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Author: timschotsman

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

Fuel-efficient technology being showcased in U.S. road show

Shell, PepsiCO, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and Carbon War Room are working together to showcase more fuel-efficient technologies in a U.S. road show.

The show, Run on Less, will be a three-week tour in September and feature six to 10 Class 8 trucks equipped with technology that will help achieve at least 26 litres per 100 kilometers (9 miles per US gallon).

The last stop on the tour will be on September 24 at the new North American Commercial Vehicle show in Atlanta, Georgia.

Image curtesy of : Nacfe.org

The Run on Less website will track driver progress and saved dollars and carbon emissions.

Fleets that want to participate will be accepting applications.

The NACFE board chairman recently stated fleets need help sifting through the noise and making better purchasing decisions, while manufacturers need to understand the benefits of how fleets use technologies.

Shell is a proponent of this and works to raise awareness of energy challenges, and the tour is a great way to demonstrate their commitment.

Run on Less is a unique opportunity to demonstrate best practices and improve the bottom line for North American fleets.

Source: todaystrucking.com

Women in Trucking Association Celebrates 10 Years of Diversity


The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary.

The nonprofit organization has worked over the last 10 years to encourage women to consider careers in the trucking industry, while addressing any issues that may have prevented a woman from succeeding in the job.

The organization has over 4,500+ members of carriers, suppliers, industry professionals, drivers and students. Sixteen per cent of WIT members are men in support of the program and its goals.

Women continue to be a minority in the transportation industry, but WIT has made strides in raising awareness and increasing the ranks of women.

Source: womenintrucking.org

ELD mandate will push truckload rates higher in 2017

Curtesy of : fleetowner.com

Truckload rates are set to increase an average of 4 per cent this year as a result of an ELD mandate that is about compensating for economic recovery.

The economy has shifted from a high-growth economy to slower-growth but more consumer oriented with a growth at 2%. The industry is concerned for what will happen in 2018 and 2019, and the chance of a recession.

The ELD mandate could also cause a drop in volume and in pricing from 5 to 10 per cent. The impact of ELDs on late adopters is likely high, and it could take a few years before industry professionals realize they’ll have to do it.

Another mandate at play is President Trump’s proposed trillion-dollar transportation infrastructure program, but it hasn’t been decided who will be paying for it. It could come out of higher toll rates.

The FTR estimates that trucking pays 3 cents per mile to maintain an efficient highway system. Maintenance backlogs could double that to 6 cents per mile, and improving the system with additional lanes and highways will bring that cost to 20 cents per mile.

The industry forecast of 25% growth in the 2020s is exaggerated. With the national debt and transportation demand, it could grow by as little as 5%.

Source: fleetowner.com

New NTEA president excited to continue growth of Canada-US trucking relationship

The new president of the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) has stressed the important link between the Canadian and US trucking industries, and recently announced he believes this relationship will strengthen.

Canada and the US have always been each other’s greatest trading partners, but also wants the relationship to continue to grow in ongoing globalization.

With NTEA offices located in Washington and Ottawa, members are tasked to work together to protect and advance each other’s interests.

The NTEA is working with Transport Canada to release rear backup camera regulations, and held an educational session on the US variety last month.

The US version of greenhouse gas regulations for trucks was released in 2016, and the NTEA plans to work on its proposal for phase 2 now as well.

Another focus of the NTEA is to provide members with advice on cross-boarder issues through its Ottawa office, and visit with Canadian members to get feedback on other concerns.

Adam Keane, president of the NTEA, speaks during the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis March 16.

Source: TruckNew.com

Do the benefits of switching to disc brake options outweigh the maintenance?

Photo courtesy of fleetequipmentmag.com

Photo courtesy of fleetequipmentmag.com

There has been a sudden adoption of air disc brakes due to the reduced maintenance requirements and costs associated with its counterpart – drums.

Does this mean air disc brakes will cost your transport company less money overtime? Not necessarily.

The director of marketing and customer solutions with Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake says while the level of maintenance for air disc brakes is less than drum brakes, they still need special attention. Keith McComsey says people assume they are maintenance-free, and that’s not the case.

There are impressive maintenance savings, however, the disc air brakes must be regularly inspected.

McKenzie Tank Lines inspects the brakes every 60 days in order to ensure the brakes are at their optimum. While they are not maintenance-free, they require less maintenance and more inspection-based.

Disc brakes are being increasingly used on heavy-haul transportation trucks because they offer better stopping performance in comparison to drums. Disc brakes need less parts and equipment as well.

Would you switch from drum brakes to disc air brakes?

Source: Trucknews.com

Operation Airbrake Results released

Photo courtesy of cvsa.org

Photo courtesy of cvsa.org

During Brake Safety Week in September, a total of 13.2% of inspections conducted during Operation Airbrake resulted in vehicles being deemed out of service for brake violations, and almost 15% were sidelined for non-brake related violations.

Over 18,000 inspections were conducted in the US and Canada over the course of the week. The inspections are designed to promote routine brake checks and emphasize the importance of brake maintenance.

A member of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced brakes must be routinely checked for driver safety and everyone else on the road.

Source : Trucknews.com