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Seven cool things to know about GMC trucks - USA TODAY

Seven cool things to know about GMC trucks
USA TODAY
More: Poor headlights dim safety test results for midsize pickup trucks. More: Tests allege Fiat Chrysler diesels exceed smog limits. • The “GMC Trucks” logo was first used in 1911. The GMC logo appeared on vehicles in 1912. The company changed its ...

Today's Pickup: 4 former Pilot Flying J execs enter guilty pleas in diesel rebate fraud - FreightWaves

FreightWaves

Today's Pickup: 4 former Pilot Flying J execs enter guilty pleas in diesel rebate fraud
FreightWaves
... former director of inside sales; and Katy Bibee, a regional sales representative pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of mail fraud and wire fraud for scamming customers out of diesel rebates. Federal prosecutors said that Spiewak approved ...

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Are Sluggish Van Sales a Harbinger for Pickups?

IMG_8308

Ford will shut down its Kansas City Assembly Plant for two weeks to decrease the flow of full-size Transit vans to dealerships. The plant, which on separate lines produces both the Transit and F-150 pickup truck, will shut down the van line in order to better restrict the backup of vehicles. Neither of the two F-150 assembly plants (Dearborn and Kansas City) will be shut down for any length of time, although other Ford assembly plants will be affected.

According to Automotive News, the number of Transits in the pipeline has been steadily creeping upward, so Ford is trying to more appropriately match production with actual demand. Whether or not this full-size van slump is a harbinger for the full-size pickup market remains to be seen. Sales for the top-selling van have been sluggish for three consecutive months.

The Transit competes with the similarly shaped Ram ProMaster and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, as well as the more classically boxy Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana and Nissan NV vans.

Manufacturer image

 

2015 Transit 1 II

 

Beware at the pump: Black market fuel is making millions - Dayton Daily News

Dayton Daily News

Beware at the pump: Black market fuel is making millions
Dayton Daily News
Agents in the Los Angeles area surveilled a group with seven pickup trucks and SUVs with hidden fuel tanks holding up to 300 gallons each. For 10 months, they observed drivers using credit card information stolen from about 900 people to fill up three ...

Shell's New Oil Works for Mixed Diesel and Gas Fleets

<p><em>Photos: Shell Rotella</em></p>

Shell Rotella's T6 Multi-Vehicle 5W-30 full synthetic oil is designed for versatility, meeting the API CK-4 specification for Class 8 Trucks as well as API SN specification for gasoline trucks and vans.

The oil is aimed at owners of mixed fleets with Class 6-8 diesel trucks and gasoline powered pickup trucks and vans. To do this, Shell designed and tested the T6 MV 5W-30 for needed wear, oxidation and depsoit control needed in modern commercial diesel engines while also exceeding the requirements for the API SN performance category of gasoline engines.

“With Shell Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle 5W-30, it is now possible for hard working fleets or businesses that run diesel and gasoline powered engines to carry a single oil that offers numerous benefits,” said Megan Pino, Shell Rotella global brand manager. “The full synthetic oil has been engineered to provide protection under the most severe engine conditions for both diesel and gasoline engines.”

The oil contains Shell's Triple Protection Plus technology, combining additives and synthetic base oils to protect against wear, deposits, and oil breakdown, while also offering better fuel economy with it's lower viscosity. T6 MV 5W-30 oil demonstrated strong oxidation resistance in the Volvo T-13 oxidation  test, according to Shell, controlling acid build up, preventing oil thickening, and exceeding the API CK-4 limits for oxidation. 

The T6 MV 5W-30 Full Synthetic oil is designed to work better at low temperature oil flow when compared to Shell's own T4 Triple Protection 15W-40. Through testing, Shell says the T6 MV 5W-30 oil had better cold cranking properties and low temperature pumpability than the T4 oil at -30 and -35 degrees Celcius, respectively. 

