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2008-01-28

TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * UK

* Albion Chemicals replaces fleet with Volvos

London,UK -Motor Transport/Road Transport, by Kevin Swallow -28 January 2008: -- Albion Chemicals has finally converted its fleet to all-Volvo with the recent purchase of 16 Euro-4 FM tractors with Globetrotter cab... Colin Woodward, fleet engineer and facilities manager, cites fuel economy, back-up and drivers preference behind the purchase, converting our fleet to all-Volvo...

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Countdown * UK - For the London Low Emission Zone

London,UK -Commercial Motor/Road Transport, by Dylan Gray -28 January 2008: -- The London Low Emission Zone will come into force in four days' time. From 4 February all vehicles over 12 tonnes entering the zone, which covers almost everywhere within the M25, must reach Euro-3 particulate levels or have aftermarket equipment which brings them up to this standard... Vehicles not complying with this standard face fines of up to £1,500. Transport for London has given operators 28 days' breathing space to comply with the LEZ it will only issue warnings during this period...

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STATISTICS * UK - Truck drivers slow to ask for training

When it comes to asking their employers for extra training truck drivers are among the shyest workers in the UK, according to government figures

London,UK -Commercial Motor/Road Transport, by David Harris -28 January 2008: -- ... A survey by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) found that 62% of transport employees are reluctant to ask about training. However, it also found that 38% of transport workers say if they do receive extra training it makes them more likely to stay with a company... Some transport employers also recognise this benefit, with 40% of those who do train their staff reporting an increase in staff retention...

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Study * Nigeria - Most expensive road transport route for business

The elimination of corruption at the borders is critical to the success of the economic integration aspirations

lagos,Nigeria -The Business Day, by Godwin NNANNA -27 January, 2008: -- It costs more to move goods across West African countries by road than any other region in the world due to the huge unofficial payments business owners have to make at the borders. This is the conclusion of a recent study by the West Africa Trade Hub (WATH) has revealed... WATH, a regional trade facilitator established by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), says the elimination of corruption at the borders is critical to the success of the economic integration aspirations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)... The unofficial payments, WATH noted, most times cost more than what traders pay to the official sources. West Africa, the agency maintains, has the least efficient trucking in the world due to delays at numerous road check-points and border posts as a result of bribe-taking by uniformed officers such as the police, customs and immigration officials as well as gendarmes...

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"GREEN" NEWS * Canada - CTA enviroTruck revs up in B.C.

Vancouver,BC,CAN -Today's Trucking -28 Jan 2008: -- BC is the first jurisdiction to take the Canadian Trucking Alliance's enviroTruck initiative from concept to reality... enviroTruck was designed by CTA to accelerate the penetration of new smog-free heavy truck engines and greenhouse gas fighting/fuel efficiency technologies and devices in the trucking industry... The BC Trucking Association has spent the last few months actively promoting the concept with local governments and other stakeholders. Its effort has paid off, says CTA, as the Fraser Basin Council has announced a new incentive under its Green Fleets BC program to encourage the B.C. trucking sector to adopt emission reduction technologies...

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What freight recession? * USA - Truck tonnage spikes in December

Arlington,Va,USA -Truck News, by James Menzies -27 Jan 2008: -- Truck tonnage in the US surged a whopping 4.1% in December, following a modest rise of 0.9% in November... The December spike was the largest month-to-month gain since December, 2006. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, it's the highest truck tonnage rate since January, 2006, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported...

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BCTA * Canada - Defends industry against unbalanced media reports

Langley,BC,CAN -Truck News -28 Jan 2008: -- The B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) is taking a stand for the trucking industry against the mainstream media, for an article the association viewed as biased... BCTA president and CEO Paul Landry responded to an article title, "Is the next truck tragedy waiting around the corner?" calling for more accurate and unbiased reporting. The story was published Jan. 20 in the Province, which is one of Vancouver's daily newspapers... The article, written by Province staff reporter Cheryl Chan, used negative statistics on commercial-heavy-vehicle crashes to cite "increasing alarm" regarding truck safety in B.C. according to the BCTA the article failed to look at the industry record as a whole... While citing numbers gathered from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the article noted that in 2005 among 28,700 injuries and 460 fatalities from vehicle crashes, heavy commercial vehicles (including buses) accounted for 1,550 injuries and 82 fatalities... In a letter to the editor, which was published in the Province on Jan. 22, Landry stated that the article would have presented a more balanced picture of the truck safety record with the inclusion of additional facts, such as: between 1999 and 2005 (the most recent year available), there was a 16.3 percent decrease in the rate of heavy-commercial-vehicle injury and fatal crashes in B.C.; mechanical defects typically account for less than 5 percent of all heavy-commercial-vehicle injury or fatal crashes; and major traffic research studies have concluded that 70 to 80 percent of the time, the truck driver is not at fault in a multi-vehicle fatal collision... The Province also quoted Landry as an advocate of the concept "truck jail"... Landry later clarified that BCTA does support the impoundment of grossly substandard trucks that endanger both their drivers and others and create an unfair competitive advantage for unsafe operators who do not spend money on vehicle maintenance... The impoundment proposal is currently under review by B.C. Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon...

