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

Aug 31, 2008

The world's biggest truck? * UK - 250-ton giant coil carriers must be in

London,UK -Biglorryblog!/Photo by Dennis Child -29 Aug 2008: -- These coil carriers should do nicely reckons Biglorryblog. And the bloke standing in the front should give you some idea of the size of it...And here's where the gigant coil goes in the back. Wonder what the coil is for? Undersea communications cable? Oil Industry? Giant sewing machine? Anyone out there knows who makes them? Krupp perhaps?...


PENALTIES * UK - Hauliers' appeals cut stowaway penalties

London,UK -Motor Transport/The Road Transport, by Chris Tindall -27 August 2008: -- Operators are successfully defending stowaway fines after Home Office figures obtained by MT through the Freedom of Information Act show that the average penalty notice is well below the £4,000 maximum... The most up-to-date figures show that during 2007/08, 2,085 penalty notices were served on hauliers and lorry drivers found transporting clandestine entrants into the UK. However, the revenue raised was £1.6m, which equates to an average fine of just £790. The Home Office can charge a maximum of £4,000 per stowaway found: £2000 for the operator and £2,000 for the driver... The figures were even worse in 2006/07, where an average £614 fine was raised for the 2,026 penalty notices issued. It has prompted the Road Haulage Association (RHA) to question why the government's system is such that hauliers can defend fines and have them reduced to around 80% of their original value... Peter Cullum, the RHA's head of international affairs, says the figures suggest that security procedures, or rather the lack of them outside the Channel ports, are allowing hauliers to mount credible defences against Home Office fines. He is now calling for changes in the law to take account of haulier experiences in the real world...


TRUCKING INDUSTRY CRISIS * UK - Amtrak's last post?

London,UK -The Road Transport, by Dominic Perry/Motor Transport-27 August 2008: -- Falling volumes are being blamed for the collapse of business-to-consumer parcel carrier Amtrak, which went into administration on 22 August, putting 900 jobs at risk... Although a statement from administrator Ernst & Young says that it is "assessing the financial situation of the business" and warns about service disruption, several depots told MT that the business had ceased trading as of 26 August... However, MT was unable to confirm this as we went to press...

* 60 staff made redundant at Sandy McCracken

London,UK -Commercial Motor/The Road Transport, by Roanna Avison -26 August 2008: -- Sandy McCracken & Son has made 60 staff redundant after calling in provisional liquidators last Friday (22 August)... McCracken, which ran 45 trucks and 55 trailers, called in MLM Insolvency to investigate if it could continue operating and find a buyer, or whether it would have to go into liquidation... MLM partner Maureen Leslie says: "Sandy McCracken is still operating its biggest accounts and we are talking to some interested parties about selling the business which includes a 5.5-acre yard two miles off the M74"... Leslie adds that most of those made redundant were drivers...


TRUCK MARKETS OPINION * Europe - Volvo: July Deliveries.

London,UK -The World Trucks Blog, by Oliver Dixon -27 Aug 2008: -- AB Volvo's policy of issuing concise, clear delivery reports on a monthly basis is one that we like; it is transparent, and says much about both the health of AB Volvo, and, by extension, the state of the global market(s) going forward... Both brands - Volvo and Renault - are again outpacing themselves in terms of year on year figures; YTD statistics show Volvo putting through 11358 units into Eastern Europe (which includes Russia) against 9958 during the same period last year, whilst Renault has scored 6808 so far this year, over 4776 during 2007. Very good; in sum, AB Volvo has delivered 3432 more trucks into Eastern Europe so far this year than it managed during the same period last year... We say: ... Eastern Europe. It can't decouple from Western Europe, and if Western Europe goes to the wall, then Eastern Europe will follow. And AB Volvo's deliveries? Do we feel foolish? No, but we will refer to the un-named AB Volvo spokesperson who is quoted by Reuters as saying: "The downturn regarding the economic situation in Europe, as well as high fuel prices, continues to affect the truck demand adversely. The demand on the North American market remains at a low level."... AB Volvo might appear to be overdoing the pessimism here... Or is it, in fact, being very cute in managing down expectations ahead of the carnage that we remain convinced will be visited upon the European truck markets - both West and East - as of the fourth quarter? To be in the black at present is a pretty good achievement, and AB Volvo's caution is therefore even more noteworthy...


OPINION * UK - The Commoditzation of Transport and the End of Brand

London,UK -The World Trucks Blog, by Oliver Dixon -30 Aug 2008: -- One issue that applies to each OEM in equal measure is that of the diminishing value of brand within the transport sector. This is a philosophical as opposed to a quantitative discussion, and one that does not lend itself to ready measurement, but we make no apologies for posting it here, as it is one of the key developments that we see likely as the Commercial Vehicle industry moves forwards... The consolidation of OEMs, which have, over the past three decades, morphed from small, nationally-focussed assembly operations into regional and, increasingly, global full-line manufacturing businesses has been one of the key trends observed within the Commercial Vehicle industry over the past thirty years... But such consolidation has not just been witnessed on the supply side of the industry. Increasingly, the profile of the end user is changing... Many vehicles are already sold on the basis of guaranteed uptime. Should an OEM enter the market with some means of underwriting cost, it would get a hearing. There seems to be no reason why this OEM should be one with its roots away from the Triad -Europe, North America and Japan -... We make this argument for the simple reason that manufacturing location is no longer an issue in most procurement decisions... A Chinese or an Indian-sourced truck with a guaranteed cost ceiling would be an eminently palatable proposition for any logistics operation... This is a view of a future, and one that may be some way away. However, we see the European truck market - and, by extension - the entire Triad market - as being receptive to one more cohort shift. Today's global logistics industry is populated one the demand side by global companies providing a commodity product. That the supply side should follow suit would seem to be an inescapable conclusion...


