User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: September 2008

Sep 29, 2008

The test of independence * Canada - Not all truckers can qualify as independent contractors

ONT,Canada -Truck News -26 Sept 2008: -- The use of an "independent contractor" can appear to be a hassle-free alternative to hiring an employee... There's no need to worry about deductions for such things as income tax, Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) or Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) contributions. Such deductions become the responsibility of the independent contractor, who also has the opportunity to claim business-related expenses. Nor do those who contract the service need to remit their share of CPP/QPP contributions or EI premiums to Revenue Canada and le ministere du Revenu du Quebec.Yet the process of convincing a driver to set up a so-called "single-driver service" as a means to avoid such charges can be costly – particularly since government agencies may not recognize the independent status, and could come looking for unpaid taxes, premiums and other financial penalties... "It's mainly the ma and pops," says Global Driver Services vice-president George Iacono, referring to smaller fleets that attempt the practice. "The for-hire sector is so competitive. The companies doing it are offering low-ball rates."... A variety of deductions can account to 15% to 20% of a driver's salary, and some of the savings are passed on to shippers to help secure contracts, he says... But if a government agency determines the trucker should be defined as an "employee," unpaid deductions will need to be paid...


All-female Convoy * Canada's - First one rolling out next month

Cornwall,Ont,CAN -Truck News, by Adam Ledlow -26 Oct 2008: -- Canada's first all-women convoy will be rolling out from the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Cornwall, Ont. Oct. 18... The convoy begins at the Cornwall stop at noon and ends at the Cardinal Truck Stop, about halfway between Cornwall and Kingston, at 7:30 p.m... The driver who collects the largest amount of donations will have the honour of leading the convoy. All proceeds will go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation...


* USA - Department sues Mexican company for drivers’ back wages

Washington,DC,USA -Land Line Magazine - September 26, 2008: -- The U.S. Labor Department has filed a lawsuit against Cemex, a Mexican-owned company with U.S. headquarters in Houston. Cemex, a provider of cement and concrete products, allegedly failed to pay overtime to about 2,000 cement truck drivers in eight states in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act... Affected employees of Cemex worked in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina... The Houston Chronicle reported that the government estimates the drivers are owed more than $5 million in back wages for overtime they put in during the past three years... A spokesman for Cemex contends the company is in compliance with all U.S. labor laws...


Hold the port - USA - Commission launches another clean truck investigation

Washington,DC,USA -Land Line Magazine -September 26, 2008: -- A low-profile federal shipping commission may yet slow down the enactment of new “clean truck” requirements at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles... Officials with the Federal Maritime Commission announced Wednesday, Sept. 24, they are opening another investigation into the activities of the twin ports... “The commission appreciates the potential environmental and public health benefits under the Ports’ Clean Truck Program; however, certain aspects of the Ports’ CTPs may violate the Shipping Act (of 1984). Accordingly, the investigation initiated today is tailored to focus on those elements of the CTP that cause the greatest concerns under the Shipping Act,” according to the Maritime Commission’s statement...

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Sep 27, 2008

RE-VALIDATION * Portugal - October drivers’ license renewals for the over-50s

Lagoa,Algarve,Portugal -The Portugal News -27 Sept 2008: -- In October, all drivers aged 50 or 60 will receive a notification letter stipulating the deadline by which they must renew their drivers licenses, the Institute for Mobility and Terrestrial Transports (IMTT) said this week... The measure was implemented on January 1st this year, and is irrelevant of the validity date on drivers’ existing documents. If the driver is aged 50 or 60 the license must be revalidated... This also applies to truck and lorry drivers, as well as drivers of collective passenger transports, like coaches and buses, who must re-validate their licenses at the age of 40... According to the IMTT, this new legislation aims to “better control drivers’ physical and psychological aptitudes”... Those who fail to renew their documents within deadlines will be granted a two-year period in which it can be done, though if caught by police, may be subject to fines...


TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Kenworth Offers AG130 Front Air Suspension Brochure

Kirkland,Wash,USA - Truck Net, by Craig Zwiener -September 24, 2008: -- The new Kenworth AG130 Front Air Suspension brochure is now available from Kenworth dealers in the United States and Canada... The brochure features the Kenworth AG130, a new generation of front air suspension that utilizes an innovative design, advanced technology and high-performance components. Available in 12,000- and 13,200-lb. ratings for the Kenworth T660, T800 and T2000 Class 8 models, the AG130 features a four-bag spring configuration where other competitive systems typically offer two. With two air bags per side designed to handle 75 percent of the vertical load and a lower leaf spring to handle the rest, the AG130 reduces vibration into the cab and chassis, thus helping to reduce driver fatigue and chassis maintenance. The AG130 also is lighter by 20 pounds over traditional 12,000-lb. rated, taperleaf front-end suspensions...


TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA - Group urges action to ease financial woes

Truckers serve as a gauge of U.S. economy health because they haul about 70 percent of manufactured and retail goods

New York,NY,USA -Associated Press/Forbes -25 Sept 2008: -- The primary trade group representing the U.S. trucking industry on Thursday urged Congress to swiftly stabilize the country's financial system, pointing to severe consequences for the sector and the broader economy...American Trucking Associations President and Chief Executive Bill Graves said in a statement that without legislation, the tightening credit markets will make it difficult for all kinds of trucking companies to finance the purchase of new trucks or equipment... The ATA represents about 37,000 companies across the industry... The Arlington, Va.-based trucking group's members include United Parcel Service Inc. and Knight Transportation Inc...

* Ahead of the Bell: Analyst downgrades 3 truckers

New York,NY,USA -Associated Press/Forbes -26 Sept 2008: -- A Stephens Inc. analyst downgraded three trucking companies to "Equal-Weight" from "Overweight" Friday, citing deteriorating demand and weaker pricing... Analyst Thom Albrecht cut his rating on less-than-truckload carriers YRC Worldwide Inc., Saia Inc. and Vitran Corp... Albrecht predicts that poor pricing and slowing demand will overshadow company initiatives and Vitran and Duluth, Ga.-based Saia, while he raised concerns that a new integration effort at YRC will be slow to take hold...


TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * Australia - Inquiry warned of 'safety crisis'

The inquiry is investigating a link between truck driver pay and road accidents

Sydney,VIC,AUST -ABC -Sep 26, 2008: -- The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has told a Government inquiry the industry has a safety crisis... The union's national secretary, Tony Sheldon, says competitive pressure contributed to 235 deaths in truck accidents last year... "In the case of owner drivers, if you haven't got enough pay then you can't maintain your vehicle and the only way of doing it is doing extraordinary hours," Mr Sheldon said... "Fifteen per cent of long distance truck drivers admit to doing over 100 hours a week because of client demand, trying to keep their trucks on the road"...


AWARDS * USA - Decker Truck Line and Truck Drivers Receive Recognition on Safety efforts

Fort Dodge,Iowa,USA -Truck Net, by Craig Zwiener -September 26, 2008: -- Decker Truck Line, Inc. was recognized at the Iowa Motor Truck Association's "Best of the Best" awards luncheon held September 17th, 2008 in Des Moines, IA at their Annual Management Conference... Decker Truck Line, Inc. received the 2008 IMTA Fleet Safety Award for Truckload Carrier over 15 million miles. Decker Truck Line, Inc also received the 2008 IMTA Grand Trophy-Iowa Fleet Safety. Decker was selected from 23 first place division winners... As an award winner, the company has demonstrated its continued dedication to safety with accident free miles, excellent safety ratings and an ongoing commitment within the company to make safety a top priority...

* Ruan Truck Driver Receives Million Mile Safety Award

Des Moines,Iowa,USA -Truck Net, by Craig Zwiener -September 26, 2008: -- Ruan Transport Corporation recently honored driver Steve Muirhead, who received the Ruan Million Mile Safety Award. This remarkable achievement recognizes his one million miles of accident-free driving for Ruan... When asked what tips he would share with other drivers, Muirhead advised to always be alert, pay attention and slow down. He has received 7 safety awards from Ruan and is a firm believer in the company’s motto: “Safety First”...


Sep 26, 2008

TRUCKMAKERS' WORLDWIDE SHOW * Germany: IAA 2008 Hannover Truck Show.

International Truck of the Year 2009 !!! ... and the winner is ... The new Mercedes Actros !!!

Hanover,Germany -Biglorryblog (London,UK) -25 Sept 2008: -- The new Mercedes-Benz Actros (that's it pictured above), has been elected International Truck of the Year 2009 by the 20-strong jury of leading European commercial vehicle journalists. This brings up the hat-trick for Actros in the commercial vehicle industry's most prestigious accolade... Many jury members commented on the fact Actros is now offered with a complete safety package including laneguard system, ESP and ACC which is made available to all customers, including their own CharterWay rental company. Safety of commercial vehicles and other road users is of primary concern to everyone involved in the sector and the jury welcomes the initiatives shown by Mercedes in this area. The Actros has benefited from a number of improvements to the driveability and efficiency of the truck and this was also commented on by the jury members when making their decisions. The addition of the new automated Powershift transmission, as standard, is a major step forward in driver comfort, as is the addition of the new bunk arrangement...Actros fought off a strong challenge from the new Iveco Eurocargo (pictured 2 ) to take the trophy...The new Volvo FH (Picture 3 ) and Scania R Series with EGR engine shared the third position.


TRUCKS MARKETS * Europe - Truckmakers Surprised by Sharp Drop in Orders

London,UK -Bloomberg, by Tom Biesheuvel -Sept. 26, 2008 -- European truckmakers have been surprised by the sharp decline in western European orders during recent weeks, the Financial Times reported, citing Continental AG executive board member Hans-Joachim Nikolin... Scania AB Chief Executive Officer Leif Oestling said any forecast he made now he would likely regret in a few months, according to the FT... The "financial meltdown'' will certainly affect the trucks market, Oestling said, according to the FT. "When too much sand percolates into the gear box, the whole system is affected,'' he told the newspaper...


Transport and Climate * Germany - On the Road to Nowhere?

