Navistar to unveil its 15-liter engine

Navistar International Corp.’s 15-liter Big Bore MaxxForce engine for 2010 will be announced March 18 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

Because Navistar remains the only heavy-duty engine maker not employing selective catalytic reduction technology to meet 2010 emissions standards, the company will not use Cummins SCR engines in the United States to meet 2010 emissions requirements, says Navistar spokesman Roy Wiley. Cummins officials did not respond to requests for comment.

The 15-liter MaxxForce will use exhaust gas recirculation to meet the 2010 standards.
Wiley would not confirm published but unattributed reports that the engine will be based on a Caterpillar C15 foundation. He said the company would not comment on “speculation” prior to the announcement in Louisville.

During a Jan. 22 meeting with investment analysts at the company’s Melrose Park Engine Facility, Jack Allen, president of Navistar’s North American Truck Group, said the new engine “will be consistent with our strategy of platform scale, of leveraging the assets we have, leveraging the assets our partners have, and we’re going to bring a world-class engine to the market in a very short period.”

The reference to leveraging partners’ assets bolsters the notion that the MaxxForce 15 might combine technologies from the two companies. In June, Caterpillar said it will leave the North American Class 8 truck engine market by 2010, but will continue a severe-duty truck and engine partnership with Navistar. Caterpillar officials did not respond to requests for comment about the new Navistar engine.

Agency urges fatigue reduction plans
In response to a tractor-trailer rollover that triggered a collision with a motorcoach, the National Transportation Safety Board repeated safety recommendations [made Sept. 16, 2008] to deal with fatigue in commercial drivers.

NTSB wrote to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, recommending that:

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· FMCSA implement a plan to deploy technologies in commercial vehicles to reduce fatigue-related accidents;
· FMCSA use a method that will assess the effectiveness of the fatigue management plans implemented by motor carriers, including their ability to improve sleep and alertness, mitigate performance errors, and prevent incidents and accidents;
· NHTSA determine whether equipping commercial vehicles with collision warning systems with active braking and electronic stability control systems will reduce accidents and to require their use on commercial vehicles if they are found effective.

NTSB also reiterated its recommendation that NHTSA determine rules on adaptive cruise control and collision warning system performance standards for new commercial vehicles.

Those standards should address obstacle detection distance, timing of alerts, and human factor guidelines, such as the mode and type of warning. An FMCSA spokesman said he had no comment about the NTSB letter.

Back On The Road winner to be named
A truck, a job and a new beginning await the winner of Arrow’s Back On The Road 2009 campaign, presented by Volvo Trucks North America. The winner’s journey begins March 20 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., with the announcement by Arrow Truck Sales, which is part of the Volvo Group.

Country music star Aaron Tippin, radio personality Bill Mack from Sirius XM Radio and Back On The Road 2008 winner Don Turkelson will join Arrow for the event. The winner will receive a 2006 Volvo VNL 670, courtesy of Volvo Trucks North America, and a one-year work agreement with Heartland Express.

Tippin will meet fans and sign autographs at Arrow’s booth from 11 a.m. to noon March 21.
Arrow’s Back On The Road competition is based on essays submitted about deserving drivers in need of a truck and a job.

The Back On The Road winner also receives:

· TriPac auxiliary power unit, from Thermo King;
· X One tires, from Michelin;
· Business consulting tools,
from ATBS;
· Insurance provided by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association;
· A three-year/300,000-mile warranty from National Truck Protection Inc.;
· Monthly $500 fuel cards, from Pilot Travel Centers;
· One year’s worth of filter products, from Genuine Volvo Parts;
· Truck accessories and fenders, from Minimizer products;
· One year’s worth of oil changes, from Chevron.

For more information, visit www.backontheroad2009.com.

FMCSA protects hours regs from easy dismissal
The Obama administration on Jan. 20 halted all regulations that had not taken effect by that date, a move that could delay several Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations issued in the past couple months. Meanwhile, FMCSA took the final action to ensure that the new administration would not be able to undo the final regulations governing truck drivers’ hours of service.

In a Jan. 16 letter to several organizations, FMCSA retained the 34-hour restart and 11 hours of driving. Public Citizen, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Teamsters Union and the Truck Safety Coalition on Dec. 18 had filed a petition for reconsideration. Those groups now have 60 days after the Jan. 16 denial to file for a review of the decision in court.

The Obama administration also could initiate its own reconsideration of the hours rules, but it would have to start over from the beginning with a notice of proposed rulemaking. The Bush administration’s Nov. 19 publication of the hours rule made it possible for the Jan. 16 letter to be issued just under the wire to avoid the Obama administration moratorium.

ATA asks for environment help
The American Trucking Associations has asked Congress to support the trucking industry’s environmental initiatives, which ATA says will reduce fuel consumption by 86 billion gallons and reduce the carbon footprint of all vehicles by nearly a billion tons over the next 10 years.

