User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: January 2009

Jan 31, 2009

State road plan * USA - In New York would be ‘detrimental’ to truckers, farmers

Albany,NY,USA -Land Line Magazine -29 June 2009: -- Despite warnings by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association that banning heavy trucks from certain state roads would be detrimental to small-business truckers in upstate New York, the New York Department of Transportation is still pushing forward with the proposed regulation... The NYDOT is proposing a regulation to ban all heavy trucks from seven specific routes in the Finger Lakes region, citing the needs for “a sense of environmental quality that is unique to that region of the state,” according to NYDOT spokesman Charles “Skip” Carrier... OOIDA Legislative Affairs Director Mike Joyce said this proposed rule “couldn’t come at a worse time” for small-business truckers, as well as farmers, who are trying to stay afloat during these challenging economic times... If passed, this rule would force truckers to spend more in fuel and toll costs to route around these secondary roads, not to mention their added operating costs... (Map from Wikipedia: Finger lakes in NY)


TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA & Canada - Company Sues New Hampshire over Fatal Crash

Sainte-Luce, Quebec,CAN -Claims (NH,USA) -January 30, 2009: -- A Canadian trucking company is suing New Hampshire's Department of Transportation, alleging its failure to clear ice and snow off Interstate 93 led to the death of a 6-year-old boy... Brendon Mahoney was killed in February 2007 when his mother's van was hit by a tractor-trailer that jackknifed on the slippery road. Last month, his mother won a $2.5 million settlement from the trucking company, but the company, Fidele Tremblay of Sainte-Luce, Quebec, now is suing the state... The lawsuit claims no sand or salt was applied to the road the morning of the crash, despite eight calls from the state police requesting treatment. Though only trace amounts of snow had fallen since a storm the day before, several state troopers called the highway a "skating rink'' the day of the crash...


TRUCKS' PRODUCTS * USA - Advantages of the Teletype GPS Systems For Truckers

Taking Advantage of the Many Teletype 710060 GPS System Features

USA -GPS in Car, by Jeffrey Meier -29 January 2009: ... If you want to get the most bang for your buck, especially in business, it is a good idea to explore all of the features as they can greatly enhance your experience, and maybe your productivity. So if you're thinking of purchasing a new trucking navigation for your company, consider both primary and hidden Teletype 710060 GPS system features and how they can offer all the benefits you'll need for your business.

* Large 7-Inch Touch Screen

* Truck Restriction Routing

* Map Storage

* Entertaining Your Crew

Just remember, if you purchase the unit, don't let all of the Teletype system features go to waste. Because now more than ever, getting the most bang for your buck is vital to keeping your business afloat. This model is made for the trucking profession.


TRUCKING INDUSTRY ANALYSIS * USA - Death of the weak only hope for U.S. truck companies?

Either the U.S. economy needs to rebound or more companies need to fail for truck supply to shrink to meet demand

Chicago,ILL,USA -Reuters (UK), by Nick Carey. Editing by Patrick Fitzgibbons & Phil Berlowitz -Jan 29, 2009: -- For life to improve for America's battered truck sector, one of two things must happen: Either the U.S. economy needs to rebound or more companies need to fail for truck supply to shrink to meet demand... But as the U.S. continues to languish in recession, few analysts see any relief for truckers before 2010... Truck companies run low-margin operations on the front line of the world's largest economy... "We are now over 27 months into a freight recession that is the worst I have seen during my 37 years in this industry," Arkansas Best Corp Chief Executive Robert Davidson said after the less-than-truckload (LTL) company posted a loss this week... The company also said it had cut 1,100 jobs in the quarter. LTL operators consolidate small loads into a single truck. Another LTL carrier, Con-way Inc., said this week it was delaying buying new trucks to conserve cash... The one thing that has kept many truck companies -- small, medium and large -- from going under has been the recent drop in diesel prices from record highs last summer... "STAY OF EXECUTION": Analysts say that while the private companies are at the highest risk, all eyes are on the country's struggling No. 1 trucker, LTL carrier YRC Worldwide Inc... Oil was the truck killer in the first half of 2008. As prices rose to the July highs over $148 per barrel, the number of truckers filing for bankruptcy jumped... The number of second-half bankruptcies reached 1,160, bringing the total for 2008 to 3,065. High, but short of the record 3,990 in 2001 during the last U.S. recession... "Without the decline in diesel prices, more companies would have gone under," Tavio Hedley, staff economist at the ATA said... Jason Seidl, an analyst at Dahlman Rose and others, predict a wave of bankruptcies starting in the spring, and the best hope for the rest is to wait it out... YRC, which reported a quarterly loss of $244.4 million or $4.14 a share on Thursday, is seen as the one to watch... YRC has received a temporary waiver on its debt covenants and its unionized workers recently approved a 10 percent wage cut in return for a 15 percent stake in the company to save up to $250 million a year. YRC has also cut jobs and shut down facilities to take excess capacity out of its network... But in a January 23 blog, Wolfe Research wrote "we believe the restrictive conditions in these (debt covenant) waivers likely shows how little hand YRCW has left ... and we continue to believe a high risk of some form of bankruptcy remains"...