Blockade's Impact * India - On Kashmir's economic, to continue longer

Srinagar,India -The Economic Times (Gurgaon,Haryana,India) -30 Aug, 2008: -- The impact of the recent economic blockade in J&K is will be quite huge for governor N N Vohra’s administration to handle once normalcy returns to the valley... The Srinagar-Jammu-Pathankot highway is now normal, and traffic has already resumed. Officials say between July 30 and August 29: 16,229 trucks loaded with petrol, food and provisions reached Srinagar. But nobody in the administration is willing to admit that a daily caravan of 524 Srinagar-bound trucks is less than half of the average and the outgoing 103 trucks a day is less than one-fourth of the 2007 average...


TRUCKING MARKETS WORLDWIDE * Bulgaria - 1,200 trucks pass Varna Port a day

Varna,Bulgaria -FOCUS News Agency, by Dimitar DIMITROV -30 August 2008: -- 1,200 T.I.R. trucks pass the Port of Varna a day over the recent days, Varna Port Director captain Danail Papazov told... He thinks this is a sign for the need of new facilities... Captain Papazov added that besides the new container terminal, a modern port grain elevator was also necessary because it would allow the quick processing of ships loaded with grain...


Trucker's Thought * USA - This is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

... But to truck drivers like me, it's a special time when people across the country congratulate me for the hard work I do to keep America moving...

Lanesville,Ind,USA - The Courier Journal (Louisville,KY), by RICHARD W. CROWDER -30 Aug 2008: -- ...Most Americans don't recognize the vital role the trucking industry plays in our everyday lives. There are over 3 million tractor trailers on America's highways, and they're being driven by over 3.5 million truck drivers. In 2006, the trucking industry hauled 10.7 billion tons of freight, representing nearly 70 percent of the total U.S. freight tonnage... Virtually every commodity that we Americans consume, from school supplies to tires to baby formula, is delivered by a truck driver just like me. In fact, over 80 percent of our communities are serviced exclusively by trucks... We like to think of ourselves as the backbone of our nation's economy... Over the past 20 years, there has been a 51 percent increase in registered large trucks and an 84 percent increase in miles traveled by large trucks. Despite the enormous numbers of miles traveled and freight hauled, the trucking industry's safety record is second to none... Truck drivers have families, too, and we all take our commitment to keeping the roads safe very seriously, because it could be our son or daughter on the road. The industry's safety statistics reflect our commitment... The life of a truck driver is not always easy, and it can often be a stressful job. We tend to drive long distances through heavy traffic and spend long periods of time away from our families. But we do our job with pride because we know that our efforts are an essential part of the American way of life... So as you're closing out the summer with one final picnic or yet another trip to your local mall for school clothes and supplies, remember that everything you're eating and buying was delivered by a hard-working truck driver just like me. We don't need a National Truck Driver Appreciation Week to do our job, but it sure is nice to hear someone say "thanks" for a job well done... (Video from YouTube, by bigbcommish -May 19, 2007: "A Truckers Life" - A daily look at a truckers life. Somtimes it isn't all that bad)


Aug 30, 2008

RECALLS * USA - GM Recalls 944,000 Cars, Trucks for Electrical Flaw

MICH,USA -Bloomberg, by Greg Bensinger -Aug. 29, 2008: -- General Motors Corp., the largest U.S. automaker, recalled 944,000 sedans, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks worldwide because of a potential short circuit in a system that heats windshield-wiper fluid... The voluntary recall affects 16 models from 2006 to 2008 that have the system, the Detroit-based automaker said in a letter posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Web site. Of the vehicles, 857,735 are in the U.S... There have been three reported fires related to the problem, with no accidents or injuries, GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said today in an interview...


Poll: Truckers livin' better * USA - Healthier lifestyles and access to technology more common

Many of today's truck drivers debunk the myths that have surrounded them for decades

Indianapolis,IND,USA -The Indianapolis Star, by Dana Hunsinger -August 30, 2008: -- They tote laptops and talk on BlackBerrys. They work out at the gym and eat low-fat lunches... In an effort to humanize America's 3.4 million truck drivers, Evansville-based Atlas Van Lines conducted a survey of nearly 600 of its drivers. The questionnaire asked everything from what stretch of U.S. highway is the most boring (I-10 in California) to what antacid gets rid of heartburn the best (Tums)... The survey found truck drivers don't quite live up to the stereotype, but instead are health- conscious, tech-savvy and family-oriented... Other trucking companies also have recognized drivers' desires to be more healthy. Indianapolis-based Celadon recently developed a Highway 2 Health wellness initiative that includes yoga classes and a 12-week Weight Watchers course... But John Wright isn't so sure that's the case. As he stepped off his semi at the Pilot station in Lapel last week, he said he isn't convinced his occupation has changed all that much...


