User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: November 2005
Google
 
Loading

2005-11-29

Jobs - Canada - Ontario Commit to Introduce Provincial Nominee Program

Could Help Qualified Foreign Truck Drivers Come to Ontario
TORONTO, ONTARIO,Canada -CCNMatthews -Nov. 21, 2005: -- A new Canada-Ontario immigration agreement was signed and includes the commitment to develop a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), that will allow the Province of Ontario, within the next 12 months, to select immigrants based on skilled worker shortages. The province would identify a specific skills need, and facilitate their immigration to Ontario. According to today's joint federal/provincial announcement, over the next twelve months, Ontario will develop a pilot PNP. As well, during this time, Canada and Ontario will develop the terms of a Temporary Foreign Worker agreement. These programs will give Ontario the opportunity to identify newcomers who will help meet its economic priorities and labour market objectives... OTA president, David Bradley cautions that the details still need to be worked out over the next 12 months, but says there is a growing awareness of a long-term driver shortage that is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Bradley also cautions that even if truck drivers are included in a PNP, "it is not a slam dunk process, carriers have to seek out qualified people and make certain commitments. The floodgates are not going to open." ... So, he says "current drivers do not have to fear an influx of new drivers. The tight capacity that has been reflected in the market in recent years will continue going forward. A PNP would provide some potential relief for those carriers that wish to avail themselves of the opportunity."

2005-11-23

Production - India - Tata launches Daewoo commercials

India -Galway Independent (Irish) -23 Nov 2005: -- Tata Motors, the Indian based car and 4x4 maker has launched a range of heavy commercial vehicles based on the Daewoo design... Tata took over the Korean Daewoo Commercials in 2004 following financial problems at Daewoo and the new trucks are being built in India... Tata Daewoo aims to build 6,000 trucks in 2006, starting with a high import content of 75%, which will be reduced by locally sourced components over time. These trucks will be designed for the construction and mining industries, where Volvo is dominant...

Tyres - Europe - Run-Flat Tyre Market in Europe and North America and the Reasons For Growth

Taking a Closer Look at the Size of
DUBLIN, Ireland -BUSINESS WIRE -Nov. 22, 2005: -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of Global market review of tyres - forecasts to 2011 3rd edition to their offering... It is estimated that the global tyre market for passenger cars, light, medium and heavy duty truck applications accounted for nearly 1.2 billion tyres sold in 2004, of which 857 million (72%) were replacement tyres. Although the world tyre market is essentially a replacement market in terms of volume and value, and the vehicle makers buy only one-quarter of road tyres, this segment of the market is significant as it drives technical development and significantly influences the aftermarket... The increasing sophistication in the global car parc has led to changes in the type and size of tyre that now dominates the market place. The trends are now towards larger rims, wider tyres and higher speed ratings. Increasingly heavy platforms and powerful engines are pushing tyre speed indices upwards...

TechnoPrevent - USA - Stolen trucks the hi-tech way

Did'u lost a pallet of Viaggra... ???
USA -TG Daily, by David Strom -22 Nov 2005: -- The problem is that more than 100 truck loads a day on average are lost or more likely stolen from America's roads. These aren't just some random pickups, but full 50-foot trailers that can carry anywhere from $100,000 worth of clothing to multi-million dollar loads of pharmaceuticals. And recovering these stolen goods is all being done with hi-tech that until recently wasn't even possible... The idea is fiendishly simple: Place a tracking device of about the size of a deck of cards deep down inside a pallet of goods that is carried by trucks around the country. The device sends out a signal every 30 seconds telling the central monitoring command center where it is located. If it goes someplace unexpected, call the cops... "A pallet of Viagra is worth $1.2 million on the retail market, and there are 28 pallets in the average-sized trailer," said Eppley... The problem is that all this missing merchandise is the result of some very determined and clever crooks, and Eppley's company is using tech to track them down and stop the losses...

Cleration - USA - Cars, not trucks, usually culprits in collisions

We will continue to do our share of spreading the word, promoting trucking and highway safety - By J. RICHARDS TODD, President SC Trucking Association
Columbia,S.Caroline,USA -The State -Nov. 21, 2005: -- As happens every so often, the recent tragic hayride/truck collision generated a story on truck safety, enforcement and collision statistics... Your reporters did a fair job with the articles, but you let them (and your readers) down with the misleading and inaccurate headline: “Big-rig crashes jump 39 percent in S.C.”... It is fair to assume that practically all your readers consider and describe the largest tractor-trailers as “big rigs.” This vehicle class actually experienced a 17 percent increase in collisions over the four-year reporting period, not 39 percent as you headlined. You have to combine all of the “commercial vehicle” classes to get a 39 percent increase, meaning that the small- and medium-duty trucks did a poorer job than did the “big rigs.”... Admittedly, there are still a few cowboys out there, but car drivers have a shared responsibility to do a better job around trucks. We ask drivers not to linger alongside a truck, cut in front of one and then slow down or try to fill the space in front of it on a crowded, high-speed interstate...

Rules - Ireland - EU ruling may force Ireland to accept 'super trucks'

Dublin,Ireland -Ireland Online -21 Nov 2005: -- The Government could reportedly be forced to accept so-called "super trucks" on Irish roads as a result of a European Court of Justice ruling... Reports this morning said the court last week ordered the Austrian authorities to abolish a ban on lorries weighing more than 7.5 tonnes which has been imposed on a motorway in the Tyrol region... The court ruled that the ban obstructed the free movement of goods between EU member states and was illegal under European law... "Super trucks" are set to be effectively banned from Ireland's roads when the Dublin Port Tunnel opens as they are too large for the recently constructed facility. Once the tunnel opens, trucks will not be allowed on to the streets of Dublin city centre...

Customs 'unfairly criticised' over ports crisis

Sidney,Australia -ABC Online -21 Nov 2005: -- P&O Ports has defended Customs over its handling of the port crisis, saying it has been unfairly criticised for a backlog of cargo in major Australian cities... P&O Ports managing director Tim Blood has given evidence at a Federal Parliamentary inquiry into the freight industry in Sydney today... He says the real problem behind delays is that trucking companies do not deliver and receive containers around the clock...

Drive Clean testing - Canada - New Ontario trucks exempted

TORONTO,ON,CAN -Today's Trucking -21 Nov 2005: -- Ontario trucks four years old or newer will no longer have to undergo environmental Drive Clean testing, the province's Environment Minister Laurel Broten announced... The Ontario Trucking Association, which for years has been lobbying for Drive Clean reforms for newer, cleaner trucks, applauded the move. It has argued that it was costly and pointless to require newer trucks to undergo annual or bi-annual testing... Last year, the OTA won a small victory when it got the MOE to exempt trucks that passed a 20 percent opacity standard from annual testing...

TechnoDevelop - China - Poly and STC Join Hands in Developing Special Purpose Vehicle Industry

Singapore,China -China Knowledge Press -21, Nov 2005: -- China Poly Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of the China Poly Group Corp. is to cooperate with Special Truck Co. (STC) of the CNHTC (China National Heavy Duty Truck) Group Co. Ltd. in developing the special purpose vehicle industry, according to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China... China Poly has recognized STC’s strong research and development (R&D) and production expertise in this area, and will authorize STC as the exclusive agent to export their jointly developed special purpose vehicles and associated spare parts... STC specializes in the production of heavy duty special purpose vehicles such as concrete mixers, aircraft hauling tractors, refuse transporters, firefighting trucks, and hydraulic hoist systems including various pumps, cylinders and valves...

