 25... According to the petition, the “rulemaking proceeding to adopt a revised HOS regulation suffers from a number of major shortcomings in terms of the approach taken by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration to address serious health and safety concerns for truck drivers and the public. Time and time again the preamble to [the] 2005 Final Rule cites the economic efficiencies that benefit the trucking industry as outweighing the safety costs that will be borne by the public,” the petition stated.In every instance where safety and economic burdens are balanced, the agency has opted to choose economic productivity of the trucking industry instead of determining the issue in favor of public safety. The determinations made in the 2005 Final Rule are openly contrary to the agency’s mission and highest priority, and should be reconsidered.”

Costs - USA - Trucking Leader Urges Changes

CEDAR RAPIDS -Dallas,TX,USA -rednova -Sep. 22, 2005: -- Shipping costs will rise and the number of trucking companies will shrink unless some things change, American Trucking Association chairman Steve Williams says... Williams, of Little Rock, Ark.-based Maverick Transportation, said during a visit to Cedar Rapids that government mandates in areas such as clean air and truck drivers' hours of service are aggravating cost pressures imposed by the market... One result of the driver shortage and high fuel costs will be more trucking company mergers... "It's getting harder for small carriers to have the same benefit packages as our larger companies do," he said. "He who has the employees will carry the freight"...

TecnoNews - UK - Pay-as-you-go navigation service launched

U.K. -Autoblog (USA), by Stuart Waterman -Sep 21, 2005: -- The wonderfully-named company GetMeThere is rolling out its TARA service (Traffic Avoidance and Routing Application) for anyone equipped with a mobile phone and a GPS receiver... The TARA software for your phone is free - users only pay when they use it... Each direction request includes unlimited route updates during the trip. The fee is 1.5 UKP (about $2.70)... Toyota GB is a partner in GetMeThere...

Taxes - UK - Drivers pay £500 per ton of CO2...

The Environmental Transport Association has called on the Government to cut the tax on petrol, as it unfairly penalises motorists.

UK -Telegraph -24/09/2005: -- ETA director, Andrew Davis, said: "As a green motoring organisation, we agree that citizens should be responsible for the effects they have on global warming. We question the validity of this tax, however, as it requires motorists to pay over £500 for each ton of CO2, whereas industry, commerce and households only pay £7 a ton. Charging motorists 75 times as much as everyone else is wholly disproportionate. It is bad for motorists, our transport system and the environment. Everybody loses"... Motorists in Britain produce 38 million tons of CO2 annually, compared with 52 million tons from industry and 62 million tons from offices and homes... Meanwhile, the Association of British Drivers has dismissed the Chancellor's claims that the high price of fuel is the fault of OPEC. According to the ABD, even if Gordon Brown gave us the oil for nothing, UK pump prices would still exceed 70p, higher than in Greece and Spain, because the Government takes 61.5p in taxation, in addition to "well-to-wheel" forecourt, refinery and distribution costs...

GreenNews - Canada - Alternative Fuel Filling Station Opens in Ontario

Los Angeles, CA,USA -treehugger, by Jacob Gordon -Sept 20, 2005: -- The first all-alternative filling station in Canada opened last week in Ottawa. Run by Topia Energy, Canada's biodiesel leader, Greenstop is a franchise model expected to spread throughout the country. GreenStop offers biodiesel and two ethanol blends. (Only B20 is available, however: 20% biodiesel, 80% petrol. People are still scared of the pure stuff, it seems, although I and untold others run on B100 with ease)... Also part of the fueling station is the Real Café, stocked with organic snacks, natural soda pop, organic coffee, and fair trade cigarettes... Psych! No smokes...

Protecting - Germany - Porsche Taking Stake in VW

Germany -AP -Sep. 26, 2005: -- Two ofGermany's automakers are banding together, financially, to protect the country's largest automaker from a hostile takeover... Following reports last week that financiers from Arab countries as well as Kirk Kerkorian were interested in buying up shares in beleaguered Volkswagen, Porsche says it will take a stake of about 20 percent in VW... Porsche confirmed the move, the AP reports, by noting that VW has become "a significant supplier for about 30 percent of our sales volume" and "an important partner in development"... The stake would, under current German law, prevent a hostile takeover. The pricetag for the stake is estimated at $3.6 billion...

2005-09-23

Tires Cut - USA - Goodyear to Close Plants in Restructuring


NEW YORK,NY,USA -The Washington Post/AP -Sept 23, 2005 :-/ Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said Friday it will close an undisclosed number of plants as part of a sweeping restructuring aimed at improving its North American tire business and saving up to $1 billion over the next three years... The Akron, Ohio-based company, the world's largest tire maker, did not say how many jobs would be affected, how many plants would be closed or their locations. But it did say it would focus the cuts on high-cost plants and increase sourcing from Asia as it seeks other ways to boost productivity while introducing new products...

