Sending a Message
DOT looks to curb texting while driving by truckers
Truck and interstate bus drivers would be prohibited from using text messaging while driving under a rulemaking planned by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition, DOT plans to place restrictions on the use of cell phones while driving.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s widely anticipated announcement came Oct. 1 at the end of a highly publicized two-day summit on distracted driving by commercial and automobile drivers. DOT recognizes distracted driving as a problem among all drivers, but the department currently has authority only to regulate commercial vehicle operators. Other elements of the Obama administration’s plan include:
• An executive order signed by President Obama on Sept. 30 directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles; when using electronic equipment supplied by the government while driving; or while driving privately owned vehicles when they’re on official government business. The order also encourages federal contractors and others doing business with the government to adopt and enforce their own policies banning texting while driving on the job;
• Making permanent restrictions on the use of cell phones and other electronic devices in rail operations;
• Disqualifying school bus drivers convicted of texting while driving from maintaining their commercial driver’s licenses.
As for more broadly targeted initiatives, LaHood pledged to work with Congress to ensure that the issue of distracted driving is appropriately addressed. He also called on state and local governments to work with USDOT to reduce fatalities and crashes by making distracted driving part of their state highway plans, and by continuing to pass state and local laws against distracted driving in all types of vehicles, especially school buses. LaHood asked states and local governments to back up public awareness campaigns with high-visibility enforcement actions.
DOT is establishing an online clearinghouse on the risks of distracted driving, aimed especially at young people, LaHood said. He also promised to continue research on combating distracted driving and announced a demonstration program would be launched this year to evaluate techniques that states can use to get the most out of their efforts to end this destructive behavior.
The two-day summit brought together safety experts, researchers, industry representatives, elected officials and members of the public to share expertise, experiences and ideas for reducing distracted driving behavior and addressed the safety risk posed by this growing problem across all modes of transportation.
A full webcast of the summit will be available at www.dot.gov.
California Loses Employee Classification Case
By Jill Dunn
A California Superior Court ruled against State Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr. in one of a handful of cases where he sued port trucking companies on charges its owner-operators should have been classified as employees.
On Sept. 22, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White ruled in favor of Pac Anchor Transportation and truck owner Alfredo Barajas.
Defense attorney Neil Lerner said his case was similar to the American Trucking Associations’ ongoing suit against the Port of Los Angeles. A federal court will hear the ATA case in coming months after that court granted the association a preliminary injunction to prevent the port from requiring carriers to hire drivers as employees only. A hearing will be held at a later date.
“This case should never have been brought, as it was clearly preempted by federal law, and since at least one California Appellate Court had previously so held,”
Lerner said. “Given that the AG has gubernatorial ambitions, and given that the support of the Teamsters, in votes and donations, will be needed for him to succeed and given the Teamsters’ near obsession with the port driver issues, connecting the dots is not that difficult.”
The Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act protects motor carriers from state regulation and preempts claims against motor carriers brought under
California’s Unfair Competition Law, Lerner said.
FAAAA prohibits states from enacting and enforcing laws related to motor carrier prices, routes or services to maximize competitive forces in the trucking industry.
In 2008, Brown announced a crackdown on port trucking companies incorrectly classifying owner-operators as independent contractors instead of employees. One of the companies he sued was Pac Anchor, along with Barajas, its manager and truck dispatcher. At that time, Barajas also owned 75 trucks, which he leased to Pac Anchor.
Nationwide, several ports, including the Port of Oakland, have expressed interest in obtaining an FAAAA exemption from Congress for port operations related to trucking. Motor carriers and shippers vigorously oppose this effort.
Long Beach Hails Clean Truck Success
By Jill Dunn
The Port of Long Beach announced that after one year its Clean Trucks Program was two years ahead of schedule in reducing diesel truck pollution.
Port officials said it has nearly achieved its goal of 80 percent reduction in diesel truck pollution early because of an unexpectedly rapid turnover to cleaner trucks.
As of mid-September, nearly 5,000 clean trucks, or trucks meeting 2007 federal emissions standards or better, are moving more than half of the truck-hauled port cargo, said Richard Steinke, port executive director.
“In a few months, we’ll see nearly all the truck-hauled containers moved by clean trucks,” Steinke said. “The trucking industry is to be commended for turning over its truck fleet so rapidly.”
The program began last October, with the aim of dramatically slashing air pollution from trucks carrying cargo containers to and from port shipping terminals by 2012.