Production - Mexico - Volkswagen to double trucks and buses

London,UK -AWKnowledge (subscription), by Rogério Louro -18 Nov, 2005: -- The CEO of Volkswagen Trucks and Buses, Roberto Cortes, said that the vehicle manufacturer would double output of trucks and buses in Mexico in 2006... In its first year of operation, the Volkswagen commercial vehicle assembly line in Puebla assembled ...

Safety - Europe - If you see me coming, you better run!

Jeep worst, Citroen best
Washington Parade,Bootle,Merseyside,UK -MotorTorque, by Haje Jan Kamps -23 Nov 2005: -- The European new car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP) has finished another round of tests. One of the cars tested was the Jeep Grand Cherokee. If you drive it, you are safe, but if you are a pedestrian, you are out of luck. The 4x4 was awarded zero stars for pedestrian protection... EuroNCAP introduced the pedestrian protection tests because car manufacturers were starting to use more and more resources to make the car safe for its occupants, but simultaneously making it more and more dangerous to be hit by a car, as a pedestrian. The test is done by running the car into a crash test dummy at 25 mph, and measuring the effects on the dummy...

Fines - Georgia/Europe - Tightening belts on overweight trucks

Tbilisi,Georgia,Europe-The Messenger, by M. Alkhazashvili -Nov 17, 2005: -- With new roads being paved, the government has decided it is also necessary to place some regulations on some of the main culprits for road degradation: heavy trucks... According to the changes if a driver is carrying cargo in excess of the maximum weight allowance then he will be fined GEL 1000. The changes will take effect from January 2006... For 2005 the national budget allotted GEL 61 million for roads reconstruction and rehabilitation. At the beginning of November, only GEL 7 million was left from this amount. It should be mentioned however that while Tbilisi's roads are showing immense progress, roads in the regions have suffered from a string of natural calamities...

Grown - India - Is the trucking sector losing its competitive edge?

Trucking has the advantage of last mile service
Bombay,India -Financial Express, by VINEET AGARWAL -Nov 18, 2005: -- Over the last few years, the trucking sector has grown by leaps and bounds and has become a Rs 45,000-crore industry. This growth is a result of interplay of a number of factors such as the robust state of the Indian economy, boom in the retail sector, growth in the infrastructure sector, etc.... One of the most significant developments in the Indian industry that has affected the trucking sector has been the fuel price hike over the last few months. This has increased the transportation costs considerably. As a result, some trucking companies have already commissioned an increase in freight rates... Trucking is a more favoured mode of cargo movement over railways as it has the advantage of its “last mile service.” Trucking service scores over the railways as it offers both pick-up and delivery at the customers’ premises...

Funds - China - Largest automaker eyes listing abroad

BEIJING,China -Reuters -Nov 23, 2005: -- First Automotive Works (FAW), China's largest vehicle maker and partner of Volkswagen A.G., is interested in listing abroad within the next five years, its top executive said on Wednesday... FAW, which also has partnerships with Mazda Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Co., would join rival Shanghai Automotive in seeking to raise funds on the global market...

TechnoNews - China - Ballard eyes fuel cell research, production

BEIJING -Reuters/Automotive News -Nov 23, 2005: -- Fuel cell developer Ballard Power Systems Inc. wants to set up research and production joint ventures in China and believes its products can be competitive in the country's developing economy by 2010.
Interim chief executive officer John Sheridan said that the firm was in negotiations with Chinese companies, and auto makers were one possibility for cooperation... Replacing gasoline and diesel in a country where per capital gross domestic product is below $1,500 and clean air is seen as a luxury by many, could be tough, but Sheridan said improved technology would make Ballard competitive... Sheridan was in Beijing for the delivery of three DaimlerChrysler buses powered by its fuel cells, that are part of a worldwide trial of the vehicles... DaimlerChrysler and Ford Motor Co. both have ownership stakes in the Vancouver-based company...

Sales - China - GM sees 2006 sales growth outpacing market

And GM expects 20 percent-plus growth for 2005
BEIJING,China -Reuters -Nov 23, 2005: -- General Motors expects its .Chinese sales next year to beat industry unit sales growth of 10 to 15 percent. If achieved, the sales rise would extend GM's trend of rising market share in China, the world's third-largest vehicle market... GM posted record first-half sales in China and expects 20 percent-plus growth for 2005... China has proved a godsend for struggling GM, yielding a fifth of group net earnings in the third quarter of 2004... Overall Chinese car sales grew 15 percent in 2004 after almost doubling in 2003. Sales growth was hit by government-ordered credit tightening steps to cool a red-hot economy... Analysts expect sales this year to grow 10 to 15 percent and at a similar level next year...

Profits - Germany - Mercedes Car Group sees record 2007 result

FRANKFURT,Germany -Reuters -Nov 23, 2005: -- DaimlerChrysler's premium Mercedes Car Group division expects to generate a record operating profit of over 4.1 billion euros ($4.82 billion) in 2007 and a margin of 7.3 percent, a magazine reported... The forecasts are also based on the assumption that the division will cut 2,500 jobs, Capital reported... Mercedes division head and designated group Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche has since announced plans to eliminate 8,500 Mercedes-Benz jobs, but this was not included in the numbers because it was unclear just how many staff would sign up for voluntary redundancy packages, the magazine said...

Report - USA - GM's Big Cuts

USA -Yhe Car Connection/WJR Auto Report -23 Nov 2005: -- The big cuts announced at General Motors this week are "tough medicine," in the words of CEO Rick Wagoner. The question is whether GM has taken a large enough dose to cure what ails it... Sadly, it's not the first bitter pill GM has had to swallow over the years. It ordered a procession of cut backs in the wake of the 1979 oil crisis. And in 1984, the company completely reorganized, in an ill-conceived plan that virtually paralyzed operations for two years. That prompted a series of follow-up cuts and reorganizations that started to feel like the plan-of-the-month club... Yet in 1992, it was obvious that things weren't working, as GM came within an inch of bankruptcy. Since then, the company has continued to cut and reorganize. But as Wagoner pointed out, the pace of change in the auto industry has been startling, and so, still more cuts are now needed... Yet there's one constant in the business, and that's the need for good product. And that's where GM has routinely fallen short. If it doesn't deliver soon, there'll be more tough medicine needed later...

Opinion - USA - The End of the UAW?

Is there still room for the United Auto Workers union?: Actually, it's a question the UAW must ask of itself
USA -The Car Connection, by Paul A. Eisenstein -23 Nov 2005: -- The union was born of confrontation. The sit-down strikes in Flint, the "Battle of the Overpass" at Ford's Rouge plant, these were the decisive moments that not only gave the union a seat at the bargaining table, but set the tone for talks to follow for decades to come. There's no question the UAW has won tremendous gains for its members in the auto industry: great wages, good retirement packages, a platinum health care package. But the cost of these deals simply won't be borne by the customer anymore. It's no longer 1970, when the Big Three swallowed hard and simply raised sticker prices. Every time they do, more customers migrate over to the imports... I'd prefer to remain pro-UAW. But it's becoming harder and harder to argue labor's case... Now let me be clear, I think GM has a lot of 'splaining to do, too. In reality, it seems like virtually everyone in Detroit is part of the problem. And if you can't find a way to become part of the solution, maybe you don't belong...

Business -Mexico - Dana to dissolve venture, take over plants

NEW YORK,NY,USA -Reuters -Nov 22, 2005: -- Dana Corp., a struggling auto and truck parts maker, on Tuesday said it plans to dissolve a joint venture with Mexico's DESC SA de CV and take full ownership of five factories... In dissolving Spicer SA de CV, Dana will take over axle and driveshaft factories, as well as forging and foundry operations in which it has an indirect 49 percent stake. DESC will take over transmission and aftermarket gasket operations in which it has a 51 percent stake...

