User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: February 2011

Feb 28, 2011

REGISTRATION FEES DEBATE * Australia - Transport Department denies truckies taking out rego interstate

(Photo from ABC News, by Andrew Fisher)

Sydney,NSW,Australia -ABC News, by Tim Jeanes -Feb 28, 2011: -- The Road Transport Association says some companies are registering their vehicles interstate to avoid big registration hikes in South Australia...  Executive director Steve Shearer says a 75 per cent increase in B-double registration costs has taken them to $14,000 per year. He said costs in Western Australia remained at $4,500...  A Transport Department official said there was no data suggesting South Australian registrations were being lost to interstate...   He said the new charges were developed by the National Transport Commission in consultation with the heavy vehicle industry and were yet to take effect in Western Australia...


DEBATES * USA - Hand-Held Phone Use

* ATA Supports Proposed Ban on Hand-Held Phone Use by Drivers

Arlington,VA,USA -TruckingInfo -24 Feb 2011:  --  The American Trucking Associations announced its support of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's proposed prohibition on the use of hand-held mobile phones, though it urged the agency to allow the use of hands free devices, citing agency research demonstrating the net safety benefits of such devices...  ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said: "Recognizing the risks of hand held mobile phone use, it simply makes sense to prohibit their use by all motorists to make the highways safer for everyone" ...   ATA also objected to the proposed prohibition on reaching for a mobile phone while driving. Doing so, ATA argued, would prevent drivers from initiating hands-free calls which, as the agency's research demonstrates, can have a net safety benefit. Further, ATA claimed, it is inconsistent to permit drivers to reach for other objects (e.g., a C.B., a radio dial) but prohibit reaching for a cell phone...

* OOIDA: Comments support hands-free use of cell phones

Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line Magazine, by David Tanner -25 Feb 2911: -- Drivers and carriers submitting comments to the public docket want the FMCSA to leave responsible hands-free use of cellular phones alone. Many also believe that responsible hand-held use of phones while driving should be left alone because the entire trucking industry relies so much on wireless communication.
* Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association:
“Indeed, cell phone use is no more distracting than other types of communications and electronic equipment used regularly by truck drivers such as in-cab fleet management devices, global positioning and other navigation systems, and Citizens Band (CB) radios that have not received the same level of scrutiny by FMCSA” ...   OOIDA, association president Jim Johnston noted that driver distraction is seldom the cause of truck wrecks. Johnston indicated that that the safety record of professional drivers has improved significantly in recent years, and he cited a study done by the transportation institute at Virginia Tech that found that talking on a hand-held cell phone doesn't create any increased risk of an accident...

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TRANSPORT & LOGISTIC NEWS * China: Proposes Colombia Rail Link to Rival Panama Canal

Land route could carry exports, imports for all of Latin America

Beijing,China -The Journal of Commerce Online (USA), by Bruce Barnard -Feb 14, 2011: -- China is in negotiations over the construction of a rail link across Colombia to rival the Panama Canal... The 137 mile "dry canal,” linking Colombia's Atlantic and Pacific coasts, would make it easier for China to export goods across Latin America and import raw materials such as coal... The plan is for imported Chinese goods to be re-assembled at a new city near Cartagena, on Colombia's northern Atlantic coast, for export across the Americas... Raw materials would be exported from Colombia and other South American countries from the Pacific end of the railway... Colombia, the world's fifth largest coal producer, currently ships most of its exports through the Atlantic ports despite faster growing demand across the Pacific... China and Colombia are negotiating over other transport projects, including the construction of a 495 mile railway and expansion of the Pacific port of Buenaventura at a cost of $7.6 billion... (Photo: City of Bogota, Colombia´s federal capital)

* China - CSAV, China Shipping Add All-Water Route. Linking Asia and the U.S. East Coast via the Panama Canal

Shanghai,China -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Joseph Bonney -Feb 22, 2011:  ... The all-water Amex Sling 2 will begin service March 21, using nine ships with capacities of 4,200 20-foot equivalent units. The service rotation will be Shanghai, Xiamen, Yantian, Hong Kong, Lazaro Cardenas, New York-New Jersey, Norfolk, Savannah, Miami, Lazaro Cardenas, Shanghai... The service will be in addition to CSAV’s existing Amex Sling 1, which has 12 ships with capacities of about 3,500 TEUs and operates on a longer service that also calls in South Korea, the Caribbean transshipment ports of Kingston and Cartagena, and Charleston and Port Everglades... (Photo: A ship owned by Chilean container line CSAV)


