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Sep 30, 2013

* USA - TRUCKMAKERS NEWS: The State Fair of Texas 2013

* The State Fair of Texas 2013 highlights

(Photography by Evan Sears - Ford_Display II) 
Dallas,TXS,USA -Pickup Trucks, by Mark Williams -September 26, 2013: -- In the sweltering Texas heat, with temps more than 90 degrees in the shade, truck makers positioned their forces to launch their latest salvos in the ongoing pickup truck war. Some are transforming their half-tons into different shapes and sizes, while others are beefing up their heavy-duty models. One thing is clear: If a pickup maker wants to survive in the biggest market in the country, they’d better show something special and substantial at the State Fair of Texas... Here are the highlights we saw during press day this year: ... 


* Ram Truck Shows Off 2014 EcoDiesel

(Photo by Evan Sears - Ram EcoDiesel 4 II) 
Dallas,TXS,USA -Pickup Truck, by Mark Williams -September 26, 2013: -- Ram recently showed its 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and 2014 Ram 2500/3500 pickups during a media drive outside Los Angeles; unfortunately, we didn’t get any fuel economy numbers for either. That changed today at the Ram press conference this morning at the State Fair of Texas. Although not officially announced by the EPA (which won’t likely be until late November), Ram chief Reid Bigland said the truck maker is expecting its EcoDiesel to beat its own best-in-class fuel economy numbers (a title held by the 3.6-liter Pentastar engine paired with Ram's eight-speed transmission) in the half-ton segment. By Ram’s estimates, the number should be at least 27 mpg on the highway...


* Toyota shows Tundra-Tacoma Texas editions


(Photo by Evan Sears - Tacoma emblem II) 
Dallas,TXS,USA -Pickup Trucks, by Mark Williams -September 26, 2013: -- Toyota likes to remind people at the State Fair of Texas that it is the only truck maker to produce all of its full-size pickup trucks in Texas, along with its V-8s in Alabama and transmissions in North Carolina. The latest iteration of Toyota’s Texas Edition Tundra will be a stand-alone option package only for Texas dealers and will cost $4,195 when ordered on the double cab or CrewMax models. Toyota will also offer a Texas Edition Tacoma for statewide dealers as well, listing for $3,195, but it will only be offered on the four-door double cab model (not available on Access or regular cab models).

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TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* India - Daimler banks on exports to achieve break even

(Photo: Daimler plant at Oragadam near Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: V. Ganesan) 
Oragadam,Chennai,India -Live Mint/THE WSJ, by Arundhati Ramanathan -Sep 27 2013: -- Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd is banking on exports to help it achieve operational break even within the next two years, managing director and chief executive, Marc Llistosella, said on Thursday... The German truck maker, which invested Rs.4,400 crore in putting up its plant in Oragadam, near Chennai, is working towards making India an export hub. Eighty-five percent of the components used in the vehicles it manufactures in the country are procured locally, making the process cost-effective... Llistosella, said Daimler will be exporting “significant” volumes from India by leveraging Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp.’s sales network in 179 countries... Daimler India began rolling out its trucks for export under the Fuso brand in May and aims to sell 1,000 trucks this year in 15 markets in Asia and Africa... Domestically, Daimler India has a market share of 4-5% and is the No.4 truck maker in India after Tata Motors Ltd, Ashok Leyland Ltd and Eicher Motors Ltd... In the April to August period, the overall sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles in the country fell 24.6% to 69,799 units, said Surjit Arora, research analyst at brokerage Prabhudas Lilladher...


* Italy - CNH Industrial shares start trading in New York, Milan on Monday

Milan,Italy -Reuters, by Jennifer Clark / Jane Merriman -Sep 27, 2013: -- Italian truck and tractor maker Fiat Industrial said on Friday a merger with its U.S. tractor-maker CNH will take effect by Sunday and shares of the new company CNH Industrial will begin trading in Milan and New York on Monday... Fiat Industrial, like other big Italian companies, is looking to maximize sales overseas to make up for a weak domestic market. The merged company also aims to expand by introducing its truck brand Iveco to the United States... After the merger takes effect, CNH Industrial will move its corporate headquarters to the Netherlands... The new company will drop the word "Fiat" and its center of gravity will shift away from Italy, where Fiat was founded 114 years ago...