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* South Africa - Mercedes-Benz SA gears up for trucks again

Eastern Cape,South Africa -Dispatch On Line -27 Jan 2008: -- R50m (7043246 U$S ) upgrade plan as company takes back its heavy vehicle division in EL.. Mercedes-Benz SA will be taking back its East London truck-making division which was outsourced to a prominent Eastern Cape black economic empowerment company almost six years ago... As part of the process, the German auto giant will also invest R50 million to upgrade its West Bank facility which is used by the company Ikhwezi Trucktech to assemble commercial vehicles for the South African and African markets... The official takeover will be on March 1... (BY THE TRUCKLOAD: Mercedes-Benz SA has new plans including taking back its EL commercial vehicle assembly plant, outsourced to Ikhwezi Trucktech in 2002)


* USA - Paccar recalls Petes, Kenworths with brake issues
Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine -January 28, 2008: -- Nearly 2,800 Peterbilts and Kenworths are subject to recall because they might have brake hoses that aren’t up to spec and that could lead to braking failure... Paccar is voluntarily recalling trucks equipped with Eaton Synflex Eclipse extruded-nylon air brake hose tubing. The fewer than 3,000 trucks manufactured by Peterbilt and Kenworth in October and November of 2007 are subject to the recall...


* Sweden - Volvo Trucks to introduce Alcolock at CV show
Stockholm,Sweden -Motor Transport/Road Transport (UK), by Will Shiers -28 January 2008: -- Volvo Trucks is hoping to have a working Alcolock on its stand at this year's CV Show... The unit, which can be factory fitted or retrofitted to a truck, prevents a driver from starting the engine when he is under the influence... It is designed for companies who operate a zero-tolerance to alcohol policy, and is calibrated to 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The UK legal limit is 80mg per 100ml...



* China - Sinotruk announces 140,000 orders for 2008
Beijing,China -Automotive World (UK), by Glenn Brooks -28 January, 2008: -- The country's largest heavy truck maker, China Heavy Truck Corporation (Sinotruk) says it has received purchase orders of 140,000 heavy trucks for 2008, with exports planned to double this year... The company notes in a statement that it is currently rolling out more fuel-efficient models that now comply with Euro 3 tailpipe emission standards and is in the process of converting all models to the standard... As for sales, the state-controlled OEM plans to sell 125,000 heavy trucks this year. According to Gasgoo.com, the firm sold 100,619 such vehicles in 2007, a year-on-year rise of 66%. Sinotruk adds that it expects its registrations for January 2008 to rise 40% year-on-year...

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PROTEST * Poland - Truckers stuck in border jams threaten to block Warsaw

Polish truckers, fed up with massive queues at border crossings due to a protest by customs staff, threatened Saturday to block Warsaw and other cities in the country

Warsaw,Poland -AFP/BEING HAD Weblog project/bhppc.blogspot.com, by Adam Goodman(Pinsk, Belarus) -January 27, 2008: -- ... "If the government and the customs agents do not quickly agree we are ready to block Warsaw, Monday at noon (1100 GMT). Blockades in other cities could follow", the president of the Polish Association for Road Transport Employers, Boleslaw Milewski, told ... A large number of border agents have been missing from their posts for several days, taking holiday or sick-leave in a dispute over pay, and causing major queues at border crossings... So far two drivers have died stuck in queues, one of an apparent heart attack and the other when a fire broke out in his truck cabin... Queues for heavy trucks at the borders with Ukraine, Belarus and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad continued to grow on Saturday... In response, truck drivers blocked access to the Dorohusk border station along the Ukrainian border -- where the line was over 800 trucks long -- police spokesperson Renata Laszczka-Rusek told AFP...

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2008-01-26

TRUCKING INDUSTRY * China - Eases tolls for food trucks

Beijing,China -The Boston Globe (Boston,USA) -January 26, 2008: -- China's government has issued a wide-reaching order to speed up food shipments to markets as the bad winter lashing much of the country hampers efforts to rein in persisting inflation... The order, issued late Friday and published in state media Saturday, calls on police, railway bureaus and even gas stations to do all they can to ensure timely delivery of food supplies after snow and ice storms clogged roads, cut electricity and delayed deliveries... Under the measure, food trucks will be exempt from paying road tolls...

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * UK - Commercial Vehicle production was the best for almost a decade

* Britain's car makers report record exports - Renaissance seen as an example to manufacturers

London,UK -The Guardian, by Mark Milner -January 26, 2008: -- Britain exported a record number of cars last year, marking a renaissance in the motor industry, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders... Exports accounted for the bulk of UK car production of just over 1.5m vehicles, with overall output in the last quarter of the year climbing by more than a fifth - the strongest increase for more than two decades... The SMMT also reported that commercial vehicle production was the best for almost a decade, with a total output of 216,000 vehicles, almost 8,000 up on the year... The SMMT said it expected commercial vehicle production this year to be stable, with exports commanding the lion's share of the UK's van and truck output...

