— Tina Barbaccia
TRANSCORE’S North American Freight Index in July marked the seventh consecutive month of record year-over-year increase. The index, measuring spot market truckload freight volume, increased 22 percent since July 2010. Compared to June, July freight volume declined 24 percent, following the typical seasonal pattern.
EVENTS AND PROMOTIONS to honor truckers during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, Sept. 11-17, are being compiled on a searchable website, www.DriverAppreciation.com.
TRUCK TONNAGE as measured by the American Trucking Associations seasonally adjusted index rose 6.8 percent in June from a year earlier and 2.8 percent from May, ATA said.
NHTSA raises stopping distances
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it slightly increased its new stopping distance requirements for new truck tractors at lower initial speeds in response to petitions for reconsideration of the agency’s 2009 final rule.
NHTSA said that based on testing results and the agency’s concerns, the stopping distance for typical loaded tractors tested at an initial speed of 20 mph is being increased from 30 feet to 32 feet, and for unloaded tractors from 28 feet to 30 feet.
NHTSA’s final rule amended the federal standard for air brake systems by requiring improvements in stopping distance on new tractors. This rule, which became effective Aug. 1, reduced the maximum allowable stopping distance at 60 mph from 355 feet to 250 feet for most loaded heavy trucks. For a small minority of loaded, very heavy tractors, the maximum allowable stopping distance was reduced from 355 feet to 310 feet.
Petitions for reconsidering the stopping distance performance requirements at lower initial speeds were filed by the Truck Manufacturers Association, the Heavy Duty Brake Manufacturers Council of the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake.
— Staff reports
USED TRUCK SALES in June increased 9 percent over May despite low inventory, said ACT Research Co. For the year, used sales are 6 percent behind last year’s pace. Used truck mileage is increasing as fleets hold on to vehicles longer, the firm said.
CLASS 8 NET ORDERS for North American truck makers fell 12 percent in July from June to 18,532 units, the lowest monthly total since September 2010, according to FTR Associates. Although July marked the third straight month with declining orders, the total was up 63 percent from July 2010, FTR said.