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Sep 26, 2013

* USA - TRUCKING INDUSTRY: "The industry is not adding much capacity today”

* California - ATA Economist: Industry faces capacity crunch

(Photo: Big American trucks on highway 163 with the silhouette of Monument Valley in the background)
Anaheim,Orange County,CAL,USA -Truckinginfo, by Jim Beach -September 24, 2013: -- The trucking industry is looking at a severe capacity crunch in coming years with a variety of factors contributing to the situation, according to Bob Costello, chief economist of the American Trucking Associations... Speaking at TMW Systems’ Transforum 2013 user conference, Costello said, “‘we are headed for a capacity problem. The industry is not adding much capacity today” ... That makes sense, considering the recent downturn and slow growth. Looking at for-hire trucking, Costello said that about the same number of trucking firms added tractors as decreased tractors (39% to 37%) while 24% of fleets reported no change in their fleets. Some of the companies reporting no change have moved trucks to different work, from dry van to tank for example, but on the whole, the industry has added few trucks the last two years... Further reducing the number of trucks is an increase in used Class 8 truck exports. Costello forecasts up to 22,000 units exported for sale this year, with half of those going to Mexico. Earlier in the decade, most of the used trucks exported went to Nigeria and Russia during those country’s energy booms... Costello also pointed out that overall, the number of independent contractors (owner-operators) has stayed somewhat flat since 2012, while the number of company drivers had increased. For small truckload carriers, there has been an 8.6% increase in company drivers while independent contractors have dropped 7%. He theorized that could be caused by owner-operators moving to larger carriers who have programs in place to help owner-operators get newer trucks... While the industry is not replacing trucks, other factors are also contributing to future capacity problems, among them reduction in productivity due to electronic logging devices, fewer qualified drivers and increased demand for trucks and less supply... The driver situation could become a big problem, Costello said...

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* Belarus - THE WORLD's LARGEST DUMP TRUCK

* Belarus - BelAZ rolls out 
(Photo)
Zhodino,Minsk,Belarus -BelTA -25 September 2013: -- The Belarusian automobile engineering company OAO BelAZ has created the world’s biggest dump truck with the carrying capacity of 450 tonnes. The truck was unveiled for the first time at the test field of Belarusian Autoworks (BelAZ trademark) on 25 September... The carrying capacity of 360 tonnes was the max figure for BelAZ dump trucks before the new truck was rolled out. BelAZ created a vehicle with the carrying capacity of 360 tonnes in 2007 and 320 tonnes in 2005... The mine dump truck BelAZ 75710 can carry 450 tonnes (500 short tons) of cargoes. It uses an electromechanical transmission powered by alternating current. The vehicle is designed to transport mined rock in deep open pits along temporary roads in various climatic conditions...

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* Canada - 'Huge problem': CARGO THEFT

* Ontario - Connected to organized crime, phenomenon costs Canadian companies billions per year

(Photo by J.P. Moczulski/The Canadian Press - Moosehead Breweries marketing director Matt Johnston recovers some cans of Moosehead beer from a stolen tractor trailer found in a trucking lot in Mississauga, Ont., on Sept. 21, 2007)
Ancaster,ONT,CAN -CBC News, by Cory Ruf -Sep 23, 2013: -- The theft of a trailer containing 40,000 lbs. of meat from an Ancaster shipping lot last week is the latest case in a serious, widespread but often unreported organized crime phenomenon — one that, according to industry estimates, costs Canadian companies in the billions of dollars per year... The theft of shipping cargo is a "huge, huge problem" in Canada," said Jennifer Fox, vice president, trade and security, of the Canadian Trucking Alliance... The Canadian Trucking Alliance, along with other industry stakeholders, sponsored a study on the phenomenon. Released in 2011, the report suggests thefts of large cargo loads are primarily orchestrated by those involved "organized crime" ... The most commonly targeted goods, she said, are "high-value loads" including electronics and pharmaceuticals, as well consumer goods, including foodstuffs... Asked whether he thought the Ancaster theft might be related to a black market for meat, Const. Chris Gates of the police’s Break and Enter, Auto Theft and Robbery unit, said: "I wouldn’t be able to comment on that right now" ...

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TRUCKS' THEFT * Russia

* Trucks 'get trackers' to stop alcohol theft

(Photo: Trucks on a Russian motorway) 
Moscow,Russia -BBC Monitoring -25 September 2013: -- So much booze is being stolen from trucks in Russia that hauliers are to install satellite tracking on vehicles, it's reported... The government agency which oversees alcohol policy apparently ordered the action in response to concerns from producers. The systems are made by Russian satellite navigation company Glonass which claims to be able to track how alcohol has been loaded into a tank, where it's being taken and how much arrives at the final destination, news agency Interfax reports... It's claimed that they will also make it impossible to siphon the liquor off or fool inspectors as to the contents of the cargo by tweaking temperatures inside transport tanks, although there is no explanation of how the system works. Russia's appetite for alcohol show no sign of abating. According to the World Health Organization, one in five deaths among men in Russia are attributable to harmful drinking...

