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

Apr 30, 2015


* Serbia - Finnish company sole bidder for truck maker

-- The Serbian Privatization Agency has said that Finnish truck maker Sisu is the sole bidder for strategic partnership with the truck and car manufacturer FAP... The agency said on Wednesday that the final decision will be made upon establishing validity of the bank guarantee submitted by the bidder... The commission in charge of selecting the strategic partner for FAP announced that Suomen Erikoisajoneuvot Oy (Sisu), based in Karjaa, Finland, is the only company to submit a bid within the deadline specified in the public invitation... The government of Serbia and Sisu signed a memorandum of understanding in May last year, according to which the company will take over a part of FAP and start the production of new truck models and parts... The project will be carried out with the support of the Serbian government... The investor plans to buy a part of FAP's assets and equipment, and to develop the production capacity of the plant, located in Priboj, southwestern Serbia... 
(Photo: Sisu is Finland's very own indigenous heavy truck)  --  Belgrade, Serbia - TANJUG/ B92 - April 30, 2015


TRUCKS SALES * UK: Volvo's Globetrotter ones

* UK - Volvo Trucks perfect fit for Camden Group

-- Camden Group, one of the UK and Ireland’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of PVCu products, has recently taken delivery of a number of Volvo FH 4x2 trucks from Northern Ireland Volvo dealer, Dennison Commercials... As well as the distinctive livery, the Euro-6 FH-460 4x2 XL Globetrotter-cabbed trucks are finished to an impressive specification, with lightbars fitted and the last five to be delivered also including alloy wheels. All of the trucks have air flow kits fitted for enhanced aerodynamic capability... This fleet partnership clearly demonstrates Volvo's core values of quality, safety and environmental care...
(Photo: A Camden Group's Euro-6 FH-460 4x2 XL Globetrotter-cabbed Volvo truck)  --  Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK - Irish Trucker - 29 April 2015


"SUPER TRUCKS" * USA: To develop and test new, energy-efficient long-haul tractor-trailers

* New York -  Trucks more clean, efficient and long overdue

-- The idea that big tractor-trailer trucks could be overlooked might seem ludicrous when you're trying to merge onto a freeway with one bearing down on you at 70 miles per hour. But when it comes to energy efficiency and fuel economy -- that is to say, when it comes to CO2 emissions and climate change -- trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles have indeed been mostly overlooked so far. That's a problem -- and an opportunity... Consider this: Heavy-duty vehicles have largely avoided this type of regulation. The average "big rig" in the U.S. today gets about six mpg diesel, pretty much exactly what it did during the Reagan era. Heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for about one-third of CO2 emissions from the on-road transportation sector in the U.S.A., and unless things change, that proportion will rise to about half over the next 20 years, as passenger cars get more efficient. In other parts of the world, HDVs account for an even larger proportion of all transportation-GHG emissions, and their share is increasing even faster. All that CO2 represents gallons of fuel burned -- and is paid for by raising the cost of the goods carried on all those trucks... The U.S. Department of Energy has quietly sponsored a collaborative effort involving all the major truck manufacturers in the U.S.A. to develop and test new, energy-efficient long-haul tractor-trailers. As part of this "SuperTruck" program, Cummins/Peterbilt last year unveiled a prototype tractor-trailer that got 10.7 miles per gallon, and recently Daimler debuted a rival prototype, using a different design and technology, that gets just more than 12 mpg -- that is, double the fuel economy of the average long-haul tractor-trailer today. Our own research is showing that these technologies could enable tractor-trailers to get more than 10 mpg within the next 5-15 years and offer payback periods of less than 18 months -- well within current industry expectations... Only three other governments (Canada, Japan and China) have set any type of efficiency standards for trucks, and none have ventured into the same type of public/private cooperation on technology innovation. The U.S.A. could lead the way by pushing the advanced SuperTruck technologies into the market with a policy nudge. Big economies around the world have a huge opportunity to double the fuel efficiency of one of the largest sources of carbon emissions...
 (Photo: As part of this "SuperTruck" program, Cummins/Peterbilt last year unveiled a prototype tractor-trailer that got 10.7 miles per gallon)  --  New York, NY, U.S.A -- The Huffington Post by Rachel Muncrief - 29 April 2015


