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2008-06-30

TRUCKERS' PROTEST * Australia - Truckies to stage F3 'go slow'

Hundreds of truck drivers will stage a 'go slow' day tomorrow on the F3, north of Sydney, to protest over wages, working conditions and rising fuel costs

Sydney,NSW,Australia -ABC Online -Jun 30, 2008: -- ... From 6:30am (AEDT), a convoy of truck drivers will travel at 60 kilometres an hour southbound on the highway from Wyong to Wahroonga... The NSW Transport Workers Union says freight drivers are being forced into unsafe work practices to keep their businesses afloat... It says some long-haul drivers are spending around $500 extra on fuel a day... They are calling on the Government to set up a national system to ensure drivers are compensated for maintenance and fuel expenses by their clients.
Union spokesman Mark Crosdale says the action may cause delays, but it is in the interest of all road users... The Roads and Traffic Authority says it will issue travel advice for people who use the road later today...

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY's STORY * USA - Heavy haulage in the 1880s - twenty mule teams in Death Valley

For a six-year period in the 1880s...

some 9,000 tonnes of borax ore were dragged out of Death Valley's mines by 20-mule freight teams like this... ... A 20-mule team consisted of 18 mules and a pair of horses - one of which was ridden by the Teamster (or Muleskinner). According to the Twenty Mule Team Museum in California, each train was 100-foot long, and carried ten tonnes of the ore... That's ten tonnes from 190 feet below sea level to an elevation of 2,000 feet in temperatures in excess of 130 degrees. That's exhausting work, and it would be a good few years until trucks were able to do this...... And in complete contrast, this is how it's done today. I photographed this heavy haulage operation in the Nevada desert earlier this year. It was part of a three-truck convoy on its way to a nearby gold mine. I would be very surprised if this police-led convoy was travelling at anything less than 70mph... Story and Picture from Road Transport/Big Lorry Blog, by Will Shiers (London,UK) - -June 30, 2008

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FUEL COST TROUBLES * USA - Fuel or Sex ... !!! ???

* A choice that no one should have to make

Reno,Nev,USA -AOL NEWS/Pafoa.org -June 29, 2008: -- Rising fuel prices are putting a pinch on the world's oldest profession... Nevada brothels that cater to long-haul truckers are offering gas cards and other promotions after seeing business decline as much as 25 percent from a year ago, industry officials said... Geoffrey Arnold, president of the Nevada Brothel Owners' Association, said truckers account for up to 75 percent of business at the state's rural brothels along Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 95...


* Diesel costs driving many independent truckers out of business

Salt Lake City -Deseret News, by Laura Hancock -29 June 2008: -- Julia and Lari Tadehara of Murray sank their life savings into their car-hauling business. They were losing $5,000 a month in recent months and finally parked the truck just weeks ago. Their 10-vehicle car-hauler is in a repair shop for maintenance before the Tadeharas sell it to recover some money... Business became difficult for them beginning this past December, when the price of diesel fuel began to spike... (Photo 1· By Keith Johnson, Deseret News - Mike Osthoff, with Dealers Auto Transport, gets ready Tuesday for a trip delivering cars. High fuel prices have made an impact on his income, Osthoff says) ... A year ago, the national average price for a gallon of diesel fuel was $3 per gallon. Diesel is now about $4.78 a gallon, and in some states, it's past $5 a gallon. The result is that at least 935 truckers nationwide have gone out of business in the first part of this year, according to a recent study, and the numbers could rise... Independent drivers and small companies cannot easily absorb the rising cost of fuel, because they can't buy fuel in bulk at wholesale rates or afford trucks with better technology to control speed and other functions, like the large companies do... The small companies also tend to log more "empty miles" — miles driven without paid freight. The truckers that remain in the industry are having to make adjustments to survive...


* Passing along costs

Salt Lake City -Deseret News, by Laura Hancock -29 June 2008: -- (Photo 2· By Jason Olson/Deseret News - Tara Dobson hooks up for another run. The Dobsons have changed their driving habits to save on fuel — removing the bug shield to improve aerodynamics and cutting back on breaks to save fuel wasted on slowing down and speeding up) ... Chris and Tara Dobson of North Salt Lake always drive as a team, with one driving while the other sleeps. Trucking is a second career for Chris Dobson, who has a psychology degree from the University of Texas at Austin and worked for almost a decade in sales and marketing. He and his wife chose trucking because she was looking for a new job, but the couple only had one car between the two of them... The couple researched the industry and got their commercial drivers' licenses in 2003. They drove for a trucking company before starting Dobson Transport in August 2006... (Photo by Jason Olson, Deseret News - Truck-refrigeration units, like this one owned by Chris and Tara Dobson, take diesel fuel only. The price of diesel is now hovering near $5 a gallon) ... They have documented their costs for diesel fuel: They paid $32,310 from January through May of 2007 and $54,175 in that same period this year... But the couple has made more money from invoices this year: $139,337, up from last year's invoices of $111,873. They're not driving any more freight than last year. They've simply increased their shipping rates... They pocket the profits on their weekly trip to Raleigh, N.C., delivering Idaho potatoes to a grocery wholesale company because they negotiated the contract directly with the shipper. When fuel goes up 20-50 cents, they ask for more money, and the wholesaler complies, Chris Dobson said... On the way back West, the Dobsons transport mattress ticking fabric from Statesville, N.C. That contract is negotiated through a booking company, but the Dobsons get most of the profit and all of the fuel surcharge... The Dobsons, meanwhile, have changed their driving habits to save on fuel — removing the bug shield to improve aerodynamics, and reducing the number of breaks at trucking and rest stops to save fuel that's wasted on slowing down and speeding up... That adds about five hours to their weekly driving time. Last year, they'd arrive in North Salt Lake on Saturday morning. Now it's Saturday afternoon. The net result is a half day cut from their weekends. Their work week starts on Tuesday mornings ... But the couple hopes to eventually expand their business by buying two to three more trucks and hiring drivers..."The more and more companies that go out of business, when things turn around, I'll buy their trucks and their routes," he said... (Photo 4 · By Jason Olson/Deseret News - Chris Dobson heads down a Salt Lake road on June 22. Dobson and his wife, Tara, started Dobson Transport in August 2006. The couple always drive as a team, with one driving while the other sleeps)

