User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Trucks World News: August 2017
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Aug 12, 2017

KAMAZ's TRUCK PRODUCTION * Russia: Rose 21.3% yearly

* Tartaristan - Russian truck maker Kamaz boosts production by 21.3%


--- The engine plant and Cummins-Kama joint venture produced and shipped over 3,600 engines and power plants in July 2017 and almost 19,000 from the year beginning... Production output of the Russian truck maker Kamaz rose 21.3% year-on-year to 20,433 knocked down kits in seven months of this year, press service of the company said on Wednesday. "3,889 knocked down kits were made over the month (3,393 last July) and 20,433 units were made in total year-to-date (16,843 in the like period of the last year)," the press service said. Production growth therefore surged 21.3% from the year beginning... 
(Photo: KAMAZ 120000 kg, tractor truck)   --   Kazan, Tartaristan, Russia - TASS - August 09, 2017

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TRUCKS RECALL * USA: From Daimler

* Oregon - Tow hook, fuel pump issues prompt recalls of 2,500-plus Freightliner, Western Star trucks

--- More than 2,500 Freightliner and Western Star trucks are affected by two separate recalls affecting tow hooks and fuel pump issues. Ranging from severe duty to Class 8 long-haul tractors, are included in two separate recalls, according to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration... The largest of the two recalls affects approximately 2,483 trucks and was prompted by tow hooks that were not manufactured properly. Recall documents state the tow hooks could fail during a recovery, causing the sudden release of the truck...
(Photo: Freightliner truck next to other trucks) -- Portland, ORE, USA - CCJ - 7 Aug 2017

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TRADITIONAL TRUCKMAKERS OBSOLETES ? * UK: Report

* Scotland - Navistar, Paccar, other truck firms risk obsolescence


--- Traditional trucking industry manufacturers could become obsolete if they don’t start moving more quickly into electric drive trains... That’s the assessment of analyst Alexander Potter from Piper Jaffray in a report released Tuesday for industry investors... Venerable industry suppliers such as Navistar International Corp., Paccar Inc., Cummins Inc. and Allison Transmission Holdings are among the most “susceptible,” Potter wrote... Potter is looking at the increasing adoption of electric buses demonstrates as the pathway to electric trucking, primarily through the development of drivetrain and battery technology... An electric bus can cost about $700,000 while is diesel counterpart is $500,000... “But since regular maintenance costs for an EV bus are negligible – and since the energy savings are so substantial – the return on investment is still attractive,” Potter said. This is where the trucking industry needs take note... 
 (Photo: BYD - Line up of BYD electric buses ready for service 12 in Haifa, Israel)   --  Aberdeen, Scotland, UK - Trucks.com, by JERRY HIRSCH - Aug 9, 2017

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ELECTRIC TRUCKS PLATOONING * USA: Tests in Nevada roads

* California - Tesla developing self-driving tech for semi-truck, wants to test in Nevada


--- Tesla Inc is developing a long-haul, electric semi-truck that can drive itself and move in "platoons" that automatically follow a lead vehicle, and is getting closer to testing a prototype, according to an email discussion of potential road tests between the car company and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)... Meanwhile, California officials are meeting with Tesla on Wednesday "to talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks," state DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez told... The correspondence and meeting show that Tesla is putting self-driving technology into the electric truck it has said it plans to unveil in September, and is advancing toward real-life tests, potentially moving it forward in a highly competitive area of commercial transport also being pursued by Uber Technologies Inc and Alphabet Inc's Waymo... 
(Photo; Self-driving trucks European, Trucks platooning challenge)   --  San Francisco, CAL, USA - Reuters, by Marc Vartabedian - Aug 9, 2017

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ELECTRIC LIGHT TRUCKS * China - CHANGE brand

* Hangzhou - A new all-electric delivery truck is on the way, and it's not from Tesla

--- Chanje’s vision sounds a lot like Tesla’s: electric vehicles recharged via clean rooftop solar power... But the new company it’s entering what it believes to be a lucrative niche in medium-duty electric trucks... Few such trucks exist. Most medium-duty electric trucks are internal-combusion vehicles hand-converted to run on electric motors and batteries... Chanje’s trucks are not concept vehicles or prototypes. They’re ready for sale, and the Los Angeles company plans to begin selling or leasing them within weeks... Chanje is 49% owned by Hong Kong-based FDG, a maker of battery cells, battery packs and vehicles in China. Already, FDG has sold a couple of thousand Chanje vehicles in China, under the brand name Chang Jiang... Those vehicles, built in a 4 million-square-foot factory in Hangzhou, China, are shuttle buses. But the underlying platform on all Chanje vehicles was designed to be easily lengthened or shortened to accommodate vehicles of different lengths and body styles... 
(Photo from Chanje: A Chanje all-electric delivery truck. This model can carry 6,000 pounds and has a range of 100 miles)  --  Los Angeles, CAL, USA - LA Times, by Russ Mitchell - 10 Aug 2017

