Jim Mele


Nationally recognized journalist, author and editor, Jim Mele joined Fleet Owner in 1986 with over a dozen years’ experience covering transportation as a newspaper reporter and magazine staff writer. Fleet Owner Magazine has won over 45 national editorial awards since his appointment as editor-in-chief in 1999.

Navistar’s Clarke: Trucks will drive logistics

Within the next decade every truck will be “a connected truck,” and from there “it’s a short next step to integrating trucks into logistics systems,” according to Troy Clarke, president and CEO of Navistar.  “Asset utilization is a big deal,” said Clarke, who comes to that perspective from years of running manufacturing operations.  “You have to use your assets every minute possible to generate revenue in a plant, and I look at trucks the same way.”

Mack powertrain upgraded for better fuel economy, performance

LAS VEGAS. Powertrain changes for 2017 will bring increased fuel economy and power, more vocational flexibility and advanced electronics to Mack Trucks, according to company officials.

DTNA chief sees slow U.S. truck sales through mid 2017

LAS VEGAS.  Calling the current downturn in U.S. Class 8 truck sales “a bit unexpected,” Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, now expects those slow sales to continue through the first half of 2017. And while he believes sales will pick up in the second half, “they won’t be enough to offset the first half, so we’re seeing 2017 as off slightly from this year,” he said at a press conference during the American Trucking Assns.’ annual management conference.

Economists mildly optimistic over economy, freight

LAS VEGAS. While everyone has been waiting for "the big rebound" in the current economic recovery, the U.S. GDP probably won’t grow more than 1.6% this year, according to economist Diane Swonk, founder and CEO of DS Economics “This year could deliver the weakest growth since the Great Recession,” she said speaking at an economic forum during the American Trucking Assns.’ annual conference.

Fiery introduction for new International LT Series on-highway tractor
LAS VEGAS. With Las Vegas-style pyrotechnics and soundtrack, Navistar rolled out its new International LT Series Class 8 tractor for dealers and the media. The all-new tractor is being offered in day cab and four sleeper configurations and already has garnered 2,000 orders, according to the company.
Walking IAA 2016, the world's largest truck show

Every other year global truck manufacturers gather in Hannover, Germany for a celebration of commercial vehicles now known only by its initials IAA.  Spanning over a dozen buildings, the displays range from the smallest components to the heaviest haulers.  Current products in bright graphics mix with flashy hi-tech concept vehicles during two days of press conferences for a global media audience followed by crowds of truck buyers and tire kickers.  Here are just a sampling of IAA 2016's highlights.

Fuso eCanter
Electric Fuso Canter coming to U.S. in 2017

HANNOVER, GERMANY. Once skeptical about the practicality of electric-powered commercial vehicles, Daimler Trucks is now planning to bring the Fuso eCanter to the U.S. market next year and to follow with production of electric light trucks from its van group by 2018.

Eaton AMT software update automates truck docking

HANNOVER, GERMANY. A transmission software update that can automate docking and remote diagnostics were among the advanced technologies showcased by Eaton’s Vehicle Group at the IAA 2016 commercial vehicle show. The company also put on display a new heavy-duty engine braking system that is integrated into the existing valve train and a waste heat recovery system now under development that it says could potentially improve diesel engine fuel efficiency by 20% while also reducing NOx.

Navistar ready for product-sharing with VW
HANNOVER, GERMANY. As soon as Volkswagen Truck and Bus' investment deal in Navistar closes, teams from both companies "will sit down to go through the product portfolios of both from A to Z," according to Troy Clark, Navistar president and CEO.
Daimler’s take on urban trucking

HANNOVER, GERMANY. Advanced truck and bus technology for urban environments have taken center stage for Daimler at IAA 2016, the world’s largest commercial vehicle show. Having introduced its autonomous long-haul truck technology at the last IAA show in 2014, this time Daimler’s truck group rolled out a concept “Urban eTruck” with a 200 km range, while it’s van division showed an always-connected light vehicle meant to integrate last-mile delivery into advanced supply chain distribution systems.

Ram's 2017 Ride and Drive (with a few surprises)

Ram Trucks showed off a variety of its 2017 model trucks and vans during an annual ride and drive event held by its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA), at the OEM’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, MI – an event that also showcased some high-toned sports cars as well as a classic jeep from the automaker’s past. (Photos by Jim Mele and Ram Trucks)

One on one with DTNA’s Martin Daum

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO.  Trucking has changed a lot in the past seven years.  When Martin Daum was named president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America in 2009, the U.S.

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