User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: August 2010

Aug 31, 2010

LCV * USA - More really big rigs may cut trucking costs

Middletown,NY,USA -Record On Line -30 Aug 2010: -- The New York State Thruway from Buffalo to New York City, it is the only highway in New York where trucking companies can run tandems, also known as doubles or longer combination vehicles... Doubles can't even move from the Thruway to another interstate in a neighboring state, except for the Mass Pike, and then the weights for tandems are different there... And so, companies depend on these short-term parking lots where drivers can make up or break up their rigs when they move on and off the Thruway... The federal government first limited tandems to interstates in 1956. The feds then froze size and weight standards in 1991, leaving doubles (and triples in the West) to keep on truckin' in only 20 states... The industry accepts the axiom that trucks subject the highway system to more wear and tear than cars — but trucks also pay significantly more in state and federal vehicle-based taxes than cars to compensate... Which means the elephant in the room is safety. The industry, relying on stats that some say aren't conclusive, maintains that the heavily regulated doubles have better safety records than singles... (Photo from cache2.asset-cache: Rare October Snowstorm Paralyzes Buffalo)


Aug 30, 2010

Brutal Honesty ? * The U.S. Government vs The American Trucker

The following article is a re-post of my (probable) final post

Elk City,OK,USA -Trucks * Truckers * Trucking, by Keith Birmingham -August 29, 2010: -- For the first 15 years of my trucking career I fought hard to improve the system. I wrote more letters to government officials than I care to remember. I bitched and complained to everyone I knew, and to a lot of people I did not know. Some transportation magazines were viewing my letter writing as regular contributions to their magazines. But, all of that work went for little gain for the men and women on the front lines. In the last 20 years I stopped trying to change things. I stopped yelling, screaming, bitching, complaining, and letter writing. I kept the driver's door shut. I rolled the windows up. I turned the c.b. off. I turned the a.m. on. And, I drove. And, I accomplished just as much change... What I am trying to say is that there is only one way to change this industry. Letters from drivers won't do it. Shut downs won't do it. An occasional deadly crash on the highway won't do it. A thousand new rest areas, and 500 new fuel stops won't change a thing. By the time anything is done by a government entity you will find that it was done 20 years too late. Those are not idiots in Washington, but they are deaf mutes. If you want to change this industry you will have to tell the truth about this industry to prospective drivers. Convince them not to enter the industry. You will have to leave this industry. And, when there is nobody left to deliver the toilet paper to wipe their butts you will find that the ears will come unplugged. And, changes will be made... This site (Trucks * Truckers * Trucking) is essentially null and void. For now it will not be deleted, and there may be an occassional post. And, in the future I may have the desire to work with the site again. I am a retired 35 year veteran of the trucking industry. I have started a new life. And, while I still enjoy photographing trucks I have no desire to write about the industry... For now, the only reference I wish to make about government regulations of truckers, and all of the other crap truckers have to deal with, - well, that will be done in my stories... (Picture from t1.gstatic: The vehicles as seen here at the O2 Arena, Greenwich are in their striking...)

* CSA 2010 and HOS Change: The Perfect Storm for Trucking Industry?

Dunnellon,FL,USA -Before It's News, by Allen Smith -27 Aug 2010:
... With the possibility of more than a quarter of a million truck drivers facing termination from their driving careers from the CSA 2010 initiative, coupled with the talk of changing the current HOS rules, is there a a catastrophic event heading straight toward professional drivers and trucking companies alike? ... The hours of service rule for truck drivers could be looking at losing two hours of driving time, along with doing away with the 34 hour restart rule. The ATA and company CEO’s fear that these two aspects combined will reduce productivity among drivers. ATA Chairman, Tommy Hodges stated that the CSA 2010 will be a “free agency for drivers.” He went on to say, “a driver that knows he’s got a good record, he knows how to abide by the rules, and he knows and understands his value to your company, (is) going to come in and say, ‘look at my score, you’re going to pay me 50 cents a mile or I’m going to go to XYZ,’ and he will.” He went on to comment that productivity loss could be as high as 18 percent if the changes are indeed made... No doubt that losing two hours of driving time and the 34 hour restart will change the way trucking companies operate, but could not adding additional time for rest also increase productivity by eliminating much of the “pushing of drivers” to run further and harder? The industry sees the loss of revenue coming by not being able to push their drivers beyond their physical and mental limits in order to get the freight delivered and move on to the next load. Are the industry leaders more concerned with the loss of dollars than the safety of their drivers? ... Truck drivers operated under the former set of HOS rules for years and did just fine. The new HOS rules, if they occur, will basically return nearly as they were before. Is the industry fearful of losing their ability to push their drivers’ work loads, or more afraid of drivers gaining more control over their own careers? ...