Study: Transportation is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases. See how different modes of transportation are affecting the climate, and how they could become more sustainable

Munich,Germany -Allianz Knowledge Partnersite, by Thilo Kunzemann -September 25, 2008: -- Planes, trains and automobiles are more than just means of transportation. They are necessities of any advanced economy. They also symbolize a way of life. Unfortunately, this freedom to go wherever we wish and get things from wherever we want is 95-percent reliant on burning oil... According to the UN, the transport sector emits about 13 percent of global man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Over the past decade, GHG emissions from transportation have increased faster than those from any other sector, while CO2 emissions from transport are projected to be about 80-percent higher than current levels by 2030. Not all forms of transportation are equally carbon-intensive, but in almost all cases skyrocketing demand has outpaced the development of cleaner, greener vehicles... With high oil prices, consumers and governments may force the transport sector to become more fuel-efficient and explore alternative fuels. Even road traffic, undoubtedly the most widespread form of transportation, has the potential to drastically reduce its carbon footprint... Some of the examples that follow show that a mobile society does not necessarily lead to an environmental dead end. Lifestyles can change. In a few years, gas-guzzling SUVs might be ridiculed as modern dinosaurs, while electric cars symbolize real freedom... Between 600 and 700 million cars, trucks, and buses worldwide produce about three quarters of all greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The United States has about 30 percent of the world’s automobiles, and contributes 45 percent of the world’s automotive CO2 emissions, but car production in places like China, India, and Brazil is catching up fast... Cars sold in the EU in 2004 emitted about 12 percent less fossil fuels than in 1995. The European Commission has proposed legislation that would reduce the average emissions of CO2 from new cars further from around 160 to 130 grams per kilometer by 2012. Hybrid-electric engines or plug-in electric cars could lower the average even further... Immediate emissions reductions, however, only result from changing consumer behavior. One key factor is the price at the pump. In June 2008, driving in the United States dropped by 4.7 percent. In the face of record gasoline prices, Americans drove about 12.2 billion miles less... (Picture: Reuters - An Albanian man tows his trashed car back home with a horse cart. This car has a perfect carbon footprint, but there are also other ways to make transportation more sustainable)

* European truckmakers pledge to cut fuel consumption

Hanover,Germany -Business, by Bruce Meng -25 September 2008: -- European truckmakers pledged on Tuesday to reduce fuel consumption by 2020 in line with a European Union objective, but called on legislators not to oppose the industry’s own attempts to cut emissions... "The commercial vehicles industry has united behind the ‘Vision 20-20′: We will further decrease the consumption of modern trucks by on average 20 percent per tonne/kilometer by the year 2020", Daimler Trucks chief Andreas Renschler said... Speaking as commercial vehicles head of Brussels-based industry association ACEA, the Daimler executive said he appreciated an offer from the European Commission to discuss future regulations in a fair and cooperative manner... European truckmakers support an integrated approach that would shift some responsibility onto the oil industry, hauliers, truck operators and even the drivers, since the way a truck is driven can reduce fuel consumption by 10 percent on its own... Renschler said the truck industry remains the backbone of the global economy, carrying nearly 80 percent of freight in industrialised countries and directly employing 250,000 people in Europe alone...



* USA - Navistar dedicates Huntsville heavy-duty engine plant

Huntsville,ALA,USA -Truck News, by James Menzies -23 Sept 2008: -- Navistar dedicated a massive high-tech engine plant as part of its 75th anniversary as a diesel engine manufacturer. The International MaxxForce 11- and 13-litre engines will be built at this 300,000 sq.-ft. plant, which was constructed last year... Huntsville was chosen as the site for the engine plant thanks to a cooperative government, strong workforce and an adjacent existing Navistar plant which builds V6 and V8 engines for light-duty vehicles, buses and RVs... The plant has the capacity to build 30,000 MaxxForce engines per year with one shift active, company officials explained at the gathering. The MaxxForce 11 and 13 are offered only on International ProStar, TranStar and WorkStar trucks and will also be available on the newest member of the International family, the LoneStar... (The MaxxForce 11 (pictured) and 13 are now being produced at Navistar's Huntsville, Ala. plant.)

* USA - Kenworth offering new hybrid tractor for local haul applications

Kirkland,WASH,USA -Truck News, by Adam Ledlow -24 Sept 2008: -- A new Kenworth T370 Class 7 diesel-electric hybrid tractor for local haul applications, including beverage, general freight, and grocery distribution, has officially rolled off the line... Kenworth's goal for the T370 hybrid tractor is to improve fuel economy by up to 25% in local haul applications. The tractor will be available in various wheelbases, starting as short as 153 inches. The new Kenworth hybrid tractor (See Photo)will be a featured participant during the Oct. 16 Ride and Drive event at the annual Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) in South Bend, Ind...

* Italy - Fiat SpA sees China truck sales at 150,000

Turin,Italy -Bloomberg News/ The Detroit News -26 Sept 2008: --
Fiat SpA 's Iveco truck division predicted China sales will climb to 150,000 vehicles in two to three years as the Italian manufacturer expands offerings through joint ventures... Sales by Iveco's three China partnerships are forecast to climb 22 percent to 115,000 units this year, Chief Executive Officer Paolo Monferino said Thursday at the IAA Commercial Vehicles fair in Hanover, Germany... Iveco made up 19 percent of Turin, Italy-based Fiat's sales last year... Iveco has joint ventures with China's SAIC Motor Corp. for trucks and diesel engines, and a light commercial vehicles partnership with Nanjing Automobile Group Corp ... Iveco sold 211,700 vehicles globally last year...