Bright - China - Not everything does shine in China

Brilliance China Automotive Hold. Ltd. announces interim results
Hong Kong, China -Automotive -Sept 23, 2005 (:- ' Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited announced today the interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2005 prepared in accounting principles in the United States of America... Unaudited consolidated net sales of the Company and its operating subsidiaries... in the first six months of 2005 were Rmb2,796.0 million (US$337.7 million), representing a 27.5% decrease from Rmb3,857.5 million (US$465.9 million) for the same period in 2004. The decrease in sales was primarily due to the decrease in the unit sales of Shenyang Automotive's minibuses and, especially, Zhonghua sedans, a decrease in average unit selling prices and changes in product mix...

Reviewing - Germany - VW Weighs Sale or Spinoff of Two Units

BERLIN, Germany - CNN (USA) Channels News, by STEPHEN GRAHAM -09/23/05 - German automaker Volkswagen AG said Friday it is considering selling or spinning off its Europcar car rental unit as well as a consulting division. Volkswagen's supervisory board ordered managers to ``review all options, ranging from strategic expansion to an initial public offering or sale'' of the two units, the company said.. It didn't say how much it could raise from a sale of Paris-based Europcar or for auto industry consulting firm Gedas, which is based in Berlin...

Markets - USA - Acquisitions eyed as military contracts on steady pace

USA -AP/Post-Crescent -Sept 23, 2005 :-) Oshkosh Truck Corp. is pursuing company acquisitions as cash pours in from its military and emergency vehicle businesses... The maker of heavy trucks is flush with Department of Defense business stemming from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Total company sales for the first nine months of fiscal 2005 topped $2 billion, and nearly equaled sales in all of fiscal 2004... But unlike in the past, Oshkosh Truck is not as dependent on military sales. The company is spending millions of dollars to expand its Wisconsin plants that build fire and rescue vehicles, for example, and it has stepped up efforts in areas such as refuse trucks and cement mixers...

Markets - UK - Volkswagen cut at CSFB on recent share performance

LONDON,UK -MarketWatch, by Aude Lagorce -09/23/05 :-/ Credit Suisse First Boston cut German car maker Volkswagen AG to neutral from outperform, saying that although it remains a great supporter of the company's restructuring story and believes progress is being made, it believes the share price is now discounting too much in the short term... The broker told clients that investors seem to be getting ahead of themselves, noting that not long ago the U.S. and China were major problems, European pricing a significant risk and that further cost reductions were "pie in the sky"...

2005-09-22

Inside Trading - USA - Swift trucking chief pays insider trading fine

Phoenix,AZ,USA -KPHO Phoenix -23 Sept 2005 :-! PHOENIX A year after engaging in insider trading, Swift Transportation chief executive Jerry Moyes has agreed to pay a one-point-two (m) million dollar settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission... Moyes neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing...

Protests - Australia - More blockades planned in truckies' fuel price protest

Australia -ABC News Online -23/09/2005 :-(( Truck drivers say they are staging a series of road blokades across Australia today to protest the rising cost of fuel... A blockade of the Pacific Highway in northern New South Wales disrupted one of the nation's major roads for more than eight hours and has now been cleared... A line of over 100 trucks stretching up to two kilometres blocked the Pacific Highway from the Macksville Bridge, closing the road in both directions... The Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association, says the protest highlights that rising fuel prices are a threat to their owner-drivers survival and they are calling for fuel surcharge subsidies to be passed onto drivers rather than the transport operators... LDODA President Bunny Brown says owner-operator truck drivers are absorbing too much of the impost of rising fuel costs... says another eight protests are planned in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory... Federal Assistant Treasurer Mal Brough says he understands the concerns of truck drivers... Transport Workers Union spokesman Mark Crossdale says some drivers are being forced to pay for the extra costs of fuel themselves...

Letter from Annette - USA - Administrator: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

From: Annette M. Sandberg
Trucking laws create safer roads
Gallatin,TN,USA -The News Examiner -09/21/05 :-! "It is unfortunate that your article 'Regulations deadly, truckers say' (Aug. 29) about this federal government’s new hours of service (HOS) rule for truck drivers was based on speculation rather than fact... The new HOS rule is based on an exhaustive review of more than 1,000 articles and studies on driver health and fatigue-related issues, as well as more than 1,800 public comments, including data from truck drivers and trucking companies showing that crash and injury rates decreased in the year since the new HOS requirements took effect in January 2004. Plus data from the federal government’s Fatal Accident Reporting System showed that during the same period fatigue-related fatal crashes decreased nearly 12 percent. Only an estimated 5.5 percent of all large truck crashes are fatigue-related... We relied on credible research to write the new HOS rule that we expect to help truck drivers function more safely behind the wheel and consequently, prevent more than 3,400 truck crashes each year" ... - (More in: Letter To the Editor )

Celebration - U. Arab E. - ExxonMobil Middle East 80 years celebration of Mobil Delvac

United Arab Emirates -AME Info -Sept 21 - 2005 :-) ExxonMobil is commemorating eight decades of protecting and helping extend the lives of heavy duty diesel engines around the world with the 80th anniversary of its Mobil Delvac engine oil... Since its introduction in 1925, Mobil Delvac oil, Delvac, short for Diesel Engine Lubricants Vacuum, has provided power and protection for truck engines around the world in all conditions, from the extreme heat in Egypt's deserts to the freezing conditions across Siberia, from the mountainous regions of Peru to the super-highways and narrow byways of North America and Europe...

