New hurdles

| July 03, 2007

Bridgestone-Bandag Deal Complete
Bridgestone has completed its $1.05 billion takeover of tire retread giant Bandag Inc. The two companies entered into a merger agreement in December, with Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. committing to paying $50.75 per share. The deal was closed May 31.

Traffic Deaths Down Slightly
The Department of Transportation recently announced that traffic deaths on U.S. roads were down slightly from 43,443 in 2005 to 43,300 in 2006, according to preliminary figures. More than half of passenger vehicle occupants killed were unbuckled, according to DOT. The preliminary figures also show that between 2005 and 2006, overall alcohol-related fatalities increased 2.4 percent from 17,525 to 17,941, and fatalities from large truck crashes dropped from 5,212 to 5,018, a 3.7 percent decline.

Traffic Enforcement from Truck Cabs
In July Kansas started putting its state Highway Patrol troopers in the cabs of tractor-trailers to enforce traffic laws from a trucker’s point of view. The seven-week program, called Trucks on Patrol for Safety, allows troopers in the cab – who will be armed with a radar gun – to radio ahead to another trooper to have vehicles making dangerous moves around a truck pulled over.

April Tonnage Index Down
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 2.2 percent in April, after posting a 1.2 percent jump in March. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the index declined to 112.1 in April from 114.6 the previous month. After March’s year-over-year increase, which was the first since June 2006, April’s tonnage was down 2.7 percent year over year.

FedEx Express Adds Hybrids
FedEx Express announced it has signed agreements with Azure Dynamics to develop hybrid electric powertrains for its delivery fleet. Once the development phase is completed, FedEx Express has committed to purchase a minimum of 20 pre-production hybrid electric Ford E-450 delivery vans, to be delivered by May 2008.

New Love’s
Love’s Travel Stop No. 344 in Memphis, Tenn., is now open. The store is located off I-240, Exit 21. It is the 138th travel stop opening for Love’s, and the company has new locations opening soon in Louisiana and Kentucky.

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