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

Mar 31, 2011

TRUCKERS' SHORTAGE * India - Wanted: Three million drivers

Got a truck license but can’t find a job? India needs you

Mumbai,India -Agency France-Press/Today's Trucking -28 March 2011: -- The exploding economy that is India is facing a driver shortage. And when India says shortage, it really means shortage... "We face a 40-percent shortfall, which means we need three million more drivers," said R.K. Gulati, spokesman for the All India Motor Transport Congress, a truckers’ lobby group... According to a report, many fleets have up to 15 percent of their fleets sitting because they can’t get anybody to drive... Bal Malkit Singh, a city transporter and former head of the Bombay Goods Transport Association operates over 300 trucks. He estimates 10 percent of them are at a standstill because he can’t get drivers... One of the biggest problems is that the government requiring a minimum grade 10 education (or high school to the age of 15) to carry hazardous goods... The AFP reports that people with those qualifications are more willing to work in offices than behind the wheel of a truck... India's two-million-mile road network, the world's second largest after the United States, accounts for nearly 70 percent of the country's frtruckers' sheight movement... (Image from Top News: Oil transport companies join Indian truckers' strike)


Investigation * Canada - Bribery attempts alleged over truck safety

Canadian DOT inspector: 'The guy offered me $1,000 cash right now to forget the situation and let him continue on his way'

Winnipeg,MAN,CAN -CBC News -Mar 28, 2011: -- Some truckers and the companies they work for are willing to pay a lot of money to make safety inspectors look the other way, a CBC investigation has discovered... The FBI alleges in court documents that James Wood, the supervisor of the Buffalo field office of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration took money from the Canadian consultant in exchange for delaying a safety audit of a trucking company... Wood allegedly took thousands over a period of two years in bribes, according to the FBI, who engaged in a covert operation that led to charges in the case. He has pleaded not guilty... U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Trini Ross says the allegations against Wood are serious... U.S. prosecutors have refused to identify the companies the consultant represented. If convicted, Wood, 44, faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 or both... But a Canadian inspector who works for a provincial department of transportation says attempted bribery is nothing out of the ordinary. He agreed to speak with CBC News on the condition of anonymity... (Photo from CBC: A semi-trailer unit is shrouded in blowing snow just outside Winnipeg on Monday)


* TRUCKMAKERS NEWS EVENT * USA - Live from Louisville, KY's

* The Mid-America Trucking Show

* Volvo introduces powertrain enhancements, improved aerodynamics

(Courtesy VTNA: Volvo Trucks’ VN model is now available with new aerodynamic components to improve fuel efficiency)
Louisville,KY,USA -The Trucker News Services -31 March 2011:  --  Volvo Trucks in North America introduced powertrain enhancements and advanced aerodynamics for its VN highway series aimed at delivering an 8 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over EPA 2007 engines with additional gains possible through the use of new fleet management and driver development tools...  The company said it would also introduce new interior features designed to increase comfort and productivity, giving customers additional tools for reducing costs and attracting and retaining drivers...

* MaxxForce 15 completes Navistar engine line-up

(Photo from The Trucker, by LYNDON FINNEY: Navistar's Jim Hebe Wednesday at MATS)
Louisville,KY,USA -The Trucker News Services -30 March 2011: -- The MaxxForce 15 is built on a proven block and crankshaft — an adaptation of the Caterpillar big bore power plant — combined with the fuel and air systems of the MaxxForce Advanced EGR system... At a press event at this week’s Mid-America Trucking Show here, Navistar Inc. announced the production availability of its MaxxForce 15, billed as the final piece in “the broadest, most comprehensive line-up” of integrated truck-engine offerings available to North American commercial truck customers...

* Peterbilt standardizes air disc brakes on all Peterbilt models

(Courtesy PETERBILT MOTORS CO.: The Bendix ABD22X is the standard for air disc brakes on Peterbilt's Class 8 models)
Louisville,KY,USA -The Trucker -30/2011:  --  Peterbilt Motors Co. said Wednesday air disc brakes would become standard on all of the company’s Class 8 models...  The announcement came during a news conference at the Mid-America Trucking Show that opens here Thursday...  Air disc brakes offer the shortest stopping distances in the market today and provide a compact design, minimizing weight, reducing maintenance and improving both vehicle and operator efficiency, according to Bill Jackson, PACCAR vice president and Peterbilt general manager...  Peterbilt is the first to go standard with air disc brakes across its full line of Class 8 vehicles, he said...

