The speed limit for ultra-heavy loads will increase from 12mph to 25mph this week
London,EN,UK -Road Transport, by Roger Brown -29 November 2010:... The Department for Transport (DfT) says the change - due to come into force on 29 November - will apply to artics weighing between 150 and 250 tonnes... For draw-bar trailer vehicles weighing between 150 and 250 tonnes, the limit will increase from 12mph to 20mph...Girder frame trailers will remain restricted to 12mph... About one hundred abnormal loads weighing in at more than 150 tonnes are transported each year... However, according to the DfT, technological advances in the vehicles and trailers concerned mean that it has now been possible to revise the speed limits... Research into the changes was carried out on behalf of the Highways Agency last year, followed by a consultation process with the industry... It suggested that despite most abnormal loads being transported outside of peak times, the cost to the economy as a result of the congestion caused was about £5.1m per year... By increasing the maximum permitted speed of certain loads, the figure is expected to fall to £2.5m... The research also showed the increased speed would have only a marginal impact on wear and tear on the roads... Police believe the move will also reduce the number of accidents caused by traffic crashing into slow-moving loads from the rear... (Photo from roadtransport/big-lorry-blog: FULL STEAM AHEAD CEM 265ton STATOR ON BOARD)
Ringwood,NJ,USA -Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr -Nov 24, 2010:-- Net orders of dry van commercial trailers topped 17,126 units in October, according to data tracked byACT Research Co., an order level 79% higher than the same month in 2009. This helped push trailer manufacturer backlogs up by over 5,000 units... Kenny Vieth, partner and president of ACT, added that order growth in the commercial trailer market is across the board and not limited to just dry van models, as eight of the nine trailer categories tracked by ACT posted year-over-year growth... Vieth added that sales of commercial trailers also experienced a far steeper drop off over the last several years compared to trucks, meaning that average equipment age is far higher. For example, while the average age of Class 8 trucks in U.S. fleets is now 6.5 years – the highest in 30 years – U.S. fleet dry van trailers now average 8.5 years... That higher average age is a direct result of a far more acute drop in sales, according to ACT, as trailer sales as a whole dropped to 79,432 units in 2009 – a nearly 50% drop from 144,377 units in 2008 and an over 75% decline from 277,398 units sold in 2006... (Photo from fleetowner: trailer orders big bounce)
TRUCKER CLAIMS * USA - He was fired for refusing to break downtime laws
Gaston man says he lost his job when he refused to break those rules
Gaston,SC,USA -10WISTV, by Jack Kuenzie -Nov 18, 2010: -- The trucking industry is a critical component of the American economy.But drivers of the big rigs have to follow rules set by the government, and a Gaston man says he lost his job when he refused to break those rules... Victor Harris took a few minutes Thursday afternoon to play with a new addition to his family, but he has more time on his hands than he'd prefer. Until he lost his job this summer, Harris had spent seven years developing the considerable skills of a long haul trucker... Harris says it's not easy to make a living driving big rigs. It was even harder for him pressure from his employer to deliver cargo long distances on schedule and still comply with federal regulations that require all drivers to rest after being on the road for a certain number of hours... Harris says a few months ago, the Columbia-based company he was driving for gave him an assignment that was impossible without violating the law.When he insisted on taking the legally required downtime, he was in effect laid off... Harris is planning a lawsuit against his former employer. His attorney said some of the practices her client describes are "rampant" in the trucking industry...
* Welcome worn out for obscure fatigue ‘statistic’
Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Joe Rajkovacz (OOIDA director of regulatory affairs) -24 Nov 2010:... The notion that “31 percent of all heavy truck accidents [are] caused by driver fatigue” has any validity is a form of urban myth or, more suitably, a road rumor that took on a life of its own as it has been continually repeated... The 31 percent number comes from an obscure NTSB Safety Study conducted back in 1988... Suffice it to say that study was not a scientifically based, statistically valid examination of general fatigue among truckers, but it’s been artfully elevated to that level. The bogus 31 percent number from that study is repeated by many who want to mandate expensive on-board safety technologies (or worse) under the guise that fatigued driving is an epidemic...Just how significant is fatigue amongst truck drivers? There are reliable statistics that accurately report on the prevalence of fatigue in fatal crashes among truck drivers. They come from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.Those numbers were publicly communicated on Sept. 30, 2010, in a webinar hosted by FMCSA titled: 2009 – Historic Truck Crash Declines. The number is 1.4 percent... There is a big difference between 1.4 percent and 31 percent.Excuse my cynicism, but why do supposedly responsible organizations like to rely on false or bad statistics to support hammering away at truckers?... Follow the money.Beating up unfairly on truckers is big business. Perpetuating the “big bad trucker” stereotype is being used to justify more onerous and costly mandates and regulations, more roadside enforcement and – of course – grabbing more taxpayer money...
