Trucking Biz Buzz Archive

Fuel surcharges affect van spot rates; reefers and flatbeds go up

Declining fuel surcharges resulted in a small drop for vans for spot rates for the week ending Jan. 3 compared with the prior week, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. Reefers and flatbeds had a small gain.

Van rates dropped a penny to $2.07. Los Angeles and Chicago experienced rates as high as $2.42 and $2.31, respectively. Rates for the month of December are up 7.2 percent from last year. Load-to-truck ratios went up 30 percent after a week of decline to 4.3 loads per truck. Several states – including Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and New York – have a load-to-truck ratio greater than 5.5.

Reefer rates managed to increase 2 cents to $2.38 compared with the previous week. Green Bay rates were as high as $3.11, whereas Lakeland, Fla., had low rates of $2.02. Compared with last December, reefer rates are up 14 percent. Load-to-truck ratios increased by 37 percent to 13.9 from 10.2 in the previous week. Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, New York and several more states had ratios in excess of 12 loads per truck.

Flatbed rates went up a penny to $2.31. Harrisburg, Pa., had a high rate of $3.98. Phoenix marked a low rate of $1.85. Rates are down 0.9 percent for the month, but are up 5.5 percent in the last 12 months. There were 22.9 loads per truck for flatbeds, a 24 percent increase from last week. As with reefer and van loads, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and New York were among a handful of states with higher ratios of 18 loads per truck or more.


ATD announces 2015 Commercial Truck of the Year nominees

Every year, truckers and their custom trucks receive awards from a wide range of competitions. It’s that time of year when the original equipment manufacturers go head-to-head. Three nominees for the 2015 Commercial Truck of the Year have been announced by the American Truck Dealers.

International’s WorkStar 7600, Kenworth’s T880 Vocational Truck with Paccar MX-13 Engine, and Peterbilt’s Model 567 have all received nods from an ATD panel.

A panel of judges will test drive and evaluate the trucks at Manheim San Francisco Bay on Jan. 19. Land Line Magazine Field Editor Suzanne Stempinski is on the judging panel.

Categories include innovation, design, safety, driver ergonomics and comfort. The winner will be announced on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the 2015 ATD Convention and Expo in San Francisco.

In addition to the award ceremony, the ATD convention will include keynote remarks from ATD Chairman and CEO of JX Enterprises Eric Jorgensen and Thomas Frey, executive director and senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute.

For more information on the convention, go to Images and profiles of the nominees can be viewed here.


Michelin offers new dealer locator app

Technology is allowing truckers to take care of business at their fingertips anywhere on the road. Michelin Americas Truck Tires is adding to that convenience with its upgraded dealer locator app.

Specifically designed to be used on the go, the new app offers drag and drop capabilities, type-ahead functionality, more search options, and one-click access to all key dealer information. Using Google Maps, drivers can search for dealer locations by address, city state and ZIP code or by latitude and longitude. From there, users can further drill down to dealers with specific products and services.

By searching “Michelin Truck,” you can find the free app on the iTunes App Store for iPhones and through the Google Play store for iOS and Android devices.


Dart increases driver wages, offers other perks

The Dart Network, a dry van carrier, announced a pay increase for its drivers. Truckers for Dart will receive anywhere from a 2-cent to 10-cent-per-mile increase.

Average wage increases will be 5 cents per mile. Owner-operators contracted with Dart will also receive a fuel adjustment and accessorial pay. Company drivers will receive a fuel bonus.

Dart is also offering sign-on bonuses for incoming drivers of any type. Owner-operators will receive a $5,000 signing bonus. Company drivers and owner-operators who do not own their own truck can receive a $3,000 bonus. Dart driver finishing program graduates are eligible to receive $1,500.


Freight Transportation Service Index maintains record high

The Freight Transportation Service Index for October increased by 0.3 percent from September to 121.8. October’s increase marks the fourth consecutive month of a rise in the index, making the 121.8 index an all-time high, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Employment and retail sales both increased in October, contributing to the TSI growth. Inventories reaching a historic high were also a factor. TSI has gone up 28.8 percent since April 2009, when the index was at 94.6.

Freight shipments are up 2.2 percent from last October, 23.9 percent from five years ago, and 9.2 percent from 10 years ago.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.


Freightliner Cascadias, other vehicles recalled for brake issues

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recalled 2,765 Freightliner Cascadias due to issues with the Meritor WABCO service brakes. Nearly 4,000 other vehicles with the same components are also being recalled.

Freightliner Cascadias manufactured July 22, 2013, to Oct. 13, 2014, that use the WABCO Quick Release Valves with Double Check manufactured Feb. 6, 2013, to April 19, 2014, may have a defective valve seat. Other vehicles with the Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control System using the same service brakes within the above manufactured date range are also affected. Due to improper seating, valves may adjust air pressure levels, which may affect the performance of the brakes.

Owners of affected Freightliners will be notified by Daimler. The recall is expected to begin Jan. 3, 2015. Owners may contact Daimler customer service at 800-745-8000. Daimler's number for this recall is FL-673.

Owners of other vehicles affected by the recall will be notified by Meritor WABCO. The recall is expected to begin Dec. 12, 2014. Owners may contact Meritor WABCO at 248-435-8001. Meritor WABCO's identification number for this recall is C15AA.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline can be reached at 888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to to check the recall status of any vehicle.


Howes Lubricator offering Sage Truck Driving School scholarships

Through its new program, the Howes Truckers of Tomorrow, Howes Lubricator Products is now offering scholarships for all 25 Sage Truck Driving Schools. Each scholarship is for $1,000. 

One student at each Sage location will receive the scholarship, which is available in 2015. Applicants must meet all trucking industry qualifications and demonstrate a financial need.

This will be the first year Howes has offered the scholarship. The maintenance and additive product company plans to continue the scholarship in ensuing years. With 25 locations, Sage provides one-on-one CDL training of entry-level commercial truck drivers and driver training.

For more details, call 800-438-4693.


Holland to hire 500 veterans

More and more trucking industry companies are hiring veterans each year. Time to add another to the list. Next-day transportation service Holland has announced that it will hire 500 veterans.

As part of its growth and expansion, the Michigan company has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes and FASTPORT. Launched in 2011, Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. FASTPORT develops user-friendly technology to aid carriers in their hiring process.

“America is at a turning point with an estimated 1 million veterans returning home in the next five years,” said Scott Ware, president of Holland, in a press release. “Our business is expanding and job opportunities abound. Holland is proud to welcome home our veterans with great career prospects.”

Founded in Holland, Mich., in 1929, Holland provides next-day less-than-truckload shipments in the Central and Southeastern United States and Eastern Canada. Holland provides full-state regional delivery from 57 service centers in 12 states and two provinces: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, as well as Ontario and Quebec, Canada.


River States donates more than $5,000 to Toys for Tots

It is that time of year where the trucking industry shows its true spirit. River States Truck and Trailer has donated more than $5,000 to Toys for Tots.

River States’ donation for 2014 marks the 13th consecutive year that the heavy-duty truck distributor, which is based in Wisconsin, has supported Toys for Tots. The charity collects toys for underprivileged children across the country.

Throughout the year, River States collects donations from employees who want to wear jeans on Friday. This year, the employees at the La Crosse, Eau Claire and Roberts, Wis., locations gathered up more than $5,000. The money was used to purchase toys for children ages 3 months to 13 years.


Spot rates go up for all modalities during holiday season

Holiday demand increased rates across the board for the week ending Dec. 6 compared with the prior week, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. Flatbed rates remained stagnant.

Van rates went up 5 cents to $2.10. Los Angeles and Chicago experienced rates as high as $2.46 and $2.32, respectively. Rates for the month of November are up 9.6 percent from last year. Load-to-truck ratios went up 1.8 percent to 4.5 loads per truck. Several states – including Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and New York – have a load-to-truck ratio greater than 5.5.

Reefer rates received a 4-cent increase to $2.41 compared with the previous week. Green Bay rates were as high as $3.25, whereas a lower rate of $1.60 hit Lakeland, Fla. Compared with last November, reefer rates are up 17 percent. Load-to-truck ratios went up to 12.6 from 11.6 in the previous week. Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, New York and several more states had ratios in excess of 12 loads per truck.

Flatbed rates increased by 2 cents to $2.33, the first increase in several weeks. Harrisburg, Pa., had an exceptionally high rate of $3.96. Phoenix marked a low rate of $2.07. Rates are down 1.7 percent for the month, but are up 10 percent in the last 12 months. There were 18.2 loads per truck for flatbeds, an 8.9 percent increase from last week. As with reefer and van loads, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and New York were among a handful of states with higher ratios of 18 loads per truck or more.


Trucks leading transport in 2012 Commodity Flow Survey

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau have released final estimates from the 2012 Commodity Flow Survey. Trucking continues to be the leading transportation modality.

Since the last survey in 2007, tonnage and ton-miles went down 9.9 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively. Value amount for commodities increased by 18.5 percent, but is not adjusted for inflation.

Trucking accounted for 73.1 percent of the value and 71.3 percent of the tonnage for shippers’ cargo. Overall, trucks shipped out 8.1 billion tons of goods valued at $10.1 trillion. Approximately 1.2 trillion ton-miles were traveled to transport the commodities.

Mixed freight led the commodities categories with the largest value of $1.4 trillion, followed by gasoline at $1.2 trillion and electronics and vehicles (including parts), both at $1.03 trillion. The manufacturing industry contributed the most tonnage at 4.2 billion tons, whereas the wholesale industry contributed the most value at $6.1 trillion.

The Commodity Flow Survey, conducted as a partnership of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, is the primary source of national and state-level data on domestic freight shipments in the United States. The CFS measures domestic freight shipments by American establishments in mining, manufacturing, wholesale, auxiliaries, and selected retail industries.


Transportation sector gains nearly 17,000 jobs in November

With the holiday season in full swing, transportation jobs are on the rise. The transportation sector gained 16,700 jobs in November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Truck transportation subsectors jobs received a gain of 3,000 jobs, for a total of more than 1.4 million jobs. The only transportation subsector to gain more jobs was the couriers and messengers subsector at 4,700 additions.

November’s job addition is an increase from October, which saw a gain of 13,000. September saw sluggish gains at 5,000 additions. Although up from last month, November gains are half as much when much compared to last year. In November 2013, more than 30,000 transportation jobs were added.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $22.90 for November, down a penny from October. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 4 cents to $20.61. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries increased by 9 cents to $24.66. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up 2.1 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is down to 6.0 percent from 9.0 percent last October. The overall unemployment rate for the country dropped to 5.8 percent in October, unchanged from last month which was the lowest rate since July 2008. The number of long-term unemployed remained relatively stagnant for November, but has decreased by 1.2 million in the past 12 months.


Van and reefer rates up, flatbed rates unchanged

Pre-Thanksgiving demand and bad weather increased van and reefer spot market rates for the week ending Nov. 29 when compared to the prior week, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. Flatbed rates remained stagnant.

Van rates went up two cents to $2.05. Los Angeles and Chicago experienced rates as high as $2.60 and $2.49, respectively. Rates are up 9.6 percent from last year. Load-to-truck ratios went up 21 percent to 4.4 loads per truck. Several states – including Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and New York – have a load-to-truck ratio greater than 5.5.

Reefer rates received a 3-cent increase to $2.37 compared to the previous week. Green Bay rates were as high as $3.24, whereas a lower rate of $1.66 hit Lakeland, Fla. Compared with last November, reefer rates are up 17 percent. Load-to-truck ratios went down to 11.6 from 12.6 in the previous week. Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, New York and several more states had ratios in excess of 12 loads per truck.

Flatbed rates remained at $2.31, stopping a steady decline from the previous weeks. Harrisburg, Pa., had an exceptionally high rate of $3.97. Meanwhile, $1.85 marked a low rate for Phoenix. Rates are down 1.7 percent for the month, but are up 10 percent in the last 12 months. There were 16.8 loads per truck for flatbeds, an increase in a month marked by decreases. As with reefer and van loads, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and New York were among a handful of states with higher ratios of 18 loads per truck or more.


Texas carrier group donates $50,000 to Trucking Moves America Forward

The Texas Trucking Association Foundation announced that they will donate $50,000 to Trucking Moves America Forward over the next five years. Texas Trucking Association Foundation trustees voted to support TMAF in November.

“Trucking Moves America Forward is an educational tool that will not only further the understanding of our industry, but will also ignite a passion in others for what we do,” said TXTA President and CEO John D. Esparza in a press release.

TMAF was launched at the Mid-America Trucking Show back in March. According to its website, TMAF’s mission “is to establish a long-term industry-wide movement to create a positive image for the industry, to ensure that policymakers and the public understand the importance of the trucking industry to the nation’s economy, and to build the political and grassroots support necessary to strengthen and grow the industry in the future.”

Other financial contributors to TMAF include Pilot Flying J, Randall-Reilly, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Allied Committee for the Trucking Industry, Old Dominion Freight Lines and National Tank Truck Carriers.


Freightquote acquired by C.H. Robinson for $365 million

C.H. Robinson Worldwide, a Fortune 500 company offering third-party logistics, has acquired for $365 million in cash, according to a press release.

C.H. Robinson will likely increase its existing revolving credit facility to finance the acquisition. Pending regulatory approval, the closing is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2015.

Tim Barton, founder and executive chairman of Freightquote, will serve as a consultant to Freightquote once the acquisition is complete. Barton founded the company in 1998, and the website was officially launched in 1999.

According to its website, Freightquote is the largest online U.S. freight shipping provider. Freightquote exceeds $600 million in annual revenue with more than 1 million shipments each year.

Founded in 1905, C.H. Robinson is one of the world’s largest third party logistics providers, with 2013 gross revenues of $12.8 billion, according to the company’s website. With a large focus on freight transport, the multibillion dollar company has offices across the globe.


NAFTA freight maintains healthy numbers

September was the seventh consecutive month for U.S.-NAFTA freight to exceed $100 billion with a freight flow of $102.2 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistic’s TransBorder Freight Data.

All five transportation modes reported more freight compared with September 2013. Truck freight saw the second largest increase at 8.6 percent following only pipeline freight, which grew by 21.0 percent. Truck freight contributed the most of the $7.8 billion increase from last year with $4.9 billion. Trucks accounted for $31.2 billion of exports and $30.1 billion of imports.

U.S.-Canada freight moved by trucks increased by 6.0 percent from last year. U.S.-Mexico freight went up by 11.5 percent. Of the $44.9 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried 67.6 percent of the loads.


Van and reefer rates are up, flatbed rates slightly down

Van, refrigerated and flatbed capacity increased by 4.5 percent while available freight rose by 2.7 percent for the week ending Nov. 15, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Load-to-truck ratios went up for van and reefer loads, whereas flatbed ratios experienced a decrease when compared to the previous week. Van ratios rose to 3.0, reefer went up to 9.8 loads per truck, and flatbed ratios fell 10 percent to 16.8.

In addition to load-to-truck numbers, rates went slightly down for van freight at $2.02 per mile, maintaining a rate above $2. Reefer rates remained the same at $2.31 per mile, and flatbed rates had a typical decline for the season at $2.32 per mile.

Van rates for Los Angeles to Phoenix are at  $3.11 per mile. Other routes for vans with typically strong rates include Columbus to Buffalo ($3.64 per mile), Atlanta to Orlando ($2.74 per mile) Philadelphia to Boston ($3.68) and Dallas to Houston ($2.54)


CalArk increases wages, offers more benefits

Arkansas-based CalArk is the latest motor carrier to announce a pay increase for its drivers. Company drivers will soon see their wages hiked up 3 cents per mile.

The increase is slated to kick in on Dec. 2, and individual truckers driving for CalArk can also receive a 2 cents-per-mile bonus when logging more than 11,250 authorized miles each month. Teams working for the carrier can also collect the bonus, but must drive 19,200 miles in a one-month period.

In addition to the pay increase and monthly bonuses, CalArk will also offer major medical coverage and prescription coverage. At a cost of $45 each week, the medical coverage will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.


Navistar introduces global disaster relief truck

Weather and other disastrous events often highlight the need for more emergency response vehicles with improved efficiency. Navistar and Terranova GTS have teamed up to fulfill that need.

During the Aid and International Development Forum Disaster Relief Summit in Washington, D.C., the two companies revealed the International DuraStar Multi-Purpose Vehicle. Designed to aid in disaster relief, the emergency vehicle is equipped with a variety of tools capable of responding to various disaster situations.

"This state-of-the-art multipurpose vehicle provides a critical resource to aid disaster relief efforts around the world,” said Tom Clevinger, Navistar senior vice president, Global Truck and Bus, in a press release.

Equipped with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified microbiological water purifier, the truck can purify 5,000 gallons of drinking water each day. In the event of a fire, the vehicle includes firefighting capabilities. For medical aid, the multipurpose vehicle is equipped with a mobile medical unit.


Fastport receives Hiring Our Heroes award

Fastport has been awarded the 4th Annual Hiring Our Heroes Capital One Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced in a press release.

Fastport’s JobMaps is a smartphone app that matches drivers with a job best fit for them and near their hometown. JobMaps calculates a user’s response to job listings to find the perfect match. Reviews from past drivers of a particular job are also featured.

OOIDA recently partnered with Fastport to help military veterans find jobs in trucking. As part of the agreement, OOIDA will provide online education to help veterans learn how to become owner-operators, how to pass a safety audit and how to figure cost of operations.

The Capital One Award for Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment is awarded to companies with fewer than 500 employees who demonstrate leadership in hiring veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.

Hiring Our Heroes launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, the goal is to create a movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day.

See related story:

New campaign will help place military vets behind the wheel


Nussbaum increases driver pay, adds sign-on bonus

Truckers driving for Nussbaum Transportation will be bringing in the New Year on a high note. Drivers will be receiving a six percent pay increase effective on January 5, 2015, Nussbaum Director of HR/Safety Jeremy Stickling confirmed to Land Line.

With a base pay range from 42-52 cents per mile, the average pay at Nussbaum will be $63,000 per year. Weekly minimum guarantee is now $1,050 a week. The top 25 percent earning will be $68,000 per year, and the top 10 percent will be around $70,000 a year.

New hires who are employed by the first week of January will receive a $3,000 sign-on bonus. Other perks include a clean inspection bonus, years of service awards, personal finance class, holiday and vacation pay, 401k, insurance and more.


Freight Transportation Service Index reaches all-time high

The Freight Transportation Service Index for September increased by 0.3 percent from August to 121.5. September’s increase marks the third consecutive month of a rise in the index, making the 121.5 index an all-time high, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

With the exception of unchanged rail carloads numbers, all freight modes grew in September. The 2.3 percent third quarter increase is the highest growth since the fourth quarter of 2011 and is the only quarter this year to rise. TSI has gone up 28.5 percent since April 2009, when the index was at 94.6.

Freight shipments are up 4.2 percent from last September, 22.4 percent from five years ago, and 10.0 percent from 10 years ago.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.


Crete gives five vets inducted to Patriot Fleet new trucks

Crete Carrier Corp inducted five veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces into the Patriot Fleet last week during Veterans Day. Members of the special fleet each receive a customized Freightliner Cascadia wrapped with honorary military graphics.

Following a speech by Col. Chris Collins, Crete Carrier Corp. COO Tim Aschoff recognized the 11 current Patriot Fleet truckers. There are currently 15 trucks in the fleet with the new inductees. Keys to a new Cascadia were handed over to the five new members.

This year, Crete has received the American Legion Employer of Veterans Award and was winner for’s Most Valuable Employers for Military list. Crete also received the Pro Patria Award from the Nebraska Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and was a semifinalist for the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award last year. 


New Love’s location opens in Columbus, Mississippi

Love’s Travel Stops has announced a new location in Columbus, Miss., with 52 parking spaces. Opening its doors on Thursday, Nov. 13, the new Love’s sits at U.S. Highway 82 and State Highway 50.

Chester’s Chicken restaurant, seven showers and Love’s Truck Tire Care center are all available to truckers around the clock. Additionally, gourmet coffee, fresh fruit, gift merchandise, RFID cardless fueling technology and CAT scales are also featured at the new Love’s location.


Transportation sector gains 13,000 jobs in October

As the economy strengthens, both gas prices and the unemployment rate are going down. The transportation sector gained 13,000 in October, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nearly 4,000 jobs were created specifically for the truck transportation subsector, for a total of more than 1.4 million jobs. October’s job addition is a major increase from September, which only saw a gain of 5,000. August received as many as 11,000 new jobs. In October 2013, only 4,800 transportation jobs were added.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $22.91 for October, up a penny from September. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees remained unchanged at $20.57. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls increased by 3 cents to $24.57. When compared to a year ago, average earnings have gone up 2 percent.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material moving occupations is down to 6.4 percent from 9.5 percent last October. The overall unemployment rate for the country dropped to 5.8 percent in October, the lowest since July 2008. The number of long-term unemployed remained relatively stagnant for October, but has decreased by 1.1 million in the past 12 months.


Van spot rates remain steady for third straight week

Van, refrigerated and flatbed capacity decreased by 4.4 percent while available freight fell by 1.2 percent for the week ending Nov. 1, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Load-to-truck ratios remained steady for van and flatbed loads, whereas reefer ratios slightly increased when compared to the previous week. Van ratios remained at 2.6, reefer went up 1.8 percent to 7.8 loads per truck, and flatbed ratios stood at 17.9.

In addition to load-to-truck numbers, rates have remained static for van freight at $2.01 per penny, marking three straight weeks at that value. Reefer rates went down a penny to $2.26 per mile, and flatbed rates slid 1.3 percent to $2.35.

Van rates in Los Angeles have increased its already high rate to $2.37 per mile. Other cities with strong rates include Columbus, Ohio ($2.26 per mile), Atlanta ($2.03 per mile) and Buffalo ($2.11).


Forward Air acquires Multi-Modal

Central States Trucking Co., a subsidiary of Forward Air Corp., has acquired Multi-Modal Trucking Inc. and Multi-Modal Services Inc. for $5.75 million.

The purchase was made with Forward Air’s cash reserves. Last year, Multi-Modal generated $8.5 million in revenue. Multi-Modal will begin adding to earnings per share in 2015.

Based in Indianapolis, Ind., Multi-Modal provides intermodal drayage, devanning, transloading and warehousing services primarily within the Midwest region of the United States.


Pilot Flying J launches ‘Travel Well’ program

Launching a new brand identity, Pilot Flying J has announced its Travel Well program, a holiday journey leading up to Thanksgiving committed to improving life on the road for truckers. Upgrades to facilities and travel blogs from celebrities will be part of the program.

Travel Well on Nov. 1 will begin to promote the new program as well as food and facility upgrades at more than 650 locations. Pilot Flying J has invested $100 million in technology and amenities. Healthier and higher-quality food choices will be available at the PJ Fresh Marketplace, including handmade pizza.

Championing a healthier lifestyle, Pete Thomas from NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” has been tapped as a personal health advocate to help drivers meet their wellness goals. Reaching out to road warriors, NASCAR driver Michael Annett will focus on the best methods of making a pit stop at Pilot Flying J. Other blogs include family friendly traveling advice.

Travel Well will be featured through Pilot Flying J’s social media sites and official website


Pilot Flying J leasing diesel islands in Virginia

Pilot Flying J will be leasing the diesel islands at six locations in Virginia. The Pilot stores will be operated in connection with Speedway LLC. The six locations include:

  • Wytheville, Va. – Located off Interstates 81 and 77 at 1318 E. Lee Highway. Features Dunkin’ Donuts and Dairy Queen, as well as diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) at the pump and showers for professional drivers.
  • Toms Brook, Va. – Located off Interstate 81 at State Route 651 at 1014 Mt. Olive Road. Features Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway and Dairy Queen, as well as DEF at the pump and showers for professional drivers.
  • Raphine, Va. – Located off Interstates 81 and 64 at Exit 205 at 713 Oakland Circle. Features Dunkin’ Donuts and Wendy’s, as well as DEF at the pump and showers for professional drivers.
  • South Boston, Va. – Located off U.S. Highway 58 at 2190 Philpott Highway 58. Features Dunkin’ Donuts, as well as DEF at the pump and showers for professional drivers.
  • Disputanta, Va. – Located off Interstate 95 at Exit 47 at 4610 County Drive. Features Dunkin’ Donuts and Wendy’s, as well as DEF at the pump and showers for professional drivers.
  • Skippers, Va. – Located off State Route 629 at 781 Moores Ferry Road. Features Dunkin’ Donuts.


Mack Trucks reward OOIDA members for choosing Mack

Mack Trucks is offering a special incentive to active members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association who purchase a new Mack truck model from a participating dealer between Oct. 22, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2015.

OOIDA members who make a qualifying purchase will receive a Mack Trucks Loyalty Reward card worth $1,500. This offer is available in the U.S. and Canada. 
As an added bonus, customers who finance their new truck with Mack Financial Services will receive an additional $500 on their card, for a total loyalty reward of $2,000. The loyalty reward cards are redeemable immediately and are valid through Dec. 31, 2016, at participating dealers. 

Qualifying vehicles include any new Mack Pinnacle, Granite or Titan either ordered or purchased from dealer inventory. The vehicles must be warranty registered between Oct. 22 and Dec. 31, 2015, to be eligible and a maximum of five loyalty reward cards are available per eligible purchaser. 

For additional information about the Mack Trucks Loyalty Reward program, please visit your local Mack Trucks dealer. For details on eligibility, call OOIDA at 800-444-5791 and ask for Trinette Rogers or Tammy Hodges.


Freight numbers for August remain strong

U.S.-NAFTA freight hit $100.6 billion in August, making it the sixth consecutive month to exceed $100 billion, according to TransBorder Freight Data.

With a $4.2 billion increase from last year, truck freight contributed the most with $1.9 billion. All five major modes of transportation – air, vessel, pipeline, rail and trucks – had better numbers in August compared with August 2013.

Trucks carry three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA freight and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks carried 59.6 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight in August 2014, accounting for $28.8 billion of imports and $31.2 billion of exports.


Spot market rates for week ending Oct. 18

Van, refrigerated and flatbed capacity increased by 5.6 percent while available freight decreased by 5.6 percent for the week ending Oct. 18, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Load-to-truck ratios decreased for all three equipment categories. Van ratios went down to 2.8 from 3.1, reefer went down 11 percent to 7.8 loads per truck, and flatbed ratios have decreased 8.6 percent to 21.9 loads per truck.

In addition to load-to-truck numbers, rates have also weakened. Van and flatbed rates both slipped 2 cents to $2.01 per mile while reefer rates decreased by a penny to $2.28 per mile.

Van rates in Los Angeles have been unusually high at $2.25 per mile. Other cities with strong rates include Columbus, Ohio ($2.31 per mile) and Buffalo ($2.40 per mile). Memphis rates went down 6 cents to $2.32.


Knight Transportation acquires Barr-Nunn

Trucking behemoth Knight Transportation has added another fleet to its portfolio. According to a news release, Knight has acquired dry van transportation company Barr-Nunn.

Purchased for $112.4 million by Knight, Barr-Nunn generated $119.8 million in total revenue in the last year. Headquartered near Des Moines, Iowa, Barr-Nunn has a fleet of approximately 550 trucks.

Barr-Nunn management, personnel, policies and culture will remain intact. In the news release, Knight assured driving associates, non-driving associates and customers that little change should be noticed after the transaction has been completed.

Specializing in expedited and service-sensitive marketplaces, Barr-Nunn operates mostly in eastern United States. Major manufacturers, consumer product companies, retailers and transportation and logistics providers are among Barr-Nunn’s customers. Leased facilities are located in Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.


Canada approves full length rear-mounted aerodynamic devices

Canada’s Ministers of Transportation and Highway Safety have approved the use of rear-mounted aerodynamic devices like ATDynamics’ full-length TrailerTails within all Canadian provinces.

An amendment to the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Memorandum of Understanding on Interprovincial Weights and Dimensions, the new law is a result of ATDynamics’ work with Canadian and cross-border fleets to update vehicle length exemptions and regulations. Efforts to change the standards have been going on for seven years.