Sep 25, 2008


Strategic Buyers - International Deals

* Norway -15 Sept: Nettbuss AS has acquired Risør og Tvedestrand Bilruter AS. Based in Tvedestrand, Norway, Risør provides public transport services. Terms were not disclosed.

* Lithuania - 15 Sept: Terminal Investments Ltd. has acquired a majority interest in LKAB Klaipedos Smelte. Based in Klaipeda, Lithuania, LKAB provides stevedoring and logistics services. Terms were not disclosed.

* The Netherlands - 15 Sept: Verbrugge Internationale Wegtransporten B.V. has announced the pending acquisition of Schotpoort Transport Groep B.V. Based in Eerbeek, The Netherlands, Schotpoort provides freight trucking services. Terms were not disclosed.

* Germany - 17 Sept: Eurogate Intermodal Gmbh and ICE Transport Kft have acquired 74.0% of Floyd ZRt. Floyd provides railway transportation in Hungary. Terms were not disclosed.

* South Africa - 17 Sept: Petmin Limited has acquired the remaining 30.0% of Petmin Logistics (Pty) Ltd. for $379,000. Based in South Africa, Petmin provides logistics services related to minerals mining and processing.

* Kuwait - 17 Sept: Global Logistical Services Company W.L.L. has acquired National Express Cargo Co. LLC for $3.7 million. Based in Salmiya, Kuwait, National Express provides freight forwarding services.

* Italy - 17 Sept: Railion Italia S.r.l. announced the pending acquisition of 49.0% of NORDCARGO Srl for $4.2 million. Based in Novate Milanese, Italy, NORDCARGO provides rail freight transport services in both France and Germany. NORDCARGO had TTM revenue of $51.6 million.

* South Korea - 17 Sept: Hanjin Corp. has acquired Shinsegae Dream Express Co., Ltd. for $26.9 million. Based in Seoul, South Korea, Shinsegae provides corporate logistics and housing delivery services.

* Lithuania - 18 Sept: flyLAL Group AB announced the pending acquisition of UAB Baltic Ground Services. UAB offers ground handling services at the Baltic State international airports in Vilnius, Kaunas and Riga. Terms were not disclosed.

* Turkey - 19 Sept: Ceva Logistics B.V. has acquired Varan Cargo. Varan operates a bus line based in Turkey. Terms were not disclosed.

* India - 19 Sept: Adani Infrastructure Services Private Limited has acquired 19.7% of Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Limited. Based in Kutch, India, Mundra Port is a non-captive, private sector port in India with TTM revenue of $204.3 million. Terms were not disclosed.

* Australia - 19 Sept: Business Air Holdings Pty Ltd. announced the pending acquisition of Aeropelican Air Services Pty Ltd. for $497,000. Aeropelican offers air transportation services from its base in Williamtown, Australia.

* Malaysia - 19 Sept: Axis REIT Managers Bhd. announced the pending acquisition of a warehouse owned by Bizlot (M) Sdn Bhd. for $9.2 million. The single story detached warehouse is located in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

* Belgium - 19 Sept: CWT Commodities Pte Ltd. announced the pending acquisition of HNN Logistics N.V. for $23.8 million. Based in Antwerpen, Belgium, HNN offers logistics and warehouse services.

Financial Buyers

* USA - 16 Sept: Creo Capital Partners, LLC has acquired Sataria Distribution and Packaging, Inc. Based in Indianapolis, IN, Sataria provides warehousing logistics and transportation services. Terms were not disclosed.


DISCUSSIONS * USA - CAL's Proposition 10

Fueling a cleaner California

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Los Angeles Times, by Fred Keeley -25 Sept 2008: -- The Times' Sept. 19 editorial, "Reject Proposition 10,” misses the mark on what the ballot measure would do for California and why it is necessary. Proposition 10 would authorize the state to sell $5 billion in bonds to finance alternative-energy projects -- a move that would bolster California's reputation as the nation's leader in investigating ways to clean up the environment... The Times makes the point that bonds are generally used for "bricks and mortar" programs rather than projects such as replacing fleets of diesel-fueled trucks because of the long-term aspects of bond issues. The founding idea behind the promotion of Proposition 10 is to begin the process of weaning Californians from gasoline and diesel fuel -- as much as 70% of which is imported from foreign sources -- to cleaner, cheaper, domestic sources of energy, one of which is natural gas... On the issue of state-issued rebates being a source of income for owners who may buy trucks in California then sell them in Nevada, the initiative states that a person seeking to obtain a vehicle rebate from the state Board of Equalization "shall submit proof of residency, proof of purchase or lease, proof that the vehicle is eligible for the rebate and proof of vehicle registration in California"... We would expect that the Air Resources Board, under its mandate to administer this program, might issue additional requirements such as installing a GPS system to track a truck's location, which would be consistent with the letter and spirit of the measure... Moreover, Proposition 10 is not a boondoggle for billionaire T. Boone Pickens or any one person or company. It is a pathway to the future of cleaner technologies to power trucks, buses and automobiles in California. The Times should be supporting that goal, not engaging in ad hominem attacks against one person...