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Hard Times * USA - Truck Drivers Suffering

Tyler,TX,USA -KETK 56 News, by Jennifer Kielman -Jan 25, 2008: -- Times are hard for truck drivers. And if it continues, all of us will feel the heat... Across the nation, drivers are quitting every day. The reason--the high price of diesel... Here in East Texas, truckers and anyone connected with the trucking industry are seeing hard times... Driving a truck for a living is tough work. But for some drivers, it's more than a job, it's a passion, it's a way of life. But now-a-days, "You're lucky to survive"... Johnny Speak is a local owner- operator in East Texas. He knows first hand how much it costs to run 6 trucks throughout the area. Johnny Speak says, "Oh Lord. The prices of trucks. The price of fuel. The price of material I buy and see"... It gets expensive... (See Video)

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Giant Truck * Australia - Larger than any seen in Australia - up to 60 metres long

Big attraction planned for Hume Hwy

Tarcutta,New South Wales,Australia -ABC News -Jan 18, 2008: -- The Hume Highway, running between Sydney and Melbourne, could soon sport a truck larger than any seen in Australia - up to 60 metres long... A group proposing a $110 million truck interchange near Tarcutta will meet New South Wales Government officials next week about the development application... Rimfire Development spokesman Ray Clark says it will include a giant truck as a tourist attraction... "It is a trucking interchange. We're designing a truck that's probably two to three times larger than a normal truck - and it's huge"...

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2008-01-25

STATISTICS * USA - Trucking Carried More Than 10 Billion Tons of Freight in ’06, ATA Says

VA,USA -Transport Topics -25 Jan 2008: -- The U.S. trucking industry hauled more goods than ever before in 2006, the American Trucking Associations said Friday... American Trucking Trends 2007-2008 reported that the trucking industry hauled 69% of U.S. freight volume in 2006... That equates to an all-time high of 10.7 billion tons and $645.6 billion in revenue, representing 83.8% of the nation’s freight bill, the trucking group said...

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * Australia

* A Postcard from Australia...

... featuring a fabulous Kenworth waggon from News of Fotopic.net! - Photo courtesy of Steve Molloy in Australia !!.. (Thanks to BigLorryBlog -UK)


* Stranded Queensland truck drivers must be paid
Queensland,Australia -ATN -25 January 2008: -- Queensland transport companies must pay long distance truck drivers an allowance when they are stranded by flood waters, warns the Commonwealth Workplace Ombudsman... Under the Transport Workers Long Distance Drivers Award, long distance truck drivers are entitled to an allowance when they are forced to stop by impassable highways including those roads closed in recent flooding...


* ATA defends AusLink road funding amid cutback claims
Melbourne,Australia -ATN -24 January 2008: -- The Australian Government’s funding for the AusLink transport program must not be diverted to other infrastructure, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chief Executive Stuart St Clair says... St Clair is responding to suggestions that some of the Government’s AusLink funding could be allocated to other infrastructure areas such as water... "Australia’s critical long distance road links, including the Pacific, Hume, Bruce and Sturt highways, are already undercapitalised"...

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TRUCKS' P. ORDERS * COMMENTS - Great Works of Fiction Part 3: Long Lead Times.

London,UK -The World Trucks Blog -24 Jan 2008: -- If UBS is correct, and somewhere between 10 and 20 per cent of all European truck orders are double bookings, then what does that say about lead times stretching out over the horizons? ... 63 per cent of European fleets with between 101 and 501 vehicles claim to have double booked new trucks as a hedge against increasing lead times. So what happens when they cancel?... This is a case of micturition ‘twixt scapulae masquerading as precipitation, and it is high time, we opine, for such nonsense to be unmasked as the fiction that it is...


* Europe - The market has peaked, and is now looking at a 7.5 per cent fall during 2008
London,UK -Bloomberg /The World Trucks Blog -23 Jan 2008: -- ... Citing UBS analyst Fredric Stahl, who reckons that the European market has peaked, and is now looking at a 7.5 per cent fall during 2008... At last, someone who shares our cloudy view. And, more pertinently, who regards the nonsense of long lead times as being just that – a nonsense... "We believe that 10 percent to 20 percent of the trucks in the order books are double bookings that will be canceled when the `real order' is delivered,'' Stahl said. Slowing economic growth "leads us to take an outright negative view on order development in 2008.'' ...

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Electric Trucks * Uruguay - Deliver Coca-Cola in

Montevideo,Uruguay -GreenBiz.com -Jan. 25, 2008: -- Coca-Cola subsidiary Montevideo Refrescos SRL is using electric trucks to deliver shipments in Montevideo's urban areas. The company has received 30 Xebra electric trucks, created by California-based vehicle manufacturer Zap, that it will use to complete deliveries normally made by larger trucks in Uruguay's capital.. The smaller Xebras, which are designed to navigate congested areas and take up less parking space, will complete the shipments. Xebras drivers will also collect payments, which was not practical for delivery truck drivers to do...

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TRUCKS' MARKETS * Europe

* European Truck Sales Rise 7.3%, Led by Poland, Czech Republic

Brussels, Belgium -Bloomberg, by Chad Thomas -Jan. 25, 2008: -- European heavy-truck sales rose 7.3 percent last year, led by Poland and Czech Republic, as the economies in the eastern part of the continent expanded rapidly... Registrations of trucks heavier than 16 tons advanced to 313,532 in 2007 from 292,144 a year earlier, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers Association said in an e- mailed statement today. December deliveries increased 0.6 percent to 20,097 vehicles.