SAFETY TRUCKS * USA: New technology to make trucks safer

* Georgia - Safety advocate calls for automated brakes in big rigs 

-- The Georgia State Patrol confirms there are no charges filed yet against the truck driver believed to be responsible for last week's fatal crash near Savannah. Five nursing students from Georgia Southern died in the wreck on Interstate 16. The truck involved did not have the latest in anti-crash technology, according to investigators... Since 2010, Conway Freight in Gwinnett County has wired each new truck with cameras that watch the driver and the road, and a second camera to watch the lane markings. The system sounds an alarm if the big rig drifts over the line. Nearly its entire fleet of 9,500 trucks has a radar system to help alert a driver to impending risk ahead... Atlanta safety advocate Steve Owings, who founded Road Safe America after the death of his son Cullum in a truck crash in 2002, petitioned the government in February to require the type of radar system Conway has installed. "It would have made that crash much less violent, and probably would have avoided it all together," Owings said. Over four years of use, Conway says its rate of front-end collision dropped 67 percent. "The basic safety comes from the driver paying attention, but this is a very good insurance policy," said driver Tim Vog...
(Photo - Scene of the deadly crash)  --  Gwinnett County, GA, USA — WSB TV/Channel 2, by Jim Strickland - April 28, 2015



* Wiscosin - NMA and OOIDA dispute split-speed limit safety claims by American Trucking Associations

 -- The National Motorists Association (NMA) and Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) issued a joint statement questioning claims made by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) that all trucks need speed limiters programmed to 65 mph. The ATA has called upon the U.S.A. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) to not only cap the speed of large trucks, but to also reduce speed limits for all traffic... "The ATA is searching for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist," noted NMA President Gary Biller. "They want to turn back the clock from today's speed limits at a time when U.S.A. highways are statistically safer than at any time in the past. Much safer, in fact, than when the federal government regulated the maximum speed of all vehicles to 55 mph between 1974 and 1995. It makes you wonder why" ... In an April 2015 study, the FMCSA reported (see Figure 1) that from 2011 to 2013, 80 percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred at speed limits posted no higher than 65 mph. Nearly 60 percent of the crashes were on roads posted at 55 mph or lower...

The ATA has been lobbying for speed limiters on trucks for several years. In comments presented to federal transportation officials in March 2007, OOIDA opposed the ATA call for large truck speed limiters... Todd Spencer, OOIDA Executive Vice President, said, "While the big carrier executives who are proponents of speed limiters talk about improved safety, when you talk to professional drivers, the first thing they mention is how speed limiters compromise safety and increase risk of accidents between trucks and cars" ... Spencer added, "When trucks operate slower they burn less fuel. However the trade-off is the driver's time. Since virtually all over-the-road carriers pay only for miles driven and nothing for the driver's time, it's easy to see who wins and who loses economically. Nearly all of the big truckload motor carriers work tirelessly to grow regulations and mandates that they claim will improve safety. However crash numbers show just the opposite" ... 
Waunakee, WIS, USA - MMD Newswire - April 28, 2015



* California - Truck driver port strike expands to mexican border

-- Truck drivers who haul goods from the nation’s busiest port complex in Los Angeles and Long Beach continue their strike for a second day today in a dispute over wages and employee status... For the first time in history, the Teamsters Union said this morning that truck drivers have extended their picket lines as far south as the U.S./Mexico border, where drivers picketed Pacer Cartage. That company’s trucks bring cargo to Toyota’s Otay Mesa facility just north of the border for transfer to Toyota’s manufacturing plants in Mexico... The protest is the latest in a series of job actions against LA/Long Beach harbor area trucking firms. The truck drivers, who work for four trucking companies, claim they are improperly classified as independent contractors, with some earning less than minimum wage than if they were company drivers... The striking drivers are picketing four carriers that include Intermodal Bridge Transport, Pacific 9 Transportation (Pac 9), Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport... Spokesmen for the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach claim all terminals remained operational on Monday afternoon and that cargo was flowing smoothly...
Los Angeles, CAL, USA - Trucking News - April 28, 2015


SAFETY LEGISLATION * USA: Incentivize auto industry whistle-blower

* DC - Senate approves auto industry whistle-blower bill

-- The U.S. Senate approved the first piece of auto safety legislation, a bill to incentivize auto industry whistle-blowers, in the wake of recalls by General Motors Co. and Takata Corp. of tens of millions of vehicles and air bags... The legislation — first proposed in November — allows auto industry employee whistle-blowers to be paid millions if they reveal hidden dangers... Senate Commerce chairman praised the Senate’s unanimous passage of the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act. “This bill provides important incentives for whistle-blowers in the auto industry to bring safety concerns to the attention of federal regulators when harmful safety defects are not reported. While laws and regulations currently provide certain penalties for unaddressed safety failures, this legislation seeks to help identify and stop problems before anyone is killed or seriously injured” ... Congress last year appeared eager to approve auto safety reforms in the wake of General Motors’ record-setting recall of more than 30 million vehicles and a string of death and injuries from 10 automakers with potentially defective Takata air bags... The Obama administration wants to more than triple NHTSA’s defects budget and more than double staffing, but it has received mixed reviews on Capitol Hill... 
Washington, DC, USA - Detroit News, by David Shepardson - April 28, 2015

