The federal government can require OEMs to produce engines that comply with higher standards but “cannot mandate the purchase of these clean diesel trucks,” Smith said.
“Customers always have the option of holding on to older trucks longer, rebuilding older engines, leasing older trucks, or turning to the used truck market,” Smith said. “They can also simply buy more trucks today, with older design components and without the cleanest technology, and defer the purchase of cleaner trucks.”
The bill has been sent to the Senate Finance Committee, the typical first stop for Senate tax bills.
Photographing Work Zone Speeders
Illinois state troopers with vans equipped to photograph speeders in construction and maintenance zones will begin a new crackdown. The state passed a law last year that fines first-time work zone speeders $375. Second-time offenders are subject to a $1,000 fine and a 90-day loss of driver’s license. Drivers who hit a worker can receive a $10,000 maximum fine and 14 years in prison. Tickets will be issued by mail to vehicle owners whose speeding is determined by camera.
Tonnage Volumes Up Slightly
The American Trucking Associations’ primary industry indicator rose in May as tonnage volumes increased slightly because of modest economic growth. ATA’s advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.7 percent in May to 115.1, following a 0.9 percent drop in April. The index is based on 100 in 2000, so that May’s reading means tonnage is up 15.1 percent since 2000. Year-to-date, the tonnage index was 3.2 percent higher than the same period in 2004.
Fuel Prices Continue Upward Climb
The national average retail price of a gallon of diesel rose 2.3 cents, to $2.336, for the week ending June 27, a price increase of almost 64 cents from last year’s national average. The smallest increase was in the Central Atlantic, rising only 1 cent, while the largest increase, 5.2 cents, was in the Rocky Mountain region. The highest average regional diesel price for the week – not counting California, at $2.52 – was $2.48 in New England. The lowest price is $2.29 in both the Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountain regions.
New NATSO Member Truckstops
The following truckstops have joined NATSO, a national trade association of travel plaza and truckstop industry: 101 Travel Plaza, Newport, Ark.: American Road Truckstop, Napoleon, Ohio; Davie Travel Center, Davie, Fla.; Jones Travel Mart Inc., Cameron, Mo., Knoxville West TA, Knoxville, Tenn.; Love’s Travel Stop #322, Roscoe, Ill.; Love’s Travel Stop #323, Marion, Ind.; Love’s Travel Stop #326, Orangeburg, S.C.; Minden Truck Stop, Bossier, La; Petro Stopping Center – Kingsland, Kingsland, Ga., and Petro Stopping Center – New Paris, New Paris, Ohio.
Trucker Buddy Activity Book
Trucker Buddy International recently released an activity/coloring book featuring Mike Ryan and his No. 77 Freightliner. The Freightliner-sponsored book, which contains games, puzzles and activities to help children learn about the trucking industry, illustrates Ryan’s race to the top of Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, Colo. The book may be ordered by calling (800) 692-8339, or through www.truckerbuddy.org.
Great Dane Dallas Facility
Great Dane Trailers opened a new location in Dallas. The Dallas branch was opened to meet the increased demand for new and used trailers, and houses a high-tech paint booth and an expanded parts warehouse. The new branch can be found off of I-20 on the Bonnie View Road Exit at 4115 Port Boulevard.
Freightliner Highlights Safety Technology
The Freightliner Group recently showcased developments in heavy-duty truck safety technology at the DaimlerChrysler Innovations Symposium. Freightliner demonstrated advanced systems, including electronic stability control, electronically controlled braking systems, lane guidance systems, lane departure warning, radar collision warning with adaptive cruise control and a side-visibility camera.
Seat Belt Campaign Works
Newly released statistical information show that a national pilot program held on I-95 in Virginia between Petersburg and Fredericksburg increased safety belt usage among truckers by 11.5 percent in less than one month. Before the initiative, a survey found that fewer than 59 percent of truckers regularly wore a seat belt. A post-campaign survey indicated that 70 percent were buckling up.
Volvo Truck Deliveries Up
Deliveries for Volvo Trucks increased 23 percent from January to May 2005, with a total of 44,370 trucks being sold as compared to 36,101 vehicles for the same period in 2004.