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* USA - PROPOSED STRIKE: "Truckers to Shut Down America"

* Michigan - A new social media rallying call has truckers across America buzzing

(Photo)
Lansing,MICH,USA -The Huffington Post/The Trucker News Services, by Amanda Scherker -23 Sept 2013: -- Citing government corruption as its main grievance, a Facebook group dubbed "Truckers to Shut Down America" is calling for a three-day general strike set to take place Oct. 11-13. The page has quickly amassed more than 53,000 Facebook "likes" since its launch on Sept. 15... While the page's description does not list specific goals or terms of negotiation, the plans for the strike read thus: "Truck drivers will not haul freight! Workers will call in sick! Consumers will not buy or sell anything on this date! Stay home! Buy nothing!" ... This grassroots attempt to organize a truckers' strike was dismissed by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the largest trade organization for truckers... ATA ,Sean McNally,  said the movement appears to be using information from a 2006 ATA report about the essential role of truckers in the United States. Among other findings, the report noted that halting trucking could call "significant shortages" to the country "in as little as three days, especially for perishable items" ... Given those findings, a successful 72-hour trucker strike, like the one proposed by the Truckers To Shut Down America, would be problematic for the country...  However, McNally expressed skepticism on the likelihood of such a large-scale protest taking place...

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* USA & Canada - TRUCKMAKERS NEWS

* Michigan - Detroit Diesel introduces new telematics arm

(Photo: Detroit Connect On-Board Tablet) 
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Trucker News Services -18 Sept 2013: -- Detroit Diesel Corp. on Wednesday introduced a new addition to its family: Detroit Connect, the telematics arm that includes the industry-leading Detroit Virtual Technician onboard diagnostics system... The new brand serves to strengthen Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and Detroit’s commitment to developing integrated telematics solutions that enhance efficiency, uptime and performance, company officials said... 


* Indiana / USA - Custom built refuse trucks roll off Autocar's production line

(Photo: Autocar's trucks)
Hagerstown,IND,USA -PR Newswire-iReach/Digital Journal -Sept. 17, 2013:  ... Compared to Autocar, many other manufacturers start to build their refuse trucks on a traditional truck production line, then take them off the line to be individually modified for refuse in a massive in-house "mod shop." This disjointed production often involves a new set of processes, systems, engineering, people and documentation, which can result in production errors, inefficiencies and finished products of poor quality... Autocar, however, custom-engineers its refuse truck, the Xpeditor ACX, for each customer order before production begins. The truck is then built on a single line from start to finish. When Autocar receives an order for a modification or a custom option, the order is filled following the same production process, engineering, systems, documentation and people for every Autocar truck. This fully engineered, fully documented custom vehicle can be replicated and scaled for returning customers using Autocar's integrated production database...


* Quebec / Canada - Trailer skirt fuel savings averaged 6.69%

(Photo: PIT Reveals Aero Testing Results) 
Montreal,QBC,CAN -Today's Trucking News, by Rolf Lockwood -Sep 20, 2013: -- The Performance Innovation Transport (PIT) group, a not-for-profit engineering and research enterprise that's part of FPInnovations, made useful news this week. During its biannual Energotest event at the Transport Canada test track in Blainville, QC, it announced the results of five years of performance evaluations on trailers equipped with side skirts and undercarriage aerodynamic devices. The skirts won... The test results show that trailers with side skirts consumed an average of 6.69% less fuel than similar vehicles without skirts. Trailers with undercarriage aerodynamic devices consumed 1.43% less fuel on average than similar units without the deflectors...

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Sep 25, 2013

* USA - TRUCKERS' JOBS: Schneider's $ 5,000 bonus

* Wiscosin - Schneider National offering $5,000 sign-on bonus for tank drivers

Green Bay,WI,USA -Fleet Owner -Sep. 24, 2013: -- Schneider National Bulk Carriers is offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus ($10,000 for teams) for experienced drivers who join the company. Opportunities exist in the Midwest, South and Northeast, the company said... Drivers wishing to relocate for a job are eligible for a $3,000 sign-on bonus and $2,000 relocation allowance. Opportunities also exist for recent driving school graduates as well... According to the company, drivers can pick which six days they want off each month and Schneider will accommodate those date preferences. Experienced drivers can earn over $60,000 in their first year, Schneider said...

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TRUCKERS AGAINST SMUGLERS & POLLUTION & REGULATIONS * USA

* Oregon - Law enforcement, truckers try to deep ahead of smugglers

Seattle,ORE,USA -Northwest News Network/OPB -Sept. 17, 2013: -- For drug smugglers, getting a truckload of illegal narcotics past border authorities means potentially huge profits... But they’re often up against two levels of security: that of U.S. law enforcement, and that of private export and shipping companies. With more than 5 million trucks crossing into the U.S. from Mexico last year, the authorities and trucking companies are trying to stay ahead of smugglers... In the control room of a cross-border trucking company, dispatchers spend their days talking over the radio with drivers, and poring over computer screens, constantly monitoring the whereabouts and activities of their 150 trucks... The company president asked that we not identify the firm or its employees out of security concerns... The company is meticulous about security measures. All of its trucks are equipped with GPS monitors. Exact routes for the trucks are established from a warehouse in Mexico to the customer in the U.S., and software tells dispatchers if a truck goes off that route, or stops for more than two minutes... The trucking firm even hires private investigators to follow trucks at random to make sure they’re not involved in anything illicit...


