Trucking Biz Buzz

German company introduces products of the future

The German automotive components manufacturer ZF is showing off two new high-tech products.

One is a truck that a driver can park or back up to a loading dock by using a hand-held remote control device. The truck uses an electric motor during the maneuvers.

ZF is also touting a new automatic transmission that is tied to a GPS so it can read the contours of the road up ahead and shift accordingly.


Kinedyne announces MATS sweepstakes winners

Kinedyne has announced the five winners of the Mid-America Trucking Show contest. Winners will receive a $1,000 shopping spree of Kinedyne products.

This year’s winners are:

  • David Brown, Crivitz, Wis. – D&M Enterprises (OOIDA associate member)
  • John Griswold, Edgewater, Fla. – Griswold Trucking
  • Lisa Prince, Smithfield, Ky. – Johnny’s Garage
  • Diane Doroff, Roseville, Minn. – S&D Express (OOIDA member)
  • Shirley Batteiger, Greenville, Pa. – K&B Hauling

With 80,000 attendees at this year’s MATS, the third highest attendance in the show’s history, Kinedyne received a record number of entries.

“In addition to our popular contest, we also debuted a new product that is being developed by Kinedyne this year called the Retract-A-Bar,” said Jessica Madden, marketing coordinator at Kinedyne, in a press release. “This versatile heavy-duty load restraint bar retracts from 107 inches to 54 inches for easy shipping, storing and use within large dry freight, refrigerated trailers, small utility vehicles and standard pickup trucks.”

Kinedyne is a manufacturer and distributor of cargo securement products for the transportation industry.


No jury trial, Eaton and Meritor will settle

Eaton Corp. dodged a potential $2.4 billion damage claim from Meritor Inc. by agreeing to pay $500 million to head off a jury trial that was set to begin in federal court in Wilmington, Del.

Meritor Transmission and affiliate ZF Meritor LLC sued Cleveland-based Eaton in 2006 for violating antitrust laws. A jury ruled in 2009 that Eaton damaged Meritor and gained 90 percent of the market for truck transmissions by offering “exclusive dealing contracts” and unfair rebates.


Goodyear Smart Fleet program delivers big benefits

You’re an owner-operator or the owner of a small fleet of trucks, and margins are tight. You’re looking for new ways to cut your operating costs and boost your bottom line. Wouldn’t it be useful to have access to many of the same benefits that larger fleets enjoy?

That’s what The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. provides through its Goodyear Smart Fleet program, which gives owner-operators through mid-size fleets access to benefits that, up until now, were reserved for Goodyear national account customers. These include:

  • Premium Goodyear-branded truck tires and technologies, including Goodyear Fuel Max Technology, which incorporates fuel-saving compounds and construction to help promote energy efficiency, and Goodyear DuraSeal Technology, the industry’s only built-in, self-sealing tire technology; and more.
  • Online, published pricing on new Goodyear tires, retreads and services, which are honored by participating, authorized Goodyear commercial tire dealers.
  • The industry’s leading 24/7 emergency roadside service program, offered through the Goodyear-FleetHQ suite of business solutions. Goodyear-FleetHQ claims to have the best roll-time in the industry: just two hours and 11 minutes from the moment a truck driver contacts Goodyear-FleetHQ to the moment his or her truck returns to service.
  • Customized tire performance and service activity reporting to help you manage your tire investment more effectively.
  • Tools to help reduce your overall operating costs.

All prices are published online. Goodyear Smart Fleet members will receive the same pricing at any participating Goodyear commercial tire dealer nationwide.  

To sign up for the Goodyear Smart Fleet program, go to or call number: 888-888-8687.

Published pricing on new tires, retreads and services was one of the features that attracted small fleet owner Cody Field to the Goodyear Smart Fleet program.

“I like how you can see how much everything costs,” says Field, whose fleet, Field Five Services LLC of Poteet, Texas, runs four tractors. “We know what we are going to pay for tires, retreads and services ahead of time, so I can send my drivers to purchase what we need.

Rodolfo Martin’s company, Riverside, Calif.-based MTS Inc., has seven tractors in its fleet. Martin enrolled his company in the Goodyear Smart Fleet program several months ago.

