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The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) warns that its audits of trucking companies can happen suddenly, so it is best to be prepared.
A man injured a metro police officer after dragging the officer down the right shoulder of the exit ramp from Interstate 440 east to Murphy Road Monday morning, police said.
Officer Danny Johnson is a 17-year Metro Nashville Police Department veteran. According to police, he was dragged down an interstate July 18, 2016. (Photo: MNPD)
Danny Troupe, 54, admitted to police afterward that he was angry over a traffic citation he'd received two months ago.
West Precinct motorcycle officer Danny Johnson, 52, was conducting traffic enforcement when Troupe stopped his pickup truck in a busy lane of traffic and began shouting at Johnson, according to police.
Johnson couldn't hear what Troupe was saying, so he walked over to the truck and leaned in Fthe passenger window. After Troupe continued to berate Johnson, the officer asked Troupe to pull over, out of the way of traffic, police said. But Troupe refused, saying, “I’m not pulling over."
He accelerated, dragging Johnson 12 feet down the road before stopping, causing Johnson to fall.
Officer Johnson was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was treated for injuries to his shoulders.
"He's expected to make a full recovery," a police spokesperson said of the 17-year MNPD veteran.
The World’s Largest Truckstop celebrated America’s truckers last week with 44,233 drivers and their families, as well as local residents, during the 37th Annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree. Visitors came from 23 different states and three Canadian provinces to display their trucks. The Walcott Truckers Jamboree has been celebrating truckers, rain or shine, since 1979.
“My family has been serving the trucking industry for 52 years. We appreciate the hard work drivers do. The Jamboree is our way to say thank you.” Said Iowa 80’s Delia Moon Meier. “It is also an event that allows us to promote trucking to the general public.”
During the three days, guests enjoyed more than 150 exhibits; a Super Truck Beauty Contest with 65 contestants; a fantastic antique truck display with more than 150 vehicles; a delicious Iowa pork chop cookout; the Trucker Olympics; carnival games; and free concerts.
Clare Dunn performed Thursday night, courtesy of CAT Scale, and had the crowd going crazy with her high energy show. Country music icon Sammy Kershaw hit the stage on Friday night to a crowd of thousands, presented by Mobil Delvac. Both Thursday night and Friday night included fireworks displays, a truck light show and tons of fun. Saturday afternoon, driver favorite Lindsay Lawler hit the stage honoring drivers with many of her songs just prior to the Super Truck Beauty Contest awards ceremony.
“The Walcott Truckers Jamboree is a celebration of everything trucking,” said Heather DeBaillie, Iowa 80 Truckstop’s marketing director. “Everything we have comes on a truck. The jamboree gives us an opportunity to say a big ‘Thank you’ to the professional drivers who deliver those goods.”
Iowa 80 Trucking Museum also celebrated the 100th birthday of its 1916 Mack AC last week during the Walcott Truckers Jamboree with birthday cake and balloons at the museum.
Next year’s Walcott Truckers Jamboree will be held July 13-15, 2017.
Source: Iowa 80 Truckstop
SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says he wants government regulators and the auto industry to work more closely together to test self-driving technology before people entrust their vehicle's steering and brakes to a robot.
Foxx told about 1,200 people at a self-driving convention in San Francisco on Tuesday that a more rigorous review of robotic controls is needed to reassure consumers that autonomous vehicles are safe before they are cleared to hit the road.
His remarks came a few weeks after government regulators revealed a 40-year-old man died May 7 after his Tesla car crashed into a truck while using a semi-autonomous feature called "Autopilot."
Foxx didn't specifically mention Tesla or the crash, which is under investigation.
He plans to propose guidelines for self-driving vehicles later this summer.
U.S. domestic shipping demand wavered in June, according to measures of freight transport activity, as retailers and manufacturers moved cautiously to restock inventories heading into the fall.
The Cass Freight Index, a broad reading of goods moving by trucking and rail, ticked up 1.7% from May to June, but the index was off 4.8% from the same month a year ago, the sixth straight year-over-year decline in what Cass analysts say remains a lackluster shipping market.
The American Trucking Associations’ For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index slipped 1.5% in June from the month before, ending a sluggish first half of 2016 that has seen trucking companies wrestle with capacity on the roads that is well ahead of demand.
U.S. business inventories have remained relatively high despite a surge in consumer spending this spring as retailers and manufacturers work off overstocking from last year. The inventory-to-sales ratio for all U.S. businesses reached its highest point since the recession earlier this year and remains high even though the U.S. retail sales advanced a strong 0.6% in June.
