User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: June 2013
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Jun 27, 2013

* TRUCK MAKERS: Wars in USA

* Texas - Truck Makers take the truck wars to

(Photo: Texas Edition GM II) 
Austin,TXS,USA -Pickup Truck, by Mark Williams -June 26, 2013: -- According to recent sales data from R.L. Polk and Co., one in six pickup trucks produced in the U.S. are sold in Texas. In fact, the combined pickup sales in the cities of Dallas and Houston number more sales than in any other state... Some experts are talking about the segment getting back to the 2 million-unit mark this year, but in order for that to happen some of the Texas truck magic will have to spread to other states, and we're not seeing that right now...


* DC -  Penske orders CNG tractors with Cummins Westport 12L

Washington,DC,USA -Fleet Owner -Jun. 26, 2013: -- Penske Truck Leasing has ordered 100 compressed natural gas (CNG) Freightliner Cascadia tractors powered by the Cummins Westport 12L engine. Seventy-five are slated to go into service with an unidentified-for-now full-service leasing customer, according to Andrew E. Cullen, vice president of energy and telecommunications services. The remainder will be placed at various locations throughout the U.S. for use by leasing and rental customers looking to explore use of the alternative fuel... The 100 CNG Cascadias are a mix of single and tandem axle tractors with day cabs spec’d for regional applications, Cullen said. They join a wide range of alternative fuel trucks in the Penske fleets, including light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles running on propane, LNG and plug-in electric power...


* Oregon -  USA Truck takes delivery of its 5,000th Freightliner

Portland,ORE,USA -Fleet Owner -Jun. 26, 2013: -- Truckload carrier USA Truck took delivery of its 5,000th Freightliner model last week in a special ceremony held at the company’s Van Buren, AK, headquarters... The milestone truck is a Freightliner Cascadia 125-in. sleeper equipped with a Detroit DD15 TC engine... USA Truck first partnered with Freightliner Trucks in 1988 when it purchased its first model...

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FINES for POLLUTION * USA

* California - CARB fines Thermo King for violating pollution laws 

Sacramento,CAL,USA -Land Line, by Charlie Morasch -25 June 2013: -- A major manufacturer of in-cab comfort systems has agreed to pay the California Air Resources Board more than $200,000 for selling APU DPFs that weren’t fully verified through the state’s rigorous approval process... In June 2008, Minneapolis-based Thermo King received conditional verification approval to sell a DPF for APUs. The conditional verification expired in three years, though CARB learned the company had continued to sell the filters after June 2011... A CARB news release said Thermo King agreed to settle the case by paying $213,200 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund... CARB recognized Thermo King’s filters as being fully verified in August 2012...

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Jun 26, 2013

* USA - TRUCKING INDUSTRY: HOS implementation on 1st. July

* DC - Court of Appeals using ‘11th hour’ before rendering opinion on HOS 

Washington,DC,USA -The Trucker, by Lyndon Finney -21 June 2013: -- FMCSA Administrator, Anne Ferrohas denied all requests to delay implementation, adding that she believes the new rule will be upheld... The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is — in trucking terms — using the 11th hour of allowable opinion time to tell the commercial vehicle industry whether or not it will be able to operate under the Hours of Service rules that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will begin enforcing July 1... The court Friday once again did not issue its long-awaited opinion on the petition for review of the new rule brought against the FMCSA by both the trucking industry and safety advocates... Since the court only issues opinions on Tuesdays and Fridays, that obviously means there are two more opportunities for the court to say whether the rule can stay or whether a portion or all of it needs to be rewritten...


* DC - Obama to further cut heavy-truck emissions. But President’s plan does not state what new, post-2018 limits will be

(Photo: whitehouse.gov - Obama laying out climate-change plan yesterday) 
Washington,DC,USA -Fleet Owner, by David Cullen and Jim Mele -Jun. 26, 2013: -- President Obama will take executive action to further reduce the greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions produced by heavy trucks-- beyond the limits already set to come into effect by model year 2018…  Those GHG limits covered 2014-2018 model year heavy-duty trucks, buses, and vans. According to the Obama Administration, these existing rules will cut GHG emissions by some 270- million metric tons and reduce oil consumption by 530- million barrels. The Presidents’ remark about further cutting heavy-truck emissions came yesterday during a wide-ranging address he made at Georgetown University...