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Apr 29, 2015

TRUCKERS' APPOINTMENT SYSTEM * USA & Canada: Fast lane: too many truckers caused problems at the port

* British Columbia / Canada - Tackling truckers head on

-- Port Metro Vancouver knew it had to find a fix for its dysfunctional trucking sector... You could be forgiven for thinking that truckers rule the roost at many North American ports; their actions can quickly bring a port to its knees. Whether they are a disparate bunch that create problems of fragmentation or a unionised group that can strong arm their views, managing this group of port ‘workers’ can be a challenge... Canada’s Port Metro Vancouver is one port that has tackled the issue head on. It introduced a new licensing system at the start of the year to reduce the number of trucking companies and drivers. The previous glut led to long wait times and low rates, which translated into undercutting, creating further problems. In fact, the issue became so bad that truckers serving the port downed tools for nearly a month last year... Under the new system, the number of trucks licensed to work the port has dropped by nearly 30% and the benefits are already being felt... President and chief executive Robin Silvester tells Port Strategy that the improvement has been “substantial”...

... A range of issues combined to make this a particularly tricky one to solve: the port had an oversupply of trucks chasing a finite, albeit growing, amount of business; it had a number of trucking companies that were not behaving the way they should have with regards to their contractors and employees; and it had some challenges in terminal performance meaning that truck drivers being paid on a per trip basis were getting delayed on occasion in terminals, which reduced their earning capacity... “What we succeeded in doing with the support of the federal and provincial government was to reduce the size of the trucking fleet through the introduction of a new licensing system for trucks accessing the port and a restriction on the number of licences. We also built in to that a number of stringent requirements on the companies that were granted the licenses to ensure that they were very clearly motivated to behave properly towards their employees and contractors"... Taking that monitoring a stage further, the Port is now focussed on establishing a port-wide common reservation system that will further increase efficiency as it will allow users to match a drop off with a pick-up to create a double-ended move...
(Photos: Port Metro Vancouver aerials view)  --  Vancouver, B.C., CAN - Port Styrategy, by Carly Fields - 27 April 2015 

* US ports move toward truck appointment model

-- Rich Ceci starts work at 4:30 a.m., but others arrive even earlier. In recent weeks, truck drivers have lined up before midnight outside the GCT Bayonne container terminal in New Jersey. Some mornings, the queue has stretched for miles... When gates open at 6 a.m., the traffic jam moves into the terminal. Hundreds of trucks fill driveways at container stacks. Longshoremen must maneuver equipment between tight-packed vehicles. Productivity slows and tempers flare. By mid-morning, drayage drivers who’d hoped for a profitable day are waiting, fuming and posting photos on Facebook... “It’s crazy. It doesn’t have to be this way,” said Ceci, the Bayonne terminal’s vice president of information technology... Ceci believes the solution is trucker appointments that allow terminals to calibrate the flow of trucks into their gates and through their facilities, and to match truck demand with capacity at entrance gate and in each area of the terminal... GCT Bayonne plans to introduce such a system this year, and other New York-New Jersey terminals are quietly preparing to follow. The Port of Virginia plans in June to begin testing an appointment system at Norfolk International Terminals and eventually expand it portwide. The NIT appointment system had a short-lived test last year... Appointments remain the exception at container terminals, but the concept is gaining support. Various forms of appointment systems already exist at ports including Los Angeles; Long Beach; New Orleans; Vancouver, British Columbia; Sydney, Australia, and Southampton, U.K. ... Advent Intermodal Solutions’ eModal technology supports management of trucker appointments at several ports and will be used at New York-New Jersey and Virginia. All New York-New Jersey terminals have agreed feed container availability data to their port’s system... Though truckers remain doubtful, both ports are moving toward appointments. With trade volume growing and the raised Bayonne Bridge and expanded Panama Canal expected to bring even larger ships...
Ports of New York and New Jersey, NY/NY, USA - J.O.C., by Joseph Bonney - Apr 27, 2015


GREEN NEWS * USA: Greenhouse gas emissions limits on the grounds

* DC - Court Says: Trucking groups lack standing to challenge EPA heavy-duty truck standards

