User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: April 2007

Apr 30, 2007

* UK - Foreign Lorry Problems Continue

New figures from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) confirm the relatively poor operational standards of foreign lorries working in the UK compared to the performance of the UK fleet

UK -TNN -30 April 2007: -- The Freight Transport Association says that the continuing evidence that so many foreign lorries are overloaded, have many roadworthiness faults and are frequently driven by drivers who have exceeded the hours rules, constitutes a major problem for both the UK transport industry and other road users. FTA calls for the introduction of a registration system for vehicles entering the UK which would support the work of the enforcement agencies... FTA External Affairs Director Geoff Dossetter said, "Many foreign lorry operators are cutting costs by failing to maintain vehicles in the required safe and sound condition. Add to that too much overloading and drivers working excessive hours and we have an obvious road safety problem"... One in seven of the heaviest vehicles on UK roads comes from overseas. VOSA figures suggest that one in two of them enters the UK with a roadworthiness fault, one in four is driven by a tired driver and as many as one in four is overloaded...


ANALYSIS * UK - Drivers are Key to Cutting Vehicle Defects

More effective daily safety checks by lorry drivers would help reduce roadside prohibitions and help vehicle operators comply with the roadworthiness undertakings relating to their O-licence...

UK -TNN /'Freight', - 30 April 2007: -- An analysis of HGV safety related defects identified by Freight Transport Association Vehicle Inspection Service (FTA/VIS) engineers during 2006 found that 56 per cent were driver reportable and should have been identified during daily walk-round checks. By far 74 per cent for some sectors, defects such as blown light bulbs, worn tyres or a missing filler cap are either not being found or not rectified... The most common problems related to the electrical system, notably to lighting defects, followed by bodywork, tyres and brakes...


STUDY * Europe - Improve Road Safety? Target the Right User!

“European Truck Accident Causation” (ETAC): "75% of accidents involving trucks, are caused by other road users"

Brussels,Belgium -TNN (UK) -30 April 2007: -- Scientific study, commissioned by the IRU and the EC, shows that 75% of accidents involving trucks, where human error is the key factor, are caused by other road users... The International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the European Commission (EC), have just published a scientific study on “European Truck Accident Causation” (ETAC), identifying the main causes of accidents involving heavy goods vehicles in Europe. The ETAC study results show that human error, whether by the truck driver or another road user, is the main cause of 85.2% of accidents. However, among accidents linked to the human factor, 75% are caused by other road users versus 25% (NR: ONLY) by the truck driver. Other factors such as technical failures, infrastructure conditions and weather conditions comparatively play a minor role, representing 5.3%, 5.1% and 4.4% respectively of the principal causes of accidents... Therefore, upgraded driving school programmes, helping to understand the manoeuvring of trucks, would significantly improve road safety...


PRODUCTS * Austria - Transdanubia Choses Dynafleet

Austria -TNN (UK) -30 April 2007: -- Company Transdanubia Spedition GmbH has chosen the latest version of Dynafleet, Volvo’s transport information system, for its 350 trucks. Over the next three years the company will replace its existing system with the new Dynafleet ‘Operate’ package... In the beginning of this year, company owner KR Franz Grad made the decision to install Dynafleet in the entire fleet... The complete Dynafleet system consists of a range of services and functions, for instance a GPRS SIM card with unlimited communication between the Dynafleet system and the vehicles; system support provided by the Volvo Action Service as well an E-Learning module for both the Dynafleet system and driver training. It gives updated information reports in detail, via any PC with an Internet connection, on just about everything relating to the drivers and vehicles. In addition, the Dynafleet ‘Operate’ package has a facility that allows drivers to communicate with colleagues and the office...


Prognosis * USA - Transport Demand for Renewable Fuels to Increase

Agriculture officials said the growing renewable fuels industry will benefit the trucking companies that haul these products

Arlington,Va,USA -TTNews, by Andrea Fischer -30 April 2007: -- Biofuels proponents and Bush administration officials spoke here during the first national summit on agricultural and food transportation... “For trucking, the key word is distribution,” said Thomas Dorr, undersecretary of rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “The scale of this new industry will be huge,” Dorr said. “It is probably the greatest new opportunity for growth in our lifetime . . . and the distribution system will be truck-based”...


Research and Markets * Ireland - The North American Light Truck Running Board and Step Aftermarket

Is Mature and Its Revenue Potential Is Projected To Decline Over the Forecast Period 2006-2012

Dublin,Ireland -BUSINESS WIRE (USA) -April 30, 2007: -- ... This Frost & Sullivan research service titled North American Light Truck Running Board and Step Aftermarket provides a detailed analysis of this aftermarket, which includes major product types, distribution flow, and unit shipment and revenue forecasts. It provides the revenues by product type, geographic region, and as a percent of market share and also includes extensive pricing, demand, and competitive analyses... Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors in this research:
- Light Truck Running Boards
- Light Truck Steps


Higher truck toll * USA - To raise $10M

PEN,USA, by Precious Petty and Alyssa Young -April 30, 2007: -- A plan to charge higher tolls for big trucks that cross the Delaware River finally will come to fruition in a few weeks. The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has intended for years to raise the toll it charges trucks with three or more axles. Effective May 20, it will rise 50 cents, from $2.75 to $3.25, the commission said today... The change will bring in an additional $10 million in revenue. The commission now raises about $80 million in tolls from this type of truck...


