User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: May 2017
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May 29, 2017

IVECO * Italy / Switzerland: Sell 400 trucks

* Swiss - Armed Forces orders IVECO trucks 

--- Iveco Defence Vehicles has won an order from the Swiss armed Forces for 400 trucks, scheduled for delivery 2017-2021. This initial delivery order forms part of a framework contract for a new fleet of specialised vehicles signed in November 2015 and scheduled for delivery 2016-2022 – the third such contract between the two parties since 1996... As with previous contracts, vehicle drive configurations will comprise a range of variants, from the new STRALIS and TRAKKER ranges, which will be supplied with a range of different equipment, some with protected cabins. The high level of technology fitted in the vehicles, together with the extended use of commercial off-the-shelf components are fundamental to ensuring the required safety and operability of the fleet. All vehicles will be fully-compliant with Euro 6 emissions regulations and fit for Single-Fuel-Operation... 
 (Photo: Iveco Defence VehiclesIveco Defence Vehicles’ TRAKKER model will be among the 400 trucks to be delivered to the Swiss Armed Forces in the first delivery order under the new framework contract) -- Zurich, Swiss - Monch, by Tim Mahon - 28 May 2017

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Stoughton Trailers * USA: Production up

* Wiscosin - Trailer production stacking up at Stoughton Trailers

--- Stoughton Trailers' boost in production and its expansion into the trucking market is written all over the landscape on Brodhead's southeast side... The lots around the company's 300,000-square-foot semitrailer manufacturing facility are filled with new, 53-foot trailers marked for pickup by customers... And the 17 acre grass lot across the street from the Brodhead plant is chock full of new semitrailers, too. A crew of Stoughton Trailers yard drivers spend their days in snub-nosed semitrailer tractors, moving around the new trailers like puzzle pieces, readying them for final customization and setting them up for customer pickup... Some of the hundreds of trailers have company names emblazoned on decals that show the world who owns them—Stoughton Trailers customers that include Amazon and Schneider... 
(Photo by ANTHONY WAHL - An aerial image of the Stoughton Trailers production facility in Brodhead) -- Brodhead, WIS, USA - Gazette Rxtra, by NEIL JOHNSON - May 27, 2017

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"FAT" TRUCKERS * USA: GYM in the TRUCK

* Trucker develops app so drivers can turn truck into gym

--- Truck driving is hard on a body; long hours of sitting behind a wheel and eating fast food can lead to less-than-stellar health. One trucker is aiming to change all that by developing an app that turns a driver’s constant companion, his truck, into a makeshift gym. Cleo Hardy has been driving for more than 13 years and says the time in the truck was taking a toll on his fitness. “I wasn’t able to reach the gym on a regular basis like I wanted, so I developed this concept., where I brought the gym to me,” he said. Hardy solved his problem by developing the “Iron Trucker Fitness” app, which shows how to use a truck as a tool for resistance and cardio exercises. “There are upper body, lower body cardio and core exercises,” explains Hardy... 
 (Photo: Trucker Exercise) -- Go By Truck News - May 26, 2017

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TRUCK HEIGHT DETECTION DEVICE * USA

* Pennsylvania - Device invented by InventHelp client

--- Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., InventHelp is working to submit the L.O.S. to appropriate companies for their consideration... Even the slightest miscalculation on a truck driver's part can cause extensive damage. If a truck collides with a bridge or an overpass, the structure can become damaged beyond repair, the truck would need extensive repair, it would result in the dispatch of police, cause a massive traffic jam and could even result in injury or death... An inventor from Fort Worth, Texas, has invented L.O.S., a device that automatically alerts a driver if the rig or cargo is too tall to fit under an overpass... L.O.S. prevents serious damage to expensive commercial equipment and highway overpasses and ensures that important freight is delivered in a timely manner and without damage... This invention could help keep insurance rates down, which would appeal to trucking companies. With this device, truckers have peace of mind that their route is clear of obstruction... 
(Photo from East Bay Times: Big rig too tall, crashes into East Bay overpass. The cargo on this big rig headed south on I-880 collided with the Marina)  --  Pittsburgh, PA, USA - Benzinga - May 26, 2017

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SIDE GUARDS FOR TRUCKS * USA: To avoid deadly aacidents

* DC -  'These crashes are catastrophic.' The deadly impact of truck underride crashes

(Video from Cox Washington - May 10, 2017) 