-- A federal appeals court dismissed challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency's greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks after finding the petitioners lacked standing to bring their lawsuits... The U.S.A. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found in an April 24 per curiam opinion that California trucking groups opposed to the EPA's greenhouse gas emissions limits on the grounds they could increase costs for vehicles failed to demonstrate how they were actually harmed by the rule and how vacating it would bring them relief. The EPA's greenhouse gas rule was issued jointly with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's corporate average fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Trucking groups, however, only challenged the EPA's portion of the standards... Vacating the EPA's rule would leave the NHTSA standards in place, the court said in its decision. “Therefore, even were we to vacate the EPA standards, the NHTSA standards would still increase the price of vehicles,” the court said... The rule was challenged by the California Construction Trucking Association Inc., Delta Construction Co. and other trucking groups that were represented at argument by Theodore Hadzi-Antich, a senior staff attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation. The groups had argued that the EPA's rule should have been vacated because the agency failed to send its rule to the Science Advisory Board for review before it was issued... 
Washington, DC, USA - Bloomberg BNA, by Andrew Childers - April 27, 2015


DRIVING LIMITS * USA: Truckers forced to exceed legal ones

* Wiscosin - Electronic monitoring of driver hours could prevent crashes, injuries and deaths

-- Semis rule the roadways. When those wheels are turning, money is made by the companies and the drivers. There’s a financial incentive to drive longer hours... But federal rules limit the number of hours a driver can work, so they’re not falling asleep at the wheel... Some drivers say getting around the law is easy–making the roadways a danger... Veteran truck driver Gary Bakley of Shawano revealed that various employers oblied to break the rules and keep driving, he says if he didn’t alter his driver log books, he would get fired... Those logs are handwritten sheets required by the Department of Transportation to verify the number of hours a driver works... Federal law limits commercial driving shifts to 14 hours. Only 11 of those hours can be behind the wheel. And the driver must then follow that time with 10 consecutive hours off-duty... Concerned about his safety and the safety of other drivers Bakley says he couldn’t take the pressure of cheating the system any longer. He filed a whistleblower complaint... FMCSA wanted to require electronic driver logging devices back in January of 2011. Some major trucking companies, like Schneider in Ashwaubenon, have used the devices voluntarily for years... The agency expects the rule to be put into place by October, giving carriers another two years to get the devices on the trucks... As for Bakley, he no longer drives for the company that uses paper driver log books. He is now on the road with his own truck, driving as an owner-operator... 
Shawano, WIS, USA - FOX 11 Investigates, by Mark Leland - April 28, 2015


DRIVERS' SHORTAGE * USA & Canada: Recruiting women truckers

* Ontario - Summit for returning to Toronto

-- Trucking HR Canada’s Women with Drive Leadership Summit will be back in Toronto for a return engagement on March 3, 2016... About 135 delegates attended this year’s inaugural event, which shed new light on the steps to recruit, retain and mentor women in Canada’s trucking industry, according to organisers... The Conference Board of Canada, a non-profit research organization, projects the need for another 25,000 to 33,000 for-hire truck drivers as early as 2020. While women represent 48% of Canada’s available labour pool, they currently account for just 3% of the nation’s truck drivers, mechanics, technicians and cargo workers... 
Toronto, ONT, CAN - Today's Trucking - Apr 27, 2015


CITIZEN COMPLAINTS * USA: " ... put the burden on those who use and destroy the roads... "

* California - Trucking companies should carry burden of road repair

-- The trucking lobbyists, which keeps donating to the coffers our legislators for years, have put into effect truck weight limits that are double that of federal standards. The lobbyists say that the weight is distributed over more axles than other states... But having more axles only flexes sections of roadway more causing the sections to compress under the weight of the axle and rebound until the next axle passes over. This causes deterioration of the roadway... So heavy trucks are the main reason for our roads needing more repair than nearby states... Another area of concern is the inequity of fuel taxes in Michigan. The state tax for gasoline is four cents higher than that for diesel. Since the big trucks are run mainly on diesel fuel, they are getting a break over ordinary cars which do much less damage to our roads... The main reason I’m against Proposal 1 is that being a senior citizen who drives only to doctors and to get groceries thinks that a 17 percent raise in the sales tax is regressive and hurts people who drive little or not at all... The legislature should be called back into session so they can do their job and raise the taxes 17 percent on fuel and put the burden on those who use and destroy the roads... 
Oakland, CAL, USA - The Oakland Press/Opinion - 27 April 2015


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * Germany - VW's: MAN & Scania

* Germany - MAN Truck Unit profit drops as ‘No Sign’ of Brazil recovery
-- MAN SE, Europe’s third-largest truck manufacturer, said first-quarter earnings fell 50 percent as the market in Brazil continues to decline... Operating profit fell to 34 million euros ($37 million), from 68 million euros a year earlier, the Munich-based unit of Volkswagen AG said Tuesday in a statement. Sales fell 2 percent to 3.09 billion euros... MAN is working to offset the recession in Brazil, which has cut the company’s South American orders for trucks and buses nearly in half, as well as an Eastern European market weakened amid conflict in Ukraine. Volkswagen, meanwhile, hopes to transform MAN and Scania, another truck unit, into a global business to become the world’s most profitable truckmaker ahead of Daimler AG... Scania’s truck orders dropped 4 percent to 18,311 units in the first quarter because of economic downturns in South America and Russia... 
(Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg - A row of completed MAN TGS and TGX trucks are seen parked outside after leaving the production line at the MAN SE factory in Munich)   --  Munich, Germany - Bloomberg, by Elisabeth Behrmann - April 28, 2015