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TRANSPORTATION NEWS * NAFTA - Trade Reaches Record

Surface trade among the United States, Canada and Mexico reached a record high level in April

USA -Transport Topics -30 June 2008: -- The Department of Transportation said that trade among the North American Free Trade Agreement partners jumped 14.3% from a year ago to a record $74.3 billion, DOT’s Bureau of Trade Statistics said in its monthly report... Truck imports to the United States rose 5.8% year-over-year to $24.9 billion, while exports rose 12.4% to $24.5 billion... About 90% of U.S. trade among NAFTA partners moves by land... (Photo by Larry Smith/Trans Pixs)

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA & Canada

* USA - Alvan Motor Freight Closes Doors

Kalamazoo,Mich,USA -The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press/Transport Topics -30 June 2008: -- Alvan Motor Freight has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and gone out of business, reported Monday... The carrier, which began operations in 1941, employs 525 people in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, the paper said... Alvan has about 400 trucks and 800 trailers, according to American Trucking Associations’ fleet data... The company was hurt by a three-month strike at auto parts supplier American Axle, which was one of Alvan’s biggest customers, Alvan Chief Executive Officer James Van Zoeren said...


* Canada - Top carrier costs continue to eat away at operating margins

Ottawa,ONT,CAN -Truck News, by Lou Smyrlis -26 June 2008: -- The nation's largest for-hire motor carriers continued a worrisome trend in the fourth quarter of 2007 as the growth in their expenses exceeded that of revenue, according to a report released today by Statistics Canada... Canada's top motor carriers -- 97 Canadian-based trucking companies earning $25 million or more annually -- generated operating revenues of $2.6 billion and operating expenses of $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter...

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STUDY * USA - Drivers at highest risk on first day back after break

Driving after a break appears to be one of the greatest traffic risks for commercial vehicle drivers, according to a recent study



Washington,DC,USA -Truck News (CAN), by Jan Westell -27 June 2008: -- ... The study, conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VITT) and funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), indicates that there is a potential for a "safety critical event," not only on the first day, but also within the first hour – according to previous research funded by the same agency – which shows a "trend" between the two studies, according to one of the researchers... The most recent VTTI "naturalist truck driving study" suggests that driving after a two-day break is a potentially risky period for a "safety critical event" (SCE) which could be a "crash, a near-crash or a crash relevant conflict," according to the study terms. Researchers don't know why that first day after a break is so potentially risky for a SCE, but they now have a great deal of data that will allow them to further analyze that type of activity and how it might be contributing to the truck drivers crash or conflict... (Video from YouTube, by rcaston19 - October 19, 2006: "KENTUCKY UPS TRUCK CRASH")

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Pollution * China - Beijing bans trucks from entering

Starting next month, trucks passing through Beijing will be not allowed to enter the city



Beijing,China -CCTV, by Yang Jie -30 June 2008: -- ... The Ministry of Transport said starting July 1st, trucks will have to detour around Beijing's neighboring provinces and cities. The move aims to further protect Beijing's environment during the Olympic Games. The transport ministry said it has repaired the surrounding roads and bridges... Signs have also been set up three kilometers ahead of the detours. The ministry said only trucks carrying fresh farm produce and those holding special certificates can enter Beijing. To prevent possible traffic jams, local transport authorities in neighboring Hebei Province will guide passenger cars and trucks into separate lanes during rush hour. The truck ban will expire on September 20th... (Video from YouTube, by adam85isalive - March 24, 2007: "BBC News - China's Grime Belt Air Pollution Extreme")

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CARBON TAXES * Canada - Truckers need help

The typical long-haul owner-operator will pay $1,000 this year, $3,000 in 2010 and $6,000 in 2012 in carbon taxes