TRUCKING MARKETS * Romania - Top ten largest local trucking companies comfortable with foreign competition

Romania’s joining the European Union and massive foreign investments over the past 10 years prompted a boom in local transportation fleets

Bucharest,Romania -Financiarul -1 Sept 2008: -- Together, the top 10 local trucking companies hold a combined 7,000 trucks and can comfortably cope with competition from international giants, counting on the trump of smaller wages and high labor availability; on the other hand, they are also faced with workforce migration abroad, writes daily Ziarul Financiar in its Aug. 21 issue. According to the paper, truck traffic is the best barometer for economic development... According to Ion Lixandru, vice-president of the National Road Haulers Union (UNTRR), large companies on the market will further grow because high freight amounts will allow them to save on procurement, and adjoined services will bring them new clients, whereas small companies will enter associations. Thus, pressure from more expensive fuels and competition from foreign haulage companies could sieve the players on this segment...


CLEAN TRUCKS DEBATE * USA - Truckers Grind Gears Over Subsidies

Newcomers get cash for clean vehicles to veterans’ dismay

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Los Angeles Business Journal, by RICHARD CLOUGH -1 Sept 2008: -- A recent move by the Port of Los Angeles to spur interest in its fast-approaching program to replace old diesel trucks is drawing outrage from small local motor carriers that believe they are being unfairly driven out of the port freight business... The port unexpectedly approved a pair of incentive programs Aug. 21 that would award as much as $30,000 per truck to motor carriers operating less-polluting new diesel rigs as a way to encourage them to service the port... But since most of the small local trucking companies will have to pay tens of thousand of dollars to buy new trucks, they are at a distinct disadvantage to larger firms, some motor carriers say... The new incentives were prompted, officials said, by concerns that there will not be enough approved short haul trucks when the program starts Oct. 1... On that date, all trucks built before 1989 will be banned from the port. Even cleaner trucks will be required in the future... However, the result has been that at least three big out-of-state motor carriers that have new fleets already meeting the program’s guidelines are in line to receive millions of dollars in subsidies – while taking work away from smaller, local carriers... Meanwhile, smaller local trucking companies say the way the port’s incentives are now structured is tilted in favor of large carriers, some of whom not only may be out of state but may even have never served the ports...


TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Hybrid trucks appeal to municipalities, businesses

Hybrid trucks could become the standard for municipal government and businesses in central Wisconsin if the potential benefits hold true

Mosinee,WIS,USA -The Wausau Daily Herald, by Brian Reisinger -August 30, 2008: -- ... Truck dealer Wisconsin Kenworth displayed its new medium-duty hybrid trucks Thursday for local municipalities and businesses, highlighting fuel savings and lower emissions... The trucks' performance and potential for economic and environmental benefits impressed municipal officials and business owners -- though some are more ready to commit than others, and money remains the major hurdle... The hybrid trucks use an electric motor to help with acceleration and to run attachments such as utility arms with buckets. The trucks are powered by a diesel engine at about 30 mph... The trucks can improve fuel efficiency by between 30 percent and 60 percent, but they also cost up to $40,000 more... Wausau could begin replacing its utility trucks with hybrids within three years, said Don Skare, the city's streets superintendent... (Photo by Butch McCartney/Wausau Daily Herald - Rob Redeker of Wisconsin Kenworth talks about the company’s hybrid utility trucks on Thursday during an event held to showcase the vehicles and educate people about them)


Report * USA - Trucking Industry Has High Rate of Workplace Injuries, Costs

Washington’s trucking industry experiences $265 million in claims each year for musculoskeletal disorders

WASH,USA -Occupational Hazards (Cleveland,OH), by Sandy Smith -August 29, 2008: -- Truck drivers experience some of the highest rates of workplace injuries in Washington state, according to a new report from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).The report, Preventing Injuries in the Trucking Industry Focus Report, includes information to help employers reduce common workplace hazards... The report covers the years 1997-2005 and concludes that Washington’s trucking industry experiences $265 million in claims each year for musculoskeletal disorders, the general term for injuries to muscles, tendons and joints. Vehicle-collision injuries also are expensive for the trucking industry, averaging $46,500 per claim, though the injuries occur far less frequently than musculoskeletal disorders...

Highlights from the report include:

* The trucking industry accounts for 10 percent of Washington state’s work-related fatalities. There were 63 fatalities among trucking industry employees between 1998 and 2005.

* Among Washington’s truck drivers, 1 in 13 is seriously injured on the job each year, resulting in a workers’ compensation claim for lost work time, as well as medical costs.

* From 1997 to 2005, there were more than 21,000 claims for lost work time and almost 38,000 medical-only claims in Washington’s trucking industry.