* YRC CEO: Volume May Be Bottoming; Rules Out Bankruptcy

New York,NY,USA -The Dow Jones Newswires, by Bob Sechler/CNN Money -January 30, 2009: -- Trucking giant YRC Worldwide Inc. (YRCW) weighed in on the steep slump in freight volumes Friday, with Chief Executive Bill Zollars voicing some optimism that the industry-wide trend at least may be bottoming... "The percentage declines year-over-year have started to stabilize" in the early weeks of 2009, Zollars said in an interview. "Believe me, we're looking really hard for any sign of improvement"... Meanwhile, Zollars reiterated that bankruptcy isn't being considered as an option for debt-laden YRC. He said talks aimed at relaxing some debt covenants have been proceeding well with lenders and should be successfully completed by mid-February... YRC has $1.36 billion in debt, a portion of which it has been struggling to refinance. But because of a sinking bottom line, the company is at risk of falling out of compliance with credit lines and has been working to renegotiate covenants...

* YRC Worldwide's quarterly losses exceed expectations

Overland Park,Kansas,USA -The Kansas City Star, by RANDOLPH HEASTER -30 Jan 2009: -- The economic crisis that escalated in the final three months of last year hit YRC Worldwide Inc. hard, leaving the Overland Park-based trucker a rough road in 2009... For the three months that ended Dec. 31, YRC posted a net loss of $244.41 million, or $4.14 a share, on $1.93 billion in revenue. That is an improvement, however, from a 2007 fourth-quarter loss of $735.77 million, or $12.99 a share, on $2.35 billion in revenue...



* Germany - VW's light truck sales to Russia up 78 pct in '08

Frankfurt,Germany -Associated Press/The International Herald Tribune -January 29, 2009: -- Car and truck maker Volkswagen AG said Thursday it had increased its light truck sales to Russia by 78 percent in 2008 despite the economic downturn... The Wolfsburg-based company said it had delivered 10,500 Caddy and T5 vans and Crafter delivery trucks. In 2007, VW delivered 5,905 such models... Volkswagen said its most sold truck in Russia was the T5 transporter van, which saw a 66 percent increase in sales last year to 5,406 vehicles. (Photo Crafter from Volkswagen)

* USA - Paccar rises after the truck maker tops estimates

New York,NY,USA -Associated Press/FORBES -30 Jan 2009: -- Paccar Inc. shares climbed sharply Friday despite a broad-based downturn in the broader market, after the maker of Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations... However, Paccar's sales decreased 24 percent to $2.62 billion from $3.43 billion. Analysts expected sales of $2.77 billion... "The average cost of these commodities has reduced by approximately one third compared to the levels during the commodity price bubble in 2008," Tom Lundahl, vice president of purchasing, said in a statement... Paccar also credited strong European sales and the efficiency of its dealer network for its earnings...

* USA - GM weighs deal with Isuzu for truck line

Detroit,Mich,USA -Reuters, by Carol Bishopric -Jan 30, 2009: -- General Motors Corp and Japan's Isuzu Motors are discussing the sale of GM's medium-duty commercial truck business, the Flint Journal said on Friday... The newspaper said the deal would keep production of medium-duty trucks at the current GM facility in Flint through the end of 2014, quoting unnamed sources... The newspaper quoted UAW Vice President Cal Rapson as saying that while the sale of the plant was not "a done deal," the UAW and GM had signed a memorandum of understanding that would allow the transaction to move forward... GM issued a statement in response to the report saying that it was continuing to review its options for the Flint-based production line that makes the GMC TopKick and Chevrolet Kodiak commercial trucks... The truck models are widely used as cargo haulers, dump trucks and in work fleets...


