User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: December 2016

Dec 11, 2016

The Transportation Worker Identification Card * USA - The TWIC card

* DC - US truck lobby urges broader use of TWIC card

---  The head of the largest US trucking lobby believes costly multiple background checks and identification methods for truck drivers should be replaced with one single card. Fortunately, we already have it — the Transportation Worker Identification Card, or TWIC... The TWIC card should be the sole identification issued to truck drivers for security purposes, Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday... The goal should be one card, one security threat assessment, or STA... Since the TWIC program took effect nine years ago, more than 3.5 million TWIC cards have been issued, and 2.1 million are currently active. About 700,000 truck drivers have acquired TWIC cards since 2007, Spear said. The cards, however, aren’t accepted as proof of an STA background check when drivers apply for other credentials, such as HMEs... 
 (Photo: Customs officers check a TWIC card at the Port of Baltimore) -- Washington, DC, USA - JOC, by William B. Cassidy - Dec 08, 2016

Labels: ,

Electric trucking charges up * USA

* Colorado -  Coils buried in the road

--- In the pilot project, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S., vehicles equipped with “receiving coils” will draw power from another coil buried in the road. The Colorado Transportation Department and infrastructure developer Aecom Inc. are scouting potential sites, including busy roads near Denver International Airport, with a goal of launching in 2018... Heavy-duty electric trucks remain a rare sight on highways, in part because they need to make frequent stops to recharge and must carry heavy, expensive batteries. The pilot’s developers say their goal is to extend the distances electric trucks can drive and reduce the bulkiness of in-vehicle batteries... 
 (Photo: Wright unplugs an electric-powered truck as he gets ready for his test drive)   -- Denver, COL, USA - The WSJ, by ERICA E. PHILLIPS - Dec. 8, 2016

Labels: , ,

Dec 10, 2016

WINTER TROUBLES * Canada: Straight through your windshield

* New Brunswick - Ice and snow tumbles from semi truck and shatters passing car's windshield

(Video by jeffrey cote - Dec 30, 2015: An ice sheet flew off the top of an SUV and destroyed my windshield, bent my wiper arm, and damaged my side mirror. Occurred at 8:45AM 12/30/15 on I-495S at Mile 112.8) 

--- A man and his wife got a nasty, wintry surprise this week when a chunk of snow fell from a semi truck and shattered the windshield on their car on a Canadian freeway (SEE VIDEO)... According to the UPI, Kevin McGraw and his wife were traveling along a stretch of freeway near Moncton, New Brunswick on a cold, snowy November 30. McGraw was passing a semi-truck in the left lane when a large slab of ice and snow lifted away from the top of the truck's trailer and smashed into McGraw's car. The icy missile shattered the car's windshield, showering McGraw's wife with bits of safety glass but thankfully not penetrating into the cabin. McGraw was able to get his stricken car across the freeway to the right shoulder while the trucker, blissfully unaware of the chaos he'd just caused, continued on his way... The American Automobile Association states in an Alexandria News article that drifted, compacted snow on top of a moving vehicle may weigh as much as 20 pounds per cubic foot... More than half of US and Canadian semi truck drivers surveyed in a 2009 study by the American Transportation Research Institute admitted that they "rarely or never" clear accumulated snow from their vehicles despite the fact that roughly 35% of truckers surveyed could relate a story about snow or ice falling from a moving truck and harming passing motorists... 
Moncton, New Brunswick, CAN - Autoblog, by Jason Marker - Dec 8th 2016

Labels: ,

SPEED LIMITER MANDATE * USA: Carrier consensus & truckers ‘vehemently’ opposed

* DC - About speed limiter mandate: 65 mph and retroactive

--- Carries and trucking trade groups offered mixed, but strong opinions on the DOT’s proposed speed limiter mandate. Though most agreed a 65 mph speed limit was best of the three options presented by the DOT, most argued further research — and another rule proposal — are needed before the agencies proceed with a final rule... Though the majority of commenters who filed formal feedback with the U.S. DOT on its proposal to mandate speed governor use in the trucking industry adamantly oppose such a rule, most comments from fleets — albeit large ones — offer support for the mandate and provided regulators constructive guidance on what a final rule should look like... The 90-day public comment period on the September-issued Notice of Proposed Rulemaking closed late Wednesday. The proposed rule was developed and published jointly by the DOT agencies the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration... Several prominent commenters said the DOT’s September-issued proposal was too incomplete and requires another iteration before being made a final rule. But most commenters, as noted above, stated strong opposition to any form of speed limiter mandate... 
Washington, DC, USA - CCJ, by James Jaillet- December 8, 2016

* Speed limiters will hurt truckers’ bottom line and cause more accidents, operators argue in formal comments