* DC - HOS remains under review at Office of Management and Budget
Washington,DC,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Jami Jones -29 Nov 2010:-- The proposed hours-of-service regulations remain at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, but it should not affect the agency’s ability to have a final rule completed by mid-2011... The plan was for the White House to finish review of the regulation on Friday, Nov. 26. However, that was just the plan, and it’s not uncommon for reviews to miss their targeted completion date. The continuing review does not mean the journey toward new HOS regs has been derailed...
TRUCKERS' HEALTH * South Africa - Healthcare a priority for trucking industry
Truck drivers is now under threat from the impact of poor health and the shortened life span
Pretoria,SA -Engineering News, by Henry Lazenby and Brindaveni Naidoo-19 November 2010: -- Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) reports that the once stable industry of about 70,000 South African truck drivers is now under threat from the impact of poor health and the shortened life span of its driving workforce... MBSA reportsthat the effects of HIV/Aids can be seen in the constant search to replace drivers lost through high absenteeism, disability or death.The result is trucks are left standing, reducing earning potential or, worse, driving once thriving transport companies to closure and inevitable job losses... In response to the impending crisis, MBSA launched its Trucking Wellness programme, in partnership with various national and provincial role-players. Together with a truck body builder,Trucking Wellnessbuys and converts panel vans into mobile clinics... The campaign provides treatment and support for truckers and their families, and for sex workers involved in the trucking industry...The roadside wellness centre consists of two modified 6-m containers. One container is fully equipped with medication and staffed by a qualified nursing sister, who provides healthcare and counselling to patients suffering from STIs. A second container is equipped for use as an awareness education and training facility... Twenty roadside wellness centres have been established along the national trucking routes in provinces across South Africa...Trucking Wellness MD Tertius Wessels conclude:“The bottom line is that government cannot do it alone, especially in the trucking industry. Government depends on the industry to move people and goods safely around the country to self-regulate the industry and make recommendations to government for improvements” ...(Picture by: MBSA - MOBILE CLINIC Trucking wellness buys and converts panel vans into mobile clinics)
* Germany - More details on collaboration between MAN and Scania
Munich,Germany -Truck Europe, by Julie Widart -17 Nov 2010:-- In the light of the amount of speculation surrounding a possible collaboration between MAN and Scania, MAN has communicated the shared desire of the two companies to ‘develop a closer industrial partnership’ but that ‘the two companies firmly intend to retain their respective current production facilities along with their specific brand capital’. MAN adds that at ‘this early stage of discussions, the result of the negotiations remains to be seen’ and that ‘no decision has yet been taken’...
* USA - Profits up at Paccar
Bellevue,WASH,USA -Truck Europe (Belgium), by Michel Buckinx -2 Nov 2010: -- The Paccar grouphas announced an improvement in its turnover and profits for the third quarter of 2010.Net profits reached 119.9 million dollars (13 million in the third quarter of 2009) with consolidated turnover for the third quarter achieving 2.54 billion dollars in the third quarter (2.01 billion in 2009). In Europe, DAF now holds a 15.8% market share in the over 15 tonnes segment. As the economy recovers, sales of heavy trucks are expected to stand between 200,000 and 220,000 units in 2011...(Photo: A Paccar MX engine)
* South Africa - Car importers more bullish than local-brand dealers as rand strengthens
Pretoria,SA -Engineering News, by Irma Venter -26 November 2010: -- Results from the latest WesBank Vehicle sales Confidence Indicator (WVsCI) show that confidence levels among dealers trading in imported vehicles (six out of ten) are stronger than those of dealers selling locally made brands (5,6 out of ten)... Wesbank sales and marketing head Chris de Kock says that there has been strong growth in the sale of imported vehicles in recent months, as a result of the rand’s strength-ening against a basket of major currencies, and of the fact that local production lines experienced disruptions in the second half of the year owing to labour action in the automotive industry, which caused a delay in the delivery of these vehicles to customers and a degree of import replacement... According toDe Kock, there are a number of factors that point towards positive sales growth in the vehicle market – commercial vehicles included – in 2011... These include lower debt servicing costs owing to the favourable interest rate environment, low expected new-vehicle price inflation, and an upward trend in business and consumer confidence...