“After considerable research on the effectiveness and safety of rear-mounted aerodynamic devices, in December 2013 Transport Canada revised regulations to facilitate the use of larger aerodynamic devices on the rear of trucks and trailers,” said the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat in a press release.

Until legislation goes into full effect, ATDynamics hopes for each province to issue permits or defer enforcement, allowing the use of full length TrailerTails. Ontario has not enforced the older law prohibiting full length TrailerTails since Aug. 11.


Pilot Flying J offering free showers

Pilot Flying J will be offering free daily showers and extended shower credits to drivers. The offer is available to truckers who pump more than 500 gallons of fuel in one month.

Using their MyRewards account, drivers will receive one free shower credit a day after pumping 500 gallons of fuel. Once 500 gallons have been purchased, the shower credits will be given through the remainder of the month.

Truck drivers will also receive a 10-day expiration on shower credits before hitting the 500 gallon mark each month. This is an extension of the five-day expiration period.

As part of an initiative to improve the lives of professional drivers, Pilot Flying J has launched a $50 million project to remodel restrooms at every location. Another $50 million project to remodel showers should be completed by the end of the year.


Goodyear introduces new fuel-efficient drive tire

Goodyear has introduced the Fuel Max LHD G505D, a drive tire that the company calls the most fuel-efficient long-haul drive tire in North America.

Goodyear claims that compared to the Michelin X Line Energy D, the G505D saves $1,444 of fuel per year on average, compared to competitors. According to the news release, these numbers are based on a Class 8 tractor-trailer combination truck with 6.50 miles per gallon, traveling 120,000 miles in a year and diesel fuel price at $4 per gallon.

Fuel Max LHD G505D tires also include enhanced all-season traction, Goodyear’s Tredlock Technology, and penetration protectors that help resist stone drilling.


U.S. Postal Service could deliver groceries, too

The United States Postal Service wants to deliver a bottle of cold milk and a carton of eggs to your doorstep and do it in the wee hours of the morning while you sleep. According to the Washington Post, the agency filed a proposal with the Postal Regulatory Commission last week asking federal regulators to allow it to expand a grocery delivery pilot program it has going in San Francisco to other cities.

USPS says the way it would work is that the customer would order groceries through Amazon. Then postal workers wearing lighted hats would place insulated tote bags on your porch between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. and leave without ringing the doorbell. 

The postal service figures a two-year test in various cities could bring in $20 million. 


Carrier Transicold using the sun to power TRUs

With all of the rules and regulations controlling the use of auxiliary power units and transport refrigeration units, it was a matter of time for technology to adapt with a solution. Carrier Transicold has introduced Thin-Film Flexible Solar Panels, an accessory that charges TRUs with the power of sunlight, according to a press release.

Providing a battery charge to TRUs in an environmentally-friendly way, the solar panel mats can be placed on the roofs of trailers, truck bodies and refrigerated rail cars. With other devices drawing power from a TRU, the battery can quickly drain when the TRU is turned off. With solar panels, exposure to daylight delivers a continuous charge to the TRU battery, alleviating the issues that arise from a weak or dead battery.

Fuel efficiency can improve with the use of solar panels by reducing the need to run the TRU engine to charge the battery, Carrier Transicold notes in a news release.

Thin-Film Flexible Solar Panels are available in 26-by-41-inch panels for wide, flat roofs and 14-by-80-inch panels for narrow corrugated roofs.

For more information, visit


NAFTA freight exceeds $100 billion for fifth straight month

U.S.-NAFTA freight hit $101.1 billion in July, the fifth consecutive month exceeding $100 billion according to TransBorder Freight Data.

With a $7.9 billion increase from last year, truck freight contributed the most with $4.7 billion. All five major modes of transportation – air, vessel, pipeline, rail and trucks – had better numbers in July when compared to July 2013.

Trucks carry three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA freight and are the most heavily used mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks carried 59.2 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight in July 2014, accounting for $29.3 billion of imports and $30.5 billion of exports.


Bridgestone donates $1 million to combat Ebola in West Africa

Bridgestone Group announced this week that it will donate $1 million towards battling the Ebola epidemic in parts of Africa. Money donated will go toward public awareness, delivery of in-home care supplies, improving medical treatment, and supporting orphaned children as a result of the epidemic.

Bridgestone Americas will give $500,000 to Samaritan’s Purse to aid efforts in Liberia, and Bridgestone Corp. will donate $500,000 to UNICEF’s work in Liberia and Nigeria.

“The current Ebola outbreak is unprecedented and requires an urgent global response. UNICEF is racing against time to control the spread of the disease among children and families,” said Caryl Stern, U.S. Fund for UNICEF president and CEO, in a news release.  “We greatly appreciate the donation from Bridgestone Group, which will help UNICEF expand its critical work in West Africa.”

Firestone Liberia, a Bridgestone Americas subsidiary, has had 71 people associated with the company contract Ebola since the virus started to spread in Liberia. The recent $1 million donation comes after Firestone Liberia implemented an emergency response program on its rubber farm and nearby communities.

“Our Firestone Liberia teammates and community have selflessly met the demands of this deadly outbreak, and we support them and the great work Samaritan’s Purse and UNICEF are doing in the region to help protect the citizens of Liberia and West Africa,” said Gary Garfield, CEO and president of Bridgestone Americas Inc. in a press release.  “We implore others to step up in taking on this fight against Ebola.”

Bridgestone Americas is based in Nashville, Tenn., and Bridgestone Corp. headquarters are located in Tokyo, Japan. The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. first established a natural rubber production facility in Liberia, West Africa, in 1926.


Spot rates down for the week, still up from a year ago

Spot truckload load volume fell 3.5 percent while capacity was unchanged for the week ending Sept. 20, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. 

Load-to-truck ratios also decreased for all three equipment categories. Van ratios went down 1.9 percent, reefer was down 3.1 percent, and flatbed ratios have decreased 5.6 percent.

In addition to load-to-truck numbers, rates have also weakened. Van and flatbed rates both slipped 2.4 percent, whereas reefer rates decreased by 1.3 percent.

Despite the week-to-week decline, numbers are still up when compared to a year ago. Spot market loads are up 44 percent and capacity is up 1.9 percent from August 2013. In relation to last year, rates for van, flatbed and reefers are up 8.7, 9.5 and 9.1 percent, respectively. According to DAT Solutions, the decline for the week is typical for this season.


Peterbilt introduces password-protected engine start

Peterbilt will be offering a new anti-theft system for Models 579 and 567 equipped with Paccar MX-13 engines. The added security will now include drivers entering a passcode to start the engine.

Passwords are keyed in through the menu control switch on the Driver Information Center – located within the driver instrumentation cluster – before starting the engine. The information center is a 5-inch, color LCD screen that provides information on vehicle and engine functions.

Upon entering the correct code, the engine must be started within six minutes. If the engine is not started within that timeframe, the code will need to be entered again. Codes can be changed, deactivated or activated at any Peterbilt dealership’s service department.

The anti-theft system is now in production and available for order.


Johnson’s Corner deal with TravelCenters finalized

A week ago, Chauncey Taylor, the owner of the Johnson’s Corner truck stop and restaurant in Johnstown, Colo., told Land Line the sale to TravelCenters of America could happen as soon as Sept. 24. According to an email Friday from TravelCenters of America to Land Line, TA has officially purchased Johnson’s Corner.

“We are looking forward to continuing the fine tradition of this iconic location and its success,” said Tom Liutkus, vice president of marketing and public relations for TravelCenters.

Nationally recognized as one of the top truck stops in the U.S., Johnson’s Corner is best known for their cinnamon rolls, baked from scratch every morning.

“From what we understand, it’s still going to maintain the Johnson’s Corner brand and the Johnson’s Corner image,” Taylor told Land Line. “It will have the Petro banner. It’s obviously going to carry the Johnson’s Corner name.”

Johnson’s Corner was founded in 1950 by Joe S. Johnson off of the old U.S. Highway 87, now I-25, according to their website. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, the truck stop and restaurant has been featured in Travel and Leisure, the Food Network, and in the movie “Larger than Life” featuring Bill Murray and Matthew McConaughey.


Another warning triangle recall; more than 47,000 affected

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration document, Buyers Products Co. is recalling more than 47,000 triangle warning signs. The recalled warning triangles have an insufficiently rigid joint between the base and the triangle and are improperly filled with ballast, causing the triangle to blow over from wind gusts.

Reports indicate that the triangle warning signs fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Standard No. 125, “warning devices,” and may fall over, leading to passing vehicles not being adequately warned of a stopped vehicle, increasing the risk of crash.

The Buyers Product warning triangle model numbers affected are ERT01 and ERT10.

Buyers Product Co. will notify customers, and refunds will be given for the purchased warning triangles. Drivers who own one of the recalled models may Buyers Product Co. customer service at 440-974-8888. The number for this recall is TSB-ERT10. Owners can also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.


Spot volumes and rates still up from last year

Spot truckload load volume continues to increase and set record highs, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Compared to last August, freight volume is up 32 percent. Volumes also increased for all three equipment categories: van load availability went up 36 percent, reefer freight was up 31 percent, and flatbed volume has increased 56 percent.

In addition to volumes, rates have also improved. Van and flatbed rates both went up 14 percent, whereas reefer rates increased by 5.7 percent.

Freight availability for August remained steady when compared to July with only a 0.4 percent improvement. Over a month, van freight volume was up 0.2 percent and reefer volume rose 6.2 percent. Flatbed volumes actually went down 2.4 percent. According to DAT, July’s high flatbed volume was uncharacteristic. Rates for all three equipment categories decreased slightly, also a result of unusually high mid-summer numbers.


Port of KC terminal reopening after seven years of closure

The Port of Kansas City-Woodswether Terminal will reopen, according to a Port Authority Kansas City news release.

Kaw Valley Companies will serve as the operator for the facility. The port will be open to barge traffic only. Woodswether Terminal has been closed since 2007.

Port Authority Vice President Marissa Cleaver Wamble told The Kansas City Star that $6 million will be needed to open up the port to rail freight. In addition to talks with Union Pacific, the authority has applied for grants to fund rail access.


EPA gives first approval for ‘DME’ in trucks

A California company has become the first to win the thumbs up from the Environmental Protection Agency to sell dimethyl ether, or DME, to power heavy-duty trucks. Globe Newswirereports the fuel is made from methane and delivers the same performance as diesel, but doesn’t congeal in cold weather or create soot.

The company, Oberon Fuels of San Diego, is working closely with Volvo to develop trucks that will use DME.


Western Star introduces the new 5700XE

Land Line Field Editor Suzanne Stempinski was on the scene Thursday in Las Vegas as Western Star Truck Sales Inc. unveiled the new 5700XE Class 8 highway truck. Stempinski was scheduled to test drive the new 5700XE today. Watch for her report and details on the new features.

According to Western Star General Manager Michael Jackson, the XE stands for extreme efficiency. The new truck combines the Western Star style and durability with Detroit fuel efficiency and Daimler aerodynamic technology.

Featuring a 126-inch bumper to back of cab measurement and a set-back axle, the truck is available in a range of spacious and lightweight sleeper configurations.

The 5700XE can be spec’d with the Detroit DD15 and DD16 engines, 455-505 hp and 600 hp, respectively. A Detroit Powertrain option featuring the DD15 can be selected for maximum efficiency in fuel and overall costs. The Detroit DT12 is the standard engine for the 5700XE.


Aftermarket diesel parts maker fined $1 million by CARB

The California Air Resources Board has fined a diesel parts manufacturer $1 million for selling aftermarket equipment that modified emission control systems.

According to a CARB news release, investigators for the air quality agency discovered H&S Performance LLC was selling diesel engine parts and modifications that hadn’t been exempted from California’s emissions control system anti-tampering laws. State law prohibits the sale, delivery and installation of parts that modify emissions control systems of vehicles unless equipment manufacturers have demonstrated the devices don’t reduce effectiveness of emissions control systems.

“An important part of California’s clean air efforts is maintaining the integrity of the emissions control systems on the millions of vehicles that travel our highways each day,” CARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden said, according to the release.

“We take it very seriously when any manufacturer fails to follow the required procedure to prove that its performance products do not reduce the capabilities of the original emissions control system.”

CARB said aftermarket performance parts manufacturers are allowed to sell parts in California after a comprehensive engineering evaluation is performed to ensure the parts don’t create more emissions.

The news release stated that $750,000 of the fine will be paid to the California Air Pollution Control Fund. The remaining $250,000 will be sent to the School Bus and Diesel Emission Reduction Supplemental Environmental Project, which funds cleaner vehicles and equipment in California.

“This settlement only covers the illegal marketing and sales of these devices in the California market,” CARB said in the release.


More than 16,000 triangle warning signs recalled

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration document, Imperial Supplies, LLC is recalling more than 16,000 triangle warning signs. The recalled warning triangles do not properly reflect light.

Manufactured by Torch, reports indicate that the triangle warning signs, labeled C&J, fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Standard No. 125, “warning devices,” and may reflect an inadequate amount of light.

The Imperial Triangle Warning model numbers affected are 0050250 and 0050253.

Imperial Supplies will notify customers and will replace the triangle warning signs with new signs. Drivers who own one of the recalled models may contact Imperial Supplies customer service at 800-558-2808, ext. 4964344. Owners can also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.


Freight Transportation Services Index for July rises

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Freight Transportation Services Index for July increased by 0.9 percent to 119.6. July’s TSI increase comes after a one-month decline.

The July index is 26.5 percent above the low during the recession in April 2009 and just 0.5 percent below the all-time high (120.3) set in May 2014.

Water and pipelines were the only freight modes to experience a decline for July. Industrial production, which includes manufacturing and construction, increased. Shipments and inventories of manufactured goods also increased. Both overall employment and transportation employment went up.

Freight Transportation Services Index measures month-to-month changes in freight shipments in tons and ton-miles. This information is used to measure the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry.


Autonomous Peterbilt truck showcased at ITS World Congress

Autonomous driving technologies were featured at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s 2014 World Congress in Detroit recently, and the Peterbilt Model 579 concept truck was used to demonstrate the new system.

Technologies used by the Model 579 include:

  • Radar-based adaptive cruise control that automatically accelerates and decelerates to maintain safe following distances.
  • Lane departure warning systems, which use cameras to detect land edges and striping and alert the driver if the vehicle is drifting outside of its lane.
  • GPS system to add features such as last mile routing, parking assist and new driver proficiency.

“Heavy-duty trucks are an ideal platform for automated operation because, compared to motorists, commercial vehicles travel a majority of their miles on modern highways, at constant speeds and for extended periods of time,” said Bill Kahn, Peterbilt Principal Engineer and Manager of Advance Concepts, in a press release.

According to Peterbilt, vehicles equipped with autonomous technology complements, rather than replaces, the driver.

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s 2014 World Congress is held in the United States every three years and rotates between Europe and Asia.


New technology disables cell phones in cabs

A 66-year-old beer and soda distributing company in Mechanicville, N.Y., has installed technology in the cab of its trucks that blocks cell phone use, texting or Internet access while the truck is moving.

DeCresente Distributing Co. Vice President Tom Turcotte told the Times Union the bottom line is getting drivers home safely.

Another company official says drivers have adjusted to having their electronics disabled over the last year.


Truck registration up from last year

IHS Automotive reports that registrations for new and used Class 8 trucks were up more than 10 percent in the second quarter of this year compared with last year.

That equates to more than 363,000 trucks and is the highest number of registrations since IHS started tracking them in 2005. Second-quarter registrations in the April-June period were up 13 percent from last year.

According the report, the significant growth could be signs of a strengthening economy.


IdleAir launches rewards program, expands electrification partnerships

In the past few years, IdleAir has been expanding its truck stop electrification network to more than 30 travel centers in 15 states in the United States.

IdleAir also announced a new rewards program, IdleAir Convoy Points, which recently integrated with another Knoxville, Tenn.-based company, Pilot Flying J’s Pilot MyRewards program.

According to an IdleAir press release, the new program will allow customers to “redeem their IdleAir Convoy Points one-for-one for Pilot MyRewards points, which can then be used for showers, food, beverages and other items inside Pilot Flying J locations.”

The truck stop electrification provider also has added its services at five dedicated fleet terminals.

Ethan Garber, IdleAir’s chief executive office, said usage at the terminals in 2014 has exceeded expectations with summertime usage at multiple locations.

“By realizing operational efficiencies while providing a high-level of support to our customers, we are able to deliver robust air conditioning savings at half the price of APUs (auxiliary power units), Garber said in the release.

The company recently completed construction at an additional four Pilot Flying Js in three states and has announced plans to provide its services at eight more travel centers in 2015.

IdleAir has also expanded its relationship with Hotels4Truckers, which now includes IdleAir among its list of “truck-friendly accommodations.” IdleAir also plans to provide Hotel4Truckers’ members with discounts on its premium services at its locations. 


New Goodyear blimp will tether to a custom Mack truck

It may look like a balloon from the ground, but the Goodyear blimp is a massive airship. To anchor the new Wingfoot One blimp, Goodyear has chosen a custom-built Mack Granite.

Measuring a length of 246 feet, 65 feet wide and 58 feet high, Wingfoot One weighs in at more than 20,000 pounds without helium or crew. Goodyear representatives were tasked to find the best way to move the aircraft in and out of hangars and keep it grounded when not in flight.

Mike Bloom of Nuss Truck & Equipment collaborated with the people at the Goodyear headquarters where they agreed that the Mack Granite was the best truck for the job. The one-of-a-kind, custom-built Granite is equipped with a Mack MP8 engine and Mack 200 series carriers with inter-axle locking differentials.

Four Goodyear G278 MSD tires are used to keep the truck rolling.

Mack’s modified Granite will be able to support the colossal zeppelin when transporting it short distances and mooring the blimp when not in the air. The truck is able to withstand wind loads as high as 90 mph.


Trucking company pays millions for crash

In Nevada, a jury has found a trucking company at fault in a truck-train collision that killed six people, including the truck driver.

The jury ordered John Davis Trucking of Battle Mountain, Nev., to pay more than $4.5 million to Amtrak and the Union Pacific railroad.

The 2011 fiery collision happened on U.S. Highway 95 west of Reno when the truck crashed through the crossing gate and hit an Amtrak passenger train.

Much of the testimony at the trial centered on a National Transportation Safety Board report.

It concluded that John Davis Trucking had disabled the anti-lock brakes on the trailer and that most of the truck’s brake drums were seriously worn.


Henry Albert receives Gary King Memorial Award

Trucker Buddy International and the Iowa 80 Group have awarded Henry Albert the 2014 Gary King Memorial Trophy. The trophy is given to a Trucker Buddy participant who exhibits dedication and passion for young students and the trucking industry.

The trophy honors the late Gary King, the founder of Trucker Buddy and OOIDA member.

As a Trucker Buddy, Albert has helped educate a second-grade class in Pennsylvania about the trucking industry and how to be better students and community members. Albert owns Albert Transportation in North Carolina and is a Team Run Smart Pro for Freightliner and member of the Trucking Solutions Group and is an OOIDA senior member.

The award was presented at the Iowa 80 Walcott Jamboree by longtime TBI member Paul Abelson, trucking journalist and senior technical editor for Land Line Magazine.


Minnesota trucking company denies overtime hours were worked

Attorneys for a Minnesota trucking company that was sued by a former employee seeking unpaid overtime wages denied any wrongdoing, according to documents filed in federal court.

AM-PM Trucking, of Moorhead, Minn., filed the response in North Dakota federal court. The company was sued on July 28 by Devon Seeling, a trucker from Kootenai County, Idaho.
Seeling’s suit seeks collective and class action status against AM-PM Trucking, alleging the company violated state law, as well as the Fair Labor Standards Act, by failing to pay overtime wages.

According to Seeling’s complaint, AM-PM Trucking hauls water to oil rigs in North Dakota. Seeling claims the company did not pay him and other drivers overtime pay for working more than 40 hours per week.

But the company’s response to the complaint states that its drivers did not exclusively haul water to oil rigs, and would in fact engage in interstate commerce. It also disputes the charges that Seeling “regularly worked” or that he ever worked 60 or more hours in one week, other than training.

The company’s response seeks for the suit to be dismissed, and for costs, disbursements and attorney’s fees.


Georgia-based carrier files for bankruptcy

Drug Transport Inc., better known as DTI, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing.

DTI has an estimated $1 million to $10 million in assets. Its estimated liabilities are in the $10 million to $50 million range. The largest creditor is Apex Capital, whose claim is set at more than $500,000.

According to its website, DTI is a Georgia-based transportation company with a fleet of trucks that has delivered critical shipments to hospitals, nursing homes and clinics in the South since 1959.  


Freight for June brings in billions more than last year

U.S.-NAFTA freight hit $103 billion in June, an increase from last year according to TransBorder Freight Data.

With a $9.5 billion increase from last year, truck freight contributed the most with $4.4 billion. All five major modes of transportation – air, vessel, pipeline, rail and trucks – had better numbers in June when compared to June 2013.

Trucks carry three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA freight and are the most heavily utilized mode for moving goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. Trucks carried 59.5 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight in June 2014, accounting for $29.8 billion of imports and $31.4 billion of exports.


Spot freight market rates remain steady

Spot market rates remained stable last week as compared to the week before. Van, reefer and flatbed loads decreased 1.4 percent and available capacity slipped only 0.1 percent, according to DAT Solutions.

Average van rates remain at $2 per mile, 16 cents higher than last year. Load-to-truck ratio averages fell 2.0 percent, leaving it at 3.2 loads per truck.

Reefer rates averages have remained unchanged the past two weeks at $2.28 per mile. Load-to-truck ratio averages increased 7.3 percent to 10.3 loads per truck.

Average flatbed rates went down only a penny to $2.44 when compared to the week before. Flatbed load-to-truck ratio averages declined 3.3 percent to 35.3 loads per truck.

Rates were provided by DAT RateView, a database composed of more than $24 billion in freight bills in more than 65,000 lanes. For more information and complete reports, visit


Gordon Trucking steps up for missing kids

A Washington state trucking company is partnering with the state patrol in a campaign to get missing kids back home. Gordon Trucking of Pacific is putting pictures of missing kids on many of its 1,700 trucks, along with a 24-hour hotline number.

The state patrol notes that many missing children don’t get an Amber alert and that putting the pictures on trucks is a way to get their images and information in front of the public.


Team Penske renews deal with Alliance Truck Parts

Team Penske has extended its partnership with Alliance Truck Parts, a relationship that started in 2010, according to a press release.

The deal allows Alliance Truck Parts to continue its role as a primary sponsor of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford Fusion, a car driven by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski. Alliance Truck Parts’ bright yellow colors will be featured on the car for eight races during the 2015 season.

“This extension is a big deal to all of us at Team Penske,” Keselowski said in a news release. “Alliance Truck Parts is a great brand. I actually own a few Freightliner trucks, and we use Alliance Truck Parts to maintain them. We appreciate all they do for the Team Penske organization, and I’m looking forward to continuing our success with ATP in the future.”

Starting in 2010, Alliance Truck Parts has worked their way up from a partial season sponsor in the Nationwide Series to a full season primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series. Alliance Truck Parts debuted in the Sprint Cup Series this year, making the upcoming 2015 season the second straight year as a sponsor.


DTNA’s Truck Bucks reaches 10,000 users

Since its launch at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March 2014, Daimler Trucks North America’s new customer rewards program, Truck Bucks, has grown to a membership of more than 10,000 members. Owner-operators nationwide have been enrolling in the program at events, local dealerships and online. 

Truck Bucks provides discounts on parts and service to program members who shop within the DTNA network of Freightliner, Western Star, Detroit and Thomas Built Buses locations. Through Truck Bucks, customers receive discounts and special product incentives automatically at check-out without the need for coupons.

Customers can sign up for Truck Bucks online at or at a DTNA retail location. 



Volvo opens new Customer Experience Track

Volvo has opened a 1.1-mile Customer Experience Track at their New River Valley assembly plant in Dublin, Va.

As a way to show off their Class 8 vehicles during tours and special events, the track includes a paved road course with banked corners and an off-highway area with a variety of surfaces and grades. The track is designed to simulate some of the more difficult work environments that truckers face every day.

Employees of Volvo skilled in design, excavation and heavy machinery were used to build the track, according to a company press release.


Anheuser-Busch sued for rest period rights

In California, two truck drivers who work for Anheuser-Busch InBev are suing the company for $5 million.

The class action lawsuit says the company failed to pay overtime and discourages delivery truck drivers from taking paid rest periods or meal breaks, despite a written company policy providing for them.

The St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch was bought for $52 billion in 2008 by a partnership of Belgian and Brazilian brewers.


Freight Transportation Services Index declines after four months of increases

The Freight Transportation Services Index dipped 0.9 percent in June to 119.1, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Statistics. This marks the first decrease after four months of increases.

The TSI measures month-to-month changes in freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles. Measurements include data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

TSI’s updated index is 25.9 percent above the record low of 94.6 from April 2009 during the recession. The highest index number occurred during May 2014.

Spending for construction went down for June, leading to the lower index of transportation shipments. Pipelines received the biggest hit in June, compared to other modes of freight transportation.


Cummins celebrates 40 years in the engine business

It seemed as if the entire community of Jamestown, N.Y., was there to help Cummins Engine celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Jamestown engine plant.

The 1 million-square-foot facility was purchased by Cummins in 1974 to produce engine components, but by 1979 it was turning out complete engines. Today, it produces all Cummins heavy-duty truck engines, which include the ISM and ISX 12; the Cummins Westport ISX 12 G spark-ignited natural gas engine; and a best-selling diesel engine in North America, the ISX 15.

The occasion was marked by an open house for the community and retired employees, displays of noteworthy trucks and engines, plant tours, and greetings from representatives of state and local government.


Spot rates steadily declining into August

Spot truckload load volume was stable while national average van and refrigerated rates slipped during the week ending Aug. 9, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The overall number of loads posted declined 1 percent compared to the previous week while the number of available trucks increased slightly (0.2 percent). The overall load-to-truck ratio decreased 1.2 percent to 7.7 nationwide, meaning there were 7.7 loads posted for every truck available on DAT load boards during the week.

The national average van rate dropped 6 cents (down 2.9 percent) to $2 per mile (including a 1-cent fuel surcharge decrease). Load availability rose 1.7 percent while posted capacity increased 1 percent for the week. The national van load-to-truck ratio remained at 3.1 loads per truck.

The national average reefer rate fell 9 cents (3.8 percent) to $2.26 per mile. The number of posted refrigerated loads increased 4.3 percent and capacity increased 1.1 percent compared to the previous week; the resulting refrigerated load-to-truck ratio was 9.2 loads per truck. Slowing volumes from central California are having an impact on rates, and other produce-heavy regions have yet to fill the void. However, rates for reefer loads remain 11 cents higher than August 2013.

Flatbed rates inched up 1 cent (0.4 percent) unchanged as a national average at $2.45 per mile. Load availability decreased 4.2 percent while capacity was virtually unchanged at plus 0.8 percent. The resulting load-to-truck ratio fell 4.9 percent compared to the previous week, from 36.4 to 34.6 loads per truck.

The national average fuel price was $3.84 a gallon, down 1 cent from the previous week.

Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck posted on DAT load boards. The load-to-truck ratio is a sensitive, real-time indicator of the balance between spot market demand and capacity. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates. Rates are derived from DAT RateView. 


Clean Energy opens 27 natural gas fueling stations

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. reports that to date,  it has completed and opened 27 natural gas fueling stations across the United States, expanding the so-called “America’s Natural Gas Highway.”

Of the 27 fueling stations, nine are truck-friendly. According to the company, 10 locations have also upgraded their equipment and have increased their compression capacity to keep pace with demand.

In related news, Clean Energy reports that G & P Trucking and Raven Transport have announced plans to deploy heavy-duty natural gas trucks. G & P is based in South Carolina and Raven Transport serves the Southeast region.