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA

* Germany - Deutsche Post May Sell DHL to FedEx, Report Says
Germany -Bloomberg/Transport Topics -25 Jan 2008: -- Deutsche Post AG may sell its DHL Americas unit to FedEx Corp., according to a German newspaper... The Financial Times Deutschland said Deutsche Post may sell the U.S. operation to FedEx and seek a merger partner for its Deutsche Postbank unit later this year, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified company officials... Bloomberg quoted an analyst with UBS Securities who said the move “conceptually makes sense” for FedEx...



* High-tech trucking
High-tech dispatch center gives edge to trucking firm

Flint,Mich,USA -The Flint Journal, by Melissa Burdenmburden/Mlive.com -January 24, 2008: -- It's an industry where miles and minutes are king... "It's a game of pennies," said Jeff Berlin, executive vice president and chief financial officer of E.L. Hollingsworth & Co., a Flint-based trucking firm. "It's a game of cents per mile"... And the roughly 30 dispatchers who work around the clock for the trucking company now have a high-tech center. They track and monitor 420 trailers and nearly 300 trucks for the company and its customers, primarily in the automotive industry... The new $70,000 renovation - featuring a tiered design, open room and 6- by 4-foot screens and 50-inch plasma TVs - is a far cry from the cubicles where they used to work... The dispatch center, which was garage space, features screens that show such things as a weather map; views of the company's truck yards in Flint, Burton, Dearborn and Lebanon, Tenn.,; and one that alerts dispatchers of drivers who may be getting close to U.S. Department of Transportation limits for driving hours...

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TRUCKS' PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - State closer to purchasing Hino trucks

Williamstown,VA,USA -News & Sentinel, by JOLENE CRAIG -January 24, 2008: -- The state of West Virginia is one step closer to having Hino trucks as part of its fleet of vehicles... Paul Mattox Jr., West Virginia secretary of transportation, and other state officials toured the Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A. facility on West Virginia 14 Wednesday afternoon in hopes of purchasing trucks for the West Virginia Division of Highways... The state is purchasing 42 dump trucks as well as other specified medium-duty vehicles this year, Mattox said... (Photo by Jolene Craig: A Hino truck is parked in front of the West Virginia 14 plant. The state of West Virginia is working with Hino to add the locally made trucks to the bidding process for the state's fleet of vehicles)

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* UK - M&S buys 60 Mercedes Axor tractive units

London,UK -Road Transport, by Dylan Gray -23 January 2008: -- Supermarket giant Marks & Spencer has taken delivery of 60 Mercedes-Benz Axors fitted with the manufacturer's 12-speed PowerShift automated transmissions. The tractor units will be powered by 360 and 400hp engines they will be fitted with standard sleeper cabs. In a bid to improve fuel economy the Axors will be also be equipped with air management kits from Hatcher Components... The Axors will be operated on M&S's behalf by supply chain specialist Gist...


* Russia - US 'International' Trucks to Be Assembled in Saint-Petersburg

Saint Petersburg,Russia -FIS -January 24, 2008: -- In the city of Pushkin near Saint-Petersburg an official ceremony was held to open the production of american 'International' trucks in Russia... The plant will make up to 24 thousand vehicles of model 9800iI per annum. This will be a purely assembling production... The project is being implemented by Russian company GoodWill Holding, which earlier acted as a distributor of the US holding in Russia...


* Azerbaijan - Ganja car factory ready to supply MAZ trucks assembled in Azerbaijan to Georgia


Baku,Azerbaijan -Azerbaijan Business Center/Fineko/abc.az -23 Jan 2008: -- Ganja Automobile Factory is ready to organize export of heavy-duty trucks assembled in Azerbaijan... The Factory reported that its representative office was opened in Georgia last year to provide truck export... In 2007 the Ganja enterprise manufactured a pilot lot of nine MAZ trucks. The Factory’s capacity allows production of up to 1,000 motor vehicles a year...


* India - Tata Motors to ship up to 50,000upa electric micro pick-ups to US for Chrysler LLC
New Delhi,India -Business Line/Automotive World (UK), by Glenn Brooks -23 January, 2008: -- Tata Motors has signed a contract to develop electric vehicles for Chrysler LLC... The agreement is claimed to be with the Cerberus and Daimler-controlled OEM's Global Electric Motorcars division, with the first vehicle to be a version of Tata's Ace micro pick-up truck...


* Japan - Hino to go modular sooner for foreign-bound trucks

Tokyo,Japan -Nikkei/AsiaPulse via COMTEX -Jan 25, 2008: -- Hino Motors Ltd. will introduce modular design for trucks earlier than planned this year in order to facilitate the rapid expansion of its overseas business... Trucks vary widely in design and specification because they have so many different commercial uses. In Japan, for example, Hino offers some 360 models of basic small trucks alone. To help rationalize production, the firm intends to introduce modular design for parts like engines and cabs in the first half of the 2010s... The common frame will have a number of evenly spaced holes so that modular parts can be flexibly attached as needed. By standardizing parts as much as possible, Hino aims to boost productivity and reduce errors on the factory lines...


* UK - Europcar First to Add LDV Lutons to Fleet


London,UK -TNN -24 Jan 2008: -- Europe’s number one car rental company has taken delivery of 50 LDV MAXUS Lutons in a deal worth over £750,000 at showroom prices... Europcar is the first national rental company in the UK to purchase the newly launched 3.5 tonne long wheel base vans which all feature tail lifts...