2005-11-22

GM'S BIG OVERHAUL -USA - Automaker to slash jobs and plants in bid to compete with foreign firms

... WILL IT BE ENOUGH?
S.Francisco,CAL,USA -S.Francisco Chronicle -Nov 22, 2005: -- Analysts immediately questioned whether the proposal is enough, saying it lacks the speed and breadth that have helped rivals come back... Analysts said GM's plan is only the first step on a long and difficult road for a company that once dominated the industry but whose prospects have turned bleak. Just last week, Rick Wagoner, GM's beleaguered chief executive, sent an e-mail to the company's approximately 325,000 employees to try to dispel rumors that it would soon file for bankruptcy... And GM is not alone: Ford Motor Co. said last week that it, too, will cut salaried jobs as it prepares its second restructuring plan in four years... Analysts say that inefficiency, plus hesitant leadership, lackluster car designs, management missteps and costly health care and pension plans, are creating competitive gaps with Toyota and other foreign automakers... All told, Detroit auto companies and their suppliers have announced plans to eliminate 98,000 jobs, according to an estimate by Challenger, Gray and Christmas, an executive recruiting firm...

Product - USA - International announces Diamond Logic PowerPack 3

WARRENVILLE, Ill,USA - Truck News, by Adam Ledlow -22 Nov 2005: -- International Truck and Engine Corporation has announced the availability of the International Diamond Logic PowerPack 3, a first-to-market OEM innovation designed to offer ease of truck integration and "pure power on wheels.".. Company officials say the new product is built for customers that require a reliable power source when on a job site. A patented 3000-watt AC power system is a factory-installed option on International 4300, 4400 7300, 7400 and 7500 models. It is designed to enhance reliability, durability and security while offering drivers all the auxiliary power they need to get the job done on demand. It features a 5000-watt AC surge capability that helps start pumps and compressors...

Repercussions - USA - About GM disposal

1 - TORONTO,Canada/REUTERS -- Hargrove says Martin to help save GM jobs -- Canadian Auto Workers President Buzz Hargrove said on Tuesday he would team up with the Canadian prime minister to keep General Motors from closing a key plant and slashing thousands of jobs... Hargrove said Prime Minister Paul Martin had called him on Monday after the world's largest automaker said it would cut about 3,900 jobs in Canada and shut its plant in Oshawa, Ontario...

2 - NEW YORK,USA -newratings.com -- General Motors "sell" -- Analyst Ron Tadross of Banc of America Securities maintains his "sell" rating on General Motors. The target price is set to $16... In a research note published this morning, the analyst mentions that the company's market share in the US is expected to decline by 100bps annually to 22.3% by 2009. The anticipated losses from the company’s North American operations are likely to remain the same till 2009, despite the recent plant closure announcement for the next three years...

3 - Oklahoma,USA - AP -- Governor Appoints Committee To Help GM Employees -- Governor Henry met this morning with United Auto Workers and state officials to discuss the pending closing of the General Motors plant in Oklahoma City... Henry says he established a committee of officials from the Commerce Department, CareerTech, and the Employment Security Commission to help the 22-hundred employees who'll lose their jobs...

4 - LITTLE ROCK,ARK,USA -Arkansas News Bureau, by Wesley Brown and Lana F. Flowers -- Business leaders, economic experts unsure of GM plant closings impact on Arkansas -- GM has no plants in Arkansas, but a number of companies benefit directly or indirectly from the $46 billion the Detroit auto giant spends annually with suppliers... Two GM auto assembly plants that will close or cut back on production next year, one in Oklahoma City and one in Spring Hill, Tenn., both trade with trucking firms, auto parts suppliers and other associated businesses in Arkansas...

5 - Richmond,VA,USA - Richmond Times-Dispatch, by John Reid Blackwell -- GM cuts may echo in State has a notable footprint in the auto-parts business: 100+ firms -- A General Motors Corp. plant in Fredericksburg has escaped the latest round of job cuts and plant closings by the world's largest automaker... At least 130 sites in the state make automotive parts or provide other products in the industry's supply chain, but it was unclear yesterday how many of those businesses supply GM...

A - DETROIT,MI,USA -Reuters, by Jui Chakravorty -- GM needs product appeal -- In an industry where 'product is king,' General Motors Corp. is in dire need of attractive new vehicles to rule the road, analysts say, mostly dismissing a move by the ailing auto giant to cut jobs and close plants to save billions of dollars a year... "I don't think the cuts are enough, but it's not a matter of whether they are enough or not, it's a matter of whether or not the company will create the culture of innovation GM needs to pull the company out of a tailspin," automotive expert Charles Fleetham said...

B - Lawrenceville,GE,USA -Winnett Daily Post, by Douglas Sams -- Doraville GM plant to close -- Developers carved Ikea, the Georgia Aquarium, condos and townhomes from the ruins of the old Atlantic Steel Mill. That $2 billion project is of course known as Atlantic Station — a blueprint for revitalization... Now, developers are expected to see a similar opportunity to remake the nearly 60-year-old GM Doraville Assembly Plant into a bustling mix of housing, shopping and dining...



Helping - Canada - DaimlerChrysler to Get C$126 Mln Funding

Ottawa,,CAN -Bloomberg -21 Nov 2005: -- DaimlerChrysler AG, the world's No. 5 carmaker, will get about C$126 million ($106 million) in loans from governments in Canada to help finance its Canadian operations... The federal government will contribute C$46 million and the province of Ontario C$80 million, said Ian Jack, a spokesman for Industry Minister David Emerson... The loans will be part of an C$800 million investment by the company in its Canadian plants, Jack told reporters in Ottawa today...

Emergency - USA - Ford calls on Congress to act

Washington,DC,USA -The Hill News, by Jim Snyder -22 Nov 2005: -- Bill Ford, the chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Co., called on Congress and the White House to adopt a sweeping package of tax breaks to boost struggling American automakers and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil... Ford's speech comes on the heels of more bleak news for the American auto industry. Ford's domestic rival General Motors announced this week that it would layoff 30,000 employees. Ford said his company would announce its downsizing plan in January, and that it would include plant closings... and called on tax breaks for American manufacturers to encourage the retrofitting of old plants with the latest technologies. And he urged the government to create a larger market for fuel-efficient cars and trucks by purchasing only hybrids or other alternatively powered vehicles by 2010... But environmental groups will likely note one thing that's missing. The plan does not include an increase in corporate average fuel economy as one cooperative government-industry effort to cut fuel use. The auto industry continues to reject calls to increase CAFE standards as a way to cut gasoline use and thereby limit the amount of pollutants cars and trucks spew into the air... American automakers argue a higher CAFE would provide a market advantage to foreign automakers because their fleet of cars tend to be comprised of smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles...

Astonisheds? - USA - What GM cuts will mean for you

Detroit,MI,USA -The Detroit News, by Scott Burgess -Nov 22, 2005: -- GM's announcement is part of the company's effort to jump-start its faltering U.S. auto operations and lagging sales... Some key questions and answers:
Q: What will be the impact of GM's announcement?
A: Eventually, GM will close 12 facilities and cut 30,000 positions in North America -- about 5,000 more job cuts than the 25,000 the automaker originally predicted. That represents about 9 percent of the company's global work force. Most of the cuts will come through normal attrition and early retirement offers. Right now, GM has more workers and factories than it needs, which is a losing financial position. So far this year, GM has lost $4.8 billion in North America.
Q: How does this plan help GM's financial position?
A: GM said the plant closings are part of a plan to shave $7 billion off its $42 billion annual bill for operations by the end of next year. That includes a $3 billion cut in health care costs, $1.5 billion in manufacturing cuts and $1 billion in savings on materials.
Q: Does this mean GM will not need to cut further jobs or close more factories?
A: Probably not. Auto companies are always trying to become more productive, and Wagoner said there were no guarantees that more cutbacks would not be necessary...

