User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: March 2017
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Mar 22, 2017

CUMMINS & PETERBILT TRUCKS * USA: Near-zero emissions

* Texas - Peterbilt near-zero emissions trucks get California Incentive Approval

--- Regulators have approved a trio of Peterbilt trucks outfitted with a Cummins near-zero emissions natural gas engine for California’s green truck purchase assistance incentive program... Qualified buyers under the state’s Hybrid Vehicle Incentive Program can receive vouchers to offset the price of the 2017 Peterbilt Model 320, the 2017 Model 520 and the 2018 Model 567. All the trucks must have Cummins’ ISL-G engine... Cummins introduced the near-zero engine last year and Peterbilt was one of the first truck makers to add it to its lineup... The incentive will help California-based buyers interested in the natural gas engine’s cleaner emissions defray the additional cost of the advanced technology... 
 Denton, Texas, USA - Trucks.com, by JOHN O'DELL - MARCH 20, 2017

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FORD's ALL ELECTRIC PICKUP TRUCKS * USA: They're coming

* Michigan - A plug-in hybrid Ford F-150 and all-electric commercial trucks are coming as Ford approves new eQVMs

--- Ford announced that it qualified 3 companies making electric powertrains for its chassis through its Electric Qualified Vehicle Modifier (eQVM) program. Its entire lineup of commercial trucks will offer some form of electric powertrains, either hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and even all-electric... One company was even qualified to make a F-150 pickup truck with a plug-in hybrid powertrain... This new eQVM manufacturer, XL Hybrids, would use Ford F-150 chassis to make a plug-in powertrain, which will be a first for Ford’s pickup trucks... XL Hybrids: offering a hybrid electric drive system for Ford Transit, E-350 and E-450 chassis, and F-59 stripped chassis; as well as a plug-in hybrid upfit for the F-150 pickup. Lightning Hybrids: offering a non-electric hydraulic hybrid energy recovery system for the Ford E-350, E-450, F-350, F-450, F-550, F-650, F-750 and F-59 chassis... 
 Dearborn, MICH, USA - Electrek, by Fred Lambert - Mar. 20th 2017

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TRUCKS' PROTECTIVE SIDEGUARDS * Australia

* Victoria - Sideguards for Metro tunnel trucks in bid to save cyclists' lives

--- Trucks carting millions of cubic metres of spoil out of the inner city as the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel is dug will be fitted with protective sideguards designed to reduce the risk of cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians getting killed... The protective bars, called side underrun protection rails, stop a person from being dragged beneath a truck's wheels in a collision, instead knocking them out of the truck's path... There is no requirement for heavy vehicle operators to fit them in Australia, although industry body the Australian Trucking Association promotes their use... 
(Photo by Glenn Hunt: Trucks working on the Metro tunnel project will have side-guards to prevent cyclists being run over)   --  Melbourne, VIC, Australia - The Age, by Adam Carey - MARCH 21 2017

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POLLUTION & LNG TRUCKS * USA: Truckers skeptical about

* California - How local ports reduced pollution but lost trust among truck drivers along the way

--- Richard Newell is a used truck dealer in Fontana who has a couple of trucks in the Perris sale. But one of them won’t be sold this day because he can’t get it to start – a requirement of the auction house. The truck is powered by liquefied natural gas, or LNG... For Newell, dealing with these trucks has been “probably the worst experience I’ve ever had with a truck in my life.” They don’t start. They run of out fuel. They have sensor problems. Gas tank problems. He’s in the business of selling used trucks, and he can’t sell these trucks, except at auctions for rock bottom prices... Worse, the LNG trucks were barely powerful enough to haul loaded containers from the ports – which is the exact job they were supposed to do. Johring said he got calls from miserable drivers, complaining that the truck slowed to 25 mph at the slightest grade, even when other trucks were going 55 mph... They ended up at the auction in Perris, with so many other unwanted LNGs. In fact, LNGs now move 70 percent less cargo at the ports than they did in 2012... On the day KPCC visited the auction in December, two LNGs sold for $19,000 each – just 12 percent of what they were worth five years ago. And four of the seven on offer never made it to the auction block, either because they wouldn't start or because of other problems... Now, he buys them used from unhappy people at rock bottom prices -- $10,000 or less. He said he only uses them to haul empty containers over short distances... But as of right now, there is no engine on the market that both meets the new standard and is powerful enough to haul loaded containers from the ports. That makes truckers like Fred Johring skeptical... 
(Photo by MAYA SUGARMAN/KPCC - Peterbilt 384 liquefied natural gas trucks are in line to be auctioned off at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers in Perris, Calif. on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. Nine years ago, the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports began paying truck drivers to scrap their old, polluting rigs and replace them with cleaner ones like this model) --  Fontana, CAL, USA - SCPR.org, by Emily Guerin - March 13 2017