"I think we've been able to demonstrate that there's no loss in performance, in durability, between having our 15W-40 T4 Triple Protection compared to our T6 MV 5W-30," said Jason Brown, global technology manager for heavy duty diesel engine oils at Shell. "Starting with that baseline [in performance], the T6 itself offers many benefits in and above a 15W-40. That level of viscosity change is opening a window to fuel efficiency that you don't have at 15W-40, which is cost savings. This is dollars that you can keep in your pocket."

Shell also announced the T5 Ultra 10W-30 synthetic blend diesel engine oil, which meets the API FA-4 service category for 2017 diesel engines. The low viscosity oil has been formulated to offer better fuel economy and improved high and low temperature performance while meeting the reuqirments for many low emissions engines beginning in 2017.

“Shell Rotella T5 Ultra 10W-30 synthetic blend is designed for next-generation on-road diesel engines to help maximize fuel economy without sacrificing engine protection,” said Pino. “It is designed to provide protection that adapts to driving conditions and is formulated to minimize oil consumption and protect exhaust catalysts and particulate filters.”

 

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Shell updates truck engine oil, DEF offerings - American Trucker

American Trucker

Shell updates truck engine oil, DEF offerings
American Trucker
The company also said it was rolling out a line of Rotella oil filters aimed at pickup trucks that meets nearly every diesel model currently on the market. Also coming next month is the Rotella extended life coolant correction fluid and test strips to ...

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Are More Toyota Tacomas on the Way? - PickupTrucks.com

PickupTrucks.com

Are More Toyota Tacomas on the Way?
PickupTrucks.com
However, according to YotaTech.com, this most recent partnership could provide a small glimpse into our own pickup truck future, meaning Toyota and Mazda might do some kind of powertrain or technology sharing — presumably resulting in many more hot ...

Are More Toyota Tacomas on the Way?

Tacoma Beauty 1 II

Several recent announcements could position Toyota quite well for future pickup truck production, but it's still unclear exactly what that will look like.

However, according to YotaTech.com, this most recent partnership could provide a small glimpse into our own pickup truck future, meaning Toyota and Mazda might do some kind of powertrain or technology sharing — presumably resulting in many more hot-selling Tacoma pickups for us. Additionally, with the opportunities afforded by an additional plant in Mexico currently under construction about 1,500 miles away from the current Tijuana Tacoma plant, Toyota could better position itself to feed stronger U.S. demand for mid-size pickup trucks in the not-too-distant future.

Add to that the possibility of a small diesel engine, and YotaTech is predicting that as many as 100,000 more Tacomas could be available to fill that appetite, should it materialize.

All of this sounds pretty good, especially if you're a Toyota enthusiast website. But we're guessing the mid-size market, with new competitors like the Ford Ranger and Jeep Wrangler pickup on the way, will be crowded and quite diverse by the time any of that production surplus could arrive. And if these smaller pickups don't offer some interesting technological advances in fuel economy or cargo-carrying convenience, we're not likely to see any one of the major players sell more than 100,000 units. So far this year, the Tacoma has a 56 days-on-sale rate, meaning the average amount of time they stay on dealer lots (for context, the Tundra averages 75 days); the months of August and September were 46 days each. Those are good numbers but definitely not an indication that there's a need for another 100,000 units.

Some believe that bringing in more diesels could also provide a boost to the segment (specifically for Toyota), but that remains to be seen. Both Ram (with its EcoDiesel) and GM (with its Colorado and Canyon Duramax), the only pickup makers with a small diesel for the U.S. market, are having moderate success with their premium powertrains. It's always tricky to offer a technologically advanced engine in a price-sensitive sector. Of course, as those prices come down, they could become more popular than they are now; we'll have to wait and see. If Toyota has proven anything, it's that it is perfectly comfortable being patient.