Delo Pick-Up Your Truck sweepstakes is underway

Is your personal vehicle of choice a pick-up truck? Chevron has announced the Delo Pick-Up Your Truck sweepstakes. Participants will have a chance to win a 2014 Ford F-250 diesel truck and other prizes.

To enter, visit their website or go to the Delo Facebook page. In order to enter through the Facebook page, participants must “like” the page first. The sweepstakes will run from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30.

Prizes include:

  • Grand prize: 2014 Ford F-250 diesel truck, valued at approximately $54,000; and
  • First prize (10 awarded): Delo gift pack valued at $150 that contains a Delo tool bag, toolkit, bobble head, towel and $50 gift card..

The sweepstakes is open to adults who are legal residents of the United States and Canada. No purchase is necessary.


Trailer sales up for June

The trucking economy appears to be healthy—that is if new trailer sales are any sign. ACT Research says sales were up 44 percent in June compared to June of last year. This June, 22,000 new trailers hit the highways.


Navistar hit with another lawsuit over MaxxForce engines

Legal actions are flying over the now defunct MaxxForce engine and its EGR emissions system.

According to a news release from San Diego-based law firm Finkelstein & Krinsk, California and Washington-based motor carrier Par 4 Transportation is suing Navistar to recover monetary losses from excessive downtime, repairs and “tarnished good will.”

“These Navistar engines have cost buyers and lessees, from large fleet owners to small businesses, millions of dollars in damages,” attorney Mark Knutson said, according to the release. “The practice of Navistar threatens the livelihood and reputation of innumerable businesses. The firm intends to hold Navistar responsible for the poor quality of its engines and reimburse all those damaged.”

Though Navistar moved away from EGR – exhaust gas recirculation – two years ago, the technology’s hangover appears to be far from over.

In July 2012, Navistar announced it was ceasing production of 15-liter MaxxForce diesel engines for Class 8 trucks and halting the production of all EGR-only technology in other Class 8 engines. The Environmental Protection Agency had previously notified Navistar it could be fined up to $285 million for selling back-dated engines during the 2010 engine transition and Navistar’s inability to meet federal NOx emissions standards.

The company soon partnered with Cummins to introduce engines with selective catalytic reduction – or SCR – emissions systems and fired former CEO Daniel Ustian.

Trucks with affected engines include the following Class 7 and Class 8 models: International ProStar, Lonestar International Transstar, International Workstar, Paystar, International Loadstar.

Those who have experienced a loss from affected Navistar trucks can contact the law firm at 877-493-5366.


Werner Enterprises expanding

Omaha-based Werner Enterprises is planning to expand its operations in China. The Omaha World Herald reports the company is buying part of a Chinese logistics business to complement the truck fleet and warehouse network it already has in place.


Swift unable to find enough drivers

Stock in Swift Transportation dropped 16 percent in value on Friday, July 25, after the company announced it cannot find enough drivers and that the shortage will hurt future earnings.

That is according to the New York Post, which reports that Swift says increasing competition in the driver market has created a bigger turnover rate than expected.


Canada’s largest trucking company acquires another freight hauler

Canada’s biggest trucking company is about to get bigger. The Journal of Commercereports that TransForce is making a half-billion-dollar “friendly” takeover offer to Contrans, the 10th largest freight hauler in Canada.

TransForce, which recently acquired Minneapolis-based Transport America, presently has more than 14,000 employees. Contrans, which specializes in bulk, flatbed and tanker delivery, has about 1,700 workers.


Arkansas-based ABF may relocate to Tennessee

Less-than-truckload carrier ABF may be moving its North Little Rock, Ark., distribution center to Memphis, Tenn. That is according to the Memphis Business Journal,which reports ABF was offered $4 million worth of incentives to locate in Memphis.

ABF is not commenting on the report. It is not known if the 380 union employees at the center in Arkansas would be able to relocate to Tennessee if the move happens.


Freight numbers still looking good for May 2014

It’s another good month for the trucking industry in freight transportation as the U.S.-NAFTA trade for May clocked in at $103.9 billion. That’s a 5.4 percent increase from last year, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released by the DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Carrying three-fifths of U.S.-NAFTA trade, trucks accounted for $31.8 billion of exports and $30.4 billion of imports in May.

U.S.-NAFTA trade has been increasing from the previous year each month for the past 11 months with the exception of January. Unusual freezing temperatures and inclement weather slowed down trade at the beginning of the year.


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.  


OOIDA member awarded Apex Capital contest grand prize

OOIDA Member Martin Marvel of Lakeville, Ind., won Apex Capital’s Continental Tire Giveaway Contest grand prize at the Mid-America Trucking Show earlier this year. Recently, Marvel received his brand-new set of two Continental or General steer tires and services from Apex.

The contest celebrated a new partnership with the tire provider. Marvel, owner of M&D Marvel Transportation, has been an Apex client since November 2011 and an OOIDA member since October 2005. An Apex Capital representative visited Marvel in Indiana to award his prize, including installation of the tires on Marvel’s Western Star.

Apex and Continental/General Tire will offer Apex clients discounts on tier 1 and tier 2 tires.

Apex Capital is a factoring company located in Fort Worth, Texas


Detroit Radiator set to exhibit show truck at GATS

Detroit Radiator Corp. will be showing off their tour truck “Dr. Cool” at this year’s Great American Trucking Show.

The 18-wheeler big rig includes a Detroit Radiator exhibit inside the trailer. The exhibit will showcase aftermarket cooling product solutions, awards, sponsorship memorabilia and company history. Additionally, there will be giveaways and contests with prizes to the HD transportation, commercial, industrial and agricultural industries.

The Great American Trucking Show is scheduled for Aug. 21-23 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Nearly 500 exhibitors will represent major truck and trailer brands, component suppliers and others aligned with the heavy- and medium-duty truck markets.


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.


Volvo’s ‘I am a Volvo Trucker’ video receives top awards

Volvo’s “I am a Volvo Trucker” video received two silver and three bronze awards at the 35th annual Telly Awards.

The video is a first-person narrative that paints a picture of a modern professional truck driver and makes a notable departure from stereotypes so often used in marketing to truckers. The video can be seen here.

“We’re proud of the success and reach of this video to audiences that may not consider the essential role of trucking or professional drivers to our economy,” said Magnus Koeck, Volvo Trucks vice president, marketing and brand management.  

With silver awards being the competition’s highest honor, the Telly Awards recognizes the best in film and video production, online videos and television segments. More than 12,000 videos were submitted for consideration.

Myjive Inc., a digital media company based in Charlotte, N.C., produced the video. “I am a Volvo Trucker” was released in conjunction with Volvo Trucks’ 2014 North American merchandise collection.


GM recalls 8.5 million vehicles

In the last six months, General Motors has recalled more cars than it sold in the last ten years.

That’s according to the Detroit Free Press, which reports that the recall on July 1 of nearly 8.5 million vehicles is mainly for ignition problems.

GM has acknowledged that 13 deaths may be linked to faulty ignition switches that could disable power steering, brakes and airbags. Critics contend the number of deaths is much greater.


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.


Volkswagen denies Paccar buyout

Volkswagen, which sells heavy trucks in Europe, continues to deny the persistent rumor that it plans to try to buy Paccar next year.

Paccar, headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., makes Kenworths and Peterbilts.

Reuters reports that a senior executive at Daimler says multiple reliable sources tell him that VW will make a bid for Paccar.

A VW spokesman says the rumors are “complete rubbish.”

Volkswagen has bought MAN and Scania, two of the biggest truck makers in Europe. Taking over Paccar would give it access to the North American market.


DOT: March was second best month for freight movement

The US transportation department says March was the second best month ever in terms of freight movement between the US, Canada and Mexico.

More than $101 billion worth of goods were moved across the borders, and trucks hauled more than 60 percent of that freight.


TransForce to buy Transport America

Canadian truckload carrier TransForce is buying Eagan, Minnesota-based Transport America for $310 million.

TransForce CEO Alain Bedard says the deal will give his company ‘critical mass’ in terms of expanding in the US market.

TransForce has 4,600 company trucks and 6,700 owner-operators. Transport America has about 1,500 trucks.


Company claims to put flying car on the market

A company called Terrfugia says it will have a flying car on the market within two years—if it can just line up $30 million more in financing.

The car with collapsible wings will sell for over a quarter-of-a-million dollars and requires that the owner have what the Federal Aviation Administration calls a ‘sport pilot certificate.’


Proposed K & M Junction truck stop faces some opposition in Indiana

While some residents are opposing a plan to build a new truck stop in Whitley County, Ind., a partner in the planned deal to build K & M Junction says it makes good economic sense.

Kay Beard, who has been in the truck stop business since 1990, told Land Line on Thursday, June 5, that she is one of three partners who are proposing to build the new 26-acre site.

She said the planned site will bring in 85 to 100 full-time jobs, with some part-time jobs. Beard said the new truck stop in Whitley County would bring in much needed tax revenue for both the county and state, if approved.

She said the planned site will have a total of 320 parking spaces, including 160 designated parking spots for tractor-trailers, as well as at least 160 designated spots for expediters, bobtails and RVs.

Many state-owned rest areas in Indiana still remain closed because of budget reasons.

“We want this to be a safe haven for truckers,” Beard told Land Line. “While the attitude at some truck stops is to get fuel and get out, this is not what we are about. We want to have a place that encourages truck drivers to hang out and get to know us.”


1,500 trucking jobs added in May

The government has released the latest jobs numbers—showing that 217,000 jobs were added in May, 1,500 of them in trucking.

The number of new jobs was less than economists were expecting. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained at 6.3 percent.


Kenny Adams Trucking closes doors, instructs drivers to return trucks

Approximately 65 drivers for Kenny Adams Trucking have been instructed to deliver their loads and return their trucks to the company’s headquarters in Wynne, Ark.

Claudia Wiles, office manager at Kenny Adams Trucking, confirmed for Land Line on Friday, June 6, that the company is closing its doors. She declined further comment as to why the company was shutting down.

Wiles told Land Line the shutdown process should take approximately two weeks to get all of the trucks returned to the company.

One driver, who had a lease-purchase agreement with Kenny Adams Trucking, said he has already returned the truck, but claims he is out approximately $10,000 in lease payments he made on a Freightliner truck, as well as his escrow money.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website, the company had received a conditional safety rating the past two years.


Winebrenner agrees to settle gender-pay discrimination case

A Hagerstown, Md.-based motor carrier, Winebrenner Transfer Inc., has been ordered to pay a former female driver $42,000. She filed a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming her employment was terminated after she complained that she was being paid less than male drivers who worked for the company.

Tina Thompson started working for Winebrenner in April 2011. After discussing pay rates with male drivers, she claims she was being paid less than what the company was paying its male drivers.

According to court documents filed by the EEOC in September 2013, Thompson complained several times to the company’s owner, Randy Winebrenner, about unequal pay about a year after she had been with the company.

According to court documents, Winebrenner responded that he would pay Thompson what he wanted.

On June 11, 2012, Thompson sent another text message to the company owner, again about not being paid the same rate as the male drivers. She claims Winebrenner terminated her employment via text message the following day, according to court documents.

Thompson further claims she was retaliated against because Winebrenner gave negative references to her prospective employers. Court documents claim that Thompson had never been written up or disciplined for her conduct on or off the road during her time as a driver for Winebrenner.

As part of the EEOC settlement, Winebrenner has been ordered to pay Thompson $21,000, her full back pay, as well as liquidated damages of $21,000.


Tyson Foods adding more tractor-trailers

Tyson Foods—which already has one of the biggest truck fleets among private carriers—may be adding some tractor-trailers soon.

The Wall Street Journalreports Tyson is buying The Hillshire Brands for nearly $8 billion.

Hillshire makes Jimmy Dean sausage and Ball Park hot dogs.

Pilgrim’s Pride was also trying to buy Hillshire, but Tyson outbid them by almost a billion dollars.

Tyson’s present truck fleet includes about 26-hundred tractors and 6-thousand trailers according to Transport Topics.


Skeleton crew at New Century works to help drivers, calm customers’ fears

A day after management at New Century Transportation Inc. of Westampton, N.J., dropped a bombshell on nearly 1,500 employees, including 1,000 drivers, that the company was suddenly closing its doors, a skeleton crew is still working behind the scenes on Wednesday, June 11, to calm customers’ and drivers’ nerves. Many drivers are on their way to return their equipment.

A customer service representative for New Century said the company is working with other companies, including Estes Freight, to get their freight delivered. She said several trucking companies were on-site at the company’s headquarters on Wednesday, interviewing truck drivers for potential jobs as they returned to the lot with their trucks. Estes has stated they have some driver openings available, but is not buying New Century.

The day the termination notice was sent to all New Century personnel, one truck driver filed a class action complaint claiming the company violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification – or WARN Act – as well as the New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act.


Freight shipments reach record high

April was another good month for the trucking industry in terms of the amount of freight that was hauled.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports freight shipments reached their second-highest monthly level since record-keeping began 14 years ago.

April shipments were up about half a percent from March, and were up more than 24-percent from April of 2009 during the depths of the recession.


CARB issues $2 million in Truck and Bus fines in 2013

As a verbal no-holds-barred battle royale occurred during April’s monthly California Air Resources Board meeting, several of the more than 100 public speakers slammed the state environmental body.

Though CARB was moving to help small trucking fleets obtain more time to comply with the state’s $1 billion Truck and Bus Rule, several speakers said uncompliant companies aren’t being hounded by air quality enforcement officers.

“No one is fighting for the little guys who have complied,” said Shelly Archer, owner of Archer Trucking. “I beg you to tie compliance to DMV registration.”

As it turns out, CARB has already been enforcing the Truck and Bus Rule – to the tune of $2 million in fines last year.

CARB recently announced settlements with 256 truck owners over air quality violations by truck and bus fleets for fines of nearly $2.2 million. Violations included failure to comply with the following: California’s Truck and Bus Regulation, verification/certification procedures for diesel particulate filters, properly self-inspecting diesel fleets to meet state smoke emission standards, and dispatching compliant trucks on California highways.

Companies paying the highest fine amounts include:

•Thermo King Corp. with $213,200;
•California Gas Transport at $136,125;
•GC Harvesting at $120,000;
•KS Industries Inc. at $230,250;
•Roly’s Trucking at $58,000;
•White Arrow at $50,700; and
•THX Transport at $50,000.

Other companies fined large amounts include:
•Altos Brothers Trucking;
•Amador Transit;
•A.M. Ortega Construction, Inc.;
•Apple Valley Unified School District;
•Artic Glacier Ice, Inc.;
•Bear Valley Electric Service;
•Berryessa Garbage Service;
•California American Water;
•Capital Drum, Inc.;
•Cardenas Markets, Inc.;
•CR&R Waste & Recycling;
•Daly Movers, Inc.;
•Dash Transport, Inc.;
•Dolphin Express/Dolphin Transport;
•ESTES West;
•File Keepers, LLC;
•F.N.F Rolloff Services;
•Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport;
•Jerry Melton & Sons Construction Inc.;
•JLV Transport LLC;
•Lakeport Disposal Co. Inc.;
•Mike Tamana Freight Lines LLC;
•Mountainside Disposal Inc.;
•MVP Trucking Inc.;
•Old Durham Wood Co.;
•Oltmans Construction;
•Pacific Green Trucking;
•Pemer Packing Co.;
•R&F Disposal;
•Redwood Debris Box;
•Reeve Trucking;
•Rodolfe Nunez DBA Nunez Transport;
•Selma Disposal & Recycling Inc.;
•Smartway Express;
•Sterling Express Services;
•Transloading Express Inc.;
•Victor Nunez DBA Nunez Transport;
•Vigold Transport Systems Inc.;
•Water Reclamation Equipment Inc.; and
•Williams Tank Lines.

The remaining 209 cases, CARB said, were settled below $10,000 and total $449,838 in penalties.

“ARB’s diesel risk reduction program is designed to limit the amount of harmful pollution from diesel engines,” CARB Enforcement Chief James Ryden said, according to the release. “Companies who fail to comply with the regulations are contributing to that pollution, and that is when ARB must take action.”

$1.7 million of the fines will go to the California Air Pollution Control Fund and the Peralta Colleges Foundation. $417,167 is designated to the college district to fund diesel emission education classes and diesel technology certificate and degree programs. And $57,562 will go to fund school bus diesel particulate filter installations.


Kenworth introduces natural gas version of T680

Kenworth has introduced the natural gas-powered version of its T680 model trucks. The announcement was made this week in conjunction with the Alternative Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, Calif.

The natural gas truck will be available with the Eaton UltraShift Plus automated transmission option. Kenworth will be exhibiting a T680 with the Eaton UltraShift Plus option during ACT. The truck will also include a 52-inch mid-roof sleeper and the Cummins Westport ISX12 G 400-hp natural gas engine. These options will be available for line haul and regional haul applications.

“The Kenworth T680 natural gas configuration equipped with the Eaton UltraShift Plus transmission offers truck operators the best line of sight toward increased fuel efficiency and performance in a Class 8 natural gas truck,” said Alan Fennimore, Kenworth vocational marketing manager, in a news release.

“Start with the fuel-efficient T680, add the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine for natural gas fuel savings opportunities compared to diesel, and then mix in the productive Eaton UltraShift Plus to help maximize fuel economy and driver comfort,” Fennimore said.


Penske offers natural gas Cascadias for rent

Penske Truck Rental is introducing natural gas trucks for rent in select markets. Penske has 85 compressed natural gas Freightliner Cascadia tractors ready to roll out in Southern California, Northern California, Phoenix, Denver, Salt Lake City, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta and Baltimore. The tractors will feature the Cummins Westport 12-liter engines.

“An increasing number of customers have expressed a desire to incorporate natural gas vehicles into their fleets to further reduce emissions,” stated Don Mikes, Senior Vice President – Rental, Penske Truck Leasing, in an announcement May 7.

“These rental semi-tractors allow our customers to field test the units and experience how they will use them within their daily business. If a customer wants a more-permanent solution, we can easily transition them into a full-service lease,” he said.


More CATs than you can shake a stick at

In 1988, there were only 28 CAT Scales around the nation. But recently, CAT Scale Co. celebrated the opening of a new one at the Love’s in Springville, Utah, which brings the number up to 1,500.

 And for new drivers, you may have heard that the people from CAT will either pay a trucker’s fine or go to court for them if they get an overweight citation after weighing on a CAT scale?

 Yep, it’s true.


Navistar steps up reliance on Cummins engines

Commercial truck maker Navistar International Corp. will close an engine plant in Alabama this summer as it moves to eliminate excess production capacity and consolidate its engine lineup for medium-size trucks.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the closure of the plant in Huntsville will result in the loss of about 280 jobs and generate savings of about $22 million a year. Production at that plant will be shifted to an engine plant near Chicago, which will add about 75 workers.

Navistar will continue to produce large diesel engines for heavy-duty trucks at a second plant in Huntsville. WSJ reports that the move reflects an increasing reliance on engines made by Cummins Inc. Navistar recently began offering Cummins’s engines in its medium-size trucks and had earlier decided to buy 15-liter engines from Cummins for heavy-duty trucks.



Ryder and WIT: more user-friendly trucks for women

Ryder System says it’s partnering with the Women in Trucking association to offer trucks that are more user-friendly to women. According to a recent statement from Ryder, many women would benefit from design changes that feature things like better-positioned cab steps and grab handles, adjustable foot pedal heights and an electric or hydraulic devise to lift the hood. 

Ryder says it will start offering such features on its trucks and will encourage truck manufacturers to do the same.


Volvo takes the entire stable to MATS

Volvo Trucks will showcase its full range of North American Class 8 models at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show, March 27 to 29, in Louisville, Ky. Volvo’s indoor booth No. 32125 in the North Hall of the Kentucky Exposition Center includes 12 vehicles spanning regional haul, long haul, heavy haul and vocational segments of the Class 8 market. 


Merger creates truck dealership with 19 facilities

CSM Companies Inc. and French-Ellison Truck Center LLC announced this week that the two companies will merge on March 31, 2014.  The result will establish the company as one of the largest commercial truck dealership groups in the United States with 19 facilities.  

CSM Companies was founded in 1978 and currently operates 12 Kenworth dealerships and three independent service centers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska and Illinois.  The company’s locations do business as Wisconsin Kenworth, Michigan Kenworth, Sahling Kenworth, and Dedicated Fleet Services.  The company was named Kenworth Dealer of the Year in 2013.

French-Ellison Truck Center was founded in 1968.  It operates four Kenworth and three Mack dealerships in south Texas. The company was named Kenworth Dealer of the Year in 2008.

The newly formed company will be headquartered out of Madison, Wis.


TMC honors seven with Silver Spark Plug Award

The Technology & Maintenance Council awarded its highest honor, the Silver Spark Plug Award, to seven trucking industry professionals during the Council’s 2014 Annual Meeting, March 10-13, in Nashville, Tenn.

The 2014 TMC Silver Spark Plug recipients are: Jim Clark, recently retired as director of engineering for TMD Friction, Troy, Mich.; Lilo Hurtado, applications engineer for ExxonMobil, Bolingbrook, Ill.; Bob Jeffries, sales manager for Remy Inc., Arlington, Texas; Mark Louzon, engine product development manager for Volvo Powertrain North America, Hagerstown, Md.; Vic Meloche, manager of technical sales for Detroit Diesel, Detroit; Don Raitzer, engineer for Stemco Brake Products Group, Livonia, Mich.; and Dan Umphress, vice president of maintenance and fleet services for A&R Transport, Morris, Ill.


Road Choice-branded parts make debut

Road Choice Truck Parts is the newest brand to enter the heavy-duty truck industry’s private label all-makes market. Road Choice Truck Parts is a trademark of Mack Trucks Inc., an affiliate of the Volvo Group. 

Second- and third-generation truck owner/operators will find this news of interest. Road Choice products are designed to offer owners of out-of-warranty trucks quality and reliability with parts covered under a minimum, one-year warranty.

Offering a growing line of high-demand parts, including air conditioning, air springs, air/electrical coils and accessories, brake chambers, exhaust products, lighting, shock absorbers and universal joints, Road Choice all-makes parts are value-priced to compete with heavy-duty manufacturers’ and warehouse distributors’ private brand parts.

Drivers and fleet managers can find the growing selection of all-makes parts and a listing of authorized Road Choice Truck Parts retailers at the Road Choice website.
Attendees of Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., March 27 -29, can learn more about Road Choice all-makes parts at booth No. 36065.


Pilot Flying J announces Road Warrior campaign

Pilot Flying J has kicked off Road Warrior, a new initiative celebrating and honoring professional drivers throughout North America. The grand prize for the ultimate Road Warrior is $10,000.
Anyone can nominate a Road Warrior, and drivers can nominate themselves. You can also nominate coworkers, friends and family members. Road Warriors will be featured on the new Road Warrior website and PFJ’s social media networks. Daily and weekly Road Warriors will receive a variety of prizes including a Road Warrior T-shirt, MyRewards points and an assortment of other items.  
Voting is currently open, and you can nominate Road Warriors through Oct. 31, 2014. Once nominations close, finalists will be selected and open voting will begin for the final Road Warrior. The ultimate Road Warrior will be announced in December.


Meritor renames braking systems

Meritor is renaming and enhancing two braking products to help customers identify these products and improve their total cost of ownership. As part of a new naming structure, Meritor drum brakes that had been branded QPlus are now Q+; and air disc brakes are renamed from EX225 to EX+.

Meritor also announced enhancements and improvements.

Enhancements to Q+ drum brakes include:

  • Increased availability at multiple OEM customers;
  • Upgraded performance and lining life for reduced stopping distance; and
  • Increased product familiarity among technicians to improve service ease.

EX+ air disc brake improvements include:

  • Unsurpassed braking performance that results in shorter stopping distances, straight line stopping and fade resistance
  • Enhanced twin piston design 
  • Improved redundant sealing at each potential ingress path
  • Enhanced robust adjuster proven in the most severe vocations
  • Total cost of ownership and return on investment benefits for severe duty applications


Dometic will launch BliZZard battery-operated a/c for trucks at MATS

Dometic Group, a global provider of comfort products for the trucking industry, announced this week that it will launch the Dometic Split-System BliZZard 134a, a battery-operated air conditioning unit for trucks at this year’s Mid-America Trucking Show, to be held March 27-29 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Ky.
The BliZZard air conditioning system, which will be on display at Booth No. 14252, is a highly efficient auxiliary a/c unit that allows truckers to cool their sleeper cabs without running the truck engine. Quiet and efficient, the BliZZard is simple to install and provides more than 10 hours of cooling.
Available in 7,000 and 10,000 BTU models, the battery-powered split system allows the noise of the condenser unit to remain outside while the quieter evaporator unit blows cool air to the cab’s interior. Made in the USA, the BliZZard is SmartWay and EPA certified. It uses environmentally safe and commonly available R134a refrigerant.
The Split-System BliZZard is also available with optional electric heat to provide heated comfort without running the engine. For both cooling and heating, the system complies with all federal, state and local anti-idling regulations.
Service for the BliZZard is available nationwide.


Canada OKs boat tails

In Canada, the national transportation department, Transport Canada, has given the green light to truckers using full-length boat tails – or trailer tails – to cut down on wind resistance. It will be up to the individual provinces to set their own standards.

Until now, nothing on the rear of a Canadian trailer could protrude more than 2 feet. In the U.S., boat tails protrude about 6 feet.


C.H. Robinson accepting scholarship apps through mid-February

The 2014 C.H. Robinson Foundation Scholarship Program for employees and dependent children of truckload contract carriers is accepting applications through Feb. 15, 2014.

Ten undergraduate scholarships are open to full-time employees of qualified truckload contract carriers and their children who plan to continue their education at an accredited college or vocational school. Each scholarship holds an award value up to $2,500 (USD) for tuition for the 2014 – 2015 academic year.

All applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be a full-time employee of a qualified truckload contract carrier, who has a minimum of one year of employment with the company as of the application deadline date.
  • Be a dependent child of a qualified employee of a qualified truckload contract carrier of C.H. Robinson, who plans to enroll in transportation logistics, supply chain or business related program.

To view the full scholarship program guidelines and to apply, go to

For more info contact


Daseke and Boyd Bros. announce merger

Daseke Inc. of Addison, Texas, and Clayton, Ala.-based Boyd Bros. Transportation have announced a merger, creating one of the largest open-deck/specialty fleets in North America.

“Combined with our other companies – which include Smokey Point Distributing, E.W. Wylie, J. Grady Randolph Inc., and Central Oregon Truck Co. – more than 2,000 tractors and 3,600 trailers are available to our customers,” said Don Daseke, president and CEO of Daseke. “The combination puts us well into the top five in open-deck/specialty carriers.”

The merger also includes Boyd Bros. companies: WTI Transport, based in Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Mid Seven Transportation, based in Des Moines, Iowa; Boyd Intermodal; and Boyd Logistics.

According to Chris Cooper, COO of Boyd Bros., Boyd Bros. and its companies will remain intact with no personnel changes expected resulting from the merger.

Don Daseke will be chairman of the board, and Richard Bailey, president of Boyd Bros., will join the Daseke board as vice chairman. Chris Cooper will also join the board.


Canada Cartage is sued for shorting overtime pay

By Reed Black, Land Line Now staff reporter

A nearly 100-year-old trucking company headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, is the target of a $100 million class action lawsuit. Canada Cartage is accused of shorting many of its 3,500 employees on overtime pay.

Toronto attorney Ian Matthews of Lax O’Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP is representing the plaintiffs. He says the lawsuit covers 3,000 to 4,000 workers, including truck drivers, who’ve been employed by Canada Cartage at any time since March 1, 2006. The class action lawsuit includes current and former employees. The case was filed Nov. 8 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

“The way it got started, we were introduced to a former employee named Marco Baroch who said he never got overtime unless he worked over 60 hours a week,” said Matthews.

Matthews said in checking out that claim, a systemic problem was discovered in the trucking industry for not paying overtime. Baroch worked as a shunter at a Canada Cartage location in Mississauga for about seven years. He is the representative plaintiff in this class action.