* California - Air board has allies in diesel pollution crackdown

(Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Yimes - Air Resources Board inspectors Jose Andujar and Valente Armenta look over the engine of a truck for possible air pollution violations at a checkpoint in Boyle Heights) 
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Los Angeles Times, by Tony Barboza -September 15, 2013: -- Truckers want tougher enforcement and point to competitors who violate state rules to install filters or upgrade to cleaner engines... As state air pollution officials step up inspections of diesel exhaust from big rigs, some of their best allies are truckers themselves... They are pushing the Air Resources Board to enforce pollution rules more aggressively for trucks in advance of a Jan. 1 deadline... Truckers are also the No. 1 tipsters, placing anonymous calls and sending emails to finger competitors they say are gaining an unfair advantage by not upgrading their engines or installing expensive filters that capture harmful diesel particulates before they are released into the air...


* Colorado - Wanted: Smarter, simpler, more streamlined trucking regulations

COL,USA -OverDriveOnLine, by Greg Fulton -September 15, 2013: -- Colorado Motor Carriers Association President, Greg Fulton’s, argued for government better serving the interests of independents and small fleets... Recent statistics reflect that more than 90 percent of the trucking companies in the country are made up of businesses that have 20 or fewer employees. Very few of these companies have a staff attorney, regulatory director, or tax specialist. Yet because of the increasing complex web of laws and regulations in our country, almost all of these companies at one time during the year will need to retain the services of one of these specialists... The point is that every year, our state legislatures and the U.S. Congress, as well as officials with federal, state, and local governments, pass hundreds of new laws, regulations, ordinances, and rules that affect trucking in one way or another. In most cases these laws and regulations are approved by well-meaning elected officials or government agencies who are seeking to address particular issues that have been brought to their attention... Rather than investing in new trucks and trailers, creating additional jobs, and improving their facilities, our trucking companies find themselves spending more and more money on attorneys, tax consultants, and regulatory experts. Companies have little choice, because the cost of failing to comply with even one of these regulations, along with defending themselves against a perceived violation that may or may not even have existed, could mean the loss of their business or serious financial implications...

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Sep 24, 2013

TRUCKING INDUSTRY * Australia

* Queensland - Woman can make better truck drivers than men, says Brisbane's Transpacific Industries boss

(Photo from News Limited - Kevin Campbell, CEO of Transpacific with Emily Cathcart, 21 of Kallangur who drives a truck for Transpacific) 
Brisbane,QNLD,Australia-The Australian/The Courier-Mail, by Greg Stolz -September 20, 2013: -- He's the garbage truck company boss in touch with his feminine side... Kevin Campbell, who heads Australia's largest waste management company - Brisbane-based Transpacific Industries - is on a drive to get more female truckies... He reckons they often make better drivers than men. In fact, Mr Campbell wants more women generally in his 7000-strong trans-Tasman workforce, including senior management positions, to break down "blokey" barriers in the male-dominated industry... Founded in 1987 by the man dubbed the "golden garbo", former billionaire Terry Peabody, Transpacific is an ASX 200 public company operating in Australia and New Zealand, with waste management interests including Cleanaway... Mr Campbell, who took over as CEO in 2011, said he was partly motivated to boost female participation in the company by his two adult daughters who had "hit the glass ceiling" in their careers...


* NSW - Gay reaches out to assure industry

Sydney,NSW,Australia -ATN -September 16, 2013: -- The New South Wales Government has attempted to address industry concerns about the State’s approach to fatigue management under national heavy vehicle regulations... Roads Minister, Duncan Gaylast week penned an open letter to industry focusing on the issue, ahead of the passage of the Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Amendment Bill through the Legislative Assembly... The Bill retains a number of existing NSW-specific initiatives, along with giving the Government the power to impose extra conditions on trucking companies accredited to operate under a new advanced fatigue management (AFM) scheme... NSW amended the Bill to extend the maximum work limit to 15.5 hours under the new module, which is due to begin when the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is fully functioning... NSW passed legislation earlier this year signing it up to national heavy vehicle regulations. Along with outlining the State's approach to fatigue management, the Bill ensures NSW will retain demerit points for certain offences, its livestock loading scheme and regulations covering speed limiters and speed limits... 