* New York - Lawmakers approve amended trucker classification bill

(Image: Owner Operator Driver) 
Albany,NY,USA -Land Line, by Keith Goble -24 June 2013: -- A bill on its way to the New York governor could settle a dispute over reclassification of independent contractors, including owner-operators... The state Assembly and Senate voted on the final day of the regular session to approve a bill that’s supposed to ensure owner-operators doing business in the state maintain their independent status and aren’t labeled as employees... Employment status has been in question at the statehouse since 2010. The Teamsters got legislation introduced that claimed port truckers and delivery drivers, such as FedEx and UPS drivers, “are often improperly classified as independent contractors” ... The change would require trucking companies to offer unemployment insurance and workers compensation to previously misclassified employees. Operations that misclassify employees would also face penalties... OOIDA and the New York State Motor Truck Association opposed the change, which was reintroduced at the statehouse earlier this year. The groups cautioned that the change was misguided and could result in a lot of business packing up and leaving the state... Spurred by the concerns of truckers, state lawmakers acted in the final hours of the legislative session to approve an amended version of the bill that wouldn’t run off independent contractors... NYSMTA President, Kendra Hems, said the changes made should be able to protect independent contractors in the state... The bill specifies that independent contractors can either own or lease their own equipment. Truckers also could choose to work for one carrier without sacrificing their independent status...


* Missouri - OOIDA launches truckers for safety campaign

Grain Valley,MO,USA -Truckinginfo -June 25, 2013: -- A national association representing professional truckers has launched a new campaign to address the biggest safety gap in the trucking industry: the lack of basic training standards for new drivers... The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association says that the agenda outlined in “Truckers for Safety” will help prepare the next generation of long-haul truckers and will proactively address other highway safety concerns... Current regulations do not include training requirements for becoming a long-haul truck driver, despite a congressional requirement for such standards dating from the 1990s. While new drivers must pass a CDL test, testing covers only basic operations and does not address the many on-the-road demands faced by truckers or the hundreds of regulations they are responsible for following... The agenda spelled out in the campaign points out that the more experienced career truckers with safe driving records are often replaced by new drivers with no experience or training – who are again replaced by newer drivers a few months later when they leave the industry. The prevalence of high turnover may be just one of the many consequences...

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Jun 25, 2013

WEATHER TROUBLES: Flooding in Alberta * Canada

* Alberta - Trucking industry devastated by flooding

(Photos by John Marriott/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Canmore,ALTA,CAN -CJOB -25 June 2013: -- Flooding in Alberta has been devastating for the trucking industry. Jason Wall of Arnold Brothers in Winnipeg tells 680 CJOB it's effected business right across North America. "The customer originating in British Columbia, looking for service to Alberta is still looking for that overnight service, same day or next day service We are used to providing," says Wall. "And, with additional kilometers drivers are not able to make that in one push, if you will" ... 
(Photo: An RCMP cruiser blocks access to the Trans-Canada Highway in Canmore, Alta. on Thursday June 20, 2013. Calgary and most of southern Alberta are being hammered by rain that has washed-out roads and bridges, caused mudslides and closed major highways) 
... Wall adds the flooding means an addtional 500 kilometers added to the regular trucking route through Alberta.

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS: 2007 and later year diesel truck technology a success * USA

* DC -  New technology Clean Diesel Trucks with near zero emissions make up 28% of all trucks on U.S. Highways 

Washington,DC,USA -PRNewswire via COMTEX/Marketwatch -June 24, 2013: -- Reducing NOx and PM emissions by more than 95% ... More than 28 percent of all trucks registered in the United States - 2.5 million of 8.6 million trucks - are now equipped with advanced new technology clean diesel engines, according to new data compiled by R.L. Polk and Company for the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF)... The Polk data includes registration information on Class 3-8 trucks from 2007 through 2012 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Beginning in 2007, all heavy duty diesel trucks sold had to meet particulate emissions levels of 0.01 grams per brake horse-power hour (g/HP-hr) - a level near zero...

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * India

* India - Truck makers apprehensive about implementing ABS

(Photo: Eicher plant) 
New Delhi,India -ET/Zig Wheels -24 Jun 2013: -- Sections of the Indian truck industry are wary of the government's plans to make anti-lock braking system (ABS), a safety feature, mandatory for heavy vehicles, as they would add to costs in an already difficult market environment... ABS, which helps prevent uncontrolled skidding while brakes are applied to a vehicle, is likely to be made mandatory for all passenger buses above the gross weight of 5 tonnes and trucks above 12 tonnes. It's already mandatory for trucks carrying hazardous goods... Some analysts, wishing anonymity, have pointed out that foreign truck makers are more open to the move while Indian ones are uneasy. The Indian truck market has been dominated for years by two Indian truckmakers: Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. In recent years, a slew of foreign brands such as Daimler, Volvo, among others, have come in to challenge the incumbents...