According to court documents, in one case, when a worker complained, the company allegedly started paying him overtime – but reduced his regular pay by the same amount.

Matthews said the law firm had established a website to provide more information on the class action lawsuit. It can be found at

A call to Canada Cartage in Mississauga was not returned.

Copyright © OOIDA


New Love’s opens Dec. 5 in Ohio

If you run through Ohio on I-75, you’ll like this news. Love’s Travel Stops is opening a new stop in Dayton on Thursday, Dec. 5, with 98 parking spaces and driver services.

The new Love’s is located at 2217 S. Edwin C. Moses Blvd. and is open 24 hours a day. Along with the parking spaces, the new Love’s offers a bulk DEF at the pump in all diesel lanes, RFID cardless fueling, CAT scales, seven showers, a Hardee’s restaurant and gourmet coffee. A Love’s Truck Tire Care center will open later this month.

Founded in 1964 by Tom Love, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and remains entirely family-owned and operated.


Goodyear opens new commercial tire center in Tulsa

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has added a new Commercial Tire & Service Center to its network. The Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Center in Tulsa, Okla., reaffirms Goodyear’s commitment to Oklahoma. The Tulsa store’s opening follows the opening of a Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Center in Oklahoma City last June.

The 13,000-square-foot outlet is located at 107 S. 111th East Avenue in Tulsa, just off Interstate 44. The service center offers the following services: new Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly brand medium truck tires; Goodyear retreaded truck tires; 24/7 emergency roadside service; truck alignments; truck tire repair and other tire-related services.


Freightliner introduces new fairing at GATS

A factory-installed roof fairing is now available as standard on Freightliner CascadiaEvolution 72-inch mid-roof XT models and as an option on Freightliner Cascadia 72-inch mid-roof XT trucks. The new roof fairing was introduced at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.

Available with 12-inch or 20-inch side extenders, the roof fairing’s overall height is the same as the truck’s raised roof.

According to Freightliner, the addition of the new fairing will provide up to a 2.8 percent fuel economy improvement over previous generation models.

A similarly designed 60-inch XT Roof Fairing will be available in 2014.


New Goodyear app helps get truckers back on the road

You’re a truck driver whose rig has experienced a tire-related issue and you are stuck on the side of the highway. You need to get back on the road quickly.

Imagine having the ability to instantly connect with Goodyear FleetHQ, which offers the commercial trucking industry’s premier emergency roadside service, simply by touching the screen of your Android or iPhone. The new Goodyear RoadService App makes this possible.

The Goodyear RoadService App, which was introduced this week at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, can be downloaded to Androids from Google’s Play Store and to iPhones from Apple’s App Store, at no charge.

With a touch of the screen, a driver will be placed in contact with the 24/7 Goodyear-FleetHQ Solution Center, where trained tire professionals will collect vital information, including the location of the driver’s immobilized truck. Goodyear-FleetHQ Solution Center professionals will then locate the nearest Goodyear commercial tire dealership and dispatch a tire service technician with the right tire and adequate equipment to the truck’s location. The technician will assess the truck’s tire condition and render the appropriate tire service.

“Unlike other trucking apps, the Goodyear RoadService App focuses exclusively on connecting truck drivers with the help they need to get their trucks back on the road quickly and efficiently,” says Jose Martinez, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems business and digital solutions manager. “Fleets and owner-operators negotiate a set price with their local Goodyear commercial tire dealer. This way, there are no unpleasant pricing ‘surprises’ while they are away from home at the time of replacement.”

According to Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems, Goodyear-FleetHQ provides the fastest roll-time in the commercial trucking industry: an average of just two hours and 11 minutes from the moment that a truck driver contacts the 24/7 Goodyear-FleetHQ Solution Center to the moment his or her truck returns to service.


New Peterbilt dealership offers 70 service bays and natural gas truck repair

Salt Lake City is home to the newest Peterbilt dealership in the company’s 270-plus dealer network with the relocation of Jackson Group Peterbilt’s flagship store to a 128,000 square-foot facility. Along with the retail display space, the new, full-service dealership includes 70 service bays – six of which are certified for the maintenance and repair of natural gas vehicles.

Jackson Group Peterbilt operates nine Peterbilt dealerships in Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah. A 10th is expected to open soon in Salina, Utah.

The new dealership’s parts, service and body shop are open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The truck sales department is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.


Bennett Motor Express acquires Ace Doran

Bennett Motor Express announced this week it has completed the asset purchase of Cincinnati-based Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging Co., a family owned and operated transportation company that has served the shipping public since 1913. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition is the largest in the history of Bennett Motor Express, which started with five trucks and two customers in 1974. Bennett Motor Express is the largest of the seven operating companies within Bennett International Group of McDonough, Ga.

“Our decision to buy Ace Doran is consistent with our strategy of prudent growth,” said David Lowry, vice president of Bennett International Group and CEO of Bennett Motor Express.

Lowry, who is also a senior member of OOIDA, said that Ace Doran’s fleet of flatbeds, step decks and RGNs will complement Bennett’s fleet. The addition of Ace Doran’s 200 independent owner-operators increases Bennett’s fleet by 25 percent to more than 800 trucks.

Ace Doran LLC’s day-to-day operations will continue from its Cincinnati headquarters, with former owner Dan Doran joining Bennett and retaining the title of president. The intention of Bennett’s leadership is to keep intact the structure and processes that have made this 100-year-old company a success.

“We are excited to have joined a larger, financially strong company and be continuing our century of service,” said Doran. “I am proud of my family’s heritage and the efforts of all of our employees, past and present, who have made Ace Doran what it is today.”


Iowa-based flatbed carrier transitions to employee-owned company

Instead of selling the mega-trucking company Harrold Annett has spent the past 41 years building, he has decided to go a different route. He announced on Thursday, Oct. 10, that the flatbed carrier TMC Transportation, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, will be transitioning to an employee-owned company.

According to a TMC release announcing its plan to transition to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), the decision was made based on Annett’s “desire to establish a succession plan that maintains the culture of TMC, while rewarding its employees for their dedication.”

TMC has 2,440 power units and 2,474 drivers and has been a private, family-owned company since 1972, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website.

“I have been approached many times with the opportunity to sell TMC,” Annett said in the release. “What I realized in contemplating selling the company is that it would result in a change to the culture that we have all worked hard over these years to create. The only way to make sure our culture endures is to put TMC into the hands of the people who take the most pride in our culture. And that is the employees.”

Annett will remain as majority shareholder of TMC. Company shares “will be distributed to all employees at no cost,” the release states.


Navistar recalls 16,000 trucks due to fifth wheel problem

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer

More than 16,000 Navistar International Prostar, LoneStar and TransStar trucks are being voluntarily recalled to correct a potential problem that could cause a trailer to unexpectedly release from the fifth wheel.

The recall, which has been posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, affects those models manufactured from February 2008 to July 2013 and equipped with an electronic fifth wheel jaw release system.

The recall report states that due to an assembly error, the air lines at the isolation/vent valve may not be oriented correctly, which could cause the fifth wheel jaw to release in the event of air leakage at the valve.

Navistar estimated that 25 percent of the identified trucks could have the defect.

“Navistar is making every effort to ensure the safety of our vehicles and is cooperating fully with NHTSA throughout the recall process,” spokeswoman Elissa Maurer said in an email to Land Line on Tuesday. “It is important to note that this air line routing condition does not affect normal operation. The company is notifying customers and International dealers will inspect vehicles and conduct any needed repairs.”

The company is notifying owners, and dealers will inspect the air line routing. If necessary, repairs will be made free of charge. Navistar’s recall number is 13514.

Owners may contact Navistar at 800-448-7825. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. For more information, click here.

Copyright © OOIDA


Nominees for 2014 Commercial Truck of the Year announced

The 2014 American Truck Dealers Commercial Truck of the Year is an annual award recognizing the top truck entries in the heavy- and medium-duty categories. Seven nominees have been announced.

The heavy-duty (Class 8) nominees are International ProStar with Cummins ISX15, Kenworth T880 vocational truck with Paccar MX-13 engine, and Peterbilt Model 579. The medium-duty (Class 3-7) nominees are Hino 195h-DC, International TerraStar 4x4, Kenworth Class 6 K370 cabover and Peterbilt Model 220.

The award recognizes a winner in each category. The winners will be announced Sunday, Jan. 26, during the 2014 ATD Convention & Expo, which runs concurrently with the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention & Expo in New Orleans Jan. 24-27.

The winners will be determined by a panel of journalists, who test drove and evaluated the trucks at the Manheim’s auction site in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 18. The judging categories include innovation, design, safety and driver satisfaction.


Shell jumpstarts Truckers for Troops with $5,000 donation

Shell Rotella has announced it will donate $5,000 to this year’s Truckers for Troops campaign, just as it’s done in the past.

OOIDA is sponsoring its 7th annual Truckers for Troops campaign drive during December to raise funds for sending care packages with items of comfort and cheer to our armed forces stationed in war zones. This year’s campaign will run from Dec. 9-13, 2013.

Since 2007, OOIDA members have raised $362,062.34, which has enabled the Association to send thousands of large care packages to U.S. troops serving in combat zones. In six years, OOIDA has sent 2,526 packages full of comfort items, necessities, fun stuff and handmade cards. Those items made life a little brighter for thousands of military personnel and military dogs.

Care packages are filled at OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley, MO, and shipped overseas. Since OOIDA started Truckers for Troops in 2007, those boxes packed at headquarters have delivered items to more than 30,000 individuals.

Every year, Land Line Now, the Association’s official radio show on Sirius XM satellite radio, promotes the campaign during its regularly scheduled broadcasts each day from 7 to 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. to midnight Eastern Time. You can hear Land Line Now on The Road Dog Channel, Sirius 128.

During the campaign period new and renewal memberships are discounted to the special price of only $25 for – a savings of $20 off regular $45 dues. Of the dues amount paid during the campaign week, 10 percent will go toward the Truckers for Troops fund. OOIDA will then match those funds.

The special $25 membership price will remain in effect until Jan. 31, 2014. Only memberships during the campaign dates will go toward the Truckers for Troops fund.

Individual tax-deductible contributions to the Truckers for Troops fund are also welcome and can be paid to the OOIDA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

The list for 2014’s boxes is currently being built. If you have a family member or friend serving in a war zone with the U.S. military, and would like for them to get a care package, send their name and complete address to


Goodyear rebrands Wingfoot locations

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s Wingfoot commercial tire network is getting a new identity. Starting this month, Goodyear will begin the process of rebranding its Wingfoot locations as Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Centers.

There are 180 tire sales, service, retread facilities and truck care centers that operate under the Wingfoot banner. Wingfoot Commercial Tire and retread locations compose 135 of that total. Wingfoot Truck Care Centers make up the rest.

When the rebranding process is complete, all Wingfoot locations will operate as Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Centers. Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems LLC will still be a wholly owned subsidiary of Goodyear, but it will do business as Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Centers.

The rebranding process will include location signage, service truck identification, employee uniforms and other items relevant to Wingfoot’s business. Wingfoot’s product lineup, service menu and organizational structure will remain unchanged.


Annual Billboard awards: Shell Rotella will sponsor Haul of Fame

Shell Rotella is a sponsor of the 10th annual Billboard Tour Conference and Awards taking place Nov. 13-14 in New York. The conference culminates in The Billboard Touring Awards, which honors the industry’s top artists, venues, and professionals based primarily on achievements on the Billboard Boxscore chart. In its second year as a sponsor, Shell Rotella is taking its support a step further by teaming with Billboard to create the Shell Rotella Haul of Fame.

The Shell Rotella Haul of Fame celebrates the hardworking trucking and touring community from the music industry’s Top 10 Haulers of the past decade. Inductees are those who move the most trucks and buses across North America, bringing music to the people safely and efficiently. Hundreds of tour buses and vendor big rigs course through North America every week, delivering thousands of shows to millions of fans annually.

Touring drivers and crews put in thousands of miles on the road each year to ensure America’s top performers and musicians are able to take the stage. The Shell Rotella Haul of Fame’s first tour selections are Bon Jovi, Brad Paisley, Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, The Rolling Stones, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, U2 and the Vans Warped Tour. One of the tours will be named Live Music Hauler of the Decade at the Billboard Touring Awards.

The artists, tours and productions that make up this Haul of Fame crossed the entire Lower 48 and Canada over the past decade, rolled up to venues more than 4,000 times, and traveled nearly 2 million miles leveraging some 200 motor coaches and nearly 500 tightly packed trailers and haulers combined on every tour.

Dan Arcy, OEM technical manager for Shell Lubricants, will participate in a seminar at the Billboard Touring Conference and Awards, speaking aboutproduction and transportation in the touring industry.


Two Macks on the move with Christmas trees for the U.S. Capitol

By Land Line staff

The 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree began its cross-country journey this week from the Colville National Forest near Usk, Wash., to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. It’s being transported by a 2014 Mack Pinnacle axle back model. In addition to the truck hauling the tree, Mack is also providing a second Pinnacle hauling companion trees to decorate other parts of the U.S. Capitol.

More than 300 people joined the U.S. Forest Service and state and local government representatives Nov. 1 to celebrate the harvesting of the 88-foot, 80-year-old Engelmann Spruce. The Pinnacle model hauling the tree will make 24 stops in cities nationwide during the next month before delivering its special cargo to our nation’s capital.

The Mack Pinnacle model is wrapped with a custom-designed decal featuring a resolute bulldog pulling a Christmas tree toward Washington, D.C. Mack Trucks has been a sponsor of the Capitol Christmas tree tour several times during the last few years, most recently in 2011 and 2012.

U.S. national forests have been providing a Christmas tree for the U.S. Capitol since 1964. The tree will be decorated with more than 5,000 handmade ornaments and lit in an official ceremony in early December.


Ambest donates $30,000 to Wounded Warrior in honor of Veteran's Day

Ambest, the member-owned national network of truck stops, travel centers and truck service centers based in Brentwood, Tenn., has raised $30,000 for Wounded Warrior project in honor of Veterans Day.

The organization used its 25th annual meeting, which was held recently in Nashville, as a means of raising funds through sponsorships and a silent auction with participating generous benefactors such as Bridgestone, Lucas Oil, Michelin, DAS, Valvoline and many others.


Amsoil wins Global Media Award at SEMA

A 2013 Global Media Award was presented to Amsoil at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association Show last week in Las Vegas. The winning product was the new Amsoil Diesel Injector Clean.

The SEMA award was created to recognize companies that create “cutting-edge” products for the international automotive industry. Thirty-six judges from 19 countries select products they believe will appeal to consumers worldwide, giving recipients of this award a global platform to showcase their products.

Nearly 2,500 products were on display in the SEMA New Product Showcase, from which the Global Media Awards are selected.

Formulated for all diesel types, Amsoil Diesel Injector Clean was introduced in July 2013.


Heartland Express acquires Gordon Trucking

By Land Line staff

Iowa-based Heartland Express Inc. is acquiring Gordon Trucking Inc. for approximately $300 million, the companies announced via press release on Monday, Nov. 11.

With combined total revenue of approximately $1 billion and a terminal network spanning from Washington to Florida and from Pennsylvania to Southern California, Heartland estimates the combined companies will operate the fifth-largest asset-based truckload fleet in North America.

The acquisition solidifies a West Coast operations base for Heartland, which previously had no facilities in that region.

GTI is a truckload carrier headquartered in Pacific, Wash. Founded by the Gordon family in 1946, the family remains actively involved in the business, which is primarily focused on dry van loads. However, roughly 20 percent of its business also comes from refrigerated loads and from freight brokerage operations. GTI’s equipment includes approximately 2,000 tractors and 6,500 trailers.

“GTI’s service center network is concentrated in strategic markets in the western United States, with major locations in Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Southern California and Idaho,” the release stated. “These locations have no overlap with Heartland’s locations and are expected to provide substantial geographic diversity to Heartland’s overall operations.”

GTI owners Larry and Virginia Gordon will retire, with Larry Gordon joining Heartland’s Board of Directors. Their sons, Steve and Scott Gordon, have joined Heartland’s management team.

Heartland acquired the company with about $300 million in cash, Heartland stock and assumed GTI debt, and an additional $60 million in net present value of expected future cash tax savings.

Heartland expects to use about $165 million of its cash reserves and have about $95 million in outstanding debt after the transaction and repayment of assumed debt, according to the release

The release notes that GTI has major customers that include Georgia Pacific, General Mills, Pepsi, Walmart and Unilever. Of GTI’s 10 largest customers by revenue, only five are among Heartland’s top 10 accounts.

Copyright © OOIDA


New Goodyear app helps get truckers back on the road
You’re a truck driver whose rig has experienced a tire-related issue and you are stuck on the side of the highway. You need to get back on the road quickly. Imagine having the ability to instantly connect with Goodyear FleetHQ, which offers the commercial trucking industry’s premier emergency roadside service, simply by touching the screen of your Android or iPhone. The new Goodyear RoadService App makes this possible. The Goodyear RoadService App, which was introduced this week at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, can be downloaded to Androids from Google’s Play Store and to iPhones from Apple’s App Store, at no charge. With a touch of the screen, a driver will be placed in contact with the 24/7 Goodyear-FleetHQ Solution Center, where trained tire professionals will collect vital information, including the location of the driver’s immobilized truck. Goodyear-FleetHQ Solution Center professionals will then locate the nearest Goodyear commercial tire dealership and dispatch a tire service technician with the right tire and adequate equipment to the truck’s location. The technician will assess the truck’s tire condition and render the appropriate tire service. “Unlike other trucking apps, the Goodyear RoadService App focuses exclusively on connecting truck drivers with the help they need to get their trucks back on the road quickly and efficiently,” says Jose Martinez, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems business and digital solutions manager. “Fleets and owner-operators negotiate a set price with their local Goodyear commercial tire dealer. This way, there are no unpleasant pricing ‘surprises’ while they are away from home at the time of replacement.” According to Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems, Goodyear-FleetHQ provides the fastest roll-time in the commercial trucking industry: an average of just two hours and 11 minutes from the moment that a truck driver contacts the 24/7 Goodyear-FleetHQ Solution Center to the moment his or her truck returns to service.


Freightliner introduces new fairing at GATS
A factory-installed roof fairing is now available as standard on Freightliner CascadiaEvolution 72-inch mid-roof XT models and as an option on Freightliner Cascadia 72-inch mid-roof XT trucks. The new roof fairing was introduced at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. Available with 12-inch or 20-inch side extenders, the roof fairing’s overall height is the same as the truck’s raised roof. According to Freightliner, the addition of the new fairing will provide up to a 2.8 percent fuel economy improvement over previous generation models. A similarly designed 60-inch XT Roof Fairing will be available in 2014.


Freightliner In-Cab Training system gets attention at GATS
Freightliner Trucks and Rolling Strongshowed off the first-ever OEM-designed-and-integrated in-cab exercise and flexibility system at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas this past week. The Freightliner In-Cab Training (FIT) System provides drivers with full-body strength-and-conditioning workouts in the comfort of their own cab. Developed in collaboration with Rolling Strong – a leader in driver wellness programs – the FIT System provides a simple and convenient exercise solution that encourages physical activity. Featuring a triple-grip handle that enables users to interchange three bands to change resistance levels, the system uses existing seat tether and bunk restraint mounting points for installing custom brackets, making it easy to attach and use. Truck drivers also have access to health, wellness and nutrition information through blogs, videos and forums located on the Freightliner Trucks online community website, along with a personal trainer via the FIT Channel on The trainer helps keep drivers motivated, and provides new exercises that can be incorporated into fitness routines. The FIT system is available as a factory-installed option in all Freightliner Cascadia and Coronado sleeper cab models and for retro-fitting in Century Class and Columbia sleepers.


ATDynamics named to Inc. magazine's 2013 Top 500 fastest-growing

ATDynamics, a global supplier of semi-trailer rear-drag aerodynamics technology, has been named to Inc. magazine’s annual list of America’s fastest-growing private companies – the Inc. 500. The California company ranks no. 346 on the list, boasting a three-year sales growth of 1255 percent. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy – America’s independent entrepreneurs, including Microsoft, Zappos, Intuit, Jamba Juice, Zipcar, Clif Bar, Vizio, Oracle and other attention-getters.


Swift buys Central Refrigerated for $225 million
Swift Transportation Co., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., has announced it has purchased Utah-based Central Refrigerated Transportation Inc. for $225 million. Swift’s acquisition of Central Refrigerated, a privately held company, will make it one of the largest temperature-controlled freight companies in the U.S. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website, Central Refrigerated, which is headquartered in West Valley City, Utah, has 2,616 power units and 2,322 drivers. Swift has 15,212 power units and 14,300 drivers, according to SAFER. Jerry Moyes, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Swift, is also the principal owner of Central Refrigerated.


Wabash National recognized in top 50 'Best' U.S. manufacturers
The financial publication Industry Week has named Wabash National Corp. as one of its “Best 50 U.S. Manufacturers” – quite an achievement given the economic struggles of trailer makers in the past five years. Apple topped the list at No. 1. Wabash was ranked 49th. Wabash National, which is headquartered in Lafayette, Ind., makes mainly truck trailers – from dry vans and flatbeds to reefers and tankers. Wabash National’s operations are largely organized under three wholly owned subsidiaries: Transcraft Corp., Walker Group Holdings and Wabash National Trailer Centers Inc. Industry Week selects its top 50 based solely on the financial performance of the companies. This is the second time Wabash National was named among the 50 best, having made the list in 2006.


Goodyear unveils UniCircle retreads for wide-base tires
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has rolled out two new retread products designed to extend the service life of popular Goodyear wide-base tires. UniCircle retreads are spliceless and adhere snugly to the tire’s casing to enhance traction and help reduce tearing and chunking, says Brian Buckham, marketing manager for Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems. Buckham says that because there is no cutting or splicing during the UniCircle tread application process, the retreaded tires are uniform and balanced.


'Band Together' for the St. Christopher Fund begins Aug. 22
The benefit event that has been a top money-earner for the St. Christopher Fund was initially planned for the whole month of August, but it’s now been announced that the “Band Together” event begins Aug. 22 and wraps up Sept. 30. For the fourth annual fundraiser to benefit, the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund, TravelCenters of America has new tricolor blue and tricolor green bands for the campaign. At all TA and Petro locations, truckers, TravelCenters guests and employees are invited to make a donation of $1 or more and receive a commemorative wristband. Every penny will go to the St. Christopher Fund. SCF is a nonprofit organization that assists truck drivers suffering from financial hardship due to medical problems. The wristbands will also be available at the TA/Petro booth at the Great American Trucking Show Aug. 22-24 in Dallas. The third annual Band Together campaign that was held last year raised a record $278,207 for the St. Christopher Fund.


TA/Petro signs on to host truck stop tour with Lindsay Lawler
TravelCenters of America has signed on to host this year’s Highway Angel Truck Stop Tour featuring Highway Angel spokesperson and country recording artist Lindsay Lawler. The schedule of stops hasn’t been announced yet, but the tour is planning to hit the road in mid-August. Lawler says the trucking and country music industries used to go hand-in-hand, but somewhere along the line “that relationship fizzled.” “We’re looking forward to rebuilding that relationship and expanding the reach of a positive trucking industry image to those outside the industry through music,” she says. Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters of America, says he’s “thrilled” that Lawler will be performing at TA/Petro locations. “Lindsey’s mission is to bring light to all the great things about trucking,” he says, adding that her mission aligns well with what TA/Petro has been doing for some time. “Trucking and truck driving are great professions with terrific hard-working men and women,” says O’Brien. “We are happy to help put the spotlight on their work and entertain our guests at the same time.” The tour is designed to promote a better trucking industry image through the exposure of the Truckload Carriers Association's Highway Angel program. The tour will include 26 stops throughout the southeast and Midwest at TA and Petro Stopping Center branded locations. Each stop will feature an hour-long acoustic performance by Lawler from atop a flatbed truck.


TA says thousands have enrolled in their fitness program

TA reports that 3,823 truckers have enrolled in “Get Moving. Stay Fit.” The new program provides TA’s UltraOne Rewards Program members with awareness of the healthier options that are available when traveling over the road.

Some of those options include ways to add a fitness routine and how to identify items that are healthier on the menu in the restaurant as well as convenience products at the fuel island and travel store. It also provides truckers with an easy method of monitoring physical activity and selecting a nutritional focus each week during the eight-week program at the UltraOne kiosks located in TA and Petro Stopping Center locations.

The program was designed in cooperation with the President’s Challenge, the national program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.


Battle over 'Tony the Tiger' heads to Louisiana Supreme Court

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer

An attorney for the owner of Tony the Tiger has filed a writ with the Louisiana Supreme Court, asking the court to allow Tony’s owner to keep the Bengal-Siberian tiger. Tony has lived at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, LA, all of his life.

In April, the First Circuit Court of Appeal in Louisiana ruled that Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony was invalid because the truck stop, not Michael Sandlin, is Tony’s owner. “Neither Sandlin nor his designees lived on the premises of Tiger Truck Stop, where Tony was kept.”

According to court documents, the First Circuit Court affirmed a trial court’s decision enjoining the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in Louisiana from issuing a new permit to Sandlin and/or Tiger Truck Stop.

Sandlin has been fighting legal battles for several years to keep Tony, who has lived for 12 years at the Tiger Truck Stop.

Animal rights groups want Tony moved to a big cat sanctuary.

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Speedco charity golf outing raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish

Speedco Inc. raised $60,000 for Make-A-Wish at its third biannual Speedco Fore Wishes golf tournament June 13. The original goal of raising $500,000 for the nonprofit was set in 2006, and was surpassed at this year’s golf outing.

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Speedco teammates and friends were also joined by Matt, a 9-year-old wish child, and his family. Speedco surprised Matt by helping to grant his wish to go to Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas later this summer.


Roehl to equip 500 more trailers with TrailerTails

Wisconsin-based Roehl Transport Inc. is installing ATDynamics TrailerTails on all of the company’s new trailers. Roehl, a U.S. truckload carrier, began testing TrailerTails in 2012 with the initial use of the rear drag reduction technology on 100 trailers. This month, it will boost that number to 500 additional TrailerTails.

Roehl President Rick Roehl says the on-road testing confirmed a fuel savings benefit, and drivers are finding the aerodynamic trails are safer, handle better in high winds, and reduce road spray.

ATDynamics, the California company that makes TrailerTails, projects that 50,000 TrailerTails will be on U.S. highways by 2014.


Firestone sweepstakes plans big tour, big finish

By Paul Abelson, Land Line senior technical editor

To launch “The Year of Firestone,” Bridgestone Commercial Solutions began the Firestone Drives America Tour on July 16 at the Akron Aeros minor league baseball game. The tour will visit selected minor league baseball and college football games across the nation.

At every stop and at Firestone dealers and truck stops, CDL holders that own or operate a Class 7 or 8 vehicle can enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win travel to a 2013 Major League Baseball Fall Classic Championship Series game or a college football bowl game or other prizes. Five finalists will get a chance to win a Peterbilt tractor.

The sweepstakes conclude at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March 2014. Five finalists will be sent to the show. In addition, each finalist will win an all-expense-paid trip to the 2014 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and will draw for a unique Firestone Edition Peterbilt with up to a five-year supply of Firestone truck tires.

The customized Firestone Edition Peterbilt 587 is spec’d for optimum fuel economy. It features a 450 hp Cummins ISX engine with 1550/1750 lbs-ft of torque, an Eaton 10-speed transmission, and 3.25:1 drive axles.

Additional prizes include $500 gift cards, leather jackets and polo shirts.

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Melton Truck Lines free clinic takes new approach to wellness

An Oklahoma flatbed trucking company has a primary care health clinic just across the street from its headquarters and Tulsa terminal. At the clinic, Melton Truck Lines employees, employed drivers, owner-operators and their families receive free medical care.

The clinic is operated by IM Well Health, an Arkansas-based company that develops employer-based onsite and multi-employer clinics to serve employees and family members of their clients.
The clinics have doctors, physician’s assistants, nurses and even advanced care nurses.

