User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: January 2015

Jan 28, 2015

TRUCKMAKER NEWS * Belarusian Machine Building: Once A Nation's Pride, Now A Burden?

In Soviet times, became a recognised brand of the country and brought economic growth. Not anymore !

(Photo: Trucks assembly line of Minsk Automobile Plant)
 -- The decline in the industry has influenced the whole country. The state's economy suffers losses not only in the machine building sector itself, but also across other industries associated with it... According to the Ministry of Finance, the Belarusian Automobile Plant, the Minsk Automobile Plant and the Minsk Tractor Plant lost $76m over a nine month period in 2014... Belarus has no choice but to abandon its focus on a shrinking Russian market. The idea of privatising these enterprises by Western company may yet emerge among Belarusian decision makers. Keeping these enterprises in the state's hands costs too much and their privatisation by China or Iran, as previous projects show, may bring frugal results... The demand in the Russian market has declined not only because of the crisis, but also due to competition. Many companies like Volvo, John Deere RusCATKomatsuTerex have assembly plants in Russia... Additionally, Belarusian enterprises have traditional problems associated with an authoritarian economic control model. Plants often supply their equipment to state-owned enterprises for free, public managers are afraid to be proactive and cannot pay enough money for innovation... Minsk,Belarus -The Belarus Digest, by Ryhor Astapenia -27 January 2015


Jan 27, 2015

TRUCKMAKER NEWS USA: * Toyota is betting on strong truck sales this year

* California - Toyota plans to sell its new 2016 Tacoma pick-up truck this fall

(Toyota Motor Corp forecasts strong truck sales for 2015)
-- Toyota Motor Corp, the world’s largest automaker, is looking to go big this year in its pick-up truck segment by launching the redesigned 2016 Tacoma pick-up truck in the fourth quarter (4Q) or somewhere around fall... Last week, the automaker reported the highest sales of cars and trucks for 2014; it sold 10.23 million vehicles, beating Volkswagen AG and General Motors Company... Citing some troubling sales in China, the world’s largest automobile market, Toyota dropped its annual sales target for 2015 by 1%. But North America, which the Financial Times reported, is the biggest region for the automaker in terms of sales volume (28%), has been a safe territory... Torrance,CAL,USA --Bidnessetc, by GEORGE ZACK -Jan 26, 2015


Jan 26, 2015

TRUCKERS' TROUBLES - Time for trucker to focus on his family's needs

(Video by Taylor Haney/ATVN -Nov 13, 2014: Truck drivers at the Port of Los Angeles went back on strike today to demand better pay and working conditions) -- Like many workers, Julio Cervantes has a job but isn't an employee... Cervantes, 46, drives a semi-truck around Southern California, picking up cargo at the local ports and delivering it to warehouses and rail yards... Since 2002, he has worked for a series of trucking companies as an independent contractor, which means he lacks many of the benefits and workplace protections of a full-fledged employee... Cervantes was satisfied with that arrangement at first, and he made a nice living. Then changes in the economy and the port trucking business squeezed the Long Beach resident and many of the other estimated 12,000 short-haul drivers at the local ports... With union backing, Cervantes and other drivers have staged short-lived strikes against several Southland trucking firms and filed lawsuits and complaints with state and federal officials contending that the companies were unfairly denying them employee status... Independent contractors became more plentiful in the last several years as employers sought to increase flexibility and cut costs — including employee medical benefits and unemployment insurance taxes — by contracting for services rather than hiring employees... Also more common: employers who incorrectly designate workers as independent contractors whether because of confusion over complex rules or an effort to evade taxes. The Internal Revenue Service has estimated that millions of workers are misclassified as independent contractors, with significant loss of employment taxes... Only about 10% of the local port truckers are direct employees of trucking companies, experts estimate...In the meantime, the couple are optimistic in spite of their rough financial ride... Los Angeles,CAL,USA - The Los Angeles Times, by Ronald D. White -25 Jan 2015


* Canada - Hundreds of Port Metro Vancouver truckers losing jobs to new licensing system

* BC - Truckers say new system cuts port access to 600 truckers 

(Photo from CBC - Michelle Mann with Safeway Trucking says more than 600 truckers will be out a job after the Port finalized its new licensing system on Friday)
-- More than 600 truckers say they're effectively out of a job after Port Metro Vancouver granted access to just 68 companies under a new licensing system finalized Friday. Under the system announced Friday, 68 companies representing 1,450 trucks have been approved to serve the port. Last year the number of trucks working the port was estimated at more than 2,000... Michelle Mann with Safeway Trucking says both she and her husband, along with many others, are effectively out of work... "There are about 600 drivers who are out of a job," she said... Port Metro Vancouver says the new licensing system is needed to address the long-lineups and rate cutting caused by too many trucks serving the port...  Vancouver,BC,Canada -CBC News -Jan 25, 2015