Feb 27, 2011

BIODIESEL * Canada - Now a Reality in Canada

Ontario,Canada -Driving Today, by Jack Nerad -February 25, 2011: -- As you may guess, the new Canadian regulations that mandate the nationwide use of 2-percent biodiesel fuels were applauded by industry groups like the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), which called the decision “good news for consumers, farmers and energy diversity in Canada” ...  But the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is not nearly as positive about the new regs. In fact, it challenged government claims that its members stand to reduce their carbon footprint in any significant manner through the biodiesel mandate"...   According to CTA, there is strong evidence -- including a 2009 study done by EcoRessources Consultants (ERC) for Environment Canada -- that shows the environmental impact of a biodiesel mandate in terms of greenhouse gas reduction is negligible, and the benefits of that reduction are outweighed by the costs. According to ERC, the total incremental cost to society of the proposed biodiesel regulation for on-road use would be $4.5 billion between 2011 and 2035, whereas the benefits -- in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions -- are valued at only a tad over $860 million...

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WOMEN TRUCKERS * USA - More Women Joining Arkansas' Multi-Billion Dollar Trucking Industry

Less than 7% drivers who are women, living their lives behind the wheel

Kark,Little Rock,ARK,USA -Ozarks First -February 25 2011:  ... Reyna White has been driving semis for over 20 years. She's a great-grandmother now but she did it then simply because she needed work.... A self-described loner, when she drives, she doesn't like to talk. She keeps a steady eye on the road, her small hands steady too... She loves this job. but her work is hard, physically and mentally... This man's world is intimidating, often and sometimes, terrifying... Rayna's C.B. stays off. The talk is too vulgar... She knows women who have been assaulted and raped at truck stops. when she walks through the rows of trucks, she always watches her back: her tire iron, her only weapon... Linda, too, has been harassed on the highway. But her security is fellow driver and husband Jeff... The Hardys are two of an increasing number of husband and wife teams on the road. Linda wouldn't have it any other way... Side by side, or with one in the sleeper berth, they tackle the traffic, the stress of an unstable life... Luckily, they get along. it's the other comforts of home Linda misses most... Living out of a cab, greasy food and showers at truck stops, there's little room for luxuries... It's family time, too these women pine for, the missed moments with their children and grandchildren...  On the road, these women do more, blazing a trail, refusing to be told to take the back-seat... (see video)


OIL NEWS * Canada - Fuel prices, cast anxiety over truckers

Halton,ONT,CAN -The Spec, by Danielle Wong -Feb 24, 2011:  ...   Alarming gas price increases are making drivers, business owners and civic leaders nervous as various pockets of Hamilton are taking the hit...  Shawn Kemp, the vice-president of operations for local delivery business PACEX Transportation Solutions, agreed Ottawa needed to step in and take the Canadian oil business off the world market...  The struggling trucking industry has only begun a slow climb towards recovery over the past two years, Kemp said, but the jump in fuel prices has him and other employees worried. “My concern is … it’s going to put us back in recession again,” he said. “It’s going to slow down business. As fuel prices go up, shipping volume goes down” ...  The immediate plan for their company is to transfer increased fuel prices to clients, until they refuse to absorb any more, at which point the company will have to take on the costs and see a drop in their profit margin, Kemp said...   Although Libya is a small player in the oil market, holding 5 per cent of the world’s proven reserves, it cannot be dismissed because the market is very thin, said McMaster University economics professor Atif Kubursi...

* USA - Open access to domestic energy sources, ATA tells Obama

Arlington,VA,USA -The Trucker News Services -25 Feb 2011:  --  With world events showing the importance of energy independence, the American Trucking Associations called on the Obama administration to stop blocking access to U.S.-held energy assets...  “The trucking industry requires more than 34 billion gallons of diesel fuel to deliver essential commodities like food, medicine, clothing and fuel,” ATA Vice President and Regulatory Affairs Counsel Rich Moskowitz said Feb. 24. “Despite advances in alternative energy, the trucking industry will continue to depend on traditional diesel fuel for the foreseeable future”  ...  Moskowitz said, “Rising fuel prices hurt truckers twice - first by increasing their operating costs and then by reducing freight volumes as consumers spend more on energy and are forced to reduce their spending on other consumer goods” ... In 2010, the trucking industry spent an estimated $101.5 billion on diesel fuel – a 28 percent increase over the previous year. Before the current spike in crude oil prices, ATA estimated that in 2011 carriers will spend roughly $20 billion more at the pump than they did last year...

