User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: October 2016
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Oct 31, 2016

DOUBLE TRAILER TRUCKS * Japan - Planed by Government

* Tokyo - Ministry plans double-trailer trucks to cover driver shortage

--- The transport ministry in November will start tests on using double-trailer trucks on public roads to address the serious shortage of truckers in Japan... The ministry plans to ease regulations on truck lengths and allow the use of vehicles with a second trailer in 2018 at the earliest... Trucks account for 90 percent of freight transport in Japan... However, 68.8 percent of 1,252 truck fleet operators across Japan said they were short of drivers, according to a survey conducted in part by the transport ministry in 2015. Drivers have had to work on holidays or overtime to cover demand... The continuing growth in courier services, led by the spread of Internet retailing, is exacerbating the situation... Under the ministry’s plan to let single drivers haul more freight, revised Road Law regulations would extend the maximum allowable length of a truck from the current 21 meters to 25 meters. The extension would enable a single truck to pull two large-truck trailers linked together... With an emphasis on safety, the ministry plans to only allow double-trailer trucks on highways with few curves and other thoroughfares. It will also discuss safety measures, such as requiring the installation of rear-view cameras on the truck bodies... 
Tokyo, Japan - The Asahi Shimbun, by YOSHITAKA ITO - October 31, 2016

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UBER's DRIVERS * UK: WITH WORKERS' RIGHTS

* England - Uber drivers entitled to workers’ rights, U.K. Tribunal rules

--- Drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. are entitled to workers’ rights including paid holidays and the minimum wage, the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled Friday. This it's a potential setback for the ride-hailing service that could further jeopardize its highflying business model... The ruling could affect around 30,000 Uber drivers in London and significantly raise the company’s costs there. Uber, which argues it is a technology platform that matches riders with drivers, has relied on a contractor workforce of motorists who take on their own expenses like insurance, fuel and car upkeep... Uber is waging similar fights in the U.S. It offered $100 million to settle a class-action suit by drivers in California and Massachusetts who sought to be treated like regular employees, but the settlement was rejected by a judge in August... The battles over employment status add to Uber’s regulatory headaches around the world, as lawmakers from Austin, Texas, to Buenos Aires to New Delhi question whether ride-hailing apps threaten passenger safety and should be regulated like taxi companies... Contractor status is crucial for Uber and other so-called on-demand companies that rely on a pool of freelance workers to drive taxis, clean houses, fetch food or perform other menial tasks. Those firms say they would likely have to raise prices and couldn’t depend on workers who may be willing to work just a few hours a week... Uber, which was valued this year at $68 billion by its investors, has maintained it is a technology company, not a taxi company, and its drivers are self-employed workers who are free to work as little or as often as they like. Consequently, it has said its drivers aren’t entitled to the most basic of workers’ rights... Law firm Leigh Day, acting on behalf of the drivers, argued that the drivers were deserving of worker status as the company had “considerable control” over their drivers’ activities... 
(PHOTO: REUTERS - The ruling could affect around 30,000 Uber drivers in London and significantly raise the company’s costs there)  --  London, EN, UK - The WSJ, by WILLIAM LOUCH and GREG BENSINGER - Oct. 28, 2016

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AMAZON's ONWN LOGISTICS NETWORK * U. S. Postal Service

* Washington - Amazon’s shipping costs likely to surge with holiday orders 

 --- Amazon.com Inc.’s shipping costs are likely to spiral higher in the fourth quarter because of the combination of more expensive fast shipping and greater holiday-related volumes... The online-retail firm has been rolling out free deliveries in as fast as an hour to its Prime members, most of whom pay a $99 annual fee. But Amazon said on Thursday that the faster deliveries are costing it a lot of money—and as online orders surge during the holidays, its shipping costs could top the $3.9 billion it spent in the third quarter... Amazon’s stock was trading down more than 5% Friday after the company reported increased spending on shipping, opening warehouses and other investments, and disappointed on its outlook for the fourth quarter. Its wide guidance range on operating income—forecast between zero and $1.25 billion—prompted concerns about its spending. Its shipping costs jumped 43% in the third quarter, Amazon said Thursday...
 (Photo by TED S. WARREN/AP - Amazon.com Inc. boxes are stacked in an airplane hangar in Seattle. As the online-retail firm rolls out more fast, free deliveries, its fourth-quarter shipping costs are likely to increase significantly)   -- ‎ Seattle, WASH, USA - The WSJ, by LAURA STEVENS - Oct. 28, 2016

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M. BENZ 's * Australia: One million kms. for the new Actros

* Queensland - A million km down under to reach all-new Actros

--- Mercedes-Benz launched the all new Actros range in Far North Queensland recently, following an 18-month local evaluation program involving 35 customers, 20 trucks more than one million kilometres... What's most noticeable when you see these new trucks in the flesh, is their aggressive on-road presence and powerful stance, with the range topper coming in at nearly four metres high and two-and-a-half metres wide. Significant technological advances have been made within the range, centred around the efficient, high-performance engines and heightened safety features that come as standard...

... Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus director Michael May said the brand is excited to bring the new range down under... "They have helped us put together a fantastic line-up of trucks that will deliver new standards of efficiency, reliability and comfort” ... A big draw card is the 500,000km or five years free scheduled servicing on all new Actros prime movers (4x2 and 6x4), an offer that will be available for the next 12 months, includes the Best basic service plan which excludes wheels, rims and tyres... Mercedes-Benz has launched with prime mover models focusing on metro, regional, B-double and road train work and will introduce rigid models in the second quarter of 2017, while all-wheel drive models will follow later that year... 
Cairns, QLD, Australia - Big Rigs, by Cobey Bartels - 31st Oct 2016

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DAIMLER'S TRUCK STORY * Germany - 1896: The first one - 2017: Autonomous trucks

(Photo: 1896, world first truck build by Gottlieb Daimler)

--- Back in 1896, Mr Gottlieb Daimler built the world's first truck. The production record reads: "Motorised goods vehicle, order no. 81, vehicle no. 42, four hp two-cylinder engine, weight of the complete vehicle: 1200 kilograms for carrying a load of 1500 kilograms, invoiced to British Motor Syndicate Ltd, London”... The tray-top 4x2, which could only optimistically be called basic, sacrificed any pretence of safety for pure function... The driver sat in an open cockpit. Steering was a straight up tube acting on a chain that turned the entire axle assembly... That eliminated the need for steering geometry. Wooden blocks acted on the steel rear-wheel rims for braking, and drive was straight from the 1.1-litre engine to an open gear mounted on each back wheel...


(Photo: 22 March 2016: Daimler demonstrates autonomous truck platooning; Highway Pilot Connect delivers)

--- In 120 years the progress has been dramatic, but most has occurred in the last couple of decades... A tsunami of electronic control systems have accompanied the explosion of digital technology, allowing engines, transmission and other truck systems to make microscopic adjustments hundreds of times a second to optimise performance... Some are passive, such as good vision, including cameras, airbags including new curtain units, soft materials, and less switches with a shift towards digital controls. But other are set to actively intervene when a driver loses attention - a little or a lot... For example, it is now almost common on long-distance rigs to have lane departure warning system scanning the road constantly... They vibrate the steering wheel, sound an alarm and in some cases introduce gentle pressure on the wheel to nudge you back in the lane... Blind spot assist, seatbelt pre-tensioning, brake pre-application and rain-sensing wipers all work in the background to optimise a driver's ability to stay out of strife and in control, protecting other road users and the security of the payload... My favourite has to be adaptive cruise control, and I've got used to using it constantly when I'm in a truck with the system installed. It can be a little disconcerting to feel a truck behaving as if someone else is driving it, although in effect that's exactly what's happening... But once you've mastered the adjustment of following distance to your comfort level, you really can enjoy the ride... Connected to most adaptive cruise systems is collision avoidance technology. It senses an unhealthy closing speed and goes through stages of warning alarm, flashing lights, gentle brake application, and eventually full brakes to avoid or minimise an impact... Auxiliary brake blending and stability control are all becoming standard fare as safety becomes more of an expectation rather than an aspiration... These systems are the precursors to fully autonomous driving. Getting used to the current systems is a good way of preparing for the future...

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TRUCKERS' HELP from * Australia: TO AVOID FINES !!

* South Australia - How to use technology to avoid fines

--- One of the biggest changes to the log book is the advent of electronic work diaries (EWD)... EWDs work just like a written work diary but they record your driving hours automatically when you turn the machine on. You also tell it when you're on a break and it records that time for you as well... At this stage infringements will only be issued when a driver is intercepted, their EWD checked by an authorised officer and an offence detected. While they are not mandatory a lot of people speculate that one day they will be... A lot of truckies are already using an electronic system to help them out, Ivan Janssen's Logbook Checker... The app tells you when you can start driving again legally, when you have to stop, can help you fill out a diary, and best of all isn't something that the police can use to hand you a fine... A lot of truckies say they push through periods of being tired so they can make it home quicker, with this if you had to stop and sleep you would know exactly how many more hours you could go before breaking the law... Mr Janssen said drivers found it very easy to use and it was priced competitively at $20 a year to subscribe. He's planning on developing it further but at the moment is just working on keeping the app up to date with all the laws... 
 (Photo - TIME OUT: A driver uses the Logbook Checker app)   --  Adelaide, S.A., Australia - Big Rigs, by Carly Morrissey - 30th Oct 2016