On Oct. 1, the American Trucking Associations reiterated support for port clean truck programs, in response to releases to the media from union and environmental organizations portraying trucking as battling progressive dirty truck bans. This year, a federal court granted the ATA a preliminary injunction to block certain business aspects of the Los Angeles ports program, such as banning owner-operators. However, the ATA supports the environmental plan, such as the progressive truck ban.
In other Long Beach news, the port announced a $15 million grant program, which will begin accepting proposals in November. Grants are aimed to achieve better cumulative air quality and decrease noise impacts and reduce greenhouse gases.
Also Oct. 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $26.5 million in diesel emission reduction project funding in Southern California. This will include the South Coast Air Quality Management District receipt of $4 million for research on emerging clean heavy-duty truck technologies in the region.
Study Finds Trade Policies Costly to U.S.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a study in September that estimated the economic cost — particularly in lost American jobs — resulting from failure to approve pending trade agreements, “Buy American” rules in the stimulus bill and the United States’ refusal to fully implement cross-border trucking with Mexico.
The study found that the last of these has resulted in $2.2 billion higher costs for U.S. families and companies, $2.6 billion lost U.S. exports and more than 25,000 lost jobs for American workers.
“The U.S. has refused to keep its word to Mexico,” said Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “How can we call on other countries to meet their obligations under trade agreements if we refuse to meet our own?”
The study, “Trade Action — or Inaction: The Cost for American Workers and Companies,” calculated costs to American consumers based on Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs ($421 million since implementation in March), continuation of drayage services at the border ($2.6 billion yearly) and loss of 26,500 jobs due to the reduction in exports to the country.
“Half a million American jobs are at risk if the U.S. fails to move forward on trade,” said Donohue while unveiling the study September 15 before more than 300 small business exporters at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “We need to jumpstart America’s export economy because we can’t rely on consumer spending, business investment or ballooning government expenditures to drive our recovery.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, a longtime opponent of the cross-border trucking program, disputes the study’s validity, asking, “Are the tariffs actually in place? Has anyone shown evidence of where there has been any negative effect and with regard to what goods? Have the supposed higher costs taken into consideration the state of Mexico’s economy?
“The U.S. Chamber is trying to push through an agenda to take advantage of cheaper labor from Mexico. Truckers based in the United States must contend with a consistently increasing regime of safety, security and environmental regulations. Those regulations significantly increase their cost of operations. Mexico-domiciled trucking companies and drivers simply do not contend with a similar regulatory regime in their home country nor must they contend with the corresponding regulatory compliance costs that encumber their U.S. counterparts.”
In a letter to Ron Kirk, a U.S. trade ambassador, California congressman Brad Sherman disputed the legality of the tariffs on grounds that they may be too high to conform to NAFTA rules. Sherman wanted to know what the U.S. Trade Representative’s office was doing to bring relief from the tariffs “to U.S. producers. … There is precedent of other governments successfully challenging sanctions levels and maintaining their laws,” Sherman wrote.
“When the WTO ordered the European Union to allow imports of beef that did not meet its non-discriminatory domestic consumer safety standards, the EU decided to stand by the consumer safety law in question. The EU then initiated a challenge at the WTO on the U.S. claim of $500 million in damages and had the damages reduced significantly to approximately $120 million.”
The study found the U.S. could suffer a net loss of more than 380,000 jobs and $40 billion in lost export sales if it fails to implement its pending trade agreements with Colombia and Korea while the European Union and Canada move ahead with their own agreements with the two countries.
The study also found that while “Buy American” rules in the Recovery Act will create a limited number of U.S. jobs, the gains will quickly evaporate if other countries implement “buy national” policies in their own stimulus programs. If foreign governments lock U.S. companies out of just 1 percent of this total spending, the net U.S. job loss could surpass 170,000.
The complete study is available at www.uschamber.com/trade.
Nov. 4-7, 10th Annual Used Truck Association Convention, San Antonio. 877-GETS-UTA, www.uta.org.
Jan. 18-21, Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week, The Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas. (708) 226-1300, www.hdaw.org.
Jan. 24-28, Cooperative Hazardous Materials Education Conference, sponsored by Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), Hyatt Regency San Antonio. 202-775-1623, www.cvsa.org
If you have a trucking event you would like to publicize, send information six weeks in advance to Truckers News Events Calendar, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Truckers News makes no guarantee that information submitted will be published.