--- Upwards of 4,500 comments were received by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration over the last three months on the agency’s proposed rule to mandate speed limiting devices on heavy trucks, and most trucker commenters railed against the rule and its potential effects on small business truckers... The comment period for the proposed rule closed just before midnight Eastern time Wednesday, Dec. 7. In the proposal, FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sought input from the trucking industry on three potential speeds for trucks to be limited to – 60 mph, 65 mph and 68 mph. The rule stated all new trucks would be required to leave the manufacturer with the speed cap set if the rule were to be enacted... 
(Photo: The comment period for FMCSA’s and NHTSA’s proposed rule to mandate speed governors on heavy-duty trucks ended Dec. 7)   --  Washington, DC, USA - Overdrive, by Matt Cole - December 08, 2016

Labels: , ,

Dec 9, 2016

PACCAR news * Australia: New truck Kenworth's T610

* Victoria - Kenworth debuts bigger, better T610

--- Kenworth's new T610 kicked off on the basis of a bigger cab, but morphed into a range of changes and upgrades to make it as much great driver experience when it's on the road and working, as it is a symbol of pride in the truck park... In the US for the last few years the brand has been working on a new design that adds iconic Kenworth signature styling to a cab that nearly doubles usable space for the operator... Key changes include moving the entire cab forward 300mm to allow a BBC that permits the biggest payloads to work within Australia's strict length regulations... Fuel requirements are met with either round or rectangular tanks from 200 to 700 litres... The axle back T610 and axle forward T610 SAR differ little other than the obvious aero styling of the 610, but the SAR also retains the air cleaner displayed in classic look-at-me stainless steel finish and mounted adjoining the door hinges. The SAR is only available in 6x4... Both models are rated for maximum payload 26-metre B-double work as well as road train applications up to 140-tonne. 100kgs is saved with an aluminium core radiator and the system is set-up for up to 600hp from Cummins' X-15 Euro V engine with new electronics to match the anticipated Eaton AMTs or the Roadranger 18-speed manual... There's a foot-well that is 30 per cent larger and a footrest is added for convenience on those long hauls where your left foot doesn't have a lot to do... 
(Photo by David Meredith - Kenworth has unveiled its next generation heavy-duty truck, the revolutionary T610 model, after almost a decade of development)  --  Bayswater, VIC, USA - Big Rigs, by David Meredith - 6th Dec 2016


STILL NO LOG BOOKS * Australia: for trucks in Northern Territories

* N. T. - The Territory still do not require the use of log books

--- The Northern Territory continues to refuse to become part of the National Transport Reform Implementation process... In the latest report from the NTC, the NT has made clear that it will not participate or accept the Heavy Vehicle National Law legislation until local benefits to local business can be demonstrated... Reading between the lines, the Territory is currently happy with its road transport regulations, largely managed by the industry... So log books for the Territory have been postponed once more... Western Australia is not a signatory to the reform process... The fourth report of the reform process has been released, covering the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016...
(Photo by Bruce Honeywill - Heavy trucks running in the NT still do not require the use of log books)  --   Darwin, NT, Australia - Big Rigs - 6th Dec 2016

Labels: ,

TRUCK INCIDENT * Australia: A car was covered by human exrement

* Queensland - The moment that dropped a truckie in the s**t

--- Security camera vision has emerged of the moment two Lockyer Valley drivers were doused in three tonnes of human excrement... Vision, obtained from the Big Orange on Crowley Vale Rd, shows a semi-trailer brake heavily to avoid collision with a ute which had pulled out in front of the truck... Upon coming to a halt, the truck's load of biosolids spills out over the cabin, the ute and road below... 
(Photo: A truck has lost its load in Crowley Vale)   --   Lockyer Valley, QLD, Australia - Big Rig, by Tara Cassidy - 23rd Nov 2016



* Queensland - A mobile hydroponic drug growing set-up run from a stolen truck trailer has been found hiding in plain sight

--- Officers from the Sunshine Coast District Tactical Crime Squad acted on a public tip-off when they went to a property in Landsborough about 1pm Wednesday... The trailer, about 20m long, was parked among trees but visible from the road. Checks of the trailer revealed it had been stolen from Toowoomba in October 2014... Sergeant Wade Lee said, a hydroponic growing room had been set up inside, complete with growing lights, exhaust fans, transformers and chemicals... A 49-year-old man has been charged with drug offences and a property offence in regards to the stolen trailer...
 (Photo by John McCutcheon: Police have seized a stolen semi trailer with an elaborate drug set up inside)   --  Landsborough. QLD, Australia - Big Rigs, by Stuart Cumming - 8th Dec 2016


CUMMINS' & NIKOLA'S TRUCK * USA: Trucking prognosis

* Indiana - Cummins responds to Nikola’s Electric Truck with its vision of the future