Cars.com photo by Angela Conners, Evan Sears

 

17toyota_tacoma_trd_pro_es_18jpg_35762599310_o

 

California Passes Clean Air Bill with $895M in Vehicle Incentives

<p><strong>$140 million will go toward incentivizing cleaner vehicles at California&rsquo;s ports.</strong> <em>Photo: Jim Park.</em></p>

The California Legislature recently passed a bundle of bills, known as the California Clean Air Initiative, aimed at reducing air pollution from vehicles and providing funding to incentive programs that cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The package allocates $250 million for the Carl Moyer program, $180 million for the Clean Bus and Truck program, which helps underwrite low-NOx natural gas engines, and $140 million toward incentivizing cleaner emissions vehicles at California’s ports. Funding for the programs will be provided by auctioning off carbon allowances.

In November, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two busiest ports in the country, are set to vote on their own Clean Air Action Plan.

According to the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, heavy-duty trucks contribute 33% of the state’s NOx emissions, and 26% of diesel particulate matter that can cause lung disease and other respiratory illnesses.

With funding from the Clean Air Initiative, the final version of the CAAP, which is being created with input from stakeholders in the shipping and trucking industry, can be more effective at removing diesel burning heavy-duty trucks and replacing them with renewable natural gas vehicles, the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition said in a press release.

“This time around, the process was much more inclusive, and thus, got a lot more input from stakeholders, such as the trucking community, on what works and what doesn't work,” Weston LeBar, executive director of the Harbor Trucking Association, said. “And I think that because of that, the Clean Air Action Plan will be one that is stronger in the sense that, for the trucking industry, I don't think it will be as financially burdensome.”

However, Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs for the Western States Trucking Association, said that the CAAP may pressure trucking companies to replace their units with trucks that are “still on the drawing board and insufficiently tested in real world use.”

LeBar agreed that a lot of the technology the ports would like to use doesn’t exist yet.

“It’s very aspirational at this point in time.”

He said that the ports are looking at conducting feasibility checks every three years, to monitor the implementation of the plan

“We've maintained that the trucking industry and all of the industry stakeholders need to be a part of the implementation of the plan after it's adopted,” LeBar said. “If technology doesn't exist or it's not commercially viable or it's just not affordable, we need to be able to pivot, delay things, or move in different directions.”

At the state level, Rajkovacz said that while a lot is promised to the average Californian with policies like the Clean Air Initiative, the promises of green technology creating jobs and economic growth hasn’t panned out.

LeBar echoed similar concerns, noting that when California regulations make it more difficult for a business to operate within the state, that business will often move out of state, where environmental regulations are not as strict.

“If you make it difficult or overly expensive for people to import or export out of the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach, and they move to a port in Canada or Mexico, not only have you lost that job and you've lost that economic growth, but you've sent them to a place that doesn't have the same types of air regulations,” he said. “And so from a global perspective, you're not really doing anything to help the environment.”

 

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Long-Term Report 1: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab
First Report: Unicorns and StormtroopersLong-Term Report 1: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab
First Report: Unicorns and Stormtroopers494000 Ram diesel pickups face recall for fire risk - Autoweek

Autoweek

494000 Ram diesel pickups face recall for fire risk
Autoweek
Ram parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced this week it will recall some 494,000 heavy-duty and medium-duty Ram pickup trucks for a potential problem that can pose a risk of fire. This recall affects Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups equipped with ...
494000 Ram HD Diesel Trucks Are Recalled Due to a Fire RiskThe Fast Lane
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.v. - FCAU - Stock Price Today - ZacksZacks Investment Research

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Analysis: VW looks ahead after state's big investments - The Commercial Appeal

The Commercial Appeal

Analysis: VW looks ahead after state's big investments
The Commercial Appeal
Spacious by European standards, the Passat ranks mid-pack in an American market swooning over 6,500-pound pickups. Emboldened by cheap oil from the North American fracking fields and bargain-level interest rates, buyers have been able to pack trucks ...

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Shell: New Engine Oil Categories Making the Grade

<p><strong>Since 2011 the company has amassed 60 million test miles on CK-4 formulations, and 50 million miles of tests involving the High Temperature High Shear (HTHS) formulas required by FA-4 specifications.</strong> <em>Photo: Shell</em></p>

SANTA BARBARA, CA – A new generation of engine oils is in the North American market, passing a battery of tests developed for specific engine brands. But the work of convincing buyers about related features and benefits continues.