--- The car smashed into the tractor-trailer, wedging beneath it and rocketing out of the other side as a tangle of steel... An investigation by the Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau looked at underride fatalities from the past five years using federal crash statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The numbers show 1,433 fatalities linked to underride collisions from 2011 to 2015, with 299 deaths in 2015... For the first time, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash-tested a car traveling 35 mph hitting a truck equipped with a side guard... Video of the collision shows the sedan bouncing off the side guard with the dummy's head protected by the airbag in a survivable crash. The IIHS ran the same experiment with a car slamming into a truck without a side guard. The dummy's head violently smashes into the side of the big rig as the car jams beneath the truck in what likely would be a fatal collision... Since 1952, the federal government has required underride guards for the back of trucks as protection in rear-end collisions... Side guards add significant weight and can cause cracks in the frame rails of trailers, creating another safety issue, Sean McNally, a spokesman for the American Trucking Association, said... 
Washington, DC, USA - Cox Media Group/WPXI, by Patrick Terpstra - May 10, 2017

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Advanced Commercial Information * Canada - For trucks on border USA

* Ontario - Temporary fix to avoid ACI penalties

--- Trucks that arrive at the Canada-U.S. border without Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) will for a 90-day period be allowed to turn around without incurring Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPS), Canada Border Services Agency has announced... eManifest requirements have been mandatory for highway carriers since January 11, 2016, and carriers still have to transmit cargo and conveyance data electronically before arriving at the border... It’s good news for the Canadian Trucking Alliance. The group has recently been citing recurring delays and system outages, and for several months been working with the agency to solve issues surrounding the AMPS linked to ACI reporting requirements... The policy will apply to highway modes across the country as of May 29 and will run under a 90-day evaluation period, during which time the agency will monitor whether compliance rates improve or worsen. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will also be watching the frequency of trucks turning around... 
(Photo Maclean's: Truck traffic. Canadian customs officers waive duties on U.S. goods)  --  Ottawa, ONT, CAN - Today's Trucking - May 26, 2017

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"UBER for trucks" * China

* Guizhou - To begin freight train trucking services

--- Truck Alliance, a Chinese company providing a Uber-type service for trucks, partnered with a leading railway logistics firm on Thursday to enable freight train trucking operations... Truck Alliance's partner, Shenhua Railway Freight Corporation, is a subsidiary of top coal producer Shenhua Group. It owns 2,155 kilometers of railway, 40 ships, and three ports handling 270 million tonnes of freight... The first route to pilot freight train trucking will begin in a logistics park in Erdos, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and run 1,000 kilometers eastward to end at the port of Huanghua in Hebei Province. Operations will begin this year... 
(Photo: Employees work at a Truck Alliance Inc. office in Chengdu, China)   --   Guiyang, Guizhou. China - Xinhua, by Mengjie - 25 May 2017

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UBER AUTONOMOUS TRUCKS * USA: Under Government inquiry

* California - Uber's driverless truck unit is under Government investigation following unapproved tests

--- California regulators are preparing to conduct a site inspection of the San Francisco headquarters of Uber’s autonomous truck unit, formerly known as Otto, to determine whether the company broke state law when it tested driverless trucks on public highways without permission... The unscheduled visit, which officials from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles are coordinating with the California Highway Patrol, is to “see the capabilities of Otto’s trucks in person,” a DMV spokeswoman said. The inspection comes months after the publication of an internal Otto document from 2016 detailing the company’s testing procedures for its self-driving semi-trucks... The document, which describes how Otto trucks drive the highways surrounding San Francisco on a daily basis,” appears to contradict what Otto told state regulators about its program at a Feb. 24 meeting... 
 (Photo: Two "Ottomotto" driverless trucks are parked outside Uber ATG's San Francisco office on May 25. The trucks are tested in and around San Francisco on a regular basis)  --  San Francisco, CAL, USA - Forbes, by Matt Drange/Alan Ohnsman - MAY 26, 2017

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OTTO TRUCKS * USA: No more. Yes UBER ATG

* California - Uber retires Otto brand name

--- Uber has quietly put the Otto brand name out to pasture, according to published reports out of San Francisco... Forbes reports, “Uber consolidated Otto’s activities under its Advanced Technologies Group, or Uber ATG, in April and ‘retired the Otto name’”  ... Uber has had no further comment on the move since...  Although the Forbes article does note that “the change came shortly after the dismissal of a trademark infringement suit brought by Kitchener, Ontario-based Otto Motors, a unit of Clearpath Robotics that makes autonomous vehicles for warehouses and industrial facilities” ... There is no word yet from Uber on what the company will rename its autonomous truck technology business... 
 (Photo Otto: The retirement of the Otto brand name comes on the heels of a tough year for the autonomous truck company)   --  San Francisco, CAL, USA - TruckingInfo - May 26, 2017

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TRUCKERS' SHORTAGE * USA: CDL School spanish / english

* Pennsylvania - Bilingual truck-driving school opens at Tec Centro


--- A truck-driving school geared toward both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking adults is opening at Tec Centro in Lancaster city today... CDL Ed. training is offering a nine-week course, taught in both languages, to prepare adults to pass their commercial driver’s license exam... The school’s primary goal is to serve Hispanic adults who’d like a career as a truck driver but don’t pursue it because they lack confidence in their English-language speaking ability. (Tec Centro is an initiative of the Spanish American Civic Association that seeks to remove language and cultural barriers to careers) ... The owner of the five-employee school is Sobrino’s father, Jose, who owned and operated Reading-based Smart Truck Training for many years. He has 25 years of experience as a truck driver and teacher... 
(Image) -- Lancaster, PA. USA - Lancaster On Line, by TIM MEKEEL - May 25, 2017

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May 28, 2017

THE BRISBANE TRUCK SHOW * Australia

* Queensland - The Show kicks off

--- This morning, the fiftieth Brisbane Truck Show kicked off with a series of new trucks for the industry, with a few trucks unveiled that haven’t been seen in Australia before.