One nurse practitioner is on duty at the clinic near Melton’s Tulsa terminal. Care is free for all Melton’s employees and families. If drivers have Melton insurance, they can be treated at any of the other IM Well Health clinics located in Oklahoma and Arkansas.


Band Together for the St. Christopher Fund begins Aug. 1

For the fourth annual fundraiser to benefit the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund, TravelCenters of America will have new tricolor blue and tricolor green bands for the campaign. The benefit event that has been a blockbuster money-earner for the St. Christopher Fund begins Aug. 1 and wraps up Aug. 31.

At all TA and Petro locations, trucks, TravelCenters guests and employees are invited to make  a donation of $1 or more and receive a commemorative wristband. Every penny will go to the St. Christopher Fund. SCF is a nonprofit organization that assists truck drivers suffering from financial hardship due to medical problems.

The wristbands will also be available at the TA/Petro booth at the Great American Trucking Show Aug. 22-24 in Dallas.

The third annual Band Together campaign that was held last year raised a record $278,207 for the St. Christopher Fund.


Pilot Flying J opens new travel center in Caddo Valley, Arkansas

By Land Line staff

Pilot Flying J announced the grand opening of a new travel center in Caddo Valley, Ark., according to a statement issued by the company on Monday, June 17.

The new center also boasts the third location of PJ Fresh Marketplace, the company’s new, fast casual dining concept. The new dining concept debuted in March at a Pilot Flying J travel center in St. Mary’s, Ga. The company plans to open more locations across the U.S. in the coming months.

Located off Interstate 30 at exit 78 at Highway 7, the travel center offers professional drivers and Caddo Valley area residents many amenities, including:

  • eight diesel lanes and 12 gasoline lanes with high-speed pumps for quicker refueling;
  • everyday products for quick shopping needs;
  • premium coffee and cappuccino selections; and
  • PJ Fresh Marketplace serving hearty meals, breakfast platters, crisp salads, flavorful sandwiches, a frozen yogurt bar, pizza, hot dogs and more.

The new facility is Pilot Flying J’s 9th in Arkansas and the 663rd overall in North America.


New Optimus Prime is a Western Star

The studio execs are not officially releasing a pic yet, but on the producer’s website you can get the scoop and an image. In the new “Transformers 4” movie, the new superhero truck from outer space is no longer a Peterbilt.

From Michael Bay, the executive producer of the Transformer movies, comes the word that the completely upgraded, custom-built Optimus Prime is a Western Star.


TA/Petro launches Citizen Driver award program

How would like to have a TA or Petro named after you? TravelCenters of America has launched its “Citizen Driver” award program. Among other recognition and honors, winners will have a TA or Petro location named after them.

TravelCenters President and CEO Tom O’Brien says nominees will be judged on factors including “exemplary citizenship in the driving community and otherwise, community involvement, leadership in their personal or professional lives, and healthy lifestyle.”

The Citizen Driver award program was first introduced by TravelCenters in March. The award web site is now available to accept professional driver nominations. Anyone – fleet owners, executives, co-workers, friends, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, trucking organization members, trucking industry suppliers – may nominate a professional driver for the award. Nomination forms can be found at

Nominations will be accepted to Nov. 30, 2013. All of the prizes for finalists and grand prize winners can be found on the Citizen Driver web pages. Winners of the Citizen Driver award will be honored at a special event at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY.


Lucas Oil's MAVTV joins DirecTV line-up

MAVTV, America’s fastest-growing independent cable network, announced today that it will join the DirecTV line-up starting June 10 on Channel 219 between the Golf Channel (218) and NBC Sports (220). Since taking control of the Network in September of 2011, owner Lucas Oil Products Inc. has added 22 million American households to its original 4 million for a total of 26 million.

MAVTV American Real expects to top 30 million households by the end of 2013.

With a full schedule of more than 40 programs, ranging from the best in motorsports to original programming and classic films, MAVTV focuses on American families who have an appetite for action and adventure.


Truckworx Kenworth opens new parts and service location in Alabama

Truckworx Kenworth – Kenworth’s 2012 Parts and Service Dealer of the Year – has opened a new parts and service facility in Thomasville, AL. The new facility is located in Joe Davis Industrial Park just off of U.S. Route 43.
The new parts and service facility joins six other Truckworx Kenworth dealerships located in Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, AL, and Jackson (Richland), MS.  
CEO Bob Mitchell said opening the Thomasville location closes a significant service gap that existed in Southwest Alabama.  
“Local and transient customers no longer have to travel upwards of 100 miles or more to Montgomery or Mobile to receive quality heavy-duty service and parts,” Mitchell said.
Truckworx Kenworth-Thomasville is located at 2400 Joe Davis Industrial Blvd., in Joe Davis Industrial Park.  
The facility includes two buildings, one that houses parts and the other service. Truckworx Kenworth-Thomasville has a 5,000 square-foot area to allow for an extensive parts inventory.  The location will offer daily parts delivery. The six-acre service site offers customers plenty of truck and trailer parking.  
A lounge equipped with wireless Internet provides a comfortable place for drivers to catch up on paperwork while waiting for their trucks to be serviced. Its eight-bay service shop includes an area for express lube services and the only flywheel resurfacing machine within a 60-mile radius.
Truckworx Kenworth-Thomasville is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Pilot Flying J adds more than 400 lanes of DEF nationwide

By Land Line staff

Pilot Flying J is on track to offer diesel exhaust fluid at the pump at nearly every diesel lane at the company’s travel centers and travel plazas across the U.S. by October.

In March, Pilot Flying J announced that the company’s network of DEF at the pump had reached 3,000 lanes nationwide. Moving toward the goal of offering the convenience of DEF at the pump at a vast majority of all diesel lanes by fall of this year, the company has increased the availability to 3,407 lanes across 404 store locations.

Pilot Flying J first started offering DEF at the pump in 2009. A full list of locations with DEF at the pump is available at

DEF is a nontoxic solution used in vehicles with selective catalytic reduction systems to reduce levels of NOx emissions. Diesel engines purchased after Jan. 1, 2010, require the use of DEF in vehicles using SCR technology to reduce emissions and meet the Environmental Protection Agency 2010 tailpipe standards.

By October, all but seven locations within the Pilot Flying J network of more than 650 travel centers and travel plazas nationwide will offer DEF at the pump.

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Kinedyne announces winners of its MATS Sweepstakes

Five owner-operators, include a couple of OOIDA members, won a $1,000 Kinedyne shopping spree in a raffle held at the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville in March. 

Kinedyne -- a manufacturer of cargo securement products for 45 years – awarded the shopping sprees to Dennis Doyle, an owner-operator from Flemingsburg, KY; OOIDA Member Wayne Davidson, owner-operator from Lewisberg, OH; Lawrence Davis, doing business as Davis Express, an owner-operator from South Bend, IN; owner-operator J.D. Terry of Crossville, TN, and OOIDA Life Member Joe Westleigh, Woolwich, ME, owner-operator.


Penske opens new super facility in Phoenix

Penske Truck Leasing is introducing a new facility that will provide full-service truck leasing, consumer and commercial truck rental, and contract fleet maintenance services. Penske held a grand opening event in Phoenix, AZ, on Tuesday, May 21, at the new location.

The $6 million facility is a 24,000-square-foot structure situated on 10 acres. This new location features five truck service bays, an automated wash bay, and a three-lane commercial truck fuel island with bulk diesel exhaust fluid dispensation. The maintenance shop uses leading-edge wireless technology to enable Penske’s service technicians to automatically connect vehicles for service with diagnostic and analytic software. The location services trucks with engines that run on CNG or LNG.


Pilot Flying J breaks ground on new location in Odessa, TX

On Monday, May 13, Pilot Flying J announced it is breaking ground on a new Pilot Travel Center in Odessa, TX. The travel center will feature full amenities for area residents, professional drivers and the traveling public.

The Pilot Travel Center will be located off Interstate 20 at Exit 121 (Loop 338). Construction is expected to be completed by fall of 2013.

The new facility will feature many amenities including a McDonald’s; a Pilot Flying J deli; premium coffee and cappuccino selections; and much more. More details about the facility’s offerings will be announced closer to its opening.

Visit for updates.


Bridgestone: New project could be breakthrough for rubber industry

By Land Line staff

This could be big. With the demand for tires expected to increase, Bridgestone Corp. has announced the Bridgestone Group’s plans for an extensive research project in the United States dedicated to developing guayule as a commercially viable, renewable source of high-quality natural rubber and as an alternative to the hevea tree, which is currently the primary source for tire rubber.

Guayule (pronounced why-u-lee) is a perennial shrub native to the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. This plant produces natural rubber in its bark and roots. Natural rubber from guayule has almost identical qualities compared to natural rubber harvested from hevea trees.

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations is currently seeking land to establish the pilot farm and construct the rubber process research center in the southwestern U.S. The facility is expected to be fully operational in 2014. Trial rubber production should start in 2015.


Yokohama Tire to open truck tire plant in Mississippi

By Land Line staff

Yokohama Tire Corp. will build a commercial truck tire plant in West Point, MS, bringing 500 new jobs and producing 1 million tires starting in 2015, the company announced via press release on Monday.

The facility will have an initial capital investment of $300 million, and potential plant expansions could reach up to four times the original employment and investment levels. The factory will be the first that Yokohama has built in the United States.

The plant will be built on over 500 acres of land with construction expected to begin in September and completion two years later. Yokohama expects to hire approximately 500 employees to work at the facility.

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BK Trucking challenges Caterpillar over ACERT engines

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer

A New Jersey-based trucking company has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Caterpillar, claiming its C13 and C15 engines sold from 2007 to 2011 were defective.

Between 2007 and 2010, BK Trucking Co. of Newfield, NJ, purchased 10 tractors with C13 or C15 Caterpillar Advanced Combustion Emission Reduction Technology (ACERT) diesel engines.

According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey, BK Trucking alleges that problems with each of the tractors they purchased with this technology “began shortly after the vehicle was purchased, usually within 25,000 miles.” The company cites “numerous breakdowns of the engines, specifically the emissions and regeneration systems” usually every seven to eight weeks, which forced drivers to pull over and shut down.

BK Trucking complains that after a breakdown, the truck had to be towed to a Caterpillar-authorized repair facility, because the computer codes and software were proprietary and BK’s own mechanics or other truck repair facilities were not able to repair or service the ACERT system or the DPF.

BK Trucking also claims in the lawsuit that it has sustained economic losses stemming from the alleged problems with the C13 and C15 engines. The company states it sustained economic losses because of “multiple catastrophic engine failures and attempted repairs to the engine, and substantially lower resale values associated with the vehicles containing the engines because the problems with the engines are widely known and feared in the industry.”

The class that the plaintiff seeks to represent is defined as “all individuals in New Jersey who purchased, not for resale, trucks and other heavy duty vehicles containing defective emissions and regeneration systems in their model year 2007 through 2011 Caterpillar C13 and C15 ACERT diesel engines.”

A New Jersey-based trucking company has filed a lawsuit against Caterpillar, claiming its C13 and C15 engines were defective.

A similar challenge was filed in Texas in 2010 after a company there purchased buses with 90 C15 ACERT engines.

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TA Petro customers and employees donate to St. Christopher's Fund

Customers and employees of TravelCenters of America, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, recently donated $2,811.26 to the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides direct assistance to professional truck drivers whose medical problems have led to financial hardship.

Professional drivers contributed nearly $2,375 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March. The 2013 donations at MATS surpassed those in 2012 by nearly $400. Employees of TravelCenters also donated more than $435 to SCF during a corporate fundraising event that kicked off the professional baseball season.

“It’s been said that professional drivers are some of the most generous people on earth, and we see evidence year after year of the truth in that,” said Tom O’Brien, TravelCenters President and CEO. “When drivers learn that SCF helps other drivers in need, there is no hesitation in making a donation. We see this at both our industry shows and during our annual Band Together for SCF campaigns.”

TravelCenters has provided support to the SCF since 2010 through its annual ‘Band Together for SCF’ fundraising campaigns, and smaller collection efforts at tradeshows and employee events throughout the year. To date, TravelCenters has helped raise nearly $775,000 for the charity that provides financial support to professional drivers without other means to fund prescription medications, living expenses, and medical procedures.

“Once again, we thank the customers and employees of TA and Petro for all they do in helping us help drivers,” said Dr. Donna Kennedy, Executive Director of SCF. “All of these donations add up to allow us to provide a great deal of assistance.”

Kennedy said since the SCF began in 2007, the fund has helped more than 700 drivers with financial support.


Biz Buzz: Shell, TA announce plans to develop LNG fueling centers

By Land Line staff

Shell and TravelCenters of America LLC have finalized an agreement to develop a U.S. nationwide network of liquefied natural gas fueling centers for heavy-duty road transport customers.

The plan is to construct at least two LNG fueling lanes and a storage facility at up to 100 existing TA and Petro Stopping Center-branded full-service travel centers along the U.S. interstate highway system. Construction and opening of the LNG stations will be done in a phased approach. Within a year, the companies hope to develop the main trucking corridors to provide the potential for the first-ever coast-to-coast LNG-fueled commercial transport network.

“Shell is investing now in the infrastructure that will bring this innovative, cost-competitive and environmentally beneficial fuel to our customers,” said Elen Phillips, vice president of Shell Fuels Sales & Marketing Americas. “We are leveraging our strength as an integrated company to produce, liquefy, distribute and commercialize natural gas in transport. And TravelCenters of America is the ideal partner to help us bring this vision to life.” 

Demand for innovative fuels, like LNG, from commercial customers is growing due to the wide range of benefits for trucking fleet operators. These benefits can include lower fuel costs, as well as the potential to reduce emissions and reduce noise levels in certain engines.

The collaboration between Shell and TA was announced last year. Shell is also developing LNG stations at Flying J truck stops in Alberta, Canada – the first of which opened this year.

In March, Shell announced it will invest in two small-scale LNG production units that form the basis of two new LNG transport corridors in the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions, which will provide LNG to marine and heavy duty road customers. This brings the total to three planned Shell LNG production units dedicated to transport in North America.

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Pilot Flying J announces partnership with Urgent Care Travel

By Land Line staff

A partnership between Pilot Flying J and Urgent Care Travel could result in up to 100 urgent care sites at Pilot Flying J travel centers within the next three years, the companies announced on Wednesday, May 8.

Urgent Care Travel (UCT) opened its first urgent care location on May 1 at the Pilot Travel Center on Strawberry Plains Pike in Knoxville, Tenn. The opening of the Knoxville location marks the launch of the company’s plans with Pilot Flying J to open as many as 100 urgent care sites at select travel center and travel plaza locations nationwide.

The next site will open in Oklahoma City on June 5, 2013. UCT expects to open at least five more locations in 2013 with steady openings to follow, leading to the complete rollout of the first 100 sites by the end of 2016.

Bob Perry, founder of Rolling Strong, will function as the Chief Development Officer for UCT.  The release stated that the goal is to bring quality health and medical care to professional drivers on the road.


Great Dane recall of dry van trailers

Great Dane Trailers has put out a recall on nearly 700 of its dry van trailers from model year 2011.

The company says they may have faulty welds on the I-beam bogie frame that could result in hangers or axles coming off – potentially causing a crash.

For more information, call Great Dane customer service at 877-369-3493.


Pilot Flying J to offer DEF pumps at every store by fall '13

Pilot Flying J is planning to expand its Diesel Exhaust Fluid pump network to every diesel lane by fall 2013, according to a company release.

The truck stop chain currently offers 3,000 DEF fuel lanes at nearly 400 locations across the U.S. and four Canadian provinces, after investing $165 million to expand its network of DEF at the pump.

For more information on which locations offer DEF at the pump, click here.


Cummins and Peterbilt demonstrate 9.9 mpg Class 8 truck

By Land Line staff

Cummins and Peterbilt say real-world testing of their combined “SuperTruck” has netted 9.9 mpg, just a fraction shy of 10 mpg.

The companies released test results on Thursday, March 14, for the Peterbilt 587 powered by a Cummins ISX15 engine.

SAE International approved testing along a 312-mile route along U.S. 287 from Fort Worth and Vernon, TX. The test truck had a combined gross weight of 65,000 pounds.

Company leaders said the truck uses aerodynamics and technology to reduce drag and convert exhaust heat into power delivered to the crankshaft. The test truck also used route optimization, low-rolling-resistance tires and lighter weights throughout to achieve the result. An Eaton transmission uses “downspeeding” to further save on fuel, the companies said.

“Many of the technologies we are testing on the engine and truck will be integral parts of the trucks of tomorrow,” said David Koeberlein, principal investigator for the SuperTruck program at Cummins. “We are focused on developing innovations that meet and exceed the needs of our customers, while helping to create a cleaner, healthier and safer environment.”

Starting in 2010, the four-year SuperTruck program is made possible with $38.8 million in company investment. The companies are confident that the 2013 edition of the test will exceed what they’ve achieved to this point.

“Aerodynamics has been a significant contributor to the efficiency gains,” said Scott Newhouse, senior assistant chief engineer of product development at Peterbilt. “We are very pleased with what our team has been able to accomplish using a comprehensive tractor-trailer approach.”

Baseline trucks achieve 5 to 6 mpg, the companies said. Achieving 9.9 mpg amounts to savings of 54 percent in fuel and 35 percent in greenhouse gas emissions, officials said.

Reducing fuel consumption continues to drive many manufacturers and truckers in a game of “can you top this?”

Saving fuel, and money, doesn’t stop at aerodynamics and technology. It also includes the way a driver drives and how a truck is spec’d for a particular operation.

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Mack and Volvo pair up with Shell to boost natural gas for CMVs

By Land Line staff

In separate agreements with Shell, truck makers Mack and Volvo aim to boost the North American market for liquefied natural gas, or LNG, in commercial vehicles.

The agreements are non-exclusive but will help efforts to create infrastructure and share knowledge about fuel specs and emissions performance, the companies said Wednesday, March 27.

“Customer interest in natural gas as a heavy-duty truck fuel will only continue to grow,” said Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. “We plan to introduce our own Volvo LNG-fueled engine in 2014, and this agreement is part of our effort to collaborate with various stakeholders to ensure that the market is supported with the necessary infrastructure.”

Kevin Flaherty, president of North American sales and marketing for Mack Trucks, said the company has been at the forefront of the LNG market.

“Mack has had natural gas-powered vehicles in customer service since 2009, and we look forward to working with Shell and other fuel providers to further support the burgeoning natural gas truck market here in North America,” Flaherty said.

Mack recently delivered its first LNG version of the on-highway Pinnacle powered by the Cummins Westport ISX 12G.

Volvo will bring a proprietary 13-liter LNG engine to North America in May, the company said.

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Iconic 'Glass House' over I-44 gets $14.6 million facelift

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer

The arches that span Interstate 44 at the travel plaza in Vinita, OK, will still be there. But the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority announced this week it will spend $14.6 million to take the rest of the building that spans the width of the Will Rogers Turnpike down to its structural steel.

“We’ll take it down to the bridge structure and leave the arches as well, but everything else will be brand-new,” OTA spokesman Jack Damrill said. “It really hasn’t received a total renovation since it was built in 1957. Small ones have occurred. The last significant one was in 1987, and it just added some coats of paint. It’s never really been rebuilt since it was built in ’57. Unfortunately, age has caught up with it.”

The site was originally opened as a pancake house operated by the Howard Johnson hotel chain. Its current occupant, a McDonalds franchise, has been there since at least the mid-1980s.

The destination is the first place many westbound travelers stop upon entering Oklahoma, and Damrill said the state’s goal is to make the location more attractive to visitors.

“Early on, there were a few schools that held dances out there, and proms,” he said. “It was a destination point. We have it set up to hold gatherings and events in the new facility. It was really used as a big-time destination point for people to gather and eat and have civic functions out there.”

The OTA also hopes to upgrade the facility by adding an additional dining option. New fueling stations for both eastbound and westbound traffic will offer diesel for the first time. The building will also be equipped with new insulated windows and a new HVAC system.

Damrill said the renovations will also address the most common complaint from visitors. Lack of restrooms.

“Lack of restroom facilities is probably the number-one complaint we get,” he said. “There’s not very many upstairs and with the amount of traffic, that’s always our biggest complaint. We’ll be adding a significant amount of restrooms in the new facility.”

Plans also call for ground-floor restrooms.

Timberlake Construction of Oklahoma City was awarded the bid. Damrill estimates the facility will be closed for one year while the renovations take place. During that time, portions of I-44 will also be shut down.

“We will have to close down two lanes at a time as they tear down and build back the structure,” he said. “Because this is over the road, it’s not an easy demolition. They’ll tear half down. Then shift to the other side. We will have head-to-head traffic just in this portion of the area. We just don’t know how difficult the teardown will be once we get in there.”

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Meritor FueLite axle wins top tech award

The Truck Writers of North America have recognized the Meritor FueLite 6x2 axle with Meritor WABCO Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS) as the top technical achievement for 2012. 

To be eligible for the Technical Achievement Award, a product or service has to clearly exhibit technical innovation, have a wide applicability in the trucking industry, offer significant benefits, and be widely available. While complete vehicles are not eligible, components and systems are.

The six finalists for 2012 were as follows: The Aerofficient Slider trailer fairing; the Alutrec Capacity flatbed with monocoque design; Dana’s Spicer Diamond Series Driveshaft; Jacobs Vehicle Systems’ HPD (High Power Density) engine brake; Meritor’s FueLite axle with Meritor WABCO ECAS; and Thermo King’s Precedent trailer refrigeration platform.

Ranking at the top among the finalists, the Meritor FueLite 6x2 tandem axle with Meritor WABCO ECAS earned the top honor of the 2012 TWNA Technical Achievement Award. The Meritor FueLite axle delivers nearly 400 pounds in weight savings, potentially providing a 2 percent increase in fuel efficiency compared with traditional 6x4 axle configurations. Meritor WABCO ECAS features the electronics that seamlessly and automatically shift weight to the powered axle in low-traction situations, addressing concerns about lack of traction in slippery conditions.

Founded in 1988, TWNA is a professional organization whose membership is composed of writers, editors, public relations specialists, marketing personnel and others involved in the business of creating or producing information related to the world of trucking.

The Technical Achievement Award winner was selected by committee members Paul Abelson (Road King and Land Line magazines), John Baxter (freelance journalist), Tom Berg (Heavy Duty Trucking and Construction Equipment magazines), Peter Carter (Today’s Trucking), Paul Hartley (AddMedia), James Menzies (Truck News and Truck West), and Jim Park (Heavy Duty Trucking).


Shell to bring two LNG plants online by 2016

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer

Shell will build two plants dedicated to supplying liquefied natural gas for heavy truck and transport shipping use. 

Shell, one of the largest gas producers in the U.S., will build the facilities in Geismar, LA, along the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge, and in Sarnia, Ontario, on the southern shore of Lake Huron just east of Michigan. 

The company says each plant will be able to produce 250,000 tons per year of LNG, roughly 400,000 gallons per day, according to spokeswoman Destin Singleton. 

From our perspective, it’s important that there is production specific for transport, and that it’s dedicated production,” she told Land Line. “Pending regulatory approvals, they will be producing in about three years. In the meantime LNG could be supplied to our customers from third-party agreements.”

Because the plants are being developed at existing manufacturing sites, Singleton said environmental impact studies were not required.

Natural gas is used as a transportation fuel in some parts of the world, mostly for fleets of vehicles like buses and garbage trucks which use centralized refueling stations. Compressed natural gas is more widely used than LNG, but LNG has proved to be effective for very large trucks that drive great distances. 

The process of making LNG involves chilling natural gas to negative 260 degrees so it can be compressed into a liquid and stored in high-pressure insulated tanks. The liquefied form of the fuel can then be loaded onto tankers for transport, where it is shipped to a local processing plant, thawed out to return to its naturally gaseous state, and injected into the local supply.

The facilities are expected to take about three years to complete. Singleton said the company does not disclose the cost of its capital expenditures.

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Utility introduces new side skirt

Utility Trailer Manufacturing – maker of refrigerated trailers, dry freight vans, flatbeds and Tautliner curtain-sided trailers – is introducing a new side skirt and will be showing it off at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville March 21-23.

The new design is EPA SmartWay-verified to achieve greater than 5 percent fuel savings. It can be used in combination with low-rolling-resistance tires on Utility trailers to achieve California Air Resources Board compliance for California operations.

The USS-120A-4’s galvanized high-tensile steel bracing system, which allows the side skirt to flex both inward and outward, can also be bent back to its original shape if damaged. The side skirt is manufactured with a UV-protected bidirectional FRP construction. 

The side skirt has a five-year warranty and is available as a factory or dealer installation option for new Utility trailers. Retrofitting for existing trailers is available through Utility’s aftermarket department. For more info, visit


Lisa Kelly will show off Worldtrucker smartphone app at MATS

Celebrity truck driver Lisa Kelly of the TV series “Ice Road Truckers” and “IRT: Deadliest Roads” is the new global ambassador for a global online community called Worldtrucker. Kelly and Worldtrucker will reveal the online community’s new smartphone app and website in the Volvo Trucks booth at the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY. 

The public reveal of the new Worldtrucker smartphone app and website is scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, March 23, and will take place at booth No. 32125. Show attendees can meet Kelly, who will be in the Worldtrucker lounge at the Volvo Trucks booth and available for photos and autographs.

“The new Worldtrucker app and website allows truckers to connect with other truckers all over the world and share their stories and passion for life on the road,” Kelly said in a recent press statement. Kelly, who is an active member of the Worldtrucker community, said the Worldtrucker app is designed for truckers, by truckers.

Members of the global online community can keep in touch with their friends and family and can also share photos from the road by uploading directly through their mobile phone. 

“I like keeping in touch with the trucking community. There are a lot of things that keep truck drivers united, and that’s what’s cool about the Worldtrucker concept,” said Kelly. 

Worldtrucker is powered by Volvo Trucks. While Volvo claims it wants to make Worldtrucker the largest and most active truck driver community in the world,  the truck manufactuer keeps a low profile encouraging truckers to “drive the content.”

Initially launched in 2011, the online community now has more than 21,600 members representing more than 100 countries. Worldtrucker is available in 18 languages and its members have uploaded more than 120,000 photos of trucks and life on the road.  

Worldtrucker welcomes all truckers regardless of what truck brand they drive or prefer.  


Kenworth T680 named Class 8 truck of the year by ATD

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor

The judges have spoken, and the American Truck Dealers have named the Kenworth T680 the Class 8 truck of the year.

Kenworth rolled out the T680 with 76-inch sleeper during the 2012 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, calling it the most aerodynamic and fuel-efficient truck in its fleet to date.

Photo by Suzanne Stempinski

Kenworth T680 at MATS 2012

A five-member panel of judges recognized the effort during the National Automobile Dealers Association and American Truck Dealers conventions Feb. 8-11 in Orange County, FL.

The panel gave the T680 the nod over the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution with Detroit DT12 transmission, Peterbilt model 579 and Western Star 4700SF.

Judges’ notes highlighted comfort and drivability, the pulling power of the Paccar MX Engine, easy shifting from a 10-speed manual transmission, and well set-up gauges and controls.

“I think the reason we produced this award-winning truck is due to the efforts of the last four years during which we found customers were looking for significant fuel savings, high visibility, high-tech equipment and enjoyment,” said Gary Moore, general manager of Kenworth and Paccar vice president. “Our customers are looking for a complete home, office and work package.”

The American Truck Dealers awarded the medium-duty Class 3-7 title to the Hino 195th.

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Shorepower Technologies announces free power through March 31

Shorepower Technologies, which offers truck stop electrification, extended its offer to truckers to continue using the company’s power pedestals free of charge through March 31.

Since October 2012, Shorepower Technologies has seen an 85 percent increase in the number of truck stops adding electric plug-in power pedestals and an increase of 314 percent in the number of electrified spaces in 2012 overall, the company stated in a press release.

As of December, 50 locations have installed Shorepower Technologies’ power pedestals, totaling 1,450 electrified parking spaces. Some of those locations have cable TV available through the pedestal and 20 provide 480-volt power for hybrid refrigerated trailers, the release says.