* Iceland - Bakkie converter considers setting up shop in SA
(Video from Eurotuner -3 Apr 2010: Here's behind-the-scenes footage of Arctic Trucks engineering the same Toyota Hilux pickups used by Top Gear for its adventure. The Reykjavik-based Icelandic company prepares the Hilux with special parts such as its 38" tires to cope with extreme conditions. It even is offers trips of between two- and five-days or longer expeditions through the wild landscape of Iceland. You can read the full story at eurotuner.com in the News section)
Reykjavík,Iceland -Engineering News (South Africa), by Irma Venter -26 November 2010:-- IcelandicoutfitArctic Trucks, which modifiesToyota Hiluxbakkiesto cope with the most extreme environments on the planet, hopes to set up shop in South Africa...Arctic Trucks research and development head Gísli Jónsson saysthe company aims to establish a local operation to do modifications to the Durban-madeHilux bakkie, turning it intothe AT35, boasting 35-inch tyres...Jónsson and a team of specialists from theIcelandic companyspend just three months in the country to convert a number ofSouth AfricanHilux bakkies into machines capable of dealing withthe extreme Antarctic environment... Arctic Trucksopened its doors in the late eighties, modifying vehicles for anIcelandic market, which is very fond of trekking cross-country...Its biggest order to date has been building a few hundred vehicles for the Norwegian Peacekeeping Force, with another 2 000 to 4 000 units to be built over the next four years...
* UK - Rising to the recycling challenge
Derbyshire,UK -HGV UK -November 27, 2010:... One company that's risen to the recycling challenge is H.W.Martin Waste Ltd... Part of theDerbyshire-basedMartin Group, the company specialises in delivering environmentally-responsive waste and recycling services to operators, private and public, nationwide... Already,H.W.Martin'sdivert more than half a million tonnes of recyclable materials every year. Recycled materials go back into the manufacturing process to be re-used safely and cost-effectively... Yet today, only 60% of the rubbish that goes in our bins is being recycled. Re-using our raw materials remains a developing science – and like it or not, some cannot as yet be recycled. For that, landfill remains the only practical alternative... With that in mind, H.W.Martin's have recently taken delivery of two Iveco Trakker 340K36chassis with Multilift hookloader bodies (fitted by the Martin Group)... (Photo from hgvuk: HWMartin's IVECO truck)
REGULATIONS * USA - Obama Transportation Emission Control Initiatives
FL,USA -The Examiner, by Jon Anderson -November 26, 2010: ...The President Obamahas authorized development ofTier 3 Tailpipe Out Transportation Emission Standards for automobile and truck makers under 12,500 pounds loaded weight... The popular press covered the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) fleet wide miles per gallon accord between President Obama and the auto industry. The fleet wide standard will increase from 25 to 35 miles per gallon beginning in 2016. In addition the tailpipe Carbon Dioxide emissions will decrease from approximately 500 grams per mile to 250 grams per mile... The popular press also covered President Obama’s tightening of the 8 hour Ground Level Ozone Standard down to 0,08 parts per million (ppm).While this story got coverage most of the reporters missed out the fact now the 8 hour Ground Level Ozone Standard will require dozens of more rural counties in the South, Midwest and West to adopt some modest air quality control programs.This is because most these suburbanized rural counties are very close to non-attainment anyway...(Photo: AP/EPA - EPA map of counties affected by air pollution)
* USA - FMCSA to keep CSA cargo scores private
Washington,DC,USA -Fleet Owner, bby Sean Kilcarr -Nov 18, 2010: -- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said it will not publish scores for the cargo-related behavior analysis and safety improvement category(BASIC)of the newComprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) safety program, withholding them from public view on the agency’s website until it can craft a more accurate methodology for reporting them... This is good news for the trucking industry on several fronts,according to Rob Abbott, vp-safety policy for the American Trucking Associations (ATA)...The cargo-relatedBASIC measuresa motor carrier’s compliance with load securement procedures, as well as a host of hazardous materials requirements. ATA saidit identified the cargo-related BASICas a component of the FMCSA’s CSA 2010 programthat needed additional work and recently met with FMCSA to present evidence demonstrating that the scores in this category do not accurately reflect carrier safety performance... (Photo from advantagewaste: hazardous waste removal vacuum truck)
People in their teens and twenties are more interested in gadgets than cars