STORMS' TIMES * USA - Gulf Oil Rigs Evacuated as Hurricane Gustav Strengthens

Storm Could Hit Land by Tuesday, Forecasters Say

Arlington,VA,USA -Transport Topics -29 Aug 2008: -- Workers evacuated offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico Friday as Hurricane Gustav strengthened, potentially threatening the same region that Hurricane Katrina devastated three years ago, news reports said... Gustav, which became a hurricane Tuesday but was downgraded to a tropical storm the past few days as it brushed land in Haiti and Jamaica, was upgraded to a hurricane Friday afternoon, the Associated Press reported... Crude oil fell 13 cents Friday to $115.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, Bloomberg reported...


Lenght Limits * USA - North Carolina law eases length limits on some roads

A new law in North Carolina soon will allow longer tractor-trailers on more roads throughout the state

NC,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Keith Goble -August 29, 2008: -- ... State law already allows 53-foot trailers on 5,600 miles of interstates and designated highways. Trucks are limited to 48-foot trailers on all other roadways... Gov. Mike Easley signed a bill into law that increases the length of trailers allowed on the state’s primary roads to 53 feet. From the main roads, trucks will be allowed to travel up to three miles on their tributaries...


Transportation Worker Identification Credential * USA - More ports set mandatory TWIC enforcement dates

The Transportation Security Administration has released its plan to phase-in requirements of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential card at specific port locations for drivers and other workers needing unescorted access through secured areas

Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine, by Charlie Morasch -August 29, 2008: -- Dec. 30 will be the deadline for TWIC compliance at port zones in Baltimore, MD; Delaware Bay in New Jersey and Delaware; Mobile, AL; the Lower Mississippi River; the Ohio Valley; Pittsburgh, PA, and San Diego, CA.
That means specific ports at Annapolis, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Camden, NJ; Gulfport, MS; Memphis, TN; Cincinnati, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and San Diego, CA, among others, will be enforcing the TWIC requirement before 2009...
The TWIC program will require more than 1.5 million port employees, longshoremen, mariners, truckers and others who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports to have background checks before being issued cards with their biometric data and residency documentation...


Empty Mile Fuel Surcharge * USA - Trucking company implements new policy to pay for

With fuel prices still above the $4 mark, Daily Express Inc. has started offering a program to help owner-operators offset their fuel costs by offering to pay them for their empty miles

Carlisle,PA,USA -Land Line Magazine -August 29, 2008: -- ... Todd Long, president and chief financial officer of Daily Express, headquartered in Carlisle, PA, told Land Line earlier this summer that the company decided to implement this empty mile fuel surcharge policy because they understand that high fuel costs are a huge burden for owner-operators to bear right now... “We view this as an opportunity to help our owner-operators out right now as fuel prices continue to force so many out of trucking business,” he said. “By paying deadhead miles, maybe we can help relieve some of their stress and make things a little easier for them”... He said the empty fuel surcharge payment is based on the loaded miles the load owner-operators are hauling, not the actual empty miles to the next load. When customers provide the company with backhaul freight, the empty mile fuel surcharge will not apply, nor will it apply on loads to the Midwest states of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri... (Photo: Daily Express Inc.'s headquarter in Carlisle,PA)


Truck or train * Australia - Transport chiefs fight for handouts

A battle between road and rail has broken out as negotiations continue over the best way to tackle climate change

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald, by Cathy Alexander -August 29, 2008: -- ... Thirty of the country's transport chiefs met the Federal Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, in Parliament House yesterday to discuss climate change... Railway representatives told a transport forum yesterday they were a clean, green transport mode which deserved a major nation-wide boost... But trucking groups asked for more protection under emissions trading to shield them - and consumers - from higher costs... Emissions trading is due to start in 2010, but Bryan Nye, chief executive of the Australasian Railway Association, said the scheme would favour the trucking industry too much...


Diesel Exhaust Fluid * USA - DEF infrastructure in good shape

USA -FleetOwner, by Brian Straight -Aug 28, 2008: -- With all the major manufacturers now settled on their engine solutions for 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance, the focus is shifting to the infrastructure for diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) distribution... Asked if the distribution network will be in place by 2010, Dave Uschwald, director of SCR infrastructure development for Detroit Diesel Corporation, says yes. Detroit Diesel has joined other industry leaders in the North American SCR Stakeholders Group, an organization founded a few years ago primarily by the auto industry, and now promoting DEF distribution and education for the trucking industry...


TRUCKERS' SHORTAGE * Canada - Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

Lethbridge,Alberta,Canada -Trucking Life, by Lyndon Lomanovskis -August 29, 2008: -- To address the critical skill shortage of workers in the Alberta Trucking Industry, the Alberta Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will consider an employer’s business case for the select occupation of Long Haul Truck Driver... Please note that on June 19, 2008, the Alberta Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) became the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)... What is the AINP? The AINP is an immigration program operated on behalf of the Government of Alberta by the Ministry of Employment and Immigration in conjunction with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to expedite the processing of an application for permanent residence... The AINP is designed to support Alberta's economic growth by attracting labour-market-destined immigrants to the province... Individuals nominated by the Province of Alberta, together with their spouse and dependent children, are eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa through CIC as a Provincial Nominee. CIC expedites permanent resident applications from Provincial Nominees and makes final decisions on the permanent resident applications...