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Mar 21, 2017

VW Truck & Bus * Germany: Profit up

* Munich - Strong Europe, China sales, improvement in Brazil

--- Volkswagen AG’s truck and bus division expects a boost in profit this year on the back of stronger sales in Europe and China as well as a slight recovery in Brazil, company officials said Monday... The company also unveiled plans to offer a service for its customers and other partners which can digitally connect vehicles... Company plans to offer service connecting trucks to customers remotely digitally, creating ‘eco-system for trucks’ ... Volkswagen Truck & Bus just ended its first year as a standalone company, grouping Volkswagen’s utility vehicles operations and truck makers Scania and MAN. In its first year, the truck division generated €1.3 billion ($1.39 billion) in pretax profit, an increase of 27% from the previous year. Revenue rose 4% to €21.3 billion from sales of around 184,000 vehicles... 
(PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS: A Volkswagen-operated truck factory in Munich, Germany) -- Munich, Germany - The WSJ, by WILLIAM BOSTON - March 20, 2017

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The new Volkswagen Crafter * Germany: 50,000 km, zero faults

* Wolfsburg - New Crafter completes epic journey

--- During the past four months, the all-new Volkswagen Crafter has completed the ultimate quality check, taking a journey four times the length off the entire German motorway network. The mission: to visit exceptional craftsmen from the Arctic Circle to Morocco and from Iceland to Moscow. The result: over 50,000 km, 31 countries, 30 craftsmen and zero faults... The journey began last November and finished this week, as the vehicle goes on sale, in Hanover... Along the route, the Crafter visited extraordinary craftsmen who judged how practical, innovative and economical was, and how it would fit with their business...
Wofsburg, Germany - Transport Parts, by Padraic Deane - March 20, 2017

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For only a Comma * USA: TRUCK DRIVERS' LAWSUIT COULD COST MILLIONS to Oakhurst Dairy

* Maine - Lack of Oxford Comma could cost Maine Company millions in overtime dispute


--- A class-action lawsuit about overtime pay for truck drivers hinged entirely on a debate that has bitterly divided friends, families and foes: The dreaded — or totally necessary — Oxford comma, perhaps the most polarizing of punctuation marks... What ensued in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and in a 29-page court decision handed down on Monday, was an exercise in high-stakes grammar pedantry that could cost a dairy company in Portland, Me., an estimated $10 million... In 2014, three truck drivers sued Oakhurst Dairy, seeking more than four years’ worth of overtime pay that they had been denied. Maine law requires workers to be paid 1.5 times their normal rate for each hour worked after 40 hours, but it carves out some exemptions... A quick punctuation lesson before we proceed: In a list of three or more items — like “beans, potatoes and rice” — some people would put a comma after potatoes, and some would leave it out. A lot of people feel very, very strongly about it... 
The debate over commas. in the following state law, which says overtime rules do not apply to: 

"The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: 
 (1) Agricultural produce; 
 (2) Meat and fish products; and 
 (3) Perishable foods." 

Does the law intend to exempt the distribution of the three categories that follow, or does it mean to exempt packing for the shipping or distribution of them? ... Oakhurst president, John H. Bennett, said: “In this situation, it did create an ambiguity, which means you have to either add a comma or rewrite the sentence”... 
(Photo Credit, by Pat Wellenbach/Associated Press - Oakhurst Dairy trucks lining up in Portland, Me., in 2006)   --  Portland, Me, USA - THE NYT, by DANIEL VICTOR - MARCH 16, 2017

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World’s first all-electric heavy duty truck * Germany: By Mercedes-Benz

* Stuttgart - Mercedes-Benz eTruck trials begin

--- The world’s first all-electric heavy duty truck is set to go into limited production later this year, with trials taking place in the German market before being rolled out to cities across Europe... The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck was first shown at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover last September, and the brand’s parent company, Daimler, has committed to putting it into small scale production, with a build number initially in double figures... The Urban eTruck has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 25 tonnes and is claimed to have a range of up to 200 miles depending on load and operational conditions... With a payload of 12.8 tonnes, the Urban eTrucks will be deployed in real-life transport situations, with Daimler aiming to get customer feedback and measure how the eTruck performs in a true working environment. Charging times, battery life, range and system configurations will all be closely managed and observed... 
Stuttgart, Germany -  Transport Parts (Ireland), by Padraic Deane - March 6, 2017

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Mar 18, 2017

PEUGEOT / CITROEN buys OPEL / VAUXHALL * France

* Paris - PSA Group (Peugeot Citroen) buys Opel / Vauxhall

--- PSA Group (Peugeot Citroen) has taken over Opel/ Vauxhall. With the new addition, which generated revenue of €17.7 billion in 2016, PSA will become the second-largest automotive company in Europe, with close to a 17 per cent market share... General Motors Co. and PSA Group today announced an agreement under which GM’s Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial’s European operations will join the PSA Group in a transaction valuing these activities at €1.32 billion( €650m in cash and €670m in PSA share warrants) and €0.9 billion, respectively. PSA and BNP Paribas have agreed to jointly acquire Opel/ Vauxhall’s captive financing activities and have entered into a long-term strategic partnership around the Opel and Vauxhall brands... PSA Group expects his strong and balanced presence in its home markets will serve as the basis of profitable growth worldwide. It has vowed to return Opel and its British Vauxhall brand to profit... 
Paris, France - Transport Parts, by Padraic Deane - March 6, 2017