DEBATE * USA - DOT continues to 'fine-tune' U.S.-Mexico truck plan

USA -eTrucker, by Steven Mackay -27 April 2007: -- A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said today, that the Bush administration had decided to comply with legislation passed this week that would impose conditions on the U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking plan... The U.S. Department of Transportation refused to confirm that any concessions had been made or that the plan had been postponed but today issued a two-sentence statement saying the agency continues to "fine-tune" the plan...



* ATA tonnage index rose 1.2% in March
USA -eTrucker, By CCJ -27 April 2007: -- The American Trucking Associations announced today, April 26, that its advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 1.2 percent in March, which was the second consecutive monthly gain. The index increased 1.6 percent in February...

* Report: Container shipments up
USA -eTrucker, by Jill Dunn -27 April 2007: -- Container shipping into the United States is up, and most of those containers enter the country not at ocean ports but by truck or rail from Canada and Mexico, according to federal statistics... A new U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics report states that in 2005, almost 26 million containers entered the United States, up 37 percent from 2000. Of those containers, 15 million came from Canada and Mexico... The United States ranks second only to China in world maritime container traffic. U.S. container trade in 2005 and 2006 was more than double the trade of a decade ago. Two-thirds of the containers are imported into the United States, one-third exported to other nations...


Truckers oppose * USA - Nevada port-of-entry plan

Carson City,NEV,USA -The Deseret News/Associated Press, by Amanda Fehd -30 April 2007: -- Nevada's trucking industry is fighting a plan to let private companies build and profit from high-tech ports of entry that would use X-ray machines to scan trucks for contraband and human smuggling... The bill has support from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Nevada Highway Patrol. A new amendment that allows for the private financing persuaded NDOT to switch its original opposition to the bill to a neutral stance... The change allows NDOT to form contracts for operating the ports and charge "commercial motor vehicles a fee to cover all the costs related to the development, financing, construction, maintenance, management and operations" of the ports... The Nevada Motor Transport Association opposes the bill. The group's government affairs director, Ronald Levine, said the scanners "will not do the job and will not stop anything." He said criminals will just take other routes...


"GREEN" COMMENTS * Canada - Baird’s fears about Kyoto are worth considering but so are the many answered questions

What to make of the Harper government’s conviction that meeting our Kyoto commitment would drive the country into recession and leave thousands unemployed and facing soaring gas and energy prices?

Toronto,ONT,CAN -Truck News, by Lou Smyrlis -27 April 2007: -- According to federal environment minister John Baird, the deep reductions in emissions starting as early as next January required for Canada to start living up to its Kyoto commitments is “not the answer we’re looking for”. The why is clearly obvious, according to Baird: “the numbers just don’t add up.” An analysis that Baird presented to a Senate committee found that by 2009, over 275,000 Canadians would lose their jobs, electricity bills would jump by 50% after 2010, prices at the pump would shoot up by 60%, and natural gas prices to heat homes would double, if the ruling Conservatives had to comply with a Liberal bill passed by the House of Commons requiring the government to meet its Kyoto targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions... It would be easy to dismiss Baird’s comments as mere fear mongering. After all his party fought against the accord, voted against its ratification, voted against reaffirming Canada’s commitment, and seems quite comfortable with making Canada the only country to sign the international accord and then abandon it. But, still, I think his concerns, deserve the benefit of the doubt...



* Sweden - Strong European truck market drives up Scania profits
Sjodertalje,Sweden -Truck News -27 April 2007: -- While North American truck makers struggle in the wake of last year’s pre-buy, Swedish manufacturer Scania is having trouble keeping up with demand... The company reported a 44% surge in net profit during the first quarter. The company said demand for new and used trucks is exceeding the supply in Europe and it expects that to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Sales were up 11% during the first quarter with order bookings jumping 45% to 27,637 bus and truck units...


Tory environmental plan * Canada - Won’t stall oilsands growth

Calgary,Alta,CAN -Truck News -27 April 2007: -- Despite much fear to the contrary, oil and gas executives say the environmental action plan announced by the feds on Thursday won’t inhibit further growth for the industry... The plan calls on industry to reduce emissions 18% by 2010 with the long-term goal of cutting emissions by 20% of current levels by 2020. While reaction from big business leaders was mixed on Friday, most agreed the targets were reasonable... He called on government to provide financial incentives for companies that invest in cleaner technology. The Canadian Trucking Alliance has been calling on government for some time to provide incentives for fleets that adopt the latest generation of environmentally-friendly truck engines, but those requests have so far fallen on deaf ears...


TRADE * Canada - Heavy-duty truck exports to plunge 29%

Toronto,Ont,CAN -Truck News, by James Menzies -26 April 2007: -- Export Development Canada says Ontario auto exports will drop 6% this year, costing the economy about $4.8 billion. The agency says heavy-duty truck exports will take the biggest hit, dropping 29% to $3.93 billion as a result of the 2007 emission standards...