Production - Brazil - VW invests US$ 436.3 million

To export to the Middle East and South Africa
Recife,PERN,Brazil -ANBA -09/20/2005 :-)) Volkswagen Trucks and Busses, subsidiary of the German giant in Brazil, announced yesterday, in the city of Resende, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, an investment worth US$ 436.3 million in Brazil to set up an exports platform to the Middle East and South Africa. The resources will be invested in expanding the heavy vehicles factory, located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in the Southeast region of Brazil... The multinational's hit in the Arab market will be the new truck Constellation, which will initially be exported ready and later semi-dismantled for finalisation in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates...

EcoNews - USA - Ethanol-gas fuel boosts mileage of GM's trucks


More vehicles to have energy flexibility
Detroit,Mich,USA Detrit Free Press, by MICHAEL ELLIS -Sept 21, 2005 :-)) The new full-size sport-utility vehicles from General Motors Corp. get 100 miles per gallon of gas... Too good to be true? Yes. But do the math, and by filling up GM's trucks with E-85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gas, drivers can help the United States cut its oil consumption... With gas prices hitting record highs above $3 a gallon this summer and consumers concerned about dependency on foreign oil... Already, there are about 1.5 million GM vehicles capable of running on E-85, made mostly from corn or other grains... There are only four E-85 filling stations in Michigan... But more could be on the way. On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced the creation of a free-tax zone in Marysville, near Port Huron, to support the construction of a new $95-million ethanol plant. Two other ethanol plants recently broke ground in Barry and Calhoun counties...

Grounding - USA - Rell Halts Firm's Trucks

Vehicle Stop Leads To Probe Of Hauler
Hartford,Conn,USA -Hartford Courant, by DANIEL P. JONES & DAVID OWENS -Sept 21, 2005 (:-! An angry Gov. M. Jodi Rell Tuesday ordered that all trucks owned by American Crushing & Recycling of Bloomfield have their registrations suspended, grounding its entire fleet... One of the company's trucks went out of control July 29, causing a horrific accident at the foot of Avon Mountain that killed four people and mangled 20 vehicles... The governor's move came after she learned that another American Crushing & Recycling truck had been pulled over by West Hartford police Friday because of safety violations and because it was 18,000 pounds overweight...

Rules - USA - New Speed Limit For Trucks?

Negaunee,MI,USA -WLUC-TV -Sept 21 2005 (:-/ A new speed limit for trucks is speeding through the legislature... This would allow trucks that weigh 10,000 pounds and truck-tractors with trailers to go 60 miles per hour on highways where the maximum speed limit is 70...

Production - Thailand - TATA Motors in Thai JV for pickup trucks

MUMBAI,India -Financial Express/REUTERS -SEPT 21 2005 :-) India's top bus and truck maker, Tata Motors Ltd., has entered a deal with Thailand's Thai Rung Union Car PCL to set up a manufacturing plant for pickup trucks, a leading business daily said on Wednesday... Tata Motors, which also makes cars and utility vehicles, is also examining the possibility of setting up a production base for hybrid and low-cost vehicles in Thailand, the paper said... plans to begin production of 140-bhp pickup trucks in 2006 and expects to sell 5,000 to 10,000 units in the first year of operation...

Join - USA - Truckers quit, join teamsters


More than 350 truck drivers resigned from their jobs over the weekend and joined the Teamsters Union

Miami,FL,USA -The Miami Herald, by MONICA HATCHER -Sep. 20, 2005 (:-/ Truck driver Sandro Lerro knew when he signed on with the Teamsters Union Saturday, he probably wouldn't have a job come Monday... It's a price he said he was willing to pay for the possibility of benefits and better wages down the road from companies willing to hire him through the new union job placement center that opened Saturday in Miami... More than 350 independent truck drivers who haul from local ports and rail yards joined Lerro this weekend when they effectively quit their jobs, in hopes that union representation will get them health insurance, pensions, higher wages, and workers rights they do not currently have as independent contractors...

Alert - USA - ISAC Asks Highway Watch Members to Keep an Eye on Hazmat Tankers

USA -Trucking Info -9/22/2005 :-( A series of Highway Watch reports during the last month have prompted the Highway Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) to issue a request to program partners to immediately report all potential suspicious activities involving hazmat tank trucks... "The Highway ISAC has received several reports of similar incidents concerning suspicious behavior involving commercial vehicles hauling petroleum products", said Don L. Rondeau, director of the Highway ISAC. "While there are no concrete indicators that these reports suggest pre-operational surveillance, we take them seriously and we’d like our partners to do so as well”...

