Industry News

Cummins’ research with its ISX engine shows potential gains in efficiency while still meeting stricter emissions standards.

A Cummins demonstration has shown that future diesel engines, perhaps as early as 2007, may be more efficient than today’s engines despite much tighter emissions standards.

The company announced that it has demonstrated an ISX heavy-duty truck engine with an increased brake thermal efficiency of 45 percent that nevertheless limits emissions to 2007 levels. BTE is the amount of energy converted from diesel fuel into useful mechanical work.

“Cummins has successfully demonstrated that the heavy-duty engine has the potential for even higher levels of efficiency while still meeting stringent emissions requirements,” said Edward Wall of the U.S. Department of Energy. “Looking ahead, this offers the opportunity for our trucks and buses to reduce fuel consumption and help reduce the nation’s dependency on imported oil.”

Current heavy-duty engines typically achieve a BTE of 41 percent.

“We are moving ahead to achieve an even higher 50 percent BTE target,” said Christine Vujovich, Cummins vice president for marketing and environmental policy. Increasing BTE creates more efficient machines with fewer emissions and better fuel economy. This likely means significantly better fuel economy when such an engine is installed in a truck.

The improved level of efficiency was accomplished by focusing “on the combustion and the emissions formulation processes,” the company said in a prepared statement. “Key areas of attention included advanced fuel system technology, fuel air mixing, fuel injection spray interaction, ignition and premixed burn, which all play key roles in controlling the combustion and emission processes.”

While further detail was not provided, Cummins’ strategy appears to be similar to a strategy called premixed charge compression ignition, or PCCI. This works only at part load, as when cruising. To reduce compression and to prevent pre-ignition, the fuel is injected much earlier than normally, and the intake valve is closed later. The fuel and air mix better, making the engine both cleaner and more efficient.

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Cummins is working with the Department of Energy to create the technology as part of the 21st Century Truck Partnership formed in 2001. Its goal is to reduce emissions tenfold while substantially increasing efficiency.

Country stars Terri Clark and Sammy Kershaw will perform free concerts for attendees of the 2005 Great American Trucking Show, Aug. 25-27 at the Dallas Convention Center.

Sponsored by Mobil Delvac, Clark will perform Friday, Aug. 26. Sponsored by Volvo Trucks, Kershaw will perform Saturday, Aug. 27. Free tickets for both shows will be distributed at GATS to registered attendees on a first-come, first-served basis.

Clark, a native of Medicine Hat, Alberta, released her first album in 1995, when she was named Top New Female Country Artist by Billboard magazine. Her hits include “Better Things to Do,” “When Boy Meets Girl,” “Girls Lie Too” and “I Think the World Needs a Drink.”

Kershaw, a native of Kaplan, La., released his first album in 1991. His Cajun-tinged hits include “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful,” “I Can’t Reach Her Anymore,” “National Working Woman’s Holiday” and “Cadillac Style.”

Other GATS attractions include the Overdrive Pride & Polish beauty truck show and the Partners in Business seminar for owner-operators. For more information, call (800) 349-4287 or visit this site.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of highway deaths in accidents involving large trucks rose for the second year in a row in 2004, increasing by 3.7 percent and topping 5,000 for the first time since 2002.

The increase to 5,169 deaths follows a 1 percent gain in 2003, when truck-related fatalities totaled 4,986.

“The figures pretty much represent what’s going on out on the highways,” says Mike Russell, an American Trucking Associations spokesman. “They match the increase in vehicle miles traveled and the amount of truck tonnage being moved.”

Russell also says the way the numbers are presented without context may lead some to assume that all truck-related fatalities are the fault of the trucker, which is not true. He cited the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which found that as much as 75 percent of fatal crashes begin with an error on the part of the car driver.

Steve Keppler, director of policy and programs for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, says the number is cause for alarm since this is the second year it has increased.

“It indicates to me that we need to be doing more,” Keppler says. “More education, more enforcement.”