* USA - Tapping Alaska

Charlotte,NC,USA -Portfolio -Feb 25 2011: -- Gasoline prices already were high for this time of year, but the disruption of Libyan oil exports has caused the average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. to jump nearly 12 cents in the past three days, to $3.29 a gallon... That’s according to AAA’s daily survey of prices at the pump... As the weather warms and Americans drive more, that price could creep up to $4 a gallon, or beyond, depending on what happens to world oil supplies... These higher gasoline prices will squeeze both consumers, who will have less money to buy other goods and services, and businesses, who will try to pass along their additional transportation costs to their customers. That’s not what a still-recovering economy needs... The oil shocks of the past week have prompted many business groups to call for increased oil production in the U.S... Yesterday, the Energy Security Leadership Council, a group co-chaired by FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith, renewed its call for increased domestic oil production. Dependence on foreign sources of petroleum poses both an economic risk and a national security risk to the country, the council maintains... Said Emilie Siurrusco, the Alaska Wilderness League's communications director, "... plus, increasing domestic production of oil might not lead to lower gasoline prices, she said. Oil produced in the U.S. goes into the world oil market, and Saudi Arabia could ramp down its production as we ramp up ours in order to keep prices high..." (Photo from The Trucker, by BARB KAMPBELL)

* USA - Truck Drivers Pain At the Pump Also Hurts Your Wallet

(Video: Gas Prices Soar For Truckers on the Road - Pulling up to a gas station seems to be getting more expensive by the minute. But the ones who are affected the most are those with the biggest rigs on the road)

Spartanburg,NC,USA -News Channel 9, by Christine Scarpelli -February 27, 2011: -- Pulling up to a gas station seems to be getting more expensive by the minute. The national average gas price Is $3.35 a gallon. That's up 2 cents from last night and nearly 20 cents from last week. In South Carolina gas averages $3.23 per gallon. That's the ninth cheapest in the U.S. and in North Carolina the average gas price is closer to the national average at $3.33 a gallon... But the ones who are affected the most are those with the biggest rigs on the road. Diesel prices have jumped up just as much as regular fuel and the trucking industry is feeling the pinch as well... Drivers we talked to said they've seen prices skyrocket and it's getting expensive for everyone involved...  They say their companies are taking drastic measures to keep their wheels spinning... One driver said his company limits where they can go and even restricts the speedometer on their trucks so they can't drive faster than 60 miles per hour and in some cases it’s even affecting drivers pay...  The drivers we talked to say South Carolina is on the lower end when it comes to fuel prices but economists say they expect things to get worse in the next few months...

* UK - RHA warns on spiralling fuel prices

London,UK -HGV UK -February 28, 2011: -- UK motorists have a problem with fuel prices – but the problem is many times greater for transport firms, warns the Road Haulage Association (RHA)... The cost of running a typical 44-tonne lorry has risen by £410 a year in just one week, the RHA says. Diesel price hikes over the past four weeks totalling 2.41 pence mean that haulage firms typically have to raise their charges £1,000 a year, just to cover their increased fuel costs. The exact amount could be much higher, depending on the type of work the truck is doing... The figures are based on the RHA’s Weekly Fuel Price Survey, which shows what haulage firms are actually paying for their fuel excluding VAT. The bulk price released today was 110.46 pence per litre (exc VAT), up 0.98 pence on one week ago. Clearly, there are worries that prices are going to rise even further...

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CLEAN AIR PLANS * USA - Shipping Industry Leaders Announce Clean Air Partnerships With Top U.S. Ports

CRT to Serve as National Forum for Best Practices to Reduce Diesel Emissions

Orlando,FLA,USA -PRNewswire-USNewswire -Feb. 24, 2011: -- The Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT) announced today that three of the nation's largest portsthe Georgia Ports Authority, the South Carolina State Ports Authority, and the Virginia Port Authority—have joined CRT as Charter Port Members... This announcement marks the first time that CRT's membership has expanded to include public sector representatives, and will allow CRT to serve as a forum for ports around the country to collaborate with leading cargo owners, trucking companies, ocean carriers and CRT's partner organizations, including Environmental Defense Fund and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, to identify and implement best practices to reduce port-related diesel emissions... CRT is a national coalition of importers, exporters, trucking companies and ocean carriers who share the belief that by partnering together, ports and their customers can improve the environmental quality of port communities while ensuring that the ports remain an engine for job creation and a thriving economy...


Shortage of truck drivers * India - May turn speed bump for economy

A growing shortage of young men to climb into the driver’s seat may seem a prosaic problem at a time when an expanding network of interstate highways