* Kenworth reveals regional haul version of T660

(Courtesy KENWORTH TRUCK CO.: The new T660 configuration removes the standard under-cab chassis fairing and replaces it with a cab-mounted extension of the hood fender)
Louisville,KY,USA -The Trucker -30 March 2011: -- Kenworth Truck Co. announced a new Kenworth T660 regional hauler configuration with shorter wheelbases, tighter chassis packaging, enhanced maneuverability and weight savings...  “It’s much more than regional haul truck,” Kenworth Chief Engineer Preston Feight told reporters during a news conference Wednesday at the Mid-America Trucking Show here...  This is all accomplished while maintaining the same fuel tank capacity as a T660 with forward chassis fairings, he said...

* Detroit Diesel says engine sales exceeded expectations

Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner -Mar 31, 2011: -- Detroit Diesel officials announced they sold more than 25,000 engines featuring BlueTec emissions technology in 2010, exceeding the company’s expectations for the 2010 EPA emissions-compliant engines... The company said its BlueTec-equipped DD13, DD15 and DD16 engines have logged more than 150 million miles with fleets averaging a 5% or greater fuel economy improvement over 2007 models, creating a $2,700/truck savings in fuel on average...


TRUCKING STATISTICS * USA - Truckload Capacity Eases, Index Shows

Longbow index down almost 6 percent in March, up 41 percent since January

New York,NY,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by William B. Cassidy -Mar 30, 2011: -- The Longbow Research Truckload Barometer dropped less than 1 percent this week, indicating the contraction of truckload capacity is slowing... Truckload capacity appears to have leveled and even loosened slightly after shrinking fast in the first months of 2011, according to the research firm's index... Since January, the index has risen 41.1 percent. The index measures available freight against available equipment, climbing as capacity contracts... Year-over-year, the barometer is up nearly 80 percent, Longbow said March 29. The index dropped to 155.1 this week from 156.4, 155.8 and 164.5 in prior weeks...


TRUCKING INDUSTRY * USA - ABF says relationship with Teamsters largely beneficial...

... In spite of lawsuit

Fort Smith,AK,USA -FAN, by Ethan C. Nobles -27 March 2011: -- It’s old news by now — Arkansas Best Corp. filed suit against the Teamsters union in November... What might surprise some is that Arkansas Best still regards its relationship with the Teamsters are largely beneficial. Arkansas Best is the parent company of ABF Freight System, a less-than-truckload carrier employing about 7,000 union drivers... YRC was able to negotiate some concessions that ABF couldn’t, thus putting the Fort Smith company at a disadvantage in the highly-competitive trucking industry. “This just has to do with leveling the playing field,” Humphrey said... He was quick to point out, however, that his company’s relationship with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has been largely beneficial... Humphrey said the lawsuit is unfortunate, but said ABF is confident the productive relationship the company has had with the Teamsters will continue...

* Washington - Trucking company adds aerodynamic skirts

Seattle,WASH,USA -Land Line Magazine -March 30, 2011: -- A Seattle-area trucking company has announced plans to put aerodynamic skirts on another 2,000 of its trucks – and that’s in addition to the 2,200 it has already outfitted with skirts...  Trailer Body Builders reports that Gordon Trucking Inc. – also known as GTI – saw a .3 mile-per-gallon improvement in fuel economy during testing...  If that holds up, GTI will save more than $2 million annually in fuel costs and should be able to pay off the Freight Wing Aeroflex skirts in about 18 months... (Photo from freight wing belly)