Careless drivers need to be pursued more aggressively, and there should be incentives for drivers who follow the rules and have good safety records, Keppler says.

“The safety situation in this country is an epidemic,” Keppler says. “We have become complacent and accepting of the fact that 43,000 people die on our highways each year, 5,000 of which are truck-related. All of the attention is focused on congestion and building our way out of the problem, but frankly that just isn’t going to get the job done.”

The Truckload Carriers Association wants to capture the trucking life. Capture it in a photo, that is.

TCA’s Truck Driver Photo Contest will award cash prizes to photographers who can portray the industry and life on the road in a positive way. Any truck driver – company driver or owner-operator, leased or independent – may enter the contest.

The grand prize is $1,000, second place $750, third place $500. Fourth through sixth place will receive $100 each, and honorable mentions will receive $50 each.

A driver may submit no more than three photos. Digital images are accepted as long as they are shipped with a print and are 300 dpi or larger.

Suggested subjects include truck shots, action photos, shots of children and/or pets with a truck, close-ups of truck parts, views of the road or depictions of life on the road.

Attached to each photo should be the entrant’s name, address and telephone number and company name, address and telephone number. Include information about where the photo was taken or about the subject. Do not write on the back of the photo.

The contest deadline is July 17.

Mail contest submissions to Truckload Carriers Association, Attn: Photo Contest, 2200 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Photographs from professional photographers will not be accepted.

The contest is sponsored by S-Line and American Graphics Group.

E-mail [email protected] or call (703) 838-8859 with any questions.

For details, visit this site.

An Ohio man who claimed he was an expert tax preparer for truckers has been convicted of tax fraud.

At the end of a six-day trial, a federal jury in Cincinnati found Walter Daulton, 62, guilty of assisting in the preparation of fraudulent income tax returns.

Martin Pinales, Daulton’s attorney, says he will appeal.

Daulton’s tax business was based in Fairfield, Ohio. His website,, is now defunct.

According to trial testimony, Daulton held seminars at Cincinnati truck stops that encouraged attendees to claim expenses for routine activities such as putting a tarp over a trailer.

Prosecutors say he also prepared fraudulent income tax returns for truck drivers, reporting numerous fictitious expenses that his clients had neither paid nor incurred.

Prosecutors say that in 1997 and 1998, Daulton defrauded the government on 18 tax returns involving 21 individuals for a total of $100,000. He now faces as much as three years in prison for each count.

Eileen O’Connor, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s tax division, advised truckers to carefully review their tax returns before signing them, especially if someone else prepared them.

“If someone helps you prepare your tax return, you must make sure the information is truthful before you sign it,” O’Connor says. “Filing a fraudulent tax return may lead to costly consequences.”

Jack Curcio, former CEO of Mack Trucks, broke ground April 29 on the long-awaited America on Wheels museum in Allentown, Pa.

The museum at Hamilton and North Front streets will focus on bicycles, motorcycles and automobiles as well as trucks. “America on Wheels is really telling the story of over-the-road trucking and the transportation industry,” museum director Carroll Cook says.

Mack will loan several classic vehicles to the museum, including a 1918 fire truck.

The museum also will house the offices of the Mack archives, documenting 105 years of Mack history, says Mack spokesman Bob Martin.

“We get several hundred requests a month from people asking about trucks they have bought,” Martin says. “Through the archives, we are able to tell them where the truck was made, when it was first bought, and where it was purchased.”

The first person to imagine such a museum was former Mack President and CEO Zenon Hansen in the 1970s, Martin says.

The 43,000-square-foot museum will be the first step in the redevelopment of the former Allentown industrial area known as Lehigh Landing, near the Lehigh River.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is advising truck owners to avoid hydrocarbon refrigerants being sold as inexpensive substitutes for HFC-134a and CFC-12.