The transition from CJ-4 to CK-4 and fuel-efficient FA-4 categories has essentially been seamless, said Dan Arcy, Shell Lubricants’ global OEM technical manager, during a media briefing in California this week. The new formulas, which went by PC-11 during the development process, were officially released in December. The chemistry was driven by ongoing calls for longer drain intervals, better fuel economy, lower emissions, and increasing horsepower.

And these are hardly the engine oils that have flowed through pumps in years gone by.

Oxidation stability had to improve to handle higher under-hood temperatures. When oil oxidizes, it becomes acidic and thickens, Arcy explained. At the very least, that shortens potential oil drain intervals.

Tighter controls on aeration are especially welcome in off-highway applications, where trucks traveling up and down hills tend to suck air into the oil pump, breaking up the all-important layers of lubricant. Shear stability, meanwhile, had to improve to help keep oils from shearing out of grade into lower viscosities.

At this point, he said, manufacturers are all recommending CK-4 engine oils, and many have also increased maximum drain intervals in conjunctino with the new oil, Arcy said. “There’s some caveats" when extending those drains, he noted. "There’s fuel economy requirements. There’s idle requirements.”

Cummins has increased standard drain intervals up to 50,000 miles with CK-4 or FA-4 formulas compared to the 40,000 miles with the CJ-4 that came before them, and will boost intervals up to 80,000 miles with its OilGuard Program. Detroit Diesel has pushed intervals up to 75,000 miles compared to the 50,000 miles with CJ-4. Navistar drains are up to 60,000 miles compared to the 40,000 miles with CJ-4, and pushes to 70,000 miles in approved cases. Paccar drains are up to 75,000 miles with CK-4 formulas, while Volvo and Mack drains are at 55,000 miles with CK-4.

Paccar, Volvo and Mack are the last holdouts in embracing the fuel-efficient formulas, although Arcy expects that could change in 2018. Cummins only allows FA-4 in the 2017 X15, while Detroit Diesels can use it back as far as EPA 2010 models. Navistar offers it as a factory fill on its new A26 engines.

Off-highway applications are not using FA-4 yet either, although Arcy notes that these sectors have a history of lagging behind their on-highway counterparts when it comes to adopting new oils. The fuel-efficient oils are not yet recommended for diesel pickups, either.

Any rollout and approval takes time, but markets around the world are undeniably shifting to fuel-efficient oils. From North American to Europe, users are shifting from 10W-30 to 5W-30 as the grade of choice.

Engine manufacturers have also been able to introduce updated tests that the oil formulations must pass to ensure specific requirements are being met. They've also updated the engines and components on which tests are based. Some of the equipment used to test earlier oil formulas was getting increasingly hard to come by.

Cummins introduced the CES 20086 and CES 20087 tests for its engines, Detroit Diesel has the DFS 93K222 and DFS 93K223 to measure protection against issues like liner scuffing, and there’s also the Volvo VDS-4.5/Mack EO-S-4.5.

One of the most noteworthy of the new testing requirements came from Ford, which only months before the rollout of the new oil category asked for phosphorous levels to be capped at 1,000 parts per million -– measured in a specification known as WSS-M2C171-F1 -– because of valvetrain wear noticed in its 6.7L engines. Those engines are also found in applications up to Class 7 and even the lower end of Class 8.

“Phosphorous is just one of the components that can be used as an anti-wear component,” Arcy explained. In Europe, maximum limits have been set at 800 parts per million. But the Ford engine, which features 32 push rods, is relatively complex, Arcy says.

The engine tests alone aren't the only way the new oils continue to be tested. Shell itself has stressed that it is field testing the new oils in 350 vehicles.

“It’s real-world experience. You can’t beat that in terms of determining performance,” said Matthew Urbanak, heavy duty engine oil project leader. Since 2011 the company has amassed 60 million test miles on CK-4 formulations, and 50 million miles of tests involving the High Temperature High Shear (HTHS) formulas required by FA-4 specifications. Fourteen engines running on CK-4 prototypes have been torn down, along with 19 engines running FA-4.