* Mercedes-Benz, it was the launch of the rigid trucks in its New Generation series

* UD: the new Quon which was only recently revealed in Japan


* The Scania S500 was in the centre of the hall

* Iveco: Introducing the new International truck range: The three models on display are the ProStar that will be brought to Australia.

* Hino exhibited its three new 500 Series Wide Cab medium-duty trucks


* The Kenworth T610 

Brisbane, QLD, Australia - Diesel News, by Tim Giles

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GENERAL MOTORS ACCUSED * USA: To use illegal emissions software

* Michigan - GM sued by diesel truck owners over emissions

--- General Motors Co. was accused in a lawsuit by owners of diesel-powered trucks of using illegal emissions software that allowed the vehicles to bypass government emissions tests and pollute far beyond legal limits on the road... Owners of heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Duramax pickup trucks sued GM in a Detroit federal court on Thursday, accusing the auto maker of using so-called defeat devices that deceived government regulators. The devices allowed the vehicles to appear cleaner during government tests, and then emit nitrogen oxides two to five times above allowable limits in normal driving conditions, according to the lawsuit... The suit targets more than 705,000 vehicles currently estimated to be on the road, with model years between 2011 and 2016... The suit says GM promised its diesel-engine technology would turn heavy fuel into a "fine mist" and deliver low emissions that were a "whopping reduction" from the previous model. Instead, GM used three defeat devices that turn down emissions controls when the vehicle isn't being tested, the lawsuit alleges... GM's heavy-duty diesel trucks are among the company's most-profitable vehicles, typically selling for more than $60,000. They represent about 12% of GM's overall pickup-truck sales, according to RBC Capital Markets. The pickup business accounts for more than half GM's bottom line globally, according to analysts... GM introduced a new Duramax engine on the heavy-duty Silverado and Sierra for the 2017 model... 
(Photo: A GM's Chevrolet, 2014 Silverado pickup truck)  --  Detroit, MICH, USA - Dow Jones Newswires, by Mike Spector and Mike Colias - May 25, 2017

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And Now ... BELARUSSIAN TRUCKS in North America ? * Canada

* Ontario - BELAZ hoping to make inroads into North American mining truck market


--- A year ago BELAZ set up an office in Richmond Hill, Ontario, with the intention of selling its first mining truck in North America... BELAZ, a Belarus-based manufacturer of large dump trucks, has a dominant position in the mining truck market, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union. One of the company's key value propositions is its electric drive system, installed in its 90-tonne models and higher... Breaking into the North American heavy equipment market isn't easy, especially for offshore companies without the vast dealer networks offered by some of the bigger players like Komatsu, John Deere and Caterpillar. At this regard important is the quality of the truck, and its overall cost of ownership, and here BELAZ, stakes its value proposition as one of the world's most pre-eminent mining truck makers... Wages in Belarus are lower than in many other parts of the world, including the United States and Europe, where competing trucks are produced. This allows BELAZ trucks to have a lower price point... So how does the market look for BELAZ? Interestingly, while its chief North American competitor Caterpillar is closing plants and laying people off, BELAZ is going great guns at its factory in Belarus, pumping out more trucks to satisfy the Russian and CIS markets, which are booming right now. “They've sold out six months in advance already,” said Yuri Tarasov, executive director, Belaz North America... 
Richmond Hill, ONT, CAN - Mining, by Andrew Topf - 26 May 2017

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FROM COWBOYS TO ROBOTS * USA: "... Bunch of rude drivers. I could crush them because they're acting like an idiots"

