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Month: May 2017

North American truck orders topped 20,000 for fifth month in a row

Image curtesy of ccjdigital.com

Preliminary data compiled by ACT Research and FTR, class 8 North American truck orders topped the 20,000 unit mark for the fifth month in April.

Posting 23,900 truck orders last month, ACT President Kenny Vieth says early spring is the typical time of year when orders moderate, but he expects another month of solid orders before summer seasonal slack settles in.

April orders met expectations with a 4 per cent increase over March.

Fleets are expecting better freight conditions in the second half of the year, and current truck order activity reflects that.

The market continues to show solid movement, Ake said, and this is a typical moderate market recovery.

Truck sales were weak in Q1, but so was the economy.

Class 8 orders for the past six months now annualize to 262,000 units. Backlogs should increase in April, reaching levels nearly a year ago.
Source : ccjdigital.com article by Jason Cannon

Healthy start for Natural gas sales, but uncertain forecast for the future

The first quarter of 2017 saw a health start for North American natural gas sales, boosted from fleets, transit and school bus operators.

This is the best January in the past three years, which set up a positive year-to-date February, said Steve Tam, vice-president of ACT Research.

Image Curtesy of ontruck.org

“Among truckers, it appears as through the majority of incremental volume came from those who currently have natural gas vehicles and are replacing units or increasing their number.”

According to ACT’s most recent natural Gas & Alternative Fuels Quarterly publication, natural gas Class 8 trucks and bus sales remain low.

Meanwhile, the Ontario Trucking Association continues to work with the Government of Ontario in the design of a heavy truck natural gas problem; this aims to reduce barriers and spur natural gas technology in the marketplace.

Last year, the province committed to paying $250 million to the commercial trucking industry for technology to reduce carbon emissions.

Source: ontruck.org

Mexico recognizes the benefit of NAFTA

Mexico’s trucking industry is now Canada’s third-largest trading partner thanks to the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Rogelio F. Montemayor Morineau
Image curtesy of todaystrucking.com

“It has been good to us. It has been good to our economy,” says Rogelio F. Montemayor Morineau, president of the 5,000-member Canacar – Mexico’s national trucking association.

The partnership has benefitted Canada as well. Trade between Mexico and Canada has increased roughly 11% per year.

Mexico is now Canada’s second-largest supplier of auto parts. Exports of goods-moving vehicles has grown about 45.3% per year. Mexico is now the sixth-largest producer of heavy vehicles in the world.

However, Mexico is still faced with other issues. It takes up to 14 hours to drive from the border of Nuevo Laredo to Mexico City, and secure rest areas are few and far between. This makes it difficult to comply with driving time.

Furthermore, there are recruiting challenges to face. Mexico is having trouble finding quality and professional drivers to handle the growing workload.

The new U.S. administration may change screening requirements that will affect freight flows overall.

“They say they want to change NAFTA, but they don’t say what they want to change,” Montemayor Morineau said. “What is really going to happen in the future? I really don’t know about NAFTA.

In the meantime, Mexico remains a manufacturing hub for recognizable brands in the world.

Source: todaystrucking.com

How to combat rust and corrosion on your trucks

Image curtesy of Trucknews.com

Every company has a budget for truck maintenance. This includes the replacement cost for brake parts, wheels, electronic-related items, and more. What’s often not included in the budget is rust prevention.

Corrosion, however, is a very costly problem to fix. In fact, it is a $2.2-trillion industrial problem.

“The approximate cost of corrosion to U.S society that year [2011] was $460 billion,” said Zane McCarthy, a mechanical engineer and corrosion expert.

McCarthy estimates the cost of corrosion from buildings, roads, and industrial equipment. While corrosion has always been a concern, it has become increasingly problematic over the last seven to eight years. Since the introduction of corrosive road de-icing chemicals that are mixed with binding agents, these chemicals keep material from flowing off the road, but causes corrosion and rust on vehicles.

Penske Truck Leasing has switched to air disc brakes from wide-block S-cam brakes to help control the rust problem.

“We decided to try air disc brakes on a few trucks operating up in the northeast, where those chemicals are used, and we saw a reduction in downtime and repair costs in the first year, said Paul Rosa, the president of Penske Truck Leasing.

Magnesium chloride is another problematic chemical, as it’s more conductive than sodium. It is attracted to electricity and copper, therefore spreads faster.

Instead of throwing money at the problem to try and fix it, there are cost-effective solutions to consider.

McCarthy suggests replacing parts if they study their own corrosion issues, develop a plan to tackle them, or better understand what parts are failing and why.

Source: Todaystrucking.com