David Cullen

Executive Editor

David Cullen offers his take on how actions taken by government agencies, industry suppliers and other trucking stakeholders impact truck fleet owners.

States making little headway against broken highways

More funding is being directed to state highways and bridges, yet “very little progress” has been made in improving their condition, according to the 21st Annual Highway Report released today by the nonpartisan Reason Foundation. 

Stifels’ Larkin: Driver shortage is - and will stay - trucking’s top challenge

Financial analyst John Larkin, managing director & head of Transportation Capital Markets Research Stifel, puts the driver shortage square at the top of his list of the “the ten largest factors likely to shape transportation and logistics in the future.” And he contends the shortage will only be “magnified” over time.

Trailer market on the high road into 2015

INDIANAPOLIS.  Presenting next year’s trailer outlook here at the FTR Transportation Conference, Don Ake, vp-- Commercial Vehicles for FTR, began by detailing how hot the market is right now.

 “The trailer market in 2014 is very strong,” he stated, “with market growth the result of both fleet expansion [to add capacity] and pent-up demand [to replace aging equipment

Trucking overcomes modest economic growth

INDIANAPOLIS. Barring unforeseeable events, it appears pretty solid that the U.S. economy-- and freight along with it-- will head through 2015 at roughly the same level of positive, if modest,  growth witnessed so far this year.

That's the upshot of the many economic indicators and indices as well as freight-specific risk factors discussed by economists and analysts here during the first day of the annual FTR Transportation Conference.

Tires: From black to green 

“Green is the new black” is a snappy catchphrase.  Too bad it doesn’t capture all the thinking being poured into enhancing original-equipment truck tires. To be sure, there’s no getting around the seemingly endless fade to green. Truck tires are increasingly being designed to save the environment and fuel dollars. But could they get so green that their other money-saving attributes get squeezed enough to spurt red ink?

Hot-dogging: Mack Trucks chief accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

When Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North American Sales & Marketing, accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge put to him by colleague Göran Nyberg, Volvo Trucks' president of North American Sales & Marketing, he was quic

Navistar scores ‘important financial milestone’

While plainly stating what it must further accomplish, Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) also had some solidly positive news to relay in its Q3 earnings report.

'Nice and cool': Volvo Trucks chief accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

With a Carolina summer day standing in for the sojourn in a sauna that might have served as his warmup had he accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge while visiting his native Sweden, Göran Nyberg, Volvo Trucks' president of North American Sales & Marketing, swiftly completes his charitable deed outside the OEM's Greensboro headquarters.

Unflinched by the icy experience, he remarks that it was "Nice and cool" before throwing down the bracing gauntlet to colleague Stephen Roy, Mack Trucks' president of North American Sales & Marketing.

Diesel-blending promises to churn out big fuel savings

A new joint venture aims to develop, certify, and sell dual-fuel “diesel- displacement” systems for existing Class 7 & 8 on-highway trucks. The systems will enable such vehicles to run on a blend made up of diesel and propane or natural gas.

According to the jv partners, retrofitting their “diesel-blend technology” will reduce diesel emissions and provide fuel cost savings of up to 20%.

Court rejects FedEx Ground’s driver business model
A federal appeals court decision yesterday came down hard on FedEx Ground, ruling that the package-delivery firm had misclassified 2,300 drivers as independent contractors instead of employees
Used trucks costing fleets more

Average prices for used medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the first month of this year’s third quarter ran higher than they did in Q3 a year ago, per the “Commercial Truck Monthly Report” for July on the vehicle-resale market just released by The Truck Blue Book (TBB).

GE Capital: Trucking’s on the sunny side of the street

A decidedly upbeat take on the road ahead for motor carriers through the rest of the year is sounded in an extensively documented ‘Research Update’ on truck transportation prepared by GE Capital.

“Given strengthening freight trends coupled with still very tight industry capacity, the supply/demand equation continues to favor” motor carriers, points out the report’s author GE Capital senior research analyst Michael Zimm.

From sci-fi vision to on-road reality 

When attempting to grasp the full measure of a technology’s promise, the best place to start may not be at the beginning.  At times, greater insights may arise by starting in the future.  Not in the future that begins tomorrow, but rather one envisioned in days gone past.

Eye of the beholder 

If everyone views trucks merely as machines highly engineered to accomplish very specific tasks, then why does anyone care what they look like?  Thirty-odd years ago, when I started covering this business, I didn’t give any thought to what most fleet trucks looked like.  Mainly because they looked pretty much the same as the ones I’d seen as a boy.  Their look was wholly utilitarian.  They were no-fuss “rolling stock,” which was how fleets invariably referred to them.

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