* Maryland - Truckers wary of autonomous rigs


--- Truckers are by turns dismissive and wary of the technology revolution that might alter their role or even remove them from the cab someday. A recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration says autonomous vehicles will transform the trucking industry before self-driving vehicles move into the consumer market, largely because there are bigger financial incentives to save on labor and other costs such as fuel... If that, truckers would work more like airline pilots, maneuvering big rigs onto the highway and then flipping on the autopilot for most of the trip, taking over again only when they have to get off the main route. But most analysts also agree that the transformation will occur step by step, with driver-assisted trucks arriving long before driverless trucks... That's welcome news for truckers, even if for most of them the romance of the open road was always a bit of a put-on. The lonesome cowboy, barreling down the freeway to the rhythm of the wheels and country music, staying a step ahead of staties and speed traps with the CB radio, and finding some love at the next truck stop with friendly waiter and a piece of pie and a cup of joe — that person exists, or used to... But the truth is also more mundane and, occasionally, dark: for all the camaraderie of truckers, most are solitary souls who find themselves bored to death on the endless Interstate. Riding the rigs means fighting sleep and strained eyes; riding out cramps and kidney-punishing roads; occasionally getting jacked up on stimulants or running tighter-than-ever schedules to beat the logbooks; and feeling not just lonesome but lonely. And of course there are all those four-wheelers out there speeding, tailgating, cutting in front, flipping the bird or not paying attention to anything except their smartphones. And now robots ???... In interviews, several truckers expressed concern that theirs will be the next industry disrupted by job-killing technology, and jobs that generally provide decent salaries for people who skipped college. More than 1.7 million people make their living driving heavy trucks or tractor-trailers. In 2016, the mean salary for a trucker was $41,340 a year, which was better than bus and taxi drivers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For many, trucking offered a path up from of the working class...

(Photo II - Allen Barker's "I love the road") 

 ... Allen Barker is an over-the-road trucker who also lines up his runs so that he's generally home on weekends. He knows the downside of driving, like those trips when he was pushing himself so hard he barely slept... Four-wheelers especially seem oblivious to the dangers around them, he said. Just that morning he had a close call with a distracted driver who was talking on a cell phone... He still loves what he does, and loves the freedom of the highway... "I got eight kids. It's good to be home. But it's good to get away," Barker said. "Sometimes you need to get away, to think about things. I love the road" ... 
(Photo I, by Fredrik Kunkle/The Washington Post: Rigs lined up for fuel at the Pilot truck stopoutside Hagerstown, MD, USA) - The Washington Post/The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, by Fredrick Kunkle - May 23, 2017

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TRUCKERS COULD SEE JOB LOSSES * USA: Report

* New York - Self-driving cars could cost America's professional drivers up to 25,000 jobs a month, Goldman Sachs says

--- According to a new report from Goldman Sachs, when autonomous vehicle saturation peaks, U.S. drivers could see job losses at a rate of 25,000 a month, or 300,000 a year... Truck drivers, more so than bus or taxi drivers, will see the bulk of that job loss... The report estimates that semi- and fully autonomous car sales will have about 20 percent share of car sales around 2025 to 2030... To be sure, the report estimates that the full effects of self-driving cars will be delayed by regulation and slow adoption. The report as a whole strikes an optimistic tone on the future of the labor market, noting that many different employment and productivity measures in the United States do not show massive disruption from labor-replacing technologies... The report said. "More fundamentally, we suspect that several of the skills central to those sectors — including empathy, humor, creativity and problem solving — are hard to codify and automate" ...
(Photo: Beware of self-driving vehicles, truck drivers) -- NY, USA - CNBC.com, by Anita Balakrishnan - 22 May 2017

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May 26, 2017

A Hotel on Wheels * USA: The Airstream Interstate van

* Ohio - The Van-Life Glamper  from Airstream Interstate

---  Marketing of the vehicle promises “refined relaxation” and a long list of top-notch amenities. It comes equipped with seatbelts for eight and sleeping accommodations for two adults, plus a galley and bathroom...
Beyond the galley and the bathroom is the rear area that also transforms into the bed. Two jumper seats face each other and a bench, or “power lounge,” reclines to a completely flat position with the flick of a switch. The side jumper seats pull out like a futon. The van came with Tommy Bahama linens stored in the overhead compartment above the bed. The “UltraLeather” upholstery on the seats makes them cushy enough for sleeping... The sleeping area is oversized and comfortably handled two adults, plus two kids who do not sleep in any one position for more than five minutes. It was snug, but not unlike what we experience most nights at home. The snoozing kids missed the initial bed transformation, but became enthralled with it every time after that...

... Another advantage of the campsite was the showers. Rinsing off inside the van would have pushed me to my limits – literally. When inside, my head touched the ceiling. While the shower would be perfect in a pinch, we skipped it this time...
(Photo from Airstream: Airstream Interstate van camper stock - Interstate Tommy Bahama Special Edition touring coach built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 extended chassis)  -- Jackson Center, OH, USA - Trucks.com, by CARLY SCHAFFNER - MAY 26, 2017

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TRUCKERS' SHORTAGE * USA: STOCKS AWARD PLAN