TOLL INCREASES * USA - Board votes to raise truck tolls, add E-ZPass fee

Baltimore,MD,USA -The Baltimore Sun, by Michael Dresser -29 Jan 2009: -- Over vocal objections from the public, the Maryland Transportation Authority's board voted this morning to raise truck tolls at its bridges and tunnels on Interstate 95 and to impose a $1.50-a-month fee on its E-ZPass customers... The board voted unanimously after hearing comments from Marylanders who turned out for a public meeting near the Key Bridge on the authority's proposed package of revenue increases — designed to make up for a shortfall caused by a drop in traffic that is part of a national decline in driving. About 30 people attended... Opponents argued that the truck toll increases of 50 percent or more come at a time when many operators are struggling to survive the economic downturn... (Baltimore Sun photo by Amy Davis / January 29, 2009 - The Maryland Transportation Authority held a public meeting on its proposed fee increases for E-ZPass use and truck tolls. MdTA board member Ronald L. Freeland, front, read the recommendations of the board from a prepared statement at the conclusion of the meeting, after which the authority voted to enact the increases)



* USA Truck slashes costs to turn 4Q profit

New York,NY,USA -Associated Press/FORBES -29 Jan 09: -- USA Truck Inc. said Thursday it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter by slashing costs to offset collapsing demand for its freight shipping services... In an effort to protect its bottom line, USA Truck cut its fleet size by 10 percent, or 250 tractors... For full-year 2008 the company reported net income of $3.1 million, or 31 cents per share, compared with $140 million, or one cent per share, in 2007. Revenue grew to $535 million from $482 million...

* Arkansas Best trucking company to trim more jobs

Fort Smith,ARK,USA -Associated Press/FORBES -29 Jan 2009: -- Arkansas Best Corp. trucking company says it will lay off 350 people, in addition to the 1,100 workers it let go last year... The Fort Smith-based company said Thursday it has cut its work force by 18 percent overall. The company says it has reduced its fleet by 14 percent in road tractors and 9 percent in trailers, with further reductions to come...


Jan 29, 2009

Clean Truck Program * USA - At So Cal Ports Is Becoming Victim of Success

OPINION by John O'Dell: "Well, not only did it work, it is working too well"

USA Car Advisor -29 Jan 2009: -- ... The Los Angeles Times reported this week that the ports, which expected to have to subsidize about 1,000 trucks, have received bills from trucking firms for more than 2,200 trucks in the first three months of the program and expect to be hit for subsidies for as many as 7,500 this year... More tan 100 trucking companies have ordered new rigs under the program... That's tough, because the ports' incentive fund has run out of money, the state is too broke to ante up any more and under the previous administration the federal government had refused additional funding as well... The ports have had to dig into their own diminishing operating budgets for $44 million to help cover the initial 2,200 subsidies... Its early success also can serve as a lesson to those who scream foul every time a government agency institutes a new policy for improving air quality: the California trucking firms serving the two ports not only accepted the inevitable, they embraced it... Let's not now punish them for finally being good citizens... (Photo: Clean Truck Program at So Cal Ports Is Becoming Victim of Success)


TOLLS * USA - Truckers ask phase-in of toll increase

Baltimore,MD,USA -The Baltimore Sun, by Michael Dresser -January 28, 2009: -- An advocate for the Maryland Motor Truck Association pleaded with the Maryland Transportation Authority yesterday to cushion the impact of a proposed toll increase by stretching it out over a longer period and giving a break to frequent users... But after the plea before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, state Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari said the relief for truckers may not be possible...


HYBRID TRUCKS * Canada - New hybrid-electric delivery truck unveiled in Victoria

Victoria,BC,CAN -Truck News -28 Jan 2009: -- Thanks to support from the B.C. Ministry of Environment and the Fraser Basin Council’s Green Fleets B.C. program, Victoria-based R&B Trucking is meeting the tough economic times head on with a new diesel-electric hybrid refrigerated delivery truck that’s expected to save the company as much as 35% in fuels costs and reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 20 tonnes per year... It’s all part of the Fraser Basin Council’s Green Fleets B.C. program, which provides support to trucking companies, to help them move towards environmentally-friendly practices and technologies. In return for sharing their experiences with others in the industry, participating companies save money, improve worker health, and decrease smog and GHG emissions... (Picture: The hybrid delivery truck could save fuel consumption by up to 35%)


Road Safety * USA - Big Rigs, Icy Roads

Harrisburg,PA,USA -CBS 21, by Ben Russell -29 Jan 2009: -- It's a potentially scary scenario - a big rig passing your tiny car as you creep along on an icy highway... Two area drivers know the feeling... Despite those extreme examples, a trucking industry spokesperson tells CBS 21 News that drivers need not be afraid of tractor trailer drivers... Instead, we should trust them."When you have a one or two, three million mile operator of a vehicle who has driven all over the United States, in all kinds of weather, he very well may or she may very well feel that they are in a comfortable position with the way they drive to handle the vehicle," said James Runk, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association... Runk said he cannot vouch for the safety of every driver, but that the industry has a focus on safety... "Hopefully they're trained well enough to understand what kind... how they can operate in certain kinds of weather conditions." ... (See Video)


TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS WORLDWIDE * India - Tata Motors set for worst show since ’02