Shortage of drivers in Mumbai
Mumbai,India -Live Mint, by Shally Seth -24 Feb 2011: -- The loneliness of the long-distance trucker may have been romanticized in novels and films, but hard realities such as punishing work schedules and harassment at octroi posts have created a shortage of truck drivers in India at a time when easier and more attractive employment options are available to young men...  A growing shortage of young men to climb into the driver’s seat may seem a prosaic problem at a time when an expanding network of interstate highways and the creation of a seamless national market after the introduction of the goods and services tax could make it easier for companies and distributors to ferry industrial inputs and finished goods around the country. But officials in the logistics industry and fleet owners warn that the looming driver shortage could eventually harm economic activity...  Twenty-five-year-old Bittu Singh echoes the woes of his profession when he complains: “No one likes a truck driver. Everyone harasses us”  His typical day involves haggling with the men manning toll booths, paying off policemen and managing the paperwork needed to ferry cargo to and from Mumbai in his truck...  N.L. Gupta, managing director of Caravan Roadways Ltd, which owns 300 trucks, said: “Competition to get freight from clients was always there. Now there’s competition to get drivers.” He added that 5-15% of the fleet is idling at most transport firms at any point of time due to shortage of drivers. Gupta said his own fleet expansion plans have been hit...  The makers and buyers of trucks warn of the wider implications of the looming driver shortage. Vijay Sankeshwar, chairman of VRL Logistics Ltd, said: “If the government, transporters and vehicle makers do not take adequate steps to improve the condition of truck drivers, the days are not far when everything will come to a standstill,” he said...   “Pet paalna hai, jo naseeb mein hai, so hoga (We have to earn our livelihood, what’s written is your destiny),” said a stoic Bittu Singh, as he stands up to get behind the wheels for his next journey from the trucking centre in Kalamboli in Panvel near Mumbai...


Feb 26, 2011

TRUCKERS' COMPLAIN * USA - CARB Dumps On Dump Truck Industry

"It’s hard to read or write anything about CARB without becoming angry"

Sacramento,CAL,USA -Calwatchdog -Feb 23, 2011: -- For Lee Brown, who’s run a dump truck company in Upland for the last 20 years, business is as bad as it has ever been. The construction industry in California is half of what it was three years ago, and credit is tight for those small companies still hanging on... The $650 million agency (CARB) is a behemoth, responsible for all the state’s pollution and global warming regulations, which it enforces with all the subtlety and kindness of a barroom brawler. Even the revelation that one of its own pollution researchers had falsified his credentials didn’t phase the agency, which received no official sanction... In any case, the new CARB regulation in question imposes tough new pollution standards on all diesel vehicles in the state. It also levies the same steep fines on anyone found out of compliance that CARB observers have come to know and love... According to Brown, who is also executive director the 70-year-old California Dump Truck Owners Association (CDTOA), membership three years ago stood at 1,700 companies. Today it’s about 900, 60 percent of which are small, independent owner-operators. If the rule goes into effect, Brown said it could destroy virtually all of the small business operators... Brown says a truck manufacturer recently told him that the price of a new truck has already gone up $18,000 to take into account the mandatory new pollution equipment. And that’s a year before the rule actually goes into effect. All of this adds up to considerably higher prices charged by dump truck operators. It’s a grim picture of an already grim industry... (Photo from A Peterbilt dump truck)


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA -Daimler Plans to Hire 10,000 Worldwide

Portland,ORE,USA -Transport Topics -1 March 2011:  --  As truck manufacturing expands, Daimler Trucks North America will hire 1,300 workers this year as part of a worldwide plan to hire 10,000 workers during 2011...  The Feb. 24 announcement by Daimler, Stuttgart, Germany, said that the hiring plans worldwide would be a blend of skilled workers and younger people to be apprentices...  North American hiring includes 700 workers in North Carolina and 600 in Mexico...  “We are making enormous investment not only in research and development but also in the recruitment and training of the best young talent and skilled workers,” Wilfried Porth, a member of Daimler’s board of management and its human resources and labor relations director, said in a statement...

* USA - Comment: 2011 Orders Bounce Back

New York,NY,USA -iMarket News, by Claudia Hirsch -February 23, 2011: -- U.S. orders for heavy-duty trucks are bouncing back, as a firming economy and rising truck tonnage prompt replacements in aging fleets, according to manufacturers and dealers... Truck makers said sales of heavy-duty rigs, also known as class-8 vehicles, have spiked this year, building on a nascent recovery in 2010... While new purchases are finally back, truckers are opting for fewer add-ons and making more frugal buying decisions... Meanwhile, still-tight credit is also limiting some of the sales upside, manufacturers and dealers said... For Daimler Trucks North America, the Portland, Oregon-based maker of market-leading Freightliner big rigs, long-delayed replacement purchases, recession-shrunken industry capacity and growing freight tonnage have combined to amplify and broaden heavy-duty truck demand so far this year, according to Mark Lampert, senior vice president of sales and marketing. He said, a solid turnaround became evident in the fourth quarter, then evolved this year with more broad-based demand, including from full-service truck leasing companies, truckload and less-than-truckload carriers... But even with an improved outlook, Lampert does not foresee demand returning to normal this year. Though last year saw the beginnings of recovery, class-8 retail sales for the industry across the U.S., Canada and Mexico still stood some 60% below the peak of 2006, he said...  (Image from A Mercedes-Actros truck )