Calendar 2006 - USA - Unleashes by Pirelli

USA -The Car Connection, by Henny Hemmes -22 Nov 2005: -- The 2006 edition of the Pirelli calendar has been presented at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, also known as the Paris School for Fine Arts... The 2006 edition was designed by the portrait photographers Alas and Marcus Piggot. They used Cap d'Antibes and the French Rivièra for the 1960s-ish background of the new calendar, which features six women, including Jennifer Lopez, who makes her debut in the calendar... She is in the good company of Pirelli veterans Gisele Bundschen, Guinevere Van Seenus, Kate Moss, Karen Elson and Natalia Vodianova...

Hey: Where I'm? - USA - Survey Says 60 Percent Of Us Lost

More than half of us are, like, so lost

USA - The Car Connection - USA - 22 Nov 2005: -- And that's not just the opinion of your spouse in the passenger seat. A new survey from Ford's Lincoln brand and Harris Interactive found that almost 60 percent of us are lost on the road at some point... And when it comes to being lost, the survey also says that women are more likely than men to stop and ask for directions, by a margin of 61 percent of women to only 42 percent of men... Of those men, 26 percent will stay lost for 30 minutes or more before breaking down and asking for directions... Lincoln's survey adds that 75 percent of women, versus 61 percent of men, have directions in hand before they set out for a trip, but 75 percent of men will have a map in the car versus 60 percent of women... The selling point, Lincoln hopes, is for navigation systems, which it outfits on new vehicles like its 2006 Zephyr sedan. Men, the survey says, are more likely to have a GPS navi system (36 percent of those polled) than women (26 percent)-but more than 60 percent say they'd use a GPS over regular directions and 42 percent want it on their next car...

Oil - Mexico - Oil Company to Make Ultra-Low-Sulfur Diesel in '08

USA -Transport Topic, byThelma Guerrero -22 Nov 2005: -- Mexico will revamp and add to its refineries to produce the ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel it will need by the end of 2008, and in the meantime will buy ULSD from U.S. sources for a handful of retrofitted trucks used in making cross-border deliveries, Mexican officials said... Retrofitting Mexican trucks to reduce their polluting emission would remove one objection some groups in the United States have to allowing those trucks into the country, officials said.Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil company, is conducting a feasibility study to determine the cost of modifying refineries to produce ULSD with 15 parts per million of sulfur content, said Fernando Sotres, a Pemex spokesman... The standard now in Mexico is 200 ppm, he said...

Sales Boom - USA - October Trucks' Increase 14.4%

USA -Tranport Topics, by By Roger Gilroy/Ward’s Communications -22 Nov 2005: -- U.S. retail sales of heavy-duty trucks had their smallest monthly gain of 2005 in October — 14.4% higher than a year earlier — but still the second-best October in history... Truck manufacturers and analysts said the Class 8 market, which has been operating at a blistering pace, remains strong and that they expect fast sales to continue into 2006 as fleets replace aging equipment... Truck makers sold 22,335 units in October, trailing only the 22,945 sold in October 1999, the strongest-ever year for Class 8 sales, according to data from Ward’s Communications...

Wall Street's Good News - USA - Trucking, Transportation Stocks Are Top Performers

The Dow Jones transportation average a record 4156.48 and extended a long period of outperformance

USA -Transport Topics/USA Today -22 Nov 2005: -- Transportation stocks, including trucking, airline and railroad companies, have lately been some of the best performing on Wall Street, reported Tuesday... The Dow Jones transportation average on Monday added 15.79 points, or 0.4%, to a record 4156.48 and extended a long period of outperformance, the paper reported... The average has risen 9.4% this year and 114% since it bottomed in March 2003... By contrast, the Dow industrials are up 0.3% and 43.8% for the same periods, said... And transportation is the top-performing out of 24 Standard & Poor's industry groups the past month and quarter, the paper reported... Trucking-related companies also have benefited, with C.H. Robinson — which doesn't own trucks but helps match shippers with trucking companies — seeing its sharese gain 57% in the past year... Some experts told the paper that transport firms’ good fortune portends well for the rest of the stock market because it suggests brisk economic activity and demand for goods...

Fuel Sources - USA - Trucking Seeks Help on ULSD from Refiners, Distributors

PHOENIX,AR,USA -TT News(subscription) -21 Nov 2005: -- Trucking executives called for greater cooperation among diesel refiners, fuel transporters and retailers, and warned that carriers will have to monitor their fuel sources for quality as the industry makes the transition to ultra-low-sulfur diesel and 2007 model trucks late next year... With the ULSD compliance deadline less than 11 months away, there are still unanswered questions about how to ensure fuel quality at the retail level, said industry executives at a ULSD implementation workshop by the American Petroleum Institute held here Nov. 9-11... For example, even though ULSD may meet the new government-mandated specifications at the refinery, it could be contaminated as it travels through the distribution system, and it could be unknowingly sold at a higher level parts per million than the new limit, said Bill Bode, a partner in the law firm of Bode & Grenier...

Fallen Tree - USA - Moody's affirms GM ratings, GMAC under review

NEW YORK,NY,USA -Reuters -Nov 21, 2005: -- Moody's Investors Service on Monday affirmed some of General Motors' debt ratings and said its finance arm remains under review with the direction of the possible move uncertain... Moody's affirmed GM's "B1" corporate family and long-term ratings, with the outlook remaining negative... Moody's said its review of General Motors Acceptance Corp., GM's finance arm, continues. GMAC's current senior unsecured rating from Moody's is "Ba1"...

Cuts & Closes - USA - GM to close 8 plants, cut 30,000 jobs before 2009

Automaker expects total savings of $7 billion

DETROIT,Moch,USA -AUTOMOTIVE NEWS, by Dale Jewett -22 Nov 2005: -- General Motors plans to cut 30,000 jobs, shut down four assembly plants and four stamping and powertrain plants and trim production at several other plants by the end of 2008, CEO Rick Wagoner said Monday. The moves will help boost GM's total cost savings to about $7 billion... The assembly plants to close are: *1 - Oklahoma City. It will close in early 2006. - *2 - Lansing Craft Centre in Lansing, Mich. It will close in mid-2006. *3 - The Doraville, Ga., minivan plant will close in 2008. *4 - The Oshawa, Ontario, car plant No. 2 will close in 2008... GM will close these stamping and powertrain plants: *5 - The Lansing, Mich., stamping plant will be closed in 2006. *6 - The Pittsburgh stamping plant will be closed in 2007. *7 - The St. Catharines, Ontario, Street West powertrain parts plant will be closed in 2008. *8 - The Flint North plant in Flint, Mich., which builds the 3.8-liter V-6 engine, will close in 2008... GM also will reduce production at these facilities:... *9 - Line No. 1 of the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., will be shut down at the end of next year. *10 - The third shift at the Oshawa, Ontario, car plant No. 1 will be dropped in the middle of next year. *11 - The third shift at the Moraine, Ohio, truck plant will be cut in 2006.... GM also will close a parts distribution center in Portland, Ore., in 2006, while the parts distribution center in St. Louis will be converted to a crash parts warehouse... In 2007, GM will close a parts processing center in Ypsilanti, Mich. It will close another parts processing center that year, GM said, but the site has not yet been determined...