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Ford's with SIDE WIND STABILISATION * UK:

* England - Ford Transits get side wind stabilisation as standard

--- Ford has confirmed that all Transits will be fitted with a feature known as Side Wind Stabilisation as standard... Side Wind Stabilisation is a Ford-developed advanced feature that works by carefully applying the brakes on one side of the vehicle to reduce the effect of a side wind gust on the vehicle’s path... At vehicle speeds over 50mph, the Side Wind Stabilisation system monitors stability sensors 100 times per second. If a sudden gust is detected, the feature can become active within less than 200 milliseconds – the time it takes a sprinter to react to a starting pistol... The Side Wind Stabilisation technology is offered as a standard feature on Ford’s latest Transit and Transit Custom models that feature the Ford EcoBlue diesel engine, which will be on display at the CV Show in Birmingham. April 25-27... 
Brentwood, Essex, UK - Transport Parts (Ireland), by Padraic Deane - March 6, 2017

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RENAULT's CNG TRUCKS * France

* Lyon - Renault Trucks shows CNG capability

--- French truck maker, Renault, is the latest to demonstrate its faith in CNG as a fuel of the immediate future, by showing off its Range D line-up of gas-powered vehicles at the International Transport and Logistics Week trade show (SITL) in Paris, which takes place on March 14-16... A 19-tonne Range D Wide CNG, wearing the livery of French haulier STAF, will be on display on the French Natural Gas Vehicles Association (AFGNV) stand at the show. The truck is fitted with a new generation Euro-6 Step C-compliant 8.9-litre engine with horizontal exhaust... 
(Photo: A Renault Trucks shows CNG capability) -- Saint-Priest, Lyon, Francia - Transport Parts, by John Loughran - March 6, 2017

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DRIVERLESS TRUCKS * USA: Chipmakers & Truckmakers all togethers

* California - Chipmaker Nvidia says working with Paccar on driverless trucks


---  U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp said on Thursday it was working with truckmaker Paccar Inc to develop autonomous vehicles... Paccar, which manufactures the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF lines of trucks, has developed a proof-of-concept self-driving truck using Nvidia's technology, the chipmaker said in a blog post... Nvidia, known for making graphics chips for the high-end gaming computers, has been focusing on self-driving systems and makes the DRIVE PX 2 self-driving system used by Tesla Inc... Intel Corp, the world's largest computer chipmaker, also jumped into the fray when it agreed on Monday to buy Israeli autonomous vehicle technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion...
(REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/File Photo - The logo of technology company Nvidia is seen at its headquarters in Santa Clara, California February 11, 2015) -- Santa Clara, CAL, USA - Reuters, by Supantha Mukherjee (Bengaluru) & Savio D'Souza - 16 Mar 2017

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DENNISON TRAILERS * UK: 50,000th milestone

* Lancaster - Dennison Trailers celebrates with one-off gold trailer

--- Dennison Trailers has created a special one-off gold trailer to celebrate production of its 50,000th unit since the company was formed, and added extra sparkle with Xbrite+ forged aluminium wheels... Number 50,000, a Slope Frame ISO Tank trailer ideal for the transportation of hazardous liquids, is one of 34 trailers that will be supplied in a new deal with Suttons International, an innovative logistics and supply chain company that has a global presence and a major name in the haulage industry... As well as its aesthetics and easy-clean properties, the ultimate advantages of operating with Xbrite+ forged aluminium wheels includes extra payloads, reduced diesel usage, decreased CO² emissions and less wear on surrounding parts, including expensive components such as tyres and brakes... 
Lancaster, UK - Transport Parts, by John Loughran - March 6, 2017

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AMAZON: NEW PLAYER in Transport & Logistic Worldwide * USA

* Washington - Amazon plans Air Cargo Service for Chinese customers


--- Amazon.com Inc. has developed a business to handle shipments for its sellers by land and by sea -- and soon by air... The Seattle-based retail giant is planning to offer its sellers in China the ability to fly their goods internationally as air cargo, according to an Amazon Logistics site... The move is an expansion of Amazon's growing business as a global freight forwarder and third-party logistics company, putting it more directly in competition with companies like United Parcel Service Inc. and Deutsche Post AG's DHL. In recent months, Amazon began handling the shipment of goods by ocean to its U.S. warehouses from Chinese merchants selling on its site, taking on a role it had previously left to global freight-transportation companies...
(Photo: Amazon's Prime Air Cargo Jets Set to Take Off)  --   Seattle, WASH, USA - The Morning Star, by Laura Stevens and Erica E. Phillips - 15 March 2017