“We’re not seeing the wear concern. We’re able to formulate these products and meet comparable wear protection we see with CK-4,” Urbanak said.

Unwanted levels of soot, lead and oil consumption are all dropping. In the process, Total Base Number (TBN) and Total Acid Number (TAN) measures are becoming less relevant, Urbanak explained. “We’re not seeing strong acids in the oil anymore.”

<p><strong>Shell's Jason Brown explaines to reports that fuel economy is becoming the big driver in heavy-duty engine oils.</strong> <em>Photo: John G. Smith</em></p>

Then there are the potential fuel economy gains being realized with FA-4 oils. Shell, says Jason Brown, global technology manager for heavy-duty engine oils, is proving those benefits in real-world tests that reflect all driving conditions.

Measuring real fuel economy gains is no small task, however. “You’ve got to take real-world cycles,” Brown said. The World Harmonized Stationary Cycle is like on-highway driving. The World Harmonized Transient Cycle (Cold Start) reflects urban driving in cold-start conditions, sometimes cooling the engine below 0 Fahrenheit. And the World Harmonized Transient Cycle reflects urban driving in average temperature conditions to reflect stop-and-go driving like a UPS truck.

Shell is currently running a third-party fuel economy trial in Germany. It will run one in Texas, and has completed another test series in China. “We’re talking about different OEMs, different engines, different operating conditions,” Brown said.

Shifting from a CK-4 10W-30 to an FA-4 10W-30 will boost fuel economy about 0.5%. A 5W30 FA-4 performs 3.19% better than a 10W-40 in combined urban and highway driving cycles, Shell added.

The push for oils to support improved fuel economy is not about to end anytime soon, either.

“This is going to remain a big, big topic going forward,” Brown said of the push to reduce greenhouse gases. “It’s about those engines running more efficiently, it’s about getting them to run more effectively.”

This article appears via a content-sharing agrement with the award-winning Canadian trucking magazine Today's Trucking.

 

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Volvo Reveals 2019 XC40 Compact SUV and Subscription Ownership Program
Volvo introduced the all-new 2019 XC40 compact SUV today, plus a new ownership program inspired by cell phone plans and entertainment subscriptions.Volvo Reveals 2019 XC40 Compact SUV and Subscription Ownership Program
Volvo introduced the all-new 2019 XC40 compact SUV today, plus a new ownership program inspired by cell phone plans and entertainment subscriptions.Consumer Reports Pushes Feds for HD MPG Numbers

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 4.04.35 PM II

By Brian Wong

According to Consumer Reports, fuel economy is an important consideration for buyers when purchasing a new pickup truck regardless of size. Its policy and mobilization arm, Consumers Union, now has petitioned Congress to make fuel-economy, emissions and fuel-cost data appear on window stickers and the government's Fueleconomy.gov website. It has also put three heavy-duty pickups to the test to see how fuel-efficient they are.

Currently, federal law requires automakers to promote fuel-economy information for passenger cars and light-duty trucks, but heavy-duty trucks (meaning those with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 8,501 pounds) have been exempt from this law. Consumer Reports wants that to change.

To that end, it tested three popular heavy-duty trucks: the Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Ford F-250 and Ram 2500 (click here to see how it tested for fuel economy). Each came in four-door crew-cab configuration with their respective turbo-diesel engine and four-wheel drive. It also tested the heavier-duty Nissan Titan XD, equipped in the same configuration with the 5.0-liter V-8 Cummins. Rounded to the nearest whole number and providing something more akin to a combined (rather than city- or highway-biased) fuel-economy rating, here's how they did:

Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Duramax 6.6L V-8 - 14 mpg
Ford Super Duty F-250 Power Stroke 6.7L V-8 - 15 mpg
Nissan Titan XD Cummins 5.0L  V-8 - 15 mpg
Ram 2500 Cummins 6.7L I-6 - 14 mpg

Bear in mind that these tests were conducted without loads or trailers, or run at any significant altitudes; adding any of those variables would have a negative impact on fuel-economy results. We should note that during our 2017 3/4-Ton Premium Truck Challenge, testing similarly equipped top-of-the-line models on a more highway-biased drive route, we achieved considerably better numbers.