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Jun 24, 2013

* Sweden - Inside Volvo's factory

* Sweden - How an ultra-modern truck is built

   Stockholm,Sweden -Video from Youtube, by Volvo Trucks - June 19, 2013: -- This spring saw the first of the series-produced new Volvo FH trucks roll out of the factory gates for delivery to customers throughout Europe. But just how is an ultra-modern truck built, how do advanced electronics and other hardware turn into a single smoothly functioning entity and how can top quality be guaranteed ? ... The new Volvo FH has been dubbed the “next-generation truck”. Jonas Nordqvist, product feature and profitability manager in the strategic planning department at Volvo Trucks, talks about what this actually means... Did you know that… 
it takes about five days to transform a roll of steel into an ultra-modern truck ? 
the cab passes through about 350 pairs of hands before it is fully assembled ? 
3.8 litres of paint are needed to paint a Volvo FH topcoat ? 
the press tools weigh between 25 and 30 tonnes each ? 
2790 screws are used in the building of an ultra-modern truck ? 
the new Volvo FH weighs between 7,500 and 12,500 kg (depending on specification) ?


* UK - DHL creates its own hybrid

Maidstone,Kent,EN,UK -Commercial Motor, by David Wilcox -19 June 2013: -- Unconvinced by the diesel-electric hybrids offered by truck manufacturers, DHL Supply Chain has commissioned an innovative 14-tonne GVW hybrid of its own... It has just started work for NHS Supply Chain, the operation run by DHL for the NHS... DHL’s hybrid is based on a 14-tonne GVW Daf LF55. Unlike hybrids from Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Fuso, among others, it uses a series rather than parallel driveline. This means that the diesel engine – a four-cylinder, 4.5-litre Paccar FR/Cummins ISB – never directly powers the truck... DHL wants CO2/fuel savings of at least 20%, compared with diesel Daf LFs working alongside the hybrid...

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DRUGS HAIR TESTING for TRUCKERS * USA

* Arkansas - Truck driver hair testing moves forward at J.B. Hunt

(Photo by Wesley Hitt - Brittany Jordan of the Arkansas Occupational Health Clinic takes a hair sample for J.B. Hunt’s drug screening program)
Lowell, Arkansas, U.S.-Arkansas Business, by Chris Bahn -Jun. 24, 2013: -- Positive results for drug use have kept more than 3,200 prospective drivers — including 1,700 who used cocaine and 71 who used cocaine in combination with opiates, heroin or amphetamines — from getting behind the wheel for J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. since May 2006... While the pre-employment drug screening results might have kept those drivers off the J.B. Hunt payroll, they were not prohibited from climbing into the cab of an 18-wheeler elsewhere. All they had to do was find a company that does not use hair follicle testing and then abstain from drug use, depending on the substance, for as little as 24 hours... Current government regulations in place stipulate that urinalysis remains the only universally accepted and sharable method of drug testing for transportation companies. While firms are free to supplement their pre-employment screening with a more stringent method like hair testing, they are not allowed to report the findings outside of their own human resources offices... So it is entirely possible that the 3,221 drivers who failed J.B. Hunt’s drug tests since 2006 are on the road for somebody else. And only 90 of those users were flagged by the urine samples they submitted...

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* UK - SAFETY TRUCKS: 75.8% of trucks passed their annual MOT tests

* Pass or fail: it’s up to you

London,EN,UK -Transport Engineer -5 June 2013: -- Common sense, attention to detail, and robust contracts and vigilant operators are the keys to improving first-time pass rates, says Robin Dickeson... Nationally, latest data from VOSA (the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) shows that 75.8% of trucks, 81.6% of buses and 82.7% of trailers passed their annual MOT tests first time in 2012. By comparison, only 50% of vans did so. Superficially, all but the van figures seem quite good, but look at them as failure rates and the results ranges from dismal to dreadful. And importantly, since the 'pass' or 'fail' veredict almost inevitably reflects maintenance standards, the outcome could largely be up to you... MOT tests aren't simply a matter of passing; vehicles need to pass first time for operators to get the full thumbs up from VOSA. Even more importantly, they need to be capable of passing at any time. Given that there are over three million vans on UK roads, with some two million more than three years old and subject to MOT tests, over one million are neither safe nor roadworthy at any one time. Why? Van users enjoy a much more relaxed compliance regime than heavy vehicle operators, with a first test at three years, no regular safety checks and no 'O' (operator) licence to lose...