--- Cummins Inc., the industry’s only independent engine manufacturer, outlined how the company envisions using multiple alternative propulsion systems to power Class 8 trucks within the next 10 years... Cummins responded Dec. 6 to a request for comment after the unveiling of an electric Class 8 truck made by Salt Lake City-based Nikola Motor Co., which announced its intention to revolutionize the trucking industry with its technology. Its truck is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and a 320 kWh battery pack consisting of more than 32,000 individual lithium-ion cells welded together... Truck makers did not respond to the same request... Cummins will “continue to introduce innovative power solutions to drive truck technology ahead, as we have been doing since the 1930s,” according to the statement... Over the coming five to 10 years, Cummins will introduce next-generation power systems that include “super high-efficiency diesel powertrains to high-output natural gas engines with near-zero emissions and electromobility solutions focused on a diesel-generator plug-in hybrid driveline,” according to the engine maker... "However, Nikola Motor Co. is to be commended for trying to push the boundaries of the possible, and we wish them well with their endeavors” ... Multiple alternative propulsion systems create “an exciting picture of how the Class 8 market is likely to evolve,” Cummins said... 
(Photo: New Cummins engines in Jamestown will be more efficient. New line of heavy-duty truck engines)  --  Columbus, IND, USA - Transport Topics, by Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News - 7 Dec 2016

Labels: ,

TRUCKING AUTOMATION * USA: Available in 4 or 40 years ?

Truckers think automation won’t take their jobs for 40 years. Silicon Valley strongly disagrees

--- As far as most truckers can tell, the danger of losing their jobs to robots is still a long, long way off... “I don’t have a single member who’s ready to buy a bunch of automated trucks even if they could,” says R. J. Cervantes, whose California Trucking Association represents fleet owners in the state. “Everything needs to be sorted out. It’s still in its infancy” ...  Comments in online trucker forums point out the myriad difficulties of long-distance transport sure to foil computers... But Silicon Valley sees these as mere speed bumps. “Three years, at most,” says one venture investor in autonomous vehicle technology, estimating the time before such commercial trucks hit the road, who asked to remain anonyous because of involvement in several companies... The stakes are high. Investors and researchers disagree on the exact timing, but most agree on one thing: automation will arrive in years, not decades...  The technology could ultimately replace 1.7 million American trucking jobs—trucking was the most common job in 28 states in 2014—yet only create a fraction of new positions. The pay for whatever trucking jobs remain may fade from the current average annual wage of $42,500... The forces may hit hardest in states where economic populism is already on the rise: there’s strong overlap between the electoral map showing Donald Trump wins in the presidential election, and a map showing states where truck driving is the most common job... 
(AP / PRNewsfoto - Will keep on truckin even without the driver)  --  San Francisco, CAL, USA . Quartz, by Michael J. Coren - December 07, 2016

Labels: ,

CDL RULES * USA: With minimum training standards

* DC - FMCSA finalizes mandatory training rule for new truck drivers

--- The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Wednesday announced a Final Rule establishing comprehensive national minimum training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or certain endorsements... The standards established in Wednesday’s rule address the knowledge and skills necessary for the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles and also establish minimum qualifications for entities and individuals who provide entry-level driver training. The entry-level driver training Final Rule retains many of the consensus recommendations of a negotiated rulemaking committee made up of 25 stakeholders and FMCSA representatives... The comprehensive CDL training requirements, which emphasize safety and promote driving efficiency, will result in lives saved, reductions in fuel consumption and emissions, vehicle maintenance cost reductions, and industry-wide performance improvements, according to the FMCSA...
Washington, DC, USA -  Trucking News - December 8, 2016

Labels: ,


* DC - Rules to curb sleepy truck drivers are breaking down

--- The trucking industry scored a victory this week when Republican lawmakers effectively blocked Obama administration safety rules aimed at keeping tired truckers off the highway. But there’s more coming down the road... The American Trucking Associations is pledging to come back next month, when Republicans will control the White House and Congress, and try to block state laws that require additional rest breaks for truckers beyond what federal rules require. The group says there should be one uniform national rule on work hours for interstate truckers... (SEE VIDEO) ... The trucking industry’s latest triumph has caused concern among safety advocates that it may signal the start of a broad rollback of transportation safety regulations once there’s no longer a Democratic president to check the tendency of Republican lawmakers to side with industry... Self-employed trucker George Lafferty, 61, of Henry, Ill., said during a truck-stop interview along Interstate 81 after dropping off a load of yeast at a livestock-feed plant: "I don't see how the government can tell you when to sleep and when not to" ...
(Photo: Feds propose speed limiting devices on trucks and buses) -- Hagerstown, MD, USA - AP/CBS News - December 8, 2016

Labels: , ,

TRUCK TOLLS * USA - Electronic ones charging big rigs

* Rhode Island - Moves forward on truck tolls

--- Rhode Island transportation officials are moving forward on plans to install electronic tolls that will charge big-rig trucks for traveling along Interstate 95 and other highways. (SEE VIDEO) ... The Rhode Island Department of Transportation said Monday it has begun seeking proposals by companies looking to design, build and operate the tolls... The state truck-only tolls will help to raise money to repair bridges and roads... The first tolls will be erected along I-95 in southwest Rhode Island near the Connecticut border. The state law allows 18-wheelers to be charged up to $20 on a one-way route through the state between Massachusetts and Connecticut... The state plans to award a contract in the spring and complete toll construction by late 2018... 
(Photo: Greater New York Roads / I-95) -- Providence, R.I., USA — The Associated Press/WPRI - December 5, 2016