2 · Why Prop. 10 is a boondoggle

San Francisco,CAL,USA -The San Francisco Chronicle -September 25, 2008: -- If timing is everything in politics, then Proposition 10 would seem to be a surefire winner. It would funnel $5 billion in state bond money into subsidies for clean-and-green energy alternatives with $3 billion of the total going to subsidies to boost natural gas as a road fuel... But wait: The chief backer and bill payer for the measure is T. Boone Pickens, the folksy Texas oilman and apostle for energy independence who founded a firm that just happens to supply natural gas for cars and trucks... If the foul scent of self-interest doesn't sink Prop. 10, its specifics should. The bulk of the bond proceeds would be doled out as subsidies for vehicle buyers. A high-mileage, gas-burning hybrid would mean a $2,000 subsidy for a buyer, even though these cars are already selling briskly. The measure would sweeten the deal to $10,000 for a car powered by natural gas and up to $50,000 for a long-haul truck... These may sound like smart inducements. But why single out natural gas for special favors when other technologies are in their infancy? These fields are drawing private investors who haven't asked for a Pickens-sized bond measure... But Prop. 10 couldn't even win a free pass for good intentions. It's opposed by an A-to-Z list of ballot-savvy organizations including the anti-tax Howard Jarvis group, California Chamber of Commerce, Sierra Club and the California Labor Federation. On the other side: Pickens and his checkbook... California needs low-polluting alternative fuels in its future. But voters shouldn't be misled to think this measure is a balanced answer. Vote no on Proposition 10...


Protesting Truck Drivers * USA - Get Trucks Impounded

Truckers who came to the capital this week to protest high fuel prices suffered a setback when their vehicles were impounded

Landover Hills,MD,USA -ABC 7 News/The Washington Times -September 25, 2008: -- ... The towing company demanded $2,000 for their return. The drivers are members of Truckers and Citizens United, a group that claims to represent the interests of thousands of trucking employees and drivers... Trucker Steve Link drove roughly 700 miles from Michigan to attend the rally Tuesday. He says the group found two trailers and a tractor-trailer missing from outside their motel on Wednesday morning... They had planned to return to Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers. Truckers say they were told at the motel that they could park at a shopping center near the motel. They say they didn't see a small no-parking sign...


MARKETS * Russia - Gulf-Russia trade lane busy despite political tensions

USA -Break Bulk (Newark,NJ,USA), by Alan M. Field -24 Sept 2008: -- ... Companies that do business in Russia see growing opportunities in the Russian market. U.S. exports to Russia grew 56 percent last year, reaching $7.4 billion, and are expected to grow nearly 60 percent this year, according to the U.S.-Russia Business Council... Much of the cargo leaving the Gulf of Mexico for the countries of the former Soviet Union bloc is equipment and machinery for the oil and gas, mining and agriculture industries, said Milena Dimitrova, vice president of freight coordination for CIS Navigation, the head office for Atlantic Ro-Ro... Atlantic Ro-Ro is one of carriers offering regular service between the Gulf of Mexico and the Baltic region, particularly to St. Petersburg... In addition to oil and gas equipment, the Russian market is also keen on new and secondhand U.S.-manufactured trucks... The Balticon Line, based in Hamburg, Germany, was established in 2006 and provides liner services to Baltic ports from Europe as well as the US... Balticon owns two vessels, the geared ’tweendeckers Hamburg and Antwerp, and charters in other vessels as needed and as they are available. The two owned vessels are ice-class and thus operate year-round, including during the ice season of December through March... According to Luc Rom, Hamburg-based managing director of the company, plans to buy or build several new vessels to add to the fleet. The company is considering buying two general cargo ’tweendeckers, as well as investigating the resale of new construction in the Far East for delivery in 2009...


FEES & TAXES * USA - Congress May Link Change in Truck Size to Vehicle Miles Tax

Congress may link any change in truck size- and-weight limits in upcoming highway legislation to a new commercial vehicle-miles-traveled tax

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics, by Sean McNally -Sept. 22, 2008: -- ... Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Highway and Transit Subcommittee, said last week... DeFazio said Sept. 16 at the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s annual “Public-Private Ventures in Transportation” meeting, there were fewer issues, such as privacy and technological upgrades, with imposing a mileage fee on large trucks than on passenger cars and that would make the conversion simpler...


WARNING * Mexico - Keep NAFTA unchanged

President Calderon says altering the trade pact will lead to 'distrust' between the countries

New York,NY,USA -Bloomberg/The Detroit News, by Fabiola Moura -September 25, 2008: -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon called on the U.S. to preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement and increase competitiveness with Europe and Asia, saying any renegotiation could harm both countries' economies... U.S. critics of free trade have been more vocal this year as confidence in the economy erodes, and presidential candidate Barack Obama has said NAFTA should be changed to include labor and environmental standards. He warned against protectionism and said there needs to be "more investment in Mexico, to get more jobs for Mexicans in Mexico"... Calderon, 46, said Mexico's "labor-intensive" economy compliments America's "capital-intensive" economy, and the two countries need to work harder to integrate their markets...