Denver,COL,USA -Autos on MSNBC, by Allison Linn -4 Nov 2010: ... At 25 years old, McVeigh lives in Denver and has two good jobs, as a research analyst and an adjunct professor of philosophy. What she doesn’t have — or want — is a car... A confluence of events — environmental worries, a preference for gadgets over wheels and the yearslong economic doldrums — is pushing some teens and twentysomethings to opt out of what has traditionally been considered an American rite of passage: Owning a car... The percentage of new cars sold to 21- to 34-year-olds hit a high of nearly 38 percent in 1985 but stands at around 27 percent today, according to CNW research. Over that same period, the percentage of new car buyers who are 55 or older has generally been trending up, according to the vehicle research group...Brauer saidone issue is economic: A combination of high unemployment among young people and economic troubles for their parents is making it harder for younger people to afford to drive... But there are also other, longer-term issues at work, he said... For one thing, many young consumers care more about new technologies, such as the latest phone, than about the latest car... Brauer said this generation also is thinking more than any other about the repercussions of driving, both in terms of the environment and our dependence on oil... (Photo from Marc Piscotty - Natalie McVeigh, 25, of Denver, reads while she rides a bus on her way to work earlier this week)
TOLL LANES * USA - MTA considers more freeway toll lanes to reduce congestion
A preliminary study recommends that five locations be explored for installation of lanes that would allow solo motorists to pay to use them
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Los Angeles Times,by Dan Weikel -November 16, 2010:-- Advancing their experiment with toll roads, Los Angeles County transportation officials are considering more projects for local freeways — including a heavily congested freeway on the Westside — that would allow solo motorists to pay to use carpool lanes...A preliminary study by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has recommended that five locations be explored in detail for the installation of high-occupancy toll lanes or so-called HOT lanes... Officials said the highways that demonstrate a strong potential for conversion to HOT lanes include: The 105 Freeway between the 405 and the 605; the 405 from the 105 to the 5 in the San Fernando Valley; the 91 from the 110 Freeway to the Orange County line; the 57 from the 60 to the Orange County Line; and the 10 between the 605 and the San Bernardino County Line... With motorists making up to 310,000 trips a day, the demonstration project, which will be evaluated to see if congestion is indeed reduced, has received a $210.6-million federal grant... The project, which is estimated to cost $332 million, is expected to be completed in late 2012...Charging solo motorists to use carpool lanes has been implemented in other states including Texas, Florida and Washington. In California, HOT lanes have been installed along the 15 Freeway in north San Diego County... (Photo from infrastructureusa.org: George CA Pasadena)
The scheme has been piloted for four months: Hauliers will be able to cut insurance bills by 25% using a "revolutionary" pay-as-you drive scheme
London,EN,UK -Road Transport, by Dominic Perry -26 November 2010:... According to insurerTowergate Insurance, it launched a new package this morning called Azudrive, which allows drivers to only pay for the miles they cover... Larry Smith, MD at Towergate, tells: "This is a revolutionary product and could cut operators' bills by a quarter. We don't consider it fair that a haulier who's truck travels 40,000km annually pays the same as a logistics firm that covers treble that amount" ... Removals firms, skip operators and construction hauliers that frequently have low-mileage operations are expected to benefit from the new method of payment... A spokesman forthe Freight Transport Association adds: "The pay-as-you-use nature of the Azudrive servicewill benefit those who may not have their vehicles in use 24/7. It is an exciting development especially in an environment where cost control is at the forefront of most daily agendas" ...Smith anticipateswith the 1% rise in insurance premium tax to 6% due in January, take up of Azudrive will be high...
TAX POLICY * UK - Lorry Road User Charge must be revenue-neutral
London,EN,UK -Road Transport, by Chris Tindall -23 November 2010:-- The Freight Transport Association (FTA)has met with Treasury officials to discuss how a lorry road-user charge (LRUC) can be made revenue-neutral for UK hauliers... The Department for Transport (DfT) said earlier this month it would launch an LRUC by 2014 andthe Treasury is currently exploring which system offers the most return for the least cost... Natalie Chapman, FTA head of policy for south-east England, saysthe government could roll outthe Eurovignette schemecurrently in use in Continental countries, although the maximum charge that can be applied is €8 (£6.76)...The Eurovignette Directiveallows for an €11 (£9.30) fee, but charging this rate would mean the UK would have to invest in its own administration scheme, which could be costly...