TRAILER MAKERS * UK - Revolutionary Luton body set for Iconic truck status

Halesowen,West Midlands,UK -Transport Engineer, by John Challen -30 March 2011: -- Bevan Group has launched a Luton body for 3.5-tonne vehicles that offers a market-leading payload of more than 1,200kg and improved fuel economy...  Dubbed the Icon, it will debut at the CV Show, on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis cab...  The body incorporates a rear frame that allows for the fitment of conventional hinged rear doors or lightweight shutters. Also, a wind diffuser can be fitted at the back of the vehicle to further improve aerodynamic efficiency...  Other options allow for the installation of load restraints, reversing cameras and Restfall 'working at height' safety equipment...  In addition to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the Icon is already compatible with VW's Crafter and Bevan says it will be adapted for other vehicle models, including the Ford Transit...  (Image: Revolutionary Luton body set for Iconic truck status)


EVENT * USA - Live from Louisville, Kentucky

News from Mid-America Trucking Show

* Cummins, the Changes ahead for diesel (See Video)

(Photo: Steve Charlton of Cummins)
Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner -30 March 2011: -- Steve Charlton, chief technical officer for Cummins' engine business, gives a glimpse of changes diesel engines face down the road.

* Allison: Showcases new transmission
Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner -30 March 2011: -- A new transmission option from Allison Transmission will provide fuel efficiency in stop-and-go operation while maximizing fuel economy under cruising speeds, the company said.

* Bendix foresees boom times ahead
Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr -30 March 2011: --  Booms times are ahead for the truck making business, according to Joe McAleese, president & CEO of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, though much of the increased demand for heavy trucks is going to come from the “BRIC” nations, short for Brazil, Russia, India and China.

* Bendix unveils Wingman Advanced; adds trailer remote diagnostic unit
Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner -30 March 2011: -- On the first day of the Mid-America Trucking Show here, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems made a number of announcements, including the introduction of a new product and the latest improvement to its popular Wingman system.

* Cameras improve blind-spot visibility
Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner -30 March 2011: -- A new camera system designed for trucking includes infrared LED technology and a wide-angle lens to improve visibility, particularly in traditional blind spots. The PerfectView RVS camera system from Dometic was unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show here.

* Dometic introduces portable air purifier for cabs
Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner -30 March 2011: -- A new portable air purifier that reduces allergens, contaminants, and other odors from inside the cab of a truck has been introduced by Dometic. The Breathe Easy air purifier is on display this week at the Mid-America Trucking Show here.

* Rand McNally adds traffic predictor
Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner -30 March 2011: -- Using historic data, a new Traffic Predictor feature for Rand McNally’s IntelliRoute TND GPS system for commercial trucks will automatically offer drivers alternative routes based on expected traffic congestion.

* Truck-specific navigation adds HOS logs, police speed trap warnings
Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner -30 March 2011: -- A new navigation system from Cobra Electronics Corp. has been designed specifically for the professional truck driver with truck routing and points-of-interest pertinent to drivers.

* Yokohama debuts new wide single, prototype drive tire
Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner -30 March 2011: -- A new wide base trailer tire and a prototype drive tire are on display this week at the Yokohama Tire Corp. booth at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) here.

* Smaller TrailerTail aerodynamic device on the way

Louisville,KY,USA -Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr -Mar 30, 2011: -- A smaller version of the “TrailerTail” aerodynamic device developed by ATDynamics to improve the fuel economy profile of 53-ft. dry van trailers is being readied for launch this fall, aimed at operators of 48-ft. “pup” trailers, intermodal units, and Canadian fleets that face stricter trailer length laws... (Photo from ht3.gstatic: ATDynamics' trailer tail)

* Meritor showcases Euro-style 6x2 rear axle package
Louisville,KY,USA -Today's Trucking (CAN) -March 31, 2011: -- With a new logo and a new name, commercial vehicle component systems supplier, Meritor, debuted what it calls an "advanced technology display"...  Comprised of current and future technologies aimed at improving fuel economy and operational efficiency, the display featured the Advanced Rear Axle concept – a unique 6x2 rear axle, based on the 17X axle sold in Europe...