Program for Hybrid Trucks * USA - House Passes Legislation That Would Create it

The House passed a bill Wednesday designed to spur the development of plug-in hybrid utility and delivery trucks

Washington,DC,USA, by Kathryn A. Wolfe -Sept. 24, 2008: -- The measure, which passed by voice vote, would create a competitive grant program at the Energy Department to help businesses research, develop and ultimately sell these vehicles... During a June hearing on the bill, sponsor F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. , R-Wis., said delivery trucks often drive short distances but idle for hours once they reach their destinations... A plug-in hybrid engine in a utility truck, he said, could use up to 60 percent less fuel... The bill would authorize $16 million a year through fiscal 2011 for the program...


TRUCKING STATISTICS * USA - ATA Truck Tonnage Index Fell 1.6 Percent in August

Arlington,VA,USA -MarketWatch -Sept 24, 2008: -- The American Trucking Associations' advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.6 percent in August, marking the largest month-to-month drop since March of this year. Additionally, the index fell 0.9 percent in July, a downward revision from the 0.3-percent drop reported Aug. 26. In August, the seasonally adjusted tonnage index equaled 113.6 (2000 = 100), its lowest level since November 2007. The not seasonally adjusted index decreased 3.4 percent to 115.0 in August... The seasonally adjusted index was 2.6 percent higher compared with August 2007, marking its tenth consecutive year-over-year increase. The gain was more than one percentage point lower than the improvement in July. Year-to-date, the index was up 3.4 percent compared with the same period in 2007. Tonnage contracted 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent in 2006 and 2007, respectively...


FUEL COST SOLUTIONS * USA - Senate Passes Energy Measure

Trucking Seeks ‘Comprehensive Solution’

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -24 Sept 2008: -- The Senate approved a bill that would provide tax credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency, the Associated Press reported, and a top trucking official urged Congress to pass comprehensive measures to help lower fuel costs... The energy tax credits were part of a bigger tax bill that included business and personal tax credits, and now travels to the House for final consideration, AP said... Meanwhile, a trucking executive speaking on behalf American Trucking Associations urged Congress and the Bush administration to implement a comprehensive energy plan to help ensure affordable supply of oil and limit the effect of rising fuel costs on the overall economy...


FUEL TROUBLES * USA - Major steps are needed to remedy oil and gas situation

“It is clear that our energy crisis is a complex problem that requires a comprehensive solution,” said Barbara Windsor, President and CEO of Hahn Transportation

Arlington,VA & Washington,DC,USA -Logistics Management, by Jeff Berman -24 Sept 2008: -- A trucking industry official called on the White House and Congress this week to implement a comprehensive energy plan that will ensure an affordable supply of oil and limit the effect of rising fuel costs on the US economy, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA)... Hahn added that the US needs a comprehensive energy plan that decreases demand for fossil fuels, increases domestic energy production and ensures transparency in the petroleum markets. A plan is vital, according to Hahn, as the trucking industry is currently on pace to spend $159.9 billion on fuel this year. This tally tops 2007 by $47 billion and doubles 2004’s trucking fuel bill... Even though oil prices are down from record levels that approached nearly $150 per barrel earlier this summer and diesel prices are below the $4 per gallon mark for the first time in ten weeks, the ongoing issues shippers and carriers have experienced from rapid price shocks have not subsided. Various industry experts have told LM much more work is needed to ensure that things get on more solid footing forward... Another option for reducing fuel costs and conservation is increasing productivity within truck fleets by trucks with multiple trailers up to 330,000 pounds 525 feet long, according to Tim Radbourne, President of Radbourne Consulting in Adrian, Mich...


COMPLAINS * USA - State Looks at Keeping Big Rigs off Small Roads Bud Lowell

The New York State Department of Transportation is hoping to keep more big trucks off state highways and on the interstates

Rochester,NY,USA -WXXI (Rochester,NY) -24 Sept 2008: -- ... It's rolling out a new set of regulations at a meeting Wednesday night in Syracuse that will tighten restrictions on where long-haul trucks can roll. DOT spokesman Charles Carrier says there will be efforts to slow down traffic on certain state highways through towns and villages. Heavy trucks will have to stay on interstates or designated state routes unless they're heading for a terminal or making local pickups and deliveries. The DOT also wants to make it less desirable for truckers to drive state highways by stepping up inspections and permit enforcement checks on those roads... Carrier says the DOT has worked with local communities and the trucking industry to try and satisfy both sides without hurting business...