Marketed under such names as OZ-12, Duracool 12a and HC-12a, the refrigerants are sold online and at flea markets as replacements for EPA-approved refrigerants. The EPA says they may contain large quantities of propane, butane or other highly flammable gases.

“Existing mobile air conditioning systems are not designed to use a hydrocarbon refrigerant that is highly flammable and similar to what supplies the fire in your backyard barbecue,” says Ward Atkinson, chair of the interior climate control standards committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Hydrocarbon may leak to cause fires and explosions, the EPA says.

“Hydrocarbon blends can degrade gaskets and hoses designed for HFC-134a or CFC-12, making leaks more likely,” says Gary Hansen, vice president of engineering at Red Dot, which makes heavy-duty heating and air-conditioning systems.

Hydrocarbon refrigerants are illegal in 19 states.

For more information, call the EPA Ozone Protection Hotline at (800) 296-1996 or visit this site.

The newly formed Independent Haulers Alliance offers the benefits of group purchasing for owner-operators and small fleets in waste, dump and construction applications.

The group is the inspiration of Gary Juergens of Solid Waste Solutions in St. Clair, Mo., one of the largest independent waste haulers in the St. Louis area, says alliance spokesman Chris Keesey.

Plans for the alliance include forming an online community, creating a member-owned purchasing pool and getting group discounts for members, Keesey says. “Too many haulers are paying retail for everything,” he says. “When you have a one-truck operation, saving $1,000 a month is cash in your pocket.”

The alliance also hopes to be a voice for owner-operators and small fleets, Keesey says.
Membership is $50 a month plus a one-time shareholders’ charge of $100, which entitles each member to dividends at year’s end. Visit this site.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration faces a joint lawsuit challenging its entry-level truck driver training rule.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the United Motorcoach Association and the non-profit Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety filed challenges this past summer in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The groups wanted a review of the rule. Early this year, the court ordered the groups to make their arguments as one brief, which was filed April 21 by a fourth group, the non-profit Public Citizen.

The FMCSA’s final rule contradicts earlier agency statements and “fails to meet the 1991 congressional mandate to deal with driver training as it relates to safety,” says OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston.

“In the proliferation of regulations over truck drivers in the last five years, it is a gross oversight that no mandatory training exists to teach someone how to drive a truck as a condition for obtaining a CDL,” Johnston says.

OOIDA stated that before issuing the most recent hours-of-service rule, the FMCSA told Congress that entry-level driver training should include a minimum of 320 instructional hours, including more than 92 hours of protected off-street driving and 116 hours of street driving.

The final rule, however, requires a mere 10 hours of training that includes instruction in hours of service, wellness and whistleblower protection as well as driving, OOIDA says.

Whereas the FMCSA formerly classified commercial drivers as entry level if they had less than five years of experience, the final rule classifies as entry level only interstate drivers with less than one year’s experience, OOIDA says.

Arrow Truck Sales is teaming with Lockton Risk Services to offer the Arrow Insurance Advantage program. Arrow’s pre-owned truck customers can now protect their investments with physical damage insurance and non-trucking liability coverage.

“In addition to our current on-site financing and extended warranty options, this program truly makes Arrow a one-stop shop and sets us apart from our competitors,” says Lee Wallace, senior vice president of sales and operations for Arrow.

The program is administered by Lockton, which has been rated “excellent” by A.M. Best, the leading provider of rating and financial information for the global insurance industry.

Arrow also plans to more than double its trailer sales by the end of 2005. “We’re going to focus on hard-to-find, high-quality niche units, such as refrigerated trailers, flatbeds, and specialty trailers,” Kevin Schuller of Arrow says.

Truckers are paying up to 35 percent more in tolls on the New York State Thruway as of May 15.

The Thruway board voted April 25 to approve the increase, the first general toll adjustment in 17 years. It will fund a seven-year Thruway improvement plan.

Passenger vehicles saw a 25 percent increase, truckers a 35 percent increase, the Thruway says. Commercial E-ZPass users get a 5 percent discount and are eligible for additional volume discounts.