Sales are expected to shrink by nearly 45% to Rs5,161 crore from Rs9,238.48 crore

Mumbai/Pune/New Delhi,India -TWSJ/livemint (USA). by Shally Seth, Sudha Menon & Samar Srivastava -29 Jan 2009: -- As Tata Motors Ltd, the country’s biggest auto maker, prepares to report earnings on Friday, the market is bracing itself for some really bad news... In the last quarter, sales of the company’s mainstay—commercial vehicles (CVs) such as trucks, buses and goods vans—have fallen off a cliff and analysts expect a sharp dip in net profit for the three months to 31 December... Shares of the company, however, rose 4.5% to end Wednesday’s trading at Rs146.65 each after the UK government offered car makers loan guarantees to help them cope with the recession. Tata Motors makes the Jaguar cars and Land Rover utility vehicles after it acquired both brands last year... Other truck makers have seen demand hit too, but analysts and investors say Tata Motors is different due to its scale and the impact of the slowdown on it. It reported a net profit of Rs2,167.70 crore on revenue of Rs40,340.79 crore in fiscal 2008... (1 India - Rupia = 0.02024 US Dollar)

* Germany - Stocks Rise... MAN AG sell 168 trucks for Saudi Arabia

Munich,Germany -Bloomberg, by Stefanie Haxel -Jan. 28, 2009: -- ... MAN AG climbed 9 percent to 33.70 euros, the steepest gain in two months. Almarai Co., the largest food producer in Saudi Arabia by market value, ordered 168 trucks from a unit of Europe’s third-largest truckmaker...

* Japan - Hino Widens Loss Forecast as Stronger Yen Cripples Earnings

Tokyo,Japan -Bloomberg, by Makiko Kitamura -Jan. 28, 2009: -- Hino Motors Ltd., Japan’s biggest maker of heavy-duty trucks, widened its full-year loss forecast as the global recession cuts vehicle demand and a stronger yen reduces the value of overseas sales... The company will post a loss of 33 billion yen ($370 million), compared with a previous forecast of a 20 billion yen loss for the year ending in March, Hino said in a statement today... Hino last month said it will post its first full-year operating loss in nine years as the deepening global recession and a credit crunch saps demand. The truckmaker is half owned by Toyota Motor Corp. and builds the FJ Cruiser and 4Runner sport- utility vehicles for the larger carmaker...

* Germany - Daimler, Beiqi Foton to Cooperate on Truckmaking in China

Stuttgart,Germany -Bloomberg, by Tom Lavell -Jan. 29, 2009: -- Daimler AG said it signed a joint-venture agreement with Beiqi Foton Motor Co. to build medium- and heavy-duty trucks... The companies will cooperate on diesel systems for vehicles based on Foton’s Auman model, Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler said in an e-mailed statement...


Jan 28, 2009

PROSTITUTION * USA - Thousands’ of teens said caught up in web of truck stop prostitution

USA -The Trucker, by DOROTHY COX -27 Jan 2009: -- Some truckers claim prostitution is only a matter of working girls trying to make a living and therefore, victimless. But according to statistics — and law enforcement — they’re either fooling themselves, misinformed, or both. An ABC TV Prime Time Crime special this summer asserted that “thousands of teens are forced into truck stop sex,” with an FBI spokesman adding that truck stops are uniquely suited to prostitution because at night the parking lots are isolated and out of the view of the public and police... One former career driver from Saline County, Arkansas, told The Trucker that the back parking lanes are known as “party row.”... “Anywhere there are big trucks delivering goods you’ll find prostitutes, both male and female; it’s a fact of life,” he said... Statistics show that these prostitutes often have been brutalized or sexually molested by a father or other male family member. Many are involved in drugs, authorities say... (One FBI “sting” on a prostitution ring in December of 2005 charged 31 individuals in four U.S. FBI districts and involving several truck stops. “These children are victimized twice,” asserts FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker, “first by the handler who exploits them and secondly by the individual who solicits them.”)



Strategic Buyers - International Deals

* Germany - 19 Jan: Gebrüder Weiss GmbH has acquired 25.0% of Weiss-Rohlig India ("WRI"). Based in Chennai, India, WRI provides freight forwarding, packaging and warehousing services. Terms were not disclosed.

* Norway - 19 Jan: World Nordic ApS has acquired an additional 12.5% of BW Gas Ltd. for $46.5 million. Based in Oslo, Norway, BW Gas provides liquefied petroleum/natural gas marine transportation services.

* Sweden - 20 Jan: Railcare Group Ab announced the pending acquisition of 33.0% of Grenland Rail AS for $119,000. Grenland Rail provides rail transportation services from its base in Skien, Norway.