* Dana unveils new tandem axles, driveshafts & hub system

Louisville,KY,USA -Today's Trucking (CAN) -1 April 2011: -- Dana introduced a new family of heavy-duty 40,000-pound tandem drive axles -- the new Spicer Pro-40 axle – as well as new, light aluminum driveshafts and a "low maintenance" hub system... The Spicer Pro-40, unveiled at the Mid America Trucking Show, offers improved power density and a 120-pound weight reduction for its next lightest competitor... Planned availability with a popular range of ratios from (3.25- 3.90), the Spicer Pro-40 axle represents the ideal specification for commercial trucks with 9-, 10-, 12-, or 13-speed overdrive transmissions; diesel engines rated up to 475-horsepower and 1750 lb-ft. of torque; and Gross Combination Weight Ratings up to 80,000 pounds...  (Photo from Dana 60 Dodge 4.10 gears)

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Transport Policy * USA - A Chairman Makes Trucking’s Case for Highway Bill at Congressional Hearing

"The trucking industry needs a new surface transportation bill"

Washington,DC,USA -Transport Topics -30 March 2011: ...  American Trucking Associations Chairman, Barbara Windsor, told a congressional panel Tuesday that the trucking industry needs a new surface transportation bill, with a focus on highways, as soon as possible... Windsor, president of Hahn Transportation, New Market, Md., said “our current highway system no longer meets our needs”, speaking before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s highways and transit subcommittee... Windsor said the next highway funding authorization should fund non-highway items like transit from the General Fund, rather than fund that with fuel tax receipts, and should maintain the prohibition on tolls on currently untolled interstates...


Freight Transport * UK - Study: Policy needs a rethink

LCP Consulting, the UK's freight transport policy needs a new vision based on solid evidence 

London,EN,UK -Eyefortransport -Mar 28, 2011:  ...  Since 2000, five attempts to define the UK's integrated transport policy have failed to produce a robust policy approach to freight and logistics... The LCP Consulting Paper, UK Freight Transport: setting a coherent strategy and direction for 2020 and beyond, highlights the importance of freight and logistics and the nature of the challenge going forward... The work also identifies some significant omissions in current freight data that should influence future decision making and the development of freight policy:

* The work of more than one million vans and foreign-registered HGVs (which account for around 6% of the total distance travelled by lorries on British roads) are going unrecorded.

* Off-shoring of UK manufacturing and growth in global sourcing has distorted national statistics.

* A previous commitment to define freight flows by sector is not yet fulfilled.

The report's author, LCP Consulting's chairman Professor Alan Braithwaite, said: "Freight transport policy needs to clearly define the strategic priorities and provide guidance on future operating practices, but the data and modelling used to develop and determine policy will need to be significantly upgraded to inform public debate on the difficult policy choices ahead" ...(Photo from img3.photographersdirect: M25 " London orbital motorway " long queue of trucks gridlocked in traffic jam)



Briefing Weekly News

(Video from YouTube, by e captianchunk - 31 Jan 2008: Inside the cab of an SD60 Union Pacifc Diesel Loco)

* OOCL issues update on services to and from Japan
- Subsequent to the aftermath of Japan's devastating earthquakes, tsunami and radioactive contamination due to the damage sustained by the nuclear power plant around the area of Fukushima, OOCL has updated the status of its services to and from Japan. Read full news here.

* WWL cuts carbon emissions by 21%
- Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) reports that the company managed to cut its CO2 emissions by 21% last year, compared with 2009. Read full news here

* DHL signs €17m deal with Skanska
- Skanska Stomsystem has signed a new three-year contract with DHL Freight worth approximately €17 million, with an option to extend. Read full news here

* Hanjin adds new service to Pacific North West trade
- Hanjin Shipping will launch a new weekly service to the Pacific North West on April 22nd. Read full news here

* Norbert Dentressangle completes acquisition of TDG
- Norbert Dentressangle announced today that it has finalised the acquisition of 100% of Laxey Logistics Ltd, the holding company that owns transport and logistics group TDG. Read full news here

* Political unrest slows global airfreight growth
- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced scheduled international traffic for February 2011, showing an increase of 2.3% for cargo demand compared with February 2010. Fead full news here