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HOS Discussions * USA

* Georgia - Trucking industry opposes safety rules

Atlanta,GA,USA -PKP firm -21 Jun 2013: -- The trucking industry's main trade group, the American Trucking Association (ATA), opposes new driver hours of service (HOS) rules, which were published in December 2011 and would require specified rest periods for drivers after long hours of contnuous work. Starting July 1, 2013, the new HOS rules would cut the number of hours a driver can work from 82 to 70 per week, require drivers to take 34 consecutive hours off before restarting their work week, and take a 30 minute break before driving more than eight hours... Last month the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) denied a request by the ATA for a three month stay of the implementation of these rules, saying it was “…unwilling to sacrifice what may be several months of public safety benefits” ...  


* DC - Trucking industry wants to jam brakes on looming driver regulations

Washington,DC,USA -The Hill, by Ben Goad -16 June 2013: -- Trucking companies are about to get hit with a new set of regulations further limiting the time a driver can spend behind the wheel... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule, the subject of a years-long legal battle, will only exacerbate an existing national driver shortage and hit consumers in their pocketbooks, the industry charges... Safety groups, meanwhile, argue the regulations don’t go far enough to protect the nation’s roads from the consequences of driver fatigue... Beginning July 1, drivers will be able to drive 12 fewer hours per week and will be required to take regular 34-hour rest periods that include pre-dawn hours of two straight days, under the rule... Meanwhile, the House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit is set to convene a hearing on Tuesday to consider the potential impacts of the rule. Representatives from FMCSA, the American Trucking Association and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance are among those scheduled to testify...


* DC - Congress gets earful on HOS. Rule changes due to take effect just 7 days from now


(Photo: Barring a court decision, trucking will very soon be dealing with key changes to the hours-of-service rule) 
Washington,DC,USA -Fleet Owner, by David Cullen -Jun. 19, 2013: -- Testimony before a Congressional subcommittee yesterday on impending changes to the Hours of Service (HOS) rules for truck drivers cast some more light on the intentions of the revisions and the difficulty of roadside enforcement of the changes—as well as what may well shape further battles over the rule’s content... These changes to the rule are slated to go into effect just 12 days from now, barring a court decision on a pending legal challenge:

-- Limiting of a driver's work week to 70 hours within a seven-day period. (Under the current rules, truck drivers can work on average up to 82 hours) 
-- Drivers will not be allowed to drive after working eight hours without first taking a break of at least 30 minutes. 
-- Drivers can take that 30-minute break whenever they need rest during the eight-hour window... 
-- Drivers who maximize their weekly work hours will have to take at least two “night-rest” periods from 1:00 am to 5:00 am. This requirement is part of the rule's "34-hour restart" provision that allows drivers to restart the clock on their work week by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty... 
-- Drivers will only be able to use restart provision once during a seven-day period... 

According to Joan Claybrook, consumer co-chair of the nonprofit Advocates for Highway and  Auto Safety and a former Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationtestimony, further changes to the rule will be needed to more fully address driver fatigue... She made her case with these points: 

-- Crash risk increases geometrically after the eighth (8th) consecutive hour of driving 
-- Under the current HOS rule, drivers are not getting sufficient sleep, obtaining, on average, less than six (6) hours of sleep on work nights 
-- Because humans have a biological diurnal schedule that normally requires nighttime sleep, attempts to sleep during daytime result in shorter and less restful sleep periods as compared to nighttime sleep 
-- Lack of sufficient sleep from day-to-day and week-to-week results in cumulative sleep deprivation, or sleep debt, that can only be overcome through extended periods of off-duty time for rest and recovery... 


* California - Tougher regulations affect trucking industry

Fresno,CAL,USA -KFSN-TV/DT/ABC 30 -June 20, 2013: -- Truckers in California are trying to deal with the effects of tougher regulations... Six months ago, California started requiring refrigerated trucks to have engines that date back no further than seven years. Truckers say with the new rules, there are a lot fewer vehicles working in California because many don't meet the standards... Another worry is a new federal rule that goes into effect next month. That increases the number of hours trucks must rest before hitting the road. They say being forced to sleep more, might cost them hours or even days on arrival...