* Trucking Industry Asks Congress for National 65 mph Speed Limit

Washington,DC,USA -Environment News Service -January 27, 2009: -- The American Trucking Associations today asked Congress to enact a national 65 mile per hour speed limit and govern truck speeds at 65 mph or slower to reduce fuel consumption... Testifying on behalf of ATA before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, ATA First Vice Chairman Tommy Hodges said "Our industry is proud of its environmental record in reducing emissions and transitioning to clean fuels"... Currently, the power to set speed limits rests with each individual state... (Photo by Threaded Thoughts - Big rigs parked at a Salt Lake City truck stop)

* C.H. Robinson’s 4Q Income Rises

Eden Prairie,Minn,USA -Transport Topics -27 Jan 2009: -- Transportation and third-party logistics firm C.H. Robinson Worldwide said its fourth-quarter profit rose to $88.9 million, or 52 cents a share, from $85.3 million, or 49 cents, a year ago... Total revenue rose 0.2% to $1.96 billion, the company said late Tuesday... Net income for the year rose to $359.2 million, or $2.08 per share, from $324.3 million, or $1.86. Total revenue rose 17.3% to $8.58 billion...

* Marten’s 4Q Income Improves

Mondovi,WI,USA -Transport Topics -27 Jan 2009: -- Refrigerated truckload carrier Marten Transport’s fourth-quarter net income rose to $5.8 million, or 27 cents a share, from $3 million, or 14 cents a year ago... Operating revenue from trucking and logistics operations rose 3.1%, to $140.4 million, the company said late Tuesday... For the full year, Marten earned $18 million, or 82 cents a share, up from $15 million, or 68 cents, a year earlier...


WEATHER TROUBLES * USA - Storm System Leaves Icy Roads in Many States

Washington,DC,USA -AP/Transport Topics -28 Jan 2009: -- A large storm system stretching from Arkansas into the Northeast has left roads with as much as three inches of ice in many areas, the Associated Press reported Wednesday... Icy roads were blamed for car accidents in Virginia, West Virginia Indiana, Texas, Ohio and other states, news reports said... In all, 19 people have died because of the storms, which also knocked out power in many areas... State highway officials scrambled Tuesday night into Wednesday morning to clear roads of snow, ice, trees, utility poles and other hazards... The National Weather Service had winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories in effect Wednesday morning in most of the Northeast and parts of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia...


CARBON TAX * USA - EPA Pick Is ‘Open’ to

Jackson Says She Prefers Cap and Trade

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics, by Eric Miller -Jan. 19, 2009: -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said she was “open to discussion” of a carbon tax to limit greenhouse gas emissions and would immediately begin a review of the Bush administration’s denial of California’s request to regulate those emissions from automobiles... However, Jackson said, “a carbon tax alone in isolation does not set an eventual goal for actual reduction of global warming,” and she told a Senate panel that President Barack Obama favored a cap-and-trade system... Steven Chu, Obama’s energy secretary, also said he supported Obama’s preference for a cap-and-trade program over a carbon tax...


ALTERNATIVE FUELS * USA - Pickens Shifts Gears, Focuses On Natural Gas-Powered Trucks

New York,New York,USA -Clean Tech Brief -January 28, 2009: -- The financial crisis may have put his ambitious wind-power plans on hold, but Texas oil billionaire and clean energy advocate T. Boone Pickens has other plans to reduce American reliance on imported oil... Pickens is seeking up to $28 billion in federal economic stimulus incentives to convert about 350,000 heavy-duty trucks to natural gas from diesel. He told participants at the Cleantech Investor Summit in Palm Springs last week that he has met twice with President Barack Obama's transition team and leading Congressional Democrats to plug his plan... "We have an abundance of natural gas in America,” said Pickens, "It's cheaper, it's cleaner, and it's ours"...


CARGO THEFT * USA - Working Together Can Help Curb

Rockaway,NJ,USA -Manufacturing.Net, by Amanda Earing -January 27, 2009: -- The FBI estimates that cargo theft cost anywhere from $15 to $30 billion and the average freight on a trailer was worth anywhere from $12,000 to $3 million. Unfortunately, cargo theft largely goes unreported. The good news is that government agencies and law enforcement are catching up and more manufacturers are joining the fight to help prevent cargo theft... Cargo theft is a low risk crime (imprisonment time is minimal) with a high profit. In most cases, it is a highly organized criminal group behind the theft, taking advantage of the lack of information sharing between law enforcement agencies... “We have done a good job securing our ports in recent years, but the result of that is cargo theft has been pushed to land transportation, making many of our trucks and railways potential targets for cargo theft,” Mary Aftanas, National Insurance Crime Bureau, Director of Property/Casualty Investigators, warns... Despite local task force’s efforts, cargo theft often goes unreported for two main reasons: inconsistencies regarding how law enforcement should report it, and lack of awareness...