DRIVERS' HEALTH * USA - Poor Vision, Drowsy Driving Deadly

More than 11M Americans have uncorrected vision problems - 85% of information needed for safe driving is visual

USA -PRNewsWire -August 22, 2008: -- Poor vision and drowsy driving just as deadly as poor road conditions and drunk driving. Fatality rate at nighttime (6:00 P.M. - 6:00 A.M.) 3X higher than daytime rate... Vision Council and the National Sleep Foundation joining forces to educate drivers. Get regular comprehensive eye exams from an eye doctor... Always clean and wear prescription eyewear... Wear anti-reflective (AR) lenses to eliminate lens glare ... Get adequate sleep (7-9 hours for most adults)... Schedule breaks every 100-miles/2 hours and arrange for a travel companion...Driver fatigue causes estimated 1,550 deaths, 71K injuries and $12.5B in monetary losses/year...


Aug 29, 2008

Study * USA - Following Too Close Indicted in Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end crashes one of most common for most types of fleets

USA -Automotive Digest -29 Aug 2008: -- Following too close is major problem. Make up 17% of all claims, cost over $13K per claim, according to Risk Management News. FMCSA: truck-striking, truck-struck collisions make up 18% of large truck accidents... DriveCam Inc analysis revealed much higher risk of rear-end collisions if vehicles maintain less than 2-seconds following distance. Most driver training programs recommend 3 or 4 seconds following distance. Change in speed, interruption to flow of traffic factors in rear-end crashes... On city streets, more rear-end crashes occur in farthest right lane due to traffic flow changes, left lane next most frequent, center lane least... (Picture: Under harm - New EU laws mean trucks’ underrun bars are stronger – but ADAC test proved that protection is still insufficient)


TRUCKING INDUSTRY CRISIS * USA - Farmington trucking company to close; 100 to lose jobs

Rochester,NY,USA -The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, by James Goodman -August 29, 2008: -- When Ed Fosdick, vice president of operations for Priority Transportation in Farmington, began to explain why the company with 100 employees is going out of business, he cited the names of several other trucking companies that have also closed down... In addition to the 100 workers who are losing their jobs at Priority's office on Collett Road in the Ontario County community, another 100 employees in Chesterton, Ind., will also lose their jobs, along with about 500 truck drivers... Priority Transportation has run the business in Farmington since 2002... (Photo: When Ed Fosdick, vice president of operations for Priority Transportation in Farmington, began to explain why the company with 100 employees is going out of business, he cited the names of several other trucking companies that have also closed down)

* Celadon to assist Priority with loads

USA -FleetOwner -Aug 27, 2008: -- Citing rising operating costs, Priority Transportation has reached agreement with Celadon Group for Celadon to cover customer loads and assist in the collection of tractors and trailers as well as accounts receivables. Celadon will not purchase any assets under the deal, Celadon said... A Celadon subsidiary signed what the company called a “receivables collection and equipment marshalling agreement” with Priority Transportation, a subsidiary of Priority America. Under terms of the agreement, Celadon has agreed to use “reasonable efforts” to cover certain loads and assist in the retrieval of equipment and collections...


CONCESSION PLANS' SUIT * USA - IANA backs ATA's lawsuit against L.A.-area ports'

The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) supports the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) lawsuit against the concession plans of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif.

Milwaukee,WI,USA -Progressive Rail Roading -29 Aug 2008: -- In July, the ATA — with the support of its Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference — filed suit in the U.S. District Court in California challenging the concession plans that were approved by the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the harbor commissions. The plans call for limiting access to the ports to trucking companies that have entered into concession contracts approved by the port program administrator... They agree in principle with ATA's arguments that, if enacted, the concession plans would result in the unlawful regulation of the port trucking industry, violate the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 and Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and restrict the ability of the competitive marketplace to determine the way transportation services are delivered...



* Kenworth Tops JD Power Rankings for Big Trucks

USA -Automotive Digest -29 Aug 2008: -- JD Power releases 2008 Heavy-duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Survey, that measured satisfaction w/ owners of 2-year-old Class 8 trucks... Kenworth ranks highest in over-the-road segment for 4th straight year; Freightliner next. Also Kenworth tops in vocational segment for 2nd straight year; Western Star next. Mack Trucks tops in dealer service; Kenworth, Sterling follow... Satisfaction based on performance, quality, warranty, costs... Other conclusions: Industry facing slump that doesn't appear to end... Owners who "definitely will" purchase new truck at lowest level since 2002... 25% say they will purchase or lease next year. That's down from 41% in 2006 when truck sales at historic highs... Only 54% of fleet owners will add new trucks, down from 63%...