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UPS's NATURAL GAS TRUCKS * USA: Alternative fuels for

* Georgia - UPS to invest another $90m in natural gas fleet and their infrastructure 

--- The Atlanta-based parcel giant will build an additional six compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, and add 390 new CNG tractors and terminal trucks, along with 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles to its alternative fuel fleet... UPS Inc. is investing another $90 million in vehicles that run on natural gas and the infrastructure to support them, the company said in a statement... The six new CNG stations will be built in Ontario, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Salina, Kan.; Louisville, Ky.; Greensboro, N.C; and Vancouver, B.C. ... UPS also purchased 50 additional LNG vehicles that were deployed in Indianapolis; Chicago; Earth City, Mo.; and Nashville, Tenn., where UPS has existing LNG stations... 
(Photo source, by Lukassek / Shutterstock: United Parcel Service emblem printed on a truck) -- Atlanta, GA, USA - Americqan Shiper, by BEN MEYER - MARCH 15, 2017

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PARTNERSHIP: Tata Motors-Volkswagen/Skoda * India

* Tamil Nadu - Will Tata Motors-Volkswagen pact be more effective ?

--- Domestically Tata Motors sales have not been in top gear and globally Volkswagen is in trouble in developed markets over the emissions scandal, making it much more important for the German brand to strike it rich in high-growth emerging markets, say auto industry experts... Will the Tata Motors-Volkswagen/Skoda partnership yield any identifiable results for the two partners? From the positioning of the CEOs on both sides it is clear what each company wants — Tata Motors is looking for nextgen technology, Volkswagen is looking to crack the emerging markets riddle... VW and group company Skoda have not had a great run in India, despite their obviously well-engineered cars. The positive news is Tata Motors is good at keeping relationships alive (Fiat and Daimler are good examples). The bad news — that alone may not make for a financially successful alliance...
Chennai, India - The Economic Times (India), by Nandini Sen Gupta - March 13, 2017

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TRUCK MIRRORS * Europe: Replaced by camera monitoring system

* The Netherlands - CornerEye can now replace mirrors

--- The CornerEye camera surveillance has been approved under the R46 EC directive on backlighting. It can thus replace the mirrors (front and side views) of Classes V and VI in their entirety and thus be adopted by the manufacturers, when surveillance systems and cameras were previously authorized only on trucks equipped with one of Retro, or even both... CornerEye Corlaco combines a high-definition wide-angle camera (field of view: 270 °) mounted on the front right side of the cab and a 10.1- inch monitor integrated in the passenger compartment displaying a real-time image... The device also claims an improvement in the aerodynamics of vehicles (reduction in drag, thus in consumption) and in safety, leading to reduction of insurance premiums and amounts of potential damage... 
(Photo credit, by DR: CornerEye combines a high-definition wide-angle camera -field of view: 270 °- mounted on the front right side of the cab and a 10.1-inch integrated passenger-side cabin display with real-time picture) -- Barneveld, Netherlands - ACTU Logistique et Transport (France), by FRANCK BEAUVILLAIN - 6 March 2017

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TRUCKERS' REVOLT * France - On Martinique Island

* Martinique - Revolt rumbles among road hauliers

-- Inapplicable provisions concerning driving time and rest periods, freight prices in free fall and threshold of high gasoline tax exemption: the subjects of grogne multiplied for the carriers of Martinique. These have been raising the pressure with the local authorities for several days. The  carriers of Martinique are mobilizing. Some fifty vehicles blocked the CTM (Territorial Collectivity of Martinique) Wednesday, February 15. The cause of the sling? The strict application of European regulations on driving and rest periods... "It is not viable in this region because there are no car parks along the roads. Drivers are therefore forced to find impossible solutions on acceleration lanes, service stations or Customers, where they are being forced back, "said Catherine Pons, vice-president of UNOSTRA... Brussels, in the interests of finding a solution, had indeed granted a derogation which could concern Caribbean carriers by excluding from the scope of the regulation territories of less than 2300 km2 ... 
Martinique Island, France  --  ACTU Logistique et Transport (France), by SLIMANE BOUKEZZOULA - Updated 13 March 2017

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MINIMUM WAVE FOR TRUCKERS * Europe: East tucking cos. denounce protectionism

