| April 11, 2005

Made mainly from soybeans, the fuel has been used successfully by fleet owners including the City of Dallas and IESI, a 780-vehicle solid waste management company.

In mid-January, BioWillie cost $1.79 a gallon, less than the national diesel average. Nelson uses it in his trucks and tour buses.
-Jill Dunn

Pilot Challenge Increases Prize Money
Pilot Travel Centers is increasing the payout in its annual Pilot Truck Driver Challenge. The grand prize in both categories this year is $50,000.

The first part of the challenge is open to anyone with a Pilot Reward Payback Card. The cardholder who has the most safe miles between Feb. 20, 2005, and Oct. 31, 2005, will win the $50,000.

The second competition is open to all Nextel Cup transport drivers who want to test their skills and demonstrate why they have been labeled the best in the business. More than 20 Nextel Cup drivers are already signed up for the challenge.

The challenge is designed around safe and responsible driving, and the competition includes equipment inspections and safety quizzes. Drivers also must maneuver 80-foot haulers through tight turns and pinpoint stops.

“It is great to see Pilot challenging everybody on the road to raise their awareness toward road safety,” said Jim Baldwin, winner of the 2004 challenge for Nextel Cup drivers. Baldwin is returning for the challenge this year. “Driving these haulers, or any truck for that matter, takes a lot of skill and patience.”

For details, visit this site.
-Lance Orr

$275 Million Expansion
Dignitaries and union officials recently joined Detroit Diesel and Freightliner to celebrate the coming $275 million expansion and upgrade of the engine maker’s Redford, Mich., plant.

The 3.2-million-square-foot plant will produce Detroit Diesel’s new heavy-duty engine as well as the medium-duty MBE 900 engine currently made only in Germany. Both engines will come off the Redford assembly line in 2007 and will comply with federal emission standards that take effect that year. For an extended transition period, the new heavy-duty engine will be sold in tandem with Detroit Diesel’s popular Series 60 engine and the Mercedes Benz 4000, which are also being modified to meet 2007 emission requirements.

The Redford production of both engines was announced by Detroit Diesel in November, a day after the ratification of a new United Auto Workers contract at the plant.

The Feb. 23 press conference announced that the Redford campus also would house the new headquarters of Sterling Truck and Western Star Trucks, though the manufacturing plants for those two truck lines will remain in Ontario and Oregon, respectively.

Also expanding its operations at the Redford facility is Freightliner’s Axle Alliance Co., which will begin making gear sets as well as axle assemblies.

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