Vancouver,BC,Canada -The Province -June 29, 2008: -- You may not like the way they hold you up on the road, but trucks are the lifeblood of our economy. They transport the daily necessities that keep everything moving along -- from food to lumber... So if you think you're going to be hit hard by Premier Gordon Campbell's new gas tax, which takes effect this week, spare a thought for those who work in B.C.'s trucking industry. They'll be paying a whole lot more... B.C. Trucking Association CEO Paul Landry says the typical long-haul owner-operator will pay $1,000 this year, $3,000 in 2010 and $6,000 in 2012 in carbon taxes -- offset by just $20 to $50 in income-tax cuts and the $100 carbon-tax cheque per family member... Plus, the trucker will have to pay extra for the fuel for the personal vehicle (or vehicles) he and his family may drive. Does this sound as if it is "revenue neutral"?... It doesn't to us. And the industry will clearly need some government assistance -- especially in using new fuel-saving technologies... (Picture by Jason Payne/The Province - Maureen Bader of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation shows governments' huge chunk of the tax pie)


* High gas prices fuel gov't windfall - Feds reap $100-million bonanza for every 10-cent hike at the pump

Vancouver,BC,Canada -The Province, by Kent Spencer -June 30, 2008: -- Soaring prices at the pump add up to a tax bonanza worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the federal government, says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation... Ottawa takes in $100 million in additional GST for every 10-cent rise in the price of a litre of gas, says Maureen Bader, the federation's B.C. director... The GST is only one of the taxes that consumers are fuming about as the summer touring season begins... Tomorrow, B.C. introduces its controversial 2.4-cent carbon tax on gas, the first in North America... Prices have changed dramatically since the Liberals announced it on Feb. 19... The new tax means governments will receive 40 cents from every litre sold at the benchmark $1.47 price...

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TRUCKERS STRIKE * India - Drivers vow to go on strike from July 2

New Delhi,India -Press Trust Of India/The Hindustan Times -June 28, 2008: -- Truckers on Saturday said they would go ahead with their indefinite strike from July 2 till the government agrees to scrap toll tax on operators and exempts booking agents from service tax payment, among other demands... "We submitted our memorandum to the government a month earlier but there is no response from them regarding our demands, so we have decided to go ahead with our nation-wide strike from July 2," All India Motor Transport Congress President Charan Singh Lohara told reporters... However, the Finance Ministry had on June 26 exempted truck operators from payment of 12.5 per cent service tax on the supply of goods carriage to goods transport agencies... Lohara said the government should abolish toll tax on truck operators, rationalise the duty structure on diesel and exclude truckers' booking agents from the preview of service tax...

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Honorary Truck Driver * USA - 12-year-old becomes truck driver for a day

The company’s truck drivers established the program to provide rides, gifts and assistance to children and adults with chronic medical conditions

Auburn,ALA,USA -OANow, by Beverly Harvey -June 27, 2008: -- On Friday afternoon, 12-year-old Paul Liu landed his first job — as an honorary truck driver for Wal-Mart... The rising fifth-grader rode in the cab of the big rig with his parents and full-time Wal-Mart truck driver, John Simpson, on a drive around the parking lot at Sam’s Club in Auburn... It was the first time Paul — who was all smiles throughout his brief journey — had ridden in a tractor-trailer... It was also the first time the volunteer program Wal-Mart Heart came to the local Sam’s Club since it opened in January. The company’s truck drivers established the program to provide rides, gifts and assistance to children and adults with chronic medical conditions... During the ride, Paul, who has cerebral palsy, helped Simpson change one of the truck’s 10 gears and helped to hold the steering wheel... (Photo by Beverly Harvey/Opelika-Auburn News: Mei-lei Wang, left, climbs up into the cab of the Wal-Mart tractor-trailer with her 12-year-old son, Paul Liu, center, and Wal-Mart truck driver John Simpson on Friday)

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS WORLDWIDE

* UK - Leyland Trucks scoops accolades for excellence

Preston,Lancashire,UK -The Preston Citizen, by Andrew Greaves -28 June 2008: -- Staff and bosses at Leyland Trucks are celebrating after scooping two awards at the prestigious Manufacturing Excellence awards... The firm, based in Farington Moss, won the IMechE Award for Best Financial Management and the Warwick Manufacturing Group Award for Logistics and Resource Efficiency at the ceremony held at London’s Dorchester Hotel... Leyland Trucks, a designer and producer of light and medium weight trucks under the DAF brand, attributes the outstanding growth to a change of workplace culture that focuses on a team approach, as well as a financial boost, their parent company PACCAR invested £75 million in Leyland Trucks in the past five years... (Picture from BigLorryBlog: (UK) Benton's immaculate anniversary Daf XF105...)


* USA - Mack's big, bold performance road show now in full swing

Lehigh Valley,Pa,USA -Truck News (CAN), by Jan Westell -27 June 2008: -- The 2008 Mack performance tour is featuring the "biggest and boldest trucks ever," and the "very fuel efficient, yet extremely powerful" Mack MP family of engines, according to the truck manufacturer... On the 2008 tour, Mack is promoting its products, its customer support and its dealer network, as well as its "fuel efficient" engine technology that has been designed for future requirements...