AWARDS * Canada - Quebec truck plant doubles up at awards ceremony

Ste.Therese,Que,CAN -Truck News, by Steven Macleod -26 April 2007: -- The PACCAR plant in Ste. Therese, Que., was named Business of the Year and received the Human Resources award in the large business category at the 27th edition of the Mercuriades competition... The PACCAR plant in Ste. Therese assembles the Kenworth T300 line of medium-duty trucks... The competition is sponsored by the Quebec Federation of Chambers of Commerce to celebrate outstanding achievements of Quebec businesses, which distinguish themselves by their excellence... (Picture: From left, Mercuriades gala chairman Benjamin J. Kemball, CEO and president of Imperial Tobacco Canada, presents the 2007 Mercuriades competition...)


Apr 28, 2007

BORDER INFRASTRUCTURE * Canada - A bridge too far?

Toronto,ON,CAN-The Globe and Mail, by BRENT JANG -April 28, 2007: -- Manuel (Matty) Moroun is arguably the most powerful U.S. businessman most Americans and Canadians have never heard of. Ideally, he would like to keep it that way. But in the twilight of his career, the 79-year-old billionaire has decided to lift the veil on his high-stakes battle to maintain control over the most important transportation link between Canada and its largest trading partner... The sole owner of the Ambassador Bridge at the Detroit-Windsor border since 1979, Mr. Moroun has spent a half-billion dollars building a land portfolio in the region to make possible his dream to add a new link to the corridor. The busiest commercial crossing in North America has become a choke point ever since extra security checks were introduced after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States... For the past 15 years, Mr. Moroun has accumulated property in Detroit and Windsor, positioning himself to build a new span next to the 77-year-old Ambassador Bridge. But the quest to strengthen his stranglehold on commercial truck traffic is being threatened, and he is in danger of being elbowed aside by a competing proposal backed by governments on both sides of the border. At risk is not only his virtual monopoly, but the viability of his existing business running the old bridge as well... (Photo: Detroit—Ambassador Bridge)


'Green' Trucks * USA - Pol fuels interest in

Politicians are sometimes compared to used-car salesmen, but last week a Bronx congressman moved up to new trucks

New York,NY,USA -The New York Daily News, by BILL EGBERT -April 26th 2007: -- Rep. José Serrano (D-South Bronx) organized a briefing by representatives of a British electric truck maker at his district office to encourage fleet operators to start converting to electric vehicles and move away from diesel engines, which spew fine particulates proven to trigger asthma attacks... Smith Electric Vehicles has been making all-electric trucks for 80 years in the UK, and will begin production at its new Fresno, Calif., factory later this year... The company has 70,000 vehicles in service - with some trucks built in the 1950s still on the road. Its customers include Starbucks, Britain's Royal Mail and parcel-delivery giant DHL... Though an electric truck can cost up to twice as much as a standard diesel, it is up to five times cheaper to operate - about $10 a day... Help is available to those wanting to convert part of their fleet. A representative from the city Department of Transportation briefed attendees about the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program, which provides federal grants up to 80% of the cost difference between standard diesel and alternative-fuel vehicles... (Picture: Smiths's bespoke electric vehicle design)


Transport Safety Council * Europe - Volvo Trucks in co-operation with

Every year, about 40,000 people die in road accidents throughout Europe and one-third of these accidents are directly linked to alcohol

Brussels,Belgium -The Easier (Chester,UK) -27 April 2007: -- At a seminar in Brussels this week, Volvo Trucks has launched a co-operative venture with the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)... Over a period of three years, the partners will conduct a campaign in Europe that goes by the name of ‘Safe & Sober’. The aim of the campaign is to increase know-how about the link between alcohol and traffic accidents and it is directed primarily at politicians, opinion-builders, safety organisations and the transport industry...


Apr 27, 2007

TECHNONEWS * Holland - Automatically controlled trucks under development

Could the truck of the future be driven by computer control to reduce traffic congestion?

Amsterdam,Holland -Radio Amsterdam/Truck Trader Online (USA) -(originally published) 30 March 2007: -- Will the "trains" of trucks follow each other down the highway, synced-up with sensors and GPS controls?... The truck technology for automatically controlled trucks, or ACTs, is under development at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands... The way ACTs would stay together while riding or breaking is through sensors implated in the road, radar sensors to calculate distance and GPS tracking. Automatic systems would accelerate or slow down the truck faster than a human driver...


TECHNONEWS * USA - Methane from garbage to fuel garbage trucks?

USA -Truck Trader On Line/Williamsport Sun-Gazette -April 27, 2007: -- Mack Trucks, Acrion Technologies Inc., and Lycoming County, Pennsylvania are working to develop a facility to fuel trucks with landfill-produced methane that burns cleaner than diesel fuel... Garbage trucks would fuel up on the methane, produced by the decomposing waste they deliver to the landfill... The landfill already has a facility uses methane gas to generate electricity. With the new facility, the landfill could generate about 5000 gallons of methane fuel a day for trucks...


Going green * USA - May mean closing ports to owner-operators

Ports at Los Angeles and Long Beach may agree to become the first major U.S. ports to overhaul operations in order to meet emissions standards

CAL,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Charlie Morasch -April 26, 2007: -- Just what kind of overhaul will happen depends on who you ask... An estimated 16,000 tractor-trailers pull into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach every day, and port leaders say the vehicles are among the oldest and dirtiest trucks still operating in the United States... A new licensing system would limit the trucks eligible to enter the port to only those on a list of “concessionaires” that would meet environmental and financial standards set by the ports, they say... Paul Johansen, the Los Angeles port’s director of environmental management, said the operational changes will benefit the environment, stabilize the workforce and lead to a more secure port... Johansen acknowledged that environmental and labor groups are generally favorable to the ports’ changes, he said, while the trucking industry hasn’t agreed with the unspecified changes... “There are different interest groups out and about – everywhere,” Johansen said. “There’s enough in our program for people to not like, or to like”...


