U.S. Xpress Agrees to Join Trucking Alliance

U.S. Xpress has accepted an invitation to join the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (Trucking Alliance), beginning in 2017. U.S. Xpress is the second largest privately-owned trucking company in the United States and is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The addition of U.S. Xpress will double the membership of the Alliance in 2017.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based carrier is one of several transportation companies to join The Trucking Alliance in recent months, joining the refrigerated carrier KLLM, Cargo Transporters, and truck insurance brokerage company Aeon Transportation & Risk Solutions.
  • U.S. Xpress is one of the largest privately owned trucking companies in the country.
  • The Trucking Alliance is a small coalition of carriers and allied business that support common operating principles and safety reforms to reduce large truck accidents and improve the working environment of drivers.

“The Trucking Alliance is a small coalition of carriers and allied business that support common operating principles and safety reforms to reduce large truck accidents and improve the working environment of drivers.”

http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fleet-management/news/story/2016/12/u-s-xpress-agrees-to-join-the-trucking-alliance.aspx

FMCSA Finally Establishes Entry-Level Driver-Training Standards

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a Final Rule establishing comprehensive national minimum training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or certain endorsements. The standards established in today’s rule address the knowledge and skills necessary for the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles and also establish minimum qualifications for entities and individuals who provide entry-level driver training.

Key Takeaways:

  • In addition, the driver training must be obtained from an instructional program that meets qualification standards set forth in the final rule.
  • The American Trucking Associations praised the rule for its “common sense” approach to safety.
  • This is a major step in advancing highway safety by requiring driver training and ends nearly 25 years of effort to get this rule in place.”

“The American Trucking Associations praised the rule for its “common sense” approach to safety.”

http://www.worktruckonline.com/channel/safety-accident-management/news/story/2016/12/fmcsa-finally-issues-final-rule-on-driver-training-standards.aspx

Texas City Eliminates New Fleet Replacement Program

The Killeen City Council on Tuesday will consider several resolutions and ordinances, including one that will allow the city to spend $11 million for the creation of a fleet funding program. According to a council memorandum, the city needs a sustainable funding method to enable citywide vehicle and heavy equipment purchases, especially when several expensive units must be replaced in the same year. On average, Killeen spends $3.4 million annually on fleet purchases.

Key Takeaways:

  • The City of Killeen (Texas) has terminated its newly created fleet funding program due to a budget shortfall. City Council voted to terminate it on Dec. 6.
  • In January 2016, City council approved the establishment of an internal service fund and an $11 million fleet funding program (FFP) for replacements and operations. A total of $5.5 million was transferred to the internal service fund to start the program.
  • Funds remaining in the FFP — $1.38 million — will be returned to the original sources, with Solid Waste receiving 35.7% and Water & Sewer receiving 64.3%.

“the city’s financial situation has since changed and it now needs to address immediate budget shortfalls. The newly adopted FFP is intensifying the strain on the operating funds,” a memo to the City Council stated.”

http://www.government-fleet.com/channel/procurement/news/story/2016/12/texas-city-eliminates-new-fleet-replacement-program.aspx

Wis. Fire Department Adds Aerial Ladders

The Fire Department of New York City has added another ten aerial ladders to its contract with Ferrara Fire Apparatus, Inc. Ferrara, America’s premier custom fire apparatus manufacturer, announced the initial ten aerial ladders in December of 2009. Coupled with the multi-unit heavy rescue project, Ferrara Fire Apparatus now has contracts with the City of New York totaling more than $24 million.

Key Takeaways:

  • The apparatus features the TAK-4 independent front suspension and the TAK-4 T3 mechanical rear steering system. Each aerial ladder is equipped with a Detroit DD13 500-hp engine and a Command Zone advanced electronics and control system.
  • “These new Quantum quint vehicles respond as both engines and ladder trucks, and we put a lot of miles on them over some very rough and narrow streets,” Franz said. “The turning radius is excellent, and the handling is equally impressive.
  • The four-section, 105-ft. aerial device includes remote tip controls, a two-way intercom, a LyfePulley rescue system, and LED rung lighting. The system includes a single-stage PUC pump offering 1,500 gallons per minute, a 500-gallon water tank, and low-mount crosslays.

“The apparatus features the TAK-4 independent front suspension and the TAK-4 T3 mechanical rear steering system. Each aerial ladder is equipped with a Detroit DD13 500-hp engine and a Command Zone advanced electronics and control system.”

http://www.government-fleet.com/channel/procurement/news/story/2016/12/wis-fire-department-adds-aerial-ladders-to-fleet.aspx

Car and Driver Names 10 Best Trucks and SUVs

We’ve been down this road before, with the 5Best Trucks awards we handed out from 2001 to 2008. As we did then, and unlike 10Best Cars, we’ve organized our new truck and SUV awards around segments, with one vehicle from each subset taking home the prize. The incredible model proliferation also sees us expand to 10 categories: full-size pickup, mid-size pickup, van, and seven SUV categories broken down by size and separated into luxury and nonluxury branches.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Ford F-150, Mazda CX-9, and Chrysler Pacifica have been named to Car and Driver’s inaugural list of 10Best Trucks and SUVs
  • The publication named winners in 10 categories, including the Kia Soul for subcompact SUV, BMW X1 for subcompact luxury SUV, Honda CR-V for compact SUV, Porsche Macan for compact luxury SUV, Mazda CX-9 for mid-size SUV, Audi Q7 for luxury SUV, Mercedes-Benz GLS450 for large SUV, Honda Ridgeline for mid-size pickup, F-150 and F-150 Raptor for full-size pickup, and the Chrysler Pacifica for van.
  • n November, Car and Driver released its 2017 10Best Cars list that includes the Chevrolet Bolt, Mazda 3 and Volkswagen golf/Alltrack/GTI/R