* Texas - Daseke combats trucker shortage with stock plan

--- Trucking company Daseke Inc. is starting what it calls a “ground-breaking” strategy to get its employees invested – literally – in the company... The Addison, Tex., business, which says it’s the largest owner of open-deck flatbed transportation in North America, announced a stock awards plan that would allow the company’s drivers and support team workers to essentially become shareholders... Daseke is setting aside a million shares of common stock currently valued at nearly $10 million for the 2,100 drivers and 800 support staff that have been on board since 2016. More will be earmarked for employees joining the team this year... Daseke said it is the first trucking company of its kind to attempt a stock plan perk. When the business went public earlier this year – the first in its sector to list since 2010, it was valued at about $700 million... 
(Photo: Daseke - Daseke driver secures a load on a flatbed truck)   --  Addison, TXS, USA - Trucks.com, by TIFFANY HSU - MAY 25, 2017

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INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDS * USA: Outlined $146 billion investment

* DC - Infrastructure spending could slash high U.S. traffic death rate

--- The nation’s roadways are getting even deadlier as federal, state and local governments stare down an expansive list of long-overdue infrastructure improvements... In the U.S., close to 11 of every 100,000 people die each year in fatal traffic crashes. By comparison, Sweden, which is considered to have the safest roads in the world, has a fatality rate of fewer than 3 per 100,000 people. It is clear the U.S. is missing the mark in roadway safety...
... The AAA Foundation’s research recommended six cost-effective roadway improvements with the greatest potential to reduce both the likelihood and consequences of crashes. Making the outlined improvements at a cost of $146 billion has the potential to save 63,700 lives and prevent 353,560 serious injuries over 20 years... The $146 billion investment outlined in the report will have a significant national-level impact, but increased investment is required at all levels of government to improve our transportation infrastructure... The outlined safety improvements, along with other improvements such as technology advancements, effective traffic laws and increased enforcement, and continuous public education, will make our roads safer. We must commit to investing and improving our nation’s roadway and transportation infrastructure – it could be a matter of life or death... 
Washington, DC, USA - Trucks.com, by C. Y. David Yang (executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety) - 25 May 2017

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WEATHER & TRUCKING * USA: Getting advance warning

* DC - Telematics weather infos for trucking


--- Any fleet knows that bad weather can torpedo delivery times while putting cargo, equipment, and the lives of truck drivers at risk. That’s why there’s been a push in recent years to plug real-time weather information into trucking telematics so routes can be adjusted in case heavy rain, blizzards, and other inclement conditions make certain roadways too dangerous to traverse... But real-time weather-data can also be used to aid fleets in accident reconstruction and crash-related insurance claims as well – expanding the potential return on investment (ROI) for such technology... About heavy rain, high winds, and other severe weather not only keeps freight on time and drivers safe, but can prove vital in crash reconstruction efforts. However, speed and truck-sensor measured data is only meaningful with the proper context – particularly in terms of the weather and road conditions at the time of the incident. Painting the full picture takes claim validations to a new level, leveraging data to make decisions – not opinions... 
(Photo by Tom Saunders/VDOT - The ability to overlay real-time and forecasted weather data with road surface conditions holds the potential to significantly improve fleet operations, routing efficiency, and driver safety)  --  Washington, D.C., USA - Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr - Apr 27, 2017

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HELP BOOST TRUCKING EFFICIENCY * USA: By ALK technologies

* New Jersey - Optimizing trucking through more real-time information


--- ALK believes a combination of technological trend lines can help boost trucking efficiency and safety... To aid in that effort, he noted that ALK is looking at the ability to create “street maps” within freight yards, to help optimize freight flows within them... Dan Popkin, senior vice president of enterprise solutions for ALK Technologies, also noted that inadequate infrastructure is restricting freight efficiency as well, as: 9.6% of U.S. bridges are deficient and 11.3% of bridges had their load limits reduced... That’s why ALK is looking at the possible use of crowdsourcing to improve real-time mapping connections; to leverage customer data to do a better job of creating routes and do it faster as well... 
Princeton, NJ, USA - Fleet Owner, by Sean Kilcarr - May 23, 2017

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TRUCKERS' MENTAL HEALTH * Australia: Union addresses

* Canberra - Union addresses black dog in trucking 

--- We know that according to research 22 per cent of truck drivers experience mental health issues, but we also know that 91 per cent of drivers that experience symptoms aren’t receiving treatment... The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has directed their focus to addressing mental health issues across the transport industry by providing training to delegates and organisers within the union, as well as partnering with beyondblue to drive awareness... Ultimately, the goal is to move towards engagement of employers and clients on developing workplace policies on mental health, the Union says... Truckie and mental health awareness advocate Tracee Pearse says the prevalence of mental health among truck drivers is high and says drivers need to manage their mental health effectively... 
(Image from shutterstock.com - Licensing authorities place the onus on drivers to report any medical conditions that might affect their driving)   --  Canberra, ACT, Australia -- Owner Driver - 23 May 2017

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SPEED LIMITS FOR TRUCKS * Australia: Association said "would not work well"

* Victoria - Monash Freeway truck speed limits dumped after tailgating and weaving increases