* California - High Court throws out parts of L.A.’s Clean Truck Program 

Sacramento,CAL,USA -City News Service/EGP News, by Elizabeth Hsing-Huei Chou -June 20, 2013: -- The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down part of a program aimed at cutting pollution generated by trucks at the Los Angeles port... Port officials can still ban dirty trucks, forcing trucking companies to switch to cleaner vehicles, as part of their 2008 clean truck program, but according to the June 13 ruling, they cannot make the companies display “how am I doing?” placards in their trucks and to provide a list of places they park vehicles that are not in service... The justices ruled that federal law pre-empts the port from enforcing those two requirements, part of a host of “concession agreements” under the 2008 program... Marine terminal operators face misdemeanor charges and could be fined up to $500 or sentenced to six months in prison if they let in trucks from companies that fail to comply with those agreements. Truck companies could also lose their license to operate at the port if they do not take “corrective action” ... The two requirements the Supreme Court overturned were part of five concession agreements originally challenged by the truck association. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had agreed with ATA that trucking companies should be able to hire truck drivers as independent contracts rather than as employees, but struck down challenges to two other requirements that the companies show their financial ability to comply with the clean truck program and submit clean truck maintenance plans. The port decided not to pursue keeping the driver employment requirement, which environmental and labor groups had argued was necessary because drivers operating as independent contractors were not paid enough by trucking companies to upgrade and maintain their vehicles on their own...

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* Europe - BMW's electric cars

* Germany - BMW's electric car range predictions seem optimistic

(Photo from BMW: The BMW i3 battery-electric car will be shown at the Frankfurt Car Show in September, then go on sale across the world. BMW's new battery and hybrid cars will be sold under the new 'i' brand) Munich,BAV,Germany -The Detroit News, by Neil Winton -June 22, 2013: -- German luxury car manufacturer BMW stunned this reporter a couple of weeks ago in Paris by saying electric cars will have batteries with twice the current power within four to five years, which will double the range... BMW has its supporters, but that claim was met with some skepticism by experts who see a much slower pace of progress. Others say the drive to produce a battery-only vehicle which competes head on with traditional engines is doomed and will only succeed if electric cars are designed with less weight, shorter range and more modest utility ambitions. Charging technology needs to leap forward too...


* USA - Electric Vehicles not sustainable

(Photo: The GM-Saturn Flextreme) Washington,DC,USA -Road Ahead, by John McElroy -Jun. 24, 2013: -- The problem is the entire EV industry and infrastructure is being pushed by government mandates and subsidies, not by natural market demand... Several issues have come to light recently that call into question the environmental benefits of electric vehicles. It’s all got to do with how EVs are manufactured and recycled, as well as how the electricity they use gets generated. These are issues that will not be resolved easily... The EPA report, titled “Application of Life-Cycle Assessment to Nanoscale Technology: Lithium-ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles,” adds the cathode issue could be solved using nano technology, but the energy required to manufacture those cathodes currently is prohibitive... Another EV study that came out this year, “Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric Vehicles,” published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology by Yale University, says the carbon footprint of EVs could be “indistinguishable from those of a diesel vehicle” depending on how far they are driven and where they get electricity... The key to these two studies is they look at the life-cycle energy use of EVs. That means they calculate all the energy needed to manufacture the vehicles, plus the amount and sources of energy used in operation and the energy needed to recycle them. Unlike some auto makers who advertise their EVs are zero-emissions vehicles (are you listening Nissan?), these studies show EVs are anything but emissions free...

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Jun 20, 2013

* USA - CARMAKERS NEW: The Chrysler's Viper Supercar

* Michigan - Chrysler $150,000 Viper Supercar craves racetrack, not traffic

(Photo: The Chrysler's Viper 2013 SRT) 
Auburn Hills,MICH,USA -The Detroit News/Bloomberg News, by Jason H. Harper -June 22, 2013: -- The 2013 SRT Viper is an intimidating machine, capable of hitting 60 miles per hour in 3.4 sizzling seconds. Still, we are only doing about 35 mph when my companion’s panic kicks in... The new model offers the same basic configuration as the previous iteration: six-speed manual, two seats and an enormous motor, a 8.4-liter V-10. The interior and exterior have both been reworked and this time the car has all of the requisite safety features required by U.S. law... The base price is just over $100,000, and there’s a GTS version with a more upmarket interior that’s more than $120,000, including a hefty $1,995 delivery charge and $2,600 gas guzzler tax. My test model cost more than $151,000, including a ludicrous $14,600 charge for a special “Stryker” red paint...