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SELF DRIVING MARKET RESEARCH * USA: A lot of players

* New York - Global self-driving light trucks driven by growing demand for autonomous systems


--- The leading players in the global self-driving cars and light trucks market so far, have included Google, BMW Group, Daimler AG / Mercedes-Benz, GM, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Tesla, Fuji, Kairos, Hyundai, and Volkswagen / Audi... One of the key factors currently propelling the global self-driving cars and light trucks market is the growing demand for autonomous systems. The manufacturing capabilities of leading car makers has improved significantly over the past few years, and several of them have already added self-driven car testing to their belts. Companies are also investing heavily into developing safe and secure self-driving software and technologies to allow for a seamless shift between manual and autonomous driving. A number of players are very close to commercially releasing semi-autonomous cars for consumers, a step that is expected to work tremendously in the favor of the global self-driving cars and light trucks market over time... The global self-driving cars and light trucks market is expected to achieve momentous growth due to the growing number of self-driving cars and light trucks permits being issued to users in order to implement automated driving...
(Photo: 1/4 Startup Drive.ai wants to make self-driving cars that communicate with the outside world)  --  NY, USA - MarketResearchReports.biz - 8 August 2017

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ELECTRIC TRUCKS POWER * New Zealand - Infrastructures

* Auckland - Will soon have the infrastructure to keep EVs moving

--- To support NZ’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable electricity as a transport fuel, Chargemaster Limited is working with world leaders to bring market-leading technology to NZ... After a comprehensive global scan, Chargemaster has selected Dutch based company Heliox for heavy vehicle charging bus, mining and port-vehicle charging, and Austrian based Keba for intelligent residential, public and commercial charging to bring charging stations to NZ... Heliox is an established European market leader, with more than 85% of the total electric bus charging market... Keba is a proven AC charging solution for light vehicles, with more than 35,000 chargers sold globally... As the uptake of EVs increase, it is important to make sure that NZ’s infrastructure to support that uptake grows... Chargemaster is beginning to take the necessary steps to ensure that heavy EVs can make the long-haul and that civilian EVs get the necessary benefits of stable charging...
(Photo: Nissan's EV chargering point)   --  New Zealand - Future Five, by Jacques-Pierre Dumas - August 08, 2017

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TRUCK PLATOON * Canada

* Quebec - Platooning tests underway

--- PIT Group, the research and engineering arm of FPInnovations, is in the midst of Transport Canada’s truck platooning tests that run from July 24 to August 18 at the Motor Vehicle Test Center in Blainville, Quebec... The same team first tested three-truck platoons in 2016, and this year is expanding the research to include a wider range of tractor-trailer configurations, speeds, following distances, weights, and traffic conditions...
 Montreal, QBC, Canada – Today's Trucking - Aug 9, 2017

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TRUCKERS' LOW UNEMPLOYMENT * USA - Fierce competition

In a job market this good, who needs to work in the gig economy?

--- Uber Technologies Inc., Instacart and other gig-economy companies are straining to attract and keep the short-term laborers who give rides, shop for groceries and deliver meals at the tap of an app... Amid low unemployment and fierce competition, startups have begun offering richer perks, benefits and signing bonuses to lure on-demand workers to sign up for, and stay with, their platforms. Companies have beefed up recruiting, even touting the opportunity to join the staff full time -- a sign that maintaining a steady labor pool is growing expensive and difficult... The so-called gig economy, which is composed of part-time and freelance jobs, came on the heels of the Great Recession when high unemployment and stagnant wages made short-term workers relatively easy to find... Uber, seeking to repair rocky relations over pay and benefits with its roughly 600,000 active drivers, updated its app in July to enable tipping by customers. It has also rolled out a pilot insurance plan launched in partnership with Aon PLC to help cover on-the-job accidents... In June, Uber also committed to developing a program to help drivers take on full-time roles. More than 100 drivers have been hired into customer-support jobs across the country, according to a spokesman... 
(Photo: Stop wasting truckers' time)   --  Chicago, ILL, USA - The Morning Star/The WSJ, by Kelsey Gee - 8 Aug 2017