* Kenworth goes green with revamped trucks - Hybrid models becoming popular as fuel prices increase

ASHWAUBENON,WI,USA -The Green Bay Press Gazette (Green Bay,WI), by Nathan Phelps -August 29, 2008: At first glace, the white T270 Kenworth delivery truck looks like many others you see on the road... But what sets this vehicle apart from others — to the eye — is a gray box about the size of an oversized piece of luggage attached to the chassis frame on the driver's side... That box, and the 340-volt lithium-ion battery pack in it, are part of a diesel-electric hybrid system that Kenworth and other truck manufacturers are rolling out in the face of $4.18 diesel prices (the average in Wisconsin on Wednesday) and tightening environmental expectations... (Photo by Jim Matthews/Press-GazetteKenworth salesman Joe Morris demonstrates the new hybrid utility vehicle technology Wednesday at Wisconsin Kenworth. The new technology allows the vehicle's diesel engine to be shut off while the boom runs on electric power)


CORPORATIVE NEWS * USA - National Association of Small Trucking Companies

By David Owen: President - National Association of Small Trucking Companies

Hendersonville,TN,USA -TruckExec, by Joe White -28 Aug 2008: -- Our members represent arguably the largest niche (by carrier) in the trucking industry, i-e., for-hire, full truckload, long haul companies with fewer than 100 power units. Generally speaking, most of them have a simple operating plan that operates on a weekly cycle. Their trucks and drivers are outbound on Sunday evening or Monday morning and back on Friday evening in time for the local high school football game. The trucks go through the maintenance shop on Saturday while the driver restarts with family time... During the Monday through Friday road week, the goal of the company is secure for the truck and the driver, the maximum number of loaded miles with a profitable rate and a fuel surcharge that can be run safely and legally. Our small carriers cannot grow or prosper without giving their drivers consistent loaded miles, and consistent weekend family time, plus consistent weekly maintenance on their rolling stock... Since they must run every week to retain customers and drivers, they must buy over-the-road diesel fuel no matter what the price. Fuel surcharges have helped mitigate the recent unprecedented eighteen month movement of fuel, but there is always a time lag that is seldom recovered and, no one collects a fuel surcharge 100% of the time. Needless to say, the last eighteen months have not been profitable ones for any segment of the trucking business for this reason... Beginning in June however, I feel the dynamics in the market showed some signs of changing for the better...


Alternative Fuels * USA - Long Term Biodiesel Study Results To Date Positive

About a long term biodiesel study that was underway called the Two Million Mile Haul

Washington,DC,USA - American Fuels, by mus302 -August 27, 2008: -- The Two Million Mile Haul is being conducted by Decker Truck Lines and the National Biodiesel Board along with other sponsors and is meant to demonstrate the effectiveness of B20 biodiesel for the over the road trucking industry.The study is nearing completion with about 200,000 miles left. Results to date were released last week and showed positive results... Data collected from each truck’s electronic data recorder this summer shows fuel efficiency for the B20 blend comparable to that of petroleum diesel... Biodiesel acts as an engine lubricant; biodiesel offers significantly higher cetane numbers, reduces harmful emissions and adds national fuel production, and biodiesel offers a fleet the opportunity to market itself as a ‘green’ transporter to today’s environmentally-conscience corporations... These findings mimic fuel efficiency test results released this week by the National Renewable Energy Lab and the National Biodiesel Board, showing comparable mileage between B20 and ultra-low sulfur diesel...


Aug 28, 2008


* China - Largest Truck Company’s Profit Rises 40%

Hong Kong,China -Bloomberg/Transport Topics -28 Ago 2008: -- China’s largest truck maker, Sinotruk, boosted a first-half profit 40% as consumers rushed to buy vehicles before the introduction of a new emissions regulation... Net income jumped to $112.5 million in the first six months of this year, from last year's $80.7 million, the truck maker said in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange statement, Bloomberg reported... Sales jumped 50% to $2.5 billion, Sinotruk said... Sinotruk sold 67,694 heavy trucks in the first six months of 2008 — 57% higher than last year... Sales were more than double the pace of China’s industry-wide vehicle market, as drivers bought vehicles ahead of the implementation of the Euro III standard, which went into effect in July in China...

* USA - ArvinMeritor Dedicates Mexico Plant

USA - Transport Topics -28 Aug 2008: -- Truck components maker ArvinMeritor Inc. said it dedicated a new $30 million manufacturing facility in northern Mexico for trucks built in the United States and Canada... The 400,000-square-foot facility, which eventually will employ 500 people, is already in operation near Monterrey, Mexico, the company said in a statement... The plant will initially produce bevel gearings, where axes of two shafts intersect and the tooth-bearing faces of the gears are conically shaped, and front non-drive steer axle assemblies for U.S. and Canadian truck assembly plants...



* Truck Tonnage Gains 4.4% in July

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -28 Aug 2008: -- Truck tonnage jumped 4.4% in July from a year earlier, marking the eighth straight year-over-year increase, American Trucking Associations said... Tonnage fell 0.3% from June, marking the first month-to-month decline since January, ATA said in its monthly seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index... Year-to-date, the index was up 3.6% compared with the same period in 2007. Tonnage contracted 1.7% and 1.5% in 2006 and 2007 in that seven-month period, respectively...

* NAFTA Surface Trade Jumps 6.6%

Washington,DC,USA - Transport Topics --28 Aug 2008: -- Surface trade among the United States, Canada and Mexico jumped 6.6% in June from a year ago, the Department of Transportation said Thursday... Trade among the North American Free Trade Agreement partners rose to $74.1 billion from a year ago, DOT’s Bureau of Trade Statistics said in its monthly report... Truck imports to the United States slipped 0.2% year-over-year to $24.4 billion, while exports rose 7.9% to $24.8 billion...