DRIVERS SHORTAGE * UK - HGV driver vacancies up 130% year-on-year
HGV driver vacancies hit a three-year high in October but the spike could also signal a large scale driver shortage
London,EN,UK -Road Transport, by Christopher Walton -18 November 2010:-- According toSkills for Logistics (SfL), the number of unfilled jobs for HGV drivers rose by 130% to 25,720, compared to 11,041 in October 2009 and 8,787 in October 2008. Van driver vacancies also rose steeply, from 7,000 in October 2009 to 10,193... Vacancies throughout the transport sector, from postal workers to transport and warehouse managers, are up 60% year-on-year from 54,460 in October 2009 to 87,422 in October 2010... Mick Jackson, chief executive of SfL, welcomes the increase, because "reflect a build-up to the Christmas peak [and] the year-on-year increase for October looks like a heartening signal of growth in the economy,"and urges operators to "carefully plan their driver requirements for 2011" and look at options for recruiting younger UK-basedemployees rather than return to recruiting from Eastern Europe as happened in the last shortage... ( Picture by Lewis Whyld/PA -Lorry drivers park on the A40 in west London )
London,EN,UK -FT.com -November 23 2010:-- Normally a surge in the price of used equipment relative to new signals a robust order book. Not for truck manufacturers. A series of US and EU standards for diesel engine emissions has added 7 to 10 per cent so far to the cost of a typical heavy duty model while increasing fuel costs by nearly a quarter... Engineers at General Electric, which has developed technology to remove emissions more economically, reckon that the average efficiency of a heavy truck fell from eight to six miles per gallon in 2007 as a result of the new standards and has since crept back by around half a mile per gallon.The next set of regulations, which also are expected to add to prices, seeks to make engines more efficient by 2014.The end result will be a truck less efficient than one that could have been bought for less money in 2006...
STRIKES * Portugal - ‘Greve geral’ gets underway in
Portugal’s CDS spreads hit record levels as investor jitters remain
Lisboa,Portugal -Reuters/MarketWatch, by Barbara Kollmeyer -Nov. 24, 2010:-- In echoes of labor unrest seen across Europe this year, Portugal’s public and private sectors united on Wednesday for what some are calling the country’s biggest-ever strike to protest government austerity measures... The “Greve Geral”, or general strike, called by the General Confederation of the Portuguese Workers (CGTP) and the General Union of Workers (UGT), was estimated to potentially cost the economy between 200 million and 400 million euros ($266 million to $533 million), according to reports...The biggest effect of the strike was on transportation and health-care facilities as workers stayed home, while some private companies also shut their doors. The website of the CGTP said 84% of metro lines were affected by strikes...(Photo from Reuters - Union members block the entrance of a Volkswagen car factory during a general strike in Palmela, on the outskirts of Lisboa. November 24, 2010)
* UK - Wincanton and Chevron design aerodynamic semi-trailer
Chippenham,Wiltshire,UK -Fleet Europe, by Michel Buckinx -23 Nov 2010: -- Wincanton, a supplier of supply chain services, and integrated energy company Chevron, have worked together to create a new aerodynamic semi-trailer, which is destined to reduce CO2 emissions thanks to better fuel consumption. The semi-trailer, produced byLakeland, in particular includes an aerodynamically optimised front and rear design which improves the passage of air.The design also includes a number of elements to improve safety...
TRUCKING INDUSTRY * USA - UPS plans to hire 50,000 seasonal workers
United Parcel Service expects a 7.5 percent rise in U.S. holiday shopping season deliveries...
New York,NY,USA -Reuters, by Lynn Adler / Richard Chang -Nov 16, 2010:... and plans to hire about 50,000 seasonal workers to handle the increased volume... The world's largest package delivery company expects about 430 million deliveries during its peak season, up from 400 million last year, as consumer spending rises gradually with a slowly improving economy... Deliveries should reach 24 million worldwide on December 22, matching last year's busiest day. That volume is 60 percent above normal daily business...The Atlanta-based company also said it expects more than 44 million online package tracking requests on December 22... Online sales have been driving holiday package volume at both companies, as shoppers buy more from Web-based retailers as well on Internet sites from traditional chain stores... (Image from msiwix: Logo UPS)
* Georgia - UPS to Sell Logistics Tech Business
Atlanta,GA,USA -Transport Topics -19 Nov 2010: --UPS Inc. said Friday it will sell itsUPS Logistics Technologies unit to Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm... UPS Logistics Technologies, Baltimore, creates transportation routing and fleet management software... The acquisition by Thoma Bravowill not affect otherUPS services, the carrier said... The sale will close Dec. 31,UPS said. It did not disclose financial terms of the deal...