Fame? Fortune? - France - Would you like to save $220,000 in development costs?

Rich Media Strategies Pay Off: Designing and Developing with
France -fr.sys-con, by: Teresa Ragan -Sep. 22, 2005 :-! The team at Penske Truck Leasing Company did when it replaced the company's enterprise content management system with a new advanced one. Penske started as a small truck leasing firm in Pennsylvania to becoming the number one truck rental and leasing company in the world. Its growth strained the enterprise content management system that managed the critical data assets that drive the company's daily operations. The system wasn't exactly small: it contained over 13,000 HTML files... The PENSKE team leveraged Macromedia Dreamweaver and Contribute to design, develop, and maintain the new content management system... At the end of the project, the team had saved over $220,000 in development costs. A team of 50 Web editors used Contribute, the template-based content management software that integrates with Dreamweaver, to quickly create and edit Web sites in a tenth the time of the old system. The cost-savings, streamlined maintenance process, and overall success of migrating an enterprise-critical system proved to Penske that its strategy was worth the effort...

GreenNews - USA - Legacy gets a green light

Litigation ends: If the settlement holds, construction on the parkway could start in May

Davis County,Salt Lake,UT,USA -The Salt Lake Tribune, by Patty Henetz -22 Sept 2005 ):-)) After eight months of negotiation between the state and a coalition of conservation organizations, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. on Wednesday signed off on a compromise ending the litigation that has stalled the Legacy Parkway since 2001... It also means Davis County will get a jump start on a new TRAX line and a bus rapid transit system, and 125 acres of Great Salt Lake wetlands will be set aside as a nature preserve instead of housing big-box commercial development... And it won't be any ordinary highway. The Legacy Parkway will be the first commuter road of its kind in Utah: no trucks, no billboards, a maximum speed of 55 mph, rubberized asphalt to dampen noise and only four lanes wide for at least the next 15 years...

Anger - Australia - Oil companies avoid petrol summit

Australia -The World Today, by Brendan Trembath -22 Sept, 2005 :-/ Australia's biggest oil companies have angered business groups by staying away from a summit on surging petrol prices... The meeting in Sydney was organised by the motoring group, the NRMA, which says that consumer confidence has been shattered by the increased cost of petrol... The summit heard how it's flowing through to industries such as tourism, trucking and farming.... But the Federal Government, which reluctantly agreed to attend, says there are no quick fixes...

Prices - Japan - Japan's Aug. Trade Surplus Shrank More Than Expected

Tokyo,Japan -Bloomberg -Sept. 22 2005 :- () Japan's trade surplus shrank more than expected in August as surging crude oil prices pushed the import bill up 21.1 percent to a record... The trade surplus shrank 79.7 percent to 116.3 billion yen ($1.05 billion) from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said in Tokyo today...

Production - India - FIAT, too, May Link With India's Tata

KRAGUJEVAC, Serbia-Montenegro -edmunds/Inside Line/AP/ India's Business Standard -09-21-2005 :-) Widespread rumblings suggest Fiat is about to sign a major global alliance with Indian carmaker Tata... "A memorandum of understanding will be announced shortly," reported ... Tata, a family-owned business and the world's fifth-largest maker of medium and heavy commercial vehicles, reportedly has close ties with the Agnelli family, Fiat's biggest shareholder group... What this means to you: (NP: This and the following one) Though Tata and Fiat may sound like strange bedfellows, the deal is expected to bolster the global ambitions of both companies...

Production - Serbia-Montenegro - FIAT Signs Deal With Serbs

KRAGUJEVAC, Serbia-Montenegro -edmunds/Inside Line/AP -09-21-2005 :-) The Zastava factory, which went bankrupt in the 1990s but maintained limited production of its Yugo model, will assemble Fiat's best-selling Punto, according to a deal signed Tuesday, reported... The Serbian carmaker will produce about 16,000 units of the Punto model a year...

Oil - USA - Crude Prices Climb Toward $68 a Barrel

As Hurricane Rita Advances on Texas
SINGAPORE -ABC News/Associated Press, by EN-LAI YEOH -Sep 22, 2005 (:-/ Crude oil prices climbed toward $68 a barrel Thursday as Hurricane Rita closed in on Texas, raising fears it would hit key production facilities along the U.S. Gulf Coast that were largely untouched by Hurricane Katrina's onslaught three weeks ago... The U.S. Minerals Management Service said Wednesday that 469 platforms in the Gulf are unstaffed, up sharply from 136 on Tuesday. More than 73 percent of oil production in the region was blocked, up from 58 percent Tuesday... The head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Guy Caruso, criticized OPEC for constraining production to keep prices high days after the oil cartel pledged to make available an additional 2 million barrels daily to cope with high demand...