CDC Issues Flu Guidance for Truckers
By Jill Dunn
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidelines for cleaning a truck where an occupant has been suspected of having pandemic influenza.
The CDC may modify or recommend additional procedures when an influenza pandemic becomes widespread in the United States or as new information about a pandemic strain becomes available.
Influenza viruses can persist on nonporous surfaces for 24 hours or more. The relative importance of virus transfer from inanimate objects to humans in spreading influenza is unknown. However, hand transfer of the virus to the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth can result in infection.
Hand hygiene, cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene mainly keep this virus from spreading. Routine cleaning and disinfection practices can play a role in minimizing the spread.
Routine cleaning with soap or detergent and water to remove soil and organic matter, followed by the proper use of disinfectants, are the basic components of effective environmental management of influenza
The guidelines recommend against using compressed air or water under pressure for cleaning, or any other methods that can cause splashing of infectious material.
Vacuum cleaners should only be used after proper disinfection. Vacuum cleaners should be maintained to minimize dust dispersal in general and equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air filters.
U.S. House Receives First Hybrid Truck
The U.S. House of Representatives Sept. 23 received its first hybrid diesel-electric vehicle — a Peterbilt Model 330 Hybrid Electric Truck.
“It makes sense, both for the environment and for the bottom line, to replace our aging vehicle fleet with low-emissions trucks,” said House Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Beard. “It means that the House will be driving into the future leaner and greener.”
The environmentally focused truck is slated to carry thousands of pounds of furniture and office equipment on the Capitol campus and throughout the greater Washington, D.C., area, according to Beard. The Hybrid Peterbilt Model 330 was selected because it not only provides up to a 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency, but also dramatically reduces tailpipe emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen.
“Peterbilt is honored to have been chosen by the House of Representatives to supply their first hybrid electric vehicle,” said Bill Jackson, Peterbilt general manager and Paccar vice president.
Peterbilt’s Hybrid Electric Power System was developed with Eaton and has an electric motor that assists the Paccar PX-6 engine with supplemental torque leading to fuel economy gains. The system stores energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking, then reuses it for acceleration. The Models 330 and 335 hybrid electric trucks also feature an in-dash 7-inch Paccar Hybrid System Monitor, which provides information regarding fuel economy and battery state of charge, allowing the driver to modify behavior to maximize fuel economy through optimized use of the system.
The Model 330 hybrid utilizes components that provide up to a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy in a stop-and-go urban driving cycle and can be configured for non-CDL drivers.
Also, Congress members Sept. 30 were shown an all-electric commercial truck from Navistar, Inc.
With the help of a $39 million U.S. Department of Energy grant announced by President Obama in August, Navistar intends to build 400 all-electric delivery trucks in 2010 at its facility in Elkhart County, Ind., and expects within a few years to be producing several thousand vehicles annually as the market grows.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation allowing for a program of research, development and commercial application of clean vehicle technologies at DOE (H.R. 3246, Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009). The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
The all-electric vehicle would primarily be used by fleets in congested, urban, light-duty applications where stop-and-go driving would otherwise consume a large amount of fuel.
Other truck manufacturers also showcased their environmentally friendlier technologies to Congress during a Clean Diesel Power Event in Washington, D.C.
Mack Trucks displayed a Pinnacle tractor equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions control system to comply with the stringent 2010 emissions regulations.
The Pinnacle model was equipped for long-haul highway service with a 60-inch midrise sleeper and a 13-liter Mack MP8 engine.
Volvo displayed 2010-compliant Volvo VN. Volvo is already building trucks for customers on its production line in the New River Valley Plant, Dublin, Va., for delivery later this year. Volvo also will use SCR technology to meet the new emissions standards.
Diesel Price Watch
NEW HAMPSHIRE 2.65
NEW JERSEY 2.52
NEW MEXICO 2.53
NEW YORK 2.78
NORTH CAROLINA 2.57
NORTH DAKOTA 2.67
RHODE ISLAND 2.64
SOUTH CAROLINA 2.44
SOUTH DAKOTA 2.58
WEST VIRGINIA 2.69
Source: T-Chek Systems Inc., Eden Prairie, MN.
For more information, (877) SOS-CHEK or www.tchek.com
*Some prices may not include certain state taxes.