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Aug 11, 2017

TRUCKING INDUSTRY TRENDS * USA: Opinion

* Pennsylvania - A look at upcoming trucking industry trends

--- There are about 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S. These truck drivers are moving about 70 percent of all freight tonnage... When you look at these statistics, it is no surprise that change is apparent in the trucking industry... 
In 2017, here are a number of trends that will definitely impact the future of the trucking industry: 
* Regulations: New regulations from government agencies may be the biggest challenge to the trucking industry... 
* Cost drivers: Pay for truck drivers is one major area of cost impact. ATA reports that the current average salary for an over-the-road trucker is $51,000 and $73,000 for a private-fleet trucker... 
* Fuel costs are another cost driver for the expenses of transporting goods... 
* New technologies to improve efficiency, safety and hiring, and retention of truck drivers, are going to be essential in the transportation sector... 
* Autonomous trucks: The continued research and testing of autonomous vehicles includes self-driving trucks... 
* Truck driver recruitment: The trucking industry is experiencing a real struggle in hiring drivers. There is a critical driver shortage, and this remains a major concern for trucking fleets... 
Reading, PA, USA - Reading Eagle, by Glenn Ebersole - August 8, 2017

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Aug 10, 2017

BATTERY BUSINESS * China: Nissan sell unit to chinese private

* Tokyo - In $1 billion deal, Nissan it's looking for ways to rein in costs to make Leaf competitive

--- Nissan Motor Co. is selling its battery business to Chinese private equity firm GSR Capital for about $1 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter said, as the carmaker seeks ways to improve competitiveness of its Leaf electric cars while reining in costs... The deal covers Nissan’s battery subsidiary Automotive Energy Supply Corp. as well as manufacturing operations in Japan, the U.S. and U.K., Nissan said in a statement Tuesday, which didn’t disclose financial terms. Assets sold to GSR will also include part of Nissan’s Japanese battery development and engineering operations in Oppama, Atsugi and Zama...
(Photo Bloomberg - An employee prepares to install a charging plug in the socket of a Nissan Leaf electric automobile during the Geneva International Motor Show in the Swiss city in 2015)   --   Tokyo, Japan - BLOOMBERG/Japan Times - AUG 9, 2017

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SELF-DRIVING TRUCKS * China: Investors for

China: Nvidia backs TuSimple

--- Chinese autonomous truck developer TuSimple has secured funding from Nvidia Corp while Gu Sheng Tang, an operator of traditional medicine clinic network, completed a $150-million series D... TuSimple, a Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup in developing autonomous truck, has received an undisclosed sum of funding from the US-based chip manufacturer Nvidia Corp... This investment is part of series B round and also Nvidia Corp’s first investment in the Chinese startup. Nvidia will own a 3 per cent stake in TuSimple while the startup will support the development of the US company’s artificial intelligence computing platform for self-driving vehicles, Drive PX2... 
(Photo:TuSimple secures funding from US chip maker)  --  Singapore, China - DEAL STREET ASIA - August 7, 2017

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HOLIDAY SURCHARGES * USA: FedEx vs. UPS

* Tennessee - FedEx to skip holiday surcharges for most orders

--- FedEx Corp. said it won’t charge additional fees for most orders during the holiday season, in contrast with United Parcel Service Inc., undercutting its main rival as they battle for e-commerce customers... The decision by FedEx, announced Thursday, is a gamble that it can cover the extra costs during a period when daily volume can double to more than 26 million packages. It will charge extra fees for deliveries requiring additional handling, which include larger and irregularly shaped packages, as well as oversize packages, which now make up 10% of its ground-shipping volume... UPS has set considerably different pricing for the holiday season. In June it said it would charge extra for most packages delivered to homes around Black Friday and Christmas. While the per-package fee ranges from 27 cents to 97 cents, analysts estimate that UPS could generate tens of millions in revenue from the fees... 
(Photo Getty Images - Workers sort packages at a FedEx global hub last December. Online holiday sales will rise an estimated 17%, a research firm says)    --   Memphis, TN, USA - The WSJ, by Paul Ziobro - Aug. 3, 2017

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Migrant-smuggling gangs * Europe - Against British lorry drivers in Calais

* UK - Gangs 'gas UK truckers before stealing their wallets, cash and trousers'