Ethanol - Venezuela - Investing $900M to produce ethanol

Venezuela CARACAS,Venezuela -Myrtle Beach Online/AP -Sep. 22, 2005 :-)) Venezuela plans to invest $900 million over the next five years to plant sugar cane and build processing plants to produce ethanol, President Hugo Chavez said... Speaking Wednesday night to governors and mayors, the plan will involve cultivating about 300,000 hectares (740,000 acres) of sugar cane and building 15 plants across the country to make ethanol from it for gasoline production... The program is projected to create about 500,000 jobs in the country of 25 million people, he said... Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter, and Chavez has sought to use the country's windfall oil profits on a range of programs intended to ease poverty and support economic reforms... The President, an admirer of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, blames U.S.-style capitalism for the country's poverty and says he aims to lead the country toward a new socialist system...

Production - Brazil - Ford to increase production

Brazil -The Car Connection, by Fernando Calmon -22 Sept 2005 :-) Ford is looking for ways to increase production at its factory in Camaçari, State of Bahia, where the Fiesta and the EcoSport are built. The plant is already running on three shifts and will end 2005 having built many more vehicles than the plant's 250,000-unit nominal capacity. The local and foreign market growth forecasts point out that by the end of 2006, an increase of 70,000 units yearly would be desirable for Ford. The company, however, is reluctant to make new investments in the facility, opting for productivity gains and the overcoming of minor bottlenecks that disturb production increase instead....

Warn - USA - NTSB: Ban Teens from Calling and Driving

USA - Reuters - 22 Sept 2005 :-(( The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that teenagers learning to drive be banned from using cell phones and other wireless devices. The agency's concern comes from several studies, that show that highway accidents are a leading cause of death for teenagers and that cell phone use is increasing in that age group... Accidents resulted in the deaths of about 64,000 teenagers from 15 to 20 years old in the past decade, with half of the deaths occurring at night. Reuters adds that cell phone use by younger drivers rose to 8 percent last year, up from only 3 percent in 2000...

Holdings - USA - Kerkorian Looking for GM Board Seat

USA - The Car Connection -22 Sept 2005 :-/ Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp., which has been adding to its holdings of General Motors stock, will boost its holdings from 9.5 percent to 9.9 percent of the automaker. And after that, reports say, Tracinda may push to have a representative put on GM's board of directors. The moves, which were disclosed in a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, could also end up in Tracinda selling some of its shares if GM's stock price were to rise (or fall)...

Free Gas - USA - Mitsubishi Motors North America to Offer Customers a Year's Worth of Gasoline

CYPRESS, Calif.,USA -The Auto Channel -Sept. 21 2005 :-)) Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.,m today announced a new retail program that rewards buyers of new 2005 model-year vehicles with a year's worth of gasoline. The program begins Friday and runs through the end of October... All buyers of a new 2005 model-year Galant, Endeavor, Montero, Outlander, Eclipse Coupe, Eclipse Spyder, Lancer, and Lancer Evolution will receive pre-paid debit cards that can be used for gasoline at most major motor oil companies' retail locations...

Challenge - USA - TOYOTA to Pitch Hybrid Leadership

USA - The Car Connection, by Paul A. Eisenstein -22 Sept 2005 :-! Japan's leading automaker wants to make sure that everyone understands its lead in the emerging hybrid-electric vehicle segment. Toyota will launch a nationwide, multimedia campaign that: ... "We want to reinforce the message that Hybrid Synergy Drive is not only good for the environment because it saves gasoline, it also produces extremely low emissions,"explained marketing vice president Jim Farley... The timing of the campaign could serve another purpose... While models like Toyota's Prius sedan and Honda's little Insight sedan have been designed to maximize fuel efficiency, a number of newer hybrids, such as the Lexus RX400h and Honda Accord Hybrid, trade off mileage for performance, and that has generated a rising tide of criticism in recent months. The campaign will clearer attempt to put the focus back on the most efficient hybrids and marginalize critics...

2005-09-21

Opinion - USA - Keep On Truckin'?

NEW YORK,NY,USA -Forbes, by Robert Malone -09.20.05 :-) A truck idling at depots and terminals to provide air conditioning or heating for the truck cab can use as much as 1,000 gallons of fuel yearly, the Environmental Protection Agency calculates. Multiply that by the 8 million trucks on U.S. roads and it's an astounding waste of fuel, especially at today's prices... The U.S. road systems need a lot of redesign, additions and added technology. And this does not come cheap... In addition to the use of intermodal, the EPA suggests cutting the maximum speed limit of trucks, buses and cars on the highways by five to ten miles per hour and keeping a constant speed (variable speed in driving means energy wasted)... also recommends keeping air in truck tires at the right level using automated regulating devices that not only sense a tire's pressure but also adjusts the level of inflation to the optimum level. This process can extend the life of tire as much as 8% and can save more than $100 per truck annually in fuel cost. If trucks switched to wide-based tires, rather than the more common dual tires, the savings per truck per year could be as high as 400 gallons of fuel... Further, improved aerodynamic design of trucks could have a positive affect on fuel consumption...