* USA - Navistar Resumes NYSE Trading

New York,NY,USA -Transport Topics -30 June 2008: -- Navistar International Corp. said Monday its common stock has resumed trading on the New York Stock Exchange... The company was delisted in February 2007 after it fell behind in its financial reporting, which it brought up to date Friday... The parent company of International brand trucks will trade under its original ticker symbol, NAV...


* Thailand - A shift to greener pastures

Bangkok,Thailand -The Bangkok Post, by ALFRED THA HLA -30 June 2008: -- Contrary to popular belief, the emergence of the ecocar programme as the country's second product champion will not cannibalise the one-ton pickup truck market... The future of this soon-to-peak segment will depend on more efficient technology with greater product lineup variety... On the other end are its larger commercial siblings _ two- and three-ton, 3.5-ton and more, and buses _ which play a low-key but vital logistic role in sales that accounted for about 3.6% of total vehicle sales last year, according to information compiled by Hino Motor Sales Thailand...

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2008-06-29

Shortage of Truck Stops * Canada - Bottles of urine litter roadways

Watch out for truckers' leftovers

Sarnia,Ontario, Canada -The Sarnia Observer/The Canadian Press -28 June 2008: -- Keep an eye out on Canada's highways this weekend for plastic and glass bottles -- they might well contain trucker pee... The stinky bottles are a new low for litter and proof of the intense pressure on the trucking industry, say critics... These days long-distance hauling means many nights away from home and long, long hours on the road. For the most part, it's only when the odometer is clicking away that a trucker's and a trucking company's bank account grows... Drivers need to make good time, and they only have so many hours a day to get the job done. In Canada, that's a maximum of 13 hours a day behind the wheel, on duty no more than 14 hours. But delays at loading docks and border crossings soften squeeze the journeys into shorter time frames... Some truckers choose making a living over taking bathroom breaks and breaks for much-needed sleep... Bob Dolyniuk, general manager of the Manitoba Trucking Association, said if drivers aren't stopping, they are either doing something wrong or are in an unacceptable situation... "Trips should be planned and dispatched based on the available hours a driver has to drive and to work and to rest."... Compounding the problem is the practical matter of a shortage of places to sleep. Drivers say Canada is not as trucker-friendly as the U. S., and one proof of that is the shortage of truck stops and rest areas in Canada...

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"GREEN" NEWS * Canada - Trucking company gets eco-friendly tractor-trailers

New trucks are designed to burn diesel more efficiently and cut emissions

Nanaimo BC, Canada -The Nanaimo Daily News, by Darrell Bellaart -June 28, 2008: -- Vancouver Island dairy producers Paradise Island Foods has traded in its four-vehicle tractor trailer fleet for environmentally friendly vehicles... The company took advantage of the new provincial incentive program that pays owners up to $10,000 per vehicle and $50,000 per fleet to switch over to so-called enviro-trucks... The new trucks are designed to burn diesel more efficiently, drastically cutting particulate emissions, and Paradise Island also had its tractor trailers fitted with hybrid diesel-electric refrigeration systems that can be plugged in wherever electric power is available, reducing noise and pollution and further cutting emissions... The dairy producer is not the only Island company jumping on the green bandwagon... Victoria-based R&B Trucking is awaiting delivery on North America's first fully hybrid diesel-electric refrigerator truck by late summer... The company, which operates 27 vehicles on the Island, 11 out of Lantzville, is waiting for the first truck ever built that uses electric batteries...

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FUEL COST CRISIS * USA - Gas prices force many to park their rigs for good

Omaha,NE,USA -The Omaha World-Herald (subscription), by VIRGIL LARSON -June 29, 2008: -- Faced with a gasoline bill of more than $1,000 to fill each truck, Frank McEvoy parked eight of his 22 semitrailer rigs and let seven employees go two months ago, just before the price of diesel fuel spiked... Frank McEvoy has parked eight of his company's 22 semitrailer rigs, downsizing because of high fuel costs. He also let seven employees go... He put the vans out to pasture. Vans and reefers — refrigerated trailers — are the most plentiful among the semis on the country's highways and the least profitable because of tough competition... "We had eight," McEvoy said. "Mr. Blue up on the hill has hundreds. I don't think we scare him too much."... "Mr. Blue" is Werner Enterprises Inc. One of the biggest U.S. carriers, its more than 7,000 trucks are instantly recognizable by their blue paint jobs... Parking the vans is McEvoy's way of surviving soaring prices for diesel fuel combined with a slackening volume of loads in a softening economy... (Photo by JEFF BEIERMANN/THE WORLD-HERALD)

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DOUBTS & COMPLAINS * USA - Clean Trucks Workshop Tries To Clear The Confusion