* USA: Truckers must produce new documentation for TWIC enrollment

* DC - New Credential for truckers

(Photo: A TWIC card)
-- New documentation requirements and a slightly reduced enrollment fee are on the horizon for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program... Truckers are among the more than 2.8 million workers enrolled in the Transportation Security Administration program, required for those needed unescorted access to secure maritime facilities... On Feb. 1, the fee will drop $1.75 to $128.00 because of a decrease in FBI fingerprint processing charges. This change does not affect the already reduced fee of $105.25, available to applicants with current, comparable background checks... The TSA also is changing enrollment requirements for U.S.-born citizens. On July 1, these applicants must provide one document from the agency’s List A or two documents from its List B. Until then, affected applicants may certify citizenship by checking the box on the electronically signed TWIC application and providing the documents specified on the Universal Enrollment Services website at These changes are to align TWIC proof-of-citizenship requirements with the Hazardous Material Endorsement and other TSA programs. Requiring proof of citizenship at enrollment will ensure all applicants meet eligibility requirements, the agency said... Washington,DC,USA -Overdrive, by Jill Dunn -January 22, 2015


* Malaysia: DRB-Hicom to assemble Tata trucks


(Photo: Tata Motors and DRB-Hicom to supply Trucks for Malaysian Army)
 -- Malaysia’s DRB-Hicom is spending MYR10m (US$2.8m) to assemble Tata trucks at its plant in Pekan, in Pahang state... The company plans to import CKD kits from Thailand and South Korea, including the Xenon pickup truck and the Prima heavy-duty truck range... DRB-Hicom said it has already received pre-orders for 17 Prima prime-movers... The assembler also builds a variety of Volkswagen models for Malaysia... Pekan,Pahang,Malaysia -Just Auto, by Tony Pugliese-23 January 2015


* Arkansas / USA - Stuck trucks cause safety concerns

* Neighborhood complaints

(Photo: Trucks are getting stuck at a Batesville intersection leaving drivers feeling unsafe) 
Batesville,ARK,USA -Arkansas Matters, by Ken Buffa -23 Jan 2015: -- Drivers in Batesville say they've had enough of truckers taking the wrong route and putting their safety at risk... It's happening at the intersection of Harrison and St. Louis Street. In the last week, two tractor trailers have gotten stuck. The pole holding the traffic lights were badly scraped but the street lamp had to be uprooted... Street lamp repairs costs close to $4,000 and the traffic lights cost close to $15,000. Officials say truckers are getting rerouted by their GPS's or are just unfamiliar with the area. Drivers say this is a serious accident waiting to happen... There were no injuries when they trailers got stuck. City Officials say no change to the intersection will be made. Officials say roughly 21,000 cars use the roadway everyday...


* Germany - Volkswagen AG could be planning truck division spin off

*Truckmakers news 

-- The report cited internal sources from within the company, albeit with the usual anonymity mark as the executives are not allowed to discuss with the media a yet to be announced move. Besides the spin off that would bring a separate listing, the truck business might also get another headquarter location – in Frankfurt – to further establish its independence. Manager Magazin further hinted that the new trucks holding company would be devised with the possibility of an easy stock exchange listing option if the parent company decided it needed to raise cash quickly... The VW-branded light commercial-vehicle unit has been on an integration quest for years together with Swedish truck maker Scania and German MAN SE as the group sought higher synergies from the different trucks businesses, with the latest move last year being the hiring of ex-Daimler manager Andreas Renschler... Wolfsburg,Germany -Reuters/In Auto News -22 Jan 2015


Jan 22, 2015


* Victoria - Straight to Work: 5,000 Trucks Off the West Gate

Melbourne,VIC,Australia -Premier of Victoria -21 January 2015: -- The Andrews Labor Government is getting straight to work on the project to take 5000 trucks off the West Gate Bridge every day, calling for expressions of interest to build the first stage of the new West Gate Distributor... The $500 million West Gate Distributor will take trucks to the Port of Melbourne via a new dedicated road link, easing congestion for city bound traffic from Geelong, Ballarat and the western suburbs... The West Gate Distributor is part of Project 10,000 – the Labor Government’s plan to reduce road congestion, transform our public transport system and create 10,000 Victorian jobs... The $40 million first stage of the project includes widening Moreland St, installing a new signalised intersection at Footscray Rd and Moreland St, and widening and strengthening the Shepherd Bridge over the Maribyrnong River to add additional lanes... The upgrades to Footscray Rd and the Shepherd Bridge will eliminate bottlenecks and increase the flow of traffic and the efficiency of freight. Safe, dedicated lanes for cyclists will also be built... Over the next 20 years, the number of commercial vehicles travelling on the West Gate Bridge is expected to double and the number of truck visits to the busy Swanson Dock is expected to increase to 12,000 each day...