Opinion - USA - After Katrine: GDP growth will slow

USA -Fleet Owner (subscription), by Terrence Nguyen -Sep 20, 2005 :-( The damage Hurricane Katrina inflicted on the oil and refining infrastructure will slow down the real growth rate of the U.S. economy in the short term as consumers spend more on energy and less on general goods, economists say. This will slacken freight growth on a national level. But on a microeconomic level, trucking around the hurricane-afflicted Gulf region will get a boost... U.S. economic growth will drop from 3 to 4%, to 2 to 3% until mid-2006, predicted Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) chief economist Ken Simonson.

Cooperation - USA - S. Utah truckers roll on amid industry's tough times

Southern Utah in prime location for companies criss-crossing nation
St. George,UT,USA -ñSt. George Daily Spectrum, by KATIE ASHTON -Sept 20, 2005 : -- ) With rising fuel costs, drivers retiring and fewer entering the field, the trucking industry, nationwide, continues to face rough roads... However, Southern Utah-based companies are faring better than the rest... Despite the hardship the trucking industry is facing, Southern Utah companies have banded together to help one and other. The Southern Utah Trucking Association represents more than 70 trucking companies, Don said... "For the most part, down here we've all gotten along with each other, we don't step on each other's toes," he said. "We all have our own little niche, and instead of being dog-eat-dog competition, in a way we all kind of help each other"...

Costs - Canada - Trucking rates nowhere to go but up

OTTAWA,ONT,Canada -Today's Trucking -09/20/2005 :-( Not only is the price of diesel fuel adding more digits to the bottom of freight invoices, but other traditional costs are not showing any signs of letting up either, says the Canadian Trucking Alliance's vice-president... In a presentation to the Livingston Importer Conference in Chicago last week, Ron Lennox pointed out that besides the obvious impact of fuel costs -- which are usually recouped through surcharges -- carriers are facing higher costs to comply with increasingly stringent border security measures, increases in insurance premiums, renewed strength of the Canadian currency, and rising equipment costs reflecting the new generation of near zero-emission engines and fuels...

Warn - Australia - Tougher trucking laws

Queensland, Australia -Brisbane Courier Mail -20sep05 :-( TRUCKING companies have been warned they will soon face "substantial" penalties if they pressure truck drivers to overload their rigs or meet unreasonable delivery times... The New South Wales Government's "chain of responsibility" laws, which broaden the responsibility for heavy-vehicle safety compliance, come into effect on September 30... Roads Minister Joe Tripodi said that under the legislation, all parties in the "chain" - consignors, packers, loaders, receivers, drivers and operators - must take steps to prevent breaches of road transport mass, dimension and load-restraint laws...

Losses - USA - Katrina wrecked 350,000 vehicles

NEW ORLEANS,LOU,USA -&The News Star. by John Hill -Sept 21, 2005 (:-/ Almost 350,000 vehicles were totaled by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, which still resembles a wrecking yard and will for months... It will take at least five months to haul all the vehicles to staging areas, where parts will have to be removed, said Charles Brown, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality assistant secretary for environmental services...

Rail freight - USA - Europe’s Challenge

NEW YORK,NY,USA -The International Herald Tribune, by Don Phillips -Sept 21 2005 :-/ The railroads of North America and the railroads of Europe seem to have only one thing in common: They both run on rails... North American railroads are basically freight railroads designed to haul long, heavy trains. Passenger trains in North America are little more than an annoyance for private-enterprise freight railroads, something forced onto their tracks by government pressure. In Europe, however, almost all railroads are government-owned to some degree, and their main purpose is passenger traffic. Freight movement is little more than an afterthought in most countries... The idea is that highways are terribly overcrowded and only railroads can handle the growing crush of heavy freight traffic. Among other things, the EU has forced railroads to make space on their tracks for competing private freight haulers...

Stop - USA - "Many drivers ignore pedestrian crossings"

Black Mountain,N.C., USA -Black Mountain News, by J.P. Kennedy -Sept 21, 2005 :-( Officer Johnny Raines, of the Black Mountain Police Department, stands by a pedestrian walkway in downtown Black Mountain. Across from the corner of State Street and Cherry Street, he waits as the cars and trucks drive past him without even slowing. When there is a break in the line of cars heading west towards Asheville, Raines steps out onto State Street. Cars heading east continue on their way and he is forced to halt in the middle of the street: “See that,” Raines said. “They don’t even stop" ...

TechnoTyres - USA - Amerityre Testing Phase for Non-Pneumatic Polyurethane Temporary/Spare Tire

BOULDER CITY, Nev.,USA -PRNewswire -Sept. 20 2005 :-) Amerityre Corporation announced that it has completed the developmental phase of its non-pneumatic [no-air] temporary/spare passenger car tire, and is now in the process of delivering production quality prototype tires to the automotive industry for additional testing and evaluation... The innovative tires have successfully undergone FMVSS testing and can carry loads up to 2,000 lbs per tire...