Maybe ?... The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach both plan to launch their Clean Trucks Programs on Oct. 1, when all pre-1988 trucks will be banned from the ports
Long Beach,CA,USA -The Cunningham Report -28 June 2008: -- Trucking executives went to a six-hour workshop on Tuesday to both vent their frustration and try to understand that which is very difficult to understand... Under the Los Angeles plan, trucking companies will be forced to change their business models and hire employee-drivers if they want to do business at the port. Under the Long Beach plan, trucking companies can keep their business models and use owner-operators if they so desire... Both ports will require all companies servicing the ports to apply for a concession. But since the concessions are different, if trucking companies want to pick up cargo at both ports - which they all do - they will have to get two concessions. Truckers who get an L.A. concession should also be able to get a Long Beach concession, since Long Beach doesn't care if the company has employee-drivers or owner-operators. But companies with owner-operators will not be able to obtain a concession in Los Angeles... Adding to that, neither of the concession applications has been made available yet. With only three months to go before the program is expected to be in operation, time is drawing short.
On top of all that the American Trucking Associations expects to file its lawsuit challenging the legality of both plans in the second week of July, so there is a real possibility that neither plan will be implemented. Even if the ports prevail in court, it seems unlikely that they will be able to launch their programs by Oct. 1... Other drivers complained about the price differences for getting a five-year concession. In Long Beach the application fee for a five-year concession is $250; in Los Angeles its $2,500. The other thing that trucking executives in the audience were unhappy about is the bias written into the Clean Trucks Programs of both ports toward LNG-fueled trucks and other alternative fuels. LNG trucks cost more than clean diesel models and an adequate fueling station infrastructure for LNG-fueled trucks does not currently exist...

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2008-06-28

TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* China - Sinotruk Targets Middle East, Africa, Russia Ventures

Hong Kong,China -Bloomberg (UK), by Tian Ying -June 27 -- Sinotruk (Hong Kong) Ltd., China's biggest heavy-truck maker, is in talks to establish joint ventures in the Middle East, Africa and Russia within six months, moving to boost overseas sales as domestic margins shrink... The company plans to sell 33 percent of its vehicles overseas by 2010 as it is being squeezed domestically by competition from Dongfeng Automobile Co. and surging material costs, President Cai Dong said... Sinotruk already sells trucks in kit form to independent assemblers in Indonesia, Vietnam and Morocco. The truckmaker has no plans to seek acquisitions overseas at present because it isn't yet ready to run international units, Cai said... The company is targeting emerging markets because its vehicles are more competitive in those areas, he added. The truckmaker doesn't plan to develop vehicles for Europe and North America in the near future, he said... Sinotruk's overseas sales more than doubled last year to 15,715. That helped overall sales of Howo trucks and other models climb 64 percent to 84,481. The company had a 21 percent share of China's heavy-duty truck market in the period... A new engine, which meets Euro III emission standards, may help boost Sinotruk's sales after China introduces tougher emission rules next month, Cai said. The engine will raise the sales prices of Sinotruk vehicles by about 10,000 yuan, compared with a 24,000 yuan increase for rivals, he said... The truckmaker has sold more than 1,000 vehicles fitted with the engine, according to its Web site. It will take competitors months, if not years, to develop rival models, Cai said... (Photographer: Kevin Lee/Bloomberg News - A Sinotruk Ltd. truck drives on a road in Shanghai, Nov. 21, 2007)

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SPEED LIMITS * Canada - Burlington fire trucks to obey speed limits

Toronto,ONT,CAN -The Canadian Press -Jun. 27 2008: -- Their sirens will still be blaring, but Burlington firefighters heading to a raging fire won't be accused of speeding... Fire trucks must now obey city speed limits after the department noted a growing number of collisions over the past five years... The new rules took effect June 1 and will continue on a trial basis until the end of September... (Picture: Burlington Fire Department truck - Courtesy City of Burlington website)

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TRUCK SALES * Hungary - Major Order for Volvo Trucks in

Stockholm,Sweden -BUSINESS WIRE -Jun 27, 2008: -- Volvo Trucks' Hungarian subsidiary, Volvo Hungary Trading and Services Kft, has signed a frame agreement for 1,500 trucks with transport and logistics company Waberer's Optimum Solution... This is a long term commitment of Waberer's Optimum Solution and Volvo Truck Corporation where the previous frame agreement signed in 2006 concerning 1,000 trucks will be concluded in 2008... Waberer's Optimum Solution is a privately owned supplier of transport services and operates in Hungary, Western Europe and Eastern Europe. It is the leading transports and logistics company in the Central Eastern Europe region and one of the top 20 freight forwarding and road transportation companies in Europe. The company's fleet currently consists of 2,300 vehicles and will encompass 1,600 Volvo trucks by the end of 2008...

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA & Canada

* USA - Roadlink acquires CP ships trucking

Montreal,QBC,CAN -The Gazette -June 27, 2008: -- RoadLink, a major Atlanta-based independent intermodal logistics company, said yesterday it is buying Montreal's CP Ships Trucking Ltd., known as C-Truck, from the Canadian unit of European shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd. C-Truck, which operates 240 trucks, has six terminals in Canada and the U.S... On closing, RoadLink will create an alliance with Fastfrate, a Canadian logistics firm, to provide container transportation services across North America...