ROAD FUNDS IDEAS * USA - Premium Lanes or Truck-Only Toll Lanes in New Jersey

NJ,USA -Out of Control, by bobpoole -August 28, 2008: -- Now that Gov. Jon Corzine’s plan to “monetize” the New Jersey Turnpike to pay down state debt has been abandoned, the state still faces the need to come up with $2 billion to fund a long-needed widening of 35 miles of the Turnpike’s central section. Two senior legislative leaders have come up with an innovative proposal: let the private sector finance the expansion via premium tolls it could charge if the new lanes became premium lanes, either for congestion-relief (express toll lanes) or specialized truck-only toll (TOT) lanes. As Peter Samuel points out in a recent article, there is a strong case for the TOT lanes alternative... First, the planned widening would follow the same lane configuration that already exists north of that 35-mile section: a so-called dual-dual configuration in which there are two separate three-lane sections northbound and the same thing southbound (3/3/3/3). Currently, the inner three lanes each direction are cars-only, with mixed traffic in the outer lanes. But under a TOT lanes alternative, trucks (and buses) could be required to use the inner lanes, which would be built strong enough to handle the heavy weights and axle loadings. The outer lanes, if reserved for light vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks), could easily be re-striped to 11 feet instead of the current 12 feet, for a resulting configuration of 4/3/3/4...



Jacksonville,FLA,USA -MarketWatch -Aug 28, 2008: -- As part of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, CSX Intermodal (CSXI) is paying tribute to its owner-operators with events at many of the terminals where trains exchange containers and trailers with trucks... Truck drivers arriving at many of CSXI's 40 terminals are greeted by banners proclaiming "thank you." Meals are being served and gifts ranging from commemorative caps to sunglasses and tread gauges are being handed out... CSX Intermodal, a subsidiary of CSX Corporation, is the nation's only stand-alone integrated terminal company serving clients from origin to destination with its own truck and terminal operations plus a dedicated domestic container fleet...

* Truck Driver Appreciation

Arlington,VA,USA -Editorial from Transport Topics -28 Aug 2008: -- A good rule of thumb is that you cannot appreciate truck drivers too much. Considering how long the hours, how hard the work, how demanding the enormous responsibility of safely piloting a large vehicle through every imaginable condition imposed by traffic, weather and customer, the job of truck driving rarely earns a full and just reward. But we’re convinced that expression of admiration for what America’s 3.5 million professional drivers accomplish on a daily basis carries a certain value... That’s what National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is all about — a big community hug, a many-handed pat on the back from all of us who depend on what drivers do... In a sense, then, the week and the championships are the embodiment of the respect owed to America’s truck drivers, who drove 400 billion miles last year to deliver the materials of our lives... The drivers richly deserve any reward we can offer...


Hydrogen Hybrid Technologies * USA - Prepares For Car & Light Truck Aftermarket

Initial Field Trials Successfully Completed

Pickering,ONT,CAN -MarketWatch (CAL,USA) -Aug 28, 2008: -- Hydrogen Hybrid Technologies Inc. and Canadian Hydrogen Energy Company are pleased to announce that, in response to unprecedented demand and in line with its marketing plan, initial field trials have been successfully completed on a Hydrogen Fuel Injection (HFI) system specifically for the Car & Light Truck aftermarket... HFI technology is installed as an add-on to diesel and gasoline engines where it significantly reduces a wide variety of emissions (CO, PM, HC, CO2 and NOx) while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption. Currently, HFI units are being used by long-haul transport trucks, ambulances, municipal buses and other heavy equipment, earning HFI the dominant position as the world's most widely-used on-board electrolysers. The technology is based on electrolysis and the units split water, on-board the ambulance, then vent the hydrogen and oxygen directly into the air intake of the engine. Adding hydrogen significantly improves the efficiency of combustion, in the engine, with significant financial and environmental benefits...

* USA - New Catalyst Boosts Hydrogen as Transport Fuel

OH,USA -The Guardian Unlimited (London,UK), by Alok Jha -21 Aug 2008: -- Umit Ozkan, an Ohio State University professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has unveiled an inexpensive method of producing hydrogen from biofuel. She and her team have formed a catalyst that enables hydrogen to be produced from ethanol in the absence of high temperatures or costly metals... The discovery could potentially make it easier to manufacture the gas on a wide scale. Ozkan's catalyst is made from common metals like calcium, cobalt, and cerium oxide. Researchers say the catalyst can generate hydrogen with 90 percent efficiency at approximately 350 degrees Celsius, which is regarded as a low temperature industrially. Ozkan notes that the catalyst costs just $9 per kilogram, compared to $9,000 per ounce for a rhodium-based catalyst. Producing hydrogen from ethanol results in waste gases like carbon dioxide, which researchers say can be sequestered and stored, and methane, which can be combusted to provide some of the energy needed for the conversion process..