Recall II - USA - Toyota also announces recall

WASHINGTON,DF,USA -Ass.Press -Sept. 7, 2005 :—/ Toyota Motor Corp., meanwhile, recalled 978,000 sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks over complaints that a rod linking the steering wheel and the wheels could fracture when the steering wheel is turned while the vehicle is stopped. The affected vehicles include the 1990-1995 4Runner SUV, 1989-1995 truck 4WD and 1993-1998 T-100 pickup... Toyota said its recall would begin in mid-September and was based on seven confirmed cases of the power-steering problem in T100 vehicles. No crashes have been tied to the issue...

Recalls - USA - Ford recalls 3.8 million pickups, SUVs

Fifth largest auto recall in U.S. history

WASHINGTON -Ass.Press -Sept. 7, 2005 :-/ The recall by Ford Motor Co., the fifth-largest auto industry recall in U.S. history, involved 3.8 million pickups and SUVs from the 1994-2002 model years, including the top-selling F-150 pickup.
Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, a longtime auto safety advocate, said the recall was insufficient, citing similar switches found on 16 million Ford vehicles... “Ford Motor Company’s sluggish and piecemeal approach to its automotive responsibilities betrays motorists’ safety,” Nader said...

Prices - USA - The Wolf Is At The Door


Higher gas prices may push people to purchase more fuel-efficient cars

NEW YORK,NY,USA -Forbes, by Jerry Flint - Sept,2005 :-( What we have here is what they call a defining moment. The automobile business has changed forever. Even if you are financially comfortable, paying $47 for a half-tank of gasoline does not feel good. The pain is even greater for those who own big pickups and sport utility vehicles that have fuel mileage in the low teens... We do not know how bad it will get next year. Gasoline prices will go down eventually, but a return to $1.50-per-gallon gasoline may be as unlikely as seeing tailfins reappear on new cars. In the future, the "normal" price might be in the $2.50-per-gallon range, as we were paying this past summer before Hurricane Katrina...

Hybrids - USA - Ford plans to boost hybrid production

Automaker to offer technology in half of Mercury, Lincoln and Ford models

Detroit,Mich,USA - The Detroit News - Sept. 21, 2005 :-) Ford Motor Co. plans to ramp up production of hybrid cars that use less gasoline and offer hybrid versions of half the models in its Ford, Mercury and Lincoln brand lineups by the end of this decade, according to a report... The first Detroit carmaker to produce a gas-electric vehicle, Ford plans to ramp up production of hybrids from several thousand in 2005 to 250,000 by 2010, reported...

Frankfurt's - Germany - All About Hybrids

FRANKFURT, GERMANY -Forbes Auto, by Bengt Halvorson -Sept 21 2005 :-/ The buzz at the Frankfurt auto show is all about skyrocketing gasoline prices and a run for the pumps, with some places said to be on the verge of a panic shortage. So with fuel cells still in some distant future, the new breed of hybrids and some decidedly small cars are all the focus today... There has been a curious about-face from the German automakers on hybrids. Just two years ago, a high-ranking official at one German manufacturer maintained that hybrids didn't show much, if any, promise for the European market... From an American perspective, looking to Europe could be the solution when gasoline prices soar and consumers' appetites for big, gas-guzzling vehicles disappear. As the industry takes a deep breath to see what's going to happen next with gasoline prices and inflation, one thing's certain: It's an especially difficult time for automakers to plan their products...

Report - Frankfut/Germany - An Industry in Upheaval


The 61st Frankfurt International Motor Show
FRANKFURT,Germany -Forbes Autos, by Nick Kurczewski & Bengt Halvorson -21 Sept 2005 :-/ The 61st Frankfurt International Motor Show featured a disparate mix of Teutonic sport cars, hybrid sport utilities and a head-spinning array of global partnerships... DaimlerChrysler announced that it wants to build minivans for Volkswagen while BMW, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler joined forces to develop gas-electric hybrid technology in an effort to wrest some market share from dominant Toyota. Along with the latest outlandish boutique super cars, a triumvirate of Chinese car manufacturers debuted vehicles verging on four-wheeled paperweights, some with images of brake discs painted – yes, painted – onto their drum brakes... One of the overarching themes this year seemed to be that no automaker is immune to the growing pains that have seized the industry as nascent technology promises to alter motoring for good, national economies continue to meld into a global one and oil markets maintain their upheaval... The only thing hotter than the stifling temperatures inside the show halls were rampant corporate rumors and maneuvers... Below is a list of significant new high-end and high-performance vehicles that promise to impact the market...