* New York - Brings the Uber Model to the $800 Billion Trucking Industry 

NY,USA -Re Code, by Liz Gannes -January 20, 2015: ... The trucking industry have historically run their operations was terribly inefficient. It generally takes three hours of calling around and faxing orders to set up every shipment, according to Drew McElroy. And it doesn’t work that well: Some 20 billion miles per year in the U.S.A. are driven by empty trucks... I know what you’re thinking. There should be an Uber for trucking. And in fact, there are: DashHaul, CargoMatic, Keychain Logistics. But perhaps who better than McElroy, a 32-year-old native of the industry, to take the idea on... McElroy has now founded a New York City-based startup called Transfix, which has a smartphone app that matches shipments with drivers. The aim is to remove the need for businesses like his family’s, while taking a slightly smaller cut of transactions than the norm — generally 10 percent. “My family’s little business was not going to be the platform for taking over the world,” McElroy said... Transfix is already being tested by Barnes and Noble, Samsung, SuperValu and J.Crew, and cutting their “deadhead” runs (time driving without cargo) in half or more, according to McElroy. Last year the company received $1.8 million in funding from Bowery Capital, Lerer Hippeau, Founder Collective, TriplePoint Capital and others... Tranfix fits into the larger phenomenon of consumer technology being extended into enormous existing industries. Annual American trucking spending is estimated at $600 billion. It’s been surprisingly easy to break into the market, McElroy said, because large retailers and brands are increasingly willing to work with startups — and because some 90 percent of truck drivers already have smartphones...


TRUCKING INDUSTRY NEWS * USA: Too many trucks, too little parking

* NY -  New rules mandate breaks, but few spots are being built; driver deaths cast glare on shortage

(PHOTO: KYLE GRANTHAM FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - Dave Della Maggiore says his truck was damaged last year when an angry, tired trucker couldn’t find a parking spot and tried to squeeze in) 
New York,NY,USA -THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, by BETSY MORRIS -Jan. 20, 2015: -- The last time Ashley Boeglin talked to her truck-driver husband, Mike, he was heading toward Detroit late one night in June to drop off a load of coils at a ThyssenKrupp steel plant... But the next morning, Mr. Boeglin’s body was found in his silver Freightliner, burned beyond recognition. The truck had been set afire and left less than 150 yards from the factory gate, according to local police, who say they suspect robbery was the motive. They have made no arrests... Mrs. Boeglin says she doesn’t know why her husband didn’t stay at a truck stop, but he probably didn’t want to spend money on fuel to get to one or pay an overnight parking fee. She believes that if he had been invited inside the factory’s fenced-in parking lot, “I wouldn’t be going through this” ... But most shippers don’t allow truck parking, including the ThyssenKrupp plant. “We were deeply saddened by these events,” a spokeswoman said in an email, but the plant “clearly defines” the hours it’s staffed to receive deliveries to ensure safety, and it discourages parking in vacant lots nearby... Mr. Boeglin’s death has cast a harsh glare on the severe shortage of accessible parking for truck drivers. Trucks transported 9.7 billion tons, or 81% of the $682 billion of 2013 freight revenue, according to the American Trucking Associations. Yet there aren’t nearly enough legal, safe and well-lit parking places where truckers need them most. Meanwhile, safety regulators have increased the number of times that drivers must stop, park and rest... There were 2.3 million trucks on U.S.A. roads in 2014. While that number hasn’t increased in recent years, cheaper fuel is likely to change that... An informal Web survey in 2013 drew an outpouring of responses from nearly 4,000 truck drivers. Nearly 40% said it takes them, on average, an hour or more to find parking for the night. About 28% said they regularly or occasionally stay on freeway ramps; 52% said they pull up behind shopping centers, and 45% hunt for places like abandoned gas stations or vacant strip malls...


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS WORLDWIDE * Sweden - * Germany - * China - Nigeria / Africa

* Ireland - Prestigious Quality Award to Volvo Trucks

(Photo: Volvo's I-Shift Dual Clutch) Dublin,Ireland -Irish Trucker -19 January 2015: -- For the second consecutive year Volvo Trucks has received Europe’s prestigious 'Quality Innovation of the Year' award. Volvo Trucks received the award for its new transmission, I-Shift Dual Clutch, whose main benefit is that it makes the driver’s job simpler and safer... The 'Quality Innovation of the Year' Award is backed not only by SIQ but also by quality institutes in several other European countries...

* Germany - Mercedes-Benz to unveil midsize van

(Photo: Mercedes-Benz vans) 
Stuttgart,Germany -Transport Topics (USA) -21 Jan 2015: -- Mercedes-Benz Vans is slated to introduce the Metris midsize van to the U.S.A. market at The Work Truck Show in March, host organization NTEA announced... The Metris will join the manufacturer’s larger Sprinter in competing for U.S.A. commercial buyers in an increasingly crowded marketplace... The Metris is sold as the Mercedes-Benz Vito in markets around the world. Parent company Daimler Trucks said at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hanover, Germany, in September that it planned to introduce the Vito in North America during 2015. The truck maker said that the van would carry a different name in the United States (of A.) and Canada... 

* Germany - VW mulls separate listing of trucks business

Frankfurt,Germany -Reuters, by Jan Schwartz, Edward Taylor, and Jane Merriman -Jan 21, 2015: -- Volkswagen AG may restructure its trucks business so that it could be spun off from the main group, and establish a separate headquarters for it in Frankfurt, German monthly Manager Magazin said, citing company sources... Manager Magazin said the trucks holding company would be structured so it could be listed on the stock exchange in the event that parent company Volkswagen wanted to raise cash... A spokesman for Volkswagen said the company declined to comment on speculation... Volkswagen has hired former Daimler manager Andreas Renschler to integrate its different trucks businesses which include Swedish truck maker Scania and German MAN SE as well as its own VW-branded light commercial-vehicle business...