* California / USA - Gold Bugatti Veyron victim of rapper Flo Rida. The gold used for its body is 24 carat

Hollywood,CAL,USA -Autocosmos/Yahoo, by Jorge Blancarte -19 June 2013: -- If we talk about the automotive world eccentricities can cite many, however, the most recent and sad was made by American rapper Flo Rida, who came up with the "fascinating" idea to take your gold Bugatti Veyron 24 carats... The vehicle as you can admire in the images from our gallery, is completely transformed and boasts a shiny golden color. Even until Forgiato wheels were covered with gold... The company in charge of the ridiculous amendment to the 1000 hp vehicle was Wrapz Metro, with 20 years of experience modifying vehicles in Hollywood...


* Michigan . Refreshed 2014 Buick LaCrosse will start at $34,060


(Photo from Buick: The 2014 LaCrosse 1SL AWD)
Novi,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Melissa Burden -June 21, 2013: -- General Motors Co.’s refreshed 2014 Buick LaCrosse, though 2014 model buyers will get more standard equipment and see a slight fuel economy improvement in the V-6 engine... The 2014 LaCrosse has a new rear fascia with LED wraparound tail lights, while the front end features a more prominent chrome waterfall grille and LED wing-shaped headlamps. The revamped sedan also uses nicer materials, and Buick says it has has more comfortable seats and improved ride and handling. Inside there’s a color display instrument panel, the next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system and a center stack with 10 fewer controls. A number of safety technologies also are available...


* Michigan - GM: 2 millionth 6-speed transmission built at Warren plant 

Warren,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Melissa Burden -June 21, 2013: -- General Motors Co. announced this week that it had built its 2-millionth six-speed transmission at its Warren Transmission Operations facility... The six-speed transmissions go into vehicles including the GMC Acadia, GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Equinox, Buick Enclave, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet Malibu...

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Jun 18, 2013

ATRI: HOS restart, will cost $189 million a year * USA

* New York - Trucking sector braces for new rules 

NY,USA -AP/The WSJ, by Bob Sechler -June 17, 2013: -- Their drivers might be better rested, but the trucking sector is steeling itself for the worst... Pessimism abounds regarding new regulations set to kick in July 1 mandating increased rest periods for truckers behind the wheel. The industry appealed the regulations with oral arguments in March, but their appeal appears likely to be shot down... As a result, some industry executives have skipped right to the last part of the old maxim about hoping for the best but preparing for the worst... Among the other changes, drivers cannot drive more than eight consecutive hours without taking a 30 minute break, although they can still drive a maximum 11 hours a day. They also can’t work more than 70 hours in a seven-day period without taking a “restart period” of 34 consecutive off-duty hours, which must include two “night-rest” periods from 1 a.m.-5 a.m... Trucking companies contend the mandates could play havoc with scheduling and hurt productivity by putting extra limits on driver hours... John White, executive vice president for sales and marketing at long-haul trucking company U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc., estimated his company already has spent “probably $100,000 minimum” to prepare for the new rules, including training for the bulk of its drivers and reprogramming of electronic log books. U.S. Xpress also has been pushing for price increases of 3%-4% as long-term contracts come up for renewal, he said, partly because of the so-called “hours-of-service” rules... 


* Virginia - HOS restart changes to cost industry $189 million a year, ATRI says: Expenses are in contrast to benefits forecast by FMCSA 

Arlington,VA, USA -Tranport Topics -17 June 2013: -- Upcoming restrictions to the 34-hour restart provision of the hours-of-service rule for truck drivers will cost the trucking industry $189 million annually — a $322 million difference from the $133 million benefit that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimated when it wrote the new restrictions, according to a study released Monday... The American Transportation Research Institute study said FMCSA’s reliance on driver logs from carriers undergoing compliance reviews, in addition to the agency’s estimate that only 15% of drivers would be affected by the new restrictions, contributed to the grossly incorrect cost-benefit analysis...

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* Australia - CARBON TAX: "More small trucking businesses to close"

* ACT - Truckers declare war on carbon tax

(Image courtesy of www.habitatadvocate.com.au) 
Canberra,ACT,Australia -Transport and Logistic News, by Charles Pauka -June 18, 2013: -- The government’s plan to extend the carbon tax to truck fuel would cause more small trucking businesses to close, the chairman of the Australian Trucking Association, David Simon said... Mr Simon was launching the ATA’s 2013 election campaign. The campaign focuses on the carbon tax, as well as fixing the road funding system and the way the industry is charged for its use of the roads... The Labor Government plans to extend its carbon tax to the fuel used by the trucking industry. Trucking operators would pay almost seven cents per litre in extra fuel tax from 1 July 2014. This would cost the industry more than half a billion dollars in the first year,” Mr Simon said... "The Labor Government expected trucking operators to switch to alternative fuels like biodiesel, which are not subject to the carbon tax"... But he said it wasn’t too late for the Labor Government to change its mind...