FYI: News Briefs
Peterbilt to Close Tenn. Plant
Peterbilt Motors Co. announced it is realigning its North American manufacturing operations, which will result in the permanent closure of its truck assembly plant in Madison, Tenn., effective Dec. 1. Production of Peterbilt vehicles will continue at other facilities. The Madison plant has not built trucks since July 2008.
Tonnage Index Shows Increase
The American Trucking Associations announced Sept. 25 its advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.1 percent in August, matching July’s increase. The latest gain raised the SA index to 104.1, which was the best reading since February 2009. Compared with August 2008, SA tonnage fell 7.5 percent, which was the best year-over-year showing since November 2008.
Pilots Operating DEF Pumps
Pilot Travel Centers Sept. 15 began operating two diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) fuel island pumps in preparation for serving vehicles equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meet the Evironmental Protection Agency’s 2010 emissions requirements. One location is in Brooks, Ore. and the other in Charlotte, N.C. The company plans to install the new bulk DEF pumps at 100 Pilot locations through the fourth quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010.
Kinedyne Completes Chinese Facility
Kinedyne Corp., a manufacturer of cargo control products for the trucking industry, has completed a sprawling manufacturing facility in the Chinese city of Nantong. Corporate Market Manager Dave Callahan said operations at the company’s Prattville, Ala.; Lawrence, Kan.; and Reno, Nev., facilities would not be affected.
Trucker Receives Carnegie Medal
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission Sept. 29 announced that Goodyear’s 2008 North America Highway Hero, Jorge Orozco-Sanchez, is one of 20 individuals who were chosen as recipients of the prestigious Carnegie Medal. Orozco-Sanchez was involved in a collision when an SUV crossed into his path and struck his tractor-trailer rig head-on last year. He rescued two young girls who were trapped in the burning SUV, but he was unable to save the girls’ mother.
Schneider Closing Two Fuel Centers
Schneider National announced it will close two fuel-maintenance and operations facilities — one in Seville, Ohio, and the other in Green Bay, Wis. — on Nov. 17. The company says the two facilities are the least utilized within the company’s network of national driver facilities. A total of 105 Green Bay and Seville associate jobs will be eliminated.
Class 8 Truck Orders Increase
FTR Associates has released preliminary data showing Class 8 net orders for all major North American OEMs totaled 10,817 units in September, the fourth consecutive month that orders have shown a month-over-month increase. Year-to-date orders through September are 5.2 percent ahead of the same period in 2008, reflecting the first year-over-year increase since June 2008.
Job Losses Decline in September
Payroll employment among for-hire trucking companies in September dropped 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from August levels — about the same decline as in August. Employment is down 9.5 percent from September 2008, according to preliminary figures released Friday, Sept. 4, by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the estimated 3,600 jobs lost in September, the trucking industry has lost more than 83,000 jobs since the end of 2008 — a decline of 6.2 percent.
Truck Center Opens Near Austin
A Vanguard truck center opened Oct. 2 in Buda, Texas, near Austin. The new $4.5 million facility diagnoses customer service problems and emphasizes driver comfort and convenience. The truck center will offer full service, represent the Mack and Volvo product lines, and serve as a parts and service center for Norwood Equipment of Houston.
Navistar Launches Online Channel
MaxxForce TV, a new online entertainment channel, recently released four epsodes of a game show named “Maxx IQ,” the first of viewing series, Navistar announced Sept. 14. Joe Elmore, host of the Spike Network TV show “Horsepower TV,” is host of the new online show on trucks and engines. The first four episodes of Maxx IQ can be viewed on MaxxForceTV.
Cascadia Part of 9/11 Fundraiser
A Freightliner Cascadia was featured in a procession in Shanksville, Pa., kicking off a fundraiser commemorating passengers and crew members who died aboard United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001. Daimler Trucks North America is contributing to charities supported by Road Scholar Transport and HALO Foundation in the 93 Cents for Flight 93 campaign. The Cascadia display, described as the Road Scholar Transport truck, will serve as a roaming billboard to generate awareness and money for the effort.
Pilot Wins Outreach Award
Pilot Travel Centers won the Spirit Award for Community Outreach Spirit Award given by Convenience Store News, the travel center company announced. The award recognizes convenience store companies that work to improve the communities where they do business. Pilot received the award in the category for companies with 100 to 499 convenience stores.
DOT Wants More Women in Trucking
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood appeared Sept. 21 at Spelman College in Atlanta to announce the Pilot Entrepreneurial Training and Technical Assistance Women and Girls Program, created to encourage girls to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology and help women in the field to achieve their goals.