* USA - New Jersey considers ‘move over’ law

A practice followed by professional truck drivers for decades would become law for all drivers in a bill advancing in the New Jersey Senate.

NJ,USA -Land Line Magazine -April 26, 2007: -- The proposal is designed to protect certain vehicles and emergency personnel during roadside stops... The Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee voted to advance a bill – S2422 – to the chamber floor that would require drivers to maintain a safe distance and reduce speed before passing emergency vehicles, tow trucks or highway maintenance vehicles parked by the road with their lights flashing... According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 30 states have implemented similar safety zone rules...


STUDY * Canada - Claims use of turnpike doubles can dramatically reduce emissions, improve safety

Ottawa,Ont,CAN -Truck News, by Adam Ledlow -25 April 2007: -- A recent study by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and Natural Resources Canada claims extended double trailer configurations – known as turnpike doubles – are two to three times safer than the overall tractor-trailer population travelling Ontario’s multi-lane highways when measured on a per-vehicle-kilometre-of travel basis. The study says that turnpike doubles also represent a fuel savings of 55% when compared to single-trailer configurations moving the same volume of freight, with an average of 28.8 litres of diesel per 100 km of truck travel. Additionally, the longer configuration could reduce the number of trucks on the road by between 6% and 10%, CTA says...


LAWSUIT * USA - Schwarzenegger to take on EPA over emissions

CAL,USA -Land Line Magazine - April 26, 2007: -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Wednesday that he plans to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because of its refusal to allow California to implement its latest emissions-reduction law... The Clean Air Act allows states to pass their own air pollution laws, but they must first get a waiver from the EPA... California submitted its waiver request back in 2005 – but Schwarzenegger says the federal government is moving much too slow... In addition to being stalled at the federal level, California’s emissions law has also been challenged by auto makers, who have filed their own legal action to stop the law from being implemented...


COMMENT: Cops in trucks? * Canada - Now that’s a great idea!

Canada -Truck News, by James Menzies -25 April 2007: -- I recently came across an article from the Associated Press about a new program in Kansas that puts cops in the cabs of trucks to enforce traffic laws... What a great idea. Basically, police officers ride along with truck drivers and report offences to other cops who are patrolling the road ahead by car. The Highway Patrol trooper in the truck radios details of infractions ahead to his co-horts, who then pull over the offending vehicle and hand a citation or warning to the driver. Within the first few days of the program, 53 citations and 67 warnings were dished out to four-wheelers – many of whom were caught driving in an unsafe manner around big rigs... The trucking industry has donated the trucks and drivers for the program free of charge... I would like to see this program adopted here in Canada. Too often, four-wheelers drive recklessly around trucks because they don’t expect a cop to be riding shotgun and they simply don’t understand the stopping distances required by tractor-trailers. Not only could a program like this punish the worst offenders but it would also serve as a useful educational tool...

* USA - Road safety campaign puts troopers in big rigs
Wichita,Kan,USA -The Kansan/Associated Press -23 April 2007: -- Before you swerve around that semi or tailgate a big rig, consider this: There might be a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper in the cab, ready to radio ahead with a report of your infraction... Working with the trucking industry and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the patrol has begun putting troopers in the cabs of tractor-trailers specially equipped with cameras on the sides, front and back... The goal is to catch dangerous driving on tape, ticket or warn offenders and draw attention to the perils of sharing the highway with big rigs...



* Mississippi - Governor signs toll road bill
USA -Land Line Magazine -April 25, 2007: -- Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour signed a bill into law this week to authorize toll roads as a revenue generator for new construction... Former state laws prohibited toll roads... The new law – formerly bill SB2375 authorizes the Mississippi Department of Transportation, county boards and city officials to borrow against future toll revenues to construct new road and bridge projects. The tolls would be retired after the specific project is paid for... One provision in the law is a mandate that alternative free routes remain available and maintained so drivers have a choice whether to use toll roads or avoid them...

* Florida - House OKs bill that includes authorization to lease toll roads
FL,USA -Land Line Magazine -April 26, 2007: -- The Florida House has approved a far-reaching transportation bill that would allow the Florida Department of Transportation to lease most toll roads in the state to private groups... The Republican-led House voted 78-37 Wednesday, April 25, along party lines to send a bill to the Senate that would apply to any existing toll facilities in the state’s highway system, except the Florida Turnpike system. If the agreement for leasing an existing facility does not include provisions for additional capacity, the project must be approved by FDOT...

* Tennessee - House panel OKs toll road bill
Tenn,USA -Land Line Magazine -April 26, 2007: -- With the state struggling to pay for needed transportation work, legislation on the move in the Tennessee House would authorize tolling as a method to pay for new road and bridge work in the state... The proposed “Tennessee Tollway Act” would allow the state to issue bonds and incur debt to pay for toll projects. Private groups also would be allowed to build and operate the “pay-to-play” routes... The House Transportation Committee approve a bill Tuesday, April 24, that would allow tolls “as an additional and alternative method” to pay for highway work. It doesn’t specify toll roads or rates...