* Nigeria - Transit support rolls out Shacman Trucks

(Photo: A Shacman truck)
Enugu,Nigeria -The Business World, by Pearl Ngwama -Jan 19, 2015: -- Transit Support Services Limited, a subsidiary of ABC Transport Plc, in partnership with Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company Limited (ANAMMCO), last week officially rolled out Shacman trucks from the ANAMMCO plant in Emene Industrial Layout, Enugu... The resuscitation of ANAMMCO by Transit Support Services Limited is in response to the new national automotive policy, and the need to grow domestic automobile capacity and generate employment opportunities in Nigeria... Established in 2007, Transit Support Services Limited, Nigeria, has been behind the success of notable transport operators in the whole of Africa, and is continuously researching for best solutions to enhance cost efficient services in transport and logistics operations... Shacman is a brand of the Shaanxi Automobile Group Company Limited of China, which has over 45 years of manufacturing experience and remains one of the leading automobile manufacturers in that country. The company produced the first heavy duty military off-road truck in 1968, and has since inception manufactured over 600,000 vehicles of different varieties, making great contribution to China’s national defense construction, developing the national economy and adding value to the entire Chinese society...


TRUCKING INDUSTRY * USA: Fracking operations - * Weather troubles

* North Caroline - More than 1,600 trucks could be used in fracking operations 

(Photo: Trucks at fracking operations in Lee County)
Lee County,Sandford,NC,USA -The Sandford Herald, by Kathryn Trogdon -Jan. 18, 2015: -- Lee County residents could expect to see more than 1,600 trucks for each hydraulic fracturing operation that comes to the area, which could cause extensive road and bridge damage and take weeks to repair, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation... The NCDOT recently studied the effects of the natural gas industry's truck traffic on roads at the request of the N.C. General Assembly. During the course of the study, the agency engaged in a peer exchange with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to learn how the industry's truck traffic affect Pennsylvania's roads and how it is managed... Based on data from PennDOT, the NCDOT determined that about 1,600 trucks are used in the development of a fracking well site, including 300-400 trucks for pad development, 150-200 trucks for drilling operations, 800-1000 trucks for hydraulic fracturing and 40-50 trucks for extraction... As part of the study, the NCDOT recommended the implementation of a Road Use and Maintenance Agreement, which would require the fracking companies to bond the haul route at $100,000 per mile of road and $360 per square foot of bridge. According to the NCDOT, this would require the N.C. General Assembly to make multiple statutory changes to “allow for a smooth implementation of the RUMA policy as part of the single coordinated permitting process under DENR” ...

* New York - Freezing rain makes Northeast roads slick; at least 5 killed

(Image provided by PennDOT: More than 20 cars are piled up on I-76 in Philadelphia after freezing rain on Sunday, Jan. 18) 
NY,USA -The Associated Press -19 Jan 2015: -- Dozens of spinouts and accidents were reported from northern New Jersey to southern New Hampshire on Sunday and treacherous conditions forced the closure of the New York State Thruway from Newburgh to New York City during the morning... Rain "flash-freezing" on roads and sidewalks left an icy glaze under feet and tires across much of the northeast on Sunday, causing crashes that claimed at least five lives... A crash involving 30 to 50 vehicles on Interstate 76 outside Philadelphia killed one person, and two others died in a crash involving multiple vehicles on nearby Interstate 476, police said. In northeastern Pennsylvania, a man was killed after his car overturned on an icy road and he was thrown from it and hit by a commercial vehicle. In Connecticut, police cited slippery conditions in a crash that killed an 88-year-old woman who struck a utility pole in New Haven...


Jan 21, 2015


* California - Tesla co-founder Ian Wright opens Alameda plant to make electric truck powertrains

(Photo: Ian Wright, CEO of Wrightspeed) 
San Francisco,CAL,USA -The San Francisco Business Times, by Patrick Hoge -Jan 20, 2015: -- Tesla co-founder Ian Wright is founder and CEO of Wrightspeed, a maker of electric hybrid powertrains for large trucks that has moved its headquarters and assembly plant to Alameda...The company expects to grow by a factor of more than 12 to more than 300 employees by 2018... Wrightspeed on Tuesday said it had moved into the city-owned 110,000-square-foot historic Hangar 41 at the former Alameda Naval Air Station. Wrightspeed plans to invest $3 million in the plant, where its "range extender" products will be assembled... Wrightspeed says its plug-in hybrid powertrains, which generate electricity through regenerative braking, are designed to replace components in existing medium and heavy-duty commercial trucks. The change makes the vehicles "near zero-emission, quiet, and efficient commercial vehicles" ...