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Oct 29, 2016

FORD RECALLS * USA: The Super Duty Chassis Cab truck

* Michigan - Ford recalls 400,000 vehicles, including the Super Duty Truck

--- Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 400,000 vehicles in North America, including its Super Duty Chassis Cab truck... The company said no crashes or injuries have been reported for any of the vehicles involved in Ford’s safety recalls issued Wednesday... Ford is recalling approximately 180 Super Duty 6.7-liter diesel Chassis Cab trucks from the 2017 model year because of potential problems with the protective shield on the truck’s fuel conditioning module... In affected vehicles, inadequate adhesion of the fuel shield may allow it to be “dislodged by road debris or water spray,” which could result in a fuel leak... Dealers will replace the fuel conditioning module bottom cover with a metallic protective shield if a problem is found... 
(Photo: Ford - Ford Super Duty chassis cab truck)   --  Dearborn, MICH, USA - Trucks.com, by CLARISSA HAWES - OCTOBER 26, 2016

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CYBER - ATTACKS TRUCKING * USA: A real threat for the industry

* NY - But for the automated trucks, cyberattack it's a biggest risk


--- The expanding network of Internet of Things (IoT) technology is giving motor carriers new options to make their equipment and drivers safer and more efficient. With every new device, software application or sensor that connects to the Internet comes added risk, however... More information continues to be processed and stored in the cloud, putting individuals and businesses at greater risk from a cyberattack... Awareness of that risk is heightened by recent events. On Friday, Oct. 21, a global Internet attack brought down major websites and slowed communications to a crawl, for example... As one example, a cybercriminal might decide to hack into a carrier’s IT systems to obtain freight manifests. Besides planning a load heist, a hacker might do this to change a manifest to facilitate smuggling or drug trafficking... The specter of risk will only increase as autonomous trucks hit the roads. One can easily imagine the problems caused by a cyberattack that disables a vehicle or takes over the controls... The future of trucking may be exciting, but the path to automation comes with a greater risk of cyberattacks...
 (Photo: Hackers pose significant threat to trucking operations) --  NY, USA - CCJ, by Aaron Huff - October 26, 2016

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SPEED LIMITER FOR TRUCKS * USA: General opposition to the rulemaking

* DC - Fleets, drivers generally oppose speed limiter mandate from FMCSA

--- More than 3,000 comments have been received by the Department of Transportation about the proposed speed limiter mandates, and the majority of the comments come from drivers and other industry stakeholders opposed to the rulemaking... The proposal is written as more of a fact-finding request than a fully formed rule proposal. It doesn’t offer specifics on a speed trucks would be limited to. The DOT did appear to be leaning toward either a 60, 65 or 68 mph cap, however... Many of the comments, if not most, received to the docket so far have been in opposition of the rule. Although it hasn’t filed a formal comment yet, the American Trucking Associations has said it won’t support the rule as it’s currently written, despite its past strong support for a rule mandating limiters... 
(Photo: Flatbed rear view, on the highway)  --  Washington, DC, USA - CCJ, by Matt Cole - October 24, 2016

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DRAYAGE TRUCKERS COMPLAINT * USA: Against "Pier Pass" program

* California - Truckers, retailers want authority to oversee PierPass program

--- The National Retail Federation, the California Trucking Association Intermodal Conference and the Harbor Trucking Association, which represents Southern California drayage companies, said they would like to see a "joint powers authority" created as part of a “modernization” of evening and weekend "off-peak" operations at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. PierPass, which is a program created by the 13 container terminals at the two ports through their West Coast Martine Terminal Operators Agreement (WCMTOA), currently funds off-peak operations that allow trucks to move cargo in and out of the terminals at night and on Saturday by collecting a “traffic mitigation fee” from importers and exporters moving containers on and off the docks between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. ... PierPass said that fee is used to partially offset the cost of the extend hours or "gates.” The groups said that many of the terminals that require truckers to have appointments to pick-up cargo “routinely limit the availability of appointments during the second shift, forcing them to make appointments on the first shift and pay the PierPass fee” ... 
(Photo courtesy of AirPhoto, by Jim Ward: Terminal Island Truck Port) -- Los Angeles, CAL, USA - American Shipper, by CHRIS DUPIN - OCT 26, 2016

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SELF DRIVING TRUCKS * USA: Rules discussions