The new program, managed by a partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation and Spelman College, is part of a broader effort led by the White House to ensure federal programs and policies take into account the needs and concerns of women and girls.
“Transportation is one of the most challenging and exciting industries in the country right now,” LaHood says. “We’d love to see the women at Spelman and students at high schools, colleges and universities around the country become our transportation leaders for the 21st century and come work at the U.S. Department of Transportation.”
The partnership will create an internship and mentoring program to bring more female students into transportation-related careers and help them gain hands-on experience. It also will help small women-owned transportation companies to complete for DOT contracts and make sure they get the technical and finance assistance they need to succeed.
“Though transportation is one of our greatest sources of pride, it also presents some of our greatest challenges,” U.S. Representative John Lewis says. “I am glad that DOT is working with Spelman College to develop young women as transportation executives. We need young, innovative minds prepared to deal with the transportation challenges of this century.”
The partnership supports President Obama’s mission and work of the White House Council on Women and Girls. “We are excited about launching a pilot program that will introduce women and girls to public service,” says Brandon Neal, DOT director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. “It is our goal to assist as many women as possible and continue to be the training ground for future small business owners.”
Hepatitis C Rate High in Trucker Study
A New Mexico survey of long-haul truckers showed high rates of hepatitis C, but many infected were unaware they had it.
The state health department’s research is the first nationwide effort to examine infection rates and high-risk behaviors among truckers.
The researchers examined sexually transmitted infections, HIV and hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus prevalence and risk behaviors among 652 truck drivers at 11 New Mexico truckstops. While 8.5 percent of truckers tested positive for hepatitis C, only one trucker tested positive for HIV, one for gonorrhea and one for syphilis.
Eleven percent of drivers had injected drugs at least once, which researchers believe is what most likely accounted for the high rate of hepatitis C.
Dr. Steve Jenison, medical director for New Mexico’s health department’s Infectious Diseases Bureau, conducted the research from 2004-2006.
“We know from other international studies that long-haul truck drivers in some countries have high rates of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, but we wanted to learn if that was true in the United States,” Jenison said. “We also learned from the study that some of the truck drivers who were hepatitis C positive also engaged in risky behavior such as binge drinking, which puts them at higher risk for complications if they have hepatitis C.”
Drivers should consider hepatitis C testing and seek medical help if they have the disease, especially if they ever injected drugs or received blood transfusions prior to 1992.
“Despite the low measured prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in the study, many drivers reported sexual behaviors that would place them at risk for acquiring these infections, including HIV,” he said. “Truck drivers who have contact with casual partners or commercial sex workers while on the road should follow safer sex practices including consistent condom use.”
The American Journal of Public Health published the study Sept. 17. The study was done in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research.
More information on the disease is available by calling (800) CDC-INFO or (800) 232-4636.
Detroit Diesel Seeks EPA Engine Certification
Detroit Diesel Corp. has applied for its DD13 and DD15 engines with BlueTec emissions control systems to be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board to comply with 2010 emissions standards, the Redford, Mich.-based company announced Sept. 30. The engine maker said it had planned to file for certification on the DD16 in last month.
The applications provide the EPA and CARB with results of more than 25 million miles of test drives and documentation required to validate that the engine systems are in compliance with new 2010 emissions standards for reducing NOx and particulate matter set by the EPA in December 2000 and CARB in October 2001.
“We are pleased with test results confirming that our Detroit Diesel engines with BlueTec consistently meet the 2010 emissions standards,” said Rakesh Aneja, Detroit Diesel’s 2010 program manager. “Pre-production of our 2010 trucks and engines is already under way.”
“After a decade of investment in both resources and funding to design, develop, integrate and test both engine and emissions control technologies, the early application for certification of our most popular engines brings tremendous satisfaction to the team at Detroit Diesel and Daimler Trucks North America,” said David Siler, director of marketing, Detroit Diesel.
Detroit Diesel chose selective catalytic reduction as its primary means of meeting the EPA 2010 emissions regulations. SCR has proven to be an effective means to reduce NOx emissions and the only proven technology for meeting the EPA 2010 standards as measured at the tailpipe, the company said in a news release.
Shell Introduces Engine Oil Line-Up
Shell Lubricants unveiled a revamped Shell Rotella Energized Protection truck engine oil product line and two new products, one a 5W-40 full synthetic and the other a 10W-30 synthetic blend, at Shell-sponsored Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, N.C.