Truckers Battle * USA - Over Green

Washington,DC,USA -Traffic World, by Thomas L. Gallagher -27 Jan 2009: -- An organization representing large trucking corporations offered recommendations for environmental sustainability. An organization representing small business truckers thinks those suggestions move in the wrong direction... The American Trucking Associations on Jan. 28 presented arguments in testimony before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in favor of longer/heavier truck and trailer combinations as well as government mandates for speed limiters on truck engines... The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association believes "those things have nothing to do with making trucking more 'green' and everything to do with adding more 'green' to the pockets of large corporations," said OOIDA Executive Vice President, Todd Spencer. OOIDA contends effective environmental solutions begin with addressing inefficiencies in the supply chain such as time and fuel wasted by truckers waiting to be loaded or unloaded and the amount of empty miles truckers must drive... (Publisher Note: Please hear this "argentine's pampa" speech: "when siblings fight amidst, they are eaten by outsiders")


WARNING * USA - Florida Puts Brakes on Agent Accused of Not Placing Truckers' Insurance

Failed to place coverage for dozens of truckers, causing them to unknowingly operate without insurance

San Diego,CA,USA -Insurance Journal -January 27, 2009: -- Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is urging the commercial trucking industry and the public to provide any information that may assist the Department of Financial Services' ongoing criminal investigation into an agent who they say pocketed at least $500,000 in commercial auto premiums and failed to place coverage for dozens of truckers, causing them to unknowingly operate without insurance... Margarita D. Martin, owner and operator of Martin-Argote Insurance Group, Inc., in Medley, has been permanently barred from any involvement in the insurance industry, based on a final order the department issued in December. Sink took expedited action against Martin, including an emergency order in October. The department's Division of Agent and Agency Services, Bureau of Investigation, said that Martin sold commercial liability insurance and had customers throughout Florida. Between January 2006 and November 2008, some truckers lost their licenses and even their jobs after having to pay for accidents that occurred during the time they were supposedly insured under policies written by Martin's agency, according to officials...


ENGINE MAKERS' * USA - Turbine Truck Engines Secures Strategic Alliance Agreement with Leading Chinese Corporation

DeLand,FL,USA -SYS-CON Media -Jan. 27, 2009: -- Turbine Truck Engines, Inc. (“TTE”), a leader in detonation cycle gas turbine clean engine technology, is proud to announce that the company has signed a Strategic Alliance Agreement with Aerospace Machinery & Electric Equipment Company, Ltd., a Chinese corporation (“AMEC”)... Details of the agreement outline that AMEC and TTE will collaborate on modifying and applying the DCGT engine technology to create two new engine designs; a 150 hp engine for automobiles and a 400 hp engine for buses... Currently TTE is testing a fifth-generation prototype clean-air engine specifically designed for trucking industry applications, using alternative fuels...


TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Volvo laying off 650 at Virginia truck plant

Dublin,VA,USA -The Canadian Press (OBT,CAN) -27 Jan 2009: -- Swedish vehicle manufacturer Volvo has announced permanent layoffs of 650 workers at its truck assembly plant in Dublin, Va... Volvo Trucks North America said Tuesday it will lay off 40 per cent of the Pulaski County plant's remaining workforce by the end of April. The layoffs will begin in March... Volvo spokesman Jim McNamara says the layoffs are prompted by declining demand for heavy trucks... The Swedish company company laid off about 1,000 workers at the plant last May, and had planned weeklong shutdowns during the first three months of this year to avoid additional job cuts... Earlier this month, Volvo announced it will cut more than 1,600 jobs in Sweden... (Photo; Volvo front side)

* UK - Iveco heavy truck range fuelled up for 2009

Milan,Italy -Due Motori -28 gennaio 2009: -- Iveco dealers across the UK are offering retail customers 1,000 litres of free fuel with the purchase and registration of any new Stralis or Trakker heavy truck until 31 March 2009... This first quarter special promotion is being run in conjunction with Key Fuels, with the free fuel able to be drawn from any site within Key Fuels’ extensive network, which spans the length and breadth of the UK...


Jan 27, 2009

TRUCKERS' HOME in SHOTS * USA - An 18-Wheeler That Feels Like

USA -Wired Blogs/Autopia, by Keith Barry -January 26, 2009: -- Long-haul truckers make their money traveling far from home, so they want rigs that feel like home... Too often they're more like cheap motels, something Peter Boatwright and John Cagan changed when they helped big-rig maker Navistar design the interior of its flagship rig... The two Carnegie Mellon University professors didn't know the first thing about life on the road when they started work on the International LoneStar, but they knew plenty about design, having written the book, "The Design of Things to Come." That and hours spent chatting up drivers at truck stops helped them create a "lifestyle savvy" interior that packs the comforts of home into a rig as popular among truckers as hot coffee and cheap fuel...

