Sean Kilcarr

Senior Editor

Sean reports and comments on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry -- light and medium duty fleets up through over-the-road truckload, less-than-truckload, and private fleet operations Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

Anne Ferro through the years

Anne Ferro, who has served longer than any other head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, will leave her post as administrator in late August to become president and CEO of the American Assn. of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Ferro announced her decision early Friday afternoon in an e-mail message to FMCSA staff. Her tenure with FMCSA has featured several new safety programs and plenty of criticism of her agency. Here are some of the highlights.

Navistar outlines long-term restoration strategy

Reducing structural and warranty costs while increasing not just market share but profitable market share are but some of the stepping stones Navistar believes will be critical to restoring both its position and its long-term health as a truck OEM.

Navistar launches “Diamond Renewed” used truck program 1

As part of larger strategy to help rebuild its U.S. heavy truck market share, Navistar is launching a new used truck refurbishment program dubbed “Diamond Renewed” for 2010 model or newer International units equipped with the company’s MaxxForce exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) engines.

From “Big Data” to “Big Calculations”

As technology is increasingly viewed as a profit-generating tool for trucking, the processes governing how information gathered and analyzed by such technology are undergoing a kind of evolution as well.

Trailer-order strength points to sustained demand

Despite slight month-to-month slippage in orders, overall demand for trailers remains very strong heading into the second half of 2014 – with the need to both replace aging units and add capacity expected to keep trailer orders brisk.

ACT Research Co. noted that while June net trailer orders dropped from May about 1% to 22,000 units, they remain 42% higher compared to the same month in 2013. The firm added that year-to-date total net trailer orders of 156,000 units are up 45% over the same period last year.

SubTropolis: Trucking Under the Earth

Hacked out of a 270-million-year-old limestone rock deposit just outside Kansas City, MO, SubTropolis is a unique underground industrila space spanning 1,150 acres and 5 million square feet of warehousing, distribution, industrial operation, and data records storage space.

Freight demand should stay up through second half

Freight demand is projected to remain on the rise in the U.S. through the second half of this year, providing carriers and third party logistics (3PL) providers alike with both opportunities and challenges.

J. B. Hunt Transport Services provides an example of that dichotomy as while it reported strong earnings and revenues in the second quarter on burgeoning demand for its diversified freight services, slowdowns in train speeds and a lack of drivers are hindering the company’s ability to fully capitalize on rising freight demand.

Safety the main focus of NFAC report 1

A detailed 47-page report issued by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) provides a total of 81 recommendations aimed at improving the U.S. freight transport system – with the top suggestions aimed at beefing up safety.

Technology viewed as key to unlocking profit

From route analysis to fuel economy performance programs, technology is rapidly being seen as a critical lever to growing profits for trucking companies large and small – even for businesses that don’t haul freight for a living.

Trucking's capacity crunch here to stay 

The availability of truck capacity for both the TL and LTL sectors is going to remain extremely tight and volatile for the foreseeable future, according to two industry experts – so tight that it will be particularly vulnerable to severe weather events and seasonal freight demand swings.

Lawsuits launched over Navistar EGR engines

The national law firm of Miller Weisbrod LLP filed three lawsuits this week against Navistar Inc. on behalf of three trucking clients that are seeking redress for “known defects and problems” with 2010 emissions compliant MaxxForce engines.

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