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * USA & Canada: Volvo's

* North Caroline - Volvo achieves record Canadian market share

(Photo: A Volvo truck loaded with a great winter wind pump pictures) 
Greensboro,NC,USA -Truck News -January 19, 2015: -- Canada loves Volvo. The truck maker declared today it achieved its best Canadian market share ever in 2014, at 15.3% of the heavy-duty retail market... The data was compiled by the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association and HIS Automotive. Volvo controlled 12.4% of the combined US and Canadian heavy-duty retail market in 2014, which was also an all-time high for the company... Volvo attributes its success to its fuel-efficient products and uptime services... In the US and Canada combined it sold 31,065 trucks in 2014, up from 24,310. Its US market share grew 0.8% to 12% in 2014...


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS WORLDWIDE: * Australia - * Japan - * India

* Australia - Iveco Powerstar for the Aussie double and triple roadtrain market

(Photo: Iveco big lorry truck)
 -Biglorryblog -14 December 2014: -- Doesn't seem that anyone has sent you information on IVECO's newest entrant in the double and triple road train segment of the Australian truck marke... Based on the bonneted range of Powerstar (Stralis cab with a local designed bonnet), the 7800 sits higher on the frame than the other models (6400, 7200) has a predominant American drive line, including Cummins ISX 550BHP or Signature 600BHP settings, large radiator, Eaton 18 speed manual gearbox and a choice of IVECO or Hendrickson suspension... Pictured one  examples at the Perth (Western Australian) IVECO dealer... 

* India - Tata Motors to expand Asia-Pacific presence

(Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint Mumbai: Tata Motors plans to add heavy and light commercial vehicles in the Thai market) 
Mumbai,Maharashtra,India -Live Mint -Jan 21, 2015: -- Tata Motors Ltd, India’s largest automobile maker, will start selling trucks in Malaysia, Vietnam and Australia as part of a plan to strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, a company official said on Tuesday. The company’s subsidiary in Thailand will serve as a base to sell to the adjoining markets, which will also help the maker of the Ace and Xenon brands of vehicles to utilize its Thai facility optimally... 

* Japan - Toyota sees global sales falling in 2015 

(Photo:A Daihatsu truck) 
Nagoya,Japan -Nikkei Asian Review -January 21, 2015: -- Toyota Motor expects to sell fewer cars and trucks in 2015 and will likely lose it position as the world's top-selling automaker to Volkswagen for the first time... Toyota expects to sell roughly 10.15 million vehicles worldwide this year, a decrease of about 100,000 from last year, according to company forecasts due out Wednesday. Its 2014 total likely came in close to an initial projection of 10.22 million. These figures include output from minicar maker Daihatsu Motor and truck maker Hino Motors... Toyota's annual sales have not fallen since 2011, when Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami. Not only is this streak likely to end, but Toyota is also at risk of ceding the automobile industry's global sales crown, which it retook from General Motors in 2012...



* Pennsylvania - Pays fleets to go natural

(Photo: Clean Energy Station) 
Harrisburg,PEN,USA -Go By Truck News -January 20, 2015: -- Pennsylvania has awarded $7.3 million in funding to help 18 companies switch their heavy-duty fleets to natural gas... The grants are part of a three-year program, which provided $20 million in grants to increase the use of natural gas in heavy-duty vehicles in the state. The 18 recipients were chosen from a pool of 37 applicants... The companies that receive the money must pay at least 50 percent of the costs to purchase each new natural gas vehicle or to retrofit existing vehicles. The maximum award per vehicle is $25,000. The conversion could involve either compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas, as well as bi-fuel vehicles, as long as the trucks weigh at least 14,000 pounds...


Jan 19, 2015


* New Jersey - Court ruling could affect trucker unionization

(Photo by Daniel Acker/ Bloomberg News - Trucks drive through security checkpoints at the Port Newark Container Terminal in Newark,NJ,USA) 
Trenton,NJ,USA -JOC, by Joseph Bonney -Jan 16, 2015: -- Efforts to unionize owner-operator drivers in New Jersey could get a boost from a state Supreme Court ruling that limits companies’ ability to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees... In a unanimous decision this week, the court ruled that a mattress retailer’s delivery drivers are presumed to be employees unless employers can show that the workers qualify as independent contractors under a three-pronged “ABC” test... Under that test, companies must demonstrate that workers (a) are free from company control or direction, (b) operate outside the company’s usual course of business or location, and (c) work in an independently established occupation or business... The ruling was the latest in a series of court decisions that generally have made it harder for companies to classify truck drivers and other workers as independent contractors instead of employees, who are eligible to unionize... The court ruled that the proper test was the ABC test, which the New Jersey Department of Labor had traditionally used in interpreting wages and hour laws. The case now returns to the federal appeals court...