--- British lorry drivers are increasingly being targeted by migrant gangs who gas them and rob them in their cabins as they take a nap in rest stops near Calais... Several truckers who were sleeping in their cabins at a rest stop in Baralle, south of Calais, were set upon this week... Matt Swann, 37, a lorry driver from Great Yarmouth woke up to find the door lock on his cabin smashed in and his trousers and wallet containing 130 Euros missing, The Sun reports... Mr Swann had been parked up for the night at the rest stop when he was robbed... Some 10,000 people were ejected after the Jungle was razed in October. But, in June The Express newspaper revealed that hundreds of migrants had set up a new camp in Calais and were sleeping and living in the area...
(Photo: Several truckers at a rest stop in Baralle, south of Calais, were robbed on Wednesday)   --   Calais, France - The Express, by BELINDA ROBINSON - Aug 5, 2017

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TRUCKERS !! ... 7 days PAYMENT * USA: By UBER

Uber Freight disrupts trucking industry by guaranteeing 7-day payments

--- Uber Freight is in the process of radically disrupting the U.S. trucking industry by eliminating standard 30-90 day delayed payment terms with a guaranteed 7-day driver payment... Uber Freight and its competitors like Doft, Convoy, and Transfix launched apps over the last eighteen months aimed at being more efficient than traditional logistics brokers in matching the 350,000 U.S. owner-operator truckers with shippers... But the biggest problem for independents and the 400,000 small trucking companies in the U.S., that operate an average of 6 trucks, has been the shippers’ terms of payment, which usually involve 30-90 days for payment terms or accepting a 10 percent factoring discount for quick cash... But the selling point for the new Uber Freight app is committing to making driver payments in 7 days... 
(Photo: Uber Newsroom)  --  Newport Beach, CAL, USA - The Bretbar Store, by CHRISS W. STREET - 5 Aug 2017

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TRUCKERS' LEGAL PLAN * USA: By ATA

* Virginia - ATA, drivers legal plan renew featured product provider agreement 

--- Today, American Trucking Associations and Drivers Legal Plan, a national legal firm dedicated to protecting the rights of truck drivers and the trucking industry, announced the renewal of Drivers Legal Plan's ATA Featured Product agreement... Drivers Legal Plan's legal representation is dedicated to the defense of a driver's record and a motor carrier's safety profile and rating. Since the advent of the CDL, the firm has handled over 350,000 cases in essentially every jurisdiction in the country. Maintaining a one-of-a-kind database of cases involving moving or non-moving violations, citations and accidents, Drivers Legal Plan is one of the largest filers of DataQ challenges in the country...
Arlington, VA, Aug. - PRNewswire-USNewswire/American Trucking Associations - Aug 04, 2017

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OSA DISORDER * USA: Required for truckers

* New Jersey - Trump nixes sleep testing proposal for truckers, train engineers


--- The Trump administration has withdrawn a proposed requirement for railroads and trucking companies to test employees for obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder believed to be a factor in last year's fatal train crash at Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey... In their announcement withdrawing the proposal Friday, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said they'd encourage trucking and rail companies to voluntarily screen employees involved in safety-sensitive work, such as truck drivers and train engineers, for sleep apnea... Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that degrades the quality of sleep, resulting in daytime fatigue and drowsiness. According to the National Institutes of Health, the condition often goes undiagnosed... The Federal Register said, they would not make sleep apnea screenings mandatory, as first proposed by the Obama administration in March 2016... 
(Photo by Chris O'Neil/NTSB/via AP - Hoboken, NJ, crash)   --  Bergen County, N.J., USA - USA TODAY, by Curtis Tate - Aug. 5, 2017


* Study - Truckers who slack on sleep apnea treatments crash more

 --- A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota/Morris over 1,613 Schneider National truck drivers suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) found that if drivers failed to stick with the positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment prescribed for their condition, their risk of suffering a “serious preventable crash” is five times higher compared to truck drivers who don’t suffer from OSA as well those who do but who stick with the PAP treatment... The Truckers & Turnover Project study is published May 2017, in the online scientific journal Sleep by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society... 
 Darien, ILL, USA - American Trucker - 10 Aug 2017

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Aug 9, 2017

800,000 trucks RECALL * USA: By GM

* Michigan - Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 models could lose power steering, says traffic safety authority

--- General Motors Co is recalling nearly 800,000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks worldwide that could lose power steering, according to documents made public on Friday... The largest US automaker said the 2014 model year trucks could suffer a temporary loss of electric power steering, especially during low-speed turning manoeuvres, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration... The recall includes about 690,000 vehicles in the US, 80,000 in Canada and about 25,000 in other markets. GM dealers will overwrite the vehicle’s software to address the defect... GM has not said when dealers will begin repairing vehicles... 
(Photograph: Mark Humphrey/AP - a GMC truck's grill) -- Detroit, MICH, USA - Reuters - 5 Aug 2017

