Sean Kilcarr

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.

Articles
Mix of factors pose challenges and opportunities for trucking

Strong U.S. freight demand driven by a recent resurgence in housing and manufacturing activity may be partially offset by a lackluster forecast for overall economic growth coupled to a more dire shortage of truck drivers.

May spot market freight availability, for example, increased 40% versus the same month in 2013 as measured by the DAT North American Freight Index – the 11th consecutive month to post a year-over-year record increase.

EDF: Stringent Phase II GHG rules will cut trucking costs 

A new report crafted by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) argues that the “Phase II” greenhouse gas (GHG) rules currently being developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for medium- and heavy-duty trucks could boost industry savings if they are more stringent.

Improving truck driver work life via technology 

Reducing paperwork hassle plus re-routing faster and more efficiently all while staying in better contact with family are just some of the reasons in-cab technology providers expect demand for their services will grow significantly in the near-term – especially if they can deliver cost savings in the bargain as well to fleets.

Hauling shop 

Managers: Daniel & Phyllis Snow
Title: Owners
Fleet: Snow Trucking, Harrison, AR
Operation: Long-haul, dry van truckload

Problem:

Extended downtime for repairs is anathema for any trucking operation, large or small, but it’s particularly tough for owner-operators as their vehicle literally doubles as their second home when on the road.

Body makeover 

Light trucks and vans are undergoing a lot of change these days in an effort to improve fuel efficiency as demanded by the bevy of carbon emissions regulations being issued by both federal and state governments.

KCAP: Where the Transit gets built

Ford Motor Co.'s Kansas City Assembly Plant -- known as "KCAP" -- is a 5.5 million square foot-plus facility sitting on 1,269 acres that builds both the new full-size Transit van as well as the F-150 pickup. Ford invested over $1.1 billion in recent years into KCAP to make it a major van and truck manufacturing site for the North American market. Today KCAP, staffed by some 4,878 workers, is one of Ford's largest plants worldwide.

Transit Ride & Drive in Kansas City

Ford Motor Co. recently put on a "ride and drive" event for journalists in Kansas City, MO, to show off its new 2015 full-size Transit van, which went into full production in April 2014. Ford plans to conduct a series of similar "ride and drive" events at dealerships across the U.S. this year; an effort the OEM is calling the "Truth About Transit" tour.

Ford expects strong growth in global commercial-vehicle market

The global Class 1-7 commercial vehicle market is expected to grow by 13% between 2013 and 2017, according to Ford Motor Co. executives, with demand for more pickup, van, and medium-duty options driving development of more “custom-capable” vehicle platforms.

Ford touts Transit’s EPA fuel economy numbers

KANSAS CITY. Ford Motor Co. announced this week that the two gasoline engine equipped versions of its new 2015 Transit full-size van will deliver in some cases nearly 50% better fuel economy versus comparable Econoline E-Series van models the Transit line is replacing, according to official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) test data.

Calculating the cost of crashes

A new study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calculates that vehicle crashes generate nearly $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm every year – a price tag that some safety advocates claim acts almost as a “hidden tax.”

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