Labels: ,

Dec 8, 2016

U-HAUL trucks * USA: Stolen for crimes

* Georgia - U-Haul business owner says thieves using stolen trucks for crimes

--- A DeKalb County U-Haul dealer says a group of thieves keep stealing his trucks and using them for smash-and-grabs... Channel 2’s Craig Lucie went to Terry's Auto Care Center and U-Haul in Lithonia Tuesday where video captured the thieves breaking in over and over again (SEE VIDEO) ... Owner Dorian McKelvey showed Channel 2 Action News video of a 'burglary crew' finding different ways to steal the keys to his U-Haul trucks... “This is when a customer pulled up and they ran off,” McKelvey said. “They ain’t stopping at nothing” ... He said in one night, the men stole five trucks and that's not all... 
(Photo: Thieves stealing U-Haul trucks in Lithonia) -- Lithonia, GA, USA - WSBtv, by Craig Lucie - Dec 7, 2016

Labels: ,

AMAZON LOCKERS * USA: The troubles

* California - Here’s the problem with those Amazon lockers

--- lockers started showing up en masse at Sacramento-area retail sites this fall, allowing online shoppers to retrieve Amazon orders in a secure setting and thwart would-be package thieves... But as some Amazon users have discovered, the high volume of holiday packages sometimes means the bright yellow lockers are full, leaving shoppers to opt for sending packages home or elsewhere... Amazon has touted the lockers as a more secure way to make deliveries, with no packages sitting unattended on front porches, a temptation for roaming thieves, also known as “porch pirates” ... Even so, in September, Amazon officials privately conceded that the number of online orders might exceed the available space in lockers during the holiday season, a situation the company said it planned to monitor... 
 (Photo by Mark Glover/ - lockers, which are now at many Sacramento-area retail sites, allow online shoppers to retrieve their orders in a secure setting and thwart would-be porch package thieves. This one is at a Sacramento Safeway)   --   Sacramento, CAL, USA - The Sacramento Bee, by Mark Glover - DEC 4, 2016

Labels: ,

F-150 Ford's * USA: Sale delayed

* Michigan - Glitches delayed sale of new Ford F-150 Pickup trucks

--- Ford Motor Co. delayed by about one month the sale of thousands of new F-150 pickup trucks with improved towing capability and efficiency due to glitches with an advanced 10-speed transmission, the latest challenge the auto maker has faced in a drive to make its cash cows use less fuel... The 10-speed transmissions, slated to be fitted on certain F-150s with a turbocharged engine and the sporty “Raptor” performance truck, hit a quality snag during its manufacturing launch. Transmissions—long capped at six speeds—can become more efficient when more speeds are added, but are complicated to build... Higher-speed transmissions are seen as adding a small percentage of distance to a vehicle’s miles-per-gallon rating... Ford said Tuesday the manufacturing issue slowing the launch has been resolved, and F-150s with the new transmission are now on sale... 
(Photo: 2017-Ford-F-150-Raptor-Specs 1) -- Dearborn, MICH, USA - The WSJ, by Christina  Rogers - Dec. 6, 2016


Dec 7, 2016

DAIMLER TRUCKS' news * Germany: Going to make Actros in China

* Stuttgart - Daimler to build Actros heavy truck in China

--- Germany's Daimler plans to start building the Actros heavy truck in China by the end of the decade, Handelsblatt reported, citing the head of the truck division... Seeking to expand its role in the world's largest truck market, Daimler is targeting a five-digit production number for the Actros, the newspaper quoted Daimler Trucks Chief Executive Wolfgang Bernhard... Western manufacturers are allowed to operate in China by forming joint ventures with Chinese partners. Stuttgart-based Daimler currently produces trucks with China's Beiqi Foton Motor... The two companies are planning to invest a three-digit multi-million amount in local production of the Actros, and Daimler alone wants to set up 200 dealer and service stations, Handelsblatt said... 
(Photo: Mercedes-Benz Actros)  --  Stuttgart, Germany - Handelsblatt/Reuters, by Andreas Cremer / Ruth Pitchford - Nov 28, 2016


MILITARY TRUCKS * France: Volvo's Renault Defense

* Paris - France eyes industry boost from Volvo's Renault Trucks Defense sale

--- France is playing close attention to the sale of Renault Trucks Defense, a divestment seen as key for industrial consolidation, said Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian... “We’re very vigilant on this file,” he told Nov. 24 journalists at Innovation Forum, a technology showcase for small companies organized by the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office. “This is an important subject for France” ... Volvo, a Swedish truck maker, said Nov. 4 the workers' councils would be consulted on a planned disposal of the Volvo Group Governmental Sales business. That military vehicles unit, mainly composed of RTD, accounts for some 1.5 percent of Volvo’s total sales and employs 1,300 staff... 
(Photo Credit)  --  Paris, France - Defense News, by Pierre Tran - November 28, 2016