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Aug 6, 2017

TOYOTA PICKUP TRUCKS * Mexico - Planned to build at a new plant

Mexico - Toyota plans truck, possibly SUV production in 


--- Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday it planned to build pickup trucks and possibly SUVs at a new plant in Mexico, a move that followed threats by U.S. President, Donald Trump,  to penalize the company if it built small cars south of the border... Toyota initially planned to produce Corolla sedans at the plant it is building in the central state of Guanajuato but will now switch production of the small cars and a new Mazda SUV crossover to a new assembly plant planned for the United States... Trump threatened in January to impose a hefty fee on the world's largest automaker if it built Corollas for the U.S. market in Mexico... "Instead of building lower value cars that generally offer smaller margins in Mexico and keeping high-value SUV and luxury model production in the U.S., they are moving in the opposite direction," said Wilson, deputy director of the think tank's Mexico institute... 
(Photo: LED Car Logo Blue front emblem for Toyota Corolla)  --  Mexico City, DF, MEX - Reuters, by Anthony Esposito - 4 August 2017

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NAVISTAR's MEDIUM DUTY TRUCKS * USA: With Cummins' engines.

* Illinois - Navistar to drop its medium duty engines by next year


--- Navistar announced Thursday plans to cease engine production at its Melrose Park, Ill., plant by early next year as the truck maker continues that facility’s transformation into the company’s technical center... The move will bring the company’s medium duty 9/10 liter engines to an end... Navistar reintroduced the 6.7 liter Cummins engine as an option for its Class 6/7 medium duty vehicles in 2013, and in 2016 made available a 9 liter Cummins engine option. The Cummins ISL and ISB, which now take standard position in those trucks, are manufactured in Indiana and North Carolina, while Navistar’s big bore engine plant in Alabama will continue to make engines for International Class 8 trucks... The cessation of engine manufacturing at Melrose Park is expected to affect about 170 employees... 
 (Photo: Navistar's medium-duty truck)   --  Warrensville, ILL, USA - CCJ, by_Jason_Cannon - August 3, 2017

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ELECTRIC ARMORED TRUCKS * USA: Purchased by Brink's

* Virginia - Security vehicles go electric

--- Brink's will purchase two electric vehicles for use in California and Chicago. Brink’s is looking to the startup to help add greener and more efficient vehicles to its fleet in the U.S. ... The two Workhorse vehicles include a medium-duty E-100 all-electric truck and an E-GEN battery-electric extended-range step van... The truck can achieve the electric equivalent of 37.5 mpg and can go an average of 100 miles on a single charge, depending on duty cycle. The van achieves a 30-mpg fuel efficiency equivalent with an average range of 60 miles. It runs an additional 60 miles using an integrated BMW gas engine range extender... The vehicles also save an average of $150,000 in total cost-of-ownership savings per truck, Burns said... The two starter vehicles will be paired with a Brink’s custom body that features high-level security precautions, including bullet-proof glass for secure transportation... 
(Photo: Brink's - Brinks plans to use an electric version of this armored truck)  --  Richmond, VA, USA - Trucks.com, by CLARISSA HAWES - AUGUST 3, 2017

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Aug 5, 2017

UBER FREIGHT NOW IN CALIFORNIA * USA

* Uber Freight expands trucking service to California and other states

 
(Video from USA Today: It's Uber's latest attempt at expanding its user base)

 --- Edwin and Minnie Gilmore opened their own trucking company, Gilmore & Long Enterprises, a couple of years ago after Edwin had put in decades driving for other companies. Now he drives his Freightliner Cascadia cab with a 53-foot box trailer throughout Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, while she handles bookkeeping and dispatching from their Katy, Texas, home... Finding freight for him to haul involves looking at “load boards” online, calling brokers, negotiating rates, and seeking to match up inbound and outbound loads, a process that might take close to an hour each time, Minnie Gilmore said. But since March they’ve been trying out Uber Freight, a service from San Francisco’s Uber that connects truck drivers to loads, The Gilmores can simply look at the Uber Freight app, view loads with set pricing, and select one that matches Edwin’s preference to stick to about 600 miles from home... Uber’s been testing Freight since May, largely in Texas. On Thursday, it said it would expand to new markets, including California, Arizona, Chicago and the Midwest, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Uber Freight will now cover more than a quarter of U.S. drivers and freight, the company said. Uber Freight is also adding more personalization features to the app so it can suggest loads to drivers based on their preferences...
(Photo: The Uber Freight app displays loads and pricing) 
... Uber Freight makes money through an arbitrage-like system. It negotiates rates, often via long-term contracts, with shippers. Then it prices individual loads based on market dynamics — similar to its well-known surge pricing for rides when demand is high. It pockets the difference between long-term contracts and spot rates... Another selling point for truckers: Uber pays drivers quickly, rather than making them wait for 30 days or more, as is typical in the industry. Minnie Gilmore said she hasn’t yet used that feature, as she’s signed up with another service that provides quick payments — but charges her a 3 to 5 percent fee... 
San Francisco, CAL, USA - SFGate, by Carolyn Said - August 3, 2017