“It was easy to sign up for Goodyear Smart Fleet,” says Martin. “After I enrolled in the program, I received a welcome package from Goodyear with all of the information I needed.” This included a list of the Goodyear commercial tire dealers closest to him.

Martin recently purchased new Goodyear truck tires from a participating Goodyear commercial tire dealer in southern California. “The Goodyear Smart Fleet Web site tells you all of the prices, and my dealer honored those prices,” he says.

There is no cost to join the Goodyear Smart Fleet program, which is available to owner-operators and fleets of all vocations.


Pilot commits $1.25 million to big industry image initiative

Pilot Flying J and Trucking Moves America Forward recently announced a five-year partnership in which the truck stop chain committed $1.25 million to help the advocacy movement grow in the next half-decade. A press conference was held in Washington, D.C., to announce the donation.

TMAF, launched at the Mid-America Trucking Show, is an industry-wide image and internal education initiative aimed at informing policymakers, motorists and the public about the benefits of the trucking industry to help build political and grassroots support necessary to strengthen and help the industry grow, the group says.  


Big Rig Builder launches new 3-D interactive website for truckers

Big Rig Builder has created the first virtual entertainment website built for truck drivers. The 3-D interactive website allows truckers to build their dream semi, and a virtual truck show allows truckers to compete for products for their own rigs.

The Truck Show Competition will be open for seven months. Throughout the competition, the website will add trucks, parts, paint graphics and prizes. Prizes will be announced on Dec. 25 for both a company driver and an owner operator. Some of the prizes include a chrome package from 4 State Trucks; GPS and CB radio from Cobra; Bluetooth headsets from Blue Tiger; and a SleepDog Gel mattress from SleepDogMattress.

“ will continue to expand and develop the 3-dimensional interactive entertainment platform,” according to “creative mastermind” Tom McNeely in a press release. “When giving back to the American trucker, we stand by our slogan ‘Go Big or Don’t Go!’”

After two years in development, BigRigBuilder was created as a “thank you to those that are the backbone of America.” The Truck Show Competition is open to all truck drivers in the continental United States with a valid CDL. Membership is free.


Mack Pinnacle steals the show at music awards

A MackPinnacleRawhideEdition carrying members of the Canadian rap rock band “Down With Webster” stole the show during its grand red carpet entrance at the recent Much Music Video Awards in Toronto.

Four members of the band, which was nominated for pop video of the year, arrived on the red carpet in a 70-inch mid-rise sleeper cab version of the Rawhide Edition.

“A rock rap band like Down With Webster deserves an extraordinary and unique arrival at an event like the Much Music Video Awards,” said John Walsh, Mack vice president of marketing. “If they wanted unique, they got unique.”

Click here to view a video of Down With Webster arriving on the red carpet of the 2014 Much Music Awards in a Mack Pinnacle Rawhide Edition.


Volvo investing in new manufacturing plant

Volvo says it plans to sink nearly 70-million-dollars into its New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Virginia.

In a press release, the company says it will install new state-of-the-art equipment to improve the assembly process for the 5 truck models the plant produces.


Trucking industry receives job boost for June

The transportation industry added 16,600 jobs in June, including 3,300 trucking jobs, according to the Department of Labor.

Currently, there are 1,405,000 trucking jobs in America, an increase of 26,000 jobs from last June. In the past year, the trucking industry is averaging an increase of more than 2,100 jobs each month.

Couriers and messengers received the largest gain with 5,500 more jobs for the month of June. Out of the 10 transportation categories, scenic and sightseeing transportation was the only class to report a loss with 800 fewer jobs.

The overall unemployment rate is 6.1 percent, a 0.2 percent decrease from last month. Last year, unemployment in June was at 7.5 percent, 1.4 percent higher than this year. Shortly after the announcement on July 3, the Dow Jones Industrial Average went over 17,000 for the first time ever.

Wages are also increasing. The average hourly earnings for the month of June went up 6 cents to $24.45. Average hourly wages for June of 2013 were at $23.98.


Truck sales spike for month of June

Sales of new trucks jumped more than 41-percent in June compared to the same month last year.

ACT Research says there were more than 26,000 trucks ordered last month. A company spokesman says the market is unusually strong right now given that truck sales normally weaken at this time of year.



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