“The Ford F-150, Mazda CX-9, and Chrysler Pacifica have been named to Car and Driver’s inaugural list of 10Best Trucks and SUVs for the 2017 model year.”

http://www.automotive-fleet.com/channel/vehicle-research/news/story/2016/12/car-and-driver-names-10-best-trucks-and-suvs.aspx

Cadillac Plans To Steer Clear Driverless Cars

Reports are coming in that Cadillac will not be pushing towards a future without a steering wheel, according to the brand’s President Johan de Nysschen. Instead, Cadillac will be in the business of creating an “immersive experience.” “For us, driving is a very immersive experience,” de Nysschen told WardsAuto. “The notion of removing the driver from that is foreign to us. It’s not what Cadillac stands for. We are not into making transportation modules. We’ll leave that to someone else.”

Cadillac Plans To Steer Clear Driverless Cars

Ford F-150 Wins 2016 Fleet Truck of the Year

The legendary F-150—with an aluminum bed and body—earns a 2017 10Best award. The base 3.5-liter V-6 (253 lb-ft), optional 2.7-liter turbo V-6 (375 lb-ft), and optional 5.0-liter V-8 (387 lb-ft) all pair with six-speed automatics. The optional 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 (470 lb-ft) and its standard 10-speed automatic are best for towing, with a maximum capacity of 12,200 pounds. Regular cab, SuperCab, and SuperCrew bodies as well as 5.5-, 6.5-, or 8-foot beds make the F-150 an adaptable classic.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Ford F-150 has been named the 2016 Fleet Truck of the year. This is the third time the light-duty truck has been honored with the annual Automotive Fleet and Business Fleet award in the past six years.
  • “Ford designed the first-ever factory-installed LED warning light kit based on fleet customer input,” Bell said. “Because it comes directly from Ford, customers can trust that this light kit is Built Ford Tough. Ordering is as easy as checking a box, and the truck is delivered to your dealer with the system installed.”
  • Ford also developed a new aluminum alloy for the 2016 F-150 in collaboration with Alcoa that’s more formable and design-friendly than material previously used on the light-duty truck.

““It is an honor for F-150 to be the top choice among fleet managers,” said Brian Bell, Ford marketing manager for F-150. “Thanks in part to the input we received from fleets, the new F-150 is the toughest, smartest, most capable, and safest F-150 ever.””

http://www.worktruckonline.com/channel/operations/article/story/2016/12/ford-f-150-is-the-fleet-truck-of-the-year.aspx

FMCSA establishes national drug and alcohol testing clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus …

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a final rule that establishes a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus drivers. The clearinghouse database will serve as a central repository containing records of violations of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing program by commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.

Key Takeaways:

  • It also requires employers and medical review officers to report drug and alcohol testing program violations.
  • “The clearinghouse will allow carriers across the country to identify current and prospective drivers who have tested positive for drugs or alcohol, and employ those who drive drug- and alcohol-free.
  • Drivers who test positive for drugs or alcohol will no longer be able to conceal those test results from employers and continue to drive while posing a safety risk to the driving public.”

“The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a final rule that establishes a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus drivers.”

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http://www.vehicleservicepros.com/industry-news/government-regulations/press-release/20845931/fmcsa-establishes-national-drug-and-alcohol-testing-clearinghouse-for-commercial-truck-and-bus-drivers&ct=ga&cd=CAIyHGVmMDJlZjVhMWQ2YTBkNzI6Y29tOmVuOlVTOlI&usg=AFQjCNGL0frNP4ZJlpgAQyVYudA14nUK_w

Mascot Opens Driveshaft Repair Facility Near Indianapolis

Mascot Truck Parts, which is a wholesale manufacturer of heavy truck transmissions, differentials, and other parts, announced that it has opened a full-service driveshaft repair facility in Plainfield, Indiana. This comes about due to feedback from local customers who had a need for driveshaft repair. They will also offer shipment of parts, as well as custom-built parts, across the country. This is hoped to alleviate long freight times and allow for more space for other activities in their Ontario facility.

Mascot Opens Driveshaft Repair Facility Near Indianapolis

Swift Transportation deploys FlowBelow Tractor Aerokit

The Tractor AeroKit reduces aerodynamic turbulence and drag on the truck by streamlining airflow past the drive wheels. When optioned, each 6×2 or 6×4 truck is outfitted with Quick-Release wheel covers, center aerodynamic fairings located between the wheels, and rear aerodynamic fairings behind the wheels. The system works similar to fuel tank fairings by helping to control the air flow along the side of the truck. The ‘Quick-Release’ wheel covers also provide instantaneous and tool-free access to the wheel end via FlowBelow’s patented ‘push and turn’ quick-release latching system. The system is made in the USA using extremely durable materials.

Swift Transportation deploys FlowBelow Tractor Aerokit

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