* Belgium - 58 European parliamentarians to make this double claim

--- A few days after the launch of the Road Alliance, an initiative that brings together nine European countries determined to harmonize regulations and improve control practices in road transport, the Eastern countries have reacted... The counter-offensive was not long in coming. At the initiative of Slovak, Bulgarian and Latvian parliamentarians, members of the European Conservative and Reformist Group (ECR), an open letter was sent in mid-February to the Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc... "The fight against so-called social dumping is nothing more than an act of protectionism that hinders the single market and reduces competition," said Latvian MEP Roberts Zile, vice president of the ECR group and member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism. The letter also attacks the application of the SMIC (minimum wave) to foreign road hauliers, established in France and Germany... On the other hand, another claim seems more audible: parliamentarians ask the Commission to put an end to the legal uncertainty about the legality of the application of the minimum wage... "The Commission has not yet taken a decision two years after initiating infringement proceedings against Germany... In the absence of a decision, a similar approach to more protectionism has now been adopted by Austria," the parliamentarians regret... 
(Photo: Truck drivers, who transport in Western Europe produce of Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea live for several months at a time and are paid less than a third of what their local peers earn)   --   Brussels, Belgium - Actu Transport-Logistique (France), by ANNE KERRIOU - 27 Feb 2017

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AIR POLLUTION * Europe: Final warning to five countries

* Belgium - Brussels threatens France and four neighboring states

--- The European Commission sends a final warning to five countries, including France. They have until April 15 to act against air pollution with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) or face financial penalties... On February 15 , the European Commission issued a final warning to France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom for failing to comply with air pollution standards for dioxide, Nitrogen (NO2). If Brussels goes to the niche, it is to denounce more than 400 000 deaths throughout the European Union due to poor air quality. This causes respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in millions of Europeans... If the five Member States concerned do not act before 15 April, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the EU Court of Justice... It is not necessary to forget that NO2 is generated at 60 % by diesel engines in the first half of the year. This share can reach up to 80 % in cities, along roads and in the Alpine transit valleys such as the Arve valley... 
 (Photo: European Commission headquarters)   --   Brussels, Belgium - ACTU Transport et Logistique, by LOUIS GUARINO - 17 March 2017

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Mar 16, 2017

USP & TNT Merger * Europe - Court says the European Commission infringed on UPS’s right of defense

* Belgium - Merger in 2013 on procedural missteps

--- The European Union’s second-highest court on Tuesday annulled a 2013 decision by the bloc’s antitrust watchdog to block United Parcel Service Inc.’s $7 billion bid for Dutch parcel-delivery company TNT Express NV on the basis of procedural missteps by the regulator... The general court of the EU said the European Commission had made “non-negligible changes” to the economic analyses previously discussed with UPS but didn’t... American UPS agreed to buy Dutch delivery group TNT Express for €5bn in 2012. After an in-depth probe, then-Competition Commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, blocked the merger in January 2013, citing concerns the deal would have ‘drastically reduced choice’ and likely increase prices for small-parcel delivery in the EU... But the General Court of the EU has now found that the European Commission “infringed UPS’ rights of defence” by basing its final decision on an econometric analysis that had changed from the one discussed with UPS during the process... It is unusual for the bloc's top courts to overturn decisions by the bloc's executive, the European Commission. However, in antitrust cases, the court generally overturns commission decisions primarily on the basis of procedural irregularities... 
(Photo)  --  Brussels, Belgium - The Financial Times (UK), by NATALIA DROZDIAK - March 7, 2017

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UBER'S DRIVERS * USA: UNIONIZEDS ... ?

* Washington - Uber gears up to block bid to form a Union in Seattle

... Uber is squaring up for a long fight in Seattle to block the nation’s first real unionization effort for app-based drivers, pitting it against the Teamsters labor union and Seattle’s city council. Uber says a union threatens the freedom of its drivers to work as much or as little as they wish and, moreover, isn't something its drivers want... The Seattle tussle is the latest challenge to Uber’s independent contractor model, which pushes expenses such as fuel, vehicle maintenance and insurance on to the drivers, in exchange for the promise of a steady stream of riders and a flexible work schedule. The model is a chief reason for Uber’s $68 billion valuation, though the company has faced a near-constant stream of lawsuits challenging the classification as nonemployees... A Seattle ordinance passed in 2015 took effect in January giving drivers the right to vote to organize, meaning some 10,000 Uber contractors could win the right to negotiate fares and benefits... Uber sued Seattle in January to block the ordinance, taking issue with rules dictating which drivers could vote to join a union... Uber have withstood pressure to treat their contract workers as employees, thereby avoiding payment of full benefits or compensation for expenses like gasoline... 
(Photo: Ride-hailing firm sends podcasts and messages through app to persuade drivers to remain as ‘partners’)   --  Seattle, WASH, USA - The Wall Street Journal/Teamsters, by GREG BENSINGER - MARCH 13, 2017