Cagan says working on the project led him and Boatright to develop "compassion and understanding" for the lives of truckers. But they haven't gotten the tattoos... (Images: Navistar)


* Australia - Trucking industry calls for more road maintenance

The Australian Government should spend more on road maintenance as it works to boost the economy, rather than trying to bring forward more new road projects...

Canberra,Australia -Logistics Magazine (Sydney,NSW) -27 January 2009: -- ... according to the Chairman of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Trevor Martyn... Mr Martyn made the comments while releasing the ATA’s pre-budget submission to the Government... The submission warns that bringing forward more major projects in an attempt to jump start the economy could simply result in cost blowouts when construction starts in a few years’ time... In the ATA’s view, the Government should now spend more on road maintenance, which would generate an immediate boost to the economy: maintenance projects can get started very quickly... Under AusLink, the previous Government allocated $300 million per year to maintenance, but this figure was inadequate from the start...


BILL * USA - Requiry drivers to clean snow, ice from vehicles advances

Gannett,NJ,USA -The Daily Record, by LARRY HIGGS -January 26, 2009: -- Drivers, including truckers, will have to clean off snow and ice from their vehicles before getting on the road under a bill released by the Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday... The committee unanimously voted to release an amended bill over protests by trucking industry representatives that the proposed requirement is unsafe for truck drivers and relies on technology they say doesn't exist here. "There are still problems. This could be the last straw for some (small) trucking companies," said Sam Cunningham of Spring Lake, who handles government relations for the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers. Safety experts said ice and snow flying off the tops of tractor trailers and other large trucks is a hazard...


TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA - Con-way Reports Fourth-Quarter Loss

Carrier Suspends Guidance, Freezes Administrative Pay

Ann Arbor,MI,USA -Transport Topics -26 Jan 2009: -- Con-way Inc. late Monday reported a fourth-quarter loss, suspended its full-year earnings outlook and set a pay freeze for management and administrative employees... The carrier reported a fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations of $49.7 million, or $1.09 a share, compared with earnings from continuing operations of $36.9 million, or 78 cents, a year earlier... Revenue fell to $1.13 billion, from $1.2 billion a year earlier... For the full-year, Con-way reported net income from continuing operations of $58.6 million, or $1.23 per share, compared with $146.8 million, or $3.06, a year earlier. Both years included the effect of special charges...


TRANSPORT STATISTICS * USA - Truck Tonnage Plunges 14.1% in December

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -26 Jan 2009: -- Truck tonnage plummeted 14.1% in December from the same month last year, the biggest year-over-year decrease since February 1996, American Trucking Associations said late Monday... The decline in the group’s for-hire seasonally adjusted truck tonnage index marked the third straight year-over-year decline, following 11 straight increases... The tonnage index lost 11.1% from November’s level, the largest month-to-month drop since April 1994, when the less-than-truckload industry was on strike, ATA said... (Photo by Tom Biery/Trans Pixs)


CLEAN TRUCK PROGRAM * USA - L.A. port's clean-truck running on empty

Funding for a $20,000 incentive for buyers of clean-fuel trucks has dried up. Some trucking firms have spent millions of dollars on greener fleets, expecting the cash

Los Angeles,CAL,USA - The Los Angeles Times, by Ronald D. White -January 27, 2009: -- It sounded like a good deal: The Port of Los Angeles offered to pay $20,000 incentives as part of its Clean Trucks Program, launched Oct. 1 in conjunction with the neighboring Long Beach port to reduce pollution from trucking fleets serving the harbor... That sent Vic La Rosa into overdrive... The owner of Total Transportation Services Inc. ordered 111 trucks, some powered by cleaner-burning diesel and some by liquefied natural gas, each eligible for the $20,000 because they meet 2007 emissions standards... Then came the roadblocks... Port officials were expecting only modest interest in the incentive program -- maybe 1,000 rigs -- because eligibility hinged on far surpassing the requirements of the Clean Trucks Program, which initially bans all trucks built before 1989. Instead, more than 100 large and small trucking companies turned out, with as many as 7,500 trucks requiring grant money over the course of the next year... On top of that, state officials nixed funding assistance and a federal agency blocked the collection of fees to support the program, forcing the L.A. port to dip into its strained budget for $44 million to cover the first 2,200 trucks... That's leaving Total Transportation Services of Rancho Dominguez and other motor carriers short of a full load... Some carriers are worried they could go under if they don't get all of the help they had anticipated... (Photo by Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times - Vic La Rosa, owner of Total Transportation Services, ordered 111 cleaner-fuel trucks, each eligible for a $20,000 incentive through the Port of Los Angeles. The program was more popular than expected)