* Canada - Hino to unveil new hybrid truck next month

Mississauga,ONT,CAN -Truck News (CAN)-Feb 24, 2011:  --  Hino Motors Canada will be unveiling its diesel-electric hybrid system in a newly designed Class 4 and 5 cabover engine (COE) truck line-up during the 2011 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis...  Hino officials say the hybrid COE has been specifically engineered to meet the unique needs of the US and Canadian markets...  The unveiling will take place at the Work Truck Show in the Indiana Convention Center March 8. This event will be the first world debut of a North American diesel-electric hybrid COE truck, Hino said... (Photo: c.ak.fbcdn: Hino Trucks prepares for the World Debut of the first medium duty diesel-hybrid cab over engine truck)

* Canada - Kenworth offers extended warranty on MD trucks financed by Paccar

Toronto,ONT,CAN -Truck News -Mar 1, 2011: -- Canadian customer who purchase qualifying medium-duty Kenworth trucks will receive extended warranty coverage, courtesy of Kenworth and Paccar Financial... The trucks must be financed by Paccar Financial and ordered by Dec. 31, 2011. Classes 5-7 Kenworth trucks from the factory or dealer stocks are eligible for the deal, which includes two-year/320,000-kilometre coverage... "This program provides excellent value. Qualifying Class 5-7 customers receive an additional one year and 160,000 kilometres of warranty coverage per eligible truck under this joint Kenworth and Paccar Financial program," said Gary Moore, Kenworth assistant general manager for marketing and sales... (Photo: The Kenworth T270 is among the models eligible for free extended warranty coverage when financed through Paccar)

* USA - Al Jaber Group Selects Oshkosh Defense Global Heavy Equipment Transporter for UAE Armed Forces

Oshkosh,WIS,USA -EON: Enhanced Online News -February 28, 2011: -- Al Jaber Group, a privately owned, multi-faceted group of companies based in Abu Dhabi (UAE), has selected Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, to provide the Global Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) vehicle to support United Arab Emirates Armed Forces... The new Global HET from Oshkosh Defense is a high-performance 6x6 transport vehicle with a 70 metric ton payload capability. With a powerful 700-horsepower engine, the Global HET is able to transport a main battle tank, armored vehicles, construction equipment and more. By transporting large-scale equipment on the Global HET, the military can reduce the wear on equipment and crew fatigue that typically occurs over long distances. Working closely with the Al Jaber Group, the new Global HET was designed to meet the requirements of the UAE Armed Forces and was rigorously tested and evaluated in extreme desert conditions...


SAFETY * Canada - Alberta truckers safe drivers: official

While U.S. figures revealed that thousands of Canadian trucking firms have violated regulations south of the border, Alberta officials say the industry's safety record is good

Edmonton,ALB,CAN -CBC News -Feb 23, 2011: -- A CBC News investigation has revealed that thousands of Canadian trucking companies have been violating U.S. road safety rules by not keeping proper records and driving longer than is allowed...   Data from the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration showed that thousands of Canadian carriers violated key parts of the hours of service and logbook rules in 2009 and 2010. Alberta-based companies accounted for 78 of those violations... Those numbers are evidence of a systemic problem within the Canadian trucking industry, said Winnipeg-based trucker Michael Arpin. Drivers are often pressured to be on the road for 26 hours straight — leaving them fatigued and accident prone, he said... But according to Alberta officials, the vast majority of trucking companies operating in this province have good safety records, and collisions involving a tractor-trailer unit are relatively rare... Of the more than 24,000 trucking companies registered in Alberta, 142 had unsatisfactory provincial safety ratings last year, based on such things as mechanical inspections and proper log book entries, Trent Bancarz, a spokesman for Alberta Transportation, said. Ninety of those firms resolved the problems to the province's satisfaction. But 52 companies had their safety fitness certificates revoked, meaning they could no longer operate in Alberta... (Photo from Coutts, Alberta, Canada, border with USA)


Feb 25, 2011

HOS * Australia - NTC to release time counting recommendations

Sydney,NSW,Australia -ATA Friday Facts -25 Feb 2011: -- Last year, a Queensland truck driver was charged with seven fatigue offences in Victoria, despite counting his work and rest hours in accordance with the interpretation used in Queensland and New South Wales...  Following the issue being raised by the ATA, the NTC established an investigation into the problem. The results of that investigation will be publically released in March...   The National Transport Commission (NTC) will release its findings into variations in time counting rules...  The ATA has worked closely with the NTC on improving how the states count work and rest time under the national fatigue laws...  Enforcement officers in Victoria and South Australia currently apply the work and rest time counting rules differently to enforcement officers in Queensland and New South Wales, even though all four states have adopted the national fatigue laws...  (Photo from Getty Images/cache3.asset-cache: Road Train at Munjina Gorge)