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Solutions * Australia - To slow speeding trucks

‘Chain of Responsibility’ laws to target the cause of heavy vehicle speeding have been approved unanimously by the Australian Transport Council

Sydney,NSW,Australia -Transport and Logistics News -22 Jan 2008: -- National Transport Commission (NTC) chief executive Nick Dimopoulos said the focus of the new laws is on the underlying cause of heavy vehicle speeding. Off-road parties in the logistics chain must take “reasonable steps” to ensure their delivery schedules and deadlines do not put pressure on drivers to break road laws... Existing industry best practices – such as setting sensible deadlines, checking records and promoting company policies on speed control – are effective at managing heavy vehicle speed. Studies also show that speed control policies can reduce fuel use by 8 percent and equipment wear and tear by 10 percent... Mr Dimopoulos encouraged all parties in the logistics chain to discuss the impact of Chain of Responsibility laws on their business and identify what steps they can take to manage compliance risks... Penalties include court-imposed corporate fines of up to $50,000, plus three times the estimated commercial benefit gained by breaking the law. Road agencies can also ask the court to impose bans and prohibition orders (such as the fitment of vehicle tracking technology)... The importance of sharing responsibility for speed compliance was identified by a Summit to Combat Speeding Heavy Trucks (jointly hosted by the Australian Trucking Association and the NTC). Speed is reported as a factor in 29% of heavy vehicle fatalities...

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * USA & Canada

* Canada - Vancouver's Westport Innovations to supply LNG fuel system for Kenworth

Kirkland,Wash,USA -Truck News, by Lou Smyrlis -24 Jan 2008: -- Kenworth Truck Company will expand its presence in the growing market for environmentally friendly, liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles by beginning production of Kenworth T800 LNG trucks at its manufacturing facility in Renton, Wash., in 2009... Under an exclusive agreement with Westport Innovations Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., Kenworth will use Westport's LNG fuel system technology adapted for the Cummins ISX 15-liter engine...


* Freightliner hybrid brewery truck

USA -Biglorryblog (UK) -24 Jan 2008: -- Freightliner is now offering this Business Class M2 106 Hybrid drop-frame beverage truck with Eaton’s medium-duty hybrid electric system. Moreover, Freightliner reckons it’s the first manufacturer in America to offer a drop frame hybrid beer wagon... The M2 106 hybrid has a regular diesel engine coupled to an electric motor/generator and batteries which, thanks to a clever transmission and driveline control system can run on either electric or diesel power separately or together... It can deliver up to a 30% saving in fuel consumption and 87% reduction in idling time Mark Lloyd, market development manager for Eaton. And naturally the added benefit of reducing idling time is that the M2 106 produces less noise, allowing for quieter loading and unloading in urban settings...

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HOS * USA - Get another vote of confidence

Washington,DC,USA -Truck News (CAN), by James Menzies -24 Jan 2008: -- The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has rejected a motion by Public Citizen claiming the current US hours-of-service are unsafe... Public Citizen has been fighting to have the 11-hour driving day and 34-hour reset provisions thrown out. However, in its most recent ruling, the Court has sided with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which has defended the two key HOS provisions.

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"Heavy-Duty Dialogue" * USA - NHTSA addresses stopping distances, stability systems

Las Vegas,Nev,USA -Truck News (CAN), by James Menzies -24 Jan 2008: -- Stephen Kratzke, associate administrator for rule making for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that NHTSA won't dictate the type of technology OEMs will have to utilize to reduce stopping distances by 20 or 30%... Kratzke said that decision will be left up to the OEMs and their customers... NHTSA is also working on several other truck safety projects. One involves establishing standards for truck tire performance. The safety group is currently evaluating the current performance of truck tires, which should conclude in the first half of 2008, Kratzke said... Meanwhile, NHTSA is being strongly urged to roll out a program that would require stability systems on heavy-duty trucks... NHTSA is already testing both electronic full stability and roll-only stability systems. He said a rule will likely be announced by the end of 2008 with implementation possible within three to five years... Finally, the energy bill passed by the Bush Administration on Dec. 19 may set the stage for fuel efficiency requirements for heavy-duty vehicles. The bill was aimed mostly at the automotive industry, but Kratzke said it could also lead to fuel efficiency standards being imposed on heavy-duty truck makers... A report on fuel-saving technologies is expected to be released in 2009 and if they were to proceed with a fuel efficiency standard for heavy-duty vehicles, NHTSA would have three years to develop the targets. That means that as early as 2012, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles may have to reach minimum fuel efficiency standards...


* Courts confront climate change
San Francisco,CAL,USA -Independent Institute, by Thomas L. Knapp -January 25, 2008 -- Author: S. Fred Singer: “Late last year, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration must consider the ‘risks of global warming’ when setting gas-mileage standards for light trucks, minivans and SUVs. Central to the court’s ruling was the claim that NHTSA, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, had ignored the benefits of reducing emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). Whatever their legal acumen, Justice Betty Fletcher and her colleagues on the bench demonstrated they have little expertise in climate science. Tighter restrictions on CO2 emissions cannot produce the imagined benefits”...