* DC - U.S.A. investigating 200,000 Ford heavy trucks

(Photo: 2012 Ford F-450 Super-Duty Ambulance) 
Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -January 17, 2015: -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Saturday it is investigating whether Ford Motor Co.'s recall of 3,000 heavy-duty "Ambulance Package" trucks should be expanded to 200,000 vehicles and whether the fix is working properly... NHTSA said it is investigating Ford's October 2013 recall of some 2011-2012 Ford F-350, F-450 and F-550 "Ambulance Package" vehicles equipped with 6.7L diesel "Power Stroke" engines. The recall 2,954 vehicles was to address a loss of sensing function of the exhaust gas temperature sensor located behind the diesel particulate filter in the exhaust system... The investigation is reviewing whether Ford's 2013 recall should be expanded to about 200,000 2011-2012 Ford F-250/350/450/550 trucks with 6.7L diesel engines — and whether Ford's 2013 fix is working. The malfunction can cause vehicles to fail to restart, leaving vehicles stranded on the road... Ford told NHTSA in 2013 that it had received at least 13 reports of shutdowns from ambulance operators. An ambulance failing to restart with a patient on board could be a serious safety issue...


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * India: Eicher's

* Nepal - Eicher rolls out Pro series of light and heavy trucks

Kathmandu,Nepal -eKantipur -JAN 16, 2015: -- VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV, India) has launched the Eicher Pro 1000 and Eicher Pro 3000 series of light and heavy trucks in the domestic market... The Eicher Pro 1000 series is a new and enhanced range of light and medium duty trucks. The vehicles are powered by an E-483 engine and are available in capacities ranging from 5 to 14 tonnes... The Volvo Group Engine Management System (EMS) 3.0 which has high processing capability, optimum balance between load demands, fuel efficiency and emission control. The vehicle comes with a 2.1 metre wide new generation cabin with a sleeper option. Meeting ECR 27 safety test norms, it has a six-way adjustable seat for the driver’s comfort. Both the vehicle ranges were designed and developed by a joint team of the Volvo Group and Eicher. These vehicles are priced between Rs 2.1 million and Rs 4.5 million in Nepal...



* British Columbia - Vancouver port truckers hold off on strike threat for now

Vancouver,BC,USA -Business Vancouver -Jan. 16, 2015: -- Container truckers last went on strike for one month in March 2014. Despite an initial agreement, they say many problems remain unresolved today Port Vancouver-area container truckers will hold off on any labour action for two weeks following a January 15 meeting between the truckers and B.C. government, said the head of one union that represents some of the truckers. The United Truckers Association, Teamsters and Unifor were all present at the meeting, which lasted two hours, said Jerry Dias, president of Unifor. Trucking companies can now choose whether to pay their workers by the hour or by the trip. It all works out to potentially less money for truckers, Gavin McGarrigle, B.C. director for Unifor, told... “So if you’re a trucking company owner and you have a company driver that moves four containers a day for eight hours, are you going to pay them $210 or are you going to pay them $160? So that’s $50 a day they could be losing.” Dias said truckers are also angry about a new requirement from Port Metro Vancouver that trucks be no more than 10 years old. The port authority has said this requirement will improve environmental performance.


Jan 18, 2015

TRUCKERS' STORIES * USA - “Truck it Forward” initiative

* Washington - ‘Trucking it forward’ with your fellow driver

(Photo: Persilver and son) Seattle,WASH,USA -Overdrive, by Wendy Parker -January 16, 2015: -- Stephen Persilver wasn’t looking for attention when he posted this to his Facebook page on January 10... "While trukkin down westbound 70 thru Kansas last night I noticed the truck ahead of me started to swerve badly. I keyed up the radio and asked him if he was ok. “NO! I THINK I’M HAVING A HEART ATTACK!!!” Bout gave me one too. He hit the shoulder and I followed suit. Got 911 on the phone while I got into his truck and helped him lay down on his bed. I saw a bottle of Bayer and gave him a couple, asking him questions trying to keep him talking... Took medics and troopers roughly 15 minutes to arrive. By then he was doing better and the color had started to return to his face. I found his cellphone and called his wife and let her know what was going on. While medics loaded him up I talked with troopers about what had happened, then came time for them to deal with the guy’s truck. Should they impound it? One knew of a nearby ranch he could call to see if it could be parked there, but neither knew how to drive a semi. I offered to help, but only if one of them stayed back with my truck. So we got it moved, I got back to my truck and here I am totally exhausted but feeling more alive than I have in a long time. It’s one thing to witness the works of God first hand, quite another to be right smack in the middle of it” ... Stephen is a third-generation trucker, hauling a dedicated reefer load from Seattle to OKC weekly. His wife and son hold down the home fort while he’s away. He’s working to instill the values his father and grandfather taught him in his own son... It took a little convincing to get Persilver to talk about his experience. “I don’t want any recognition for doing what I should have done anyway,” he says. “The glory belongs to a higher power” ...


TRUCKERS' HOS * USA: Suspended

* DC - Congress rolls back Federal Trucking Rule

   (HOS change - Video from Motorsports Trucker -Dec 19, 2014: So Congress has voted to roll back the hours of service rules to pre July 2013. I'll explain what that means in this video) Washington,DC,USA -TWC News -15 Jan 2015: -- A regulation trucking companies claimed was too restrictive for drivers is now being eased. Both the House and the Senate passed a new provision to suspend the Hours of Service rule. U.S. Representative Richard Hanna, who led the suspension effort, believed the mandated 34-hour restart rule would negatively impact trucking businesses in the Southern Tier. He also believed it would hurt small businesses who relied on the trucking services...