BORDERS' TROUBLES * Europe - Bulgaria wants clean transport corridor to Greece for its carriers

Sofia,Bulgaroa -BTA -January 26, 2009: -- Bulgaria will request a clean transport corridor to Greece for Bulgarian carriers, Transport Minister Peter Moutafchiev told BTA Sunday. The request will be made Monday through the Foreign Ministry and through Brussels, he added. Meanwhile road hauliers asked the government to claim compensations from the Greek government for the losses they sustain as a result of the blocking of the Greek border... The Transport Minister met with representatives of transport companies on Sunday as the three border crossings on the Bulgarian-Greek border remained closed for yet another day of protests by Greek farmers... (Photo: 10km of trucks Q-up to cross border to Bulgaria)


TORCHED TRUCKS * India - Naxals torch 28 trucks in Chhattisgarh

Raipur,Kanker,India -The Press Trust of India (New Delhi) -Jan 26, 2009: -- Armed naxalites torched 28 trucks and vehicles engaged in road construction work in Dantewada and Kanker districts last night... Senior police officials said today that a large number of armed naxalites barged into a vehicle garage of a prominent contractor in Kirandul and torched 24 vehicles stationed there. Similarly, the extremists torched four tippers in Kanker district... Dantewada SP Rahul Sharma told PTI today that more than 400 armed naxalites stormed the garage of prominent contractor K A Papachand and Company Limited (KAPCL) last night. They first threatened the family members of the contractor and his workers of dire consequences if they raised any alarm and then set afire the vehicles stationed in the garage.



* Germany- MAN Extends Truck Plant Closures Amid ‘Weak’ Demand

Munich,Germany -Bloomberg, by Andreas Cremer -Jan. 26, 2009: -- MAN AG, Europe’s third-largest truckmaker, will suspend commercial-vehicle production longer than planned to counter “weak” demand, a spokesman said... MAN’s commercial-vehicle unit plans to halt manufacturing for 70 days in the first half of the year. The step will affect about 9,400 workers at plants in the German cities of Munich, Nuremberg and Salzgitter... Heavy-truck sales in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, fell 17 percent in December while new registrations of all sizes of trucks and buses in Europe tumbled 24 percent, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said Jan. 23, citing “the sharpest decline in demand” since 1993... (Photo, Wikipedia: This logo is on the front of all MAN trucks and buses. The lion comes from Büssing AG, a company that MAN acquired in 1971)

* South Africa - Scania Trucks Boost Cape Commerce

Cape Town,South Africa -The Cape Business News -27 Jan 2009: -- Scania SA’s Cape Town dealer recently handed over no less than seven new Scania R-Series tractors to four eager operators. Five new Scania R470 tractors and two Scania R380 tractors were handed over on the same day... Joos Oberholzer owns Obie Transport, based in Upington and operating from Namibia, took delivery of the two R380 6x4 trucks... (Photo: Scania Ad Tonneau 1903)

* Russia - Kamaz expects $46 million loss in 2009

Moscow,Russia -Reuters -Jan 26, 2009: -- Russia's largest truck maker, Kamaz, expects a net loss of 1.5 billion roubles ($45.59 million) in 2009 due to a sharp drop in demand and volatility on the currency markets, it said on Monday... Truck makers have been harder hit by the global financial crisis than most other segments of the auto industry... Their main clients in the construction industry have had to cancel large orders for trucks after banks began refusing loans for building projects...

* India - Subbarao May Keep Indian Interest Rates on Hold at Record Low

New Delhi,India -Bloomberg, by Cherian Thomas -Jan. 27, 2009: -- India's central bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao , who alone decides monetary policy, unexpectedly cut rates on Jan. 2 to coincide with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's second fiscal stimulus package since December... Singh is also under pressure to prop up the economy and prevent companies from scaling back production and firing workers before general elections scheduled for April and May this year... Tata Motors Ltd., India's biggest truckmaker, stopped production at a commercial-vehicle factory for six days this month. Hyundai Motor Co.'s Indian unit is cutting output and firing temporary staff. Indian exporters said this month they expect to cut about 10 million jobs by March...

* USA - Eaton’s Fourth-Quarter Income Declines

Cleveland,OH,USA -Transport Topics -26 Jan 2009: -- Vehicle parts manufacturer Eaton Corp. said Monday its fourth-quarter profit fell to $163 million, or 98 cents per share, from $256 million, or $1.71, a year earlier... For the full year, its overall net income rose 6% to $1.06 billion, while income per share was $6.52, down 1% from a year earlier. Sales rose 18% to a record $15.4 billion...