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2008-01-24

POLICY * Australia - Diesel tax rebates under attack?

Sydney,NSW,Australia -Transport and Logistics News -23 Jan 2008: -- The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has used its pre-Budget submission to the Australian Government to defend the fuel tax credit system, which saves trucking operators 18.51 cents per litre on their fuel costs... ATA CEO, Stuart St Clair, said that many people in the trucking industry were concerned the Government could abolish the fuel tax credit system or change its environmental criteria to exclude older trucks... The cost increase would flow through to every part of the economy and would put upward pressure on the price of the everyday goods and services used by Australian families... The ATA’s submission urges the Government to maintain the existing fuel tax credit system and its environmental criteria, which allow operators with pre-1996 vehicles to get credits as long as they maintain their trucks properly...

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * UK

* 100th Volvo Truck goes into service with Ed Weetman Haulage
Great Haywood,Stafford,UK -Easier Motoring -23 January 2008: -- Ed Weetman (Haulage and Storage) Ltd. based in Great Haywood, near Stafford has taken delivery of a top of the range Euro 5 Volvo FH-480 4x2 tractor - the 100th Volvo truck to go into service with the fleet...


* Busy times for Browns new DAF
Staffordshire,UK -Easier Motoring -16 January 2008: -- At around 65 collections a day, six days a week, a new DAF eight-wheeler with a Heil rear-end loading body is proving to be a highly productive vehicle for Staffordshire company H Brown & Son (Recycling) Limited... The truck is being used on an intensive trade waste collection service throughout Staffordshire and South Cheshire...



* Trans truck driver begins legal action against employers

London,UK -PinkNews.co.uk -23 January 2008: -- A transsexual who claims she was hounded out of her job as a trucker after she began her transition from her former male gender is seeking thousands of pounds in damages from her former employer... Vikki-Marie Gaynor, 37, from Wallasey in Wirral, is bringing a sexual discrimination claim against Exel Europe, part of delivery giant DHL, and recruitment agency Blue Arrow... An employment tribunal in Liverpool is hearing the case... The ex-soldier claims that initially members of staff at the depot in Kirkby, Merseyside were friendly... However, once she began coming to work dressed as a woman, other drivers started ignoring her, and began a campaign of harassment, including calling her a 'queer,' dumping her belongings and makeup in a toilet...

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PARKING RIG TROUBLES * USA - Trucker ticketed in California while searching for parking spot

CAL,USA -Land Line Magazine (Grain Valley,MO), by Clarissa Kell-Holland -January 22, 2008: -- OOIDA member Robert Edwards of Ozark, MO, knows firsthand about the dire parking problem facing truckers who travel the nation’s highways... Edwards, a produce hauler, received a ticket last week and was placed out-of-service for being out of hours while he was looking for a place to park his rig... “I was near the end of my day, finishing my final stop for the day,” Edwards said. “There were signs clearly saying no overnight parking on city streets, so I kept going”... Instead, Edwards said he decided to “chance it” and drive until he found “suitable parking” for the next 10 hours... He said he briefly parked his rig on a ramp where he saw that other truckers had parked previously, but decided to move on after a few minutes to find another spot to park because he just didn’t feel safe there... Edwards said that’s when he made a critical mistake. He forgot there was a scale between him and the truck stop. At the scale, his logbook was inspected and he was placed out-of-service... “The rules are there to protect and to set a standard; I understand that,” he said. “It was my fault that I pushed my hours, but I feel it’s the nation’s responsibility to provide truckers with good parking”...


* Nebraska changes rest area rules to accommodate truckers’ HOS regs
NEB,USA -Land Line Magazine (Grain Valley,MO), by Clarissa Kell-Holland -January 23, 2008: -- Most states offer some truck parking at their public rest areas; however, it’s the limit on the number of hours truckers can park there that often causes a quandary for drivers... Recently, Nebraska officials recognized the dilemma drivers face when federal law requires them to rest for 10 hours, but parking rules say they must move on after eight hours. The state officials changed the parking maximum from eight hours to 10 hours to match the federal HOS rules... Nebraska Traffic Engineer Dan Waddle told the change was made so that truckers wouldn’t have to move during their 10-hour rest period... Nebraska currently has 24 rest areas and 265 truck parking spots. Waddle said he realizes the state’s rest areas’ truck parking spaces are filled “to capacity” every night...

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Weight Limits * USA - Change, Should Help Some Maine Truckers

Governor Baldacci signed new emergency legislation Tuesday afternoon that will help some truckers cope with high fuel prices by easing weight restrictions

Lincoln/Kingman,ME,USA -WCSH-TV (Portland,ME), by Aaron Roberts -22 Jan 2008: -- ... The new law will increase the weight limit for logging trucks and other trucks carrying forest products from 100,000 pounds to 105,000 pounds per load. State officials say that will allow drivers hurting over the price of fuel to make an additional $200-$800 a week... According to AAA, the average price of diesel in Maine is $3.67 per gallon. That's 28 cents higher than the national average of $3.39 per gallon...