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Cars production will hit around 16.1 million units this year in * USA

* Michigan - For the first time in a decade, auto production yops 16 million vehicles

(Photo: 2013 Cadillac ATS sedan begins production at the Lansing Grand River assembly plant)
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Car Connection, by Richard Read -Jun 17, 2013: -- Before 2008, the international economic meltdown, auto companies weren't known for being efficient. Sibling brands overlapped, cannibalizing sales. Production was fragmented, with little thought given to manufacturing vehicles for multiple markets with the greatest of ease... The Great Recession changed all that... In the auto industry, that meant shuttering many brands and streamlining production... According to AutoNews, vehicle production in North America will hit around 16.1 million units this year, up from 15.4 million in 2012. The last time we crossed the 16 million mark was in 2002, when we reached 16.4... CEOs are keen to keep this tidy momentum going. Most appear hesitant to build new production facilities, opting instead to maximize production at existing sites by adding shifts and boosting efficiency. According to an analyst at IHS Automotive, that strategy should be fine at least until the end of the decade, when the industry could be flirting with production of 18 million vehicles per year in North America...

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Jun 17, 2013

TRUCKS SALES : Classes 5 and 6 gains last month * USA

* USA - Big truck sales dip in May


Southfield,MICH,USA -WardsAuto, by Christie Schweinsberg -Jun. 14, 2013: -- Losses in the smallest and two largest big-truck segments could not offset gains in Classes 5 and 6 last month... Deliveries of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the U.S. slid backwards into negative territory in May, down 4.8% following an April increase, WardsAuto data shows... Classes 4, 7 and 8 were in the red, but all other segments posted gains in the month... A hefty 41.9% drop in International’s deliveries, plus smaller declines at most of the group’s other manufacturers, pushed Class 8 sales down 14.2% from year-ago... One of the few improving brands was Daimler’s Western Star, which saw a 39.3% increase in May, compared with year-ago, on just 298 deliveries, the smallest volume in the segment for the month... Strong performances by Classes 5 and 6 more than balanced the decline in Classes 4 and 7, giving medium-duty sales a 7.4% boost... 


* Canada - Truck sales fall 5.4% in May

(Photo: Western Star truck)
Southfield,MICH,USA -WardsAuto, by Christie Schweinsberg -Jun. 14, 2013: -- Only Classes 5 and 7 posted increases in sales last month, thanks to growth at Freightliner, Chrysler and Isuzu... Continuing this year’s trend, sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in Canada declined in May, down 5.4% as Classes 4, 6 and 8 lost volume from year-ago... Class 8 deliveries dropped 14.0% as PACCAR’s Kenworth, one of the group’s mid-volume players, tumbled 38.9%, WardsAuto data shows... Other manufacturers in the group saw losses. Only the Volvo Truck brand and Daimler’s Western Star were in the black, up 5.0% and 2.0%, respectively... Total medium-duty sales climbed 14.1% in May, with Class 7 posting the heftiest jump, up 22.6%. Daimler’s Freightliner more than doubled its year-ago volume, spiking 116.7%. All brands gained volume in Class 7 last month except for PACCAR’s Peterbilt, down 3.6%, and Hino, falling 13.9%... Class 6 deliveries were flat, down 0.6%, in May. A 130.8% jump at Freightliner couldn’t offset losses at most of the group’s other manufacturers, including 80.0%-plus declines at PACCAR and Ford...


* Sweden - Volvo truck shipments slide 9 pct yr/yr in May

(Photo) 
Stockholm,Sweden -Reuters, by Niklas Pollard -Jun 17, 2013: -- World number two truck maker Volvo said on Monday shipments of its trucks fell 9 percent year-on-year in May as lingering weakness in its two biggest markets - Europe and North America - eclipsed a steady upturn in South America... Including joint ventures, mainly India's Eicher, shipments were also down 9 percent, Volvo said in a statement... Volvo, which sells trucks under the Renault, Mack and UD Trucks brands as well as its own name, said deliveries in its biggest market, Europe, fell 16 percent while they decreased 10 percent in North America and 9 percent in Asia... Brazilian government incentives have spurred demand in South America's biggest economy over the past couple of quarters and Volvo said its shipments in the region were up 28 percent compared to May last year...