* Maine
Maine,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Keith Goble -April 24, 2007: -- ... The House voted, to give initial approval to a bill that would boost the Turnpike Authority’s bonding capacity by $100 million. The bill would bring the agency’s total capacity to $461 million. The current limit is $361 million... Other bill – LD320 would authorize the Turnpike Authority to widen the section of the roadway from Exit 44 in Scarborough to Exit 53 in Falmouth. Two years ago an adjoining nine-mile stretch was widened from four to six lanes... A separate bill, would make permanent certain fine amounts for six-axle trucks hauling special commodities or forest products that violate axle weight limits. It also would permanently eliminate axle weight fine violations during the months of January and February on most state roads... Another bill – LD265 – would increase the maximum gross vehicle weight limit and axle weight limit for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology. The bill would authorize affected trucks to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds... While several bills of interest remain active others have been sidelined. Among them is a bill – LD694 – that required if a vehicle exceeds the limits for both gross vehicle weight and axle weight the lower of the fines would have applied...

* California - Bill banning cell phone use for young drivers advances
Cal,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Keith Goble -April 24, 2007: -- A California Senate panel has approved a bill that is intended to prohibit cell phone use by young drivers in the state... The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee voted a bill – SB33 – to the Senate floor that would make it illegal for drivers with instruction permits, student or provisional licenses to use any type of cell phone, send text messages or work on laptops. It would exempt emergency phone calls...

* Indiana - Truck-related bills near passage in
IND,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Keith Goble -April 25, 2007: -- A couple of bills making there way through the Indiana General Assembly are of particular interest to truckers – one would eliminate a trailer registration fee and the other would open more roads to trucks... The Senate unanimously approved the bill would eliminate the $2 annual fee to renew the permanent registration of semi-trailers subject to the International Registration Plan... Another bill that would allow large trucks more access to certain roads in the state. The bill – SB220 – has been sent back to the Senate for final approval before moving to the governor’s desk... The bill would designate sections of state Routes 3 and 9 and U.S. 20 as extra heavy duty highways...

* Texas - Senate approves red light camera bills, with restrictions
TX,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Keith Goble -April 25, 2007: -- A Two bills on the move in the Texas Legislature would continue to allow cities to post cameras at intersections to nab those who run red lights. However, restrictions would be put in place to prevent abuse by local governments... The cameras, which snap pictures of red-light runners or speeders’ vehicle tags, have been authorized in more than 20 cities throughout the state since 2003. Tickets are mailed to vehicle owners, regardless who was driving at the time...

* Several Oregon bills of interest to trucking industry
OR,USA -Land Line Magazine -April 26, 2007: -- The Oregon General Assembly meets in regular session once every two years. Since this year’s session opened in January legislators have offered numerous bills related to trucking that include incentives to reduce idling, heftier fines for violating out-of-service orders and higher fuel-related taxes... House and Senate lawmakers approved a bill by unanimous consent that would increase the maximum weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. The bill would authorize affected trucks to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds... Another bill before the governor includes a provision that would get tough with those driving truck who don’t heed their out-of-service orders. It would increase the minimum and maximum penalty for violating OOS orders... While some truck-related bills have flourished in the statehouse others have floundered. Among the bills that appear to be on their last leg is a measure that would increase taxes on truckers and other drivers to generate $125 million a year for roads... Sponsored by Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, the bill would increase the state’s per gallon tax on gasoline by 5 cents. It also would establish automatic tax increases of 5 cents every five years. For truckers, the corresponding weight-mile fees also would be increased... Another fleeting effort would increase car and truck registration fees. Sponsored by Rep. Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, the bill would increase fees for an 80,000 pound truck from $490 annually to $660... A separate bill focuses on splash and spray guards on large trucks. Sponsored by Rep. Scott Bruun, R-West Linn, the bill – HB3031 – would fine truckers $180 for operating a truck tractor and trailer combination without splash and spray guards mounted at every double wheel well on each side of the vehicle... Another bill that its days appear numbered would give weighmasters and motor carrier enforcement officers more power. The bill – HB3273 – would allow weighmasters or motor carrier enforcement officers to stop and detain vehicles. Vehicles would be required to stop and submit to any enforcement “when directed to do so by any sign, warning lights or other signal”...


DEBATE * USA - DOT Clears 23 Mexican Carriers For Cross-Border Pilot Project

Fleets Meet U.S. Standards for Safety, Driver Health

USA -TTNews, by Sean McNally -25 April 2007: -- The U.S. Department of Transportation has audited 26 Mexican carriers applying to participate in a proposed longhaul cross-border trucking pilot project, as the department gets closer to opening the border, with nearly 90% meeting the standards set out by the U.S. government, a DOT spokesman said... Of the 26 carriers audited, 23 passed, meaning they had satisfied U.S. standards for a number of regulations including hours-of-service compliance, maintenance and drug and alcohol testing... Three of the carriers audited by U.S. officials in Mexico did not meet those standards...

* Groups Sue FMCSA Over Mexican-Trucks Plan
USA -TTNews -25 April 2007: -- A coalition of groups led by Public Citizen the Teamsters Union said Tuesday they have filed suit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to block the federal government’s plan to allow a pilot program of Mexican trucks into the United States... The suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in California, the groups said. Also joining Public Citizen — which had been a lead, and successful plaintiff in challenging FMCSA hours-of-service safety rules — were the Sierra Club, Environmental Law Foundation, a local truck drivers’ union branch and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association...