“We are currently benefiting from the consumer side while being hurt on the industrial side,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “And of course we still have the inventory glut that is weighing down tonnage.”
The tepid shipping demand appears to be feeding tough competition among freight transport companies for business, which is keeping shipping prices low.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., one of the country’s biggest freight carriers, recently reported that it carried nearly 3,700 more loads in the second quarter than in the same quarter a year ago. But the “rate per loaded mile,” one measure of pricing in truck networks, fell 5.8% from last year.
Marten Transport Ltd. , one of the largest trucking companies in the U.S. specializing in refrigerated transport reported on Wednesday that it earned an $8.5 million net profit in the second quarter, or 26 cents per diluted share, up 2.1% from the same quarter a year ago. Revenue excluding fuel surcharges increased 6.2% to $152.9 million.
“In general, the freight economy is puttering along. There are pockets of growth, depending on what you are looking at,” said Jeffrey Tucker, chief executive of Tucker Co., a Haddonfield, N.J., freight broker. “The demand for temperature-controlled shipping is what is driving growth right now—that is a very good place to be.”
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Trucking conditions in the US have deteriorated to their worst state since 2011, according to the latest FTR Trucking Conditions Index.
The May reading of 1.69 was down nearly five points from the previous month. FTR says negatively affecting truckers were lower freight rates and capacity utilization that has dropped below 95%.
FTR said if the US reinstates the controversial 34-hour restart conditions which have been under discussion in Congress this summer, capacity could be tightened enough to improve pricing.
“One of the struggles right now is to bridge the gap between what the economic data is telling us and what the anecdotal evidence from carriers is telling us. Part of it has to do with simply how the industry participants feel relative to 2014 and 2015,” explained Jonathan Starks, chief operating officer at FTR.
“The market was way up in 2014. Conditions were ideal for spot market players – regulations tightened capacity and weather exacerbated it. Add in some relatively strong economic growth and carriers were feeling extremely good. Now? Capacity has loosened. Spot rates are down, so revenues are down. And recently the contract market has taken a cue from the looser capacity, and weakness has been seen in this sector as well. Surcharge revenues are also way down – which impacts revenue (even though it generally has less impact on the bottom line). Put it all together and you end up with a market that isn’t extremely favorable for carriers, nor is terribly bad. Revenues are down across the board and that makes business operations more difficult, but freight levels are stabilizing and capacity-sapping regulations are coming down the pike – either this year or next.”
A tractor-trailer slammed into a railroad bridge in Lowell Tuesday night.
The truck hauling potatoes slammed into the bridge on Lawrence Street and partially tore the roof off.
The Lowell Sun reports the truck was heading outbound on Lawrence Street, toward Woburn Street, when the roof of its trailer struck the bridge.
Lowell police and MBTA transit police were at the scene according the Lowell Sun.
No injuries were reported.
Wabash National Corp., has again been named a “50 Best U.S. Manufacturer” by IndustryWeek magazine in its July/August 2016 issue, making the second largest jump of any company on the list — from No. 46 to No. 24. This is the fourth time Wabash National has been so honored.
“When being compared to the largest and best performing publicly traded manufacturers in the United States, four consecutive record years doesn’t guarantee a spot on IndustryWeek’s ranking,” said Dick Giromini, president and chief executive officer. “We’ve made a significant transformation from primarily a van trailer producer to a diversified industrial manufacturer, which continues to be a key driver of our growth and performance.”
“We’re proud and honored to receive this recognition,” Giromini said, “and I give tremendous credit to our associates for their commitment to safety, innovation and continuous improvement; to our customers for their trust in us as together we strive to drive change in our industry; and to our suppliers for their collaboration and continued pursuit of excellence.”
The IndustryWeek 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers is the magazine’s annual ranking of America’s top-performing public manufacturers. To select the top 50 manufacturing companies, the magazine evaluated members of its IW U.S. 500, a list of the largest U.S. public manufacturers, based on financial performance in six key areas from 2013 to 2015: revenue growth, profit margin, return on assets, return on equity, sales turnover and inventory turnover. Performance for the most recent year was weighted more heavily in the analysis.
“The team’s execution of our strategic plan to grow and diversify has been integral to the company’s continued success,” Giromini added. “We expect to make 2016 our fifth consecutive year of record performance.”