Aug 29, 2010

TECHNO-NEWS * USA - Aircraft Technology Applied to Trucks

Aerodynamic improvements and flow control are research techniques working with trucks and trailers

USA -Automotive Articles -August 29th, 2010: -- Several aerodynamic improvements and flow control techniques are used in jet aircraft wings in order to allow a better movement through the air and thus enhance the overall performance of the airplane. The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta is now working on using these same techniques with trucks and trailers. According to the latest tests using a full-size truck show clearly how the techniques enhance fuel efficiency reducing fuel costs by as much as 12 percent. The techniques can also improve directional control and breaking, enhancing this way safety as well on the roads... The techniques employed in this technology include aerodynamic improvements made possible by geometry modifications in the trucks that generate savings of up to 6 to 7 percent. These modifications include rounding aft trailer corners, installation of fairings, as well as other modifications that smooth air flow over the boxy trucks. The additional savings of 5 percent are achieved through pneumatic devices that blow air from vents at the rear of the vehicle to prevent separation of air flow... (Figure from The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science|U.Chicago Argonne LLC: Prediction of aerodynamic flow patterns for a heavy-duty vehicle using computational fluid dynamics)

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Aug 28, 2010

ALTERNATIVES FUEL * UK - Illegal diesel laundering plant uncovered

Clonmore Village,Dungannon,Co. Tyrone,UK -HGV UK -August 27, 2010: -- A man has been arrested following the discovery of a diesel laundering plant hidden in residential premises at Clonmore Village, Clonmore, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone... The illegal operation with the capacity to produce up to 1.5 million litres of illicit fuel a year, evading almost £1 million of revenue, has been dismantled by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officers... HMRC assisted by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, seized 10,000 litres of laundered green diesel, vehicles, storage tanks and laundering equipment following a raid yesterday morning (Tuesday)... As part of the clean up operation HMRC removed the residue of the laundering process; over 1,000 litres of toxic waste... (Picture from Fuel laundering South Armagh)

* USA - Global Biodiesel Production: A Different Perspective

Grand Forks,ND,USA -Biodiesel Magazine, by Klaus Ruhmer -27 Aug 2010: ... Biodiesel it is the only available biodegradable drop-in replacement for petroleum diesel in the foreseeable future. With this you may ask yourself, why wouldn’t we all use biodiesel? There are several reasons why biodiesel hasn’t yet been widely adopted. First, there isn’t enough to replace all our diesel needs. This has lead to the “is it really worth it, it’s only a drop in the bucket” mindset. Biodiesel is forced to compete with petroleum diesel as a commodity. Feedstock cost is responsible for about 80 percent of biodiesel cost, while crude oil production cost is less than 30 percent of petroleum diesel cost. Biodiesel quality standards such as ASTM D6751 or EN14214 are becoming more and more stringent. Quality deficiencies and off-spec biodiesel are detrimental to the entire industry as they negatively impact the public acceptance of the fuel... Only plants with a biodiesel yield close to 100 percent have a chance to be successful... We are facing finite fossil energy resources—ultimately we have to sustainably produce and grow the energy and the food we need. Biodiesel is one piece to the puzzle. Biogas, biomass, wind, solar, water and others are also needed... (Photo from Muestra de biodiésel)


TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA - Port Demands Repayment of $1.8 Million From Fleets