TRUCKS' ACCESORY * USA: Old engines Converter

* Indiana - Lingenfelter introduces revolutionary CAN Bus converter for GM engines

-- Lingenfelter Performance Engineering is offering a CAN Bus converter to simplify late-model GM engine transplants into older cars. Given the popularity of late-model GM engine swaps and the abundance of aftermarket support for these affordable performance engines, the Lingenfelter Performance CAN Bus converter could be a barrier-removing technology, paving the way for even more GM ECU-controlled LS engine transplants... CAN stands for Computer Area Network is a vehicle-based network that allows controllers and devices to communicate with each other within a vehicle... Lingenfelter's new converter reads the CAN Bus data and converts the digital signal into an analog output to operate traditional performance gauges... The Lingenfelter CAN Bus converter provides gauge output for multiple different parameters, such as water temperature, boost level, engine rpm and fuel pressure. However, the Lingenfelter CAN Bus converter can be configured to read any data on the communication bus such as oil pressure, oil temperature, water temperature, tach, speedo, and boost... It is infinitely adjustable and can be configured for any aftermarket gauge, regardless of the brand... Currently, the Lingenfelter CAN Bus converter is only available for GM ECUs, but they have the capability to read other manufacturers' ECUs via upgradable software that will be announced at a future date...
(Photo: Lingenfelter TRG-002 58x-24x Crank Sensor Trigger Conversion Module)  --  Decatur, INS, USA - AUTOSERVICEWORLD - Apr 28, 201


Apr 28, 2015


* Thailand - Volvo ties truck sales to state projects

-- Volvo Group Thailand, President Jacques Michel said, the Swedish maker of buses, trucks and construction equipment, is pinning hopes on the government's megaproject development to boost sales in the heavy-duty truck market... Mr Michel projects overall sales of heavy-duty trucks this year would remain tepid at 18,000-20,000 units, saying sales over the first quarter dropped by 20% from the same period last year... Volvo spent 2 billion baht in 2009 to expand annual production capacity to 4,500 Volvo trucks and 20,000 UD trucks... Thailand is now the global production base for Volvo and UD trucks for export, particularly those destined for Asean, Africa and the Middle East... 
 (Photo: Volvo Group Thailand factory)  --  Bangkok,Thailand - The Bangkok Post, by PIYACHART MAIKAEW - 27 Apr 2015


TRUCKMAKERS NEWS * India: Daimler / DICV's FUSO trucks

* Chennai - India-made FUSO trucks exported to Trinidad & Tobago

(Photo: The exports to Trinidad & Tobago will consist both medium- and heavy-duty truck models of the FUSO brand)
 --  The island nations of Trinidad &  Tobago becomes the first market in South America where DICV trucks are sold... The trucks are part of the company’s Asia Business Model that sees the export of India-made trucks to countries like Kenya, Sri Lanka, Zambia, and Tanzania amongst others... The FUSO truck range spans five models that comprise of both Heavy-Duty and Medium-Duty trucks. While the FJ, FO, and FZ categories form the 25-49 tonne heavy-duty segment, the FA and FI models constitute the 9-16 tonne range...

...  The trucks are manufactured at the company’s facility in Chennai... Once the bus plant comes on stream, Daimler India’s Oragadam production facility will be the first to produce trucks, buses, and engines for three brands, worldwide... With a separate bus manufacturing facility set to be inaugurated soon, Daimler India’s facility near Chennai will become the first in the world to produce trucks, buses, and engines for three brands – Daimler, Mercedes, and FUSO...
Oragadam, Chennai, India - Autoblog India - 27 April 2015


GREEN TRUCKS * USA: Lawmakers focused on USPS automobiles' efficiency

* DC - Lawmakers think postal delivery trucks can do better than 10 miles per gallon