Wabash National Corp., is a diversified industrial manufacturer and North America’s leading producer of semi-trailers and liquid transportation systems. Established in 1985 in Lafayette, Ind., the company manufactures a diverse range of products, including: dry freight and refrigerated trailers, platform trailers, bulk tank trailers, dry and refrigerated truck bodies, truck-mounted tanks, intermodal equipment, aircraft refueling equipment, structural composite panels and products, trailer aerodynamic solutions, and specialty food grade and pharmaceutical equipment.
COLUMBUS, Ind. — U.S. and Canadian natural gas Class 8 truck retail sales improved in May after getting off to a slow start earlier in the year, according to a recent report from ACT Research.
The “Natural Gas Quarterly” attributes this to a high number of natural gas vehicle repeat sales, as well as purchases by transit bus and refuse truck operators.
However, the continuing low cost of diesel is making the return on investment for adopting natural gas less lucrative for fleets not yet invested in NG-fueled vehicles.
“With the fuel price differential continuing to narrow, the ROI to convert from diesel to natural gas is moving in the wrong direction: payback periods remain lengthy,” said Ken Vieth, ACT’s senior partner and general manager. “This doesn’t mean the adoption of NG fuel has stopped or that there are no new developments supporting a future uptick in NG truck orders.”
Vieth said despite 48 percent month-over-month uptick in May, year-to-date volumes are 24 percent below 2015’s level and year-over-year sales are down 21 percent.
“NG infrastructure continues to be built, albeit at targeted locations and at a slowing pace,” Vieth said. “Existing NG equipment users remain committed to its long-term viability and emission benefits.”
Additionally, the report provides examples of how equipment research and development efforts are continuing to advance the market.
ACT Research sees only modest, single-digit growth for the adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel in the U.S. the next few years, barring legislative changes.
The “Natural Gas Quarterly” provides information on the current and projected status of those factors that impact a decision to adopt natural gas. It includes a “dashboard gauge” that looks at fuel price spread, public heavy duty NG fueling infrastructure, NG equipment, and actual NG heavy duty truck sales.
ACT has a quick reference calculator for fleets considering moving from diesel to natural gas; it’s free, Vieth said.
Go to NG FUEL PAYBACK CALCULATORS (http://calc.actresearch.net/).
DETROIT — The U.S. government says the nation's cars and trucks are well on their way to meeting fuel economy and emissions standards set for 2025.
But if gas prices stay low and consumers keep buying less-efficient vehicles like SUVs, the government could lower those standards. Automakers argue that meeting the requirements is difficult.
A report on the standards was issued Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the California Air Resources Board. The report kicks off a two-year review that will determine whether to keep the 2025 fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions targets in place or change them.
Under standards set in 2012, automakers' fleets were expected to get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. That's not the real-world mileage vehicles will get; it includes credits for things like more efficient air conditioning systems. The real-world mileage is closer to 40 miles per gallon.
The government calculates an automakers' average based on the vehicles it sells. A company could fail to meet standards on pickup trucks but exceed them with fuel-efficient cars and still meet the requirements, said Alan Baum, a consultant in Detroit who advises automakers on fuel-economy regulations. But if it fails to sell those cars and only sells the pickup trucks, it could wind up being fined.
As gas prices have fallen, truck and SUV sales have risen. That means the 54.5 mpg standard may no longer be realistic, since automakers are selling more trucks and SUVs and fewer cars than the government anticipated in 2012. The government now forecasts average fuel economy between 50 mpg and 52.6 mpg in 2025, depending on the price of gas. But EPA officials said that the numbers could continue to change.
The report noted that in October 2012, when the fuel economy standards were finalized, U.S. average gas prices were $3.87 per gallon. They ended 2015 at $2.15 per gallon.
So far this year, sales of the Toyota Prius hybrid are down 25 percent while sales of SUVs and other light trucks are up 9 percent, according to Autodata Corp.
But gas prices alone aren't likely to convince the government to weaken the standards adopted in 2012. The report says automakers can meet the original 2012 targets by continuing to make more advanced gasoline engines; the EPA says only about 2 percent of vehicles would need to be hybrids or electric vehicles to meet the standards.
"Today's draft report shows that automakers are developing far more technologies to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, at similar or lower costs, than we thought possible just a few years ago," said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation.