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DRIVER SHORTAGE * USA - Changing face of trucking industry

Companies looking to minorities, retired couples

Phoenix,AZ,USA -The Arizona Republic, by Glen Creno -Jan. 23, 2008: -- High-tech trucks, predictable schedules, revamped training... The job of a long-haul trucker is changing and, many trucking companies hope, becoming more attractive. Trucking companies across the country are facing a shortage of long-haul drivers... To compensate, companies are trying to recast trucking's nomadic image and recruit more minorities, retired military people and those who want a second career. Middle-age husband-and-wife teams are becoming more popular. Their kids are raised, they want extra money for retirement or a change in what they do and they become truckers. Teaming up also helps reduce the grind of the road and the time away from home, which have driven many truckers out of the industry... High driver turnover has traditionally been a problem throughout the trucking industry. But retirements and growing shipping demand have made the shortage of long-haul drivers more acute. Fewer drivers means delayed deliveries and higher delivery costs that could be passed on to consumers. The issue is especially crucial for the Phoenix area, which touts itself as a shipping hub for businesses fed up with the costs and congestion around Los Angeles-area ports. The Valley also is headquarters to two of the country's biggest for-hire trucking companies: Swift Transportation and Knight Transportation... (Photo by Michael Schennum/The Arizona Republic - Sal Iturbe (left) takes lessons on truck driving from Dan Weiksner, a commercial truck-driving instructor at the American Institute of Technology. The long-haul trucking industry is desperate for drivers)

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* Germany - Daimler Trucks to grow vehicle sales in 2008
Woerth,Germany -Reuters, by Christiaan Hetzner -Jan 23, 2008: -- Daimler's industry-leading truck business expects a return to growth this year year after unit sales fell 9.4 percent to 467,700 vehicles in 2007, the company said on Wednesday... "Our extremely important market in the NAFTA region and the Japanese market will recover as the year progresses. The market volume there will once again increase significantly," Daimler Trucks chief Andreas Renschler told reporters after giving a sneak preview of the refreshed Mercedes-Benz Actros heavy truck... "Market conditions in Europe are expected to remain stable"...


* Sweden - Volvo Trucks seek rapid reduction in carbon dioxide emissions
Stockholm,Sweden -Easier Motoring (UK) -22 January 2008: -- Through Volvo Logistics, Volvo Trucks is challenging its transporters to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent within the next two years... This challenge is yet another element in Volvo Trucks’ climate strategy which, amongst other things, already aims at carbon-neutral production, energy efficiency, alternative fuel technology and recycling... Volvo Trucks already offers a number of products and services under the umbrella concept, ‘Fuelwatch’, whose purpose is to reduce fuel consumption and, as a consequence, improve the environmental impact of Volvo Trucks’ customers...


* India - Tata, Chrysler may link on small truck
Mumbai,India -The Hindu Business Line/Bloomberg/The Detroit News (Detroit,MICH,USA) -January 24, 2008: -- Tata Motors Ltd ., India's largest maker of trucks and buses, may tie up with Chrysler LLC to sell an electric version of the Ace small truck, according to reports from India... Tata will build the battery-operated vehicle, which passed safety tests and that the prototype is ready for production... Tata Motors will export about 10,000 units by the end of the year to the United States without an engine or gearbox, the report said. Production may be expanded up to 50,000 units later, it said...

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2008-01-22

"GREEN" NEWS * Australia - Brakes put on trucks

“We can see some tangible evidence that the area is safer and less polluted, providing an environment where people can go and enjoy themselves without the fear of trucks thundering past them” ...

Pakenham,Victoria,Australia -The Footscray, Yarraville, Braybrook Star, by Candice Boyle -22 January 2008: -- Evidence showing less truck traffic in central Footscray has prompted calls for bans across the municipality... Almost 90 per cent fewer trucks were passing through central Footscray last year after the introduction of truck bans in April... Maribyrnong Truck Action Group member Peter Knight said the ban had made a difference... The results from a week-long truck count showed a 77 per cent reduction in Nicholson St. Similar results were recorded in Irving St where there was a 66 per cent reduction, and a 48 per cent reduction was seen in Droop St. The biggest change was in Barkly St where there was an 88 per cent reduction, 809 down to 94 trucks... (Picture: No trucks … MTAG member Peter Knight on Footscray’s Barkly St. There has been a marked reduction in the number of heavy trucks using the road since a campaign helped reduce its use as a main truck route.)

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RULES * USA - Tandem trucks allowed by NJDOT

The state Department of Transportation will allow 102-inch wide trucks and double-trailer truck combinations along the highway

Hillsborough,NJ,USA -The Bridgewater Courier News, by PAMELA SROKA-HOLZMANN -22 Jan 2008: -- ... Despite multiple attempts by Route 206 municipalities to ban the regulations... The news came Friday when state Transportation Department officials released finalized requirements for permitted routes and access to destinations for double tandem trucks with a maximum length of 102 inches. The Transportation Department developed the rules as part of a truck task force, made up of the League of Municipalities, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, the New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, and mayors... The final rules require large trucks to use the National Network -- of which Route 206 is a part -- unless seeking "food, fuel, rest, repairs, or to reach a terminal" by the shortest travel route...