-- The U.S. Postal Service has been complaining about its aging vehicle fleet for years, but it has not had the funds to do anything about it... In February, USPS finally issued a request for proposals for manufacturers to provide 180,000 new vehicles valued collectively at $4.5 billion to $6.3 billion. The order would almost entirely replace USPS’ fleet of 211,000 vehicles, which agency officials call “one of the largest civilian fleets in the world” ... Postal management is looking for vehicles with an array of specifications, ranging from a less boxy design to stronger windshield wipers to better cup holders. Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress, however, have focused on a different priority for the next crop of USPS automobiles: efficiency... This week introduced new Federal Leadership in Energy Efficient Transportation (FLEET) Act, would require the Postal Service to reduce its petroleum consumption by 2 percent each year over the next 10 years. The new standards would cut USPS’ fuel usage by 250 million gallons and save $350 million in that period, while turning the agency into a “global leader in efficiency and innovation” ... The vast majority of the vehicles are those designed for delivery, which -- according to a 2009 inspector general report -- average just 10 miles per gallon. That report suggested the Postal Service could convert some of its fleet to electric vehicles... 
Washington, DC, USA - Government Executive, by Eric Katz - April 24, 2015

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SAFETY TRUCKS * Australia: Drivers' fatigue avoidance

* ACT - Seeing Machines hails USA launch of driver fatigue monitor

  --  Seeing Machines has launched its fleet in-cab accident avoidance product for trucks and buses into the USA market... Using the company’s cutting edge DSS technology that tracks the eyes and face for signs of fatigue, the unit triggers an alarm and sends seat vibrations at the first sign of a driver losing concentration. The event is also logged centrally... So far the company has sold 4,000 of these systems to mining, road transport and bus customers in Europe, Australia and South Africa. Seeing Machines also has tie-ups with the truck maker Caterpillar and car safety firm Takata... Customers have praised the systems effectiveness, which has led to a minimum 71% reduction in fatigue and distraction related driving events... In the USA, fatigue and distraction are major problems. In 2012, large trucks were involved in traffic accidents that injured 104,000 people, and, according to an organisation called Fleetistics, the average cost of a wrongful death verdict for a trucking company is US$6.7mln...
(Photo: Dutch Bus Drivers To Test Fatigue)  --  Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia - Proactive Investors, by Ian Lyall - April 27 2015 

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TROLLEY TRUCKS * Germany: USA's green light to Siemens

* Los Angeles, California, USA: The first public highway in the world with overhead wires to run electric lorries

  --  In California the German conglomerate Siemens has been given green light to equip the first public highway in the world with overhead wires to run electric lorries. The project, worked out in Siemens research centre close to Berlin is set to realise the multinational`s eHighway strategy. A 3 kilometre trial section is in use to test the initiative, and subject to successful operation, the infrastructure will be extended to service a full length of highway, the Interstate-170. It is planned that the first trucks will be run on a fully commercial basis as early as 2015... The planned intervention involves a route segment of almost 40km, known locally as the Long Beach Freeway or the “Seven-ten”, which carries heavy volumes of traffic (more than 30,000 trucks per day) between Los Angeles and the port of Long Beach... Authority concern is increasingly directed to enforce measures which can reduce emissions - particularly to tackle the negative pollution impacts from particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen produced by HGVs... The overhead technology is in itself not new, trolley bus networks are currently in operation in some 43 countries around the world, with still some state of the art versions introduced in recent years. Even in terms of accommodating “trolley trucks” or “freight-trolleys, there are many examples to be found across our global industrial history, notably in Russia in the 1950`s or in applications for the mining sector. However these fixed line infrastructures had obvious limiting factors and clear disadvantages in terms of functioning in mainstream traffic situations... The Siemens solution introduces a hybrid truck which can use the overhead cables to run on electric power like a tram or trolleybus. It has no battery and conductors on top of the truck rise or detach from the overhead line at the push of the driver`s button. A power control unit in the vehicle senses when it is receiving electricity from the wires and shuts off the diesel engine. On leaving the route the “conventional” diesel motor takes over again to allow the vehicle to operate in a “normal” traffic environment. As a result vehicles can also move in and out of the trolley lane on the highway to pass slower traffic, reconnecting when the route ahead is once again clear. Quite apart from the potential environmental gains this mobility option is also interesting for long distance freight transportation systems, especially in vast continental conditions characteristic of the USA or Russia... 
(Photo: Siemens test met trolleytrucks)   --  Berlin, Germany - Urb Act, by mnoon - 27 April 2015

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Apr 27, 2015

TRUCKERS WIN * Canada: Court rules against Port Metro Vancouver in licence dispute

* B. C. - Judge calls port's process “procedurally deficient and profoundly unfair”

-- Canada’s federal court has ruled in favour of Vancouver-area trucking companies who said they lost out because of an unfair licensing process conducted by the Vancouver port authority... In the ruling, judge Robert Barnes found that Port Metro Vancouver’s (PMV) method of processing applications from companies in batches, and applying a higher threshold to applications that were submitted later, made for an “evaluation model that was procedurally deficient and profoundly unfair.”.. For instance, companies that applied earlier had to get a score of four points in order to get licences when the port authority rated their application. But applications filed later had to get five points, and the final batch had to achieve a score of six points. Barnes described situations where filing one day later meant the different between being awarded or denied a license...
(Photo by Rob Kruyt - Ken Rakhra, owner of Nilam Trucking, was one of 600 workers expecting to lose work because of Port Metro Vancouver’s new truck licensing system)  --  Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN - Business Vancouver, by Jen St. Denis - April 23, 2015