Truck Registration Charges * USA - Rise 2.4 per cent

Sydney,NSW,Australia -ATA Friday Facts -February 25, 2011: --  The National Transport Commission (NTC) has today announced it will increase registration charges for heavy vehicles 2.4 per cent on 1 July 2011...  Under the changes, the cost of registering a semi trailer will increase from, $5612 to $5746, while a B-Double will now cost $15,708, as opposed to $15,340 in 2010-11...  In February 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Australian Transport Council (ATC) agreed that heavy vehicle charges should be adjusted annually to maintain recovery of road costs...  The NTC is responsible for reviewing national heavy vehicle charges and calculating the annual adjustment, with the revenue recovered through heavy vehicle charges contributing to building better and safer roads...  Heavy vehicle registration charges are automatically adjusted each year by the annual adjustment factor under regulations and laws in each state and territory...(Images from roadtransport/big-lorry-blog: Australia's road train)


Safety Strategy * Australia - Should emphasise chain of responsibility

Sydney,NSW,Australia -ATA Friday Facts -25 Feb 2011: -- The final version of the 2011-2020 National Road Safety Strategy should give the planned National Heavy Vehicle Regulator the resources, expertise and authority to take direct carriage of major chain of responsibility investigations, according to the ATA’s submission on the draft... The ATA submission says the strategy should include measures to support the increased use of high productivity vehicles, and calls on governments to provide regulatory incentives for trucking companies to join the TruckSafe safety accreditation program... Independent statistics show that TruckSafe accredited companies are twice as safe as non-accredited companies... The submission also argues that speed compliance measures such as point-to-point speed cameras should target all road users, not just truck drivers. This week, it was revealed that 94,271 speeding motorists in New South Wales have escaped without penalty because the state’s point-to-point speed cameras are only used on trucks... (Image from cairnsunlimited: Australian roadtrain)

* ATA welcomes draft freight strategy that will increase safety

Sydney,NSW,Australia -ATA Friday Facts -25 Feb 2011: -- The ATA has welcomed the Government’s draft National Land Freight Strategy, released this week... The Chairman of the Australian Trucking Association, David Simon, said improving the efficiency of the freight system would have immense benefits for consumers and Australia’s competitiveness... "Under the Government’s plan, operators will be able to carry the same amount of freight with fewer trucks. Reducing the growth in the number of trucks and other vehicles on the road will result in fewer accidents" ... "When B-doubles were first introduced in Australia, some people claimed they would be much more dangerous than existing semi-trailers. Those claims were wrong" ... "Over the years, the use of B-doubles has reduced the national road toll by at least 350 deaths, because it has enabled the trucking industry to move Australia’s freight with 15,000 to 20,000 fewer large trucks" ...  (Image from cairnsunlimited)

* Living Lab fuels new technology for transport and logistics industry

Alexandria,NSW,Australia -Transport & Logistic News -23 Feb 2011: -- Australia’s ICT Research Centre of Excellence NICTA, enterprise software company SAP and Europe’s largest application-oriented research organisation Fraunhofer have established the Future Logistics Living Lab...   The Lab was established to create groundbreaking information technology for the transport and logistics sector. Based in the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, the Living Lab will provide a physical platform for industry and research to work together, to investigate and overcome real-world logistics issues, and to demonstrate and test innovative technology that will provide transport and logistics solutions for the future...  The NSW Government has committed $400,000 to the Fraunhofer Project Group, as part of its recently-launched $36 million Digital Economy Strategy...  The participants joining the founding members are Linfox, Hamburg Süd, Casella Wines, Ericsson, GS1 Australia, Gamma Solutions, Google, Tradegate, XAct Solutions, Victoria University and the University of New South Wales...


OIL PRICES * USA - Truckers Call on Obama to Tap Offshore Oil

Rising oil, fuel prices seen hurting trucking and the general economy

Washington,DC,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by William B. Cassidy -Feb 25, 2011: -- The American Trucking Associations urged the White House to tap domestic energy sources, such as offshore oil deposits, as rising oil prices increased fuel costs... The price of crude oil soared to a two-year high during the week of Feb. 21, rising to nearly $100 a barrel, pushing up the price of diesel, gasoline and aviation fuel... At the start of the week, the average retail price of diesel in the U.S. rose to $3.57, according to the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration... That's a 26 percent increase from a year ago, and a 7 percent increase from Jan. 3. By Feb. 25, diesel hit $4 a gallon in Connecticut... The price spikes were tied to the waves of protests and outright revolution roiling the Middle East, particularly the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya... Rising fuel prices sting truckers twice, ATA Vice President and Regulatory Affairs Counsel Rich Moskowitz said, first at the pump and then in shipping volume as consumers spend more on energy and less on goods...