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -Transport Topics, by Eric Miller -Aug. 30, 2010: -- The Port of Los Angeles has told 15 motor carriers that received subsidies to buy new cleaner-running trucks that they must return more than $1.8 million for trucks that did not make enough visits to the port last year... Officials said a preliminary analysis showed that 498 of the 2,087 new, cleaner-burning tractors the carriers bought with the aid of incentive funding last year failed to meet the required 150 drayage trips annually... The port said 428 of the 591 new 2007 federal emissions-compliant trucks that Swift purchased with incentive funds did not make the required number of trips to satisfy a contractual agreement... Truckload carrier Swift Transportation Co. Inc., Phoenix, owed more than $1.6 million, the port’s analysis found... David Berry, vice president of Swift, told Transport Topics on Aug. 23 that the company is reviewing the analysis and believes it may owe less money... (Photo from t0.gstatic: Trucks waiting to enter the Port of Los Angeles)

* Wisconsin - Schneider to Sell Forwarding Business

Green Bay,WIS,USA -Transport Topics -1 Sept 2010: -- Schneider Logistics said it will sell its freight forwarding and customs house brokerage business in the United States and China to France-based Norbert Dentressangle... The sale includes seven Schneider locations in the U.S. and two in China... All affected employees will become employees of Norbert Dentressangle, and the sale will not affect other Schneider business... Norbert Dentressangle, based in Lyon, France, is a logistics and freight forwarding business. It has 6,900 trucks and 8,600 trailers, and reported revenues of $3.5 billion in 2009, Schneider said...

* Arkansas - J.B. Hunt to install Rair solution

Lowell,AR,USA -Fleet Owner -Aug 27, 2010: -- Truckload carrier J.B. Hunt has chosen a solution from Rair to help with compliance of CSA 2010 regulations... Rair is a provider of risk management services. Its solution allows carriers to not only monitor its CSA 2010 scores, but also to analyze that data to develop safety training plans... The ability to customize the solution was a key factor in J.B. Hunt’s decision to go with Rair... (Photo from encyclopediaofarkansas: JBHunt corporate headquarters, aerial view)

* Arkansas - Celadon Group Plans Share Repurchase

Little Rock,ARK,USA -AP/Transport Topics -27 Aug 2010: -- Celadon Group said it plans to buy back as many as 2 million shares by Aug. 31 of next year... Celadon has about 22 million shares outstanding... Separately, a federal judge in Arkansas ruled that a suit against Celadon by former employees of Continental Express could proceed with class-action status... Celadon bought Continental in 2008, and its workers claim that Celadon did not give enough notice before closing down the Little Rock, Ark., carrier... Celadon argued it did not have to notify workers because it didn’t buy the company, just equipment such as tractors...

* Virginia - Lawrence Transportation to Buy Va. Carrier

Roanoke,VA,USA -Transport Topics -1 Sept 2010: -- Moving company Lawrence Transportation said it will buy Virginia carrier William Edwards Inc. Terms were not disclosed... Founded in 1971, Verona, Va.-based William Edwards primarily serves the East Coast. It has about 70 trucks and 175 trailers, according to American Trucking Associations’ fleet data... Lawrence, which has been in business since 1932, also has logistics, storage services and truck leasing operations. It has about 200 trucks and 450 trailers, according to ATA data... (Photo from Lawrence Transportation)


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA - OOIDA and manufacturers call for tax credit on new trucks

Washington,DC,USA -Land Line Magazine, by David Tanner -26 Aug 2010: -- OOIDA has teamed up with truck manufacturers and equipment dealers to urge the Obama administration to implement a temporary 10 percent tax credit to companies that purchase 2010-compliant trucks... The group of companies and associations stated in a letter dated July 20 that without an incentive to buy new equipment, trucking companies are going to stretch their dollars as far as they can with trucks they already own... Sales of trucks in 2009 reached historically low levels, according to the letter authors, a group that included the American Truck Dealers, Truck Manufacturers Association, and OEMs Daimler, Mack, Navistar, Volvo and Hino... According to the signers of the letter, White House staff members have indicated that they would like to follow up in a meeting, which is to include OOIDA, in early September.