PrePass * USA - Illinois Trucking: Greener Every Day

Illinois DOT Truck Technology Project Reduces Emissions, Boosts Industry Efficiency

Peoria,ILL,USA -PRNewswire/The Earth Times -28 Aug 2008: -- The Illinois Department of Transportation's (IDOT) adoption of PrePass truck technology almost ten years ago has reduced greenhouse gas and related emissions by more than 17,000 metric tons. Based on the program's projected success, PrePass is anticipated to cut emissions during the next decade by an estimated 29,000 metric tons, the equivalent of eliminating all emissions from more than 525 cars per year... PrePass is a sophisticated technology enabling qualified motor carriers tocomply electronically with Illinois weight, safety and credential requirementsat highway speeds... Motor carrier participation is strictly voluntary andcarrier eligibility is subject to strict safety qualifications... Since its deployment in Illinois, PrePass has saved carriers more than$103 million in operational costs, including fuel savings of more than 7.7million gallons. By enabling enforcement personnel to concentrate on thosetrucks most likely to be noncompliant, and by reducing lane-changing andcongestion around weigh stations, PrePass also makes highways safer for all motorists... (Video from YouTube, by tomwiles -January 11, 2008: "Northern Illinois" Driving through Northern Illinois and the west Chicago area)


B TRIPLE TRUCKS * Australia - Plan for giant trucks revealed

Giant B triple trucks could soon be rumbling across Victoria under secret plans to bulk up the state's major freight corridors

Victoria,Australia -AAP/Herald Sun -August 28, 2008: -- The Victorian Government has plotted seven major B triple routes that would span the state, taking in major city and country highways, freeways and tollways... The plan is contained in secret Department of Transport documents leaked to the Opposition... Premier John Brumby said no decision had been made on the proposal, which has been welcomed by industry groups... B triples, a prime mover towing three trailers, already operate between Geelong and Broadmeadows under a licence with Ford... They weigh up to 82 tonnes and are up to 36m long... Australian Trucking Association chief executive Stuart St Clair said B triples boosted productivity by 30 per cent and would cut the number of trucks on the road... (Picture 1. above - Picture 2. below: Proposed route maps. Source: Department of Transport)


INFRASTRUCTURES * Mexico - Plans huge Baja port for U.S. trade

President Calderon will open bidding for infrastructure contracts Thursday. The project is likely to transform the village of Punta Colonet

Mexico,DF,MEJ -The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles,CAL,USA), By Marla Dickerson -August 28, 2008: -- Mexico's government is setting sail with the largest infrastructure project in the nation's history, a $4-billion seaport that it hopes will one day rival those of Los Angeles and Long Beach... President Felipe Calderon is scheduled to travel to northern Baja California today to open bidding on a development that his administration hopes will catapult Mexico into a major player in North American logistics... Plans call for the construction of a massive port in the tiny coastal village of Punta Colonet, about 150 miles south of Tijuana, along with new rail lines to whisk Asian-made goods north to the United States. Mexico's aim is to snatch some Pacific cargo traffic from Southern California's ports, whose growth is constrained by urban development and environmental concerns... Punta Colonet is expected to have a capacity of 2 million shipping containers annually when it opens in 2014, Mexico's transportation secretariat told The Times. But officials envision it ultimately handling five times that amount. Last year, the ports of L.A. and Long Beach handled 15.7 million containers combined... (Photo by Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times - Claudia Bertelli, a visitor from San Diego, enjoys the view from Punto Colonet. Mexico's government hopes to jump-start the construction of a port at the site that can handle millions of shipping containers annually)


Cross-Border Trucking Program * USA - No Anniversary Party for Controversial

Tempe,AZ,USA -The Supply Chain Management, by W. P. Carey -August 27, 2008: -- Congress and President Bush appear to be on a collision course over U.S.-Mexico trucking, but most likely trucks will continue to traverse the border, fostering the flow of international commerce, according to an expert at the W. P. Carey School of Business... Arnold Maltz, professor of supply chain management, says Mexican truckers should be permitted to drive in the United States. To that end, Maltz is beginning a Border Enforcement Grant program to get Mexican drivers better-trained to drive on American roads... At issue in Washington, D.C. is a small but controversial one-year pilot project that has allowed Mexican trucks to travel throughout the United States, although most of such travel has been in the border states... The Bush administration wants to extend the program two years despite bipartisan criticism. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a bipartisan bill in July to bar the program's continuation. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar amendment, aimed at the U.S. Department of Transportation's fiscal 2009 budget, intending to stop the pilot program. Floor votes cannot occur until legislators' summer recess ends in September... But less than a week after the House and Senate panels' votes, the USDOT said it plans to continue the program -- for two more years -- to allow Mexican truckers into the United States... The year-old pilot program for Mexican trucking in the United States is off to a small and controversial start. Bipartisan criticism in Congress may put legislation ending the program on President Bush's desk, and he may veto it. Researchers, international trade advocates and Mexican carriers say the program needs more time to be evaluated. Washington politicians have a tough call to make as they balance free trade, protection of American jobs, traffic safety and border security. Meanwhile the CANAMEX (Canada-American-Mexico Corridor) project, launched a decade ago to increase North American access to Pacific Ocean steamship lines through western Mexico ports, has continued apace and would be aided by liberalized cross-border trucking...