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FUEL SAVING * USA - Mud flaps drawing attention

USA -Fleet Owner -Jun 26, 2008: -- If you think you’ve done everything possible to improve fuel efficiency, there may still be one more opportunity left — fuel-efficient mud flaps. Andersen Flaps, Inc. has been providing its patented Eco-flaps to fleets since 2000 to reduce splash and spray, but it turns out the see-through mud flaps may help fleets see an improvement in fuel economy, too... Transportation Research Center, Inc. (TRC) performed SAE Test J1321 Type II on the Andersen flaps in July of 2006, and the results are posted on the Eco-flaps website. The baseline fuel economy for the two test trucks was 6.37 mpg and 6.54 mpg. With the flaps installed, the mpg increased to 6.71 mpg and 6.77 mpg respectively, according to the report...

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2008-06-27

Layoffs * USA - Kronenwetter Transportation Company Announces

A Kronenwetter company is laying off more than 300 workers come July

Wasau,WIS,USA -Americans Truckers at War -27 June 2008: -- WH Transportation is shutting down their van-trailer division. They haul housing parts for Wausau Homes... Tom Schuette, co-owner of WH Transportation, tells WFXS the failing economy has a lot to do with why cutbacks were made... Schuette says the entire US trucking industry, along with WH Transportation, is facing a very challenging time because of the high fuel costs... WH Transportation in Kronenwetter plans to keep their flat bed division up and running... Another trucking casualty of the insane fuel prices and Washington’s refusal to come up with realistic, common sense solutions...

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TRUCKERS' STRIKES * WORLDWIDE

* India - Truckers not to withdraw strike call from July 2

Chandigarh,Punjab,India -Press Trust Of India/The Hindustan Times -June 27, 2008: -- Truck operators body All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) on Friday said that it will not withdraw its indefinite nationwide strike call from July 2 unless the government agrees to its all demands... The Finance Ministry on Thursday exempted truck operators from the payment of 12.5 per cent service tax on the supply of goods carriage to goods transport agencies (GTA)... Giving details about truckers' other demands, Lohara, who was in Ludhiana on Friday, said that the government should abolish toll tax on truck operators, rationalise the duty structure on diesel and exclude truckers' booking agents from the preview of service tax...


* South Korea - Auto workers vote in favor of strike

Seoul,S.Korea -The Joong Ang Daily -June 28, 2008: -- Workers from Kia Motors Corp., GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Co. and Ssangyong Motor Co. approved plans to strike to seek pay increases and to oppose various government policies... About 70.2 percent of Kia’s workers, 65.2 percent of GM Daewoo’s and 66 percent of Ssangyong Motor’s voted in favor of the strike plans, the unions said on their Web sites... The union at Hyundai Motor Co., the only automaker in the country that is bigger than Kia, may release the results of a vote early tomorrow... The walkouts will be another blow to President Lee Myung Bak, whose public support rate plunged following protests over the resumption of U.S. beef imports. A strike by truckers earlier this month cost South Korea $7.26 billion in lost trade...


* North Ireland - Truckers postpone planned strike over diesel prices

Belfast,N.Ireland,UK -The Belfast Telegraph -June 26, 2008: -- Truckers have postponed a planned nationwide strike to highlight the threat posed to their livelihoods by the spiralling cost of diesel... Members of the Irish Road Haulage Association had threatened to go on strike from tomorrow unless the Government came up with measures to ease the pressure they are under... However, they decided last night to delay a decision on whether to press ahead with the strike for a fortnight...

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LONGER TRUCKS * USA - House panel OKs 53 foots trailers

Raleigh,NC,USA -News & Observer, by Bruce Siceloff -26 June 2008: -- A House committee today changed a bill to preserve the state Department of Transportation's power to make some highways off-limits to long tractor-trailer rigs... Safety advocates had warned that the bill passed by the Senate last week would allow trucks with 53-foot-long trailers to travel on narrow, winding roads where DOT has banned them as too dangerous. The Senate bill would have allowed a committee of legislators to veto DOT proposals to add more roads to the banned list... The House Transportation Committee changed the bill to require only that DOT notify the legislative committee when it restricts 53-foot trailers from other roads in the future... (Picture from BigLorryBlog -UK)

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Older Trucks * USA - L.A. creates incentive to replace they

Torrance,CA,USA -The Daily Breeze -26 June 2008: -- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today will sign into law an ordinance that creates an incentive program to replace older trucks and requires trucking firms to employ drivers, rather than use independent contractors... The Clean Trucks Program requires companies to hire drivers, who are currently independent contractors, as employees by 2012... The law also features the Scrap Truck Buyback Program, under which the city will pay $5,000 for pre-1989 18-wheelers in an effort to have older trucks replaced by cleaner-burning diesel models... The innovations envisioned by the ordinance being signed into law today fall under the Clean Air Action Plan, a joint effort between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach... Last year, the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor commissions approved a $35 fee on cargo containers, which goes into effect on Oct. 1... The fee is expected to generate $1.6 billion to replace 16,800 trucks in the short-haul fleet. Port officials believe the clean-fuel fleet will decrease emissions by 80 percent over the next five years...