TRUCKING STATISTICS * USA - January Truck Tonnage Hits 3-Year High

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -23 Feb 2011: -- Truck tonnage grew 8% in January from a year ago to its highest level in three years, American Trucking Associations said Wednesday... The upturn, which was the largest since April, left the index at a reading of 117.1, ATA said in its monthly seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage report. The index uses the year 2000 as its baseline reading of 100. It was the highest level since January 2008... January’s index gained 3.8% from December, and ATA revised December’s monthly increase to 2.5%, from a previously reported 2.2%... For all of 2010, tonnage increased 5.7% compared with the previous year. It had dropped 8.7% in 2009... ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said: "The report shows the economy is growing, and he expects a good first half of 2010 in tonnage..."

* USA - NAFTA Surface Trade Rises 13.8%

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -1 March 2011: -- Surface transportation trade among the United States, Canada and Mexico rose 13.8% in December from a year earlier, the Department of Transportation said Tuesday...  Trade among the North American Free Trade Agreement partners increased to $66.5 billion, DOT’s Bureau of Trade Statistics said in its monthly report...  U.S.-Canada trade rose 12.2% year-over-year to $39.8 billion. The value of truck imports to the U.S. rose 17.5%, while truck exports improved 10.4%...  U.S.-Mexico trade improved 16.3% to $26.8 billion. Truck imports were 16.3% higher than a year ago and exports rose 18.7%...   Surface transportation consists largely of freight movements by truck, rail and pipeline. Almost 90% of U.S. trade among NAFTA partners moves by land...


DISCRIMINATION * Canada - Refusing to interview woman nets Quebec trucking company $10K fine

Montreal,QUE,CAN -Truck News -Feb 22, 2011: -- A Quebec trucking company has been ordered to pay $10,000 after refusing to consider hiring a female truck driver because of her sex...  Bernard Wolinsky, owner of Laurentian Shavings Products and Lanjay Peat Moss, was found guilty of hiring discrimination by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal after telling a prospective hire that women have too much difficulty removing snow from the trailers...  According to evidence heard by the Tribunal, Wolinsky told the woman "We don't take women here. It's very difficult for a woman to remove the snow from the roof of the trailers".  He then told a Commission investigator who notified him of the complaint: "I don't hire women, it is my prerogative" ...  The Tribunal found the woman applicant's right to be treated with equality and dignity had been compromised. She was awarded $7,000 in moral damages and $3,000 in punitive damages...


TRUCKS PRODUCTS * Czech Republic - Map & Guide Professional Version 2011

Praga,Czech Republic -Fleet Europe, by Michel Buckinx -23 Feb 2011: -- The map&guide professional 2011 (PTV group) is now available with a new toll calculation function. This is all the more interesting as tolls are going to be adapted in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, not forgetting that a tax on HGV’s is to be introduced on national roads in Alsace before being extended to the whole of France. The map&guide toll payment calculator takes account of future evolutions...


Transport Market Monitor * The Netherlands - Transport prices up by 7.9 % in 2010

Nijmegen Area,Netherlands -Fleet Europe, by Claude Yvens -22 Feb 2011: -- According to the 6th edition of Transport Market Monitor, a transport price observatory produced by Capgemini Consulting and Transporeon; the platform handles a yearly transport volume of over €2 billion in all European countries; transport prices rose by 7.9% in 2010. They did not climb back to 2008 levels, however. The figures come from an analysis of transactions recorded on the Transporeon platform and are therefore more a reflection of spot transactions than long term contracts...    Prices reached their highest levels in July 2010, indexed at 104.3 compared to the beginning of 2008. During the fourth quarter they would appear to have increased by 0.4%, when the capacity index fell slightly...  According to the study’s authors, prices are set to fall during the first quarter of this year, before rising again during the following quarters, discounting seasonal effects: for the past three years, the index has fallen in January and February, risen in March and October, dropped in November and climbed back in December…


SCR * USA & Europe - AdBlue manufacturers warn of incorrect use

* Europe - Dangers of certain derivations observed since the introduction of the SCR systems

Brussels,Belgium -Fleet Europe, by Claude Yvens -18 Feb 2011: -- In a first of its type, the six main producers of AdBlue (Air1, BASF, Borealis, GPN, Greenchem and SKW) are to apply a common approach to launch a communications campaign with the support of European manufacturers (via their representative association ACEA). They wish to advise fleet operators of the dangers of certain derivations observed since the introduction of the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems in 2006:

- the deliberate choice of a product which does not meet AdBlue norms

- storage in containers which have previously held diesel or other chemical products

- mixture of AdBlue and diesel in the fuel tank

This incorrect use of the product can cause irreparable damage to the engine and, in certain cases, lead to all guarantees on the vehicle becoming nullified...