2005-11-21

Sex & Claims - Germany - VW pay pleasure trips, to exotic locations to worker representatives

Labor-management ties that helped explain automaker's success are now seen as a liability.... "The Rio excursion was the first of dozens of "Lustreisen," or pleasure trips, to exotic locations undertaken by VW worker representatives and paid for by the automaker over the following nine years..."

BERLIN,Germany -Wall Street Journal, by Stephen Power and Matthew Karnitschnig -Nov 20, 2005: -- Last July, a few weeks after he was fired by Volkswagen AG for alleged embezzlement, Klaus-Joachim Gebauer, a former midlevel manager in the company's personnel department, began telling stories about the auto giant that many Germans found hard to believe. Now, as the company and German prosecutors buttress key elements of his account, Gebauer's tale is rocking the world's third-largest economy... In January 1996, Gebauer says, VW sent a dozen of its top German labor leaders to Brazil for a tour of the company's Sao Paulo facilities and meetings with local Brazilian union officials... After finishing the official portion of the trip, Gebauer says he and the other men took a bus to Rio de Janeiro and checked into the Othon Palace, a high-rise hotel on the city's famous Copacabana beach. They explored the shops, the nightlife and, Gebauer says, picked up prostitutes for trysts on the beach and back in their hotel rooms. In the morning, he says in an interview, Gebauer paid the women -- and, using some phony receipts and some real ones, got his employer to reimburse him for the group's expenses for the entire trip... Following the allegations, Gebauer's prominent boss, Peter Hartz, resigned. Hartz was VW's personnel director and also a close adviser to departing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder... Volkswagen says its internal probe has been hampered because it doesn't have access to Gebauer's private banking records...

Security - USA - Ford Explorer roof called too weak

California firm complains to feds about rollover risk in '99-'01 models; Ford says SUV is safe

WASHINGTON,DC,USA -Detroit News, by Jeff Plungis -20 Nov 2005: -- Many of Ford Motor Co.'s best-selling Explorer SUVs from the 1999 to 2001 model years likely do not meet a crucial safety requirement intended to protect passengers in rollover crashes, a safety engineering firm claimed in a petition filed with the federal government... Safety Analysis and Forensic Engineering, which performs research for plaintiffs suing automakers, says internal Ford documents show that a substantial number of 1999 to 2001 Explorers likely do not comply with the federal vehicle roof strength standard... Ford Motor Co. says its vehicles meet the safety standard and SAFE's analysis is flawed... Automakers that do not comply with the safety standard, the penalty would be $1,100 to $5,000 per violation, up to a maximum of $925,000 to $15 million. Ford would also have to recall, replace or buy back the vehicles in question...

New Tests - USA - EPA planning to revise fuel economy rules

EPA: New fuel economy tests needed by 2008 model year
ANN ARBOR,Mich,USA -The Detroit News/Associated Press, by Dee-Ann Durbin -Nov 19, 2005: -- The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday he plans to propose new regulations for testing vehicle fuel economy by the end of this year and wants the new tests in place by the 2008 model year... The EPA tests vehicles to get the estimated city and highway fuel economy that is displayed on vehicles' window stickers... The EPA says the current tests don't reflect real-world driving. Here are some assumptions made by the current tests compared to more recent data from the EPA. The EPA calculates velocity in miles per hour per second...
Photo: Carlos Osorio / Associated Press
Steve Johnson head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration, left, listens as Charles Gray, director of advance technologies division for the EPA describes the agency's hydraulic hybrid technology on a UPS Inc. delivery truck in Ann Arbor.

Fuel Alternatives - Brazil - Ethanol Program Turns 30

USA - &The Car Connection, by Fernando Calmon -21 Nov 2005: -- This month, the Brazilian ethanol program turns 30 years old. Launched in 1975 in response to the 1973 oil shock, the program, which moved Brazil to ethanol fuel in part, had a hard start but quickly emerged as a success in the years 1979 through 1989. In that ten-year period, up to 95 percent of all cars made in Brazil were ethanol-powered... By 1990 the program began to suffer with lower oil prices, and five years later it slipped to a mere 1 to 2 percent-a symbolic participation by the companies building cars in the country. The program only survived because all gasoline sold in country contains 25% of ethanol, by law... In 2003, with the advent of the flex-fuel vehicle, the market completely turned around. Currently, 70 percent of light vehicle production is flex-fuel powered, and the trend is heading toward 90 percent by 2006. During harvest time ethanol costs half the price of gasoline in Brazil, but at other times and in some regions gas can be cheaper...

Production - Brazil - Honda Expanding in Brazil

USA -The Car Connection, by Fernando Calmon -21 Nov 2005: -- Honda has decided to enlarge its Brazilian Sumaré plant, in São Paulo State. The company will spend $100 million to expand present production of 65,000 units yearly to 100,000 in 2008... Honda will use its resources, with no government incentives. Honda justified the investment by the recovery of the Brazilian market and the possibility to export to Latin America, especially Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela, about 20 percent of production... Honda builds the Fit subcompact and Civic compact sedan at the plant. Curiously, although 95 percent of the cars sold in Brazil follow European designs, in this case the choice was for the U.S. Civic, just launched this summer. It will be manufactured in Sumaré as of June of 2006...

Sentiment Shifting To Fuel Efficiency?

New U-M survey shows too: National Economic Predictions

USA -The Car Connection, by Joseph Szczesny -21 Nov 2005: -- American consumers are showing more interest in fuel-efficient vehicles and less in big sport-utility vehicles in the wake of Gulf Coast hurricanes, says Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan's closely watched survey of consumer confidence, about the recent surveys by U-M that indicate the interest in smaller vehicles has grown very quickly in the past few months... The threat of inflation has reduced consumer confidence and could limit economic growth in the months to come, he added... The U-M forecast also predicts growth of 3.4 percent in national economic output next year and 2.8 percent in 2007. Hymans said the rate still looks healthy but down from last year's 4.2-percent growth rate and this year's 3.6-percent mark... The growth will lead to the creation of as many 2.1 million jobs in 2006 and another 1.8 million jobs will be added in 2007. The new job creation will cut unemployment to 5.1 percent this year to 4.8 percent in 2006 and 2007... Interest rates on conventional mortgages will move from 5.9 percent this year to seven percent in 2006 and to 7.4 percent in 2007, the forecast added... The core inflation rate, excluding food and energy prices, which was 1.8 percent last year and is 2.1 percent this year, will be two percent in 2006 and 2.5 percent in 2007, the U-M forecast predicts...

Cut - USA - Ford Set to Trim 4000 Jobs

More job cuts presage new restructuring plan coming from Ford’s front office

USA -The Car Connection, by by Joseph Szczesny -21 Nov 2005: -- Ford Motor Co. took the first step in its next restructuring by confirming it plans to trim up to 4000 white-collar jobs in North America by the end of March... The plan is expected to include the closure of assembly plants and the reduction of other operations... Ford has already eliminated almost 3000 salaried positions in North America this year as part of its ongoing cost-cutting effort, which intensified last spring when it became apparent the company's critical North American operations were not going to reach their financial goals... Part of the next round of cuts will come from the company's manufacturing operations, which are certain to be downsized when the full plan is revealed in January... The announcement of new cutbacks in the white-collar ranks is certain to increase concerns about whether Ford can hang on to enough talented managers and professionals to meet future challenges...