* DC - Trucking industry wants seat at self-driving table

--- The trucking industry is pushing for a seat at the table as new rules to allow self-driving cars to operate on U.S. roads are being developed... American Trucking Associations President, Chris Spear, said during an event at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday that “the lion’s share” of self-driving guidance recently was released by the U.S. Department of Transportation focused on automakers... “Our industry was not included in that process, despite what was said. We were never at the table, we never had any input,” Spear said during a panel discussion on self-driving organized by the Securing America’s Future Energy group, also known as SAFE... Just this week, Anheuser-Busch announced that it had completed the world’s first commercial shipment by self-driving truck, sending a beer-filled tractor-trailer on a journey of more than 120 miles through Colorado... Spear said Wednesday that regulators should also be thinking about the benefits of self-driving trucks. He cited a fatal crash between a Tesla vehicle that was being operated in “Autopilot” mode that collided with a semi-trailer that turned left in front of the car, saying the accident could have avoided if both vehicles were autonomous... Spear said he doesn’t foresee trucks being operated completely autonomously any time in the near future, despite the potential safety benefits he touted Wednesday... 
(Photo: (1) Tractor-trailer turns left in front of Tesla; (2) Tesla fails to brake and collides windshield-first with truck)   --  Washington, DC, USA - The Detroit News, by Keith Laing - October 26, 2016

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UBER FREIGHT * USA: A new player in the trucking industry

* California - Uber has quietly launched its own 'Uber for trucking' marketplace called Uber Freight

--- Uber now it's getting into the long-haul business with a new division called Uber Freight. The plan builds on Uber's acquisition of Otto, a self-driving trucking company that Uber bought in July for $65 million... Otto's main focus was to build self-driving truck kits that equipment manufacturers or freight networks could buy and install on their own, but it also secretly harbored a desire to build its own "Uber for trucking" marketplace... Eric Berdinis, the product lead on Uber Freight, is betting that Uber's intellectual property and worldwide operations team will make Uber Freight the winner in the "Uber for trucking" space... After the acquisition, a cross-section of logistics and operations experts moved into Otto headquarters for the joint product. Job listings for Otto show that the company is actively hiring to fill operations manager roles for Uber Freight in both San Francisco and Chicago, the epicenter of freight brokerage... 
(Photo by Otto: Otto's beer run with Anheuser-Busch wasn't booked through Uber Freight, but it's an example of what the platform could do in the future) -- San Francisco, CAL, USA - Business Inside, by Biz Carson - Oct. 26, 2016

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GPS TROUBLES * USA: TRUCKERS LOST FOR

* Tennessee - GPS leads to trucker troubles

(Video from NewsChannel 5 - Oct 25, 2016 - Faulty or tricky GPS directions have been blamed for multiple wrecks involving semi trucks in Middle Tennessee) 

--- Faulty or tricky GPS directions have been blamed for multiple wrecks involving semi trucks in Middle Tennessee... Before firefighters in Columbia respond to a call, they check and double check their directions... Much like big rigs their trucks may not fit on every road or under every overpass. One trucker found out the hard way Monday, some roads are not meant to be driven on... Officials said GPS is a very helpful tool, but it shouldn't be the only one you use. "Wasn't going to make that turn, not at all. I think we rely on it a lot but again don't forget the basics," said Columbia Assistant Fire Chief, Ty Cobb... 
Mt. Juliet, TENN, USA - News Channel 5, by Jonquil Newland - Oct 25, 2016

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WOMENS' SPECIAL TRUCKS * Sweden: Government´s grant for

* Örebro -  Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers

--- A Swedish research project working together with Volvo has been handed a 2.5 million kronor ($280,200) grant to help develop trucks specially adapted for women... The majority of truck drivers in Sweden are men, but the number of women are increasing. According to a report released by transport industry organization TYA in 2015, 12 percent of all new employees were women... The project received the grant by Sweden's government-funded innovation agency, Vinnova. It is going to study how Volvo Trucks can build trucks that break gender barriers, but also look at developing vehicles adapted to people with disabilities... The standard truck today, reads a press release issued by Örebro University on Tuesday, is developed for an able-bodied male in his forties. The researchers are going to study so-called personas used by Volvo to imagine the needs and characteristics of a driver when developing new trucks... 
(Photo by Thomas Johansson/TT - Trucks in Sweden)  --  Orebro, Sweden - The Local - 25 Oct 2016