* Oregon - Massive crash along Interstate 84 near Baker City, more than a dozen semi-trucks involved in crash

(Courtesy of Rachel Lindsey - Eye witness accounts paint the picture of icy, dangerous roads on Intestate 84 near Baker City and a huge pileup of several semi trucks Saturday morning) 
Baker City,ORE,USA -The Oregonian/OregonLive By Andrew Theen -January 17, 2015: -- I-84 semi-truck crash: Black ice, dangerous terrain, poor visibility contributed to early morning crash... Oregon transportation officials closed Interstate 84 east of Baker City on Saturday morning after a massive crash involving more than a dozen semi-trucks... Just before 5 a.m., officials said, an estimated 20 vehicles got caught in a series of crashes over a quarter-mile stretch of icy road about 33 miles east of Baker City... Some 50 vehicles were blocked in the crash scene, including two "transporting hazardous materials," according to Oregon State Police... Interstate 84 finally has reopened to single-lane traffic, Oregon highway officials announced... (Oregon Live/The Oregonian, by Luke Hammill -January 17, 2015)

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INFRASTRUCTURES * USA: New Tool - Bridge closed

* Washington - New trucker planning tool helps drivers avoid bridge accidents

Olympia WASH,USA -Sky Valley Chronicle -18 January, 2015: -- A new online tool allows truck drivers in Washington State to more easily research bridge heights – and potential conflicts – before they hit the road... The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) was already updating its bridge clearance information at the time of the May 2013 Skagit River Bridge collapse. The bridge collapsed when an oversize commercial truck struck and damaged the upper bridge supports causing a section of Interstate 5 and two vehicles to fall in the river... The newly collected bridge data became a springboard to develop the state route bridge vertical clearance trip planner as part of WSDOT’s overall response to the collapse... Trip planner shows truckers what to avoid... Using GIS mapping, the trip planner shows drivers which bridges on their proposed route should be avoided or approached with caution because heights may vary by lane. While the ultimate responsibility for checking clearance levels remains with the truck driver, this tool makes it easier to fulfill that obligation when applying for trip permits...

* New Jersey - Oversized trucks force shut down of Franklin bridge, officials say

(Google Maps - The bridge, positioned between Market Street and Millstone borough, will be shut down immediately)
Franklin,NJ,USA, by Alex Napoliello -January 16, 2015: -- State officials on Friday shut down the Amwell Road Bridge that crosses the Delaware and Raritan Canal... The bridge, positioned between Market Street and Millstone borough, has suffered structure damage due to oversized trucks passing over it, said Kevin Israel, a spokesman with the New Jersey Department of Transportation... Following a routine inspection, the bridge’s weight limit was reduced to 14 tons, Israel said. However, tractor-trailers weighing 40 tons have been spotted crossing the bridge, he said... Temporary repairs were done in the summer, but a recent heightened level of concern forced officials to close the bridge down immediately... The DOT hopes to reopen the bridge to traffic by the end of February, Israel said...


Jan 17, 2015

THE DETROIT AUTO SHOW * USA - TRUCKMAKERS NEWS: Chrysler's - Ford's - Toyota's

* Michigan - Ram unveils the 2015 Rebel: a new off-roading pickup with a fresh look

  (Video thanks to Ram Trucks -Jan 13, 2015: The Ram Rebel makes its own introductions) 
Auburn Hills,MICH,USA -Equipment World, by Wayne Grayson -January 15, 2015: -- Ram debuted a whole new model entirely: The Rebel, a truck clearly designed to go after that segment of the market Ford and Toyota have been enjoying with their F-150 Raptor and Tundra TRD Pro pickups, respectively... The Rebel has a front end that differs quite a bit from the rest of its Ram brethren thanks to a new grille and front bumper design with a powder-coated surface. The bumper incorporates a skid plate, front tow hooks and LED fog lamps. Like the new EcoDiesel HFE, the Rebel comes standard with a trifold tonneau cover. The truck also features an aluminum hood for weight savings and Power Wagon-inspired wheel-arch moldings. The truck will be available in granite, silver, red, white or black, in both monotone and two-tone finishes... 

* Michigan - Ford reveals 2017 F-150 Raptor with aluminum body, new turbo V6

(Video from EquipmentWorld -Jan 12, 2015: The new Raptor) 
Detroit,MICH,USA -Equipment World, by Wayne Grayson -January 12, 2015: -- When Ford introduced a new design and aluminum body for the 2015 F-150, the only downside was the uncertainty the new F-150 cast over the future of one of the automaker’s most successful truck models ever: the F-150 Raptor. The 2017 model, introduced at the Detroit Auto Show, it´ll go on sale in the fall of 2106, the new Raptor has been updated to reflect the 2015 F-150’s new design with an aluminum body and steel frame. The truck saves 500 pounds from previous Raptor models. The new Raptor has been completely reengineered an its body is 6 inches wider than the standard F-150. The new truck also ushers in a new, second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost turbo V6 with a 10-speed transmission... 