“It is in our best business interest to reduce our energy consumption, improve our profitability and reduce our levels of emissions and greenhouse gases,” says Tommy Hodges, ATA first vice chairman. “Our industry is proud of its environmental record in reducing emissions and transitioning to clean fuels.”

Testifying on behalf of ATA before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Hodges asked Congress to, among other actions:

· Enact a national 65 mph speed limit and govern truck speeds at
65 mph or slower to reduce fuel
· Increase funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program, a voluntary program designed to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing air pollution;
· Support national fuel economy standards for medium- and
heavy-duty trucks, leading to lower
· Implement financial incentives in the way of tax credits or grants to expedite the introduction of idling reduction equipment;
· Invest in infrastructure improvements to fix the most critical bottlenecks, easing congestion and saving 32 billion gallons of fuel and reducing carbon emissions by 314 million tons over 10 years;
· Fund research and development in new technologies that will improve fuel efficiency; and
· Promote the use of more productive truck combinations, resulting in fewer truck miles traveled and saving more than 20.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel and reducing carbon emissions by 227 million tons over 10 years.

New Custom Rigs out this month
The Spring issue of Overdrive’s Custom Rigs will be published later this month, says Editor Bruce Smith.

“This issue will be another great read for truckers who take pride in their ride,” he says. “It will have features on some of the top custom rigs across the country, as well as an audio buyer’s guide, tips from the pro customizers, and how-to’s for the do-it-yourselfer.”

Copies will be available at Petro Stopping Centers, select chrome shops and the Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Show, presented by Pride & Polish. The show is part of the Mid-America Trucking Show, held March 19-21 in Louisville, Ky.

Agency rules against L.A. ports
The Federal Maritime Commission has ruled opposing petitioners in the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach Clean Truck Program case can intervene and denied the ports’ request for a stay of the commission’s investigation.

On Jan. 22, Administrative Law Judge Clay Guthridge ruled the American Trucking Associations, Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association and National Association of Waterfront Employers have permission to intervene, along with the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and Coalition for Clean Air.

Guthridge also denied the port’s request to halt the commission’s investigation until it had issued an environmental impact report on the impact of its action.
The ports began Feb. 18 collecting Clean Truck Program fees to help finance replacing 17,000 older trucks serving the port in its five-year Clean Air Action Plan to reduce port truck emissions by 80 percent and all source emissions by 45 percent. The fee is expected to raise $1 million daily.

The ports had planned to begin collecting the 20-foot container unit fee of $35 in November from cargo owners, but was twice delayed because of the commission’s extensive review, says Art Wong, a Long Beach port spokesman. The commission’s review ended Feb. 13 and U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon has said he would rule on the FMC’s preliminary injunction request this year.
-Jill Dunn

California gets refrigeration rule approval

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted California a waiver to allow it to begin enforcement of in-use performance standards for transport refrigeration units engine model years 2001 and older July 17.

The EPA granted the California Air Resources Board a waiver from pre-emption that affects an estimated 40,000 TRU engines operating in the state. It will require TRUs to have emission control technology no older than seven years.

CARB had delayed enforcement of the first phase of the TRU Air Toxic Control Measure in-use performance standards for six months until it received the waiver. All other compliance dates for in-use performance standards are unaffected by this grace period.

Owner-operators of TRUs based outside of California may voluntarily apply for a CARB identification number, which will speed up inspection times. California-based TRU owners must apply for a CARB identification number by March 16. For enforcement purposes, employee drivers will not be held responsible for violations.

The CARB enforcement division will conduct inspections at border crossings, roadside inspection stations, TRU operators’ terminals, distribution centers and truck stops.
Violations of in-use requirements could result in penalties of $1,000 per day up to $50,000 per day or one year imprisonment, or both.

Once fully implemented in 2020, the regulation will eliminate 2,000 tons of diesel particulate emissions.

More information is available on the board’s website at www.arb.ca.gov/diesel/tru.htm, or by calling (888) 878-2826.
-Jill Dunn

Suppliers plan for diesel exhaust fluid

The truck stop industry shouldn’t worry about meeting the demand for diesel exhaust fluid, which is essential for most 2010 engines. A Detroit Diesel-sponsored panel of DEF producers and distributors told attendees at NATSO Show 2009 in Nashville in February that supplies will not be problem.

“DEF is readily available,” said Jim Spooner, vice president and general manager of Colonial Chemical Co. The 39-year-old Tabernacle Township, N.J.-based company makes urea, the key compound in DEF, which will be added to selective catalytic reduction technology to meet 2010 emission regulations.

All heavy-duty engine makers will use SCR and DEF, with the exception of Navistar, which is using enhanced exhaust gas recirculation technology in its 2010 MaxxForce power units.
DEF suppliers said retailers will have options for purchasing DEF in bulk using underground tanks, or in barrels or smaller containers, such as 5-gallon or 2.5-gallon capacity.
– Randy Grider

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