* USA -UPS Freight cuts transit time on 150 US/Canada lanes
Atlanta,GA,USA -Eye for Transport (Belgium) -Nov 19, 2010:-- In its latest round of enhanced transit times, UPS Freight has again improved transit times betweenUS cities and Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta, Canada... With a focus on improving service from the Southwest and WesternUS, UPS Freight now offers two-day service fromDenver and Las Vegasto theCalgary and Edmonton markets... In addition,the Dallas Metroplexand southern Californianow have three-day service to Calgary and Edmonton... UPS Freight customers can process, manage and track their cross-border LTL shipments through UPS WorldShipand Quantum View Manage technology... (Photo from t0.gstatic)
CLEAN TRUCKS * USA - Truckers Renew Quest to Expedite Clean Trucks Appeal
ATA cites “irreparable harm” to harbor truckers if expedited hearing not granted
Washington,DC,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Bill Mongelluzzo -Nov 18, 2010: -- The American Trucking Associations petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to move up by two months the hearing on the legality of the concession requirements in the Port of Los Angelesclean-truck case, citing irreparable harm to harbor truckers if an expedited hearing is not granted... ATA askedthe 9th Circuitto push the schedule up two months: Opening brief, Dec. 28, 2009; answering briefs, Jan. 31, 2011; reply briefs with 14 days and oral arguments to begin in May 2011... Labor unions, by law, are prohibited from organizing independent contractors, such as the owner-operators that haul containers at most U.S. ports.By requiring motor carriers to hire drivers as direct employees, the Port of Los Angeleswould, in effect, open the door to possible organizing of harbor truck drivers in Southern California... The port's timetable calls for 20 percent of the gate moves to be made by employee drivers beginning Dec. 31, 2011. Two years later, 100 percent of the gate moves would be by employee drivers... (Photo from t0.gstatic/Life - Los Angeles.CAL: An inspector with the U.S. Customs department, watches a truck pull away from a Mobile Vacis unit after it was X-rayed)
* USA - Drayage Companies Evade Clean-Truck Requirements. Some use lighter Class 7 trucks to haul chassis, empty containers
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Bill Mongelluzzo-Nov 18, 2010:-- Some drayage companies in Southern Californiaare violating the spirit, if not the letter of theLos Angeles and Long Beach clean-truck requirements, and the ports intend to end these practices soon... Thomas Jelenic, assistant director of environmental planning at the Port of Long Beach, saidthere has been a proliferation this past year of Class 7 trucks calling at the marine terminals... The ports' clean-truck programs requiring the phasing out of old, polluting trucks and replacing them with 2007-model or newer trucks applies to larger Class 8 tractor trailers. Therefore, older Class 7 trucks, which weigh 26,000 to 33,000 pounds, are operating legally in the harbor... One year ago, the ports' drayage truck registry recorded only 35 Class 7 trucks in the harbor.Now there are 500, and they account for about 2 percent of the gate moves at the ports, Jelenic told a dinner meeting of the Harbor Trucking Association Wednesday...The California Air Resources Board, which has a drayage truck rule for the entire state, is expected to take up the Class 7 issue when it meets on Dec. 16... (Photo: Class 7 two-axle tractor)
TRUCKS' PRODUCTS * UK - Onboard fuel cells set to provide auxiliary power
London,EN,UK -Transport Engineer, by John Challen -19 Nov 2010:-- Operators that run fleet vehicles requiring auxiliary power could be set to benefit from fuel cell technology, developed by Antares... With the cell packs not expected to feature as a viable method of driving vehicles for the forseeable future, the engineering firm says it is continuing evaluations of the technology... As such, its APU (auxiliary power unit), which weighs just 9kg, is being offered to operators that would typically use a battery charger back at the depot, or need power for long periods in the field... The fuel comes pre-packed in cartridges, allowing refuelling while the cell is running. The cartridges come in quantities of five, 10 or 15L, and the high energy density of the fuel can operate equipment for weeks or months from a single fuel canister.. (Photo from fuelcelltoday: Image BMW APU)
... Is not the only one complaining about the country's diesel shortage ...