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Automaker gains market share in Europe * USA

* Michigan - Ford applies lessons of U.S. crisis in Europe upswing

(Photo: Craiova B-Max production line) 
 -The Detroit News, by Karl Henkel -June 17, 2013: -- The slump in European auto sales that has prompted plant closings and layoffs may finally be turning the corner for Ford Motor Co.... Vehicle sales industrywide are running at 20-year lows in Europe, due to a sovereign debt crisis, plunging consumer confidence and automobile production overcapacity... But in May, Ford’s vehicle share in the 19 traditional European markets grew 0.3 percentage points to 8.3 percent, the second consecutive month of increases and the highest May share since 2009, according to Ford’s estimates... Vehicle sales industrywide are running at 20-year lows in Europe, due to a sovereign debt crisis, plunging consumer confidence and automobile production overcapacity... But in May, Ford’s vehicle share in the 19 traditional European markets grew 0.3 percentage points to 8.3 percent, the second consecutive month of increases and the highest May share since 2009, according to Ford’s estimates...

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GM's SUV with fire risks * USA

* DC - GM recalling 231,000 SUVs for fire risks

(Photo: General Motors - 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazere) 
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroir News, by David Shepardson -June 15, 2013: -- General Motors Co. has agreed to recall 231,000 older SUVs over fire risks and urged owners to park them outside garages until they are repaired... The Detroit automaker agreed to recall 193,000 2006-2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, SAAB 9-7x, Isuzu Ascender and 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT and GMC Envoy XL in the United States. The recall also includes 3,546 in Canada, 4,876 in Mexico and 30,000 outside North America... Fluid may enter the driver's door, causing rust that could result in a short in the circuit board. A short may cause the power door lock and power window switches to function intermittently or become inoperative. The short may also cause overheating, which could melt components of the door module, producing odor, smoke, or a fire... At least 28 door fires were reported, including some when the vehicle was left unattended. GM told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in December it had reports of 6 injuries and two reports of property damage. This is the second recall of 2006-2007 GM SUVs for the issue since August; GM has now recalled about 440,000 vehicles to address the issue... 


* DC - Chrysler recalling 37,000 Ram trucks

(Photo: Dodge Ram 1500, 2013) 
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -June 13, 2013: -- Chrysler Group LLC is issuing two new recalls to repair 37,000 pickups... The Auburn Hills automaker said Thursday it is recalling 30,000 2013 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups to upgrade software to fix the tail-lamp warning light... Chrysler said if a tail-lamp is not functioning properly, the trucks are to alert drivers with an instrument-panel warning light. Chrysler dealers will perform a software upgrade to reactivate the warning light, which is a mandated safety feature. The tail lights are not impacted by the recall, which includes 17,400 in the United States and 13,000 elsewhere... The issue was discovered by Chrysler engineers performing routine testing...


* Michigan - 2013 Dodge Dart recalled for engine stall problem

(Photo: 2013 Dodge Dart) 
Auburn Hills,MICH,USA -The Car Connection -Jun 13, 2013: -- Chrysler is conducting a voluntary safety recall of certain 2013 model year Dodge Dart compact cars for a potential engine stall problem... A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website puts the number of vehicles potentially affected by the recall at 12,907...  Affected vehicles are equipped with a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo engine and dual dry clutch transmission and were built from March 1, 2012 through February 28, 2013... According to the NHTSA bulletin and documentation from Chrysler, these vehicles may experience an engine stall when the temperature is 20-degrees Fahrenheit or colder... Engine stall increases the risk of a vehicle crash... Chrysler said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this issue...


* Michigan - 2013 Lincoln MKZ recalled for electrical shock risk

(Photo: 2013 Lincoln MKZ)
Dearborn,MICH,USA -The Car Connection, by Suzanne Kane -Jun 11, 2013: -- Ford is conducting a voluntary safety recall of certain 2013 model year Lincoln MKZ luxury cars to fix an issue with electrical cords that could result in electrical shock... A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website lists the number of vehicles potentially affected by the recall at 107. Affected vehicles are 2013 Lincoln MKZs equipped with an engine block heater and built from April 24, 2012 through March 15, 2013...


* DC - Honda recalling 18,000 cars to fix brakes

Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -June 13, 2013: -- Honda is recalling more than 18,000 cars in the U.S. to fix problems with the brakes... The recall affects more than 13,000 Acura RSX compact cars from 2006 and the Honda S2000 sports car from the 2006 and 2007 model years... Honda says some power brake booster parts weren’t made to specifications. That could cause a decrease in braking power over time and could increase the risk of a crash. But the company says it doesn’t know of any accidents or injuries from the problem... Honda found the problem by watching warranty claims...

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