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Mar 14, 2017

TRUCKERS VICTIMS * USA: Of workplace retaliation

* DC - NLRB reviews wave of truck driver workplace retaliation claims

--- Truckers have asked the National Labor Relations Board to intervene in a string of cases in which the drivers say they have become victims of workplace retaliation, including termination, as they pushed for collective bargaining and better working conditions... The truck drivers allege that employers use tactics such as withholding jobs or triggering calculated dispatch delays that leave truckers waiting for hours at loading docks for work. The drivers claim the lack of loads given to them are not enough loads necessary to make a living or pay expenses owed on leased trucks... The NLRB, an independent federal agency charged with enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, which protects the rights of private-sector employees, has interceded in some of the cases... Last month, NLRB Administrative Law Judge Benjamin W. Green ordered Dawn Trucking of Saint Albans, N.Y., to reinstate and provide back pay to six truck drivers who were fired one day after voting to unionize in 2015... The judge ruled that dump truck company owner Henry Burey stopped assigning work to the drivers after they voted 6-0 to join a union. Burey later contacted the drivers about rehiring them as long as they rejected the union, which they refused, according to the NLRB judge’s ruling... Oftentimes, owners threaten to close the company rather than have union representation, she said... Another tactic companies use to prevent drivers from organizing is a promise to pay them benefits as long as they vote no to join a union, Gutman Dickinson said...
(Photo by Barbara Maynard/Trucks.com - Humberto Canales, one of the truck drivers for XPO Cartage)   --  Washington, DC, USA - Trucks.com, by CLARISSA HAWES - MARCH 7, 2017

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TRUCKERS' REST * USA: SAFETY RULES NATIONWIDE REQUESTEDS

* Virginia - Driver rest break fix would ensure uniform safety rules nationwide


--- American Trucking Associations leaders called on Congress to reject efforts by organized labor and trial attorneys that would impose a patchwork of state scheduling rules on the nation’s foremost movers of goods... Language in the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 made it clear states are not permitted to institute rules governing the trucking industry because Congress wanted the industry to operate under a single, uniform system from coast-to-coast rather than a confusing and inefficient patchwork of state laws. However, some states most notably California, a handful of courts, and aggressive plaintiffs’ attorneys are refusing to faithfully uphold that goal of one country, one set of rules... ATA also chided opponents of this measure for being deceptive in their characterization of the provision’s impacts... 
(Photo by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News: A trucker and it's tiredness) --  Arlington, VIR, USA - Trucking News - March 2, 2017

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TRUCKERS CANNOT BE ON PERPETUAL DUTY * India

* Delhi - Logistics firms try to make ride smoother for drivers


--- Logistics companies have started designing systems to ensure that their drivers are well rested even as the vehicles keep moving... Logistics start-up GoBOLT, for instance, has detached the truck and driver through a double driver and driver relay system... A truck, if maintained well, can run 24 hours. But a driver cannot be on perpetual duty... Driver relay systems are different. A Delhi-Ahmedabad route, for instance, is broken into Delhi-Jaipur and Jaipur-Ahmedabad, with different drivers for the two phases... The driver who gets off at Jaipur takes another truck back to Delhi, so that he is back home the same night, said Sharma, adding this is much like flying hours for pilots... SP Singh, Senior Fellow of the Indian Foundation for Transport Research and Training, said the concept of relay drivers would require a lot of cargo and the challenge would be to ensure sustainability... However, the overwhelming majority of trucks do not adhere to this condition as they look to cut costs for their end-customers in the highly unorganised and competitive industry, he pointed out... 
(Photo: Truck operators are increasingly going for the double and relay driver models to ensure driver welfare and speedy coverage)   --   NEW DELHI, India - The Hindu Business Lines, by MAMUNI DAS - March 12, 2017

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TRUCKER SHORTAGE ? * USA: Who’s to blame for ?

* Pennsylvania - Industry relies on inexperienced drivers and contractors who get saddled with debt, high expenses

... In 2015, American Trucking Associations estimated that for-hire trucking companies had nearly 50,000 fewer drivers than they needed. The shortage was less severe in 2016, but the trade group expects it to worsen in coming years... Steve Viscelli, a sociologist and fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Robert A. Fox Leadership Program, says the shortage is the product of an industry labor model that relies heavily on inexperienced drivers and independent contractors... Mr. Viscelli, who worked as a truck driver for several months while researching his 2016 book, “The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream,” says upward of 25% of long-haul truck drivers are independent contractors, also known as owner-operators. They are attracted by promises of being their own bosses, but the arrangement often saddles them with unsustainable debt and high expenses, he adds... Drivers typically receive training from big trucking companies or schools affiliated with them. Those who become independent contractors sign lease-to-own deals to purchase their vehicles, often with those same companies. But the terms are onerous, and drivers owe so much that they may end up working 70 or 80 hours a week just to pay back what they owe and cover expenses such as fuel and insurance. Drivers are suing some companies that use this model, saying they should be classified as employees rather than contractors... Even those working as employees have a hard time making ends meet, partly because they are only paid for the miles they drive, not time waiting to load and unload their rigs or sitting in traffic. Mr. Viscelli recounts a 16-hour day spent crawling through traffic in the New York area, only to get stuck at a New Jersey rail yard for the night. That day he drove 215 miles and earned $56... The industry could fix its labor shortage, Mr. Viscelli says, by raising pay enough to compensate for the hardships of the job or improving the terms for independent contractors. In 2015, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers earned a median wage of $40,260, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mr. Viscelli says that number masks the reality that most drivers work far more than 40 hours a week to get to that income... The result of these conditions? Drivers burn out quickly and quit... 
Philadelphia, PENN, USA - Teamsters/The WSJ, by Lauren Weber - MARCH 8, 2017

