Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024:
Samsara suing Motive over alleged patent infringement
A popular tech provider in the trucking industry has filed suit against a competitor, alleging intellectual property theft. San Francisco-based Samsara, which provides ELDs, telematics, safety cameras and more, claims fleet management provider Motive Technologies Inc. has engaged in illegal conduct that includes patent infringement and false advertisement.
Samsara is asking the court to enter judgment recognizing Motive’s infringement of the company’s patents covering several of its solutions in fleet management and driver safety included within Samsara’s telematics, video-based safety and sustainability solutions, to permanently stop Motive’s conduct. The company is also requesting the court order Motive to compensate Samsara for its losses and damages under state and federal law.
Samsara Founders Sanjit Biswas and John Bicket said via statement that prospective customers would remark how similar Motive’s products appeared to Samsara's in terms of form and functionality. That escalated, the pair claimed, into "Motive deploying misleading marketing campaigns and sales tactics, which led us to take a closer look."
The lawsuit, filed in a Delaware federal court, states that Motive -- formerly known as KeepTruckin -- based much of its product line and even its business strategy on routinely stealing Samsara’s technologies and fraudulently accessing Samsara’s platforms. The filing asserts that Motive illegally accessed Samsara’s platform, copied Samsara’s marketing materials and made unsubstantiated advertising statements.
Motive Co-Founder and CEO Shoaib Makani said in a statement Thursday to Overdrive sister publication CCJ that "Samsara’s allegations and associated campaign against Motive are meritless. They are a result of Samsara’s inability to develop competitive AI technology and the fact that they are losing customers, especially large enterprise accounts, to Motive. This courtroom tactic is an attempt to limit competition and we will fight these baseless accusations to the fullest extent."
Eaton Endurant XD transmission now available in certain Internationals
Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies has announced its Endurant XD series automated transmission is now available in select International truck models in North America.
As part of the Cummins integrated powertrain, Endurant XD and Endurant XD Pro paired with the Cummins X15 engine are now available in the International LT and HX models.
The Endurant XD series are all-new, purpose-built, 18-speed automated transmissions designed for on-highway applications with high gross combined weight ratings, such as double- and triple-trailer trucks, and vocational applications operating in harsh environments.
“For International fleets, the Endurant XD series delivers the capability, efficiency and uptime they demand,” said Dave Karnes, vice president of sales, Eaton Cummins.
The Endurant XD series offers low-speed maneuverability and optimized software that makes smart shifting decisions, the company said. It includes new Performance Goals to control transmission shift points and other features, up to six reverse gears, and a comprehensive suite of GearLogic features that improve efficiency and performance.
Atlas Van Lines agent re-joins company's network
Atlas Van Lines and the Suddath Companies announced that Suddath Moving & Storage LLC is re-joining Atlas's network. That means Atlas Van Lines will grow its footprint in household goods moving and storage.
Atlas Van Lines, the largest subsidiary of Atlas World Group, is owned by its Agents, providing household relocation moving services and specialized transportation of high-value items. Suddath, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, has been a respected name in relocation services, serving corporate, military, and B2C customers domestically and internationally, the companies said. Combined, they hold more than 100 years of experience, a wide breadth of services, and advanced technology.
With 15 locations and an extensive domestic and global partner network, Suddath provides national and global reach. Its footprint in Texas is bolstered by its Daryl Flood Moving & Storage brand, with more than 40 years of moving experience in Texas.
Through the partnership, Suddath will build on its current customer base, the companies said.
“Household goods continues to be a critical part of Suddath’s core business, and partnering with Atlas will help us accelerate our growth strategy, especially in the corporate, B2C, and military relocation segments,” said Mike Brannigan, President and CEO of the Suddath Companies.
Atlas and Suddath have a long history together. Suddath was a key Atlas Agent and stockholder partner from 1950 to 1981. Suddath’s return to Atlas was a logical decision for both organizations, they said.
“Suddath coming home to Atlas brings two highly regarded brands back together in the moving industry and further positions Atlas as an industry-leading van line,” said Jack Griffin, Chairman and CEO of Atlas World Group.
Trucker recognized for helping extinguish car fire
Eric Melo, from St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for stopping to help the occupants of a car that was on fire, and extinguishing the blaze. Melo drives for Mill Creek Automotive, out of Ayr, Ontario.
On the evening of Nov. 14, Melo was on his way to East Liberty, Ohio, when he saw a passenger vehicle traveling ahead of him with flames coming from underneath it. He followed the car when it pulled over on the shoulder of the interstate.
“Once I noticed he was starting to stop his vehicle, I actually followed him into the shoulder,” Melo said. “Once he stopped, after that it was more or less a blur.”
Melo quickly exited his truck with his fire extinguisher in hand, and hurried ahead to attempt to douse the fire with the extinguisher. He then went to check on the people still sitting in the vehicle. With his encouragement, they left their belongings behind and moved away from the still-burning car to the safety of Melo’s truck.
By the time the couple was inside his truck, their vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. The entire incident -- from when Melo pulled onto the shoulder until he had escorted the couple safely back to his truck -- took about 3.5 minutes. He stayed with the couple until the state troopers arrived and then proceeded on his way to complete delivery to the Honda plant in East Liberty.
“No one stopped -- it was just me,” he said. “I thought, ‘I gotta do something. I might as well do something to help.’”