* Heavy-Duty Engine Manufacturers Allow Biodiesel Use Without Voiding Warranties - Acknowledging the growing popularity of vegetable-based biofuels, most heavy-duty engine makers have switched their policies to authorize biodiesel mixtures of at least 5% in their engines

USA -TTNews, by Frederick Kiel -23 April 2007: -- ... Most manufacturers said that using biodiesel blends they approve would not affect engine warranties, although they did say that if the fuel caused an engine breakdown, warranties would not cover it... Cummins Inc., Caterpillar Inc., Volvo Trucks North America, Mack Trucks Inc. and Detroit Diesel Corp. all said customers could safely use some level of biodiesel... The National Biodiesel Board agreed with that viewpoint... “Since engine manufacturers warranty the materials and workmanship of their engines, they do not warranty fuel of any kind,” the board said in a statement... “If there are engine problems caused by a fuel (again, whether that fuel is petrodiesel fuel or biodiesel fuel), these problems are not related to the materials or workmanship of the engine but are the responsibility of the fuel supplier and not the engine manufacturer,” the board said...

* Biodiesel standard OK’d in New Mexico
NM,USA -TTNews -April 24, 2007: -- Gov. Bill Richardson has signed a bill into law that requires all diesel fuel sold in New Mexico to be at least a 5-percent blend of biodiesel by 2012.

Similar efforts are being pursued in other states...

* Missouri
MO,USA -TTNews -April 24, 2007: -- The state Senate approved a bill that would require all diesel fuel sold at retail in the state to be a biodiesel blend... The bill – SB204 – would require at least 5-percent biodiesel at the pumps by April 2009. Retailers would not be forced to carry the blended product if the price is more expensive than regular diesel...

* Oregon
OR,USA -TTNews -April 24, 2007: -- The Oregon House also is on the biodiesel bandwagon. The chamber approved a bill that includes a requirement that at least a 2-percent biodiesel blend be offered as soon as state production of biodiesel reaches 5 million gallons per year. A 5-percent biodiesel blend would be required when production reaches 15 million gallons per year...

* Montana
MON,USA -TTNews -April 24, 2007: -- A bill has died that would have required all diesel fuel sold in the state to have at least a 5-percent blend of biodiesel. The bill – SB432 – was tabled in the House Transportation Committee, effectively killing it for the year. The Senate had already approved it...


Apr 24, 2007

Strange Definitions

By Cerberus: Road Train Member

Ga,USA -The Truckers Report - Originally published Oct 2006: --
Abdicate: To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
Account: A countess' husband.
Adult: A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.
Amnesia: The condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to have sex again.
Antique: An item your grandparents bought, your parents got rid of, and you're buying again.
Arbitrator: A cook that leaves Arby's to work at McDonald's.
Atheism: A non-prophet organization.
Avoidable: What a bullfighter tries to do.
Baloney: Where some skirt hemlines fall.
Barium: What we do to most people when they die.
Beauty parlor: A place where women curl up and dye.
Benign: What you be after you be eight.
Bernadette: The act of torching a mortgage.
Boss: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early.
Burglarize: What a crook sees with.
Cannibal: Someone who is fed up with people.
Chickens: The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead.
Classic: A book that people praise, but do not read.
Clothes dryer: An appliance designed to eat socks.
Coffee: A person who is coughed upon.
College: The four-year period when parents are permitted access to the telephone.
Committee: A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.
Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.
Conference: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.
Control: A short, ugly inmate.
Counterfeiters: Workers who put together kitchen cabinets.
Courtesy: The art of yawning with your mouth closed.
Derange: Where dee buffalo roam.
Dictionary: A place where success comes before work.
Diplomat: A person who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.
Divorce: The future tense of marriage.
Eclipse: What an Italian barber does for a living.
Egotist: Someone me-deep in conversation.
Eyedropper: A clumsy ophthalmologist.
Experience: The name people give to their mistakes.
Family planning: The art of spacing your children the proper distance apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster.
Fancy restaurant: One that serves cold soup on purpose.
Father: A banker provided by nature.
Feedback: The inevitable result when a baby doesn't appreciate the strained carrots.


Who Represents Truck Drivers * USA

I’ve heard there are 1.3 million big rigs running around the US. I can’t verify that number but let’s go with it. Of that number how many have any voice about HOS rules, DOT concerns, rogue cops, unreasonable company demands and on and on? You know the answer...

Winter Haven,Fl,USA -Flat Tire, by W. J. Andy Andrews (originally published: March 6, 2007) -23 April 2007: -- We’re the ones keeping the goods and materials moving and we have no say in the matter at all. The HOS rules are a joke. You’re paid by the mile... If you start your day at 7am, drive 4 hours for a pick up and have to wait 8 hours to get loaded or unloaded, how many more hours can you drive that day? 2 more hours and you’ve got to take 10 off. That’s 6 hours driving for the day at say 37 cents per mile. If you’re lucky you might do 375 real miles. $138 for the day, do that for 6 days before you have to recycle and take out all of the taxes and other deductions, and then figure your meals and what do you have left? About $325.00 take home pay... Is it any wonder that more drivers are going to loose leaf log books? (In case we make a mistake and need to correct it of course). In reality, drivers are showing 10-11 hours per day driving on the log book, but spending more hours per day, to get the miles they need in order to make a decent pay check... And there are those “do-gooders” out there who want trucks off the road altogether, who don’t know the first thing about the industry who are getting the ear of the Feds. Like liberal advocacy groups around the country, they have all the answers but never ask any of the questions... So who represents the truckers? Trucking Companies have their lobbyists and certainly make contributions to their favorite elected officials. OOIDA tries very hard to be heard. Unions do their part, but what about the rest of us? The truth is, we’ll never have a voice...