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STARSKY ROBOTICS * USA: Remote-controlled trucks

* California - Human-less trucks are here

--- The idea for remote-controlled robots that drive trucks came to Stefan Seltz-Axmacher. Now the 27-year-old co-founder of Starsky Robotics is heading one of a handful of startups looking at upending the long-haul trucking industry... The 15-employee company already has raised $3.75 million, but unlike other startups such as the Uber-owned Otto that seek to eschew truck drivers completely, San Francisco-based Starsky Robotics wants humans steering big rigs, just not from behind the wheel... Starsky outfits trucks with an add-on system that uses computers, radar and software to allow the vehicle to run autonomously on the highway, where there is much more predictability than on the streets. Then, once the big rig exits on to city streets, the remotely controlled robots take over... Last month, the company equipped a Freightliner and hauled 5,000 pounds of freight from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. For 120 miles the truck ran humanless and then an additional 20 miles via remote control... 
(Photo: A self-driving truck)   --  San Francisco, CAL, USA - The Whittier Daily News, by Rachel Uranga - 8 March 2017

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MACK'S "Granite" model * USA: The best selling Class 8 truck

* North Carolina - Mack’s Granite model tops in straight-truck registrations


--- Mack Trucks' Granite model is the best-selling heavy-duty conventional straight truck in the United States, based on registrations of new commercial vehicles in 2016, according to the manufacturer... Mack cited IHS Markit’s tally of U.S. Class 8 VIN-defined conventional straight-truck new vehicle registrations for 10 liters and larger engines, January-December 2016... The truck is available in axle forward or axle back configurations and can be spec’d for dump and concrete mixer applications or in the refuse segment as a rear-loader or roll off, for plow applications at municipalities and for heavy-haul or logging applications, the Greensboro, North Carolina, company said... Mack is a unit of Sweden-based Volvo Group...
(Photo: Every Mack truck built for the North American market gets its start at the company’s cab and vehicle assembly plant in Macungie, Pa.)   --  Greensboro, NC, USA - Transport Topics - 10 March 2017

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TRUCKS PLATOONING * USA: Demonsgtration in California's Freeway

* California - Caltrans, Volvo test truck platooning on busy Los Angeles Freeway



--- The convoy of three Volvo semi-trucks zipping along Southern California’s busy 110 Freeway hauling cargo containers looked like other big rigs that ply that busy stretch of highway daily — except that they were only 50 feet apart and there were robots controlling the pedals in two of the vehicles... The journey Wednesday was a joint demonstration of truck platoon technology by the California Department of Transportation, local agencies, Volvo Group of North America and U.C. Berkeley... So-called platoon technology allows tightly contained, digitally connected packs of two to five trucks to drive in formation to reduce wind resistance and increase fuel efficiency. The pack can be controlled by a “captain” in the cab of the front vehicle, with the rest following with their own drivers or eventually, autonomously... In this test, a driver controlled the first truck while drivers in the second two sat back and let computers and sensors control the speed and separation of their vehicles... Engineers at Volvo and California PATH said that their platooning technology is an automated feature that can be disengaged. And since driver input is needed, platooning does not make the truck an autonomous vehicle... But if platooning does evolve to incorporate driverless trucking, companies may seize the opportunity to safely move more freight with fewer drivers, said James Hedlund, a safety consultant and former associate administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration...
Los Angeles, CAL, USA - Trucks.com, by RYAN ZUMMALLEN - MARCH 8, 2017

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BYD's ELECTRIC TRUCKS * USA: Drayage trucks demostration

* California - Grant helps buy 27 $300,000 trucks; find out what they do


--- Local logistics companies took delivery this week on four zero-emission electric yard and service trucks as part of efforts to reduce air pollution in Southern California... The four are the first of 27 from BYD Heavy Industries that will be divided among two companies. The trucks are meant to stay on site and not travel the public roadways... BNSF Railway and Daylight Transport warehouse logistics companies have traditionally used diesel trucks to move goods internally on their properties. Regional and business leaders and air quality officials hope the increasing use of electric trucks in the future will cut down on truck exhaust, which is a leading cause of air pollution in the Inland Empire... On Friday, Daylight Transport, which is opening its first Inland Empire warehouse in Fontana on March 20, welcomed four electric trucks manufactured by China-headquartered BYD. The company has a manufacturing plant in Lancaster. The occasion was marked by an event organized by the state of California, the San Bernardino Council of Governments and the two logistics companies... 
(PHOTO BY SARAH ALVARADO - Brian Rippie, Sales Director of Forklifts for BYD Heavy Industries, shows Art Bocek with Daylight Transport, details about the electric forklift. Four battery-electric yard and service BYD trucks delivered to Daylight Transport freight-handling service center in Fontana Friday) -- Fontana, CAL, USA - The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, by Neil Nisperos - 10 March 2017