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Super Trucks * Australia - Put to the test

Port Botany,Sydney,Australia -The Southern Courier/The Village Voice, by Nick Moncrieff-Hill -22 Jan, 2008: -- The Roads and Traffic Authority has announced a three-year trial of a new range of super-sized container-carrying trucks that will initially operate solely within the Port Botany precinct... The super B-double trucks, which are 30m long and able to carry two 12m containers, will only travel as far as the Australian Customs cargo x-ray facility on Bumborah Point Road for the extended trial period... The RTA, however, has refused to rule out the possibility that the massive trucks will be used on more of Sydney's roads once the trial has been completed, which should be about the same time as the completion of the Port Botany expansion project... (Photo by Craig Wilson - Port and trucking industry spokespeople claim the new super-sized trucks will actually lead to safer conditions on roads around Port Botany)

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Toll hike protesters * USA - Feel New Jersey’s jackboot

Various media sources quoted him as saying it reminded him of movies he’d seen about Russia and Germany

Middle Township,NJ,USA -Land Line Magazine (Grain Valley,MO), by Reed Black -January 21, 2008: -- Apparently, no one told the police in Middle Township, NJ, that freedom of speech is a constitutional right... On Saturday, Jan. 19, police arrested two men who had leaflets and signs protesting Gov. Jon Corzine’s plan to drastically increase tolls. The setting was the town’s high school where Corzine was scheduled to appear at a town meeting to make his case for raising tolls...Before the governor arrived, some 10 toll increase opponents began distributing flyers and displaying signs that read “No toll hikes”... Among those were former Bogota, NJ, Mayor Steven Lonegan and Seth Grossman, an attorney... Lonegan and Grossman told that when they got to the sidewalk near the school, they were confronted by a dozen or more police officers... “I was surrounded by seven officers,” said Lonegan. “They told me the governor did not want me to hand out flyers”... “They cuffed me and put me in the patrol car,” he said... A retired superior court judge who witnessed the arrests said it was “very scary”...

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PROGNOSIS * USA - Road to US recovery likely long

The worst will likely be over by the time 2008 is done, but there's still no quick fix for the American economy and freight volumes

Las Vegas,NV,USA -Today's Trucking (Toronto,ONT,CAN) -22 Jan 2008: -- ... a group of economic forecasters told a theatre full of truck manufacturing execs yesterday... Speaking at the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association's (HDMA) Heavy Duty Dialogue conference here in Las Vegas, Martin Regalia, chief economist for the US Chamber of Commerce predicted a 45 percent chance the U.S. economy doesn't get out of 2008 without being hit by the dreaded R word -- recession. The good news, though, is that there's a better than 50 percent the eye of the storm could be avoided... "The economy is not hitting on all cylinders and there are significant weak spots," Regalia said, pointing out housing and lending sectors as two of the more obviously troubled industries... The first truck sales predictions for 2008 were also thrown around at Heavy Duty Dialogue... Generally, Brady, Kenny Vieth, partner with A.C.T Research, and ML Associates President Martin Labbe, suggested between 230,000 to 250,000 North American class 8 factory sales in 2008 and up to 270,000 in 2009. The animated Stu MacKay of MacKay & Co. was more pessimistic, suggesting a "base core" demand of only 200,000 U.S. sales this year... "The market will be based on not much more than replacement demand," he said... All the panelists acknowledged that an array of "wildcards" -- the price of oil and the scale of another pre-buy in advance of the 2010 emission regulations, for example -- could quickly change those projections... Looking beyond this decade, Regalia warned of the possibility of more volatility even if the economy starts to recover in the short-term. He noted that about $3 trillion in tax cuts expire between 2012 and 2014, and if something's not done to preserve them, then "that's $3 trillion in tax increases"... That kind of added cost on taxpayers -- plus inflation and the burden to fix U.S. health care and a crumbling highway infrastructure -- could seriously corrode consumers' ability to buy goods, and therefore, trucking companies' ability to ship them, Regalia says...

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MEXICANS' TRUKS DEBATE * USA - 13 years too late, U.S. opens roads

Harlingen,TX,USA -The Valley Morning Star -14 Jan 2008: -- We applaud President Bush’s renewed effort to implement a provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement that should have gone into effect 13 years ago... The White House announced the relaunch of a program that will allow Mexican trucks full access into this country, despite Congress’ efforts to stop them... Two important lessons can be learned from that... The first is, of course, that those who have tried to scare the country into believing that removing the ban would lead to waves of dilapidated, overloaded trucks driven by drugged-up drivers who hadn’t slept in days are simply wrong. Three companies already enjoy unfettered access to this country’s roads and we haven’t seen any increase in accidents involving freight trucks, regardless of nationality. Trucks are inspected as they cross the bridge and those deemed unsafe are either brought into compliance on site or sent back south, as they should be... The second is that public safety agencies obviously are already able to handle the influx of new freight, especially if most meet safety, weight and documentation mandates. It’s apparent that foreign trucks have blended in quite nicely with the normal traffic flow, without overburdening state and local law enforcement officials. Of course, as the sudden polemic reveals, the lessons haven’t been learned by the hardheads on Capitol Hill... NAFTA’s benefits are nowhere more evident than here along the border, which has enjoyed rapid economic growth since the treaty went into effect. We can only expect more benefits from the elimination of further barriers to free trade. Opening our roads will help get merchandise and produce to markets in all three NAFTA countries, benefiting merchants and consumers everywhere. Let’s hope restrictions to overland trucking are dropped this year, allowing our growth to continue...

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