The new standard

| July 02, 2006

“The FTC has become increasingly political, losing its traditional independence and favoring big oil, and the agency is too quick to point blame at small retailers rather than large refiners, despite the fact that a May 2004 U.S. Government Accountability Office report found that mergers in the oil industry have led to higher prices,” Slocum said.
- Jill Dunn

Repos Up in Hot Truck Market
Repossessions and liquidations of tractor-trailer trucks nationwide have been high for the past five quarters, but repossessed trucks are finding buyers quickly, reported Nassau Asset Management, which serves the equipment finance industry.

Nassau’s data indicates that truck repossessions and liquidations began to rise in the first quarter of 2005. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, repossessions rose 61 percent in the first quarter 2005; 30 percent in the second quarter of 2005 and 32 percent in the third quarter of 2005. The third quarter of 2005 was the peak in terms of volume, but repossessions were up 145 percent over the fourth quarter of 2004.

Nassau President Edward Castagna cites high fuel costs as a major factor, but he believes that the upswing reflects a positive trend: industry growth over the past few years. There are more financed vehicles on the road as the industry rebounded from the 2001 downturn, and more vehicles often means more repossessions and liquidations.

Trucks that Nassau has repossessed or liquidated are reselling quickly, Castagna says. “We feel the rush to change out fleets before year end may leave a surplus of used trucks on the secondary market. We intend to monitor resale speed and price levels for the remainder of 2006.”

Nassau’s NasTrac Quarterly Index reveals trends in equipment repossessions and orderly liquidations based upon the company’s own internal activity.
- From Staff Reports

Bush Taps New FMCSA Administrator
President Bush nominated John Hill to be the new administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Hill, a native of Indiana, now serves as assistant administrator and chief safety officer for the FMCSA. During that time, he has served as the department lead for pandemic influenza and the secretary representative concerning Hurricane Katrina at the Department of Transportation.

Prior to that, he served as major commercial vehicle enforcement division commander for the Indiana State Police. He received his bachelor’s degree from Taylor University.

Bill Graves, the president and CEO for the American Trucking Associations, commended the nomination of Hill.

“As an industry, we face many challenges in moving the nation’s goods in a safe, efficient, secure and environmentally sound manner,” he said. “As the chief safety officer of FMCSA, John Hill has demonstrated an understanding of those challenges and the need to bridge the operational needs of the trucking industry with the regulatory responsibilities of the agency.”

The FMCSA also filled its deputy administrator slot. U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta appointed David Hugel to the position.

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