Labels: , ,

SINOTRUCKS news * China: Top trucks' exporter

* Shandong - China's leading truck maker bullish on export

--- China National Heavy-Duty Truck Group (Sino) has exported 21,000 vehicles this year, maintaining its position as China's top truck exporter... The volume represents 40 percent of China's total truck exports, said Yu Youde, a senior manager of the State-owned company, based in Shandong province... Sinotruck's vehicles are sold in more than 90 countries. It has 160 sales offices and 590 parts and after-sales service points overseas, mostly in developing countries... The company has established ten assembly lines in southeast Asia and Africa... Yu said Sinotruck will continue to increase its presence in those regions, where more factories are planned... 
Jinan, Shandong, China - Xinhua - 26 Nov 2016


FAP Trucks * Serbia - To be nationalized

* Serbia to take control of truck maker FAP

--- Serbia will acquire a 95% stake in insolvent truck maker Fabrika Automobila Priboj (FAP) to avoid its liquidation, the Uzice commercial court said in a ruling on Thursday... The court gave the green light to the company's restructuring plan which involves the transformation of debt worth 8.693 billion dinars ($74.5 million/70.4 million euro) into capital and allows for the resumption of production activities, according to the court ruling... The Serbian Defence Ministry plans to award the company a contract for 22 trucks, managing director Milan Kostic told national broadcaster Radio Televizija Srbije (RTS) on Thursday, adding that FAP's could reach 200 in the beginning of 2017... FAP produces trucks, buses and trailers in addition to chassis and spare parts. The company was established in 1953. In 2002 the Serbian government started preparations for its privatisation.-- 
Uzice, Serbia -- Belgrade, Serbia - SeeNews - November 24, 2016



* Shanxi - Dayun Auto is going to make cars in China

...  This is a typical Dayun truck. A tractor called the CGC4180. It is powered by an engine by Weichai Power, another company that has moved into passenger cars. And the Weichai connection is very important...
Yuncheng, Shanxi, China -- Cars News China, by JOEY WANG - NOV 28, 2016


USPS SPECIAL TRUCKS * USA: The next-generation prototype of its mail delivery one

* DC - USPS chooses six companies to compete in truck design prototype challenge

---  The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has narrowed the field of finalists for designing the next-generation prototype of its mail delivery truck. The six companies will now design, build and deliver a total of 50 vehicles within one year, after which the USPS will put them through their paces for six months before selecting one winner. The company selected to supply 142,000 new vehicles for the fleet will be awarded a $6.3 billion contract... Each of the six finalists is receiving contract awards valued at $37.4 million to build the prototypes. On the list are: 
 1 - AM General, a military and commercial vehicle manufacturer; 
 2 - Karsan, a Turkish commercial vehicle manufacturer; 
 3 - Mahindra, an Indian conglomerate and automotive manufacturer; 
 4 - Oshkosh, a maker of commercial and military specialty trucks; 
 5 - Spartan Motors’ Utilimaster, a manufacturer of walk-in and parcel delivery vans and truck bodies; and 
 6 - VT Hackney, a division of ST Engineering, a Singapore-based aerospace, electronics and military contractor. 

...  The new vehicles that will be joining the USPS fleet in the coming years are expected to have the same long-term value as the models they will be replacing. The delivery trucks are also going to be well suited for last mile delivery needs... Looking to the future, the Postal Service is realizing it needs this type of truck and technology to compete in an increasingly e-commerce-focused world... 
Washington, DC, USA - Fleet Equipment, by Seth Skydel - Dec 6, 2016

Labels: ,

Dec 6, 2016

DANGEROUS ROADS * USA: On Alaska highways

* Alaska - Tanker-truck crashes and spills an increasing worry on

--- Federal and state regulators in Alaska say they're working to stem what has been a growing number of tanker-truck accidents in recent years — including three big rollovers since September that dumped thousands of gallons of diesel fuel into woods andangerous rd wetlands... Observers blame the wrecks on factors such as warming winters that increasingly glaze roads with ice, plus less highway maintenance amid Alaska's fiscal crisis and human errors by truck drivers and other motorists... But double-tanker-truck traffic is also up since 2009, when state regulators required that ultra-low sulfur diesel be trucked to the North Slope oil fields to be used there, in line with federal regulations implemented in 2006 elsewhere in the U.S. ... The rules required use of the new fuel to replace diesel fuel with air-polluting high sulfur oxide emissions... Several factors contribute to the accidents, including drivers who aren't attentive enough and periods of thawing and freezing in recent winters that have kept roads slick... Reduced road maintenance is also an issue, Thompson said... The Alaska Department of Transportation has reduced its budget by $60 million over two years, a 22 percent drop. That led to the elimination of 14 maintenance positions on the Richardson and Dalton, about a 15 percent drop... 
(Photo / ADEC - Big State Logistics response crew offloading fuel from a rolled and damaged secondary tank, Mile 42 of the Richardson Highway. Tsaina River bank is in the background. Oct. 21, 2016) -- Juneau, Alaska, USA - ADN - 27 Nov 2016