* FMCSA pushes back intermodal rule deadline

Washington,DC,USA -Land Line Magazine -August 26, 2010: -- Intermodal chassis providers were given another year to get their ducks in a row in order to comply with some record-keeping requirements included in the new intermodal roadability requirements... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration extended the compliance deadline to have a system that requires drivers to fill out inspection reports on every chassis – even if it is not damaged or is free of defects. The reporting process was to begin by June 30. But FMCSA pushed the compliance deadline back until June 30, 2011... The extension will give FMCSA officials a chance to consider dropping the reporting requirement on defect- or damage-free equipment. That issue was brought to light in a petition for reconsideration filed by a pair of groups representing intermodal equipment providers... In the meantime, requirements for intermodal equipment providers to have in place inspection, repair and maintenance programs, as well as a process for receiving and taking appropriate action in response to driver inspection reports that damage, defects, or deficiencies are reported, remain in effect... (Photo from trailerfix: intermodal chassis)

* Most Buyers Pick ’09 Engines for Their 2010-Model Trucks

New York,NY,USA -Transport Topics by Frederick Kiel -30 Aug 2010: -- Truck manufacturers delivered vehicles with 66,494 Class 8 engines during the first half of the year, reported last week, but most of the power plants do not meet 2010 federal emissions regulations, manufacturers and analysts said... Two industry consultants said that was the result of manufacturers’ drawing down their inventories of 2009 engines... (Photo from Trucks at stop)


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS WORLDWIDE * Sweden - Volvo July truck shipments soar as Europe recovers

Stockholm,Sweden -Reuters, by David Cowell -Aug 25, 2010: -- Truck deliveries by world number two maker Volvo rose 62 percent year-on-year in July on the back of firmer European demand as commercial vehicle markets rebound from their worst downturn in decades... Volvo, which sells trucks under the Renault, Mack, UD Trucks and Eicher brands as well as its own name, said shipments rose 61 percent in Europe, its biggest market, and were up 52 percent in North America and 68 percent in Asia... Deliveries of the group's Volvo-marque trucks shot up up 116 percent year-on-year in the month as demand in Europe, especially in Northern and Central Europe, recovers... The company, which also manufactures buses, construction equipment, engines and aerospace components, has said it expects the heavy truck market to grow about 10 percent in Europe this year and about 20-30 percent in North America... (Photo from fondoscopados: Volvo trucks)

* Brazil - BorgWarner to Supply R2S® Turbocharging Technologies to MAN - BorgWarner's Will Help Increase Fuel Economy, Reduce Emissions and Improve Performance for MAN Engines Built to Power Light-Duty Trucks and Urban Buses in Brazil

Auburn Hills,MICH,USA -PRNewswire/FirstCall -July 7, 2010: -- BorgWarner will supply its regulated two-stage turbocharging (R2S®) technology to MAN for engines used to power medium-duty trucks and urban buses in the Latin American market beginning in 2012. To meet growing demand for increased power output and reduced emissions, MAN will use BorgWarner's innovative turbocharging system for its common-rail, four-cylinder and six-cylinder diesel engines with displacements of 4.6 and 6.9 liters and nominal power output of 180 hp to 290 hp (132 kW-213 kW). Produced at BorgWarner's facility in Campinas, Brazil, the optimized turbocharging system helps the new engines achieve impressive fuel economy, reduced emissions and improved performance. MAN Latin America leads the truck market in Brazil with a market share of more than 30 percent... (Photo: Regulated two stage turbocharge from BorgWarner)

* Germany - MAN Aims to Sell New Products With Sinotruk in Chinese Market Next Year

(Video from YouTube, by wojtekdh -29 Sept 2007: The new MAN Trucks with the most powerful MAN TGX 680 V8 truck in Europe !!! TRUCK OF THE YEAR 2008 !!!)