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Oct 28, 2016

INFRASTRUCTURE OUTLAYS * USA: Whoever wins the Presidential Election

* New York - Construction-based ETFs are outperforming S&P 500

--- The prospect of increased U.S. government spending is tantalizing investors who see such outlays as critical to revitalizing economic growth and ending the era of ultralow interest rates, while frustrating others who fear efforts won’t go far enough... After years in which central-bank stimulus measures have produced only sluggish growth, many economists say now is the time for the U.S. to embark on long-debated plans to build roads, bridges and sewers. Building infrastructure, they say, could boost employment, wages and productivity, the last of which has fallen disturbingly low in recent years, and create economic wealth far outweighing the costs of additional federal borrowing... Lifting hopes for such plans, Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump have proposed increasing infrastructure spending... 
(PHOTO by CLAUDIO PAPAPIETRO/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - The Tappan Zee Bridge, right, and construction of the new bridge to replace it)   --  Washington, DC, USA - The WSJ, by AARON KURILOFF, CORRIE DRIEBUSCH and NICK TIMIRAOS - Oct. 23, 2016

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* South Africa - “Road will always play a role in transport"

* Gauteng - SA‘s trucking industry is in trouble

--- The importance of the road freight industry to South Africa’s economy is underscored by the fact that 86 percent of the freight transported annually in the country goes by road... Road Freight Association of SA technical and operations manager Gavin Kelly said the latest e-Natis figures showed there were 557 795 commercial vehicles of m ore than 3500kg on South Africa’s roads, including trailers. According to Statistics SA, road transport contributed nine percent to the economy, he added, and a total of 103 000 formal and informal employees were employed by the road freight sector. However, the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union claimed 300 000people were employed by the sector... Kelly was adamant there was no threat to the road freight industry... “The reality is that rail cannot meet the demand from customers and to customers in terms of reliability, cost, security of load, service from door to door and efficiencies. “Road will always play a role in transport. The lessons learnt here and across the world show this,” he said... 
(Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi - According to the national transport master plan, demand for road freight is expected to increase in the period to 2050) -- Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa - IOL.com.ZA, by Roy Cokayne - 26 October 2016

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TEREX TRUCKS * USA: New articulated haulers

* Nevada - Terex Trucks’ Gen10 takes pole position in Las Vegas

--- Terex Trucks has shown two of its new generation articulated haulers for the first time in North America at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway... Gen10 TA300 and TA400 with supercar  at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway... The Generation 10 haulers represent the first product launched since Volvo Construction Equipment purchased the Scottish hauler manufacturer and is the culmination of hard work and investment by Volvo and the team at Terex Trucks... Made to work harder for longer in the toughest terrain, the innovative off-highway trucks convey performance upgrades with an enriched operator environment, sophisticated engine enhancements, and the introduction of telematics as standard... 
 (Photo: Terex Trucks generation 9 articulated truck range)  --  Las Vegas, NEV, USA - Engineering News (South Africa) - 26TH OCT 2016

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SWIFT TRANSPORTATION * USA: Posts higher profit, lower revenue

* Arizona - Trucking company says excess capacity, high customers inventories continue to pressure volume and pricing

--- Trucking company Swift Transportation Co., which has adopted cost controls including scaling back its fleet amid tough market conditions, posted a 4.7% profit increase in the third quarter despite lower revenue... Swift said excess capacity, high customers inventories and sluggish demand continued to pressure volume and pricing in the quarter... The company affirmed its full-year guidance for earnings excluding items of $1.30 to $1.40 a share... 
(PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS - Swift says it cut 110 trucks from its fleet from the second quarter to the third)   --  Phoenix, AZ, USA - The WSJ, by JOSH BECKERMAN - Oct. 24, 2016

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C. H. ROBINSON * USA: Total transportation declined 5.6%

* Minnesota - Logistics firm’s revenue and profit fall hurt by weak pricing

--- Logistics firm C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. said Wednesday that cheaper truck-hauling alternatives caused its intermodel business to fall by nearly a quarter, weighing on the overall transportation segment... Total transportation fell 5.6% as truckload net revenues fell 10.4%. Ocean transportation net revenues retreated 3.1% while air transportation slipped 1.7%... The company added that it completed its acquisition of Melbourne, Australia-based APC Logistics which provides freight forwarding and customs brokerage services in Australia and New Zealand... C.H. Robinson will pay $229 million in cash for APC, the latest in a string of acquisitions totaling more than $1 billion since 2010. The company’s last acquisition was Freightquote.com Inc., an online trucking marketplace for which it paid $365 million in early 2015... 
(PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES - C.H. Robinson, the largest freight broker in the U.S., said its net revenue for truckload business fell 10.4%)   --  Eden Prairie, MINN, USA - The WSJ, by EZEQUIEL MINAYA - Oct. 25, 2016

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TRAXON ZF * Germany - Tansmission tailored for any truck