-A comment from KMP -18 Sept 2013: ... Regimented driving hours have created the problem, not fixiing it, driving under duress has driven the road transport industry into a situation that actually has made the roads more dangerous not safer... It seems that every group external to the industry has the answer, in reality they have created a monster that will continue to run out of control, the level of regulation endured by road transport isn't developed with safety in mind, it's about money and control, the experts are proving beyond doubt that they are totally incompetent. The solution is simple but that isn't what will suit them as they build a massive bureaucracy to administer the criminals that drive those 'massive trucks'


* Victoria - Curfew catches out truck drivers

Melbourne,VIC,Australia -ATN, by Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi -September 25, 2013: -- Twenty five trucks have been intercepted in Melbourne’s west and 15 have been fined for breaching truck curfews since new laws were introduced by VicRoads two months ago... The move is designed to reduce truck traffic between Roberts Street and Hyde Street... The Maribyrnong City Council has supported calls for an independent health study into the effects of truck traffic on residents by endorsing the Truck Action Advocacy Plan (TAAP)... It has met with the Victorian Government and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to discuss air and noise pollution emanating from truck traffic... In a city development special meeting this week, the council agreed to continue advocating for more effective truck curfews and to lobby the Government to remove trucks from residential streets...


* NSW - Loose bricks prompt warning on load security 

Milperra,NSW,Australia -ATN -September 17, 2013: -- New South Wales Police has issued a warning to the trucking industry on load security after officers pulled over a rigid tipper on the M5 with loose bricks on board... Highway patrol officers detected the truck travelling west at Milperra carrying building materials... The 48-year-old truck driver was ordered to secure the load and was issued with a court attendance notice for a severe load restraint breach... Meanwhile, an investigation is underway into the circumstances that led to a semi-trailer hitting a power pole before crashing into the front yard of a home in Springwood yesterday... The driver was not hurt and was taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine samples. The man, woman and child inside the home were not hurt... The truck ruptured a gas main that caused a significant leak, resulting in the evacuation of two homes in the area. The gas main has been clamped and will be repaired today...

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CARMAKERS NEWS * USA

* Michigan - Chrysler delays launch of Cherokee; workers cite transmission issues

(Photo from Chrysler: 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited) 
Auburn Hill,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman -September 23, 2013: -- Chrysler Group LLC has put the brakes on production of its 2014 Jeep Cherokee, idling hundreds of workers at its Toledo Assembly Complex and assigning others to perform lengthy test drives of the all-new crossover... It is just the latest in a series of snags for a product that CEO Sergio Marchionne says Chrysler cannot afford to get wrong... The Cherokee was originally supposed to be in showrooms by July, but its launch has been delayed — first by problems with fit and finish, then by issues with its new nine-speed transmission... The company downplayed the latest delay and said the Cherokee will begin shipping by the end of the month...


* California - DeLorean is back from the past

(Photo by Paul Bersebach / MCT - A row of DeLoreans sits outside the DeLorean Motor Company in Huntington Beach, California, The cars were made from 1981-83 and were known for their stainless steel body and gull-wing doors) 
Huntington Beach,CAL,USA -The Detroit News/The Orange County Register, by Susan Carpenter -September 22, 2013: ... Recently relocated to Huntington Beach, Calif., the DeLorean Motor Co. had been making a business out of simply restoring the beloved, if short-lived, DMC-12 sports car... The current DeLorean Motor Co. has nothing to do with the original DeLorean Motor Co.,  founded by General Motors executive John DeLorean in 1975, the original went bankrupt in 1982 when it ran into cash-flow problems after building about 9,000 cars. Its modern incarnation was established by British auto mechanic Stephen Wynne, who serviced DeLoreans from his San Fernando Valley, Calif., garage when the original company was building cars, and, in 1995, started a different DeLorean Motor Co. after buying the original company’s remaining parts... According to Wynne’s son, current DeLorean Motor Co. general manager Cameron Wynne, there are still enough original DeLorean parts to fill 40,000 square feet of warehouse space in Houston. Original gullwing doors alone number 1,000 in inventory, he said... Today, that same car in good condition is worth about the same amount. Of the 9,000 DMC-12s that were built, 6,500 are estimated to still exist... Soon, DeLorean will begin producing a different sort of “Back to the Future” car — an all-electric DMC-12 that can travel 100 miles per charge and accelerates from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds. In 2011, the company built its first DMC EV. It is currently “revamping the battery system,” Wynne said. “Once battery technology jumps up, we can introduce the next EV” ...

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* Worldwide - TRUCKMAKERS NEWS: ... A hamster driving a Volvo Truck ! ! !

* Sweden - Hamster drives a Volvo truck

(Video YouTube from AB Volvo -Sep 11, 2013: Can a hamster drive a 15-tonne truck? Watch cute little Charlie steer a brand new Volvo FMX in a rough quarry. Will he make it to the top?) 
Stockholm,Sweden -Canadian Manufacturing (CAN) -September 20, 2013: -- According to Volvo, the tiny animal’s mere body weight was sufficient to steer the truck... In February, Volvo Trucks launched Dynamic Steering, a new steering technology that makes even a heavily laden truck light and easy to manoeuvre... To prove its claims that a driver can steer the vehicle with but a single finger on the steering wheel, the truck maker hired Charlie, a 175-gram golden hamster with a hankering for carrots... A purpose-built hamster treadmill is attached to the steering wheel and, as Charlie runs in his wheel chasing a carrot, the tiny animal’s mere body weight is sufficient to steer the truck. The accelerator and brakes were operated by experienced stunt driver Seon Rogers...