The board says it amended the proposal it approved in December to lessen the impact of truckers and commuters. The original plan included toll increases as high as 135 percent, according to the New York State Motor Truck Association.

“While no toll increase is easy for the trucking industry, we commend NYSTA Executive Director Michael Fleischer, the board and the staff for responding to the concerns raised by our members,” says William Joyce, president of the truck association.

The Thruway website is here.

FREIGHTLINER denied a published report that the truck maker is considering moving its headquarters or its manufacturing facilities from Portland, Ore.

CUMMINS will give away 9,000 gallons of diesel fuel, the equivalent of a full tanker truck, to each of two winners in its 9,000 Gallon Giveaway. CDL holders can enter at the Great American Trucking Show and at this site. Deadline is Oct. 22.

GOODYEAR raised the price of its Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly commercial tires May 15, citing the rising cost of raw materials.

THE FIRST U.S.-built Volvo D12 engine was presented to AAA Cooper Transportation by Peter Karlsten, president and CEO of Volvo Trucks North America. Before production began in Hagerstown, Md., all Volvo truck engines were manufactured in Sweden.

PETRO celebrated its 30th anniversary April 22 with free birthday cake at all its Iron Skillet restaurants. The original Petro truck stop was on I-10 near El Paso, Texas.

J.J. KELLER and Associates has pledged $100,000 to Trucker Buddy International, the largest donation ever given to the non-profit organization.

JOHN ARSCOTT, owner of Peterbilt of Richmond, Va., and Peterbilt of Baltimore, was named 2004 Peterbilt Dealer of the Year.

GATR VOLVO of Sauk Rapids, Minn., won first place in the Volvo Trucks North America service competition.

A DOMINANT DECADE is in store for trucking as it continues to increase its share of the nation’s freight pool, according to the American Trucking Associations’ U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2016.

GARY PATTERSON of Fredonia, Pa., won the 2004 Truck-Lite Trophy for his customized maroon 1982 International conventional with a 2002 Great Dane trailer.

SLOAN TRANSPORTATION Products awarded the grand prize in its “What’s Your Big Idea?” contest to Freddie Carver, owner of F&F Trucking in Tampa, Fla., and has begun work on the electrical safety device Carver proposed.

TIXNIX.COM offers free ticket consultations with experienced attorneys. Visit this site or call (877) 849-6491.

SHELL LUBRICANTS offers a Rotella Road Show 2005 tour schedule at this site.

LUBRICATION MAGAZINE from ChevronTexaco has resumed publication online at this site.

BENDIX ABS-6 antilock braking systems will be available soon as options on Class 8 trucks from International, Kenworth and Peterbilt.

THE TRUCK TONNAGE INDEX fell 3.3 percent in March, the American Trucking Associations reported. Slower consumer spending and higher energy costs were blamed.

THE FEDERAL RESERVE reported that U.S. business activity continues expanding, but rising energy costs have softened trucking “somewhat” in several regions.

A DOMINANT DECADE is in store for trucking as it continues to increase its share of the nation’s freight pool, according to the American Trucking Associations’ U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2016.


ALASKA. Work on the Glenn Highway/Parks Highway interchange 40 miles north of Anchorage continues through October. The project website is here.

MAINE. The new U.S. 1 bridge over the Penobscot at Verona won’t be finished until summer 2006. The existing Waldo-Hancock Bridge remains closed to trucks heavier than 80,000 pounds.

NEVADA. Work on Reno’s Spaghetti Bowl interchange of I-80 and U.S. 395 won’t be finished until year’s end, five months behind schedule.

SOUTH CAROLINA. Work on the I-26/U.S. 52/Ashley Phosphate Road interchange north of Charleston should be finished this summer.

WASHINGTON. I-90 just west of Spokane is being resurfaced, with some lane closures and occasional blasting before 7 a.m. to clear shoulders. Tall, scenic rock formations will be preserved.