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ELECTRIC TRUCK * USA - Testing at Los Angeles port sparks enthusiasm

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Los Angeles Times, by Louis Sahagun -June 26, 2008: -- Michael Fluegal is a self-described "diesel big-rig driver at heart," but he never realized how irritating the noisy, smoke-belching monsters were until he climbed into the cab of the world's most powerful electric heavy-duty truck and turned on the ignition... "The only thing you hear is a hum and rolling tires -- and there's zero emissions," said Fluegal, the designated driver of the 30-ton prototype vehicle that Port of Los Angeles authorities view as a forerunner of a fleet of electric trucks to serve terminals and rail yards... Stepping on the accelerator and making a hard left turn into harbor traffic on a recent weekday, the husky 6-foot-4 port maintenance worker said, "I don't come home from work smelling like diesel gasoline after breathing the fumes all day."Added Fluegal:"It performs as well as any other truck its size in the port," said Fluegal, 42. "They say it can go 40 mph, but I got it up to 42 mph."... (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times - Michael Fluegal, an L.A. Harbor Department employee, drives the Nautilus E30, one of the world's most powerful electric heavy duty trucks. The driver, at heart a diesel fan, says the quiet, nonpolluting vehicle 'performs as well as any other truck its size in the port.') - See Video

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FUEL TAXES REBATES * USA

* West Virginia Legislature OKs fuel tax freeze

WVA,USA -Land Line Magazine -June 25, 2008 : -- Truckers and other drivers who fuel up in West Virginia will be spared from a scheduled fuel tax increase. Lawmakers in other states have authorized, or are seeking, similar fuel cost saving rules... At the encouragement of Gov. Joe Manchin, House and Senate lawmakers voted during a special session Wednesday, June 25, to stop an increase in the state’s 32.2-cent-per-gallon fuel tax rate scheduled for Jan. 1, 2009... The temporary freeze is expected to save consumers 6 cents per gallon come the first of the year...


* North Carolina bill would trim fuel tax

WVA,USA -Land Line Magazine -June 25, 2008: -- If a North Carolina state lawmaker gets his way, motorists and truck drivers would get some relief at the fuel pump... Rep. Cary Allred, R-Burlington, has introduced a bill that would eliminate a portion of North Carolina’s 29.9-cent-per-gallon tax on fuel purchases. The tax is composed of a 17.5-cent flat rate and a 12.4-cent wholesale component... Allred said he is pushing to eliminate the wholesale portion because North Carolina’s fuel tax is higher than neighboring states... Governors in Georgia and Connecticut recently adopted their own fuel relief efforts...

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TRUCKING STATISTICS * USA - May Truck Tonnage Jumps 3.3% From a Year Ago

VA,USA -Transport Topics -27 June 2008: -- Truck tonnage in May jumped 3.3% from a year earlier, marking the seventh straight year-over-year increase, American Trucking Associations said... Tonnage rose 0.5% from April, the first month-to-month gain since January, ATA said in its monthly seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index... April’s month-to-month level fell 0.6% from the previous month, less than the previously reported 1.1% decline... ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said May’s improved reading was a positive step forward, but said freight volumes remain mixed across the industry amid soaring prices and a weak economy... (Larry Smith/Trans Pixs)

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TRUCKERS' PROTEST * Australia - Truck Drivers Protest Fuel Prices

Mathaba,Australia -Mathaba.Net -25 June 2008: -- Australia's National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union (TWU), Tony Sheldon, addressing the media outside New Parliament House in Canberra, said that tens of thousands of truckers and small businesses face collapse due to the rising fuel prices... This affects safety on the road and the lack of government help means workers will have to work longer and harder. 228 lives, 4 times the national average, should not have been lost due to deaths in the past year due to the pressures of rising fuel costs, he pointed out, and criticised the lack of "cost recovery" action by the Australian regime... The TWU National Secretary told that "in the trucking industry if you don't get cost recovery it means drivers work longer, harder in what is already an extremely dangerous industry, or leave the industry in droves"... Now more than ever we need cost recovery, safe rates for employees, and owner drivers to make sure those businesses continue, and be able to operate in what is a highly competitive industry.. The truckers staged a blockade of the road outside Australia's federal parliament as a photo shoot opportunity for the media... (Photo: Tony Sheldon, National Secretary of Australia's Transport Workers Union with truck drivers and their families outside Parliament House in Canberra yesterday)


* ATA won't support trucking shut down

Australia -Farm On Line - 27 June 2008: -- The Australian Trucking Association does not support the trucking industry shutdowns that some people are proposing for the two weeks from 28 July 2008.
ATA chairman, Trevor Martyn, said he understood the hardships that many in the industry were going through, but warned that shutdowns were not the answer... "But going on strike and standing around truck stops for two weeks isn’t the answer... Instead of going on strike, I urge every owner-driver and trucking operator to think through how their business can deal with the rising price of fuel."... Mr Martyn said truckies need to: ... "Some companies will need to increase their freight rates by more than 20 per cent; and most importantly, refuse to accept jobs that do not pay enough to cover their costs."...

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * EUROPE - Big Rigs bring Big Smiles for

Europe's truckmakers cannot remember better times than the present...

Hannover,Germany -bnet -26 June 2008: -- At the biennial International Motor Show for Commercial Vehicles, smug, smiling managers and salespeople stood in front of their gigantic trucks and buses. The truck show drew 1,223 exhibitors from 39 countries, showing off more horsepower, less fuel consumption and less pollutants... After a string of bad years, trucks are at last good business in Europe and North America, where European manufacturers have carved out a large slice of the booming market for themselves...