Kunming,Yunnan Province,China -Global Times, by Li Woke -November 19 2010:... The shortage, which began in September, has made "sold out" signs a common sight at many gas stations and has paralyzed traffic on key expressways with trucks waiting in long lines to fill their fuel tanks...Experts blame the shortage partly on the "power blackout policy" adopted by some local governments to meet their emission-reduction goals.The central government has pledged to cut the amount of fuel used per unit of GDP by 20 percent from 2005 levels before the end of this year... Data released by the Petroleum Flow Committee underthe China General Chamber of Commerce last week showed that more than 2,000 private gas stations in southern and eastern China, mostly in Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces, have closed due to the shortage... In order to alleviate the shortage, the country's largest oil refiners, Sinopec and PetroChina, recently announced plans to process 583,000 million tons of crude per day this month. They plan to avoid maintenance shutdowns at refineries and to also import 200,000 million tons of diesel for the domestic market. Some oil refineries have also cut their output of gasoline and industrial chemicals to make room for additional diesel refining...(Photo: IC - Drivers stand in line with fuel containers waiting for diesel at a gas station in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province)
Lynch selects Renault Kerax for next generation grab trucks
Stanmore,UK -Transport Engineer, by Brian Tinham -25 Nov 2010:-- L. Lynch Plant Hire and Haulage has taken delivery of the first four of 24 new 8x4 Renault Kerax rigids...Rob Lynch, director at L Lynch, saysthat the Renault Kerax scored highly against competitors for their robustness and suitability for on- and off-road use – enabling theseRenaults to join the firm's 137-strong mixed fleet ofVolvos,Scaniasand DAFs... The vehicles will be used in the utility and civil engineering sectors, where they will be transporting spoil from site or roadside to disposal facilities acrossLondon,the Midlandsand South East...
* China -SAIC Buys $500 Million Stake in General Motors
Hong Kong,China -Agence France-Presse/Industry Week -Nov. 18, 2010:-- China's leading automaker SAIC Motor Corp confirmed on Nov. 18 that it had agreed to buy a stake in General Motors, as the auto giant prepared for one of the largest stock offerings in history... SAIC said its wholly owned unit SAIC Motor HK Investment Ltdhad acquired 15.2 million ordinary shares for $500 million, accounting for just under 1% of GM'stotal equity. The unit paid $33 per share and would raise all the capital from the Hong Kongfinancial market... SAIC said its decision to invest inGM was based on "confidence inGM's development prospects" ... GM has set a price of $33 per share for a stock listing that is set to garner at least $20.1 billion...
* Saudi Arabia - Saudi prince snaps up 1% stake in GM
Riyadh,Saudi A. -FT.com, by Bernard Simon (Toronto) and John Reed (London) -November 23, 2010:--Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud,the Saudi tycoon, has invested $500m in General Motors’ initial public offering, citing the Detroit carmaker’s global strength, especially in China and Brazil, and the attractive price of last week’s IPO... The investment, held by the prince and his Kingdom Holding company, amounts to a stake of about 1 per cent.The US government sold close to half its shares in the IPO but remains GM’s biggest shareholder, with 33 per cent... Participants in the IPO have yet to realise the quick bonanza that some had hoped for. GM shares fell close to the $33 listing price in afternoon trade on Tuesday, having reached a relatively modest peak of $35.99 shortly after last Thursday’s listing...(Photo: Motor City investor, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud)
* Australia - CAT out of the bag
Tullamarine,VIC,Australia -The Herald Sun, by James Stanford -November 19, 2010: -- An old grader assembly plant at Tullamarineis now the home to the world's first CAT trucks, the production line where the first batch of CAT trucksare being assembled byNC2, a joint venture by US companiesCaterpillar and Navistar... CATwill soon launch the heavy-duty CT610 andCT630trucks, which are based onInternational models but haveCAT engines... All these trucks, more than 200, have to be built and fitted with a compliance plate by December 31 or they can't be sold in Australia... Apart from batteries and tyres, all parts are imported. The parts, fromthe USand Mexico, are sent to Springfield, Ohio, before being shipped here... More than 70 people are employed to assemble the trucks. Twelve engineers are involved and several people check quality... (Picture - Motor town: the CAT truck assembly plant where automation takes a back seat to hands-on production)
* Sweden - Volvo heavy truck deliveries up
Gothenborg,Sweden -Fleet Europe, by Michel Buckinx -24 Nov 2010: -- Volvo Truckshas announced that it delivered 68% more trucks throughout the world in October 2010 than during the same month last year.In Europe, heavy truck deliveries reached 3,442 units, against 1,810 in October 2009, an increase of 90%. Over the first ten months of the year, the manufacturer delivered 22,287 vehicles in Europe, an increase of 39% compared to the same period in 2009. Deliveries rose by 38% in October in South America, 93% in North America and 48% in Asia.