CLEAN TRUCK PROGRAMS * USA - Feds urge ports to delay program

Federal authorities said Wednesday they are investigating whether a plan to ban older trucks from entering the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach imposes unfair regulations and fees on truckers and shippers

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -Associated Press/The San Francisco Chronicle, by DAISY NGUYEN -September 24, 2008: -- ... The Federal Maritime Commission said certain aspects of the clean truck program might violate the Shipping Act, which prohibits ports from giving "unreasonable preferences or imposing any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage". It urged port authorities to delay implementing the program, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, until the details of the plan have been properly evaluated... The ports vowed to proceed with the program... The cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach passed plans earlier this year aimed at reducing truck emissions at the nation's busiest cargo container complex by as much as 80 percent. .. The American Trucking Associations, which represents 37,000 trucking companies, sought a court order to stop the program but a federal judge denied the request and an appeals court on Wednesday upheld the ruling... The industry group said it does not oppose efforts to clean up the air but objects to costly regulations on truckers... The federal commission said it will look into the restricted access, cargo fees and other measures associated with the program... The two ports handle about 40 percent of the nation's imported goods...

* Port of Oakland Issuing Funds for Truck Emissions Systems

Oakland,CAL,USA -Transport Topics -22 Sept 2008: -- More than 1,500 truckers at the Port of Oakland, Calif., have applied for 1,000 subsidies to retrofit their trucks to reduce emissions, the San Francisco Business Times reported Monday... The money, which is coming from the port, state bond proceeds and the local air quality management district, is part of a broader effort at the port to clean up exhaust from trucks, ships and other equipment, the paper reported... But the program could be slowed if truckers can’t come up with $9,000 to pay for the systems, which can run to $24,000. The subsidies per truck go as high as $15,000, the Business Times said...


INFRASTRUCTURES * Australia - Victoria flags new trucking and rail hubs

Melbourne,VIC,AUST -ATN -23 Sept 2008: -- The Brumby Government is looking at introducing trucking and intermodal rail hubs across Victoria as part of its new rail plan... The Department of Transport's Director of Freight and Logistics John Clarebrough says short-haul rail is not commercially viable and rail will only succeed if trucking and intermodal hubs are operating alongside interstate trains to eliminate doube stacking... It is rumoured Pallas is currently identifying areas for the construction of the outer ring road in Melbourne to align “western and northern activities”... However, he says industry should not "hold your breath”...



* Germany - Truckmakers upbeat as trade show starts in Hanover

Hanover, Germany -The Earth Times -25 Sep 2008: -- World truckmakers were optimistic about huge opportunities in emerging markets Thursday at the IAA truck fair in Hanover. "The technological potential in this sector has not yet been fully tapped," said German Automobile Industry Federation (VDMA) President Matthias Wissmann in a speech opening the biennial event... Emerging economies with rapid rates of growth have helped cheer truckmakers amid concern of recession in the West... Expanding industry and commerce in Russia, South America and South Africa mean much larger numbers of trucks are needed to deliver goods... That growth is also reflected in the growing number of Russian, Indian and Chinese truckbuilders with booths at the IAA fair... "Wherever there are expanding economies, they need trucks," explained Stephan Schaller, chief executive of Volkwagen's commercial vehicles division... Wissmann said he sees opportunities for the industry in reducing emissions that cause climate change and improving the safety of trucks and vans... Earlier this week, Germany's Environment Ministry highlighted how cutting emissions does not just mean reducing fuel use, but also replacing climate-killer gases in truck refrigeration and air- conditioning systems... The expo, one of the world's biggest, runs through October 2 and has attracted more than 2,000 manufacturers of trucks, buses, vans and related technology...

* India - Volkswagen eyes trucks, partner in

Mumbai,India -Reuters -Sep 25, 2008 : -- Volkswagen plans to make light commercial vehicles in India with a local company, and is in talks with some potential partners, the Business Line newspaper said on Thursday, citing a company official... The plan was part of the German automaker's international strategy involving China and India, and required vehicles to be made locally there, it cited Harald Schomburg, a board member of its commercial vehicles' sales and marketing arm, as saying... Volkswagen, whose new plant in India will become operational in 2009 with a capacity of 110,000 vehicles, is already importing small volumes of its Crafter and Caravelle light trucks in India, the Business Line said...

* Australia - Hino says sales success is automatic

Sydney,Australia -ATN -17 Sept 2008: -- As the only truck manufacturer offering a fully automatic truck in the light duty segment, Hino is sitting pretty with sales of its 300-Series trucks... Steve Lotter, Chief Operating Officer for Hino, says the take-up of Hino 300 six-speed fully automatic trucks has seen the company already exceed its full-year 2007 automatic model sales in just seven months in 2008... The take-up with rental fleet owners has been particularly strong - in fact an electronically controlled automatic transmission makes sense for any application where the drivers do not come from the ranks of professional truck drivers... Hino's best-selling automatic is the 616 Auto model (See picture), with 127 trucks sold year-to-date (YTD) 2008, compared with 148 in the full year 2007. The 816 Auto is another strong seller, with 38 trucks sold YTD July 2008, compared with 53 manual variants YTD July 2008 and 50 automatics sold in 2007. Hino also offers its six-speed automatic transmission in volume-selling 716 Medium and 816 Crew Cab models...