Funding for 40 of the locations was funded by the Department of Energy’s Shorepower Truck Electrification Project (STEP) which is administered through Cascade Sierra Solutions, a non-profit organization based in Eugene, OR. The rest were installed with private funds. 

Since 2010, STEP has resulted in over a 200 percent increase in the number of truck stops adding power pedestals. To find truck stops with power pedestals, check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s truckstop electrification locator.

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Snap Fitness Rolling Strong opens gym in Tennessee Pilot Travel Center

The newest Snap Fitness Rolling Strong gym recently opened at the Pilot Travel Center in Lebanon, TN.

The gym features professional fitness staff, including instructors and trainers. Fitness equipment includes treadmills, elliptical, leg machines, chest machines, dumbbells, a bench press and more, a press release from Snap Fitness says.

The Lebanon location is at 921 Murfreesboro Road, just off Interstate 40.

Membership for the trucking community runs $19.95 per month and includes access to Snap Fitness Rolling Strong gyms and any of the other 1,300 Snap Fitness club locations. Family memberships are also available, the release states.

Snap Fitness is a franchise of compact, state-of-the-art fitness centers that provide members a fast, convenient workout alternative to health clubs.

Rolling Strong is a driver wellness program delivered to drivers on the road. Its mission is to educate drivers and share products and services to help them on the road. 


Michelin expanding operations

On Jan.24, Michelin announced a $200 million expansion to its Starr, SC, manufacturing plant. The expansion will allow the company to increase output of rubber compound material used to build tires.

More than 100 new jobs are expected to be created. Operations are expected to begin in 2014 and will supply material for tire production in North America.


QualaWash expands with recent acquisitions

On Jan. 16 , QualaWash Holdings LLC announced the acquisition of Shreveport Tank Wash in Shreveport, LA, and Tank Wash Specialists in Neenah, WI. Both purchases were finalized in the fourth quarter of 2012. 

QualaWash plans to enhance and expand services while increasing its focus on safety, environment and service.

QualaWash Holdings LLC is an independently owned provider of commercial cleaning and maintenance services to the portable bulk container industry.

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Meritor manufacturer Fras-le expands U.S. operations

Fras-le, manufacturer and supplier of friction materials for Meritor Inc., announced Jan. 22 that it began production of heavy-duty brake linings at its facility in Prattville, AL, earlier in the month.

This is the first time Fras-le has produced heavy-duty brake linings in the United States. Previously, the company manufactured only disc brake pads at the Prattville location.

Fras-le invested $11 million to expand its operations for the North American commercial vehicle market. In addition to new equipment, the expansion added nearly 100 new employees.

Meritor’s aftermarket group is the exclusive North American distributor for Fras-le’s heavy-duty brake linings for new and remanufactured brake shoes. Fras-le and Meritor have partnered for 16 years in developing and supplying friction materials for North American commercial vehicles.


Betts and Life-Time Fenders will operate as BettsHD

Betts Co. announced on Jan. 22 that BettsHD is the company’s new operating division for spray suppression and fender products.

BettsHD combines the resources of Betts spray suspension and Life-Time Fenders into one source for safety-related products for heavy-duty tractor trailers. The products will be branded as BettsHD.

Operations will continue from facilities in California and Ohio. Betts has two other divisions, Betts Spring Manufacturing and Betts Truck Parts and Service.


Kenworth, Paccar Financial offer extended warranty program

Kenworth Truck Co. and Paccar Financial announced an extended warranty program on Jan. 23. The program is for U.S. customers who purchase new Kenworth Class 8 trucks financed through Paccar Financial.

Customers can receive a three-year/300,000-mile basic vehicle extended warranty. The warranty is an additional two years and 200,000 miles of coverage valued at $3,200, Kenworth stated in a press release.

The offer applies to trucks ordered between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013, and must be financed through Paccar Financial no later than March 31, 2014. Customers can take advantage of this offer for up to 20 trucks.


Still time to apply for a C.H. Robinson scholarship

The C.H. Robinson Foundation is accepting applications for its Truckload Contract Carrier Scholarship Program through Feb. 15, 2013.

C.H. Robinson is offering 10 scholarships to full-time employees of truckload contract carriers and their children who plan to continue their education at an accredited college or vocational school. Each scholarship holds an award value up to $2,500 for tuition for the 2013–2014 academic year.

All applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Full-time employees of truckload contract carriers who have a minimum of one year of employment with the company as of the application deadline date.
  • Dependent children of qualified employees of qualified truckload contract carriers of C.H. Robinson. That means biological children, stepchildren or adopted children living in the employee’s household or primarily supported by the employee.
  • Employees of qualified truckload contract carriers must have a minimum of one year of employment with their respective company as of the application deadline date.
  • Dependent children of carriers must enroll in transportation logistics, supply chain or business related programs.

To view the full scholarship program guidelines and to apply, please visit

The applications must be postmarked by Feb. 15, 2013.


Comdata amps up services for Canadian users

Comdata Corp. has been serving truckers in Canada for more than 15 years but this week, the company announced new features for Comdata users in Canada that are similar to those widely used throughout the United States today.

All the different types of expenses now can be charged to one single card instead of multiple cards. Bills and settlements are also in Canadian dollars now and Comdata can also manage the date for Canada tax reporting.

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Bosselman Boss Shops aquires locations in Maryland, Virigina

Bosselman Boss Truck Shops Inc. has announced the acquisition of two Patriot Truck Care/HSV locations.

They are located in Elkton, MD, at I-95 Exit 109A; and Ruther Glen, VA, at I-95 Exit 104.  Both are adjacent to a Flying J Travel Plaza, and will be part of the Uni-Maxx Truck Care network. 

Adding these two locations to the Boss Shop lineup creates a total of 41 Boss Shops in 23 states.

Boss Shops offer tires, quick lube oil changes, preventive maintenance, brake, electrical, drive train, air conditioning and other repairs, as well as roadside service.  Boss Shops carry high-quality tire lines, including Michelin, BF Goodrich, Bridgestone, Goodyear and DynaTrac. They offer a wide variety of accessories for the industry, such as cargo control and chrome items.

Drivers can also enroll in the MaxxCareRewards program, a card-based program that rewards points based on purchases in any Uni-Maxx Truck Care network shop.  Boss Shops service large nationwide fleets as well as regional and local fleets.

For a complete list of all Boss Shops locations, visit

More information about MaxxCare Rewards is available at any Boss Shop or Wingfoot Truck Care Center.  Visit to learn more.

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TransCore DAT partners with Truckers Against Trafficking

Know a driver who deserves some recognition? Nominate him or her for the Driver of the Month and for every nomination submitted, Truckers Against Trafficking will receive a $10 donation from DAT.

To nominate a driver, leave a comment on’s Facebook post telling them who you would like to nominate and why. A winner will be selected on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. In addition to being named DAT’s December Driver of the Month, the winner will also receive a $100 gift card.

Truckers Against Trafficking is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ending human trafficking with the help of professional truck drivers. For more information, visit

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Pilot Flying J donates $100,000 to Wreaths Across America

In early December, hundreds of thousands of wreaths were placed on the tombstones and memorials of the nation’s fallen heroes thanks to Wreaths Across America. With the help of professional drivers and customers across the nation, Pilot Flying J was able to contribute $100,000 to the WAA campaign to honor the men and women who gave their lives to defend our country.

In October, the company announced its “Cup with a Cause” campaign, which donated $3 from every $4.99, limited-edition travel mug. In December, Pilot Flying J donated $100,000 to WAA to assist the nonprofit organization in coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and nearly 800 additional veteran cemeteries and memorials across the country and overseas.

WAA started in 1992 and has grown to include more volunteers, more locations and more wreaths. This December, a total of more than 420,000 wreaths were placed to honor U.S. veterans, including 110,662 wreaths placed on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery.

“Cup with a Cause” mugs are still available for purchase. As a token of appreciation for customers who support the “Cup with a Cause” campaign, each travel mug includes a coupon for a free refill. Customers can redeem the coupon for any premium coffee or cappuccino selection.

For more information about Wreaths Across America, visit To find a Pilot Flying J location nearest you to purchase a “Cup with a Cause” mug, visit or download the Pilot Flying J app to your smartphone.

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Mack contributes $25,000 to NYC disaster relief

Mack Trucks recently presented a $25,000 check to New York City Commissioner of Sanitation John J. Doherty to support relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy. The donation will go to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to community and economic improvement, and will be used to meet immediate needs for food, water and supplies, as well as long-term relief and restoration projects.

“New York City has long been an important refuse and heavy-duty truck customer for Mack Trucks,” said Kevin Flaherty, president of Mack Trucks North American Sales and Marketing. “We value our relationship with New York, and we want to assist them as they deal with enormous demand for public services in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.”

Mack’s relationship with New York City stretches back more than 100 years to 1900 when the Mack brothers incorporated the company and began manufacturing their first heavy-duty vehicle, a 20-passenger touring bus aptly named the “Manhattan,” in a Brooklyn factory.

New York City was a customer of Mack Trucks as early as 1911, and the New York Departments of Sanitation and Transportation together have more than 6,000 Mack vehicles currently in service.

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Volvo makes $100,000 donation to hurricane relief efforts

The Volvo Group says it’s donating $100,000 to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Half the money will go to the Red Cross. The other half will be split between relief funds in New York City and Allentown, PA.

The New York City donation will be used for food, water and supplies and to support long-term relief and restoration projects. Allentown will use the funds to replace the severely damaged roof of a fire station.

A Volvo official says that while the headlines are tapering off, the hard work of recovery continues.

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Navistar announces S-Cam tube bracket recall on six International models

Navistar Inc., headquartered in Lisle, IL, is recalling the brake S-cam tube bracket assemblies on some of its newer model International tractors, citing possible brake assembly fractures that could result in an increased risk of a vehicle crash.

Navistar notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Nov. 21 that as many as 6,779 International tractors may be included in the recall, including six newer models of the International 9900, the LoneStar, the PayStar, the ProStar, the TranStar and the WorkStar, manufactured from Aug. 1, 2011 through July 31, 2012. The recall is on the brake S-Cam tube bracket assemblies on the steer axles, which may fracture and could cause the vehicle to pull to one side unexpectedly or cause an increase in the stopping distance. The affected tractors will have front brake linings listed as feature codes 0504501 or 0504504.

The recall is expected to begin by Jan. 21, 2013. Navistar plans to notify owners, and dealers will replace S-Cam tube bracket assemblies free of charge. Those with questions are urged to call Navistar at 800-448-7825 or NHTSA at 888-327-4236.

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Rush Enterprises acquires MVI Group

Rush Enterprises has picked up several dealerships in Ohio in a recent $107 million deal with MVI Group.

Rush announced Jan. 2 that its subsidiaries have acquired some assets of MVI Group, which operates commercial truck and bus dealerships in Ohio. The dealerships include Miami Valley International, Center City International, CCI North Coast and Buckeye Truck Centers. International, IC Bus, Isuzu and Idealease franchises in seven cities are included in the acquisition.

The newly acquired locations will operate as part of the company’s Navistar Division and bring the company’s total truck centers to 78 locations in 15 states. The capabilities of Rush Truck Leasing and Rush Bus Centers will be expanded as a result.

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Celadon has big plans for driver trainees

Indianapolis-based truckload carrier Celadon Group Inc. plans to build a new, $5.25 million driver training center and add 182 new employees to its work force. The 60,000-square-foot training center will include a dormitory for driver trainees.

Celadon is asking the city for about $200,000 in tax breaks on the project.


IdleAir adds new entertainment package

IdleAir, a truck stop electrification service provider, has added a new entertainment package that includes more than 60 channels of satellite TV, including the ESPN package. It also offers 120V electricity inside and outside the cab, and basic Internet access on the IdleAir touchscreen.

The new ConvoyTV+Power package will be offered for free at select locations nationwide through Jan. 15, 2013. Then beginning Jan. 16, 2013, it will be offered at a flat $1.49 per hour (plus tax), and available through IdleAir member cards at select locations through April 30, 2013.


Trimble acquires ALK Technologies

Trimble Navigation announced Jan. 3 that it has acquired ALK Technologies Inc., developer of routing, mapping, mileage and navigation technologies.

ALK’s addition is expected to extend and complement Trimble’s Transportation and Logistics Division portfolio. Trimble T&L products include TMW Systems’ transportation management solutions, PeopleNet’s integrated onboard computing and mobile communications systems and GEOTrac’s fleet management and worker safety solutions for the oil and gas industry.

ALK’s product line includes CoPilot Live, a GPS navigation system for professional drivers; and PC*Miler, a truck-specific mileage tool.

ALK Technologies will be part of Trimble’s Mobile Solutions group. Trimble is best known for providing GPS receivers and laser rangefinders in the construction, surveying and agriculture fields.

A Trimble official says ALK will keep its present leadership team.


Limited number of 2013 Peterbilt calendars now available

The 2013 Peterbilt calendar is now available for purchase and the company is saying “heads up,” the quantities are limited and sale of the calendars may not extend beyond January.

Peterbilt’s calendar is available in two formats. The oversized wall calendar features six beautiful truck images with two months per truck image. The spiral bound appointment calendar featuring 12 unique truck images.

Appointment calendars feature 12 monthly photos, measure 12-7/8 x 9-3/4 inches and cost $10.95. Wall calendars feature six two-month pages, measure 28 x 26 inches and cost $15.95. Prices do not include shipping and handling.  

The calendars can be purchased through Peterbilt dealers. Check out the network of dealerships at


Western Star's limited edition 2013 calendar is here

The engineering-inspired “Tough by Design” calendar features Western Star trucks across various applications, from logging and mining to on-highway and heavy-haul. Renowned artist Jeff Foster returns for the third year to illustrate the specialization of each truck with blueprint-style drawings that complement original truck photography by Paul Hartley.

Presented in a horizontal 18-inch by 27-inch format, the “Tough by Design” calendar is available to order through the Western Star website at or at a Western Star dealer.


Freightliner Trucks 2013 calendar, with a new twist

The Freightliner 2013calendar is now available to order. In addition to highlighting on-highway and vocational truck models in unique settings and applications, the 2013 Freightliner Trucks calendar includes a new interactive component.

Starting in January, participants can log onto and guess where the picture was taken. The first 25 people to identify correctly the location every month will win Freightliner merchandise.

Visit to order the 2013 Freightliner Trucks calendar for $15.


New improved Petro to open in Gary, Indiana

The Petro Stopping Centers at I-80/I-94, exit 9, in Gary, IN, has been razed, and a new facility is scheduled to open in the first half of 2013. A groundbreaking ceremony took place Nov. 20.

The current fuel islands remain open.

The new 28.6-acre Petro will offer 340 truck parking spaces, a six-bay Petro:Lube service facility, and 15 diesel lanes with DEF at the pump.

The facility will include an Iron Skillet restaurant; a combination Taco Bell/Pizza Hut fast food restaurant; and a travel store complete with beverages and to-go meal options, including better-for-you snack choices.

Other amenities include 15 showers, a StayFit fitness room, laundry facilities, a Verizon UltraMobile store, and movie and TV rooms.


U.S. Xpress to expand Mexican 'footprint'

U.S. Xpress Enterprises Inc. has announced that it will significantly expand its presence and range of U.S./Mexican cross-border services through two key deals. Mexican expansion comes on the heels of U.S. Xpress’s recently-announced cross-border partnership with Canadian carrier Maritime-Ontario.

U.S. Xpress will purchase a 90 percent interest in Xpress Internacional. The deal marks an expansion of the joint venture originally created by the two companies five years ago.
The company has also formed a joint venture with Monterrey-based Logisti-K, a leading provider of cross-border and Mexican logistics services in operation since 2002. The deal will allow U.S. Xpress to expand its range of services in Mexico to include warehousing and distribution, as well as freight forwarding services via full truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal, ocean and air.

“The majority purchase of Xpress Internacional confirms our commitment to cross-border truckload transportation,” said Brian Quinn, vice president and general manager of international services at U.S. Xpress, “and our investment in Logisti-K opens new capabilities to provide those solutions.”

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International rolls first ProStar with Cummins engine off line

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer

The first International ProStar Plus with Cummins ISX 15 engine has rolled off the production line – both a real and symbolic sign of a new era for Navistar International Corp.
The new ProStar Plus, built at a company plant in Escobedo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, features selective catalytic reduction exhaust after-treatment systems. Navistar says it has already received orders for 1,000 new ProStar Plus trucks.
Navistar’s change from exhaust treatment by Exhaust Gas Recirculation to SCR was announced in August.
“This is a great accomplishment for Navistar and an important milestone as we bring our first SCR-based Class 8 trucks to the marketplace,” said Troy Clarke, Navistar president and COO, according to a company news release. “The entire launch team and hundreds of others working behind the scenes are committed to a high-quality launch, and this achievement is another proof point in our progress.”
The company moved into a new headquarters in Lisle, IL, last winter. This summer, amid rumors of bankruptcy, Navistar announced it had secured a $1 billion line of credit from a group of large banks, including J.P. Morgan.

In August, Navistar parted ways with former CEO Daniel Ustian, who had championed the company’s use of EGR while all rival truck manufacturers had used SCR for 2010 model year and newer trucks.
Last month, Navistar made 10.6 million shares of public stock available to raise cash – only two months after the company secured the $1 billion line of credit.
By March, Navistar expects to enter pilot production for International ProStar Plus trucks with the company’s MaxxForce 13 engines and a Cummins SCR-based after-treatment system. Regular production could begin by April. Other truck models will follow.
For more reporting on Navistar, click here.

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2013 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar now available

Shell announced this week that through Nov. 30, truckers can get the 2013 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar at no cost with an oil change. After that, it can ordered from the website, which has a complete list of locations offering the calendar.

The 2013 Shell Rotella SuperRigs Calendar captures 12 of the hard-working trucks that participated in the SuperRigs contest earlier this year and the stories of their drivers.

The 30th Anniversary Shell Rotella SuperRigs was one of the most memorable ever as truckers from all across North America converged on Joplin, MO, in May. The truck contest was the signature event for “All Roads Lead to Joplin” – a group developed to raise funds to benefit the YMCA of Joplin’s community disaster recovery efforts following a devastating tornado in May 2011. 

While supplies last, the calendar is free with a purchase of 10-gallon (minimum) oil change of Shell Rotella T Triple Protection, Shell Rotella T5 Semi Synthetic Technology, or Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic. 

The 2000 Kenworth W900L of Ron Saris from Leamington, Ontario is the cover photo and month of December photo for the 2013 Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar.  The picture was taken at the Route 66 Drive-In in Carthage, MO.

The Shell Rotella SuperRigs calendar provides monthly offers from the MyMilesMatter loyalty program beginning in January 2013.  The calendar will be available for purchase from beginning on Dec. 1, 2012.

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Wall Street Journal picks TrailerTails for award

ATDynamics announced this week that the company has been awarded the 2012 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award in the transportation category for its patented TrailerTail line of rear-drag aerodynamic technologies.

The TrailerTail is a lightweight, thermoplastic composite fairing installed at the back of a tractor-trailer to streamline airflow behind the trailer, reducing drag and fuel consumption. Using an origami folding design, TrailerTails collapse automatically out of the way when a driver opens the rear doors of a semi-trailer to access cargo.

ATDynamics was selected from among 536 applications originating from more than two dozen countries. 

According to the press release, to date 12,000 TrailerTails circulating on U.S. highways have logged more than 300 million miles. The company claims a savings of more than 2 million gallons of diesel fuel.

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Evans Cooling test shows better mpg, lower emissions

Evans Cooling Systems Inc., manufacturer of a waterless engine coolant, recently released testing results that showed improved fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions.

The tests were the result of a study with the Department of Sanitation in New York City and emissions testing firm Emisstar LLC. Fuel economy, emissions, and temperature performance of the Evans waterless heavy-duty coolant were performed on a Mack MP7 diesel refuse collection truck owned by the DSNY.

According to Evans, two test cycles in March 2012 found an improvement of 4.4 and 6.1 percent in fuel economy and a CO2 emissions reduction of 4.3 and 5.6 percent. The company’s press release reported there was no sign of negative impact to oil and transmission fluid temperatures.

Evans Heavy Duty Coolant has a boiling point of 375 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than water-based coolants. Evans says this allows the engine to operate at slightly higher temperatures, thus raising the fan-on temperature to 230 degrees. The result is reduced fan-on time and fuel consumption.


Wreaths Across America gets support from Pilot Flying J

Pilot Flying J has announced it is trying to raise $100,000 for Wreaths Across America – the nonprofit group that places wreaths on the graves of thousands of military veterans each year.

The Knoxville, TN-based mega truck stop chain hopes to raise the money by selling special-edition mugs of coffee to truckers. For $4.99, drivers can purchase a special limited-edition travel mug from any Pilot Travel Center or Flying J Travel Plaza across the U.S. 

With every mug purchase, $3 will be donated to Wreaths Across America. They’re calling it the “Cup for a Cause” campaign.  


Nine commercial trucks nominated for Truck of the Year in 2013

The American Truck Dealers has announced the nine nominees for the 2013 ATD Commercial Truck of the Year, a national award recognizing the top truck entries in the heavy- and medium-duty categories.

The heavy-duty (Class 8) truck nominees are Freightliner Cascadia Evolution (equipped with Detroit DT12 transmission), Kenworth T680 76-inch sleeper with Paccar MX Engine, Peterbilt model 579 and Western Star 4700SF.

The medium-duty (Class 3-7) nominees are Ford F-650, Hino 195h, Isuzu Reach, Kenworth K370 cabover and Peterbilt 337 extended day cab.

The annual award, which will be presented Sunday, Feb. 10, during the 2013 ATD Convention and Expo in Orlando, FL, recognizes a winner in both the heavy- and medium-duty truck categories. The ATD convention will once again run concurrently with the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo in Orlando from Feb. 8-11.

To determine the winners, a five-member panel of journalists will test drive and evaluate the trucks at ADESA Las Vegas on Oct. 5. The judges are Tom Berg, chief judge, Heavy Duty Trucking; Paul Hartley, writer and owner of AddMedia; David Kolman, Fleet Maintenance Magazine; Jim Park, Heavy Duty Trucking; and Jack Roberts, Commercial Carrier Journal. The judging categories include innovation and design, safety and driver satisfaction.


Wreaths Across America gets support from Pilot Flying J

Pilot Flying J has announced it is trying to raise $100,000 for Wreaths Across America – the nonprofit group that places wreaths on the graves of thousands of military veterans each year.

The Knoxville, TN-based mega truck stop chain hopes to raise the money by selling special-edition mugs of coffee to truckers. For $4.99, drivers can purchase a special limited-edition travel mug from any Pilot Travel Center or Flying J Travel Plaza across the U.S. 

With every mug purchase, $3 will be donated to Wreaths Across America. They’re calling it the “Cup for a Cause” campaign.  


Nine commercial trucks nominated for Truck of the Year in 2013

The American Truck Dealers has announced the nine nominees for the 2013 ATD Commercial Truck of the Year, a national award recognizing the top truck entries in the heavy- and medium-duty categories.

The heavy-duty (Class 8) truck nominees are Freightliner Cascadia Evolution (equipped with Detroit DT12 transmission), Kenworth T680 76-inch sleeper with Paccar MX Engine, Peterbilt model 579 and Western Star 4700SF.

The medium-duty (Class 3-7) nominees are Ford F-650, Hino 195h, Isuzu Reach, Kenworth K370 cabover and Peterbilt 337 extended day cab.

The annual award, which will be presented Sunday, Feb. 10, during the 2013 ATD Convention and Expo in Orlando, FL, recognizes a winner in both the heavy- and medium-duty truck categories. The ATD convention will once again run concurrently with the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo in Orlando from Feb. 8-11.

To determine the winners, a five-member panel of journalists will test drive and evaluate the trucks at ADESA Las Vegas on Oct. 5. The judges are Tom Berg, chief judge, Heavy Duty Trucking; Paul Hartley, writer and owner of AddMedia; David Kolman, Fleet Maintenance Magazine; Jim Park, Heavy Duty Trucking; and Jack Roberts, Commercial Carrier Journal. The judging categories include innovation and design, safety and driver satisfaction.


Goodyear unveils new commercial tire inflation technology

Researchers at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company have been working on a new Air Maintenance Technology application that they say can improve fuel savings and carbon dioxide reductions while potentially improving performance and eliminating the need for external inflation pressure intervention.

The commercial application of Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology made its debut at the 2012 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany, on Sept. 19. 

Goodyear’s Air Maintenance Technology mechanism allows tires to maintain constant, optimum pressure without the use of external pumps, electronics and driver intervention.

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Navistar to upgrade 2,300 mine-resistant vehicles for troops in Afghanistan

Navistar Defense received a delivery order this week for up to $282 million to provide more than 2,300 survivability upgrade retrofit kits for International MaxxPro Dash Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, or MRAPs for short. The order from the U.S. Army will upgrade MaxxPro Dash vehicles with additional protection in response to evolving threats in Afghanistan.

Navistar has delivered nearly 9,000 MaxxPro units in nine major variants to the United States and its allies. This order follows the company’s MaxxPro rolling chassis body swap, which upgrades more than 2,700 MaxxPro vehicles with a DXM independent suspension, MaxxForce 9.3 engine, 570 amp alternator and driveline.

Work for the survivability upgrade will be done in Afghanistan beginning in December 2012. The order is scheduled to be completed by July 2013. The order also includes parts and service.

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Magellan and AAA team together for faster breakdown service

A new venture between GPS manufacturer Magellan and AAA is designed to get assistance to drivers quicker in the event of a breakdown.

The companies have extended their ongoing partnership, combining AAA’s travel services with Magellan’s RoadMate series GPS devices. In addition, they announced a “new integration” on Sept. 18 that unites the Magellan RoadMate Commercial 5190T GPS – featuring trucking-specific applications – and AAA’s D/2000 roadside assistance dispatch system.

With Magellan’s 5190T, drivers can accurately pinpoint their location and pass that information on to a AAA/CAA operator. Service can then be dispatched and arrive faster, getting the driver back on the road quicker.


EPA and CARB give Thermo King the nod on new reefer units

Thermo King is the first transport refrigeration manufacturer to receive Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board certification for 2013 model year engines greater than 25 horsepower. It has done so without the use of a diesel particulate filter.

The regulations require an engine to be 37 percent cleaner for particulate matter and 90 percent cleaner for nitrogen oxides as compared with the previous interim Tier IV standard.

“Customers can now keep their transport refrigeration units longer than seven years. And if they do decide to sell, values should remain higher because no incremental investment will be required,” said Doug Lenz, director of product management and marketing for Thermo King.

The new engines will be introduced in the Precedent platform available in January 2013. Precedent is a new trailer temperature control platform built from the ground up to deliver double-digit fuel savings and lower life cycle costs while still being compliant.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, Thermo King will also offer a full range of truck and auxiliary power unit (APU) solutions compliant with Environmental Protection Agency Tier IV final regulations for engine emissions. TK customers can obtain CARB and EPA certification documents from their local dealer.


New smartphone app targets trucking sportsmen

With so many truck drivers interested in hunting and fishing, Interstate Sportsman Radio expects that its new smartphone application will prove to be popular.

The Interstate Sportsman Radio Network says it is the world’s first radio network devoted exclusively to reaching North America’s professional truck driver. An Internet-based broadcast, the Interstate Sportsman Radio Network offers a free app, which enables listeners to catch the broadcast anywhere in the U.S. via their mobile telephone. Broadcast all day, every day, this network features entertainment, news and outdoor content specific to the continent’s over-the-road drivers.

The brainchild of Brock Ray, co-host of the Interstate Sportsman Radio show on the Sirius XM Road Dog channel, the Interstate Sportsman Radio Network prominently features the country’s leading hunting and fishing radio shows as well other sports and recreational entertainment.


Roadrunner on the move

Milwaukee-based Roadrunner Transportation Systems has acquired Expedited Freight Systems, a regional LTL company for $10 million. EFS, with total revenues of $19 million, is the third acquisition for Roadrunner this year.