* Sweden - Volvo launches program to save 4 billion SEK annually

Stockholm,Sweden -Reuters -Sep 24, 2013: -- Sweden's Volvo said on Tuesday it would launch a group-wide efficiency program that it saw generating 4 billion crowns ($627 million) in annual savings with full effect by the end of 2015... Volvo, which sells trucks under the Renault, Mack and UD Trucks brands as well as its own name, said it would book the bulk of restructuring costs, which it saw at around 5 billion crowns, in 2014... An upturn in demand in Europe, Volvo's biggest market, has led to order books growing in recent months after a protracted slump, while a U.S. recovery is on firmer ground after a rough patch around the turn of the year as public spending was cut... An extensive product renewal is underway at Volvo with the group rolling out five new truck models. In August, its truck deliveries dropped four percent year-on-year, held back by the renewal. Shipments in Europe slipped 18 percent... Volvo said the savings covered a large number of operations and areas, with a majority within the truck business area, and it would announce the actions continuously as they were implemented...


* South Korea - Scania Korea shelves investment of US$20 mill

(Photo: Scania truck model G i R Euro 6) 
Seoul,SK -Global Post/Yonhap News Agency -September 23, 2013: -- Scania Korea Ltd., the local unit of Swedish truckmaker Scania, said Monday it has decided to suspend its investment of US$20 million in South Korea... Still, the company said the investment was put on hold, citing a request by its largest shareholder, Germany's Volkswagen, to improve profitability in its operation in South Korea... Scania Korea said it sold about 300 units in the first six months of this year. It accounts for 12.2 percent of the dump truck market in South Korea... In July, South Korea's antitrust watchdog ordered Scania Korea to pay 17.6 billion won ($16 million) in fines for colluding with its rival truck manufacturers to fix prices...


* UK - First Euro 6 MAN trucks heads to Dawsonrentals
Monmouth,Monmouthshire,UK - Transport Engineer, by John Challen -24 September 2013: -- The truck and trailer operation of Dawsonrentals has placed an order for an initial 100 MAN TGX 26.440 6x2 and TGX 18.440 4x2 Euro 6 tractors with XLX cabs for its rental fleet... John Fletcher, managing director of Dawsonrentals truck and trailer, says that, apart from the fact that everyone is going to have to get involved with Euro 6 eventually, Dawsonrentals has a strong element in its customer base that likes to keep abreast of any development that enhances their environmental profile...


* Germany - Brabus B63S 700 6x6 (2013) at Frankfurt motor show
(First Official Pictures)
Frankfurt,Germany -Car Magazine, by Ben Pulman -11 September 2013: -- This behemoth is the Brabus B63S 700 6x6, a six-wheel drive G-wagen with 690bhp that’s been revealed at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show... It’s a real Brabus production vehicle, based on Mercedes AMG’s own mad G63 6x6. That AMG Merc is powered by a 536bhp twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 engine, but Brabus has increased the power output of the B63S to a Lamborghini Aventador-rivalling 690bhp. And there’s a monstrous 708lb ft (produced between 2000 and 4500rpm) instead of the standard 561lb ft. All six of the rear wheels are driven by a seven-speed automatic gearbox... All that power has to fight against nearly four tonnes, so the B63S hits 62mph in /only/ 7.4 seconds and even Brabus has been sensible enough to limit it to 100mph because of the huge off-road tyres... And would you even want to take the Brabus B63S off-road? That carbonfibre bonnet scoop and carbon wheelarches, polished underbody protection and black paint will show up scratches a treat. Then again, the red leather and Alcantara interior might look better covered in mud...

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Sep 21, 2013

* Russia - Renault-Nissan & AvtoVAZ

* France - Renault-Nissan alliance creates procurement group with AvtoVAZ

(Photo: AvtoVAZ's Lada Granta production plant) 
Paris,France -Bloomberg News/The Detroit News, by Mathieu Rosemain -September 18, 2013: -- Renault SA and partner Nissan Motor Co. created a parts-procurement venture with OAO AvtoVAZ, Russia’s biggest carmaker, as the manufacturers seek to limit costs as they expand in the country in a three-way tie-up... The venture is modeled on the 12-year-old Renault-Nissan Purchasing Organization, which holds a 50 percent stake in the new Russian entity, with Togliatti-based AvtoVAZ owning the other half, the companies said in a joint statement Wednesday... Renault, France’s second-biggest carmaker, and Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan are in the process of acquiring control of AvtoVAZ, the maker of Lada vehicles, under an agreement signed late last year that pledges the buyers to invest 23 billion rubles ($713 million). Renault has targeted a 40 percent combined market share in Russia for the three companies by 2016...