--- Speed limits to slow trucks on the Monash Freeway –introduced by Roads Minister Luke Donnellan​ to increase safety– have been dumped after VicRoads said they had made traffic conditions worse and increased aggression between car and freight drivers... The trial had encouraged tailgating and led to cars weaving, VicRoads found... But after six months, VicRoads called off the trial after an independent evaluation found it was causing problems, particularly between car drivers and trucks... Mr Donnellan said a second stage of the speed trial on the Monash, banning trucks from the right lane, would commence later this year... Peter Anderson, chief executive of trucking group the Victorian Transport Association, said the trial had been worth trying... But his association had always believed different speed limits for trucks and cars would not work well... 
(Photo, by Joe Armao: Heavy traffic on the Monash Freeway)  --  Melbourne, VIC, Australia - The Age, by Clay Lucas - May 22 2017

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May 25, 2017

RAISING STATE TAXES * USA: To truking Cos.

* Tennessee - Trucking Companies say additional fuel costs worth it for improved infrastructure

---  The IMPROVE act will raise the state gas tax by 6 cents on unleaded and 10 cents on diesel, phased in over three years. The plan was coupled with tax cuts, including reductions in franchise and excise taxes on businesses, a decrease in the Hall tax on interest and dividends and a drop in the food tax from 5 percent to 4 percent...While some businesses remained opposed to the increase, many Memphis companies said it was long overdue, including one of the most important employers in the city. FedEx Corp. operates fleets of vehicles that travel Tennessee’s roads, including delivery vehicles and freight trucks. “On behalf of FedEx, the IMPROVE Act will provide funding to make Tennessee’s roads and bridges safer,” FedEx spokesman Jack Pfeiffer said. “These investments in critical infrastructure will drive economic growth and job creation across our state” ... 
(Photo from Daily New, by Andrew J. Breig - Congestion on Lamar Avenue costs trucking companies time and fuel, and some say it adversely impacts driver turnover rates)   --  Memphis, TENN, USA - The Memphis Daily News, by JODY CALLAHAN - May 23, 2017

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TRUCKERS' DRASTIC FALL * USA: by Paul Krugman

* New York - Trucking and blue-collar woes: From Reagan to Trump

 --- What with everything else going on, this Trip Gabriel essay on truckers hasn’t gotten as much attention as it should. But it’s awesome — and says a lot about what is and isn’t behind the decline of blue-collar wages... Trucking used to be a well-paying occupation. Here are wages of transportation and warehousing workers in today’s dollars, which have fallen by a third since the early 1970s:
...  Unfortunately the occupational categories covered by the BLS have changed a bit, and using the data at unionstats we can see that a drastic fall in trucker unionization took place during the 1980s: 38 percent of “heavy truck” drivers covered by unions in 1983, already down to 25 percent by 1991. It’s not quite comparable, but only 13 percent of “drivers/sales workers and truck drivers” were covered last year... In short, this looks very much like a non tradable industry where workers used to have a lot of bargaining power through collective action, and lost it in the great union-busting that took place under Reagan and after... And the great majority of the people whose chance at a middle-class life was destroyed by those political changes probably voted for Trump. Oh well... 
NY, USA - The NYT, by Paul Krugman - May 23, 2017

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UBER FREIGHT * USA: No with autonomous UBER's trucks

* California - Industry observers surprised: Uber Freight was not launched concurrently with a fleet of autonomous trucks

--- Uber Freight launched Thursday without a component many in the transportation industry expected to see: autonomous trucks. Uber’s freight brokerage and autonomous vehicle ventures are separate, and are likely to remain so, a company official said... There are good practical reasons for keeping the two initiatives separate. For one, the retrofit autonomous truck technology envisioned by Uber is still being developed and tested, and is years away from widespread deployment. Secondly, a truckload freight brokerage needs a national footprint, and there’s no national regulatory footprint for autonomous vehicles... This it's Uber Freight’s target. “Automating the process is something that can spread a lot faster and a lot quicker and have an impact on small carriers all over the country,” Berdinis, senior products manager at Uber Freight, said. “We’re doing this now in Texas and we believe it will spread quickly over the next few years. Self-driving trucks have challenges that will take decades to work out... 
(Photo: Uber freight has officially arrived)   --  San Francisco, CAL, USA - JOC, by William Cassidy - 22 May 2017

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CARGO TRANSPORT * Latin America: Analysis / Document