So you want to be a truck driver * USA

Who are Truck Drivers?... Why does one want to become a truck driver?... Where do truck drivers come from?Is it an easy job?... What training do I need?...

Winter Haven,Fl,USA -Flat Tire, by W. J. Andy Andrews (originally published: March 1, 2007) -23 April 2007: -- There are endless questions and equally endless answers, but deep down inside I think we really enjoy what we do. OK. Stop right there... If you were to listen to many drivers you would think that most hated their jobs, the people they deal with, the DOT, Police, 4 wheelers the company they work for and on and on. Now after that’s over, ask one what he or she would rather do and not too many would pick any other profession. No one I’ve talked to would want to work in an office, or punch a time clock or have a boss or manager hanging around... To an outsider, driving a truck seems simple work, but there are challenges apart from traffic. There’s weights, appointment times, schedules, equipment problems, log books that need to be accurate, weather, road construction and accident holdups to contend with. But when you get right down to it, I think there’s a certain freedom in the work... You get to go and see places you otherwise wouldn’t see. You’re on your own most of the time and some people like that. Truthfully, I think it gets in your blood. I’ve retired twice from trucking and where am I now? Right back in it. My youngest daughter says I’ll retire when they pry my cold stiff fingers off the steering wheel. Maybe she’s right, I don’t know... To easiest way for a person to get started in trucking is to find a company that will train their own drivers. The downside is that you usually are committed to that company for about a year. There are numerous driving schools around the country. If there is a trucking company near you, call their recruiter and ask for advice on a good school... When you are first hired you will spend some time with a trainer until he feels you are ready to go solo. Don’t be intimidated by the size of a truck and trailer. Frankly I find it easier to drive a truck than I do a car. That may sound odd, but after a while you will understand what I mean... (Photo: W. J. Andy Andrews and the truck he drive)



Truck drivers of all kinds confront many dangers on the roads today. Ex.: 51% percent of truckers are worried about shredding a tire compared to less than 1% concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning.

Lebanon, MO,USA, by Tom Stetter (Transducer Technology, Inc.) -23 March 2007: -- From bad weather to bad drivers, some days it seems like the world is conspiring against you to keep you from delivering your load on time... While road crews shutting down 2 out of 3 lanes on a 9 degree down grade, blown tires sending rubber shrapnel everywhere, and just getting plain old tired are very tangible hazards, there is another that is very easy to overlook. It is nearly impossible to detect with your five senses and potentially more dangerous than anything else out there. This threat is carbon monoxide... The trucking industry employs over 9 million Americans and 227,000 Canadians, making it one of the top occupations in both countries. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, the occupation of truck driver is the most frequently cited among Canadian men. These almost 10 million highly skilled and constantly tested drivers work on average 60 hours a week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, to contribute to a revenue stream approaching the trillions of dollars every year... With so many drivers on the road, in garages, and at fuel stations, one would think that carbon monoxide exposure would be a top priority. In fact it is exactly the opposite. A blown tire, dead battery, or faulty air line, while all still dangerous, vastly outweigh CO exposure as a top worry among drivers. This is not because truck drivers are uneducated, rather, it is due to a lack of awareness about what carbon monoxide is, how often exposure can happen, and how dangerous it can really be. This awareness should be provided by OSHA, the EPA, and our employers and employer organizations, but sometimes unfortunately it is not... Carbon monoxide is a problem that faces every one of the millions of truck drivers on the road all over the world. Through education, prevention, and a little good old common sense, you can steer clear of the dangers of carbon monoxide...


Successful Trucking * USA

Creatures of habit

USA -etrucker/Overdrive, by Todd Dills -March 2007: -- Any successful business is a product of successful practices. An examination of respondents to the 2007 Overdrive Owner-Operator Market Behavior Report — and especially those whose net income ranks in the top 25 percent — reveals highlights on the road to success... The typical high-earning owner-operator is a little more than 50 years old and has been in business as an owner-operator since he was 30. He makes more than $70,000 a year after expenses and is three times as likely to be leased as independent... As with any linkage of income and other factors, a given practice — say, computing cost per mile or performing oil analysis — might not produce several thousand dollars of extra income year after year. But those behaviors do save money, and often are indicative of a broader business-oriented mind-set that pays off in the long run... On the surface, the high-earning owner-operator isn’t much different from average and below-average earners. Look closer, though, and you’ll see a combination of characteristics that many owner-operators don’t have. The following seven practices, based on this year’s Behavior Report, should provide a few ideas to help boost your income...

* WORK FOR A PERCENTAGE OF GROSS: O.J. Luster of Macon, Ga., leased to Cross Country Express of Sparks, Nev., pulls a company reefer with his aerodynamic Kenworth T2000. He prefers getting paid a percentage of gross revenue because it allows him more control. “I have much more latitude as far as what I’m doing, where I’m going, and how much I make,” says the 15-year owner-operator...