Roadrunner acquired Omaha-based refrigerated carrier R&M/Sortino Transportation of Omaha, NE, earlier in August for $24.4 million. In June, it acquired refrigerated carrier CTW Transport, Boston, MA, for $7.5 million.  


Mack Trucks introduces two new Bulldog coolants

Mack Trucks has introduced two new proprietary Bulldog-branded coolants.

Mack Bulldog Extended Life Coolant uses carboxylate-based, organic additive technology that contains nitrite. Mack claims that it delivers a service life of 600,000 miles or 12,000 hours or 48 months, with no extender needed. It is silicate-free and phosphate-free, and can be distinguished by its red color.

Mack Bulldog Heavy-Duty PF Coolant is a fully formulated, phosphate-free coolant. It offers a service life of 300,000 miles or 6,000 hours or 24 months and has a purple or fuchsia color.


Bridgestone wants to set record straight on retreads

In an effort to set the record straight on retreads, Bridgestone Commercial Solutions has relaunched Retread Instead as an online campaign aimed at educating truckers and fleets on the value of extending tire life.

The website hosts short, informational videos about the benefits of retreading as well as easy-to-understand clips on the retreading process. A feature of the site is the space dedicated to debunking common myths around retreads, especially those surrounding safety and mileage.


Pilot Flying J opens gym in Dallas, more coming

By Kimberely Lennard, Land Line staff writer

Snap Fitness Rolling Strong gyms have introduced a way to get fit and stay fit on the road. The company has partnered with Pilot Flying J Travel Centers to open a gym for professional drivers.

The first location recently opened at the Pilot Flying J on Bonnie View Road in Dallas. There are currently almost 100 members.

Gym memberships give access to Snap Fitness Rolling Strong Gyms located at the Pilot Flying J location 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, plus over 1,300 Snap Fitness locations worldwide. More than 45 of the existing Snap Fitness locations will be truck friendly and also open 24 hours a day, according to Sean Mohr, Vice President of Development at Rolling Strong and Snap Fitness.

Facility equipment includes treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes and a full body strength circuit. The gym has 24-hour surveillance and requires a membership card to access.

A professional trainer is available during certain hours to assist drivers with their fitness goals and to develop a workout plan that fits their needs. Fitness workout cards allow drivers to manage their workout routines, regardless of which location they visit.

Mohr told Land Line that four more locations have broken ground in Rising Fawn, GA, just south of Chattanooga, TN; Lebanon, TN on I-40 outside of Nashville; East St. Louis, IL; and Gallup, NM. All locations will be approximately 1,000 square feet and contain the same high-end fitness equipment found at normal Snap Fitness gyms. The company hopes to have at least 10 open by the end of the year, with a plan to build up to 150 locations as quickly as possible.

Snap Fitness Rolling Strong gym memberships are $19.95 a month for the member and $12.95 for a spouse, with no contract or enrollment fee. Mohr said drivers can sign up for an initial month for $8.95 to try it out.

Snap Fitness is a franchise of compact, state-of-the-art fitness centers that provides members a fast, convenient workout alternative to health clubs.

Rolling Strong is a driver wellness program delivered to drivers on the road. Its mission is to educate drivers and share products and services to help them on the road. Chief Operating Officer Diana Van Leuven said the company introduced a Rolling Strong food product line last week, in addition to an in-cab workout system called FIT with Freightliner.

For more information, go to


Continental Tires offers roadside assistance program to OOIDA members

Breakdowns and roadside emergencies are costly expenses that no trucker enjoys. But while larger trucking fleets usually have national service plans, owner-operators and independent drivers often find themselves alone on the road, negotiating their own prices for repairs.

Continental Truck Tires USA commercial tire division has rolled out a new roadside assistance program for members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

As of Aug. 1, OOIDA members are automatically enrolled in a new emergency road service program exclusively for the organization, called TrukFix for OOIDA. The program allows members free access to a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week call center at 877-TRUCKFIX (877-878-5349). The program has no membership costs for OOIDA members.

Operators will help identify the issue, locate a service provider, provide regulated pricing for tires and related services, and stay in contact with the driver until he or she is back on the road.

iPhone or iPad users can access the TrukFix for OOIDA service through Continental’s Truck Tires Dealer Locator app, available at the iTunes App Store or by using the QR code on

TrukFix for OOIDA also offers credit card billing, as well as follow-up calls made the next day to make sure members are satisfied with the service.

For more information about any of these plans, visit


TravelCenters of America opens 40th free fitness facility

The 40th StayFit fitness center in the TA and Petro Stopping Centers network has opened at TA Dallas South, located at Interstate 20 and I-635, Exit 472, in Dallas, TX.

All StayFit fitness rooms are free to professional drivers who carry the UltraONEDriver Rewards card. Rooms include weight training resistance equipment, adjustable sit-up boards, elliptical for cardio workouts, and recumbent bikes.

StayFit rooms also have weight scales, workout mats, wall-mounted TVs and fans.

TA launched the StayFit program in early 2011 and continues to expand it. The program includes “better-for-you” food options in restaurants and travel stores for drivers while they are on the road.

In addition, there are 120 mapped walking trails at TA and Petro locations nationwide, seven locations have basketball hoops, and all locations have pet exercise areas. Drivers interested in the walking trails can pick up maps at participating sites.

The 41st StayFit fitness room is opening at the Petro Stopping Centers in Carnesville, GA, within the next week. More will be added soon.

For a complete listing of all TA and Petro fitness rooms, walking trail and basketball locations, visit


IdleAir opens new site at Flying J in Milton, PA

As brutal temperatures continue to punish parts of the U.S., truck drivers without APUs are looking for places to stop and keep cool while out on the road.

On Tuesday, July 24, IdleAir announced that a new site has opened at the Flying J at exit 215 on Interstate 80 in Milton, PA.

According to the release, customers can enjoy “free, limited service” at IdleAir’s newest location through July 31. 

The company now has 29 locations in 12 states throughout the country. They hope to have more than 100 locations by 2014.


Companies announce partnership to build CNG infrastructure

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer

The race to secure the alternative fuels market is on as unpredictable diesel prices have forced the trucking industry to explore other fueling options to help increase their profits, while lowering their fuel costs.

On Tuesday, July 17, two companies, DeBartolo Development, a real estate development company, and Keystone Consulting Group, a real estate consulting firm, announced a plan to build 1,000 compressed natural gas fueling stations in the U.S. over the next four years. They plan to build 10 initial sites as part of the CNG Infrastructure Expansion Project.

Erik Hector, a managing member of the Keystone Consulting Group, told Land Line that they are initially focusing their efforts to build sites in five states – Florida, Louisiana, West Virginia, Ohio and California – but opportunities are being discovered in many other states as well.

“We are negotiating with several co-developers, users and tenants, but we are not yet able to announce locations,” Hector said.

“In the initial years of our effort, we anticipate private access facilities will be the predominant investment option with public stations becoming more popular as markets are ‘seeded’ with bi-fuel vehicles,” Hector said. “We hope to deploy a layered strategy to foster the acceptance of CNG fuels by both private and public users.

When asked if new fueling stations will be available to small-business truckers, Hector said that “one-third of our outstanding Letters of Intent involve stations serving your (Land Line) readership.”

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AirFlow Bullet Truck gets 13.4 mpg on coast-to-coast trip

By Land Line staff

Back in 1985, a truck driver named Bob Sliwa built an aerodynamic truck. Sliwa, an OOIDA member from Newington, CT, ran his truck for a while, then retired to pursue other interests. But he never forgot his dream. In 2008, he began work on his current project, the AirFlow Bullet Truck.

The truck was featured on a 1985 cover of Land Line. And in June 2012, Senior Technical Editor Paul Abelson reported on the details of Sliwa’s new aerodynamic “bullet truck” in his article “How flow can you go?”

In the latest news, Sliwa reported recently that the AirFlow Bullet Truck just completed “a coast-to-coast, revenue-producing, real-world, freight-hauling run” and achieved 13.4 mpg average for the entire trip.

Copyright © OOIDA


ITS Financial Services will offer 75K bond for its Diamond Broker members

In response to the newly enacted legislation mandating the higher bond limit upon all brokerages and freight forwarders, ITS Financial Services announces the addition of a $75,000 surety bond as part of its Diamond Broker program. 

ITS Financial Services is an affiliate of Internet Truckstop and manages the Diamond Broker program. Members of Internet Truckstop who maintain an “A” experience factor with Internet Truckstop and meet certain credit and performance criteria are eligible to participate in the Diamond Broker program. At present membership includes more than 1,000 brokers. ITS says the program will allow these brokers to meet the new requirement at an “affordable price.”

According to ITS, the program does not require the maintenance of collateral, which addresses a major industry concern particularly for smaller to mid-sized firms.

The program will be available in August of this year.


Truckers sought for study of weight loss drug

By Land Line staff

A biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of obesity drugs announced early this month that it is sponsoring a large study in its quest for final FDA approval of its weight-loss drug Contrave. The “Light Study” has begun enrolling patients for the clinical trials and among those sought for participation are truckers.

OrexigenTherapeutics Inc. is the maker of Contrave, which combined with exercise, aims to help obese individuals with weight loss. The goal is to have the drug approved and on the market by 2015.

The study – which seeks 10,000 participants – is designed to assess the cardiovascular health outcomes of the drug. The study drug is made up of two medications, bupropion and naltrexone, that are already FDA approved and used for other medical conditions. This combination study drug is not yet FDA approved.

The Healthy Trucking Association of America – an organization that offers programs to raise awareness and help improve the health of professional drivers – wants truckers to be aware of the the Light Study. HTAA says the study offers truckers the opportunity to participate in the clinical trial, get a free doctor-supervised weight-loss program, plus receive up to $840 for taking part in the program.

According to HTAA, individuals may qualify for the Light Study if they are men age 45 or older or women age 50 or older; must be obese; and have a cardiovascular risk factor like high blood pressure and/or type 2 diabetes with certain heart risk factors. A placebo is also used in the study.

“There are millions of truckers in the U.S., and a large percentage of them are overweight. Many many are classified as obese,” said HTAA’s Brett Blowers. “Many are hypertensive and/or suffering from type 2 diabetes, as well. Research suggests that losing just 5-10 percent of your body weight can significantly improve your health and lower your risk of complications from diabetes and heart disease.”

According to Blowers, truckers can apply online and, if qualified, be notified and enrolled.

Your doctor does not have to give his/her permission for truckers to take part. However, either you or the physician conducting the study, with your permission, should contact your personal physician to discuss your participation in the study before you begin and to keep your doctor up-to-date about your progress.

Copyright © OOIDA


J.D. Power finds heavy-duty truck owners sufferin’ from EPA blues

The introduction of engines that meet revised EPA regulations is once again taking a toll on heavy-duty truck quality and customer satisfaction, reports J.D. Power and Associates. In its 2012 customer satisfaction study on U.S. heavy-duty trucks released Wednesday, June 27, the global marketing info company says customers are reporting more problems with their truck engine.

The study is based on responses from 1,725 primary maintainers of one-model-year-old Class 8 heavy-duty trucks. The study was fielded in April and May 2012.

Overall customer satisfaction with heavy-duty trucks declines to 737 index points on a 1,000-point scale in 2012, compared with 751 in 2011, primarily due to an increase in the number of problems experienced. The study finds that quality of Class 8 trucks that are one model year old has decreased, with problem levels rising 9 percent to 223 problems per 100 trucks in 2012, up from 204 in 2011. Overall quality is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 trucks, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. Much of the overall quality decline is attributed to a higher rate of engine- and fuel-related problems, which have increased by 14 percent from 2011.

The most problematic engine and fuel problems are driven by technology that is designed to reduce emissions from heavy-duty truck engines.

“Following the revised EPA regulations in 2007, there was an increase in problems and a decline in customer satisfaction, and we anticipated the same thing would happen with the introduction of 2010 EPA-compliant engines,” said Brent Gruber, director of the commercial vehicle practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Emission-related technology results in a high rate of problems, particularly with ECM calibration, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves and engine sensors. The new, more complex engines are resulting in more problems and downtime.”

Vocational truck customers experience an average of 2.2 unscheduled maintenance procedures per year, resulting in an average of 7 days of downtime, while on-highway owners report an average of 2.9 unscheduled maintenance procedures, or an average of 7.7 days of downtime.

“Engine reliability has the greatest impact on overall product satisfaction, so it’s vital that truck and engine manufacturers work quickly to reduce the number of problems related to the emission technologies,” said Gruber. “The truck brands of European companies have fewer problems, specifically, those related to the technology required to meet the emission standards, because they have been using the technology for years in other markets.”

Gruber explains that since 2008, Europe has had emission standards similar to those enacted in the U.S. market in 2010, so manufacturers that build heavy-duty trucks for that market have the advantage of applying technology proven in Europe in its U.S. models. As a result, brands such as Freightliner and Volvo earn above-average satisfaction for engine reliability and dependability, as well as fewer engine- and fuel-related problems than industry average. On average, truck brands owned by U.S. companies experience 22 percent more engine- and fuel-related problems than their competitors owned by European companies.

The study measures the satisfaction of primary maintainers of Class 8 heavy-duty trucks that are one model year old in two product segments, on highway and vocational. In each segment, satisfaction is determined by examining six key factors: cab/body; cost of operation; engine; ride/handling/braking; transmission; and warranty.

Freightliner ranks highest in heavy-duty truck customer satisfaction in both the on-highway and vocational segments.

In the on-highway segment, which evaluates long- and short-haul trucks, Freightliner ranks highest with an index score of 750 and performs particularly well in all six factors. Volvo ranks second (739), while Peterbilt ranks third (736).

In the vocational segment, Freightliner ranks highest with an index score of 789. International ranks second (766) and Peterbilt ranks third (753).

The study also measures satisfaction with service received from authorized truck dealers by examining six factors: service advisor; service delivery; service facility; service initiation; service price; and service quality.

Kenworth ranks highest in Class 8 customer satisfaction with dealer service for a second consecutive year. Kenworth, with an index score of 804, performs particularly well across all factors. Following Kenworth in the rankings are Freightliner (802) and Volvo (784).

Headquartered in Westlake Village, CA, J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions.


TA/Petro: Be ready for Roadcheck with a free mid-trip inspection

Truckers aren’t the only ones who are prepped for the annual 72-hour safety blitz. Travel Centers of America invites truckers to “avoid a CVSA Roadcheck violation with a free mid-trip inspection.”

TA/Petro says truckers can stop at any participating TA Truck Service or Petro Lube location for a “quick, non-measured” inspection of key items that the DOT looks for. Mid-trip inspections are available through June 9.

After June 9, TA and Petro will still offer free mid-trip inspections if there is an empty bay at participating locations. 


Freightliner Natural Gas Tour planned for May 17-24

By Kimberely Lennard, Land Line staff writer

The Freightliner Natural Gas Tour is planned for May 17-24. A Cascadia day cab tractor fueled by CNG will be driven from Los Angeles to Washington, DC.

The truck will be refueled with CNG along the way. Stops include Phoenix, AZ; Oklahoma City, OK; North Little Rock, AR; Nashville, TN; and ending just south of Washington, DC, in National Harbor, MD.


The tour truck is pulling a 53-foot trailer, courtesy of Ryder, loaded with approximately 30,000 pounds of cardboard that will be delivered for recycling in Washington, DC.

To follow the Cascadia’s progress and learn more about CNG, visit The total fuel savings counter has statistics tracking miles traveled, average CNG fuel price, average MPG and estimated greenhouse gas reduction.


Schneider National replacing 3,000 trucks

Schneider National announced this week it will replace one-third of its 10,000-plus trucks by the end of this year. The company has invested in 3,000 new 2012 and 2013 tractors, or 75 per week.

The trucks are primarily Freightliners and include Meritor WABCO’s OnGuard collision mitigation system. OnGuard features a forward-looking radar sensor that monitors the distance, speed and deceleration of a vehicle ahead and alerts the driver to take appropriate action through an in-cab display.

Don Osterberg, senior vice president of safety and security at Schneider National said, “If a situation should arise where the gap between our truck and the vehicle in front closes to less than 3.6 seconds, a warning will sound, allowing the driver to take the necessary steps to regain a safe cushion.”

If the driver fails to take appropriate action, the system will deactivate the cruise control, depower the engine, and even apply the brakes to avoid a collision.

The tractors have aerodynamic features that reduce drag, including wheel covers. Most will have redesigned fairings to optimize fuel efficiency and improve mileage per gallon, as well as Predictive Cruise Control. Annually, the new trucks will save almost 2 million gallons of fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 22,000 tons.


TravelCenters of America to honor women drivers on Mother’s Day

TravelCenters of America invites all professional driving women to enjoy a complimentary meal on Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 13, at any participating TA or Petro Stopping Centers sit-down restaurant.

“We understand that drivers sacrifice their personal and family time by being on the road, doing what needs to be done to keep America moving,” said Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters. “We hope to make Mother’s Day a little brighter for moms and daughters, aunts and nieces, and grandmothers and granddaughters, especially if they are away from their families on this special day.”

Women drivers simply need to show their valid commercial driver’s license to their restaurant server prior to ordering to receive one free meal (up to a $15 value) at more than 170 participating Iron Skillet, Country Pride and other full-service, home-style restaurants within TA and Petro Stopping Centers.


Internet Truckstop adds paid shipper rates to service

Internet Truckstop, the largest web-based freight matching service in the transportation industry, has added paid shipper rates as part of the existing RateMate service. 

This new feature includes 30, 60 and 90 days of paid shipper rate data provided by thousands of shippers over the past few years. The database of companies submitting rates includes all aspects of the shipping industry from small companies to Fortune 500 companies and includes rates paid to carriers and brokers.


Atlas drivers like Subway, Shell Rotella, KWs and satellite radio

Atlas Van Lines is out with its annual survey of driver preferences when it comes to things like food and lodging. This year, a majority of the 167 drivers who responded said Subway is their favorite fast food and Petro’s Iron Skillet is their top restaurant.

Most think Kenworth makes the best tractor and Bridgestone scored as their favorite tire. Favorite truck stop chain is Petro and Super 8 is the favorite lodging. A whopping 47 percent use Shell Rotella. Fresh fruit is the snack of choice while driving. 

More than half (55 percent) reported they listen to satellite radio. 

Sixty percent have smartphones and of those, most have iPhones. Verizon topped the cell phone service provider of choice.

Seventy-five percent use the Internet daily and 56 percent use social networking (like Facebook) every day.


MHC Kenworth-KC earns KW’s first Paccar MX Dealer of Year Award

MHC Kenworth-Kansas City was named the first recipient of the new Kenworth Paccar MX Dealer of the Year award for the United States and Canada at the annual Kenworth dealer meeting held recently in Columbus, OH.

“We’re thrilled to be the first Kenworth dealer to win this award,” said Tim Murphy, CEO of MHC, which operates 43 Kenworth dealerships in 10 states, including MHC Kenworth-Kansas City.

Gary Moore, KW’s general manager and Paccar VP said more than 20,000 trucks now operate with the Paccar MX engine in various customer applications throughout North America. The engine is available with a horsepower range of 380 hp to 485 hp and torque up to 1,750 lb-ft on selected Kenworth Class 8 models.  


IdleAir opens new location in Arizona

As fuel prices continue to hover above the $4 mark, truck drivers without APUs continue to seek alternative idling solutions.

IdleAir services are now available at 27 locations in 12 states with more than 2,000 installed parking spaces.

Until April 30, IdleAir will offer free limited service at its newest location at the Sunmart Truck Stop at exit 378 on Interstate 10 in San Simon, AZ.

According to an IdleAir release, premium service will be available for $1.25 per hour through May 31, at the new site.


Goodyear DuraSeal Tire Survives 367 Punctures Without Losing Pressure

This year’s Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY, drew a record number of attendees, and The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company set its own record of sorts during the three-day event thanks to its DuraSeal Technology.

Mid-America Trucking Show attendees drove 367 nail holes into a Goodyear G394 SST wide-base trailer tire at the tire manufacturer’s booth – without any impact on tire inflation. 

Attendees punctured the tire using Goodyear’s “DuraSeal Popper,” a device that enables users to pierce the tread area of a tire by pulling down on a handle. (The tire was mounted on the DuraSeal Popper, but not under a load at the time.)

“The results were eye-popping,” said Tim Miller, marketing communications manager, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems. “DuraSeal Technology is the industry’s first and only built-in tire sealant, and is designed for multiple punctures while maintaining tire pressure.”

DuraSeal is a yellow, gel-like rubber compound that instantly seals punctures of up to 1/4-inch in diameter in the tread area of the tire. (It does not seal sidewall punctures.) As a nail enters the tire and reaches the tire’s inner liner, DuraSeal immediately surrounds the puncture to seal the leak.

“If the nail is pulled out, DuraSeal can instantly fill the hole and keep air from escaping,” said Miller. “People are amazed that a truck tire can seal itself.”

Goodyear’s DuraSeal Technology is available in drive and trailer tires for over-the-road applications, plus in all-position tires for mixed service and waste-haul applications. To learn more about DuraSeal, visit

Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems offers a broad portfolio of products and services to the commercial fleet industry, including a full range of original equipment and replacement tires; the fleetHQ portfolio of business solutions; national programs, tire management tools; online information; and business problem-solving tools for tomorrow’s commercial fleets. For more information, go to For more information about fleetHQ, go to


American Truck Dealers move 2013 convention to Orlando

The American Truck Dealers has announced that it is moving its 2013 Convention and Expo to Orlando, FL, in February, in response to survey results of attendees from the past convention. The 2013 ATD convention was originally scheduled for Tampa next April.

Orlando is the site of the 2013 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention and Expo, which is considered “the industry event of year.” The two events will run simultaneously at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from Feb. 8-11.

In a press release, ATD stated nearly 77 percent of respondents who attended the ATD convention in Las Vegas this past February indicated that they favored holding future ATD conventions in conjunction with NADA. Earlier this year, both conventions were held together for the first time.

The American Truck Dealers represents about 2,000 medium- and heavy-duty truck dealers. ATD members share in NADA’s programs, services and benefits. ATD hosts an annual convention and expo for dealers and dealership managers.


Bridgestone: New project could be breakthrough for rubber industry

By Land Line staff

This could be big. With the demand for tires expected to increase, Bridgestone Corp. has announced the Bridgestone Group’s plans for an extensive research project in the United States dedicated to developing guayule as a commercially viable, renewable source of high-quality natural rubber and as an alternative to the hevea tree, which is currently the primary source for tire rubber.

Guayule (pronounced why-u-lee) is a perennial shrub native to the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. This plant produces natural rubber in its bark and roots. Natural rubber from guayule has almost identical qualities compared to natural rubber harvested from hevea trees.

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations is currently seeking land to establish the pilot farm and construct the rubber process research center in the southwestern U.S. The facility is expected to be fully operational in 2014. Trial rubber production should start in 2015.


Trucker’s Helper donates to St. Christopher

John Ewing is the owner of Trucker’s Helper, a company that specializes in accounting software specifically designed for truckers. For the second year, he took some of his company’s earnings and made a donation to the St. Christopher Trucker Development and Relief Fund. This year at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ewing made a $500 donation. The check was accepted by SCF’s Director of Fundraising Denise Pittenger.


Volvo hybrid race truck to attempt new speed records

By Land Line staff

The world’s fastest hybrid Class 8 truck will try to beat its own speed record (it owns three) April 27 at Wendover Airfield in Utah. From a standing start, the Volvo hybrid “Mean Green” will attempt to do more than 165-miles-per-hour in a little over half-a-mile.

In building the Mean Green, which was revealed by Volvo Trucks at the Mid-America Trucking Show, Volvo’s team of hybrid technology experts adapted Volvo’s hybrid driveline to the chassis requirements of a truck built for speed. Engineers then outfitted Mean Green with a highly tuned Volvo D16 engine and a modified version of Volvo’s automated I-Shift gearbox, which interacts with the hybrid’s electric motor.

“The result is a lightning-speed boost from start-off without any of the customary diesel-engine delay,” said Boije Ovebrink, Mean Green’s owner and driver. “It’s like a champagne cork, but without the sound effects. For the first couple of seconds the truck just makes a slight whistle until the diesel engine, which runs on renewable liquid rosin diesel, starts delivering with explosive force.”

In total, Mean Green pumps out a massive 2,100 horsepower and nearly 5,000 lb-ft. torque – of which, 200 horsepower and 885 lb-ft. of torque come from the electric motor. Volvo designers selected a North American VN cab and sculpted the optimal aerodynamic shape for the truck.


Ritchie Bros. conducts largest Mexico auction in its history

By Land Line staff

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers’ first-ever Mexico national auction broke records last week for highest gross auction proceeds and largest number of bidders.

Ritchie Bros., the world's largest auctioneer of used and unused heavy equipment, set multiple records at its first-ever Mexico national auction held in Polotitlan, state of Mexico, on March 28-29, 2012.

In total, more than 1,150 heavy equipment items and trucks were sold during the two-day auction, with each item being sold to the highest bidder, regardless of price, with no minimum bids or reserve prices. The unreserved public auction set new company records in Mexico for highest gross auction proceeds – nearly $19 million (US) – and most bidders at 735.

In the transportation sector, more than 60 truck tractors were sold. In that group, the high sellers were two 2012 Freightliner Cascadias that went for $82,500 each. The median sale price of tractors was $44,000. The low seller went for $3,250.

A corporate communications rep from Ritchie Bros. told Land Line that the tractors came mainly from northern Mexico – Baja, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango – and that many of them were being used to haul equipment from the recently booming mining operations in the region, mainly gold and copper. The sellers of the trucks reside in Mexico, but also operate in the U.S. and Canada.

More than 700 people from 27 countries, including 32 Mexican states, registered to bid in person or online from as far away as Australia, Malaysia, Ireland and India. Bidders from outside of Mexico purchased nearly $2 million (U.S. dollars) worth of equipment (10 percent of total gross auction proceeds). In total, more than 325 bidders registered online and purchased more than $4 million worth of equipment.

Additional equipment included 36 crawler tractors, 27 hydraulic excavators, 26 wheel loaders, 12 articulated dump trucks and more.

The company has been in business for more than 50 years and has been conducting unreserved heavy equipment auctions for more than 15 years in Mexico.

Copyright © OOIDA


Battle ongoing over Tony the Tiger

Yet another lawsuit was filed in Louisiana on Thursday, April 6, in the on-going legal battle over “Tony the Tiger.” Tony is a Siberian-Bengal tiger that’s been on display in a cage at the Tiger Truck Stop off Interstate-10 near Baton Rouge for years.

An animal rights group has now filed suit hoping to get Tony moved to wildlife refuge.

In November, a judge ordered that the truck stop owner’s permit to keep the tiger be revoked, but another judge issued a temporary order barring the state from moving the animal.


Fat to fuel?

Tyson Foods has partnered with Syntroleum, a Tulsa-based company, to convert animal fat into diesel fuel. Dynamic Fuels – the joint venture of Syntroleum and Tyson – claims the renewable fuel has a higher cetane rating than normal diesel and is some of the highest-quality diesel fuel in the world.

Operations are underway at the new Dynamic Fuels plant, which is converting animal fats and greases into high-quality renewable fuels. Production at the Geismar, LA, plant began in early October, and the volume currently being produced is 2,500 barrels per day and growing.

Unlike the ethanol and biodiesel industries, which use food ingredients such as corn and soybean oil to produce fuel, Dynamic Fuels uses non-food-grade animal fats and greases.

According to the company, the facility’s renewable diesel fuel product meets all ASTM D975 specifications for diesel fuel and boasts a carbon footprint 75 percent below that of petroleum diesel. 


TRIB to give away $10,000 of retreads during MATS

The Tire Retread and Repair Information Bureau is expanding its “Spot the Retreads” competition at the Mid-America Trucking Show March 22-24 in Louisville, KY.