Munich,Germany -Bloomberg News - Aug 26, 2010: -- MAN SE, Europe’s third-largest truckmaker, plans to introduce products with partner Sinotruk Hong Kong Ltd. next year and use more locally sourced parts, Chief Executive Officer, Georg Pachta-Reyhofen, said... MAN, which holds a 25 percent stake in Hong Kong-based Sinotruk, may raise the stake in the future, he said today in Beijing... The Volkswagen AG affiliate is benefiting from a rebound in demand for heavy trucks in Europe and a surge in sales in Brazil that helped the Munich-based company increase profit almost sevenfold in the second quarter. Pachta-Reyhofen said today that emerging countries including those in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Russia can be a “huge market” for the two companies...

* UK - Collease buys another 100 trailers from Dennison

Norfolk,UK -Road Transport, by Kevin Swallow -26 August 2010: -- Norfolk-based truck and trailer rental company Collease has bought 100 new trailers from Dennison, the second such deal in six months, taking its total trailer renewal spend to £3m in the past 12 months... Duncan Scillitoe, general manager and director, says the latest hire-purchase deal, which includes 70 skeletal trailers and 30 curtainsiders, is a part-exchange agreement for nine-year-old rolling stock... Scillitoe says 30 of the new skeletals are tipping trailers with Lister engines, and the curtainsiders represent additions to the 3,500 trucks and trailers on the Collease fleet; approximately 70% of the fleet is geared towards the container market... Scillitoe says operators are taking on more work at the moment, but remain cautious... (Picture from roadtransport)

* China - Truck-maker Beiqi Foton H1 net profit jumps 153.2 pct

Beijing,China -Xinhua -Aug. 27, 2010: -- Beiqi Foton Motor, one of China's major truck makers, said Friday its net profit for the first half of this year was up 153.2 percent from the same period last year... Net profit totaled 1.147 billion yuan (168.7 million U.S. dollars) and earnings per share stood at 1.252 yuan, up 153.44 percent year on year, the company said in a statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange... The soaring profit was achieved on the back of a 54.17-percent increase in business revenues, which rose to 30.2 billion yuan, said the statement... The Beijing-based truck maker attributed the strong performance to a government program meant to invigorate the automobile industry and the company's success in "raising the internal value of its products"... Despite the remarkable gains in revenues and profit, Beiqi Foton's shares on the Shanghai bourse declined 1.45 percent to 21.12 yuan Friday... (Photo from t2.gstatic: Foton's Headquarter in Chang Ping District,Beijing)


CLEAN PORTS * USA - Port of L.A. wins round in lawsuit, appeal anticipated

Los Angeles,CAL,USA - Land Line Magazine, by Charlie Morasch -August 27, 2010: -- A federal judge has ruled in favor of the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program, although litigants – the American Trucking Associations – have said they plan to appeal the latest ruling in a two-year legal battle... On Thursday, Aug. 26, U.S. District Judge, Christina Snyder, ruled in favor of the port, including the Clean Truck Program’s employee-driver provision, off-site parking and other requirements on the basis that the Port is acting as a market participant and, as such, is not subject to the laws that pre-empt states or municipalities from regulating trucking activities... While the Port of Los Angeles has sought to regulate drayage drivers, it hasn’t regulated long-haul trucking, and the port worked with OOIDA to create a Day Pass system that allows trucks engaged in long-haul to bypass the system... OOIDA has objected to expensive fees for port access and has pointed out underlying problems at ports that go beyond the scope of the Clean Truck Program... ATA argued that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization act of 1994 pre-empted the port from regulating some portions included in the concessionaire plan, including the employee-only mandate... (Photo: Port of Los Angeles sky view)

* COMMENT: Judge’s Ruling on Los Angeles Clean Trucks Program Delights Some, Dismays Others, Surprises Many