Labels: , ,


* Shanghai - Self-driving Chinese truck in the tuture

--- The $300 billion Chinese trucking market is filled with long hauls and chaos. The government and technology firms are betting that self-driving 18-wheelers are the solution... Last month at the Shanghai New International Expo Center, the Internet services company Baidu (BIDU) and Foton showed off Super Truck. Apart from its array of sensors and distinctive surround windshield, the level 4 autonomous freight truck would not stick out in a crowd of diesel burners. That’s because it’s not from the future. China needs an answer to its freight logistics problem now. That urgency gives Chinese firms a big leg up in the race to autonomy and patent windfalls... Super Truck uses limited self-driving automation developed by Baidu and Foton’s Big Data algorithms for connected cars and driverless commercial fleets. It offers dramatically reduced man hours and fuel consumption. That is definitely something that can be sold to vehicle makers...
(Image courtesy Xinhua/Chen Fei - An automatic driverless super truck manufactured by Foton Motor is shown on an intelligent connected vehicle expo in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 14, 2016)   -- Shanghai, SH, China - Forbes, by Jon Markman - 1st. DEC 2016

Labels: ,


* Utah - It's truly revolutionary, and totally awesome

--- The would-be Tesla for heavy trucking teased us last summer with computer renders of a promised truck, along with impossible-sounding capabilities and benefits for customers... Some of those impossible-sounding claims? How about 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 lb.-ft of torque? That's enough power to haul loads up a 6 percent grade at 65 mph, rather than the 35 mph achieved by today's diesels, said Nikola Motor Co. founder and CEO Trevor Milton... Claimed driving range tops 1,200 miles on a full load of hydrogen fuel, which Nikola will furnish without charge for the truck's first million miles. Nikola is rolling out a network of 364 fueling stations nationwide to keep the Nikola One rolling... Nikola will lease its trucks, including a million miles of free fuel, for between $5,000 and $7,000 a month, which is less than drivers typically spend on fuel, making the use of a new truck effectively free. They say they will deliver production trucks by 2020... Of course, there isn't even a factory yet, so how will Nikola start delivering trucks in 2020? They have pragmatically signed a deal for truck-maker Fitzgerald to build the first 5,000 trucks under contract, while Nikola's factory is prepared... 
 Salt Lake City, UT, USA - Maxim by, DAN CARNEY - DEC 2, 2016


THE EPA BREAKS THE LAW * USA: To rush out new fuel mileage mandates

* DC - The EPA’s Auto Outsourcing Act

--- One reason auto makers are shifting production to Mexico is expensive U.S. fuel-efficiency mandates, which were supposed to be up for review next year. With its pedal to the metal, the EPA is now seeking to finalize the regulations before a Trump Administration can put on the brakes. The standards in effect mandate that auto makers mass produce electric cars regardless of consumer demand. U.S. manufacturers that profit mainly from trucks will get hit hardest by the mandate: The more gas-guzzlers they sell, the more electric cars they have to produce. Trucks and SUVs have been flying off lots due to low gas prices, and last year light-duty trucks made up about 60% of domestic auto makers’ sales. A Trump Administration could withdraw the regulations and restart the rule-making process, but the EPA has gummed up the works and put auto makers in a tailspin... 
 (PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Car production line with unfinished cars in a row) -- Washington, DC, USA - The WSJ - Dec. 2, 2016

Labels: ,

COOPER TIRE news * USA: Purchasing China's JV

* USA - Cooper Tire buys stake in Chinese tire make

--- Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said Thursday it has completed its $87 million purchase of a joint venture with a truck and bus tiremaker in China... Cooper’s 65 percent owner interest in Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co. (GRT) will increase Cooper’s production of truck and bus tires... It will produce truck and bus tires for Cooper’s customers in North America, Asia and elsewhere... Two years ago, Cooper’s former Chinese partner, Chengshan Group, bought Cooper’s 65 percent ownership in a huge plant for $284.5 million. Cooper and Chengshan had a falling out over the failed attempt by Apollo Tyres of India to buy Cooper in 2013... 
(Photo: Avon ruber factory, part of the Cooper Tire Group)   --   Findlay, OH, USA - The Courier - Dec 1st, 2016