The line-up will be consolidated under what Shell describes as “an easy-to-understand ladder of protection.” During the first quarter of 2010, the Shell Rimula, Pennzoil Long Life and Quaker State HDX products will be renamed and become part of the Shell Energized Protection lineup. In addition, all API CI-4 Plus diesel engine oils will be eliminated in favor of API CJ-4-qualified lubricants.
Shell also will be promoting its claim of a wear-reduction rate of up to 22 percent with its Energized Protection formulations.
The lineup will include two new oils. The flagship lubricant will be Shell Rotella T6 full synthetic 5W-40 engine oil, a new CJ-4 formulation Shell says “delivers 34 percent better wear performance on average compared to the previous API CI-4 Plus 5W-40 formulation.” The oil offers both extended drain capability and energy savings potential as compared with Shell Rotella 15W-40, with the dollar savings estimated at up to $750 per truck per year. Easier cranking also means a reduction in battery and starter maintenance cost, said Dan Arcy, OEM technical manager.
The other new oil will be Shell Rotella T5 synthetic blend, offered in both 10W-40 and 10W-30 viscosity grades. Both will offer fuel-economy benefits and improved low-temperature flow, with the 10W-30 rating providing up to an estimated $800 in fuel savings per year per truck, while also reducing starter and battery maintenance, according to Arcy.
Asked how a 10W-30 can protect an engine as well as a 15W-40, Arcy said a critical key is that the oil provides “good shear stability.” This means it stays at the proper viscosity in spite of stresses in an engine. The critical issue, he said, is “optimum film thickness,” provided by the oil’s shear stability and other characteristics. The oil has gained approval from Cummins, Mack and Volvo.
Freightliner Unveils Coronado SD
Freightliner Trucks Oct. 6 introduced the Coronado Severe Duty at the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition in Louisville, Ky.
The Coronado SD features a durable fiberglass hood, impact-absorbing fenders that help eliminate damage and cracks common with vocational applications and new headlights with single, high-tech reflectors for excellent lighting capability both forward and to the side. The Coronado SD is equipped with a new single air filter that provides improved filtration capability, the company says.
The new truck’s cab is also equipped with updated doors. The outer door frame and belt rail are made from aluminum and combined with a steel inner reinforcement, resulting in a lightweight, sturdy design that provides excellent door sealing and less mirror vibration, the company said. The design also features standard courtesy lights for the entry steps and a 70-degree door opening.
Available with the Detroit Diesel DD13, DD15 and DD16 engines, as well as the Cummins ISX, the Coronado SD is designed to meet the upcoming EPA 2010 standards. The truck also can be equipped with the Detroit Diesel BlueTec 1-Box(tm) configuration, which combines the diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter and SCR catalyst into one component.
“The Coronado SD builds on our legacy of providing vocational customers what they’ve come to expect from Freightliner products: durability, versatility and quality,” said Michael D. Jackson, general manager of marketing for Daimler Trucks North America.
Economy Tops Survey of Critical Trucking Issues
The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research institute, on Monday, Oct. 5, unveiled its list of the top 10 critical issues facing the North American trucking industry. The state of the nation’s economy tops the list in ATRI’s survey of more than 5,000 trucking industry executives.
The complete results were released at the 2009 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also solicited and tabulated specific strategies for addressing each issue.
Government regulation, which has been on a steady climb since the inaugural survey in 2005, came in as the No. 2 most pressing issue this year. In addition to the economy and government regulation, top-10 issues include fuel, congestion, hours-of-service and the environment, among others. Truck size and weight appeared for the first time in the 2009 survey as a key productivity issue that many industry stakeholders feel must be addressed.
The ATA-commissioned survey results and proposed strategies will be utilized by the ATA Federation to better focus its advocacy role on behalf of the U.S. trucking industry and ATA Federation stakeholders. “The annual ATRI survey proves invaluable in helping us chart a course of action for the future,” said ATA Chairman Charles “Shorty” Whittington of Grammer Industries, based in Grammer, Ind.
“On every legislative and regulatory topic, issues come and go so quickly today,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “If we’re not at the table with sound science-based information and a common-sense plan of action, then we’re going to get left behind and saddled with solutions that have no bearing on moving America’s freight safely and efficiently.”
ATRI, the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization, is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system. A copy of the survey results is available from ATRI at http://www.atri-online.org