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Cunningham Report, by George Cunningham -29 Aug 2010:
... Common wisdom had been that Judge Snyder would uphold the port's right to require truckers to sign up for a concession, but would rule against the port's plan to require that all drivers be employees of the drayage companies that pick up and deliver cargo at port terminals. That rule - the most controversial provision of the Clean Trucks Program - would ban owner-operators from servicing port terminals and open the drayage industry to unionization by the Teamsters Union... Also a surprise to many was the judge's rationale for the ruling. She agreed with the ATA's argument that the port was preempted by the federal government from requiring trucking companies to use employee-drivers or regulating off-street parking. And she agreed that the safety exemption, which allows local agencies to restrict trucking when it comes to safety did not apply in either of those cases... But she disagreed with the ATA when it came to the port's claim that it was a market participant and as such it could require certain conditions from the companies with which it did business. The ATA argued that since the port does not itself purchase drayage services or participate directly in the drayage services market, it was not a market participant... Judge Snyder, however, said the law allows the port to be considered a proprietor even if it does not buy anything. As a landlord, the port has the proprietary interest in maximizing its profits and operation. While the federal government preempts local agencies from regulating trucking, it does not prohibit a public agency from taking proprietary actions that require certain terms from companies doing business on its property...The battle may not be over until the fat lady sings - and that fat lady could well turn out to be the U.S. Supreme Court - but the movement by ATA and others to quash the Port of Los Angeles Clean Trucks plan has been significantly damaged...

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TRUCKING STATISTICS * USA - Truck Tonnage Climbs 7.4 Percent in July

Index points to subdued growth in eighth consecutive month of year-to-year gains

Arlington,VA,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Joseph Bonney -Aug 26, 2010: -- Truck tonnage rose 7.4 percent in July, the eighth consecutive month of year-to-year increase, the American Trucking Associations reported... Year-to-date tonnage is 6.7 percent higher than the corresponding period last year, the ATA said in its monthly seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index... July’s level was up 1.5 percent from June. June’s total was 1.6 percent below May’s number, according to the ATA’s revised figures, but was up 7.6 percent from June 2009... ATA Chief Economist. Bob Costello. said the data did not change the outlook for subdued tonnage growth in the months ahead... The ATA calculates the tonnage each month based on reports by its member trucking companies...


Aug 25, 2010

STRIKE * Argentine - Truckers Union Blocks Ternium's Steel Factories For Fourth Day

Argentina’s largest steelmaker, had its plants blocked for the fourth consecutive day, by truck drivers protesting working conditions

(Video from YouTube, by c5n TV News -20 Aug 2010: For the fourth straight day unions block plants)

Buenos Aires,CF,Argentine -Bloomberg, by Bill Faries -Aug 20, 2010: ... The strike, which has blocked the entrance to the company’s Siderar SAIC plants since Aug. 17, is unlikely to impact earnings “unless it goes on for weeks,” Walter Chiarvesio, an analyst with Banco Santander, said in an interview yesterday... Truckers are demanding that Siderar improve the working conditions of contracted drivers for the protest to end, trucking union official Pablo Moyano said in an Aug. 18 interview... Siderar’s plants supply the country’s automobile industry, which has helped Argentina boost growth amid rising demand for cars in neighboring Brazil. Auto output rose 22 percent in July from a year earlier while exports climbed 25 percent over the same period... The labor ministry will organize a meeting between the company and the union today to try to end the protest... Ternium is part of the Techint Argentina SA group, which also controls companies such as Tenaris SA, the world’s largest producer of seamless steel pipes used by crude producers...


ANALYSIS * USA - Trucking Time Bomb: What To Do About Mexican Trucks?

Maybe the United States should be living up to its end of the bargain by agreeing to what is called for when it signed the NAFTA accord

New York,NY,USA -Gerson Lehrman Group, by John Schulz -August 20, 2010: ... If somebody were lying to you, even a good neighbor, eventually you would get irritated with that neighbor, right? Right now, that neighbor is the United States, and the one getting irritated is Mexico... Under terms of the 16-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexican- and Canadian-domiciled trucks were supposed to be allowed to operate in this country, at least on a limited basis... We've agreed to that as far as the Canadians are concerned. For the Mexicans, not so much... Bowing to political pressure, the Obama administration has pulled back from a pilot program that would have allowed 100 or so highly inspected Mexican trucking companies to operate in this country beyond the 25-mile "free trade zone" along our southern border... Because of this, the Mexican government is pushing back with a variety of tariffs as much as 25 percent on U.S. products, including pork, cheese, ketchup, corn and fruits. In March 2009, the Mexican government began the increased tariffs of as much as 45 percent on such products as vegetables, wine, juices, sunglasses and toothpaste... The trucking industry can handle that level of competition. After all, there are some 7,000 U.S. trucking fleets registered at the Department of Transportation. A hundred or so more Mexican fleets hardly will make much of a difference... What this is all about is not competition, but rather politics... (Photo from cache3.asset-cache: US Department of Transportation's trucks control, at mexican border)

