W9s, T800s, other models recalled over seat belt issue | Cocaine in Mex driver's trailer axles: Texas cops

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Nov. 6, 2023:

Kenworth recalling 3,800 trucks over seat belt issue

Paccar is recalling approximately 3,841 Kenworth trucks due to an issue with the seat belts that could impact their ability to restrain occupants during crashes, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

The recall states that in the affected trucks, an additional spacer may have been added to the joint that connects the seat to the seat belt tether and buckle, causing an unsecured connection. This spacer results in increased force on the seat structure, which increases the load on the joint.

Models included in the recall are:

  • Approximately three model year 2020 Kenworth T660 units, all of which are gliders
  • Approximately 437 model year 2018-‘24 Kenworth T800 trucks
  • Approximately 3,401 model year 2018-’24 Kenworth W900 trucks

Dealers will inspect and remove the additional spacer and replace the bolt, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Dec. 25. Owners may contact Paccar’s customer service at 1-425-828-5888 with recall number 23KWK. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-717.

[Related: Peterbilt 579, 567 units recalled over U-bolt issue that could impact fuel tanks]

United Petroleum Transports' $69.5M acquisition

Patriot Transportation will be acquired by United Petroleum Transports in an approximately $65.9 million deal. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will have more than 1,000 drivers, including owner-operators, servicing markets from Arizona to Florida, covering 11 states with more than 30 terminals.

UPT will continue to operate Patriot's business through Patriot's subsidiary, Florida Rock & Tank Lines.

"Patriot is the perfect match for UPT's strategic intention to expand our network to the southeastern United States," said Greg Price, executive chairman of UPT. "We are pleased to welcome one of the leading bulk and tank trucking providers to UPT's family."

Florida Rock & Tank serves the southeastern U.S. as a premier bulk tank carrier specializing in hauling primarily petroleum-related products and other liquid and dry bulk commodities. One of the largest regional tank truck carriers in North America, Florida Rock & Tank operates in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee with 17 terminals and six satellite locations.

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[Related: J.B. Hunt to acquire BNSF Logistics' brokerage business]

Texas police find cocaine in trailer’s axles

The Fayette County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 31 seized 23 kilos of cocaine, with an approximate street value of $2.3 million, from a tractor-trailer.  

According to a Facebook post from the department, FCSO Sgt. Randy Thumann and his K9 partner, Kolt, stopped an 18-wheeler along I-10 at milemarker 658 for a traffic violation. After speaking to the driver, Thumann reportedly “observed many indicators the vehicle was being utilized to smuggle narcotics from Mexico into the U.S.”

After being given consent to search the truck, Thumann found that the trailer’s axles had been altered to conceal contraband. He then reportedly removed approximately 23 kilos of cocaine with a street value of $2.3 million from the axles.

The driver, Carlos Enrique Ruiz Rebullosa of Monterrey, Mexico, was arrested for felony drug possession and taken to the Dan R. Beck Justice Center.

Mack recalls small number of trucks equipped with nat-gas Cummins engine

Mack Trucks is recalling approximately 17 model year 2024 Granite and TerraPro vehicles equipped with Cummins L9N natural gas engines.

In the affected units, the rear lifting bracket that attaches to the engine cylinder head may be insufficiently secured, which can allow it to detach. A rear lifting bracket that detaches while the engine is being lifted can result in the engine falling or swinging, increasing the risk of injury.

The recall notes that the subject engines may have been built with incorrect length flanged studs attaching the rear lifting bracket to the cylinder head.

Dealers will inspect and replace the flanged stud in the rear lifting bracket, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Dec. 15. Owners can contact Mack's customer service at 800-866-1177 with recall number SC0452. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-731.

Cummins issued a recall of approximately 104 L9N engines on Oct. 17. Owners can contact Cummins customer service at 800-286-6467 with recall number c2735.

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