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Aug 4, 2017

DAIMLER's DRONE INVESTMENT and PRINTED 3D TRUCKS-PARTS * Germany

* Frankfurt - Daimler invests in flying taxi firm Volocopter


--- Germany's Volocopter said it has received 25 million euros ($30 million) in funding to develop an electric flying taxi, with car and truck maker Daimler among the firms providing fresh cash... Daimler joined a consortium which includes technology investor Lukasz Gadowski, who sits on the supervisory board of Delivery Hero, and others, Volocopter said on Tuesday... Volocopter said it is developing a five-seat vertical take off and landing (VTOL) electric vehicle aimed at the taxi market and plans to carry out initial demonstrations in the fourth quarter of 2017... Potential competitors to Volocopter include German start-ups Lilium Jet and eVolo, as well as U.S.-based Terrafugia and California-based Joby Aviation. Commercial aircraft and helicopter manufacturer Airbus is also developing a single-seat "flying car ..." 
(Daily Mail's Photo: The Volocopter's "personal drone" with 18 rotors. The VC200 received permit-to-fly in February 2016)    --  Frankfurt, Germany - Reuters, by Edward Taylor; Editing by Victoria Bryan - 1st. Aug 2017


* Stuttgart - Premiere at Mercedes-Benz Trucks: New from the 3D printer: the first spare part for trucks made of metal

--- Mercedes-Benz Trucks has taken 3D printing a stage further: the first printed spare part made of metal, a thermostat cover for truck and Unimog models from older model series, has passed all the stages of the stringent quality assurance process at Mercedes-Benz smoothly, and is now celebrating its premiere. This means that Mercedes-Benz Trucks is now the technological leader in the challenging segment of cutting-edge 3D printing processes for metal components... In the Customer Services & Parts division of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, automotive 3D printing began its increasing success in the production departments for the after-sales and replacement parts business a year ago. Since then, Customer Services & Parts has worked together with the researchers and pre-developers at Daimler AG to constantly improve and expand the use of the latest 3D printing processes for plastic parts. 3D printing of high-quality plastic components has now successfully established itself as an additional production method, and is particularly suitable for the production of smaller batches... Metal parts from the 3D printer excel with their very high strength and thermal resistance, and the process is therefore particularly suitable for the production of mechanically and thermally stressed components required in small numbers. Metallic components can be produced "at the touch of a button" with any geometry and in any numbers. 3D replacement parts production began with rarely ordered aluminium parts. These excel with almost 100 percent density and greater purity than conventional die-cast aluminium parts. Apart from their high strength and hardness, as well as high dynamic resistance, their production requires no cost-intensive development work or procurement of special tools. Conceivable areas of use are peripheral engine parts made of metal, in-engine parts and also parts in cooling systems, transmissions, axles or chassis. Especially when they have complex structures, 3D-printed metal parts in small numbers can be produced cost-effectively as infrequently requested replacement parts, special parts and for small and classic model series... 
(Photo: Metal parts in the latest 3D technology open up new possibilities) -- Stuttgart, Germany - Daimler (PR) - 2 August 2017

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MEGA-TRUCKS * USA - DOT: Does not have enough data about