* BUY YOUR OWN TRAILER: A little less than half of Behavior Report respondents own the primary trailer they pull. That same half makes at least $6,000 more yearly than owner-operators leasing trailers or pulling a carrier-provided trailer. “If you provide your own equipment, they’ll generally pay you a better rate,” Brady says...

* INVEST IN AN APU: Auxiliary power units drastically cut idling time, especially in applications that require a lot of waiting or that involve lots of overnight hauls in northern states. Increasingly, they’re proving themselves as fuel- and engine-savers. “The guys that are buying them are the leaders of the pack in terms of being willing to invest in new technologies,” says Amy Egerter, spokeswoman for gen-set manufacturer RigMaster Power, based in Toronto...

* MAINTAIN A SIZABLE SAVINGS FUND: Of all the financial practices that can help an owner-operator, one of the most critical is maintaining an emergency savings fund for major maintenance expenses. Less than half of owner-operators surveyed maintained such a fund, but they averaged nearly $9,000 more in income... This variance can be explained by different factors, Brady says. “You might naturally be a saver. It could be a personality thing”...

* DO REGULAR OIL ANALYSIS: Successful owner-operators stay on top of preventive maintenance to avoid downtime and get the most out of their equipment, whether they trade every three years or every 15 years... Regular oil analysis stands out as a practice of high earners in the 2006 Behavior Report...

* BUY NEW EQUIPMENT: A new truck isn’t right for every owner-operator. Those new to the business, with little or no equity to help reduce the truck loan and its monthly payment, and without the miles or volume to guarantee enough income to cover the high monthly payments, usually do better starting out with used equipment... According to the Behavior Report, those who do buy new typically make $7,000 more than those buying used and $12,000 more than those leasing...

* KEEP DETAILED RECORDS: Owner-operator Jerry Knight keeps track of cost per mile by charting his expenses in detail. “My wife does most of that,” he says. “It’s important.”... Tracking his costs and other operating information enables him to know exactly how his business works and helps him make sound decisions — for example, he says, his recent installation of a gen-set... These owner-operators have the information they need to separate best practices from stuff that just doesn’t work, thus boosting their take-home dollars in the end...


Congestion Pricing Plan * USA - ATA sees 'problems' with New York

USA -eTrucker, by Dean Smallwoo/Associated Press d -23 April 2007: -- The American Trucking Associations says it sees "problems" with a proposal to charge motorists for driving into Manhattan under a plan unveiled Sunday, April 22, to cope with New York City's booming population and ease environmental stress... ATA spokesman Clayton Boyce told that congestion pricing would have a negative impact. "It will be a real problem for operations for trucking companies and shippers, including all the retailers in Manhattan, which is substantial," Boyce told the AP. "And all the people who get FedEx and UPS deliveries will have problems and will bear extra expense, so we definitely see problems with it."...


Apr 23, 2007

JOBS * USA - Factory Losses Severe for U.S. Workers

3.2 Million Jobs Gone Since 2000 - Many people believe those jobs will never come back...

Washington,DC,USA -Associated Press -20 April 2007: -- Three weeks ago, Dawn Zimmer became a statistic when she was laid off from her job assembling trucks at Freightliner's plant in Portland, Oregon... She and 800 of her colleagues joined a long line of U.S. manufacturing workers who have lost jobs in recent years. A total of 3.2 million - one in six factory jobs - have disappeared since the start of 2000... "They are building a multimillion-dollar plant in Mexico and they are going to build the Freightliners down there. They came in and videotaped us at work so they could train the Mexican workers," said Zimmer, 55, who had worked at Freightliner since 1994... That is the issue for American workers. Many of their jobs are moving overseas, to Mexico and China and elsewhere...


Starting a Trucking Business * USA - Ten Things You Should Know About

Here are the ten most important things a person needs to learn about before starting a trucking company

Naples,FL,USA -PR Buzz (press release), by Christopher Anderson -21 April 2007: -- If you are considering becoming an owner/operator or starting a multi truck company here are the top ten things you should research before you begin.

All of these things can be found on the internet:
-1. Name and Entity Creation
-2. Equipment Type and Commodity
-3. Federal Authority
-4. Insurance and Bonding
-5. BOC-3 Filing
-6. Licensing the tractor and trailer
-7. IFTA License
-8. Federal Heavy Highway Use Tax
-9. Single State Registration
-10. Individual State Permits These are the top ten vital things a future driver should now about before starting.
By learning these ten items, a future driver begins his road to a successful trucking business.

* USA - Owner Operators - Trucking Jobs Opportunities
USA -Owner Operator Job -23 April 2007: -- For Truck Owner ... Find trucking owner operators jobs at the # 1 source for owner operator jobs. Independent contractors can find driving jobs with better trucking companies ... Tambien atienden en castellano...

* USA - WANTEDS: Truck Drivers, Driving, OTR, Freight
Olathe,KS,USA -transamtruck -23 April 2007: -- TransAm Trucking in Olathe Kansas is looking for drivers, OTR, Student... Drivers and recent Truck Driving School grads for jobs. Hiring truckdrivers ...
* Our first year experienced drivers earn over $52,000 per year.
* Owner Operators gross an average of $138,000 per year.
* Our
first year student drivers earn more than $46,000 per year...

... Too in spanish!!... Tambien atienden en castellano...