* Panama - Characteristics of land transport, analysis by region

--- In a document entitled “Automotive Cargo Transport (TAC) in Latin America: Logistic Support for Production and Trade”, developed by José Barbero and Pablo Guerrero, and published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) the characteristics of this sector, is outlined and its projections... The report, in general, was carried out from various studies and includes 14 countries, revealing the enormous diversity of the sector. This is verified not only among the different countries, but also within each country in particular... In the Southern Cone, efficiency achieves an average to high level with an average 80,000 kilometers per year. Although international transport is developed and has high levels of efficiency, it is not relevant in comparison to the national TAC... The sector has high-efficiency companies, coupled with numerous small operators, with a growing specialization. In the fleet, however, there are very modern segments and numerous old trucks, with many difficulties for small carriers to renew their fleets... 
City of Panama, Panama - The Bulletin Panama - May 22nd, 2017

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May 23, 2017

TRUCKERS' STORIES * USA: “Professional drivers only”

* Alone on the open road: Truckers feel like ‘Throwaway People’

--- Driving a long-haul tractor-trailer is as commonplace as the items that drivers carry, from blue jeans to blueberries, from toilet paper for Walmart to farm machinery bound for export. There are 1.7 million men and women working as long-haul drivers in the country. Yet truckers — high up in their cabs — are literally out of view for most Americans... At a moment when President Trump has ignited a national discussion of blue-collar labor and even climbed into a truck during a White House event, trucking, which was once among the best-paying such jobs, has become low-wage, grinding, unhealthy work. Turnover at large for-hire fleets hauling freight by the truckload — the backbone of the industry — runs an astonishing 80 percent a year, according to a trade group. Looming over the horizon is a future in which self-driving trucks threaten to eliminate many drivers’ livelihoods... 
NY, USA - The NY Times, by TRIP GABRIEL - MAY 22, 2017

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VOLVO's AUTONOMOUS TRUCK * Sweden

* Stockholm - Volvo shows off self-driving garbage trucks

  (Video from Volvo Trucks - May 16, 2017: Watch the self-driving refuse truck! Volvo Trucks and the Swedish waste management company Renova are testing how autonomous trucks can contribute to a safer, more efficient refuse handling and a better working environment) 

--- Autonomous garbo truck claimed to be far safer and a more efficient way of collecting waste in urban areas... Swedish truck maker, Volvo, has released a video of a new prototype garbage truck that harnesses the autonomous driving tech that has been developed for passenger cars... Using the same sensors and GPS mapping, that Volvo cars come equipped with in its partnership with Uber to develop self-driving cars, the autonomous truck can accurately map out its collection route all by itself... The clever tech sees the truck follow the operative slowly and safely down the road to the next garbage bin collection... Volvo say more development and testing is needed before the self-driving garbage truck enters production and hasn’t announced when it plans to offer the driverless truck for sale... 
 Stockholm, Sweden - Motoring, by John Mahoney - May 22, 2017

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BIG TRUCKS TAX PER MILE ? * USA

* DC - Feds could pay for road improvements by charging big trucks by the mile

--- The massive “18-wheeler” trucks that haul cargo over the country’s roads and highways, the taxes they pay to use roads don’t match the costs they impose... Technology exists to easily and relatively cheaply charge trucks by the mile, varying the charge by the axle weight and the type of road the truck is on. This vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) system is simple. The truck receives a one-way GPS signal to allow it to identify its location, and an onboard computer that’s loaded with price-per-mile data for all roads in America. In addition, trucks would be equipped with wireless axle-weight sensors. These would let the onboard computer calculate an additional surcharge based on pavement damage (a formula that factors the type of road and axle weight). The computer would then remit taxes monthly to the federal highway trust fund and to every state it traveled through... A VMT system like this would have huge advantages over the current taxing system. First, taxes would be more carefully related to true infrastructure costs. Trucks that do more damage to roadways would pay more. This, in turn, would increase transportation efficiency by reducing pavement damage, encouraging trucks to drive fewer trips with fuller loads, or encouraging shippers to use rail if it made more economic sense... 
Washington, DC, USA - The Hill, by ROBERT D. ATKINSON - 22 May 2017

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Maligned U.S. infrastructures * USA: Shows signs of improvement

* DC - Promised to spending to fix they

--- Our nation is at a crossroads. Deteriorating infrastructure is impeding our ability to compete in the thriving global economy, and improvements are necessary to ensure our country is built for the future. While we have made some progress, reversing the trajectory after decades of underinvestment in our infrastructure requires transformative action from Congress, states, infrastructure owners, and the American people... That’s why, every four years, America’s civil engineers provide a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s 16 major infrastructure categories in ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Card. Using a simple A to F school report card format, the Report Card examines current infrastructure conditions and needs, assigning grades and making recommendations to raise them... The Trump administration and congressional Democrats frequently bemoan America’s aging infrastructure and have promised to spending to fix it. Less noisily discussed: The nation is making progress in some key areas of decaying infrastructure... 
(Photo: Trucks and other pipeline-related vehicles have worn down some roadside edges)   --   Washington, DC, USA - The WSJ Business - May 22, 2017

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DRIVING JOBS * USA: DOING IT WITH YOUR OWN PICKUP TRUCK... ...EARN UP TO $61.92 PER HOUR