* Baden-Württemberg - The transmission system Traxon ZF modular sample

--- The best performance of the category coupled with a large number of functions, you can create tailored for any heavy commercial vehicle thanks to modularity: this is the feature that convinced globally... Among the truck manufacturers who have opted for the exclusive automatic modular transmission system Traxon ZF now also include Ford Trucks and Foton in China, as well as Man and Iveco... Moreover the product is used for the first time on a Liebherr mobile cranes, while the hybrid version demonstrates its practical advantages in ZF Innovation Truck... It is not all: Traxon Hybrid helps to reduce fuel consumption and emissions of the truck: "The saving is around 5% in heavy trucks for long-range transport" ... 
Friedrichshafen, , Germany- Vie & Transporti (Italy) - 12 October 2016

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TRUCKING DATA ENTRY * Holland - Automatic download from the tachograph fleet vehicles

* Amsterdam - Ad hoc solution for TomTom transport Telematics and Continental

--- TomTom Telematics and Continental work together with the aim of creating a more efficient data storage solution for commercial vehicles... Through this partnership, users can transfer data remotely , from vehicles to office, without having to include the means to store or company... The fleet manager, using the new solution will have a greater control over the data of their digital tachographs... The automatic download of data from the tachograph fleet vehicles, as well as the automatic loading of the same archive TIS-Web, can help companies be compliant with current legislation on tachographs... TIS-Web is also able to analyze and evaluate the tachograph data, so it can help increase the efficiency of the fleet, allowing fleet managers to reduce unwanted interruptions in the use planning vehicles. The new app, is available from October, initially in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and, subsequently, in other European regions...
 Amsterdam, Holland - Vie Transporti (Italy) - 25 October 2016

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Oct 27, 2016

MERCEDES BENZ PICKUPS * Germany - By the end of 2017

* Stockholm - Mercedes to Enter Light-Pickup Truck Market By End of 2017


--- Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said the German auto maker will be participating in the global light-pickup truck market by the end of 2017, with the company’s Mercedes-Benz unit becoming the latest premium brand to try expanding into a segment that traditionally appealed to blue-collar buyers... Mr. Zetsche, speaking in Stockholm on Tuesday in a webcast presentation, said the auto maker is eager to fill a hole in its lineup with a midsize truck that is smaller than the big pickups popular in the U.S. He said the midsize pickup truck segment is poised to increase 40% by 2025 and is among the “most attractive targets” in the world... Daimler had earlier outlined plans to joint-develop a pickup truck with the Renault SA/Nissan Motor Co. alliance, and had shown sketches of the vehicle. Mr. Zetsche’s presentation included two brawny “X-Class” concept trucks intended to show the company’s attempt to blend the company’s luxury heritage with a pickup truck’s rugged stature... 
(Photo by VILHELM STOKSTAD/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY: Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche, left, and Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, right, present the new Mercedes-Benz pickup at a press event in Stockholm on Tuesday) -- Stockholm, Sweden - The WSJ, by JOHN D. STOLL - Oct. 25, 2016

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UBER SELF DRIVING TRUCK * USA - First delivery: Budweiser beer

* Colorado - Uber self-driving truck loaded up with Budweiser makes first delivery


--- A tractor trailer full of beer drove itself down Colorado's I-25 last week with nobody behind the wheel... Uber Technologies and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV teamed up on the delivery, which they said is the first time a self-driving truck had been used to make a commercial shipment... With a police cruiser in tow, the 18-wheeler cruised more than 120 miles (193 km) while a truck driver hung out back in the sleeper cab, the companies said... The delivery appears to be mostly a stunt — proof that Otto, the self-driving vehicle group that Uber acquired in July, could successfully put an autonomous truck into the wild... Said Lior Ron, the president and co-founder of Uber's Otto unit, Uber does not plan to build its own trucks and instead wants to partner with car makers, as it's doing with Volvo on self-driving cars. He said the company's discussions with truck makers are in early phases... The software still has a long way to go, too. The autonomous drive in Colorado was limited to the highway, meaning truck drivers shouldn't have to worry about finding a new profession anytime soon...
 (Photo by Kyle Bullington: With a police cruiser in tow, the 18-wheeler cruised more than 120 miles -193 km- while a truck driver hung out back in the sleeper cab)   --  Denver, COL, USA - Financial Review, by Eric Newcomer and Alex Webb - Oct 26 2016

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FOTON * China: To make trucks in Thailand