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* Sao Paulo - Brazilian truck drivers threaten new strike/blockades this week

-- It is possible that the highways of Brazil could be blocked once again by protesting truck drivers as early as this week. The truck drivers in Brazil have announced their plans for a new nationwide strike/blockade if the federal government does not release an acceptable minimal freight rate and reductions in diesel fuel prices by Wednesday, April 22. They are demanding a combination of a minimal freight rates and reduced fuel prices that will at least cover their costs, which they contend is not possible with the current rate structure... These are the same two demands that led to a crippling strike/blockade at the end of February. The 10-14 day strike only ended when the government made some concessions concerning the new truck driver law and toll payments as well as entering into discussions concerning the price of diesel fuel and freight rates... As you would expect, the truckers and the shippers are at opposite sides of this discussion. The truckers want a guaranteed minimum rate and the shippers say the freight rate should be based on supply and demand. For example, the truckers contend that to cover their cost from the city of Sarandi in Rio Grande do Sul to the Port of Rio Grande, which is a distance of 606 kilometers, they need a rate of R$ 103.83 per ton. For a cargo of 31 tons, the charge would be R$ 3,218. The truckers want these type of minimum rates established for the different regions of the country... Ironically, concessions made by the government concerning the truck driver law, which took effect last week, will actually increase the number of trucks on the road with the potential to drive down freight rates even more. The modified law allows drivers to be behind the wheel for longer periods of time with fewer mandatory breaks which effectively increases the time the truck is on the road... 
SP, Brazil - Soybeans & Corn Advisor - April 20, 2015


TRUCKERS STRIKE * USA: West Coast ones' do it again ?

* California - Port truckers to vote on strike that could begin Monday

-- Truck drivers who haul goods from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will vote today whether to launch another strike beginning as early as Monday morning, union officials announced Friday... Truckers hoping to unionize have been fighting for several years over their classification as contractors. They want the companies they work for to hire them as employees, and pay them benefits as other workers enjoy... The union did not say which company would be targeted if the union votes in favor of a strike today. The results of the vote will be released early Monday morning, according to Barb Maynard, spokeswoman for Justice for Port Truck Drivers and the Teamsters, which is hoping to unionize the truckers if they become employees... Weston LaBar, executive director of the Harbor Trucking Association representing the majority of Southern California trucking firms, said that while his members are not surprised that the Teamsters are looking to picket, they are surprised at the union’s timing of it...
(Photo: Port truckers organizing with the Teamsters in Los Angeles and Long Beach are showing their growing leverage) -- Long Beach, CAL, USA - The Long Beach Press Telegram, by Karen Robes Meeks - 24 April 2015


TRUCKING ON THE BORDER * Mexico / USA: Long-haul driver and shuttle drivers do works

* Sonora / Mexico: Springboard keeps produce moving

(Photo: Cross-border trucker Xavier Bautista connects his rig to a load of produce waiting at the Confederation of Agricultural Associations of Sinaloa station in Nogales, Sonora. From the station, Bautista then drives the produce to warehouses in Nogales and Rio Rico)

--  Amid the growl of gear shifting and the high-pitched beeps of tractor-trailers backing up, Xavier Bautista hopped into his truck and hitched it onto the waiting trailer... The well-practiced maneuver came from years of daily hook-ups at the Nogales, Sonora station of the Confederation of Agricultural Associations of Sinaloa (CAADES, for its initials in Spanish), where Bautista picks up loads of fruits and vegetables hauled from Mexican farms and shuttles them across the border... The 20-acre facility, about 10 miles south of the U.S.A. border and a few hundred yards south of the Mexican customs station on Federal Highway 15, acts as a springboard for more than one-third of the produce handled at warehouses in Nogales and Rio Rico... While workers in Santa Cruz County are hustling to repack produce and send it off to myriad destinations in the United States (of A.), the CAADES station acts as a mirror image of those efforts, with long-haul drivers racing to bring in loads and shuttle drivers hustling off to get the produce to warehouses in Arizona...

(Photo: Border Mexico: Nogales, Sonora)

 ... Explaining the new situation works well for long-haul drivers, who can pass their loads to shuttle drivers who know how to navigate the border zone better... Using the shuttle drivers also allows the long-haul drivers to rest in their trucks before making the journey back to the farms to pick up another load...
Nogales, Sonora,  Mexico  - The Nogales International, by Curt Prendergast - Apr 24, 2015


TRUCKER DANGEROUS JOB * India: "... It is a dangerous place to work; it is a den of criminals and prostitutes ..."