2005-11-20

HOS - Canada - Publishes Revised Hours-Of-Service Rules

USA -TTNews Express -17 Nov 2005: -- Canada's new hours-of-service rules were released yesterday. The Canadian regulations, which will become effective Jan. 1, 2007, are intricate with the rules different north and south of 60o latitude... Generally, with some variation, restrictions and allowances, the regulations increase the minimum off-duty time from eight to ten hours per day; retain the option of splitting sleeper berth off-duty/driving time, although somewhat different for single and team drivers; allow cycles of 70 hours in seven days or 120 hours in 14 days; and provide for a reset (a.k.a restart) of 36 consecutive hours and 72 consecutive hours depending on the cycle... Details of the regulations can be found at http://canadagazette.gc.ca/partII/index-e.html%20.

GreenAlerts - USA - Climate Change Is Hazardous To Your Health

Efficient use of energy coupled with alternative sources can help stabilize the climate
New York,NY,USA -Forbes, by Paul R. Epstein & Evan Mills -16 Nov 2005: -- Public attention has focused on the devastating aftermath and global dimensions of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, but climate change is already having a less conspicuous, but just as dangerous, impact on humans and the natural systems upon which we depend. Of immediate concern are the implications for human health... For example, asthma rates have quadrupled in the U.S. since 1980. And this factor will grow stronger in a world with increasing levels of CO2... Another: Dust clouds emanating from Africa's expanding deserts. A rise in wildfires with climate-change-exacerbated droughts are also projected to adversely affect respiratory health... Some diseases, such as West Nile virus, threaten birds and occasionally jump to humans. Meanwhile, warming is projected to expand the range of ticks that carry Lyme disease as well as malaria-bearing mosquitoes and is projected to do so even more in a warmer regime... Finally, food and water security are also threatened from changes in Earth's climate. Water, with stores already overdrawn and underfed in many regions (including the southwest U.S.), will become scarcer and more contaminated in many areas, as alpine glaciers disappear and weather patterns shift... The inflation-adjusted economic damages from severe weather rose to $80 billion per year in the U.S. in the 1990s, from an average of about $5 billion per year during the 1950s, and surpassed $200 billion this year... Aligning incentives for individuals, large investors, banks, insurance companies, nongovernmental groups and public and international bodies--via procurement policies, tax credits, rearranged subsidies and funds--can create the right market signals. A substantial investment in our common future would have enormous returns on investment in terms of public health, ecological integrity, global security and the international economy--including energy bill reductions for individuals, companies and nations--while helping to stabilize the climate...

GreenNews - USA - Investing Green Without Seeing Red

WASHINGTON, D.C.,USA -Forbes, by Andrew T. Gillies -16 Nov 2005: -- Fifteen years ago, Jeffrey Leonard and a partner pulled together $5 million to found a private equity outfit, the Global Environment Fund, devoted to making money off environmentally friendly technologies... the Fund chief rattled off a few of his favorite deal-making areas: liquefied natural gas, clean diesel, nuclear power and clean coal. Hardly stuff to the average enviro... Meanwhile, Leonard's Global Environment Fund has prospered. From that original $5 million in 1990, the fund's assets under management have grown to $500 million. Leonard says he's making money for investors and expects to have in the ballpark of $800 million to manage within the next year and a half... Finally, beware of government. Leonard sees an important role for the public sector in funding research and development, but watch out if it gets heavily involved in commercializing new technologies or propping them up with tax credits and other subsidies. Why's that? Those subsidies can vanish just as soon as they appeared. Just ask the entrepreneurs who looked to cash in on California's electric cars...

Fuel Alternatives - Brazil - Sugar In The Tank

SAO PAULO,Brazil -Forbes (NY,USA), by David Adams -16 Nov 2005: -- Since the 1973 oil embargo, Brazil has battled to achieve energy independence, replacing gasoline with ethanol, an alcohol distilled from sugarcane... Today, Brazil is the world's largest producer of sugar and ethanol. Brazilian cars are also equipped with engines that can run on ethanol and gasoline, or any blend of the two. Known as "flex-fuel" cars, they have dazzled the market since their launch by Volkswagen in March 2003. Last month, they captured 66.7% of new car sales. All the major Brazilian car manufacturers now make them, including Ford Motor and General Motors... In Brazil ethanol, or "alcohol" as it is called, costs only $2 at the pump, compared to $4 for a gasoline-ethanol blend (Brazil no longer sells regular unblended gasoline). And while ethanol-powered cars consume 25% to 30% more fuel per mile than gasoline cars, the average motorist can save about $820 a year by switching to ethanol... So far, U.S. sugar growers have not branched out into ethanol. Under the highly controlled U.S. sugar program, prices for raw sugar are far more advantageous. But that could change as Washington pushes its global free trade agenda. Sugarcane growers in Florida recently commissioned an ethanol study... with demand and future prices of fossil fuels uncertain, the day of renewable energy may have arrived...

Oil Brief - USA - Outlook 2006

NEW YORK,NY,USA -Forbes, by Paul Maidment and Lacey Rose -16 Nov 2005: -- We are consuming oil faster this year than previously thought--and there's no sign of slowing down. In fact, the International Energy Agency (IEA) now forecasts that the world will consume 115.4 million barrels per day by 2030, up from 82.1 million barrels per day in 2004... This demand surge has combined with supply-threatening political uncertainties in the Middle East as well as natural disasters in the United States' Gulf Coast region, to drive crude oil to prices not seen before... This brief looks at the factors and actors behind today's high oil prices. Click on link, to go directly to that section...

Efficiency - USA - The Least Fuel-Efficient Cars

USA - Forbes, by Dan Lienert -14 Nov 2005: -- Our list of the least fuel-efficient 2006-model cars, according to recently released data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), includes such dreamboats as the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti from Fiat, the Continental Flying Spur from Bentley and the Aston Martin DB9 from Ford Motor... To the people who buy these exotics, fuel-economy figures mean squat. But it is worth noting that the sexiest cars are often the most wasteful... Of the 24 cars in the slide show, 14 (58%) are high-end models--luxury cars, exotic sports cars or rich-guy toys, like the 500-hp Dodge Ram SRT-10 pickup from DaimlerChrysler... Seven of the cars (29%) are sport utility vehicles, which is curious because we only intended to point out the two least efficient SUVs on the market...

Prices - USA - Diesel cost big pothole for truckers

Denver,CO,USA -Denver Post, by Beth Potter -18 Nov 2005: -- Trucker Jeff Melby of Westminster watched the pump tick past $440 as he topped off his 18-wheeler with diesel fuel at Tomahawk Truck Stop near Brighton for the 745-mile run to El Paso... He said the high diesel prices make him angry... "It's crazy. Diesel costs more than regular gas now," said Melby, 36, who works for Wiest Truck Line... Kabira Hatland, a Coors spokeswoman, said the Golden- based beermaker is taking steps to cut those transport costs by sending more goods by rail... The high costs of fuel have hurt trucking companies, said Rick Yost, a spokesman for V-Y Truck Line Inc., a Sterling company that transports cattle... "It's had a pretty devastating impact on the truck industry as a whole," Yost said. "I wouldn't be in business at all if I couldn't pass it on."... Melby said consumers should be worried, too, since truckers "haul everything - if you're wearing it, eating it, playing with it or sleeping on it."... "Somebody's gotta pay for all that," he said...

Rules - Thailand - Heavy trucks face a tight corner

Bangkok,Thailand - Bangkok Post, by ARANEE JAIIMSIN -17 Nov 2005: -- Truckers are calling for new load limits to be decided quickly before the current limit comes up for renewal on Dec 31... If a new limit is not approved in time, truckers could be in trouble as the restriction on 10-wheel vehicles would revert back to 21 tonnes... The limit has been relaxed in recent years to allow trucks to carry up to 26 tonnes... Trucking companies would also need to know whether the new load limit would apply to 700,000 existing trucks or not... Truckers also want to change the height limit for vehicles, which is currently 4.2 metres as required by law. However most container trucks are 4.6 metres, but heights at haulage firm vehicles vary... According to Mr Vichai, the Highways Department has also been asked to allow trucks on motorways to cut companies' costs. But tollways were a different matter because the roads are privately run... Because tollways were engineered to carry vehicles of a maximum weight of 21 tonnes, tollway operators are insisting the government pay for any damage caused by trucks weighing more than that...