* DC - ‘Mega trucks’ a growing trend, report forecasts

--- Despite significant legislative hurdles around much of the globe, a new report from Frost & Sullivan suggests “mega trucks” – generally defined as a vehicle measuring a minimum of about 100 feet long and weighing upwards of 160,000 pounds – could nearly double in population by 2025... Australia leads the current use of mega trucks in terms of penetration rates and are allowed nationwide in the Scandinavian region. Their limited use is allowed in Germany and Spain, and trials have occurred for mega trucks in France and the United Kingdom, but have been rejected... Citing a strong mandate and support infrastructure, the report says North America is expected to accommodate more mega trucks. It notes, however, overcoming legislative hurdles and negative public opinion will be critical in promoting mega truck usage... The DOT on Friday issued a report saying it does not have enough data about truck size and weight to be able to make recommendations ... The report, Global Mega Trucks Market, Forecast to 2025, says global sales penetration of mega trucks is expected to increase from 3.4 percent to 5.7 percent for total heavy duty truck sales from 2016 to 2025, depending on lawmakers in specific regions laying down regulations that take into account the impact on infrastructure, environment, society and other modes of transport...
(Image: Road-train megatruck, in Australia - DOT/USA: Little data exists to make sound decision on truck size and weight changes) -- Washington, DC, USA - Overdrive, by Jason Cannon- July 31, 2017

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DRIVERLESS TRUCKS * USA: "Don’t mean mass unemployment"

* California - Uber drivers, and a new kinds of jobs

... The topic of automation and its implications for workers is inescapable—and often anxiety-inducing. Understandably so. Technology and social changes are poised to reshape nearly every aspect of what and how work gets done, and by whom... Even the much-anticipated emergence of driverless trucks could prove a boon for today’s drivers. The trucking industry faces a seemingly-chronic shortage of commercially licensed drivers, and the major industry group estimates that nearly 900,000 new drivers will be needed in the US over the next decade. The industry also faces high turnover and low interest from younger workers. Now consider one possible future that could occur soon, where autonomous trucks travel highways with a human “monitor” in the cab who can assist with particularly challenging driving like navigating city centers and ensure goods are delivered safely. Since the vehicles can operate for much longer periods without stopping, fewer total drivers would be needed, helping to alleviate the shortage. The jobs that remain could be less fatiguing and require shorter stints away from home (again, because the truck can operate almost constantly). Much depends, of course, on how both technology and regulation evolve, but we may find that there is a soft landing, as the current generation of truckers ages out and self-driving systems mature and become more widely adopted... A balanced approach means acknowledging that, yes, rideshare drivers in urban areas are likely going to see job changes and job pressures. Long-haul truckers, too, although likely later and more slowly. But it also means appreciating that new, potentially higher-value jobs are also likely to emerge, and that there can be society-wide benefits to these changes... California regulators release safety reports filed by 11 companies that have been testing self-driving car prototypes on public roads on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. The papers report the number of times in 2016 that human backup drivers took control from the cars' self-driving software, though companies argue such "disengagements" don't always reflect something going wrong... 
(Image from AP, by Eric Risberg - Photo shows a row of Google self-driving Lexus cars at a Google event outside the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif)  --  Los Angeles, CAL, USA - QUARTZ - 1st. August 2017

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PORT TRUCKERS' SLAVERY * USA - CONGRESSIONAL ACTIONS AGAINST

* California - Senators pressure retailers to root out “shameful” labor abuse of truckers

  (Video  USA TODAY Network investigation - See: blogspot entry)

--- A group of high-profile Democratic Senators, led by Sherrod Brown of Ohio, wrote letters to the nation’s top retail CEOs Monday, demanding they crack down on trucking companies that turned their workers into modern-day indentured servants... The call to action comes in response to a yearlong USA TODAY Network investigation that found port trucking companies in California forced their drivers into debt, pressured them to work up to 20 hours a day and paid them pennies per hour... The investigation focused on trucking companies around Los Angeles, where two ports are responsible for about half of all imports brought into the country... In 2008, California officials ordered trucking companies at the ports to replace old big rigs with cleaner trucks. The companies pushed that cost onto drivers with a lease-to-own program, forcing many drivers to work around the clock. When they got sick or fell behind on payments, companies fired them, seizing their trucks and thousands they had paid in... Company owners deny the claims made by their drivers, arguing most drivers are successful, and those who aren’t have the freedom to quit... Weston LaBar, executive director of the Harbor Trucking Association, which represents port trucking companies, said most of the complaints so far have been “noise drummed up by the Teamsters union” ... 
Los Angeles, CAL, USA - USA TODAY, by Brett Murphy - July 31, 2017