* USA - Accuride plans 392 job cuts after CEO resigns

Evansville,IND,USA -Associated Press/The Chicago Tribune -September 23, 2008: -- Accuride Corp., a maker of commercial vehicle wheels and other trucking industry products, announced Tuesday the resignation of its CEO and plans to cut nearly 400 jobs -- 11 percent of its work force -- in a company shake-up... The company has been struggling along with other companies that serve the trucking industry, which has been hit hard by high fuel prices... Aside from cutting 392 positions, Accuride said it will also take a charge of about $14.3 million in the third quarter. Company officials said the moves will save the company $6 million in 2008 and generate annual savings of about $27.5 million thereafter... Accuride said orders for large truck and trailer components have struggled and that the "freight environment remains weak and trucker profitability remains low following record high fuel prices," it said... Last month, the company reported that its second-quarter net profits plunged 31 percent while sales were flat...

* Australia - McLaughlin’s runs cold withPeki

Australia -ATN -23 Sept 2008: -- Gold Coast-based operator McLaughlin Freightlines says its new Peki ‘Polar’ trailers are red hot when it comes to delivering fresh and frozen chicken for Bartter-Steggles... The new Peki “Polar” Freezer Semi Trailers (See Picture) are remarkably efficient trailer units, designed to operate at temperatures down to -25°C... As part of providing optimal insulation whilst minimising refrigeration plant fuel usage, the trailer has been constructed using a polyurethane foam core insulated roof and walls, with bonded reinforced fibreglass ribs for strength and improved thermal performance... The doors also utilise fibreglass composite panels whilst the rear door and door seal insulation have also been optimised to minimise refrigeration plant fuel usage... Complementing the body design is a host of equipment accessories including BPW suspension, Alcoa polished aluminium wheels, polished aluminium splashguards and polished fuel tank... As is the case with all refrigerated units, these trailers are all regularly hot washed with a pressure cleaner and are also periodically sterilised using acid based chemicals...



The Hannover IAA Show 2008 ...welcome Mercedes ... !!!

Hanover,Germany -First news from Biglorryblog (UK) -24 Sept 2008: -- ... Zetros!... the Mercedes-Benz pre-show evening bunfight. A new 4x4 heavy duty off-road truck called the Zetros... And here it is, an 1833, so that's an 18-tonner with a 330hp engine, which suggests it's the 7.2-litre inline six rather than the vee-six. The three-man cab looks as if it's been put together using various bits from the Merc parts bin too...And here's another surprise ... a hybrid Axor tractor - one of no fewer than 11 'green truck/alternative fuel/hybrid vehicles' on show... The diesel-electric driveline could save weight and fuel and provide an extra boost of power to the diesel engine whilst hill climbing or pulling away from lights. The diesel-electric option also provides the potential to downsize on the diesel engine too...Just to prove Daimler's a global truck maker it had plenty of its brands on display including this rather smart looking Mitsubishi Fuso cabover 6x4 tractor which goes by the modest name of 'Super Great'...Freightliner M2e Hybrid is ready for the North American low-emission market...
While Hybrid Canters have already started in-service trials in the UK and mainland Europe... Nothing 'hybrid' about this mother - a double-tough Freightliner Coronado long-haul tractor with all the necessary whistles and bells for the discerning US owner-driver... Yet another hybrid--this time based on an Econic low-cab refuse truck...


CLEAN TRUCK FEE * USA - Long Beach Delays Truck Fee

Long Beach,CAL,USA -Journal of Commerce/Traffic World, by Bill Mongelluzzo -24 Sept 2008: -- The Port of Long Beach will delay for several weeks the collection of a $35 per-TEU clean-trucks fee that was scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1... In a statement Tuesday, the port explained that it is still developing the computerized PortCheck collection system. It expected the system to be operational "a few weeks" after Oct. 1... It is uncertain if the Port of Los Angeles will also delay collection of the fee. Port executives could not be reached for comment...


Sep 24, 2008

TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA - Con-way Truckload Supports Military Veterans With Truck Driver Apprenticeship Program

Company Joins Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs to Create Career Opportunities for Veterans and Reservists

Joplin,MO,USA -MarketWatch -Sep 24, 2008: -- Con-way Truckload, a full-truckload carrier and subsidiary of Con-way Inc., today announced that it has become a participant in the U.S. Department of Labor National Apprenticeship Program, which permits eligible veterans and active members of the Guard and Reserves to receive paid on-the-job training using GI Bill benefits... The program enables military veterans who choose to start truck driving careers with Con-way Truckload to use their GI Bill benefits to supplement their income in the first year of employment, which is considered an apprentice period during which new drivers fulfill a series of skills qualification, training and safe driving performance milestones as a condition of continued employment. Qualifying veterans or reservists can receive up to an additional $1,000 a month in tax-free GI Bill benefits under this apprenticeship program during their first year with Con-way Truckload...

* Hundreds attend DOT meeting on controlling truck traffic

Syracuse,New York,USA -WSYR-TV -24 Sept 2008: -- Hundreds turned out at a public hearing at the State Fairgrounds Wednesday evening to discuss the state Department of Transportation's proposal to keep large trucks from traveling through local towns and villages... It's been a hot topic in the Finger Lakes for years and in May, Governor Paterson announced a draft statewide regulation to address the problem... Truckers have used roads such as Route 20 in the Skaneateles area as short cuts to save on gas and Thruway tolls, and avoid weigh stations...