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Mar 13, 2017

CHEVROLET's * USA: Introducing new medium-duty truck

* Michigan - Chevrolet announces new medium-duty commercial truck

--- Chevrolet announced Friday that it is adding a new low cab forward medium-duty commercial truck that is expected to be available by the end of the year... The company will introduce its new offering at the NTEA Work Truck Show next week in Indianapolis... Standard equipment on the 2018 Chevrolet 6500XD includes a 5.2-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that delivers 520 pound-feet of torque. The trucks also feature an Allison 2500 Series six-speed automatic transmission, Dana axles and a straight-rail frame... The medium-duty truck has a maximum GVWR of 25,950 pounds. Its front and rear ratings are 12,000 pounds and 19,000 pounds, respectively. The truck features eight wheelbases and bodies up to 30-feet long, which are available on these Class 6 trucks... 
(Photo: Chevrolet: 2018 Chevrolet Low Cab)   --  Detroit, MIH, USA - Trucks.com, by CLARISSA HAWES - MARCH 10, 2017

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TRAILER SALES * USA: Melton Truck Lines

* Oklahoma - Melton Truck Lines adding 200 stepdeck trailers

--- Melton Truck Lines Flatbed carrier Melton Truck Lines Inc. is adding 200 53-foot stepdeck trailers to its fleet to meet a broader range of customer needs, according to the company... All 200 trailers will be integrated into its fleet within the next 60 days, Melton said in March... The all-aluminum trailers are able to carry a 48,000-pound payload, Melton said. They have sliding tandem axles and are designed to travel all of the United States, including California, plus Canada and Mexico... 
(Photo)   --  Tulsa, OK, USA - Transport Topics - 10 March 2017

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TRUCKERS 34-hour restart provision * USA: It's history

* DC - More restrictive restart provision appears to be history

--- The so-called July 1, 2013, 34-hour restart provision that required two consecutive overnight periods and could be used only once a week is history... Less than one week after the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General sent a letter to the DOT and several members of Congress saying that based on a Congressionally-mandated study the 2013 rule did not explicitly identify a net benefit from the use of the two suspended provisions of the restart rule on driver operations, safety, fatigue and health, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration passed on the report to Congress... The pre-July 1, 2013, rule, which now becomes the permanent rule, allowed unlimited use of the restart and does not require the two consecutive overnight periods... 
(Photo courtesy: OMNITRACS - The pre-July 1, 2013, rule, which now becomes the permanent rule, allowed unlimited use of the restart and does not require the two consecutive overnight periods)   --   Washington, DC, USA - The Trucker, by LYNDON FINNEY - March 9, 2017

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COURIERS' WAR * USA

* DC - How reforms could turn U.S. Postal Service into threat for UPS and FedEx

--- The chronically beleaguered U.S. Postal Service may be headed for a refresh, courtesy of major reforms proposed in Congress... But UPS and FedEx might not like the reformed agency that will ultimately emerge from the process... A Morgan Stanley report this month suggests that a streamlined, flexible USPS could pose a threat to the two private logistics behemoths, particularly in e-commerce delivery services... David G. Ross, an analyst with Stifel Financial Corp., is skeptical that such government efforts will significantly shake up the industry pecking order. USPS leads the business-to-consumer delivery market by a wide margin, often partnering with FedEx SmartPost and UPS SurePost. Meanwhile, FedEx and UPS hold the advantage in sortation and last-mile delivery, he said... FedEx and UPS also invest billions of dollars annually into new, expanded and automated facilities that can accommodate growing demand for e-commerce delivery, Ross said. The companies also pour funds into improvements to their delivery services, networks and customer service... 
(Photo: Flickr - A USPS postal delivery van parked in Colorado)   -- Washington, DC, USA - Trucks.com, by TIFFANY HSU - March 6, 2017

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TRUCKING ADDED 10,600 jobs in February * USA

* DC - Trucking industry boosts payrolls by 10,600 in February

--- For-hire trucking added 10,600 jobs in February, while overall payrolls increased by 235,000, the Labor Department reported March 10... Transportation and warehousing, which includes trucking, added 8,800 positions. The warehousing and storage sector lost 1,500 positions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported... The increase in February payrolls followed a 238,000 rise in January. The unemployment rate fell to 4.7%, and wages grew 2.8% from February 2016, Bloomberg News reported... Support activities for transportation lost 600 jobs, and the couriers and messengers sector lost 900 positions, according to BLS...
(Photo: Driver chains-snow odot)   --  Washington, DC, USA - Transport Topics - 10 March 2017

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