Visitors to TRIB’s booth No. 13036 can enter the “Spot The Retreads” contest and try to correctly identify a range of new and retreaded tires. Participants who correctly identify all the tires will be entered into daily drawings for sets of eight commercial truck tires to be retreaded on the participants own casings. With seven sets of retreaded tires to be won, the total value of the tires to be given away during the show is more than $10,000.

For more information about MATS, visit


Onspot automatic chains growing

Did you catch the article in March/April Land Line about OOIDA Members Bob and Linda Caffee and their Onspot automatic chains? We just heard some positive news from Onspot of North America announcing the expansion of its factory in North Vernon, IN.

Onspot had been planning to add to its existing 30,000 square foot facility when the building and property next door became available. The company chose to purchase the three- acre parcel with its 7400 square foot building. This will become Onspot’s storage warehouse. The additional space frees up the room required to add two more machines that assist in the production of Onspot’s automatic tire chain systems.

Onspot of North America has been supplying automatic tire chain systems for the past 24 years to more than 200 OEMS as a factory-installed option and to more than 1,400 dealers throughout North America. For more information, contact Onspot at 800-766-7768 or


Petes take top honors in ATD Commercial Truck of the Year

The winners of the American Truck Dealers Commercial Truck of the Year were announced at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino on Sunday, Feb. 5. The award recognized the top truck entries in the heavy- and medium-duty categories. Nine trucks were nominated for the award; Peterbilt trucks won in both the heavy-duty and medium-duty categories.

Winners were the Peterbilt 587 SmartWay conventional tractor in the heavy-duty (Class 8) division and the Peterbilt Model 210 low cab forward in the medium-duty (Class 3-7) competition.

Other entries in the heavy-duty category were the Freightliner 114SD conventional dump truck, International ProStar Plus tractor with MaxxForce 15 engine, and the Kenworth T660 Regional Hauler with Paccar MX engine. The medium-duty truck entries were the Fuso Canter FE160 low cab forward, Isuzu NPR-HD Gas, Kenworth T440 Conventional, and UD 2600 low cab forward.

Trucks were judged on overall appearance, cab comfort, noise levels, roominess, ease of getting in and out of the truck, and convenience of maintenance.

Four journalists on the judging panel test drove the trucks on an eight-mile course that included rural and highway driving in Dallas last fall. Key judging factors included the trucks’ overall appearance, cab comfort, noise levels, roominess, ease of getting in and out of the truck, and convenience of maintenance.

The judges were Paul Abelson from Land Line Magazine, Tom Berg from Heavy Duty Trucking, Paul Hartley from Fleet Equipment magazine, and Jack Roberts from Commercial Carrier Journal.


DVX sunglasses for serious drivers

The hot new sunglasses that NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon was wearing this week at Daytona International Speedway will soon be available for all professional drivers. Although sunshine was sparse and the race didn’t happen until Monday night after sundown, the DVX Eyewear brand made its official debut anyway at the Sprint Cup Series kickoff festivities in Daytona Beach, FL.

The DVX brand by Wiley X includes 25 designs (five of which are Rx-capable) for both men and women. The new product line will be available exclusively through Wal-Mart Optical Centers beginning in mid-March.

The DVX sunglasses retail for $48 for non-polarized and $78 for polarized models. Wal-Mart Vision Centers offer free vision screenings in the store and a free 12-month guarantee on all frames and lenses.


Cummins adds new NG engine to heavy-duty lineup

Cummins is adding a new natural gas truck engine to its heavy-duty lineup. The engine is aimed at regional-haul truck/tractor, vocational and refuse applications. The new Cummins Westport ISX12 G burns either compressed or liquid natural gas and is currently in field trials with full production expected to begin in early 2013.

The ISX12 G natural gas engine is based on the Cummins ISX12 diesel engine platform.


Kenworth's NavPlus System: What? No kitchen sink?

Kenworth’s NavPlus system is spoiling KW operators with a driver’s-side 7-inch high-resolution color screen display that is loaded.

It offers everything from truck-specific navigation to hands-free telephone conversations – along with audio controls (including satellite-enabled radio, AM/FM, CD, MP3 and USB), and camera inputs for up to four optional video cameras for monitoring the truck and trailer.

Six virtual gauges provide current information on truck operation. Oil temperature, transmission temperature, manifold boost, current and average fuel economy, diesel particulate filter (DPF) status and percentage of torque come preloaded.

In addition, an on-screen preprogrammed button automatically dials the Kenworth PremierCare Customer Center, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for roadside assistance.
At the core of the Kenworth NavPlus is an on-board navigation system that provides drivers with true truck-optimized routes from Garmin, customized to truck and load specifications. The system also allows truck and load information to be entered, which allows drivers to steer clear of restricted roads and streets. Audible prompts keep drivers’ eyes on the road, instead of on the screen.


Shell announces new loyalty program

Shell Lubricants has launched a loyalty program that rewards truck drivers and equipment operators for choosing Shell Rotella products. The “My Miles Matter” loyalty program allows members of the program to earn reward miles by purchasing select Shell Rotella products and services. Membership in the program is free.

In celebration of the launch of “My Miles Matter,” those registering on or before Feb. 29, 2012 will receive double miles for the reward code entered.

Between March 1 and April 30, all members (in most states) can register to have a chance to win $25,000 in diesel fuel. Everyone who registers during this time period will also get 250 miles automatically credited to their account. Secondary prizes include one hundred $25 Shell gift cards. See for the complete rules.


Xata: Can we be ‘tweet hearts’?

Fleet optimization software people, Xata Corp., have announced they are conducting a Twitter follower contest Feb. 7-28, 2012, to benefit the St. Christopher Development and Trucker Relief Fund. Follow them on Twitter at @XataNation.

For every new @XataNation Twitter follower, Xata will donate $1 (up to $1,000) to the St. Christopher Fund.

The SCF is a nonprofit dedicated to helping drivers who struggle with medical bills and unemployment due to illness or injury.


WIT to name Influential Woman of the Year

Women in Trucking’s choice for Influential Woman of the Year will be announced at the Truckload Carriers Association annual conference March 4-7 in Orlando, FL.

A panel assembled by the Women in Trucking organization will discuss “Overcoming the Challenges” faced by women working in the trucking industry. Panelists include Andreea Raaber, Bendix VP for business development; Joyce Brenny, president of Brenny Transportation and Chairman of Minnesota Trucking Association; Phyllis Cochran, president of the Navistar Inc. Parts Division; and Rochelle Gorman, chief executive officer, CalArk International Inc. Moderator will be Chris Burruss, president, Truckload Carriers Association.

The Influential Woman of the Year will be named following the panel discussion. Three finalists will be introduced. WIT President and CEO Ellen Voie will announce the winner.


Navistar commits to expanding LNG truck offerings

By Paul Abelson, Land Line senior technical editor

At a special briefing held in connection with the grand opening of Navistar’s new world headquarters in Lisle, IL, company executives announced a commitment to natural gas as the fuel of the future.

“Natural gas has clearly emerged as the most reliable alternative fuel option for the trucking industry,” said Navistar chairman, president and CEO Dan Ustian. “Together, Navistar and Clean Energy developed a breakthrough program.”

Clean energy president and CEO Andrew Littlefair announced his company’s plans to open 150 liquid natural gas (LNG) fueling stations, with 70 operating by the end of 2012. Most will be co-located at Pilot Flying J. The company foresees a nationwide network of natural gas fueling stations within a few years.

Navistar will develop natural gas versions of most existing engine platforms. Currently it offers DuraStar and WorkStar vocational trucks with natural gas-powered MaxxForce DT inline engines and will soon offer the Cummins-Westport ISL-G engine in its TranStar and WorkStar trucks. The company plans on developing LNG-fueled MaxxForce 13-liter engines with diesel pilot injection.

While engines like the ISL-G require spark plugs to ignite the fuel, Navistar’s pilot injection uses diesel to initiate combustion. Once a burn is established, it is sustained by the gas. That eliminates any need for spark plugs and related electrical systems.

The per-gallon-equivalent price deferential between gas and diesel is relatively constant at around $1.50, according to T. Boone Pickens, chief investment officer of BP Capital Management.

Pickens is a major force in natural gas exploration and production. “The United States has a minimum of 100 years of gas reserves, more than enough to drastically reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Pickens said.

Gas has not caught on as a fuel because of lack of infrastructure and a limited number of engine and fuel system options. Clean Energy’s commitment to build infrastructure and Navistar’s commitment to engine technology address the two major obstacles.

A third obstacle, the cost of vehicle conversion, is being addressed by Clean Energy. For operators who commit to purchasing 1,000 gallons of LNG per month per truck (equivalent to 100,000 miles a year at better than 8 mpg), monthly rebates will be available to repay the upcharges.

Special fuel tanks and engine changes are estimated at $35,000 per truck. In other words, up charges will be rebated over five years.

Vehicle range will be 400 to 600 miles depending on tank sizes. When the Clean Energy program is completed, fuel should be available every 250 miles. Vehicle weight will increase by less than 100 pounds. Refueling will take about 10 minutes.

Savings from the conversion to LNG should result in break-even periods as short as several years. The projections are based only on private investment. No government incentives are involved, although any incentives or tax credits for alternative clean-burning fuels will significantly shorten payback.

Copyright © OOIDA


Recall: Bendix scrambles to remedy defective valve

By Sandi Soendker, editor-in-chief

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems is recalling certain traction relay valves that will affect shipment of a large number of heavy trucks made by Paccar, Volvo, Mack and Navistar. In late January, the Ohio-based company notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it had identified a potential defect on a traction relay valve fitted on 50,000 to 60,000 trucks manufactured between Dec. 2, 2010 and Jan. 18, 2012.

According to Bendix, OEMs were notified to ensure that the potentially affected trucks won’t be delivered for sale until there’s a fix. Bendix Communications Manager Barbara Gould said Thursday that the company was working as diligently as it could to get a remedy in place.

“Safety and customer satisfaction are top priority for us,” said Gould, “and when these types of situations arise, we do everything we can to get the right information and insure the fastest and least disruptive solution we can.”

The problem was discovered in mid-December after reports of intermittent brake applications. The company reports that following inspection of complaint vehicles, Bendix replicated the event under lab conditions and verified the situation in the field.

Gould said Bendix notified NHTSA on Jan. 26 of a potential defect on the ATR-6 traction relay valve. The problem is that internal leakage can develop, resulting in pressure being delivered to the affected service brake circuit.

Gould said it’s a potential problem, which means it doesn’t happen in every valve but can happen. The one consistent element, she said, is that it has occurred in vehicles operating in extremely cold – below zero – temps.

According to Gould, a temporary remedy kit is out there now and permanent one is forthcoming.

“From the OEM perspective, we are working closely with them to come up with a solution that works for them,” she said. “Some are already in the field installing the temporary remedy kit and we are working with others to come to a decision.”

Gould noted some confusion with a few reports she’d seen that indicated the defect was connected with Bendix’s stability and collision mitigation systems. Those reports are not accurate, she said.

“It’s not true that there are problems with these systems,” she said. “It’s an intermittent air leak issue, not related to stability and collision mitigation systems. Our Bendix ESP Full Stability System and Wingman ACB and Wingman Advanced – although they are temporarily suspended when you install the temporary remedy kit – are not the root cause of the condition.”

When the permanent remedy kit is installed, Gould said those systems will be instantly reactivated on the vehicle.

Bendix is providing online information and the latest developments at its Product Action Center and is now manning a toll free action line at 1-800-478-1793.

Copyright © OOIDA


Inver Grove Heights travel center to remain open during remodeling

Pilot Flying J recently acquired a travel center in Inver Grove Heights, MN, and will remodel the Pilot Travel Center to feature 43 parking spaces for trucks plus full amenities for professional drivers and the motoring public.

Located at 11650 Courthouse Blvd. along U.S. Highway 52/55 in Dakota County, the travel center will remain open during remodeling, which is expected to be complete in May 2012.

The 7,500-square-foot travel center will feature four fuel islands and five diesel islands along with DEF at the pump.  

The Inver Grove Heights location will include a Cat scale, Subway restaurant, which will reopen after the remodeling is complete; hot food deli; clean restrooms; pay phones; an AirVac; fax and copy services; Western Union and check cashing; an ATM; lottery and Lotto tickets; an arcade; laundry services; and general merchandise for professional drivers and highway travelers.

As with all other Pilot Flying J locations, the Inver Grove Heights Pilot Travel Center honors the Frequent Fueler Advantage card. Pilot and Flying J merged in 2010, and both brands are still available on U.S. highways.

Pilot Flying J is headquartered in Knoxville, TN, and has more than 550 retail locations across North America.  


Freight Wing offers OOIDA member discounts on side skirts

Owner-operators who own their own trailers can save on their fuel bills if they run with aerodynamic trailer side skirts. If they happen to be OOIDA members, they can save even more, thanks to a 15 percent OOIDA member discount being offered by Freight Wing, the company that manufactures EPA SmartWay-verified Aeroflex side skirts.  

New rules in California are requiring pre 2011-model year 53-foot dry van trailers to have aerodynamics by Jan. 1, 2013. New trailers must be spec’d with side skirts now.

For those running more than one trailer (up to 20), you can phase in trailer side skirts, but you must file a compliance agreement by Jan. 1, 2012. Refrigerated trailers must also comply, although the deadline varies by model year. For complete CARB requirements, go to the CARB web site: and click on The Truck Stop icon.

To learn more the OOIDA discount, go to the OOIDA website, (click on benefits and services and go to discounts), or contact Freight Wing at 866-464-9464 or


Freightliner aims for 8 mpg in 2015

The people at Freightliner say they’ve set a goal of improving the fuel efficiency of the Cascadia by 5 percent every two years. If they can pull it off, it will mean the Cascadia’s fuel use will improve from 6.7 miles per gallon in 2010 to almost 8 mpg in 2015.

Freightliner says it’s already boosted the tractor’s mileage with aerodynamic fairings and expects to introduce more aerodynamic improvements as well as mechanical advances and things like switching to a 5W-30 engine oil.


Rebates available to help truckers ‘electrify’

Truckers needing a cost-effective way to purchase anti-idling equipment for their rigs may want to check into a new rebate program being offered through the U.S. Department of Energy.

The manager of the DOE grant program is Cascade Sierra Solutions of Eugene, OR, which announced the $10 million Shorepower Technologies Electrification Project – or STEP. The goal is to provide “idle reduction equipment rebates for devices on medium and heavy-duty diesel trucks that incorporate electric standby operation or run on battery power to eliminate engine idling during mandated rest periods,” according to Cascade’s press release on Aug. 15.

The STEP plan is to “locate and install 50 truck stop facilities over the next 18 months” in busy freight corridors.

Individual rebates can be as much as 20 percent of the “installed equipment price.”

Owner-operators operating in the lower 48 states will be eligible to apply for the program. Small fleet owners may also apply, with a maximum of 25 rebates per fleet.

“Equipment purchases must be pre-authorized by Cascade Sierra Solutions with a rebate certificate prior to installation,” Cascade’s release stated. Those selected must agree to use STEP project “electrified truck parking where available until June 2014.”

According to the release, the types of equipment eligible for the rebates, and the maximum payments, include auxiliary power units or generator sets with electric stand-by options, $2,000 max; battery HVAC systems, $1,600; battery evaporative cooler systems, $700; thermal storage systems, $260, truck cold plate systems, $3,200; trailer transport refrigeration units with electric stand-by options, $5,000; and e-Hybrid transport refrigeration units with electric stand-by options, $5,000.

The equipment must be SmartWay-approved technology. Click here for the list.


Goodyear blog lets trucking professionals interact with tire expert

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has launched the fleetHQ “Ask The Tire Answer Man” blog, exclusively available at

“This unique blog gives fleets and owner-operators an opportunity to interact with Tim Miller, Goodyear’s ‘Tire Answer Man,’” said Bruce Woodruff, director of business solutions marketing, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems. 

A 30-plus-year commercial tire veteran, Miller also serves as marketing communications manager for Goodyear's commercial tire business.

“Having spent his career working with original equipment truck manufacturers, fleets and owner-operators in a variety of capacities from engineering to national account sales, Tim will draw upon his vast knowledge of the tire and trucking industries to discuss issues that are important to transportation professionals,” said Woodruff.

Goodyear’s fleetHQ program offers a variety of tools and benefits, including the 24/7 fleetHQ Solution Center, which dispatches service technicians to downed trucks. It also offers TV Track, a powerful online management tool that helps fleets monitor tire conditions and performance, among other functions; Gold Medallion retreaded tires; the fleetHQ Truck Stop Network, which encompasses more than 300 locations; and more.


Volvo goes for better mpg, sweet spot

Volvo says its new powertrain, the XE-13, will improve fuel efficiency by 3 percent or more in its VN series trucks. A Volvo press release says the system produces a low-rpm cruising speed while increasing torque. The company says the result is that the engine runs at its ‘”sweet spot” at all speeds.


Daimler brings the cloud to the cab

You know that “cloud” word you are always hearing in ads about the Internet? Now it’s coming to trucking. A strategic agreement between Daimler Trucks North America and a company called Zonar promises to offer some Freightliner drivers Virtual Technician, which DTNA says is the industry’s first real-time remote diagnostic system. They say it will be standard equipment on 2012 Freightliners equipped with Detroit Diesel BlueTec engines.

By leveraging Zonar cloud-based (Internet) technology with the Virtual Technician system, DTNA can provide immediate and proactive diagnostic service to their customers. The Virtual Technician transmits real-time engine diagnostics with vehicle performance indicators to the Detroit Diesel Customer Support Center. The support center then proactively communicates with fleets and vehicle owners regarding potential performance issues and service scheduling.


Pilot Flying J partners with Truckers Against Trafficking

In an effort to help raise awareness about human trafficking along America’s roadways, Pilot Flying J has partnered with Truckers Against Trafficking to expand education for employees and outreach to customers.

Truckers Against Trafficking ia an organization dedicated to educating, equipping, empowering and mobilizing the trucking industry to fight human trafficking. It recently received its nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service, making it a 5019(c)(3) organization.

Pilot Flying J posted information from the growing organization in its more than 550 travel centers and travel plazas across the U.S. These posters provide the national hotline number that individuals should call to provide an anonymous tip if they witness or suspect human trafficking. The number is 888-373-7888.

Professional drivers are encouraged to pick up a Truckers Against Trafficking wallet card at Pilot Flying J locations, which along with the national TAT hotline number provides an email contact, tips on trafficking red flags and specific information to provide to law enforcement with each tip.

Pilot Flying J also now includes general training about human trafficking and the organization’s resources to all company employees.


Freightliner design contest for college students

Freightliner Trucks has announced its “Design the Future of Pride & Profit” truck design contest. Open to college students studying within North America, entrants are invited to submit original designs for the owner-operator-style truck of the future.

The company is sponsoring a contest to see which college student can submit the best original design for a new truck – one that’s good looking, aerodynamic and user-friendly for owner-operators. The goal is to help generate out-of-the-box ideas for what owner-operators want.

Judging criteria will cover a broad spectrum of required skills, including concept, overall product appearance, originality, power of emotion, and illustration quality.

The contest runs from now through February 2012.

Three finalists, selected by a panel of commercial vehicle design experts, will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the 2012 Mid-America Trucking Show, where their designs will be on display at the Freightliner Trucks booth. The winner will receive a $20,000 scholarship fund and option for a paid internship at Freightliner Trucks.

For more information about the competition and a complete list of rules, go to


IdleAir extends price freeze through end of May

IdleAir has announced an extension of the 2011 Price Guarantee Program, which freezes current prices through May 31, 2012.

IdleAir Premium Service will remain at $1.99 an hour through May 31, 2012, and IdleAir’s Extended Stay Service for continuous stays beyond the first 10 hours will remain at $1.25 an hour through May 31, 2012. Drivers and fleets with different discounted rates will automatically receive the lowest hourly rate.


Volvo Trucks offers Bluetooth as standard on two models

In advance of the federal ban scheduled for Jan. 1, 2012, on commercial drivers’ use of hand-held mobile devices while driving, Volvo Trucks in North America will now offer its Bluetooth-equipped radio as standard equipment on all VN and VHD models.

Volvo’s standard Bluetooth radio package includes a radio unit, microphone mounted in the overhead console, and full audio delivered through the truck’s speaker system. The integrated design allows drivers to see pertinent incoming and outgoing call information on the vehicle’s Driver Information Display.

The system extends the phone’s features, such as answering the phone by pushing one button, as required in the regulation.

In addition to the Bluetooth mobile phone system, the radio features AM, FM, CD and MP3 capabilities, accessible through an auxiliary and USB connector installed in a dash switch location.


Paccar parts to please

TRP Aftermarket Parts from Paccar recently announced a line of chrome-plated and stainless steel accessories. TRP parts are manufactured with tested 304-grade or 430-grade stainless steel to resist corrosion, while the chrome plating provides a uniform, attractive finish. Axle and hub covers feature screw-on wheel nut covers instead of pop-on installation features and are less likely to fall off.

TRP chrome and stainless parts include exterior accessories such as fenders, bumpers, kick panels, steps, skirts and toolboxes, and interior accessories such as knobs and panels. TRP also offers accessories designed specifically for popular Kenworth and Peterbilt models.

TRP Aftermarket Parts are available through authorized retailers including Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF dealerships. Visit for a location near you.


Florida company develops ‘no fuel’ reefer

A Florida company has applied for a patent on a system that it says can power a reefer unit with batteries that are powered by the kinetic energy generated by the spinning of the truck’s wheels.

Emerald Technology Partners says the Wedway Refrigeration Power System refrigeration unit can run up to 10 hours after the truck has stopped. Or, the company says, it can be run off shore power.

With a Wedway-equipped refrigeration unit, the company claims the cost of operation is greatly reduced by doing away with the fossil fuel, lowering the overall weight of the system and allowing for more cargo weight.  

By Emerald’s calculation, there are more than a million reefers on the road that consume nearly $13 billion dollars worth of fuel each year.


Another Yokohama Tire price adjustment coming in February

Yokohama Tire Corp. will implement another price increase of up to 8 percent on all of its commercial truck tires in the U.S., effective Feb. 1. A spokesman for Yokohama confirmed that this represents the fifth increase since January 2011.

The tire company upped the price of its commercial tires 6 percent in January 2011, 8 percent in April, in July and again in October.

Rick Phillips, director of Commercial Sales cites costs of manufacturing and logistics, and domestic and global economic pressures.


Pilot Flying J completes purchase of Bosselman travel centers

Pilot Flying J and Bosselman Travel Centers Inc. announced in early January that the sale of seven Bosselman travel centers in the Midwest to Pilot Flying J is a done deal.

The centers are located in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota and are open for business Thursday, Jan. 5, as Pilot Travel Centers.  

In addition to Pilot Flying J’s acquisition, the companies agreed to expand Bosselman’s Boss Truck Shops repair facilities to 20 additional Pilot Flying J locations across the country.

The newly acquired centers are located in Des Moines (Altoona), IA; Colby, KS; Salina, KS; Rapid City, SD; Big Springs, NE; Wood River, NE, and Elm Creek, NE.


Dana, Eaton end alliance for marketing drivetrain components

Dana Holding Corp. and Eaton Corp. jointly announced in December that while they still have “deep respect for one another,” the marketing relationship between the two companies will end by the middle of 2012. Over the next six months, each company will be preparing to sell, market, and service customers independently of each other.

Eaton will continue to provide field services and support for all Eaton and Dana products through the middle of 2012 under the Roadranger brand, after which Dana will have the support systems in place to effectively service and support its customers independently.


Chapter 11 for Hostess

The company that makes Twinkies and Wonder Bread has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in five years. Hostess will continue operating its 36 bakeries and more than 500 distribution centers while it tries to restructure its finances.

Hostess says it filed for protection from its creditors because of debt, declining sales of some products, and the high cost of pensions and medical plans for its mostly union employees. Hostess has about 7,500 Teamster truck drivers and thousands of other workers who are represented by other unions.

Hostess was in bankruptcy from 2004 until 2009 and, at the time, cited many of the same reasons.


Don Schneider dies at age 76

Alzheimer’s Disease has claimed the life of former Schneider National president and chief executive officer Donald Schneider. He died Jan. 13 at age 76.

Schneider was named president of the Wisconsin-based trucking company in 1976 and stayed at the helm for more than 25 years. He retired from the daily operational responsibilities at Schneider National in 2002.

He is survived by his wife Patricia, five children, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The company was founded by his father, Al Schneider.


Thanks to truck stops, Subway is bigger than ever

“Five, five, five dollah foot-longgg” …The next time you order one of those at a Subway, you’ll be dining in the world’s largest restaurant chain. Subway is even bigger than McDonalds, with more than 37,000 sandwich shops in 98 countries.

One of the reason they’ve now topped all the others, in terms of units, is they are willing to operate Subway shops in so many non-traditional locations, like truck stops. Out of the more than 8,100 non-traditional locations with Subway restaurants, more than 4,100 locations are in convenience stores and truck stops.

Les Winograd with Subway’s franchise world headquarters in Milford, CT, told Land Line that the exact number of truck stop locations isn’t clear, but confirmed that Pilot Flying J and Love’s Travel Stops are among the top three non-traditional franchisees in the U.S.

“In the U.S. Pilot is the largest non-traditional franchisee, but they are our second largest non-traditional franchisee worldwide,” says Winograd. “The number one overall non-traditional franchisee worldwide is Couche Tard convenience stores, with 173 Subway franchises. The majority of Couche Tard’s Subway locations are in Canada with 108 franchises versus 65 in the US, which is why Pilot beats them out if you are only looking at the U.S. store counts.”

Winograd reports that Pilot currently owns and operates a total of 170 Subway franchises, all in the U.S. except one that’s in Canada.

 The Pantry Inc. comes in next with 150 to rank the second largest U.S. non-traditional franchisee and the third largest non-traditional worldwide.

Next is Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. with 131 franchises open and operating. Love’s is the third largest non-traditional franchisee in the U.S. behind Pilot and The Pantry, and the fourth largest non-traditional franchisee worldwide.

The most non-traditional location is neither a truck stop nor convenience store, but the True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo, NY.


ATD Commercial Truck of the Year winners announced Feb.5

The winners of the American Truck Dealers Commercial Truck of the Year will be announced at the Las Vegas Hotel on Sunday, Feb. 5. The award recognizes the top truck entries in the heavy- and medium-duty categories. Nine trucks were nominated for the award.

The heavy-duty (Class 8) truck entries are the Freightliner 114SD conventional dump truck, International ProStar Plus tractor with MaxxForce 15 engine, Kenworth T660 Regional Hauler with Paccar MX engine, and Peterbilt 587 SmartWay conventional tractor. The medium-duty (Class 3-7) truck entries are the Fuso Canter FE160 low cab forward, Isuzu NPR-HD Gas, Kenworth T440 Conventional, Peterbilt Model 210 low cab forward, and UD 2600 low cab forward.

Trucks were judged on overall appearance, cab comfort, noise levels, roominess, ease of getting in and out of the truck, and convenience of maintenance.

Four journalists on the judging panel test drove the trucks on an eight-mile course that included rural and highway driving in Dallas last fall. Key judging factors included the trucks’ overall appearance, cab comfort, noise levels, roominess, ease of getting in and out of the truck, and convenience of maintenance.

The judges were Paul Abelson from Land Line magazine, Tom Berg from Heavy Duty Trucking, Paul Hartley from Fleet Equipment magazine, and Jack Roberts from Commercial Carrier Journal.


Discovery Channel announces new 'World's Toughest Trucker' series

Eight truck drivers from six different countries will put their driving skills to the test in a new Discovery Channel series, World’s Toughest Trucker, premiering at 10 p.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 13.

The new series features truck drivers from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Australia and Sri Lanka. All are competing for a $150,000 prize.

According to the release, truck drivers will compete in three-day challenges in some of the harshest environments on earth, including the Australian Outback and icy roads in the Himalayas. 

Drivers must face “unusual cargo, massive rigs, lethal roads and each other” as a driver is eliminated in each episode for “slow times and penalties.”



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