* UPS launches next-day service from Hong Kong to Europe
- UPS has launched direct flights from Hong Kong to Europe, enabling the company to offer the widest next-day delivery coverage for both packages and heavy freight between the two regions. Read full news here

* FedEx launches 777F service to South Korea
- FedEx Express has launched a new dedicated 777F route connecting the FedEx World Hub in Memphis, Tennessee to South Korea with four non-stop flights a week. Read full news here

* Agility releases 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report
- Agility has launched its first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, which reviews the company's CSR commitments to date and highlights its progress and priorities for the future. Read full news here

* Korean Air orders two more 747-8 Freighters
- Korean Air has announced an order for two new 747-8 Freighters, valued at $639 million at Boeing list prices. Read full news here

* Hanjin receives another 10,000 TEU ship
- Hanjin Shipping received its second 10,000 TEU class containership on Friday. Read full news here

* Maersk names new WAFMAX vessel
- AP Moller-Maersk has named the first of a series of 22 West Africa MAX (WAFMAX) container vessels currently being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Korea. Read full news here

* DB Schenker inaugurates new facility in Manila
- DB Schenker recently inaugurated a new facility in Manila, consolidating three units that had previously been located in Metro Manila into a central complex in the Sabrina Compound in Sucat/Paranaque City. Read full news here

* UK’s freight transport policy needs a rethink
- According to LCP Consulting, the UK's freight transport policy needs a new vision based on solid evidence. Read full news here

* D&B’s free tool identifies businesses in Japan’s disaster affected regions
- Dun & Bradstreet has released a free search tool that enables individuals to identify companies located in the prefectures impacted by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Read full news here

* First post-quake cargo cleared in US
- US Customs & Border Protection gave global shipping line APL an all-clear this week for the first shipment of containerised cargo from post-earthquake Japan. Read full news here

* Forwarders give a cautious welcome to the UK Budget
- The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has given a cautious welcome to the UK government's decision to abandon the next increase in fuel duty, which was planned for April 1st, and replace it with a ‘fair fuel stabiliser', which will remove some of the uncertainty over fuel prices. Read full news here

* TDG launches new ADR container transport service
- TDG has introduced a new container service from its Thurrock depot for customers moving containers under ADR regulations. Read full news here

* DHL launches Logistics Without Borders
- DHL has launched Logistics Without Borders, an end-to-end supply chain solution that connects suppliers, carriers and end-users on both sides of the US - Mexico border. Read full news here

* Caterpillar considers strategic options for 3PL business
- Caterpillar is examining a range of strategic options for its third party logistics business, which is part of its wholly owned subsidiary, Caterpillar Logistics Services (Cat Logistics). Read full news here

* Kerry Logistics expands in China
- Kerry Logistics has opened two new logistics centres in Chongqing and Kunshan, expanding the company's national network and range of services in these fast growing cities. Read full news here

* FedEx expands Suzhou operations
- FedEx Express has opened a new 2,300 m² station in the Suzhou New District - the company's third station in Suzhou in China's Jiangsu Province. Read full news here

* Hamburg Süd and OOCL each order 6 new containerships
- Hamburg Süd has ordered six 9,600 TEU vessels from Hyundai Heavy Industries, with an option for another four; OOCL has signed a contract with Samsung Heavy Industries for six 13,000 TEU vessels. Read full news here

* News from DHL
- DHL delivers in-flight amenities for Singapore Airlines; enhances Import Express Worldwide service; rolls out Hasbro's ‘Autobots' in South China. Read full news here


Mar 30, 2011

TRUCKING INDUSTRY * Japan - Government Restore Transportation Systems

Transport minister says most railways, roads, airports, ports usable

Tokyo,Japan -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Hisane Masaki -29 March 2011: -- Restoration work on Japanese transportation systems devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern part of the country has made significant progress, a transport minister said on Tuesday... All 15 affected major ports along the Pacific coast of the Tohoku and Kanto regions reopened by March 24. They are usable for both disaster-related and ordinary purposes... All 11 local airports in the northeastern part of the country had reopened earlier. All but one of them are usable for both disaster-related and ordinary purposes. Sendai Airport in Miyagi Prefecture, which suffered serious damage as it bore the brunt of the killer tsunami, is available only to aircraft carrying relief supplies... As of 9:00 a.m. on Monday Japan time, five vital arterial roads crisscrossing the Tohoku region, where all worst-hit areas are located, had mostly reopened - 97 to 100 percent for disaster-related purposes and 93 to 100 percent for ordinary purposes, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's latest update on recovery efforts for transportation systems... The five vital arterial roads are the Tohoku Expressway; the Joban Expressway; Route 4; Route 6; and Route 45...