2005-11-18

Fears - USA - Delphi may eat into GM's reserves

No bankruptcy ahead, carmaker's CEO says
Chicago,IL,USA -The Chicago Tribune/Bloomberg -Nov 18, 2005: -- General Motors Corp. might use up most of its $19.2 billion in cash reserves in the event of a protracted strike at Delphi Corp., its largest auto-parts supplier, analysts said... United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger said Wednesday that Delphi Chief Executive Steve Miller doesn't appear to want to negotiate over Miller's demands for job and wage cuts, raising chances of a strike next year... A three-month UAW strike at Delphi could bankrupt GM, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Brian Johnson wrote in a report... The bigger risk to GM right now is an unauthorized strike at a single Delphi plant, JPMorgan analyst Himanshu Patel wrote in a report... "Delphi is a problem, bankruptcy concerns are not," Patel said. "We acknowledge that a potential strike at Delphi represents a clear risk, and may weigh on the stock through January. We are less concerned about a potential bankruptcy at GM"... "The last UAW strike against GM was in 1998. It forced the closing of 26 of the automaker's 29 North American assembly plants.

More Incentives - USA - Chrysler offers buyers $2,400 cash cards

LAS VEGAS,NE,USA -Automotive News, by Dave Guilford-Nov 17 2005: -- Opting not to increase cash incentives, the Chrysler group instead is launching a year-end promotion that offers two years' worth of free gasoline and scheduled maintenance, as well as an extended mechanical warranty... Chrysler's "Miles of Freedom" program runs from Monday, Nov. 21, through Jan. 3. It was revealed to dealers at meetings here on Thursday... The program offers: 1 - A debit card for $2,400 -- the amount of money Chrysler calculates is needed to buy 12,000 miles worth of gasoline for two years at the Chrysler group's corporate average fuel economy rate of 21.8 mpg. The plan is based on a $2.15 per gallon price of gasoline.... 2 - Free scheduled maintenance for as many as 24,000 miles... 3 - A five-year, 60,000-mile full mechanical warranty, compared with the standard three-year, 36,000-mile warranty...

Troubles - Canada - Canadian Border Work Stoppage Expensive to Trucking

USA -Windsor Star /TTNews -16 Nov 2005: -- A work stoppage by customs inspectors at Windsor, Ontario, border crossings cost Canadian industry up to $850,000 an hour, according to representatives of the trucking and auto parts industries... Ontario Trucking Association President David Bradley said Canada cannot afford work stoppages like the one by 108 customs officers Thursday, which held up traffic at the Ambassador Bridge and the Windsor-Detroit tunnel for up to two-and-a-half hours... He said a dispute between Canada’s Border Services Agency and the Canadian Customs Excise Union over the officers’ safety boiled over at a “major border crossing,” leaving trucks backed up for almost four miles... Bradley said inspectors have walked off the job at the Peace Bridge at Niagara Falls five times over the past five months in the union's ongoing campaign to carry guns, the paper said...

Study - USA - ATRI Releases Truck Work-Zone Crash

Alexandria,VA,USA -TTNews -16 Nov 2005: -- The American Transportation Research Institute released a study Wednesday analyzing truck-related work zone crash data and offering counter-strategies to mitigate accidents in highway work zones... “Safety by Design: Optimizing Safety in Highway Work Zones” analyzed sets of truck-related work-zone safety statistics, and commissioned a targeted state-level analysis of truck accidents by work zone crash location, ATRI said... The study also examined national and multi-state data to differentiate truck crashes in work zones, as compared to non-work zone accidents. It presents a variety of tactics and approaches for reducing work zone accidents and exposure... Recommendations include developing improved work zone specifications, standardizing accident reporting processes and strengthening adherence to existing American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials work zone design guidelines, ATRI said... “The study provides the basis for a partnership of the trucking industry and government to provide safer work zones for all motorists”, said ATRI Chairman Doug Duncan, who is also president and chief executive officer FedEx Freight...

Study - USA - Show Highway Fund Headed for Bankruptcy

WASHINGTON,DC,USA -TTNews, by Sean McNally -17 Noc 2005: -- The Highway Trust Fund is headed for bankruptcy unless steps are taken to change how the government funds highway and transit programs, warned a report issued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s policy research organization... The report, issued by the National Chamber Foundation Nov. 3 at a Chamber of Commerce event here, said combined state and federal contributions to the nation’s highway and transit systems will fall $500 billion short of what is needed to maintain the current system between 2006 and 2015... Annual revenues for the Highway Trust Fund from the federal level “will fall $23 billion short [each year] of what we need to maintain our highways and transit systems,” said ...

Profits USA - Revive Trucking Stocks Business

USA - TTNews, by Jonathan S. Reiskin -17 Nov 2005: -- Strong third-quarter earnings and solid prospects for the final three months of the year have generated a rebound in trucking stocks, many of which had fallen during the middle of 2005... Fleet executives might still worry about high fuel prices, a shortage of drivers and the new 2007 engines, but from July through September those at larger carriers also managed to turn a profit by getting fuel surcharges to stick and guarding progress that has recently been made in basic freight rates... The industry’s two main sectors — truckload and less-than-truckload — both saw carriers issue reports that impressed investors...

Recalls - Romania - Renault's Dacia recalls around 2,700 Logan cars

BUCHAREST,Romania -Reuters -Nov 17, 2005: -- Romanian carmaker Dacia, owned by France's Renault SA, has recalled around 2,700 of its no-frills Logan vehicles due to problems with the driver's seat, a company spokesman said on Thursday... In Romania, Renault has sold over 90,000 Logan cars since the launch in September 2004... At the beginning of this year, Dacia recalled more than 15,000 Logans due to various technical problems, at a cost of 300,000 euros ($349,700)...

Safety - USA - Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Takata

USA - MADD Newsletter -18 Nov 2005: -- The world's largest manufacturer of seat belts, today launched the 2005 Tie One On For Safety holiday ribbon campaign... "The holiday season is a busy time on our nation's roads with a high incidence of alcohol-related fatalities," said MADD national president, Glynn R. Birch. "Drunk driving crashes are the most frequently committed violent crime in America, yet they can be prevented if the public would simply remember the three keys to safety before they head out the door to their holiday destinations: drive safe, drive sober and buckle up.”... Americans continue to show overwhelming support for high-visibility crackdowns , such as sobriety checkpoints, to rid the roadways of drunk drivers... Additionally, Americans continue to support many of the research-based solutions MADD advocates for such as tougher penalties for high-risk drunk drivers and enforcement of primary seat belt laws..