* Delhi - Perils of life in Asia's largest truck pit: It's home to thousands of drivers, transporters, sex workers, gamblers, mechanics and truck artists

(Photo by Saumya Khandelwal - Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar in Outer Delhi is home to thousands of drivers, transporters, sex workers, gamblers, mechanics and truck artists) 

--  For about 2,500 transporters in the Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar, arguably Asia’s biggest transport hub in outer Delhi, Gunjeet Singh Sangha’s name has been nothing short of an insurance. He says his name ‘Sangha’--- it is painted in white bold letters on about 10,000 trucks--- ensures no problems with the traffic police or the transport department. He gets hundreds of calls for help from other transporters and drivers and the requests are always granted... “It is not an easy task. This place is an area of darkness,” says Singh... It takes a trucker’s resolve to survive in this transport hub. It is home to thousands of truck drivers, sex workers, gamblers, workshops and truck artists. The roads here are nothing but crater- ridden dust tracks; the gutters overflow and mounds of garbage can be spotted at every street corner... Most walls are painted with slogans promoting the use of condoms. In fact, about 10,000 condoms are picked out daily from boxes that have been put up at several shops...

(Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo - About 10, 000 condoms are sold every day at Transport Nagar)

... The threat of sexually transmitted disease (STD) is still alarming. Several NGOs work in Transport Nagar with drivers and sex workers... “The community (truckers) continues to be at a high risk of HIV infection. They stay away from home for months. There is still a high prevalence of unsafe sex and drug addiction among them,” says Amit Ranjan Chaudhary, who heads a programme ‘Targeted Intervention’ launched by CSR wing of Apollo Tyres in Transport Nagar... The Apollo health care centre ---- its entrance has a plastic box fitted on the wall which has condoms for free distribution—is visited by 30 people every day. The clinic has distributed small white boxes with messages on safe sex printed on them to various roadside dhabas, paan shops, etc to keep condoms for sale. Chaudhary says about 10, 000 condoms are sold every day here...
 New Delhi, India - The Hindustan Times, by Manoj Sharma - Apr 24, 2015

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Apr 26, 2015


* Michigan - GM sees more truck output available.  No FCA merger plans

-- CEO Barra says on a conference call that her management team has no intentions of pursuing a merger sought in the financial press by FCA US CEO Sergio Marchionne... General Motors CEO Mary Barra says the automaker has room in its large-truck assembly plants to pump out more volume to meet brisk demand, which provided a surge in its first-quarter financial results, without adding an additional facility... Low fuel prices, a rebounding economy and strong consumer confidence are driving demand for GM’s large trucks. Sales of the automaker’s large pickups, SUVs and luxury SUVs combined soared 21.6% in the first quarter to 226,617 units from 186,308 last year, according to WardsAuto data... GM’s share of the large-truck segment swelled to an industry-leading 41.1% from 37.4% in the same period and the vehicles now account for 33.1% of its sales compared with 28.7% year-ago...
(Photo: GM large SUV demand outstripping supply) -- Detroit,MICH, USA - WardsAuto, by James M. Amend - Apr 23, 2015 

* Michigan - Ford to cut a shift at assembly plant

-- Ford Motor Co. is pulling the plug on a shift at its Michigan Assembly Plant amid slumping sales for small cars, electrics and hybrids... The Dearborn automaker on Thursday said it will indefinitely lay off 673 hourly employees and 27 salaried employees on the "C Crew" at its Wayne plant starting June 22... 
(Photo: Detroit News - Ford's Michigan assembly plant. The Wayne factory employs about 5,100 and makes the Focus gas-powered car, Focus Electric and C-Max hybrid gasoline-electric car)  --  Dearborn Hills, MICH, USA - The Detroit News, by Michael Martinez - April 24, 2015


TRUCKS MARKET * USA: Medium-Duty trucks in strong demand

* Indiana - North American drivers prefer Class 5-7 model trucks

-- North American truckers ordered just over 24,600 Class 8 trucks in March 2015, down from the same time last year, according to industry analysts at ACT research. The drop in Class 8 trucks is due to a seven-month backlog of unbuilt orders from last year, ACT claims... But Class 5-7 orders were up, posting the sixth year-over-year gain in the past seven months with 20,800 orders. While Class 8 orders have been down to start 2015, the seasonally adjusted numbers are still predicting a 300,000 unit rate for the year... “A 300,000 unit annualized rate of order placement represents solid support for an industry already sitting on nearly seven months of unbuilt orders,” said Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research...
 (Photo: Toyota's HINO light and medium trucks) --  Columbus, IND, USA - Todays Trucking - Apr 22, 2015