ELDs MANDATE * USA: Pros and cons

* DC - Truckers grapple with switch to electronic logs

--- The trucking industry has a little more than a year to get ready for a massive transformation – dumping the paper logs that drivers use to document adherence to federal regulations on how many hours they are on the road in exchange for foolproof electronic logging devices... The devices link to a semi-truck’s engine, capturing the movement of the truck and recording how much time a trucker is at the wheel. By law, drivers are limited to 11 hours of driving daily... Already large carriers such as UPS, FedEx and Werner Enterprises are using electronic systems to record truckers’ driving time and behavior... A last-ditch effort to block the ELD rule by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, a trade group that represents more than 150,000 small-business truckers, failed last month when the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago rejected the owner-operator group’s arguments that ELDs would violate truck drivers’ privacy and foster carrier harassment over driving hours... A recent survey for Stifel Transportation & Logistics Research Group asked trucking companies if they lost drivers “who did not want to operate under ELDs” – 51.4 percent reported that they did lose drivers, 48.6 percent said none of their drivers left... One carrier who responded to the survey said that it had a fleet of 110 trucks and “lost 29 drivers when (they) switched them over to e-logs. They either quit the day we put it in their truck or within two weeks” ... 
 (Photo: Omnitracs - Truck driver using an ELD device)  --  Washington, DC, USA -, by CLARISSA HAWES - NOV 29, 2016

Labels: ,

The Kaikoura earthquake * New Zealand - "Could it be the end of our truck stop?"

* Auckland - Highway rebuild hoped to bring drivers back to truck stop

--- A roadside oasis for weary drivers plans to keep trucking along, despite losing much of its customer base... The Riverlands Roadhouse, on the southern outskirts of Blenheim, was largely empty last Saturday, but owner Chris Wagner said that was no cause for concern...
... It was too early to tell if the Kaikoura earthquake and the resulting slips on the highway would spell doom and gloom for his business, he said. "Could it be the end of our truck stop? I don't think so" ... Riverlands Roadhouse had been in operation for seven years and was the last major stop for truck drivers heading north before leaving the South Island. It could hold a maximum of 40 trucks on any given day... The 19-room truck stop was largely unaffected by the earthquake except for some damage to one of the weighbridges and reopened that day... The period before the end of the year would be a transitional phase for the truck stop, Wagner said... 
(Photo by JEFFREY KITT/FAIRFAX NZ - Riverland Roadhouse owner Chris Wagner is hopeful for the future of his business and the eventual reopening of State Highway 1)  --  Auckland, NZ - Stuff, by JEFFREY KITT - November 28 2016

Labels: ,

Dec 3, 2016

New transport technologies * Australia: Can reduce crashes

* Queensland - Australia’s 'largest' automated vehicle trial announced

--- Queensland has announced plans to host the biggest automated vehicle pilot program that will see around 500 fleet and public vehicles test the concept of connected and automated driving (C-ITS) technology in Ipswich... The four-year Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI) project will be funded by the state government, and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission and supported by Bosch Australia, Ipswich City Council and Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland (CARRS-Q)... The state government plans to engage with transport industry members and other relevant stakeholders to adapt the existing systems, infrastructure and data to innovative transport technologies... The on-road testing phase of the project is expected to kick off in 2019... 
(Photo: QLD to host Australia's largest intelligent vehicle trial)   --  Brisbane, QLD, Australia - Prime Mover - 30 Nov 2016

Labels: ,

VOLVO's new test * Sweden - Promoting I-Shift Dual Clutch

* Stockholm - Volvo Trucks latest live test

(Video from Volvo Trucks - Nov 29, 2016: Watch a Volvo FH truck towing a paraglider in a world’s first precision stunt) 

--- The new test combines a Volvo FH, a paraglider and a Croatian mountain road... Volvo Trucks has successfully completed its latest instalment in its live test series, releasing ‘The Flying Passenger’ stunt overnight... In the new video, a professional paraglider has teamed up with a Volvo FH model to promote the truck maker’s I-Shift Dual Clutch-equipped powertrain... Using a mountain road, which includes an overhanging bridge, the truck was tasked to climb while maintaining the required speed to keep the paraglider at a safe height... Filmed in the Dinaric Alps in Croatia on closed-off roads, Volvo Trucks president Claes Nilsson says the stunt demonstrates the ability of the I-Shift to provide power shift changes that ensure the engine maintains torque when changing gears in tough conditions... 
Stockholm, Sweden - Owner Driver - 30 Nov 2016