* Bangkok - Pickups set to be launched in November

--- China's car and truck maker Beiqi Foton Motor has made a foray into the Thai automotive market by setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary to handle sales and production of Foton's pickup trucks, passenger pickup vehicles (PPVs) and passenger cars in Thailand... According to Mr Chao, the parent firm has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangchan General Assembly Co (BGAC) to produce Foton's pickup trucks, PPVs and passenger cars to be sold to domestically... Production is scheduled to begin next month with a maximum capacity of 10,000 units a year... The automotive industry club of the Federation of Thai Industries forecast that domestic sales will stay at 750,000-780,000 units this year, down by a range of 2.5% to 6.2%, with exports rising 1-3% to 1.22-1.25 million units... Mr Chao expects to sell 3,500 vehicles in 2017 and 6,000 in 2018... 
(Photo: Mr Geng Chao, president of Foton Automobile said "Foton is confident of its product quality and technology, as well as its world-class components")   --  Bangkok, Thailand - The Bangkok Post, by PIYACHART MAIKAEW - 25 Oct 2016

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Oct 26, 2016

COLLISION MITIGATION from VOLVO * USA: New Active Driver Assist

* South Carolina - Volvo demonstrates new active fully integrated system to assist drivers

--- You have to have faith in your equipment, and the engineers who designed it, to keep your foot planted firmly on the accelerator as you bear down on a stopped SUV in a Class 8 highway truck. But that’s exactly what Volvo and Bendix officials did Monday in showcasing their new Volvo Active Driver Assist (VADA) collision mitigation system, and no metal was crumpled in the demonstration... It's Volvo’s fully integrated version of Bendix Wingman Fusion... It builds on Volvo Enhanced Cruise, but offers new capabilities and the ability to mitigate front-end collisions in all traffic situations – regardless of whether or not cruise control is active. One of the most notable improvements is the ability to recognize stationary objects and automatically apply the brakes if the driver doesn’t react quickly enough... Volvo says 31% of truck crashes today involve front-end collisions. VADA’s automatic braking is available at speeds of 15 mph or higher. At slower speeds, such as in stop-and-go traffic, it will still sound alarms but automatic braking isn’t applied. In addition to issuing audible alerts, a bright red LED ring appears around the speedometer, giving the driver a visual cue if he or she is looking at their gauges instead of the road... Volvo made VEST standard in 2005, looking to eliminate the 28% of commercial vehicle accidents that involve a rollover... 
(Photo: VADA incorporates a new radar and camera for greater range and visibility)   --   Laurens, S.C., USA - Truck News, by James Menzies - October 25, 2016

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GM EARNINGS * USA: Doubled it nets income in 3rd. Q

* Michigan - GM earnings more than double on strong truck sales

--- General Motors Co. doubled its net income and notched record revenue in the third quarter amid strong truck sales in its home U.S. market and continued strength in China, but the auto maker signaled continued weakness in Europe because of Brexit fallout... GM on Tuesday posted net income attributable to common shareholders of $2.77 billion for the period ended Sept. 30, up from $1.36 billion reported in the same period a year ago. The Detroit auto maker said operating profit excluding one-time factors equaled $1.72 a share, breezing past Wall Street expectations of $1.45 a share... Revenue rose 10% to $42.83 billion, a quarterly record for the company. That topped analysts' average forecast of $39.3 billion... The largest U.S. auto maker by sales benefited from continued strong pricing on big pickups and SUVs in North America, its most profitable models, as well as healthier margins on freshly redesigned cars such as the Chevrolet Malibu. A sales surge in China, stoked by a government tax incentive, helped offset pricing pressures from weak demand for small cars and commercial vans...
 (Photo: GM headquareters Detroit, Michigan) -- Detroit, MICH, USA - MarketWatch, by Mike Colias - Oct 25, 2016

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FORD replace glass components * Australia - From research to commercial application

* South Australia - Ford buys up big on plastic side mirrors for F-Series trucks

--- An Australian plastics scientist has won the inaugural Prime Minister's Prize for New Innovators for creating a process that allows manufacturers to replace glass components with light-weight plastic... Dr Colin Hall and his colleagues at the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute combined micron thin layers of plastics to develop a material that can replace glass in cars, aircraft, spacecraft, and even whitegoods – making them lighter and more efficient... One of the first applications for the technology has been the creation of shatter-proof plastic side mirrors for cars that are now being exported to the US. The mirrors are made in Adelaide, South Australia, by SMR Automotive and have earned AUD$160m (£101m, US$123m) in exports to date... Over the last five years, the Ford Motor Company has purchased more than 1.6 million assemblies for the plastic side mirrors for use on its F-Series trucks... Car makers have long searched for new ways to reduce the body weight of vehicles and the car-wing mirror design weighs a fraction of the conventional glass product... The award acknowledged the contribution Dr Hall has made to bringing science and industry together to find practical solutions to problems that have a market value... 
(Image courtesy of the Dept of Industry, Innovation and Science - Adelaide scientist, Colin Hall, has been recognised with Prime Minister's science prize for creating shatter-proof plastic side mirrors for cars)   --  Adelaide, SA, Australia - The Manufacturer, by Tim Brown - 26 Oct 2016