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Aug 1, 2017

ELECTRIC TRUCKMAKER NEWS * Europe: New production for the FUSO E- CANTER

* Portugal - Mitsubishi Fuso starts building electric truck in Europe

--- Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has celebrated the start of production of what it claims is the world's first all electric light duty truck, the Fuso eCanter... Fuso, once part of the giant Japanese Mitsubishi group is today a Daimler Trucks Asia brand and Canters for Europe and the US are produced in Tramagal, Portugal... The plant covers 160,000 square metres where 400 employees produce trucks for 30 European countries, Israel, Morocco and Turkey. Almost 95% of the vehicles are exported. Since 2012, the plant has also built the Canter Eco Hybrid... 
(Photo: Guests an the official opening ceremony inspect one of the early eCanter chassis off the line) -- Tramagal, Portugal - Just Auto, by Graeme Roberts - 28 July 2017

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TRUCKERS vs. SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES * USA: What they think about

* Washington - ‘Ain’t nobody gonna trust it:’ What truck drivers think about sharing the road with self-driving vehicles

... If you’re in the trucking business, Exit 34 is a hotbed of activity as big rigs roll in from across the country carrying everything from dried food to construction equipment to military supplies... There we caught up with several of the truck drivers to get their take on autonomous vehicles, asking what they thought about the idea of sharing the road with computerized self-driving trucks... The idea of moving freight across the country without a driver behind the wheel is one that’s gained momentum in recent years, in part for safety issues (truck drivers often work long hours on the road) but also because of potential economic savings (a computerized truck could possibly operate for longer hours)... 

* “I think it’s stupid,” said Glenn Sorrells, a truck driver from Oklahoma... 

* "Do you really want a computerized truck driving right beside you? And let’s say it decides to have a hiccup. That’s an 80,000-pound truck coming at you. And without a driver behind it to get the truck in control again, you are dead ..." says Chris Richardson, who is based out of Conway, Arkansas, and has been driving trucks since 1999 ... 

* “I tell you what, the truck that I have has … a crash management system. I tell you what, that is one of the deadliest things on the road..." says Victor Carrasco, another trucker, who lives just south of Orlando, Florida... 
(Photo: The TA Seattle East truck stop is a hotbed of trucking activity) -- Seattle, WASH, USA - Geekwire, by JOHN COOK & TAYLOR SOPER - July 27, 2017

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PICKUP TRUCKS' GRANDFATHER * USA - 100th Anniversary TT Ford

* Michigan - Ford Trucks celebrate 100 years as America’s workhorse icon


(Photo from Ford: 1918 Ford Model TT one-ton stake bed truck)

--- Exactly 100 years ago today — July 27, 1917 — the first Ford Model TT truck rolled out of the assembly plant on Woodward Avenue in Highland Park, beginning an American love affair with pickups that still burns hot... Henry Ford had no idea what he’d begun when he had the TT engineered specifically to be a truck at a time when most pickups were modified cars... He intended the Model TT for farmers, another tool like the Fordson tractors he built for the rural life he idealized. He would’ve tipped his straw boater hat back, squinted and laughed in your face if you told him the F-series pickup that’s the direct descendant of his Model TT would become America’s best-selling vehicle for 35 years straight... 

(Video by YOUCAR - Jan 12, 2015)

... Ford’s culture is steeped in the lore of the F-series and “Built Ford Tough,” the slogan coined in a company magazine in 1977, the year when the F-series first became America’s best-selling truck. Ford has sold more than 26 million F-series trucks in the U.S. since then... 
Detroit, MICH, USA - The Detroit Free Press, by Mark Phelan - July 27, 2017

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Another car-maker scandal * Germany - The EU vs. Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler

* Brussels - Investigation about three majors colluded via ‘secret technology working groups’

--- It came as no great surprise to learn that the EU competition authorities are crawling all over the three major -German car-makers, Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, to investigate collusion via ‘secret technology working groups’ dating back to the 1990s. The most damaging allegation reported by Der Speigel is that the three groups colluded over the use of AdBlue, an additive that neutralises -diesel emissions, by agreeing to use small but inadequate AdBlue tanks in their cars when larger, more expensive ones might have done the job properly. (BMW denied that story, but the other two groups declined to comment) ... Some analysts argue in mitigation that this turmoil is in part the result of governments first favouring diesel engines with tax advantages, then belatedly discovering how noxious they really are. But what it also appears to show — put bluntly — is an embedded willingness to cheat in the German national interest across a sector that accounts for 20 per cent of the nation’s industrial revenues, employs 800,000 people and provides the most visible of all evidence of German economic dominance of the poorer parts of the EU... 
(Image: Getty - A Volkswagen logo in the guise of a devil) -- Brussels, Belgium - The Spectator (UK), by Martin Vander Weyer - 29 July 2017

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