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CARMAKERS NEWS * Canada & USA

* Michigan - GM shipping 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe to dealerships

(Photo: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray GM)
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Melissa Burden -September 18, 2013: -- General Motors Co. said Wednesday that it has started shipping its seventh-generation 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe to dealers across the country... The Detroit-based automaker said about 1,000 new Corvettes have been built at its Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky and should be delivered to dealers within the next few weeks... The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe begins at $51,995 and a convertible, starting at $56,995, will begin production by year’s end, GM said...


* Ontario - Ford to invest $700M to add models at Ontario factory

(Photo by Aaron Harris / Bloomberg - Ford Motor Co. of Canada's Oakville, Ontario, plant will manufacture several global vehicle models after retrofitting)
Oakville,ONT,CAN -The Detroit News, by Karl Henkel -September 19, 2013: -- Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it will spend nearly $700 million to upgrade its Oakville, Ontario, assembly plant to build new models... Canadian governments will chip in approximately $135 million, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper... The Dearborn automaker, which manufactures midsize crossovers, including the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX in the plant near Toronto, will retrofit the plant to produce vehicles on multiple platforms — similar to plants in Flat Rock and Wayne — by the end of 2014...

- AUTOS RECALLS -

* DC - Honda recalls 374K minivans, SUVs for airbag defect


(Photo: A Honda Odyssey minivan concept)
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -September 19, 2013: -- Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it will recall 374,000 Honda minivans and SUVs to address reports of inadvertent airbag deployments — the third major recall over the suspect part across the auto industry... The Japanese automaker said the airbag system will be repaired in 318,000 2003-04 Honda Odyssey minivans and 56,000 2003 Acura MDX SUVs to address potential malfunctions of the Supplemental Restraint System airbag system. To prevent electrical interference, an electrical noise filter will be installed adjacent to the SRS control unit...

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Sep 19, 2013

SAVING TRUCKING COST * Austria

* Austria - Oil change leads to 189,000 dollar annual saving

Zettling,Austria -Transport Engineer, by John Challen -18 September 2013: -- Austrian haulage firm Frikus has moved to an extended oil-drain interval of its 400 Mercedes-Benz trucks and, at the same time, reduced fuel consumption, following trials of Shell Rimula R6 LME... Shell Lubricants' technical team undertook used oil and fuel analysis to demonstrate that the trucks' oil-drain interval could be extended without compromising engine protection... As a result, Frikus technicians were able to increase its trucks' oil-drain interval from 40,000km to 80,000km. They have also since seen a reduction in fuel consumption of 1.2%... Additionally, the company is putting reduced maintenance costs, and greater flexibility in its maintenance and operation schedules... These reductions have given the company a reported total annual saving of $189,000... The trucks, which run on biofuel, are used for long-distance international, as well as short-distance and inner-city duties...

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GREEN NEWS * Spain - Toxic emissions checked in real time

* Spain - Camera system "sees" toxic emissions from individual vehicles in real time

(Photo: The new system being tested on the A6 highway, near Madrid)
Madrid,Spain -Gizmag, by Ben Coxworth -September 17, 2013: -- According to scientists at Spain's Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), approximately five percent of vehicles on the road are responsible for about 90 percent of toxic vehicle emissions. Short of pulling each and every car over to analyze its tailpipe output, though, how does one go about identifying the offenders? Well, the UC3M researchers have helped design a system that images the emissions of individual vehicles in real time, on highways up to three lanes wide... At the heart of the system is a modified infrared multispectral image camera, equipped with an internal wheel of lens filters. As the camera views the passing traffic, that wheel turns at high speed, allowing several different bands of light to be imaged independently for each vehicle. This is key to the technology, as different gases have "emissions signatures" that are visible in different bands... As a result, users of the system are able to see how much each vehicle is spewing out, in the way of gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons. Using that data, it is hoped that governments could introduce new policies limiting the use of the worst-polluting types of vehicles...