Mar 29, 2011

TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS WORLDWIDE * Japan - Lost trucks production as a result of the earthquake and tsunami

Japan's eight passenger car makers and four truck makers, including Toyota Motor Corp, will post combined lost production of some 385,000 vehicles, a result of the March 11 earthquake and tsunamis

Tokyo,Japan -Japan Press/Seeking Alpha -March 27, 2011: -- Japan's eight passenger car makers and four truck makers, including Toyota Motor Corp, will post combined lost production of some 385,000 vehicles as a result of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Nikkei reports. The figure represents almost 5% of annual output, it says. Toyota will cut production by about 140,000 units, while Honda Motor Co's production will fall by 46,600 vehicles, Nissan Motor Co's production is expected to slide by 42,000 and Mazda Motor Corp's output will decline by 31,000 units, it says...

* Sweden - Volvo Begins Selling Heavy Hybrid Trucks in Europe

Stockholm,Sweden -Transport Topics -29 March 2011: -- Volvo AB said Tuesday it has begun selling heavy-duty hybrid trucks in European markets... Being sold under the name Volvo FE Hybrid, the hybrid trucks can save up to 30% of fuel use and will be used primarily in distribution and refuse operations in an urban environment, Sweden-based Volvo said in a statement... Volvo FE Hybrid is a parallel hybrid — a technology entailing using diesel engine and electric motors to be used either simultaneously or independently of each other while switching automatically between the two power sources... Its hybrid technology has also been developed to maximize recycling of energy generated from braking, with no extra charging from external sources required, Volvo said... The trucks, powered by a 7-liter, 340-horsepower diesel engine, will be manufactured in limited series production because the technology requires customized production solutions...  (Photo from blogcdn: Volvo fe hybrid truck)

* Sweden - Volvo to employ 1,200 in R&D drive

Gothenburg,Sweden -Latest China News (China) -29 March 2011: -- Volvo, the Swedish carmaker, is to recruit up to 1,200 people over the coming year to support an aggressive expansion of its product portfolio and its business in China... The majority of the recruits will be engineers at its research and development department in Gothenburg, where the company is seeking to build expertise in electric cars...

* Europe - Commercial Vehicles registrations up 16.8% in February

Brussels,Belgium -The Financial (Georgia) -29 March 2011: -- In February, new commercial vehicle registrations amounted to 141,914 units in the EU, or 16.8% more than in the same month last year. All segments posted growth, except buses and coaches... "The month counted on average the same number of working days across the region compared to February 2010. From January to February, new registrations increased by 18.5%, compared with the same period a year ago, totaling 290,695 units. Growth occurred across categories," ACEA informs...  (Images from inmagine: Aerial view,traffic jam on the A2 highway,truck parking lot,Hamm,Ruhrgebiet region,North Rhine-Westphalia,Germany,Europe)

* UK - Vauxhall commit to new Vivaro production in Luton

Luton,Bedfordshire,EN,UK -Road Transport, by George Barrow -25 March 2011: -- Over 1,000 jobs have been safeguarded after Vauxhall announced the next generation of its Vivaro van is to be built at its Luton plant...  Production of the new model is scheduled to start in 2013 and is part of the Vauxhall/Renault partnership that will also see new Trafic models produced in the French firm's Sandouville plant alongside the next generation of high roof (H2) Vivaro models...  To date, over 1.25 million Trafic and Vivaro models have been built since production began in 2001. Renault and Vauxhall have also jointly developed the Master and Movano vans, having launched the first models in 1996...  Vauxhall recently announced a new range of Ecoflex models that represent the most environmentally friendly LCVs in the range...(Photo from vans-cars-leasing: Vauxhall Vivaro Simple)


TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * USA - President Directs Purchase of Alternative Fuel Vehicles

By 2015 all federal fleet buys should be hybrid, electric or non-oil fuels

Washington,DC,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by John D. Boyd -Mar 30, 2011: -- A new vehicle procurement directive by President Obama ordered agencies to buy only non-petroleum fueled vehicles by 2015, announced during an energy security speech Wednesday at Washington’s Georgetown University... The White House said federal agencies operate more than 600,000 fleet vehicles, which include passenger cars and light trucks, up to heavy duty tractor-trailers as well as specialty vehicles such as buses and ambulances...  However, a harder push for cleaner burning cars and trucks also means policymakers in Washington must quickly figure out how to pull in fee revenue from vehicles that do not burn gasoline and diesel lest they escape taxes that go into highway improvements. Obama also touted the rising production of high-mileage U.S. cars; fuel tax specialists say those cars also generate far lower receipts for the Highway Trust Fund per mile than cars have in the past...

* Oregon - Freightliner to offer pre-wire option for Telogis platform

Portland,ORE,USA -Fleet Owner -Mar 29, 2011: -- Freightliner Trucks will offer vocational customers a pre-wire option to easily install Telogis’ telematics platform, including Telogis Fleet, a GPS-based fleet management system... The option is available in Cummins-equipped Freightliner Business Class M2, 108SD, and 114SD vocational trucks. The pre-wire option allows for the quick upfit of a Telogis system... In addition to Telogis Fleet, Telogis also offers Telogis Route, a multi-vehicle route planning, optimization and scheduling system...

* Ohio -  Cummins' early start revs growth in China

Columbus,OH,USA -The Indianapolis Business Journal, by Greg Andrews -March 26, 2011:  --  Now based in Beijing, Chapman oversees Cummins’ sprawling Chinese operations, which employ 8,000 people and racked up 2010 sales of $3.1 billion—a 79-percent increase from the previous year...  The Columbus-based company, directly or through joint ventures, operates 14 manufacturing plants and two technology centers in the world’s most populous country...  Thanks to its early arrival—plus some savvy business decisions along the way—Cummins is the largest foreign diesel-engine maker in China. And it has long-standing partnerships with key buyers of engines and components that are expected to power rapid growth here for years to come...  For example, Chapman negotiated Cummins’ first deal with China’s largest truck manufacturer, Dongfeng, in 1987. That blossomed into a joint venture, generating $1.4 billion in sales last year. In a nation where relationships are paramount, an ally like Dongfeng is invaluable...  The access Cummins has to the Chinese market because of its Dongfeng venture “is just uncopyable,” Cummins President Tom Linebarger said at an analyst conference last year...  (Photo/Cummins Inc.: Cummins makes light-duty diesel engines in Beijing under a 5-year-old joint venture formed with Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Cummins has 10 joint ventures in China)

* Virginia - Volvo, UAW ratify five-year contract

New River Valley,VA,USA -Fleet Owner -Mar 28, 2011: -- Some 1,300 UAW members working at the Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) plant in New River Valley, VA, have approved a new five-year contract. The plant assembles the Volvo VN and VHD... The vote formally ratifies a tentative agreement that was announced last week. The previous UAW contract at the place expired on Mar. 17... “We are the only manufacturing group still building trucks for this market exclusively in the United States, and agreements like this one help us keep American manufacturing competitive,” said Denny Slagle, president & CEO of VTNA. “Working with the UAW, we’ve arrived at an agreement that increases Volvo Trucks’ long-term competitiveness in the North American market, while continuing to offer our employees a great quality of life”...

