$550 billion infrastructure bill to advance in Senate | Spot rates slide

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, July 29, 2021: 

Senate votes to move forward with $550B infrastructure deal

President Biden and a bipartisan group of Senate negotiators announced Wednesday afternoon they had reached an agreement on a $550 billion infrastructure investment deal, which includes $110 billion in new funds for roads, bridges and major projects. 

Later Wednesday evening, the Senate voted to proceed with the legislation, but the text of the bill is not yet written and it will still have to pass both chambers of Congress.

In addition to the 20% of funds dedicated to roads and bridges, another $11 billion would be dedicated to highway safety, which, according to a White House fact sheet, includes truck safety – though no specifics are mentioned.

The American Trucking Associations lauded the effort by the Senators to get the deal done. 

“It’s refreshing to see Congress do its job and address national problems facing businesses and families," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "Americans, and the hardworking men and women who carry this economy on trucks, have waited long enough for Washington to act on our decaying infrastructure. We cheer this bipartisan breakthrough and hope it helps elected officials find more areas where they can work together to actually get things done.”

The deal would also invest $39 billion in public transit, $66 billion in freight and passenger rail, $7.5 billion in electric vehicle infrastructure, and more.

[Related: Detail on the trucking provisions within the House's already-passed INVEST in America Act infrastructure bill]

Natural gas engine now available in Kenworth T680 Next Gen

The Kenworth T680 Next Generation on-highway flagship is now available with the Cummins Westport ISX12N near-zero emissions natural gas engine.

The Kenworth T680 Next Gen is available with the Cummins Westport ISX12N near-zero emissions natural gas engine.The Kenworth T680 Next Gen is available with the Cummins Westport ISX12N near-zero emissions natural gas engine.The Kenworth T680 Next Gen establishes a new industry standard by raising the bar for superior fuel efficiency, class-leading performance and bold aerodynamic styling – expanding on the success of the classic Kenworth T680 model.

The T680 Next Gen offers the 12-liter Cummins Westport ISX12N with ratings up to 400-hp and 1,450 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine can operate on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable natural gas (RNG). The ISX12N engine features a closed crankcase ventilation system, unique maintenance-free three-way catalyst, on-board diagnostic capability, and engine control module with excellent durability.

The ISX12N engine is certified by both the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board (CARB). The engine meets CARB’s optional low NOx standard of 0.02 g/bhp-hr.

“The Cummins Westport ISX12N provides an excellent, near-zero emissions solution for fleets and truck operators that order the Kenworth T680 Next Generation for service in line haul, pickup and delivery, and regional haul applications,” said Genevieve Bekkerus, Kenworth marketing director.

Available in day cab, 40-inch, 52-inch and 76-inch sleeper configurations, the T680 Next Gen is standard with the proprietary PACCAR Powertrain featuring the 2021 PACCAR MX-13 engine, PACCAR TX-12 automated transmission and PACCAR DX-40 drive axle.

[Related: New truck stop, CNG power push coming to Savannah port]

Spot rates slide

Spot rates on seasonal slide, yet market pressure builds | Rates on average lost 2.5% last week, reported Truckstop.com and FTR Transportation Intelligence in their weekly Spot Market Insights newsletter. Yet market pressure was building as an expected spot market volume rebound post-July 4 materialized a week later than usual, analysts said. Total load postings in the Truckstop.com system jumped 18.7% during the week ended July 23. All segments saw sharp gains. Yet even with that recovery, load volume was still 15% below that in week 25 – the week prior to the recent three-week slide. Truck postings rose sharply but not as strongly as loads did. Another indicator this week illustrated, at once, how strong the market is for carriers -- FTR's shipper-focused conditions index. Freight rates' impact on shippers’ conditions sat in the most negative territory in the history of the index.Spot rates on seasonal slide, yet market pressure builds | Rates on average lost 2.5% last week, reported Truckstop.com and FTR Transportation Intelligence in their weekly Spot Market Insights newsletter. Yet market pressure was building as an expected spot market volume rebound post-July 4 materialized a week later than usual, analysts said. Total load postings in the Truckstop.com system jumped 18.7% during the week ended July 23. All segments saw sharp gains. Yet even with that recovery, load volume was still 15% below that in week 25 – the week prior to the recent three-week slide. Truck postings rose sharply but not as strongly as loads did. Another indicator this week illustrated, at once, how strong the market is for carriers -- FTR's shipper-focused conditions index. Freight rates' impact on shippers’ conditions sat in the most negative territory in the history of the index.

Showcase your workhorse
Add a photo of your rig to our Reader Rigs collection to share it with your peers and the world. Tell us the story behind the truck and your business to help build its story.
Submit Your Rig
Reader Rig Submission