* Nevada - Amazon uses trucks to drive data faster

--- In Amazon Web Services, Inc. has built one of the most powerful computing networks in the world, on pace to post more than $12 billion in revenue this year... But the retail giant on Wednesday proposed a surprising way to move data from large corporate customers’ data centers to its public cloud-computing operation: by truck... Networks can move massive amounts of data only so fast. Trucks, it turns out, can move it faster... The truck and the suitcase-sized device are part of the retail giant’s bid to woo large corporate customers, who have invested heavily in their own data centers, to move to Amazon’s cloud. Many have shifted key computing operations to cloud providers, but a significant number continue to run some jobs in their own facilities, even as they take advantage of public cloud providers, an arrangement known as hybrid cloud... Relatively rapid data-transfer methods such as Snowmobile and Snowball may spur them to move faster to use Amazon’s services... 
(PHOTO: Amazon Web Services - Amazon unveiled the ‘Snowmobile’ service on Wednesday in Las Vegas) -- Las Vegas, NEV, USA - The WSJ, by JAY GREENE and LAURA STEVENS - November 30, 2016

Labels: ,


* Michigan - Truck makers' November sales on track for record 

--- Auto makers reported U.S. sales on track for a record November as Black Friday deals, steep incentives and consumer confidence drew more car shoppers into showrooms...

... General Motors on Thursday said sales climbed 10.2% to 252,644, with record months across all four of its brands. The Detroit auto maker, which has been paring back fleet sales, said retail sales rose 8% to 252,644 vehicles...
... Ford Motor's sales rose 5.1% to 196,441 vehicles, driven by a 10% gain in retail sales. F-series sales jumped 11% -- to their best November sales since 2001 -- while SUVs logged 20% growth...
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported sales skidded 14% in the month to 160,827, dragged by a 42% drop in fleet sales and a 2% decline in retail sales. The Jeep brand, which has propelled the Italian-U.S. auto makers results for much of the year, slipped 12%. Ram brand truck sales were a bright spot, with a 12% jump... 

Detroit, MICH, USA -Bloomberg/Fox Business - December 01, 2016

* Texas - Robust demand for Toyota pickups drives sales unexpectedly higher

--- Robust demand for Toyota’s popular line of pickup trucks drove overall growth for the company’s auto sales unexpectedly higher in November... Tacoma truck sales soared by more than 15 percent last month over November 2015 as low gasoline prices pushed consumer demand for the automaker’s pickup trucks higher. The company’s full-sized pickup, the Tundra, posted year-over-year gains of 11.5 percent for the month... Toyota sold a total of 197,645 vehicles in November, up 4.3 percent over the same month last year. Industry analysts estimated that Toyota would see monthly sales increase by 3.4 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg... Year-to-date, Toyota’s sales are down 2.4 percent for 2016 through November. The strong demand for its Tacoma and Tundra trucks accounted for 37 percent of the company’s year-over-year sales growth last month... 
(Photo: Toyota / Chris DeLorenzo - Toyota's Tacoma truck sales soared by more than 15 percent last month over November 2015)  --  San Antonio, TXS, USA - San Antonio Express News, by Rye Druzin - December 1, 2016


SELF DRIVING TRUCKS * USA - New trial run on Route

* Ohio - Self-driving truck makes 35-mile run in 

--- A self-driving truck made a 35-mile run on U.S. Route 33 in Ohio Tuesday as state officials prepared to announce details of new investments to support innovative transportation technology on Wednesday... The initial run was scheduled Monday after officials were first scheduled to make the investment announcement, but the event and run were postponed in the wake of the tragic incident at The Ohio State University, which is located in Columbus... Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning said Tuesday’s trip was scheduled as part of the postponed event, noting that state officials saw no reason not to go ahead with the Tuesday run... 
(Courtesy: OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - A vehicle built by self-driving truck maker Otto travels down U.S. Route 33 in Central Ohio Tuesday. A Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman called the run “flawless”)   --  Columbus, OH, USA — The Trucker News Services - November 29, 2016

Labels: ,

Dec 1, 2016

NEW MULTIMODAL TRANSIT ROUTE * Connecting Europe and Near East countries

* Tehran - First European cargo bypasses Turkey to reach Iran through Armenia

--- A maiden shipment has arrived in Iran from Germany via a multimodal transit route connecting Iran to Europe via the Black Sea, secretary of International Transport Association of Iran, Gholamhossein Amiri, announced. Plans are underway for the route to replace the one passing through Turkey... Tehran and Ankara have been grappling with a longstanding transit dispute, arising from different fuel prices in the two neighboring countries. The issue led the government to take measures, such as charging Turkish trucks a fee to compensate the considerably low fuel prices in Iran to sealing the Turkish trucks’ fuel tanks at the Bazargan-Dogubayazit border crossing... The common border has frequently been the scene of traffic congestion with transit trucks queuing at the border in lines reaching 15 kilometers at times... Recent negotiations with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Italy and Greece have centered around a transit corridor involving Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, the Black Sea, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy... According to Amiri, an agreement has been signed by Iran, Armenia and Georgia regarding implementation of the corridor... Trucks are shipped by roll-on/roll-off ships from Georgia to Bulgaria across the Black Sea. The same method can also be used for trucks shipping goods from Greece’s southern ports to Italy using the Mediterranean Sea... 
Teheran, Iran - The Financial Tribute/MASSISPOST (UK) - November 23, 2016

Labels: ,