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TRUCKS INSPECTION * Australia - Major defects: Cracked brake drums and discs, and air leaks

* Queensland - Transport firm audited after mechanical failure in Sydney

--- A transport company involved in a serious crash in south west Sydney early this month has been audited... Police say on Tuesday October 4 a prime mover pulling a trailer jack-knifed after a mechanical failure on the M7 Motorway at Prestons... As a result two northbound lanes were blocked for northbound traffic for an extended period of time... During this time officers inspected 27 trucks and trailers, where 14 minor defects were issued for engine oil leaks, dark window tinting, exhaust leaks, inoperative brake and driving lights, brake air leaks, broken and missing springs along with inoperative turning lights on trailers... Officers also issued three major defects in relation to cracked brake drums and discs, air leaks, excessive rod movements relating to brakes, diff oil leaks, and non compliant window tinting... 
(Photo: Police and RMS audit 27 trucks and trailers from a transport firm at Wetherill Park and Mt White after one of their trucks jack knifed due to a mechanical failure on October 4 on the M7 at Prestons)   --  Sydney, QNLD, Australia - Big Rigs - 24th Oct 2016

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DANGEROUS DRIVER * Australia: A utility appears to pull out in front of the truck

* Queensland - Video shows moment truck rolls on highway

  (Video from AES News - Oct 18, 2016: Lucky escape for driver after cattle truck rolls over. A Queensland truck driver is counting his luck after his rig rolled when a ute towing a trailer pulled out in front of him) 

--- Video has emerged of the moment a cattle truck rolled on the Warrego Hwy... The crash closed the highway for three hours and cattle had to be euthanised... In footage obtained by Win News Toowoomba, the truck is seen heading east on the highway near the Gatton McDonald's about 5pm on Thursday... As the driver, Jason Hoole approaches the University of Queensland Gatton turnoff, a utility appears to pull out in front of the truck... The truck driver took evasive action, but soon after rolled the truck... 
Gatton turnoff, QNLD, Australia - Big Rigs - 19th Oct 2016

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THE TRUCKER's TRUCK * Australia: The big rig of his dreams

* Queensland - Phat Cat wins Rig of the Day at LOTH

--- Laurie Williams' Phat Cat Western Star has now won two major truck show awards... Most recently, the truck was voted Rig of the Day at the Lights on the Hill Show and Shine... He said the truck worked daily in his North Queensland Truck and Machinery business carting trucks and machinery from Brisbane to North Queensland... The 4800 used to be white, since then he's stripped her back to a bare shell, had Advance Tech Autos at Coolum change the colour, add feature murals and blinged it up with the help of Rocklea Truck Electrical to the tune of $130,000... Mr Williams has rebuilt the motor and it has now done more than two million kilometres... He's been in transport for 32 years and "finally” has the truck of his dreams... "It took a long time,” he said... 
(Photo: Laurie Williams' Phat Cat took out Rig of the Day at Lights on the Hill and Truck of the Show at the ITTES invitational)  --  Brisbane, QNLD , Australia - Big Rigs, by Carly Morrissey - 20th Oct 2016

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WORST ROADS * Australia: Report

* NSW - Which roads do you fear?

--- Which state in Australia has the worst roads?: If you looked at the last Australian Automobile Association Australian Road Assessment Program, the Northern Territory and Tasmania would have stuck out... Since that report came out in 2013 much work has been done to roads by ways of maintenance and improvements. We understand a new report will be launched in the coming months... The AusRap report gave roads a star rating, with one being the worst up to five being the best... 

° New South Wales & ACT: More than 4700 kilometres of highway were analysed in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory for the last report and more than half of highways surveyed were rated as low as one-star (nine per cent) or two-star (42%)... 
° Victoria: Of the 2363 kilometres of road surveyed in Victoria, only 23% was rated as one or two-star... Victoria was the only jurisdiction which had five-star stretches of road significant enough to register as a percentage of the total state breakdown; two per cent of the highway network is rated as five-star... Among the highways of concern were the Calder Hwy...

 ... Keep an eye out on future editions where we will look at the rest of the states and see which roads have been upgraded and which ones still need work... (send email to: editor@bigrigs.com.au) 
(Photo: WORST ROADS: Much work has been done since a report in 2013)  --   Sidney, NSW, Australia - Big Rigs, by Allan Reinikka - 24th Oct 2016

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