TechnoNews - USA - GM Utes Getting Hybrid Power; Diesel Uncertain

USA - The Car Connection, by Paul A. Eisenstein -21 Sept 2005 :-) General Motors' new full-size SUVs will get hybrid power options in the 2007 calendar year, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz announced on Tuesday... The technology, being developed as part of a joint venture with DaimlerChrysler and BMW, is aimed to be both lower cost than comparable Japanese hybrid systems, and more fuel efficient at highway speeds. According to Lutz, the two-mode system should deliver a real-world boost of about 25 percent, without sacrificing either performance or towing capacity...

2005-09-20

Jobs - Canada - Career Opportunities Abound in Trucking Industry

TORONTO, ONT,Canada -CCNMatthews -Sept. 18, 2005 :-) If you are looking for an exciting, challenging career that has a solid future, look no further than the trucking industry... The week also serves as a platform to raise awareness of the many exciting and challenging career opportunities the industry offers.... A recent study shows that about 37,000 new truck drivers will be needed each year between now and 2008, for a total of 224,000 which can make trucking an attractive career choice for young people, especially given that Canadian truck drivers earn more than the national average...

Sales - USA - August is a hot month for sales of big trucks

USA -Automotive News, by Greg Migliore -Sept 19, 2005 :-) Medium- and heavy-duty truck sales remained hot in August... Combined sales of trucks in Classes 4-8 rose 20.9 percent over August 2004. The segment has posted year-over-year increases every month since September 2003. But sales in Classes 1-3 were off 1.6 percent in August from the year-ago month. The total large-truck market saw a 0.5 percent decline for the month. DaimlerChrysler AG's Freightliner division and Ford Motor Co...

EcoNews - USA - Hybrid Vehicle Application Harnesses Energy

Los Angeles, Cal,USA -Renewable Energy Access -Sept 19, 2005 :-) Encore Clean Energy entered into an agreement with ISE Corp. to design and build prototype units of Encore's patent pending Magnetic Piston Generator (MPG) technology for use in heavy-duty motor vehicles exceeding 8,500 lbs... "Harnessing radiator and tailpipe exhaust heat of a gasoline or diesel engine, or the exhaust heat of a hydrogen fuel-cell, may be one of the most cost-effective ways by which car and truck makers worldwide can potentially increase vehicle driving range, lower engine emissions and reduce consumption of, and demand for, imported oil and gasoline", said Dan Hunter Encore CEO...

Protest - UK - Trucks stage 'go slow' rally

LONDON,UK -Gulf Daily News (Bahrein) -17 Sept 2005 :--( A convoy of trucks staged a go-slow protest on a major British highway yesterday over high fuel prices, causing traffic jams as long as five kilometres, police said... Police moved swiftly to prevent major disruption on the M4 highway in Wales, and ordered everyone taking part in the protest to drive at a minimum of (64kmph) in the slow lane... The protesters said they were seeking relief from Britain's high fuel taxes, which currently account for nearly half of the cost of pertol...

Students - USA - Trucking instructor teaches lesson in compassion

PRINCETON,Bluefield,WV,USA -Bluefield Daily Telegraph, by BILL ARCHER -Sep 15, 2005 :-) Students of a local truck-driving school are learning a lesson in compassion as one of their instructors is putting his 31 years of trucking experience to work transporting humanitarian supplies to Gulf coast victims of Hurricane Katrina... Willie Mason, director of training at the Lady Smith, Va., branch of Wytheville, Va.-based Alliance School of Tractor-Trailer Training Center backed his rig into the loading dock, to haul out a load of supplies bound for Mobile, Ala. Mason connected with the ramp on his first try...

Fight - USA - Dump Truck Drivers Plan Strike in Lee County

Lee County,FL,USA -winktv, by Claudia Ramos -Sept 18, 2005 :-/ Starting around 7am about 800 dump truck drivers may line Lee County roads. "We're gonna fight for this in a peaceful way. That's something people have to understand. We don't go to the streets to fight or use bats or destroy trucks or people. No," said one dump truck driver who wants to remain anonymous... The driver claims increased gas prices, maintenance costs, and dump truck brokers are eating up their profits. "They get around $80, $90 or $100 per load. They offer us just $60 or $50, but on top of that they take 10%. So we don't think that's quite fair"... County Sheriff's Office says, "Demonstrators they're allowed to demonstrate. As long as they're not impeding with the flow of traffic and they're not violating any state law"... That includes using hazard lights. Something the strikers planned on doing. Now, the anonymous driver says he will not turn on his lights, because breaking the law is not the message they want to send out. They just want to be heard...

Salutations - Canada - Happy National Trucking Week!

TORONTO, Ont.,CAN -Truck News, by James Menzies -9/19/2005 :--)) This week marks National Trucking Week – a time to acknowledge the excellent work and significant contribution of the 400,000 Canadians who make their living in the industry... "Grocery store shelves are stocked and the supplies we need for daily living are available when we need them, thanks to the country's safe and reliable trucking industry," says Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) President David Bradley... Prime Minister Paul Martin acknowledged the important week with a statement to the Canadian Trucking Alliance...