* BE YOUR OWN BOSS: Earn Money driving your pickup truck, cargo van, or box truck

  (Video from CBS Los Angeles - Aug 31, 2016: An app that recently launched in Los Angeles is hoping to solve the age-old question: "How on Earth do I move that?" Craig Herrera reports) 

 --- Use your pickup truck, cargo van, or box truck and earn up to $61.92 per hour by helping people move, haul, deliver or tow items in your community... Turn your vehicle from a liability that is costing you money every month into an asset that is earning you money every month... You will enjoy the freedom to work when you want, and meet some cool people along the way... 
Los Angeles, CAL, USA - Go Share - 23 May 2017

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TRUCKS FINED * Australia: If avoid the toll-road by running on the surface roads

* NSW - Transurban to get paid if trucks use NorthConnex motorway, and if they don't

--- The private operator of Sydney's NorthConnex motorway below Pennant Hills Road will receive compensation from the government if too few trucks use the tunnel. But the government will not say how many trucks are required to use the NorthConnex tunnel before compensation will be paid, nor how much toll-road company Transurban might receive in compensation... The operator of NorthConnex will be paid compensation if not enough trucks use the 9 kilometre motorway... The fines will help ensure trucks do not use local roads, but will also ensure an income for Transurban, which is contributing the lion's share of funds required to build the $3 billion road... 
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia - The Syden Morning Herald, Jacob Saulwick - MAY 21 2017

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BORDER ADJUSTMENT TAX * USA: Will mean higher costs for consumers

* Texas - Border adjustment tax worries truckers


--- Bringing our tax rates in line with worldwide norms, among other reforms, will help keep and grow American jobs and our economy, and keep freight moving. But a border adjustment tax, or BAT, could serve as a national sales tax on imports, and thus it’s a concern to not only employers and workers but to each and every consumer and family in the U.S. ... Tax reform can and should be paid for by cutting government spending. Proponents of a BAT will argue that the dollar will rise once it’s implemented and increase consumer-spending power. The fear is that this conceptual view ignores the realities of global economics: Even if other nations don’t retaliate against the U.S. for implementing a BAT (highly unlikely), it could still take years for the dollar to appreciate to the level needed to offset a BAT’s impact. Without question, however, is that consumers will suffer the immediate consequences... 
 (Photo: Truck driver Jesse Parks prepares to board a Peterbilt tractor rig in 2014 at Reynold’s Nationwide trucking near China Grove)   --  San Antonio, TXS, USA - My SA, by John D. Esparza - May 21, 2017

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May 21, 2017

DRIVERS' SHORTAGE * USA: Women truckers growing slowly

* New Jersey - More female drayage drivers not enough to reverse driver shortage

--- The opening of the first bathroom solely for female truck drivers in one of the busiest terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey this month has highlighted the growing numbers of women drivers in drayage, which could prove vital to ameliorating the driver shortages plaguing the industry... Although growing in number, women are still a tiny portion of those behind the wheels of the 9,300 trucks registered to go in and out of the Port of New York and New Jersey... However, the number of female truck drivers is growing slowly, even as numerous drayage companies across the Port of New York and New Jersey... The American Trucking Associations last year said the trucking industry as a whole is short about 48,000 drivers, adding that the figure could quadruple in the next decade, and has warned shippers that tightening capacity could bring higher rates. Figures for drayage drivers alone are not available, but the U.S. Department of Labor said women accounted for about 5 percent of all truck drivers in 2015, or 177,000 female driverss... 
(Photo: Martha Andrade, an owner-operator in the Port of New York and New Jersey for BBT Logistics Inc., in Newark, inserts power cables as she hooks her truck up to a trailer)  --  Newark, NJ, USA - JOC, by Hugh R. Morley - Jul 28, 2016

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CLEAN AIR MANDATE * USA: Only 46% Washington's trucks comply with

* Washington - Clear air rules pose Seattle-Tacoma drayage challenge

--- The Northwest Seaport Alliance of Seattle and Tacoma is walking a fine line between meeting its clean-air objectives and ensuring there will be sufficient truck capacity beginning next year, when pre-2007 engine trucks are banned from marine terminals under the port authority’s clean-truck program... Although the harbor drayage community has known about the clean-truck mandate since 2008, the port authority said only 46 percent of the roughly 4,000 trucks that pick up and deliver containers in Seattle and Tacoma are compliant. The deadline kicks in Jan. 1, 2018... Some truckers still believe the Northwest Seaport Alliance, which is the enforcer as well as the founder of the clean-truck program, will delay implementation. The fate awaiting those truckers, many of whom are owner-operators, is uncertain at this time... 
 (Photo: Less than half the trucks serving the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are compliant with clean air rules) -- Seattle, WASH, USA - JOC, by Bill Mongelluzzo - May 19, 2017

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