* Michigan - Toyota intros 2016 Tacoma with new 3.5L V6

(Video from EquipmentWorld -Jan 12, 2015: The new Tacoma and its new V6) 
Detroit,MICH,USA -Equipment World, by Wayne Grayson -January 12, 2015: -- At the Detroit Auto Show this morning, Toyota took the wraps off the 2016 Tacoma, letting everyone know that it plans on maintaining the dominating lead in market share it has over the midsize segment... Beyond a design refresh, the big news with this new Tacoma is a new engine. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine will be available as the base option, but the new truck is also getting a much more serious V6 as well: a 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle V6 with both direct and port fuel injection... Both engines will be paired with a new six-speed automatic transmission. The V6 can also be paired with a six-speed manual...


Jan 15, 2015

TECHNO-TRUCKS * Australia: Driverless trucks closer than many think

* NSW - Autonomous vehicle evolution starts now

(Video by A self-driving Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025. A prototype autonomous truck from Mercedes-Benz) 
Sydney,NSW,Australia -ATN, by Paul Howell -16 Dec 2014: -- Autonomous vehicles are now far more fact than fiction, with researchers saying they are likely to be part of the Australian road network before 2019... With Rio Tinto already using autonomous vehicles on private mine sites (outside of the public road network), they say transport companies should be preparing now in order to take advantage of the opportunities that autonomous vehicles will bring to public roads also... Digital lead for consultancy Accenture Australia, David Maunsell saysthe pace of change is already exceeding predictions from just 12 months ago. "At the end of 2013, a well-regarded researcher predicted at least four companies would announce plans to build driverless vehicles by 2016," he says. "As it turns out, at least five major announcements were made in 2014 alone" ... 

* Sweden - Scania develops smartwatch designed for truck drivers

(Photo: Scania develops limited edition smartwatch that can interface with your truck) 
Södertälje,Sweden --ATN (Australia) -16 Dec 2014: -- Scania has collaborated with Sony Mobile to develop the Black Griffin, a smartwatch that’s designed for truck drivers and can display telematics information... The Black Griffin appears to owe a lot to the design of Sony’s recently released Smartwatch 3, and Scania say that its watch will have similar capabilities. In addition to the regular smartwatch features, Scania says that the watch will allow drivers to see fuel consumption, speed and driving efficiency data on the watch, all sourced from the truck’s telematics... 


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Australia: Commercial Vehicles sales 2014

* ACT - Commercial vehicle sales in doldrums for half a decade

  (Video by trucktvaustralia - Nov 20, 2014: ATN's Matt Wood takes an unlikely looking light truck to the heart of Australia on a quest to deliver some Owner Driver mags) 
Canberra, A.Capitol Territory, Australia -ATN -6 Jan 2015: -- Commercial vehicles have failed for the second year in a row to push sales much into the 30,000 band... Two years after breaking out of the 20,000s, progress beyond 2012’s 30,745 has proved elusive, Truck Industry Council (TIC) figures show... The total for 2014 including vans was 30,630, 15 units down from 2013. Most makes and models of trucks and vans struggle to lift figures... Individually, with a couple of notable exceptions either way, growth has been pretty flat for the makes... With the exception of Western Star, the biggest swings were displayed amongst van-makers, where Ford has lost half its sales in five years to hit 512... The biggest winner here has been Renault, up from 127 in 2010 to 960 last year and second place, while market leader Mercedes-Benz has seen relentless growth in the past three years take it into the 2,000s to end the year at 2,190... Amongst the heavy-duty performers, Western Star’s light has dimmed somewhat, recording 658 sales compared with 1,003 in 2012... Against that, Isuzu reached four figures in the sector for the first time this decade last year with 1,116... The paragon of steady growth was Scania, which has lifted heavy truck sales by an average of around 100 units a year to finish last year on 779...

* ACT - Five months of growth in new truck sales

  (Video by trucktvaustralia - Nov 30, 2014: Matt encounters all sorts of bush engineering as he heads through Cooper Pedy in part two of his Road trip)
Canberra,ACT,Australia -ATN, by Steve Skinner -10 Dec 2014: -- Industry is within striking distance of best year since GFC, but November indicates a possible softening. New truck sales have increased in the past five months compared with last year’s results. Official T-Mark figures for the month of November show sales of 2,605 units, a 2.5 per cent gain compared with the November 2013 total... However November’s numbers were not as strong as those posted in the preceding four months, "and this possibly indicates that the market is softening," the Truck Industry Council (TIC) says... Year-to date (YTD) sales are just 179 units behind those of November 2013’s cumulative total of almost 28,000... The heavy duty segment picked up slightly in November compared with the same month last year, with 969 sales... Medium duty sales were down a touch in November, running against the positive trend seen in this segment recently... The light duty segment was again in positive territory with 723 units sold in November... However the 3.5 tonne-plus van segment again posted a negative result, down slightly at 387 units in November... Nevertheless, strong first half year results see the van segment up almost 9 per cent YTD compared with last year, at more than 4,200 units... TIC CEO Tony McMullan says the final result for 2014 will be about 20 per cent lower than the record year the industry experienced in 2007...