Braking It Down

| September 29, 2009

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2010 Truck Forecast Reduced – Staff Reports

Amid increasing signs that recovery in the freight markets will be slow, FTR Associates has reduced its projection for 2010 North American production of Class 8 trucks by 12 percent. The reduction comes even as the market continues to stabilize and the outlook for 2009 remains unchanged.

“It will take a substantial improvement in freight demand to soak up the current significant fleet equipment surplus,” says Eric Starks, FTR president. “At the moment, demand for truck freight transport is still declining and is projected to bottom out in the fourth quarter. In our view, improvement sufficient to drive new equipment purchases will not occur until 2011.”

FTR Associates’ U.S. Freight Model collects and analyzes all data likely to impact freight movement and is based on specific characteristics for more than 200 commodity groups. The Nashville, Ind.-based company’s forecast reports cover trucking and rail transportation and include demand analysis for commercial vehicles as well as railcars. Specially designed reports are offered to participants in both industries to cover specific needs.

Peterbilt Marks 70th Anniversary – BY Max Heine

Seventy years ago T.A. Peterman, having started producing trucks to meet the needs of his lumber business in Tacoma, Wash., began to sell his trucks to the public. That venture grew into Peterbilt Motors, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.

In its seven decades, Peterbilt has produced almost 700,000 trucks, says Peterbilt General Manager Bill Jackson.

“Class pays,” he says, highlighting the “class” theme the company has used for decades. “Since our first truck was produced in 1939, Peterbilt has become one of the most widely recognized and respected brands in the world – a universal symbol of pride, quality and class.”

There have been nearly 100 model configurations in Peterbilt’s history, according to Larry Reding, assistant general manager of sales and marketing. “From the first logging trucks of the ’30s and revolutionary cabover vehicles in the ’40s, to the birth of an industry icon – the Model 359 in the ’60s – Peterbilts have set the pace. In the ’70s and ’80s, the workhorses that built America were Peterbilt Models 348, 362 and legendary Model 379.”

Starting with the Model 387 in the ’90s, Peterbilt has since launched a series of aerodynamic, fuel-efficient trucks. Such improvements in productivity and payload maximization have been a staple throughout company history, said Landon Sproull, chief engineer. “Peterbilt’s product history is a roadmap of revolutionary engineering solutions that continue to surpass customers’ requirements and set the bar for the industry.”

This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the company’s dealer network. Since Coast Counties Truck and Equipment in San Jose, Calif., first began selling Peterbilts in 1949, the network has grown to 247 locations in North America.

Pilot Plans DEF Dispensing – BY Staff Reports

Pilot Travel Centers announced installation plans for the rollout of 100 diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) “at-the-pump” locations. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based company will carry prepackaged supplies of DEF at all 350 Pilot retail stores.

Pilot’s initial plans call for the installation of 100 bulk dispensing pumps at locations spread out nationally and at a rate of 25 pumps per quarter beginning in the third quarter through the second quarter of 2010. The initial phases of Pilot fuel island DEF pump locations will include Amarillo, Texas; Avondale, Ariz.; Bordentown, N.J.; Brooks, Ore.; Carlisle, Pa.; Charlotte, N.C.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Denver; Dexter, Mich.; Effingham, Ill.; Ft. Pierce, Fla.; Gallup, N.M.; Greenville, Va.; Hepseria, Calif.; Houston; Meridian, Miss.; Milford, Conn.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Oak Creek, Wis.; Oklahoma City; Santa Nella, Calif.; Seville, Ohio; St. Cloud, Minn.; Stanfield, Ore.; and West Memphis, Ark.

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