Fleet Owner Staff

Fleet Owner Staff
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NACFE: Aerodynamics matter, especially for day cabs

The latest “confidence report” issued by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) released this week at the 2016 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, CA, determines that aerodynamic enhancements to Class 8 tractors can return a sizeable savings in fuel efficiency – even for day cab models, which many felt were incapable of benefiting from aerodynamics in the past.

ACT Expo Roundup: Day One

A number of new products and alternative-fuel initiatives were highlighted during the first day of the 2016 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo being held in Long Beach, CA, this week:

Ford to offer new powertrain for 2017 F-150

A new optional powertrain will be offered by Ford Motor Co. for its 2017 model F-150 pickup truck line: a second-generation 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine matched to a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ford said this is the first volume-production 10-speed automatic available to consumers from any automaker and is designed to deliver improved acceleration and performance compared to six-speed automatic gearboxes.

Study: Biggest trucking firms outsource over 42% of their freight

A recent LaneAxis Virtual Freight Management study of some of the biggest trucking companies in U.S.

Ford adds strobe light kit for F-150

A factory-installed strobe warning light emitting diode (LED) kit is now being offered by Ford Motor Co. for its F-150 pickup truck line for fleet customers; a light kit designed with utility, road construction and municipal fleet crews.

Already available on 2016 F-Series Super Duty, the OEM said this LED strobe light kit will be offered as an option on all 2016 F-150 models with a fleet identification number.  

ACT: Used Class 8 prices still falling

Though volumes of used Class 8 trucks ticked up 8% in March, volumes are 5% lower year-to-date compared to the same period in 2015, noted ACT Research in its latest market update.

Dealers also noted used Class 8 values are still falling, noted Steve Tam, vice president for ACT’s commercial vehicle sector, and they believe prices will continue to fall for some time to come.

Kenworth, Peterbilt to offer Allison TC10

Paccar Corp. – the parent company of Peterbilt Motors Co. and Kenworth Truck Co. – announced that it’s started an engineering program with Allison Transmission to offer the fully automatic Allison Transmission TC10 heavy-duty gearbox in several long-haul tractor models.

DTNA opens new headquarters building

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) recently opened a brand new nine-story headquarters building on its corporate campus in North Portland, OR.

The OEM said its new 268,000 sq.-ft. headquarters serves two distinct functions: to merge DTNA employees currently located in offices separated by the Willamette River and to accommodate new positions in Portland that the company anticipates it will need in conjunction with future business growth.

MFTA promotes Coyle

Truck maker Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA) recently promoted Scott Coyle to vice president-service operations for North America.

Coyle started with MFTA in May 1997 as a field service manager for the New York/New Jersey area, then in 2001 received a promotion to national service manager and, followed in 2013 by his appointment to director of service operations.

ATRI: Traffic congestion cost trucking $49.6 billion in 2014

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) calculates that highway traffic congestion cost the trucking industry $49.6 billion in 2014; a monetary figure resulting from delays totaling more than 728 million hours of lost productivity, which equates to 264,500 commercial truck drivers sitting idle for a working year.

More than a dozen states experienced increased costs of over $1 billion each due to congestion, with Florida and Texas leading with over $4 billion each, the group said. 

WABCO buys Laydon Composites

Global truck component supplier WABCO recently acquired privately-owned Laydon Composites Ltd. (LCL), a maker of aerodynamic devices for heavy-duty trucks and trailers, for an undisclosed sum – adding what WABCO describes as “a full range of aerodynamic devices for commercial vehicles” to its product portfolio.

FMCSA: Fatal truck crashes dropped 5% in 2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released its annual report tracking large truck and bus crash data this week and determined that the overall involvement of trucks in crashes declined by 5% between 2013 and 2014, which includes a steep 33% drop in fatal crashes.

However, the agency also noted a significant one-year spike in trucks involved in injury and property-damage-only crashes as well.

ACT: Natural gas truck sales remain sluggish

Sales of Class 8 trucks powered by natural gas in both the U.S. and improved modestly in February yet remain sluggish, according to data tracked by consulting firm ACT Research Co., largely due to low diesel prices, which is making the return on investment (ROI) less lucrative for fleets.

“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 are lengthening,” noted Ken Vieth, ACT’s GM and senior partner, in a statement.

FMCSA issues tank cleaning notice
Tanks tested by two Alabama companies between April 2011 and March 2016 must be re-inspected and/or retested by a firm registered with FMCSA, according to a safety advisory the agency issued.
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