News, Trucking Feed

Volvo unveils new VNL series ‘groundbreaking tractor’

Volvo Trucks North America today revealed the new Volvo VNL series, calling it “a groundbreaking tractor” with “innovations in efficiency, productivity, safety and uptime.” It’s available in several configurations, including an all-new, 70-inch sleeper.

“The new Volvo VNL builds on our long-standing commitment to deliver the safest, most comfortable and most efficient long-haul truck on the market,” said Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Infused with new innovations and technologies, we’re proud to expand upon that commitment to our current and future customers with this new design.”

Designers of the new Volvo VNL combined elements of Volvo’s design language “with dynamic new features,” spokesmen stated. Those include swept-back headlights and Volvo’s daytime running lights and frame, and a new Volvo grille and hood. Redesigned and repositioned engine air intakes allow for less turbulent intake air delivery. Airflow up and around the cab has also been optimized with new chassis and roof fairings.


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Is a self-driving truck with no windows the future of trucking?

STOCKHOLM —­ Hardly a day goes by at the moment without us hearing about more developments in the field of driverless cars, and it seems as though every major manufacturer is close to perfecting their own model that can drive without input from a human.

However, a Swedish company called Einride has unveiled a prototype driverless vehicle that is addressing self-driving technology from an entirely different angle, and they could well be onto something

The vehicle in question is a windowless, driverless electric truck called the T-Pod, and not a passenger vehicle.

While much of the focus for driverless vehicles has been on passenger cars so we can read a newspaper or eat breakfast on the way to the office while the car takes care of the driving duties, it’s really the commercial vehicles that do the really long miles of mundane driving.

Driverless cars could easily be seen as something of a novelty, but autonomous trucks really could completely revolutionise the entire logistics industry.

T-Pod is a prototype from Swedish company Einride that’s essentially a giant box on wheels, which is around 23 feet long and is capable of transporting 15 standard pallets.


Related:  Trucking Jobs (Ironic right?  A Trucking Jobs link on a self-driving truck article?)

Challenge to FMCSA’s Mexican cross-border trucking program dismissed in court

A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Teamsters Union challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s cross-border trucking progra m. FMCSA in January 2015 opened the U.S. operating authority application process to all Mexican carriers, prompting the Teamsters’ court challenge.

The Teamsters’ lawsuit, filed in March 2015, alleged FMCSA didn’t generate enough inspection data during its three-year cross-border trucking pilot program to properly make a determination about expanding the program.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sided with the Teamsters Union as an intervenor in the lawsuit, backing the Teamsters’ claim about a lack of data.

A panel of judges on the 9th Circuit, however, said June 29 that FMCSA has the law-given discretion to grant operating authority to Mexican carriers, data concerns withstanding.


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Next Trucking App Offers Features for Dispatchers

Next Trucking has launched a new fleet management app that allows dispatchers to find desirable loads for their fleets.

Next Trucking’s system matches carriers with shippers and now features a function dedicated specifically to dispatchers. The new mobile app function gives dispatchers the option to assign carriers to loads in real time.

The management system on the app allows dispatchers to find available loads, assign drivers, track drivers, and manage shipments. The existing web version offers additional services like organizing equipment and managing accounting and billing.

For dispatchers who also drive occasionally, the app makes switching between trucking and dispatching simpler because it can be managed from a smartphone or other connected mobile device. The app is fully equipped with all the necessary features to make dispatching easy. Managers can add on drivers, show or hide the load price, view all shipment details, and reassign the load if an emergency occurs in the middle of transit. When a delivery is complete, all documents will be submitted electronically for managers to keep in records.


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Trucking Stock Performance Review -- J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Celadon, Knight Transportation

J.B. Hunt Transport Services 

Lowell, Arkansas headquartered J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc.'s stock finished Wednesday's session 0.03% higher at $93.25. A total volume of 1.60 million shares was traded, which was above their three months average volume of 993,560 shares. Over the last month and the previous three months, the Company's shares have advanced 7.80% and 1.40%, respectively. The stock is trading above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages by 6.16% and 2.73%, respectively. Moreover, shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, which together with its subsidiaries, provides surface transportation and delivery services in the continental US, Canada, and Mexico, have a Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 68.95.


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Roadmaster celebrates 10-year anniversary

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company launched its Roadmaster line of truck tires 10 years ago with four tire lines and has grown to offer long haul, regional, mixed service, pickup and bus tires. 

Just three years after launching, Roadmaster introduced its first SmartWay-verified tire in 2010 – its RM180 long-haul steer tire. Since then, the company has added five more SmartWay-verified tires to its lineup, which offer lower fuel consumption and low rolling resistance.


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Truckload turnover rate remains at historically low levels

ARLINGTON, Va. — The turnover rate at U.S. truckload fleets rose slightly in the first quarter of 2017 while remaining at historically low levels.

 “The slight uptick in turnover, despite weak freight volumes in the first quarter, may be indicative of a tightening in the driver market,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The situation bears watching because if the freight economy picks up significantly, turnover will surely accelerate – as will concerns about the driver shortage.”


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ATA Welcomes Seeing Machines to ATA Featured Product Program

American Trucking Associations announced Seeing Machines, a leading developer and supplier of face and eye tracking software, became the newest member to the ATA Featured Product provider program.

"Artificial intelligence and advanced sensing algorithms have created an innovative way to monitor a driver's attentiveness levels while on the road. Drivers can benefit greatly from being able to detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which could lead to significant safety improvements in the trucking industry,"said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "Seeing Machines is one of the leaders in this space and we are excited to welcome them as ATA Featured Product providers who share our safety mission."

Guardian by Seeing Machines is a sophisticated real-time accident prevention technology, using advanced eye and face tracking software to detect driver fatigue and distraction and provide immediate intervention through in-cab audio and vibration alerts. There are 3 key features that make Guardian a truly powerful solution: real-time in-cab detection and alerts, 24/7 support monitoring and extensive data analysis, and continuous improvement of customer safety policy. These pillars dramatically reduce the risk of life-threatening incidents and help mitigate the emotional and financial costs that go with them.


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Trucking groups press FMCSA to adopt CSA reforms proposed by researchers

Trucking industry trade associations this week were quick to note that the conclusions reached by a panel of independent researchers regarding the deficiencies of the U.S. DOT’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability carrier rating program had long been hawked since the program’s 2011 start.

Key industry concerns from recent years, such as the scores’ public availability, data quality and quantity issues and the methodology used in CSA’s Safety Measurement System — among other flaws noted by researchers from the National Academies of Science — were highlighted in the NAS panel’s report, which was released Tuesday. Congress dictated NAS study the program and issue recommendations to the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration about how it can reform the program to make it more accurate in gauging carriers’ crash risk. See coverage of the report and its recommendations at this link.


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Walmart escalates war of words with Amazon through the trucking firms they share

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is escalating its war of words with Amazon by sending veiled messages to the trucking companies that haul its merchandise from its distribution centers and stores, telling them if they do business with the Web giant it may not want to work with them, according to an industry expert.

“I know that Walmart WMT, +0.10%   has expressed its views to truckload carriers,” transportation consultant Satish Jindel told The Post.

“Walmart would prefer to do business with carriers that are not doing business with Amazon AMZN, +0.24%  ” and are not “conflicted,” because it’s concerned about their ability to handle high volumes of deliveries during peak times, Jindel says.


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