2005-11-17

Education - China - A road ethics lesson for drivers

Pekin,China -China Daily, by Liu Shinan -16 Nov 2005: -- Nine hundred students of the No 2 Middle School of Qinyuan County, Shanxi Province, were jogging on the road when a heavy-duty truck dashed along "like it was mad" and "swept down" a group of students, killing 18, including a teacher, instantly and injuring 21. Three of the injured died soon after being sent to hospital... The tragedy shocked the nation and sparked furious outcries among Internet communities... In these incidents, school authorities were definitely culpable, because of their poor management of the schools... In Monday's accident, however, the truck driver is the most guilty. Driving his monstrous vehicle directly towards the children with clear visibility down the road, the motorist was nothing short of a killer. It was not an accident: It was manslaughter... The exact cause of the tragedy had not been revealed by press time, but the 50-metre long tyre marks and the condition of the damaged truck suggest that the motorist was speeding... Truck drivers are the most outrageous in this country... the driving licence is a big problem. In rural areas, the issuance of licences is loose. It is common that a person learns a few driving skills from a private tutor and then spends money obtaining a licence... Second, China's training of motorists often places more emphasis on driving skills than on road ethics... Developing a good sense of traffic ethics on the part of motorists, especially truck drivers, will greatly reduce the number of road fatalities...

Risk of Crash - USA - Triples in Trucker's Final Hour

USA -LiveScience -15 Nov 2005: -- Long-haul truckers used to be limited by federal law to 10 hours of consecutive driving. Last year, the limit was extended to 11 hours... A new study suggests that might not have been such a good idea... A trucker is three times as likely to crash in the 11th hour compared to the first hour, based on data from three national trucking companies... "The crash risk is statistically similar for the first six hours of driving and then increases in significant steps thereafter," said study leader Paul Jovanis, a professor of civil engineering at Penn State... In a separate Penn State study done last year, data from roughly 16 million long-haul trucking miles showed that the crash risk doubled in the 10th hour compared to the first... "Our findings, using data from 2004 and from the 1980s, establish a consistent pattern of increased crash risk with hours driving, particularly in the 9th, 10th and 11th hours," Jovanis said today... The federal limit of 10 hours, which had been in effect for 60 years, was raised in January 2004 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which reaffirmed the change last month...

FMCSA - USA - Sandberg: "to focus more on drivers"

ALEXANDRIA, VA.,USA -FRleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr -Nov 16, 2005: -- In the International Truck and Bus Safety & Security Symposium here, Annette Sandberg, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), said: “Our blueprint for the future … is to really focus on driver behavior; to restructure our [safety] programs so we focus more on drivers and move away from vehicles”... As part of this strategic FMCSA to start work on a range of issues in the coming year: 1- Development of a CDL learner’s permit... 2- Inclusion of the driver medical certificate with the CDL... 3- Tougher medical examiner standards... 4- More fatigue research: Sandberg hopes to increase research on fatigue factors and especially focus on the physical problems associated with sleep apnea. “We know that the majority of truckers are overweight at a far higher percentage than the general population and that’s exacerbated by a poor diet and lack of exercise – all increasing risk factors for a variety of health problems,”... 5- Wireless roadside inspection technology: Sandberg wants to encourage development of technology that would allow federal safety inspectors to “plug into” trucks so they can get a quick read on vehicle issues... 6- Expansion of FMCSA's TACT program: TACT [Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks] puts state troopers in commercial trucks to write citations for aggressive behavior they see on the part of both cars and truckers... Finally, she stressed that FMCSA has no plans to take on an “ICC-like role.” She said the agency will continue to distance itself from the debate over low freight rates shippers pay truckers. The lack of trucking capacity now in the marketplace, Sandberg noted, “should give carriers enough leverage to deal with rate and wait time issues.”

Safety - Canada - Environmental Group Supports Call for Speed Limitation of all Trucks at 105 kph

Would improve fuel efficiency, reduce GHG emissions
Toronto, Ontario, CAN -CCNMatthews -Nov. 15, 2005: -- Ontario environmental group Pollution Probe today voiced its support for an Ontario Trucking Association proposal, passed today, that would make it a legal requirement in Ontario that speed limiting technology be activated on all trucks and that the top speed a truck could go would be set at no more than 105 kilometres per hour (kph)... Among the environmental benefits, OTA estimates: 1- Fuel savings of as much as 10,500 litres of diesel fuel consumed per year for a typical tractor-trailer unit (or 50 million litres for all such trucks in Ontario). At today's diesel prices, this would equate to annual savings of about $8,400 per truck. - 2 - It is estimated that with a mandatory speed limit of 105 kph the entire Ontario industry would save 50 million litres of diesel fuel per year - 3.- A reduction of as much as 140 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year...

Alternative - USA - Valley Companies Consider Ships as Alternative to Trucks

Sacramento,CA,USA -KXTV/News 10, by C. Johnson 17 Nov 2005: -- A Santa Rosa shipbuilder is proposing to build a fleet of small cargo ships that would travel the waters between Stockton and the Bay Area. The proposal is being seen as a way to save fuel and ease traffic congestion... Santa Maria Shipping owner Stas Margaronis spoke before a group of business owners who rely on Central Valley and Bay Area roads and freeways to move their products. Margaronis told them there are several advantages to building the cargo ships. For one, "Each ship would take 150 truckloads inbound off roads and 150 going back empty," he said. "[That's] 300 truckloads a day."... The proposal is particularly attractive to those companies operating fleets of trucks, since diesel fuel is still over $3 per gallon... The company would build the small, fast ships at Mare Island at a cost of about $15 million each...

Hybrid - USA - Ford increasing hybrid production

Mich,USA -The Car Connection -17 Nov 2005: -- Ford Motor Company today marks full-scale production of its second hybrid vehicle at the Kansas City Assembly Plant... The new Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV continues the company's commitment to increasing hybrid production ten-fold - to 250,000 units annually -- by the end of the decade. Lean and flexible manufacturing processes and specially trained employees at the plant allow the hybrids to be built on the same production line as conventional Mariner and Ford Escape SUVs... Ford today is the only American automaker with a hybrid on the road and was the first in the world to offer a hybrid SUV...

Rebates - USA - Ford counters GM Red Tag with 'Keep It Simple' program

DETROIT,Mich,USA -Automotive News, by Amy Wilson -17 Nov 2005: -- Ford Motor Co. is following General Motors back into the incentive fray with its own year-end sales blitz called "Keep It Simple."... It's a move back toward the one-price selling that appealed to car buyers during last summer's employee-pricing blowout... Ford wouldn't say whether its new prices are comparable to GM's new Red Tag Sale discount. GM's price is slightly higher than the price someone getting the supplier discount would pay... Ford's new program runs from Wednesday through Jan. 3, 2006. All 2005 and 2006 models are included except for the Ford Fusion, Lincoln Zephyr, Mercury Milan, Ford Mustang and Ford GT...

2005-11-16

Risks - USA - Two sides of the crash issue

ALEXANDRIA, VA.,USA -Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr -Nov 15, 2005: -- Representatives from the trucking industry and highway safety advocates offered very different perspectives on reducing the number of truck-car collision fatalities in the U.S. here at the International Truck & Bus Safety and Security Symposium yesterday... Brian O’Neill, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said that truckers are not doing enough to help reduce accident deaths. “In 1980, there were approximately 5,780 truck-car crash fatalities and 25 years later those numbers have barely budged, dropping to only 5,079,” he said
...

HOS Study - USA - Penn State study finds risk higher for truckers in 11th-hour

University Park, Pa.,USA -PennState Live -16 Nov 2005: -- The crash risk for truck drivers in the last hour of a now legal 11-hour day behind the wheel is more than three times higher than during the first hour, a Penn State research team has found... For 60 years, federal rules limited truckers to driving 10 consecutive hours. However, in January 2004, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration raised the limit to 11 hours and reaffirmed the change in October this year... Paul Jovanis, professor of civil engineering who led the Penn State study, says, "Our analysis of data from three national trucking companies during normal operations in 2004 shows that the crash risk is statistically similar for the first six hours of driving and then increases in significant steps thereafter. The 11th hour has a crash risk more than three times the first hour."