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* Europe - Asks Russia to ease truck checks

(Photo by Andrei Makhonin / Vedomosti - Russia last week introduced cumbersome extra inspections for trucks and goods originating from Lithuania) 
Moscow,Russia -Reuters/The Moscow Times -19 September 2013: -- The European Commission has called on Russia to stop supplementary border checks on Lithuanian truckers and passenger cars imposed in the last month as the countries spar over trade relations with Ukraine... Russia and the European Unionof which Lithuania holds the rotating presidency — are each trying to convince Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to join their respective trade blocs... Russia last week introduced lengthy extra checks on trucks and goods originating from Lithuania, a former Soviet republic that has a large trucking and warehousing industry due to its strategic location between Russia and the EU... Russia started subjecting Lithuanian-registered passenger cars to lengthy border checks in August, causing the number of crossings to fall 90 percent... Lithuania estimates that its transport firms and traders lose two million euros ($2.7 million) a day due to the extra checks... Lithuania is spearheading efforts by the EU to sign a free trade deal with Ukraine, as well as initial cooperation agreements with Moldova and Georgia at the Eastern Partnership summit in capital Vilnius in November... Aleksandras Kondrusevicius, president of the Lithuanian haulers' association, said no trucks loaded in Lithuania had cleared customs in Russia since Thursday morning last week...

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TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA & Canada

* Ontario - It’s an increasingly digital world for drivers



(Photo)
Oakville,ONT,Canada -Fleet Owner/Trucks at Work, by Sean Kilcarr -Sep. 18, 2013: -- An interesting factoid gleaned from this year’s “King of the Road” survey, compiled by Atlas Van Lines, pretty much confirms what most in the trucking business already know: the truck driving job is in many ways increasingly becoming a digital one... By that I mean the paper-laden processes that used to consume a goodly portion of the driver’s day – filling out logbooks, collecting fuel receipts, organizing freight bills and using dog-eared map books to plan out daily routes – are increasingly going by the wayside... Heck, it even seems the venerable citizen’s band (CB) radio, long a staple of the trucker’s way of life, is becoming something of a relic... That’s where the “King of the Road” findings come into play, as Atlas Van Lines found that 66% of its drivers polled in this survey use smart phones, a 6% increase from 2012, with the iPhone outpacing Android phones (58% to 38%) as the model of choice... More broadly, the survey Atlas conducted found that drivers are continuing to use technology to stay more connected while on the road, with across-the-board increases in email and Internet usage as more than three-fourths of the drivers polled check email daily, with 84% accessing the Internet on a daily basis and 56% checking social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter every day...


* Washington - Staying compliant in an uneven CSA world

Tulalip,WASH,USA -Fleet Owner, by Deborah Whistler -Sep. 18, 2013: -- If your rig gets inspected in Texas, you are more likely to get a light or lamp violation. And trucks traveling through Indiana are more likely to get speeding violations. In Oregon, truckers get more hours-of-service (HOS) violations and in Louisiana it’s more likely you will get cited for not buckling up... These are a few of the tales circulating among truckers since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program almost three years ago. The complaints about disparity in CSA enforcement throughout the various states has gone on, but until now, much of this scuttlebutt was purely anecdotal. Now Vigillo’s IQ Lab has created comparative analysis of inspections, violations and crashes for the 48 contiguous United States, drilled down to the county level and normalized by the number of commercial vehicle miles traveled to offer fleets unprecedented detail on CSA violations in various areas of the country...


* California - Safety efforts get mixed reaction from governor

Sacramento,CAL,USA -Land Line, by Keith Goble -17 Sept 2013: -- Two bills in California that would benefit road safety received different responses from the governor... Gov. Jerry Brown signed one bill into law allowing counties throughout the state to double a local fee on cars and trucks for vehicle-theft prevention... California law already authorizes Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego counties to charge more to fight vehicle theft... The new law authorizes fees throughout the state to increase from $1 to $2 for personal vehicles and from $2 to $4 for commercial vehicles... Critics said that although vehicle-theft prevention is important to public safety, they don’t want a tax disguised as a fee that’s intended to cover the costs of vehicle registration... A separate bill vetoed by the Governor called for boosting the fine for violating the state’s “move over” rule... State law requires vehicles approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights to move into a lane away from the vehicle. If unable to change lanes, the driver is required to reduce speed... Gov. Brown said that he believes the higher fine is more punitive than deterrent...


* Missouri - OOIDA takes issue with 'toll the interstates' study

Grain Valley,MO,USA -Land Line, by David Tanner -17 Sept 2013: -- OOIDA takes serious issue with a Reason Foundation study that suggests all interstate highways should become toll roads in the future. The average toll for a truck, as suggested by the D.C.-based think tank, would be 14 cents a mile... Reason Foundation Director Robert Poole authored the interstate study, which urges Congress to open the door to interstate tolls in the next highway bill... Current law prohibits interstate highways from being tolled except for those that apply for a pilot program that allows up to three facilities to be tolled. Even though the pilot program has been around for 20 years, no state has successfully converted toll-free lanes to tolled lanes... Truckers butting up against an hours-of-service clock and making “just in time” deliveries to shippers and receivers do not always get to choose when they enter an urban or congested area. A higher toll rate for them would amount to an extra tax for doing their jobs... OOIDA Director of Government Affairs Ryan Bowley points out, that a tolled interstate system will also lead to more traffic, including heavy trucks, on state and local roadways as America’s truckers work to make ends meet...

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