* USA - DEF availability up while cost is down, says research firm

(Photo: Pilot Travel Centers operate the largest number of DEF pumps in the U.S.)
New York,NY,USA -Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr -Feb 25, 2011: -- One of the concerns among trucking companies buying commercial trucks equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology revolves around easy access to a critical ingredient required by this emission control system to reduce exhaust pollution down to government mandated levels: DEF, short for “diesel exhaust fluid” ... DEF is a liquid solution comprised of 67.5% de-ionized water and 32.5% urea, an ammonia compound, that’s sprayed into an SCR-equipped truck’s exhaust stream where it combines with a catalyst to break down oxides of nitrogen (NOx) into nitrogen and water. Without DEF, then, the SCR system doesn’t reduce NOx emissions... Yet ongoing surveys of the U.S. and Canadian transportation markets by global consulting firm Integer Research finds that DEF availability is rapidly expanding, while the cost for this critical substance is dropping as well... He also noted that the ”pump price” of DEF per gallon has declined steadily since last year, which is important as the lower the cost of DEF becomes, the lower the overall price of operating an SCR-equipped vehicle becomes – particularly in the face of rising diesel fuel costs...

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS WORLDWIDE * India - Tata Motors skids as Chinese truck makers plan India foray

The Indian heavy truck market grew 65% bypassing China's 40% growth of last year

Mumbai,India -IIFL -Feb 24, 2011:  --  Tata Motors slumped 7.54% at Rs. 1,058.25 on BSE on fears of increased competition as Chinese truck manufacturers plan to start operations in India, buoyed by rising opportunities in the world's fast growing truck market...  According to reports, China's third largest truck maker, Sinotruk has shown interest in setting up a manufacturing unit in India in order to enter the Indian auto industry. Mr Shen Xiangke, Sinotruk's spokesman was quoted by media as saying that the company is hoping for an India partner to introduce its products into local market. The company's India strategy is to establish a local assembly facility, which invites lower taxes in order to tap the buoyant local market that is ideal for its range of big trucks...  Sinotruk is a Chinese, state owned enterprise which was launched in 1935. It is also known as China Heavy duty Truck Group... 

* India - Chinese truck makers plan to drive into

New Delhi,India -The Economic Times, by Chanchal Pal Chauhan -24 Feb, 2011: -- Chinese truck manufacturers plan to start operations in India, buoyed by rising opportunities in the world's fast growing truck market...  Beiqi Foton Motor, the largest Chinese truck maker by volume, is close to finalising locations for its Indian subsidiary. Shandong Shifeng, a specialised manufacturer of agricultural light trucks, has already started making such vehicles with Kolkata-based Hindustan Motors...  Backed by strong demand from housing and infrastructure sectors, sales of trucks have shown significant surge in recent years. This is expected to bolster sale of heavy truck in India to over 5-lakh units by 2013-14, analysts said...  Consistent demand for new trucks and improvement in the domestic freight market have resulted in the entry of some European and American truck makers in the past five years. World's largest truck company, Daimler AG launched a dedicated brand 'BharatBenz' for India...  In the past, couples of joint ventures were announced where Force Motors of Pune started a joint-venture with MAN AG of Germany to make big trucks in the 25 tonnes and above range. Utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra had also inked a similar venture with American firm Navistar...

* France - Renault Trucks improves its Optifuel offering

Lyon,France -Truck Europe, by Claude Yvens -22 Feb 2011: -- Renault Trucks is adding a supplementary technology to its Optifuel Programme range, the brand under which the French manufacturer brings together its fuel consumption reduction techniques. For 2011, Renault Trucks is introducing a pack named Optiroll which enables optimal use of the vehicle’s inertia. According to Renault Trucks, this pack will provide an extra 1% of fuel savings. Premium Optifuel 2011 conforms to the EEV norm...  Optiroll automatically engages the ‘controlled free wheel’ function of the Optidriver+ gearbox when driving conditions do not encourage fuel economy. As soon as conditions are not ideal, or at the slightest request of the driver, the system automatically disengages. The Optiroll pack also includes a speed limiter which is more efficient on undulating ground, by reducing very slightly, for example, the speed on a given slope...

* Russia - Volkswagen, Ford Rush to Seal Russian Deals Before Tax-Incentive Deadline

Moscow,Russia -Bloomberg, by Yuliya Fedorinova -Feb 28, 2011: -- Russia’s government closes the door today to new tax incentives aimed at attracting investments by foreign automakers in a country where car sales may overtake Germany’s within four years  ... The new rules will also help boost component manufacturing in Russia. Magneti Marelli’s Automotive Lighting, owned by Fiat, has made eight applications to produce parts locally, while truckmaker Volvo AB has submitted requests for 22 components, Rakhmanov said...