* Scania wins Ukraine order for 300 trucks

Stockholm,Sweden -Reuters -Jun 26, 2008: -- Swedish truck maker Scania said on Thursday it had won an order for 300 trucks from a Ukrainian transport company... Scania did not give the financial details of the order from Europa-Trans, but said it was the firm's biggest ever in the country... The Swedish firm said it had sold 360 trucks in the whole of 2007 in Ukraine...

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Kenworth's brochure of its new T270 and T370 diesel-electric hybrid trucks.

Kirkland,Wash,USA -Truck News, by Adam Ledlow -26 June 2008: -- Kenworth brochure features new medium-duty hybrids for pickup and delivery, utility applications... Kenworth's goal is to enhance fuel economy by up to 30% in pickup and delivery applications and up to 50% in utility operations. Purchasers of Kenworth hybrids equipped with a PACCAR PX-6 engine and the Eaton hybrid system, may qualify for a maximum federal tax credit of $6,000 (Class 6) and $12,000 (Class 7)... (Photo: Kenworth's new brochure)


* Navistar Reports First-Half Profit; Will Resume NYSE Trading Monday

USA -Bloomberg/ Transport Topics -27 June 2008: -- Truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp. Friday reported a first-half profit and said its shares will resume trading on the New York Stock Exchange Monday... The first-half profit of $162 million, or $2.22 per share, compared with a loss of $13 million, or 19 cents, a year earlier, Navistar said in a regulatory filing, Bloomberg reported... Revenue rose 13% to $6.9 billion for the six months ended April 30... (Photo - Biggest SUV: Navistar International 7300 CXT Dwarfs All SUVs)

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SHIPPERS * Canada - CTA's Bradley offers advice to

Ottawa,Ont,CAN -Truck News -24 June 2008: -- David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), warned shippers at the Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Logistics Association that they will have to continue paying sufficient surcharges in light of rising fuel costs... Bradley pointed out that 40-50% of carrier revenues currently result from fuel surcharges... Finally, Bradley urged shippers to take a long-term view and to secure capacity now...

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Fuel-efficiency Solution * USA - Impresses BCTA

Langley,BC,CAN -Truck News, by Jan Westell -24 June 2008: -- Cascade Sierra Solutions (CSS) is promoting fuel saving technology in the US that can make vehicles more aerodynamic, reduce their weight and idling time, or decrease the rolling resistance of their tires... The BCTA estimates that a long-haul truck retrofitted with a complete kit of recommended technology can save more than 25% of the fuel it consumes. For a truck travelling 190,000 km per year, this will result in a savings of about 19,000 litres – or equal to the fuel savings of 15 Toyota (hybrid) Prius cars... The CSS outreach centres operate in Washington, Oregon and California, with a primary focus on the Interstate highway corridor. CSS is in the process of establishing outreach centres strategically located with major truck strops. While the primary target of CSS outreach is the longhaul operator, the centres provide education and incentives for local fleets as well. Outreach staff also help clients determine which grant and loan programs apply to each specific need, and assist with paperwork...


* Truckers Save Thousands Using the Patented Diesel Fuel Saver, Despite Rising Fuel Costs

Castleton,NY,USA -PRWEB -June 26, 2008 -- American Alternative Fuel (AAF) is setting the new standard in hybrid propane conversion systems with their Diesel Fuel Saver (DFS). Not only is the system patented but it has been proven, worldwide, to benefit diesel vehicle owners. The DFS is a hybrid propane injection system that increases fuel mileage and engine performance and decreases harmful emissions in the environment. The system is backed by a warranty and has endless applications. The DFS fits virtually any vehicle with a diesel engine...

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AWARD * Canada - Bison credits simulator training with stellar safety record

Winnipeg,Man,CAN -Truck News, by Jan Westell -24 June 2008: -- The aircraft industry has long used simulators to develop pilot's aircraft handling ability and safety skills. It's now a technology adopted by some fleets in the trucking industry, including Bison Transport, which credits simulator-based training for its third consecutive Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) national fleet safety award... Simulator scenarios enable drivers to test their skills in a dynamic environment with immediate instructor feedback. The simulation also provides the benefit of practicing safety, regardless of outcome... Bison's training program and safety results are impressive. The transport company had a 17% improvement in backing-related preventable accidents (from 2006 to 2007); an 8.5% improvement in maneuvering-related preventable accidents (from 2006 to 2007); and a 7% improvement in rear-end ahead related preventable accidents (from 2006 to 2007). In addition to the 50% reduction in preventable accidents in 2006, Bison's cost of preventable accidents has decreased a further 9% through 2007...


* Bison Transport named Top Canadian Truckload Carrier of the Year by Ryder System Inc.

Winnipeg,Man,CAN -Truck News, by Lou Smyrlis -26 June 2008: -- Bison Transport has been presented with the Ryder System's Inc. 2007 Top Carrier Quality Award in the Canadian Truckload category... This award is based on excellence in a number of categories, including on-time performance, claims handling, customer service, technology applications, economic value and innovation...

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