* Europe - Hyundai's trucks land in
Madrid,Spain -Hyundai News Room -16 Nov 2010: -- Hyundai’s HD-series commercial vehicles debut in the European market... Hyundai Motor Companytook its first steps to enter the commercial vehicle market inWestern Europe with the launch of its HD-series mid-sized truck (HD55 and HD65) in Spain and Portugal...The HD series model has beenKorea’s best-selling light truck since its launch in 1997. It is now sold in more than 100 nations and has received high reviews for its quality and reliability. The European model is a customized version of the original "Mighty"(In Korea, the truck is known as'Mighty') catering to the specific needs of European customers... The model launched yesterday is powered byHyundai’s proprietary F-engine, which meets the Euro 5 emission standards and boasts a best-in-class 118 kw (160 horsepower) with 588 Nm (60 kg·m) of torque...
And Last but No Less ... * Italy - Extreme off-roading! The wonderful armoured Iveco 4x4 LMV Panther
Video from YouTube, by roadtransport -26 Nov 2010:The official company video ofIveco Defence Vehicle's 4x4 Light Multirole Vehicle 'Designed to meet the challenges of an uncertain world'. The 190hp LMV is designed to protect its crew from a number of threats including armour-piercing bullets, shell splinters, mines and IEDs...
* USA - Retrofittable anti-rollover truck system recognized
Washington,DC,USA -nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov, by Noel McKeegan -November 21, 2010:-- Developed by Bertocco Automotive Engineering of Italy andShell Chemicals Europe, this early warning roll-over has just been awarded top prize in the EuroTra Safety and Innovation Award 2010... It doesn't take much analysis to reach the conclusion that truck rollovers are very dangerous. Studies have shown that over 6 percent of the heavy truck fatalities and incapacitating injuries on U.S roads alone are a result of rollover accidents. Modern trucks fitted with ESP (Electronic Stability Program) have a greater chance of avoiding the problem, but this retrofittable early warning tanker roll-over device provides added safety for older vehicles... The system uses a sensor unit mounted between the rear axle to measure the lateral acceleration of the trailer. Data is continuously send through a wireless link to a receiver in the cabin where the driver gets a visual and/or audible early warning if the vehicle is becoming unstable, giving them extra time to react accordingly... The system is cheap, retrofittable and given that it provides immediate feedback to the driver on the driving decisions they make, it also makes a valuable training aid...(Photo: Retrofittable anti-rollover truck system recognized has just been awarded)
* UK - Vehicle tracking sensor averts vehicle brake failure
Aberford,Leeds,UK -Transport Engineer, by Brian Tinham-25 Nov 2010:-- Brake failure on a van has been averted using patented contactless engine management technology from vehicle tracking company Masternaut...The Masternaut-developed system recognised a fault in the vehicle's ABS (antilock braking system) and EPS (electronic power steering), and reported that both were displaying warning lights... This alerted the service engineer – who had apparently been ignoring the warning lights – to the potential failure, allowing the vehicle to be stopped and recovery arranged... The engine monitoring and diagnostic system sends information in real time to the Masternaut tracking system, which, he explains, alerts operators to faults and unusual driver and vehicle behaviour... Port points out that modern LCVs and trucks are fitted with up to 70 electronic control units, the largest of which is the ECU (engine control unit). The CANbus relays this information to the vehicle tracking system, enabling fleet managers to monitor all systems... (Picture: Vehicle tracking sensor averts vehicle brake failure)
* UK - LEDs boost Ryder trucks’ uptime and productivity
Devizes,UK -Transport Engineer, by John Challen -25 Nov 2010:--Ryder says it has seen worthwhile benefits from using LEDs in its vehicles' rear light clusters, during a trial across its contract hire fleet...LEDs boost Ryder trucks uptime and productivity "LED lights fitted to our vehicles have demonstrated significant gains in uptime," comments Nigel Carr, Ryder's head of engineering services, who confirms that all new trucks ordered by Ryder will be specified with the lights as standard... "With gloomy winter days, the greater durability and reliability of LEDs will not only improve safety, but the gains in vehicle uptime will provide noticeable benefits to our clients," said Carr...