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GHG compliance * USA - California's one could save carriers money over time

Tacoma,WA,USA -FleetOwner, by Sean Kilcarr -Aug 23, 2010: -- Despite the costs of complying with the CARB new heavy-duty tractor-trailer greenhouse gas regulation mandate that went into effect Jan. 1 this year, some fleets are finding they may come out ahead in the long run... For example, Tacoma, WA-based Interstate Distributor Co., operates a fleet of more than 2,000 tractors and 6,800 trailers and is currently installing Aeroflex side skirts on 2,058 of its trailers. The carrier is getting the cost of installation partially offset via a $175,000 grant from the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC). Obtained that money, from a $875,972 grant from the EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act... Freight Wing, said product registered fuel economy savings of up to 7% in independent SAE/TMC J1321 track testing conducted by Energotest two years ago. At that level of fuel economy savings, a fleet would be able to pay off its investment in trailer side fairings after roughly 50,000 mi. of operation... (Picture by Louis and Minerva Wiss of Seattle, Washington, who are company drivers for Interstate Distributor Co. of Tacoma, Washington)

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ADMINISTRATION NEWS * USA - New Rules Mandate EOBR Devices That Don’t Yet Exist

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has decreed that all trucks must use a new type of electronic onboard recorder — a type that doesn’t exist yet...

Arlington,VA,USA -iTECH/Transport Topics, by Dan Leone -23 Aug 2010: -- If your fleet uses electronic driver logs and plans to buy trucks after June 4, 2012, be sure to tell your company’s chief technology officer ahead of time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has decreed that all trucks manufactured after that date must use a new type of electronic onboard recorder — a type that doesn’t exist yet... The good news, is that with a minimum of tinkering and a few software updates, many of the hours-of-service recording devices currently in use could morph into the kind of system that FMCSA wants to see in trucks minted on June 5, 2012, and later... The bad news is that certain other devices cannot be upgraded... While some wiggle room exists for continued use of older recorders, eventually, as carriers replace trucks, they also will have to buy new onboard computers — or at least modify the ones they already have... Of course, carriers cannot buy what isn’t for sale...

* FMCSA Drug, Alcohol Sweep Nabs 109 Drivers. Number of violations cited surges in second annual two-week sweep

Washington,DC,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by William B. Cassidy -Aug 20, 2010: -- Federal and state officials pulled more than 100 truck drivers off the road for drug and alcohol violations in a two-week investigative sweep. The drug and alcohol task force also levied charges on more than 175 companies... That's a 42 percent increase in the number of truck and bus drivers put out of service from last year, when the first drug and alcohol task force put 77 drivers out of service and charged 84 companies with violating drug and alcohol rules... The sweep took place in late June and involved Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration investigators and state truck and bus safety officials, FMCSA said. The investigators examined truck and bus company driver records... Of the 109 drivers removed from service, 101 were truck drivers, FMCSA confirmed yesterday. Sixteen of those truckers had hazardous materials endorsements to their commercial driver's licenses, and four were driving a hazmat truck at the time... The drivers face fines and the prospect of being barred from operating commercial vehicles. The 175 carriers cited could face fines and other penalties as well...

* NHTSA, EPA Send Proposed Rules For Truck Mileage to White House

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -23 Aug 2010: -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 13 sent their proposed standards for heavy- and medium-duty trucks to the White House for review by the Office of Management and Budget... Details of the proposal were not available at press time. OMB typically takes about 90 days to review rules, so the proposal likely will be published before the end of the year... In May, President Obama ordered the two agencies to cooperate on new rules that would cut carbon emissions from large trucks starting in 2014...