The government says 100 car, SUV, and pick-up truck versions on the market today already meet fuel economy standards targeted for 2020 or later. Automakers also have been making more use of lightweight materials, like aluminum, and improving vehicles' aerodynamics. They're also adding features like stop-start technology, which automatically shut down the engine and save fuel while a vehicle is stopped in traffic.
Those advances come at a cost. The EPA estimates the fuel economy standards will cost $1,017 per vehicle between 2021 and 2025, while NHTSA estimates they will cost up to $1,245 per vehicle. The agencies differ on how much consumers would save in gas, but they estimate it's between $680 and $1,620 per vehicle.
Those costs, and consumers' reluctance to buy the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicles, mean the auto industry will likely argue that the standards should be relaxed. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a lobbying group that represents 12 automakers, including BMW, Toyota and General Motors, says meeting the standards is "a daunting challenge."
"Absent a vigorous commitment to focus on marketplace realities, excessive regulatory costs could impact both consumers and the employees who produce these vehicles," the alliance said in a statement.
But environmental groups will urge the government to strengthen the standards. In a statement, Sierra Club President Andrew Linhardt said the report proves that the standards are working.
"Due to technological innovation, our cars are cleaner and more efficient than ever before," he said.
More than 40% of all medium- and heavy-duty diesel commercial trucks in operation in the U.S. – 4 million of 9.5 million diesel trucks – are now equipped with newer technology clean diesel engines, according to new Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) analysis of IHS Automotive vehicles in operation statistics.
The new analysis includes IHS Automotive vehicles in operation representing Class 3-8 diesel trucks from model-year 2007 through 2015 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Beginning in 2007, all heavy-duty diesel trucks that were sold had to meet particulate emissions levels near zero – specifically, levels of no more than 0.01 grams per brake horsepower hour.
“The U.S. trucking fleet is transitioning to newer clean diesel technology, which means immediate fuel savings, lower greenhouse-gas emissions and cleaner air,” says Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the DTF. “This newest generation of clean diesel trucks have nitrogen oxides emissions that are 99 percent lower than previous generations, along with 98 percent fewer emissions of particulate matter, resulting in significant clean air benefits throughout the U.S.
“Because diesel overwhelmingly dominates the heavy-duty truck sector and is also the number one power source for medium-duty vehicles, the transition to newer generations of clean diesel technology is significant. Beyond the clean air benefits, model-year 2010 and newer trucks also achieve three to five percent improvements in fuel economy and lower emissions of greenhouse gases.
“There are now four states – Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma and Texas – where more than 50 percent of the registered diesel trucks are the newer cleaner trucks. And in 2015, Oregon had the largest increase in the nation of newer diesel truck registrations, with a 35 percent increase over 2014. California has the largest fleet of commercial truck registrations on an absolute number basis; however, it ranks near the bottom for adoption of newer trucks on a percentage basis, based on our analysis.”
In December 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promulgated a rule that established stringent standards designed to reduce emissions from on-road heavy-duty trucks and buses by up to 95% and to cut the allowable levels of sulfur in diesel fuel by 97% by 2010.
To achieve these new standards, the new clean diesel system relies on an efficient engine and combustion system utilizing advanced fuel-injection, turbocharging and engine management strategies coupled with advanced emissions controls and after-treatment technologies, all running on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - AC is making sure to provide its students with the necessary tools to prepare them for Texas roads.
Starting in the fall, new cameras will be introduced into the Trucking Academy's curriculum.
According TxDOT, last year a crash happened every 61 seconds - and more than 4,000 of them occurred in Amarillo.
Over the past few weeks, the Panhandle has experienced multiple accidents involving semi trucks.
Instructors say the new cameras will benefit students driving the trucks as well as students who are in class, because the cameras can send a live feed back to a classroom and allow students to see real time mistakes.
"The cameras will not only photograph the student while he or she drives but also cover the full coverage of the window and of the truck as you go down the road," Robert Mathews, Director of Operations for the AC Truck Academy said. "They have to react to traffic, emergency situations, emergency braking, over-steering, and not shifting correctly."
AC continues to teach new methods to stay in compliance with the Department of Public Safety as it changes the state's Commercial Driver license regulations, but these new changes will make getting a CDL harder.
"During the skills test they are going to have to do a full complete 100 point inspection on a truck and get at least 80 percent of that inspection correct," Mathews said. "[Students] will have to point out on the spot mechanical problems with the truck and how to correct it."
Right now the AC Truck Academy is in the process of installing the new cameras which could be in use by August 15.
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