* Ohio - UAW Approves Three-Year Contract at Dana

Maumee,OH,USA -Transport Topics -28 March 2011: -- About 2,500 United Auto Workers members ratified a new three-year labor contract with truck and auto components maker Dana Holding Corp., the union said...  The deal covers workers at 13 plants in nine states, giving them pay raises and a profit-sharing plan...  It is the first agreement between the UAW and Dana since the supplier emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2008, the union said...  A spokesman for Dana, which makes axles, driveshafts and transmissions, declined to comment on the vote... (Photo from wikimedia: Dana corporate headquarters)


Mar 25, 2011

TRUCKERS' COMPLAIN * Canada - Trucking firms, drivers debate flying rock dangers

Trucking companies:  Rocks flying off the backs of trucks and striking car windshields don't add up

Ottawa,CAN -CBC News -Mar 24, 2011: ...   Nearly a week after an Ottawa woman's terrifying near-miss on a west-end road, in which a rock smashed her windshield and showered her with shards of glass, truckers are saying their loads can rarely be faulted in such incidents...  The more likely scenario, companies said, is that a chunk of asphalt or roadside rubble can get lodged between a truck's dual tires and later get flung backwards...  But dozens of motorists who have had their windows struck by rocks beg to differ...  Kyla Helpin was driving north on Carp Road near McGee Side Road last Friday when she said a "baseball-sized" rock fell from a passing dump truck and shattered the windshield in front of her face...  Jason Birch, a father of two, was killed in an eerily similar incident last October...  Tracy Braun was unequivocal about what happened to her when she was working as a first-aid attendant for a construction company...   "It literally came straight at me," she said. "Definitely, it came off the truck. There was no doubt about it. I saw it coming right at me" ...    (Photo by Kyla Helpin - A rock shattered the top of the windshield of Kyla Helpin's car last Friday)

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* Japan - Warns of Quake’s Impact on Trade. Trade surplus in February preceded earthquake

Tokyo,Japan -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Hisane Masaki -Mar 24, 2011: -- Japan's trade balance swung back into the black in February as exports regained momentum, led by shipments to China, according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry on Thursday...  However, the ministry warned of possible significant impacts on exports and imports from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern part of the country on March 11...  Many factories in a wide range of industries have been forced to stop production in the wake of the twin natural disasters...  Japan posted a trade surplus of $8.07 billion with the rest of the world in February, up 2.5 percent from the same month of last year and the first surplus in two months...  In January, Japan had incurred a trade deficit of $5.87 billion as imports rose at a much faster pace than exports. It was the first time in 22 months that Japan, now the world's third-largest economy after the United States and China, had purchased more from abroad than it had sold abroad...   The rise in Japan's overall exports was led by autos, steel and metal processing machinery...

* UK - Cost of chaos should be laid at BAA’s door. It is unlikely that thousands of angry passengers who camped out at Heathrow for days feel dispassionate

(Photo: One of airport's tractors continues to remove snow and ice from a taxiway at Heathrow)
London,EN,UK -Daily Mail -March 24, 2011: -- It is thought provoking to consider just how hollow apologies for travel chaos at Heathrow over Christmas would ring if terrorism, rather than snowfall, was to blame. Would the muddled response of BAA – sharply criticised in a report by independent director David Begg – be excusable because bomb attacks are relatively rare and, besides, the bomb was a particularly big one? ... One suspects not. As it is, the airports operator can massage away some of the criticism by pointing out that the snowfall was exceptionally fast.  

(Photo: 'Refugee camp': Passengers huddled under blankets at Gatwick Airport today) 
The occurrence of blizzards in winter in a country just 550 miles from the Arctic Circle was only seen as unusual by Professor Begg when viewed through a statistician’s prism... (SEE VIDEO)

* USA - Fire Delays Flights at Miami International Airport. Fuel tank blaze extinguished with no loss of life

(Video from YouTube, by jbpnw - 24 March 2011)
Miami,FL,USA -The Journal of Commerce Online, by Thomas L. Gallagher -Mar 24, 2011: -- A fuel tank at Miami International Airport caught fire late Wednesday night, erupting into a large blaze... Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said its firefighters extinguished the fire at 1:20 a.m. after nearly two and a half hours... The fuel tank was among others in a fuel depot on the airport perimeter. Losses were not fully known Thursday morning, but no one was injured and fuel availability was reduced approximately 40 percent, according to local reports... Planes were taking off and landing Thursday morning, but some delays were expected...