We'll keep you posted on Consumer Reports' progress in motivating the EPA to push pickup truck makers to include three-quarter-ton pickups in their required fuel-economy postings on the window stickers and at Fueleconomy.gov.

Photos courtesy Consumer Reports

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 4.05.43 PM II

 

Going Beyond Electric and Natural Gas

<p><strong>Director of Fleet Procurement Mike Casteel says UPS has &ldquo;a lot of experience with propane autogas,&rdquo; including running over 2,000 propane-powered package cars in the U.S. and Canada.</strong><em> iStockPhoto</em></p>

Even as natural gas yet reigns as king of alternative fuels for trucks, and electric drive and fuel cells are gaining interest as up-and-coming technologies, there are still other fuels that fleets may consider as worthy alternatives to straight-up petroleum diesel.

For commercial vehicles, these other choices chiefly include propane (aka autogas), biodiesel, renewable diesel, and dimethyl ether (DME). Each has its advocates. Propane autogas has been in use for years, and the two diesel alternatives can be adopted simply by fueling with them. DME is more of an outlier in that it caught a lot of attention a few years ago but is not engendering much high-level interest of late.

“All alternative fuels are viable, but not in all applications,” says analyst Kenny Vieth, president of ACT Research. “Because each company’s goal for its fleet is different, even two similar fleets may make different fuel choices. Each fleet will assess its own corporate goals, the local/regional availability and price of the respective alternative fuels, and any regulations and incentives for the areas in which the fleet operates before making the fuel decision. Cost, range, weight, performance, and time will all factor into each fleet’s decision.”

Bob Carrick, Freightliner’s vocational sales manager - natural gas, who is a former fleet manager, handicaps the other alternatives succinctly: “Propane autogas makes sense and is gaining traction in the lower GVW classes, up through Class 7. Renewable diesel is a very clean alternative to diesel, and so far has demonstrated fine performance with no significant downsides. Biodiesel works in low concentrations [blends]. DME, however, is still a long way from any adoption. There is no fuel supply, and very little engine durability testing [using the fuel] has been performed to date.”

Volvo has been the main company delving into DME, and John Moore, Volvo Trucks product marketing manager - powertrain, leaves the door open to future fuels and technologies. “Sustainable sources of energy are the future,” he says, “and Volvo will continue to research and invest in the sources of energy that provide the best value for our customers.”

Following is key information on various elements of each of the four “other” alternative fuels discussed above.

Autogas

Propane, or liquefied petroleum gas, is called autogas when used as a motor fuel. It’s widely regarded as a competitive fuel for light-, medium- and even heavy-duty fleet operations. “As a vehicle fuel, it substantially reduces harmful emissions, costs less than gasoline, and is almost entirely domestically produced,” says Alliance AutoGas, a major supplier to truck fleets. “With more than 18 million vehicles worldwide running on autogas, it is the most widely used alternative fuel in the world, just behind gasoline and diesel.”

Autogas is ideally suited for centrally fueled fleets or those that share refueling stations with other fleets, according to the Propane Education & Resource Center. PERC contends that “autogas infrastructure beats conventional fuels and many alternative

fuels. Autogas is a non-contaminant of air, land, and water resources, reducing or even eliminating many EPA requirements for installing and maintaining diesel and gasoline infrastructure. For those who need to travel long distances, bi-fuel vehicles offer a gasoline backup to propane autogas.”

Biodiesel

Biodiesel is a domestically produced renewable fuel created from vegetable oils, animal fats, and recycled restaurant grease. Physically, biodiesel is similar to petroleum diesel, but it burns cleaner. Biodiesel meets both the biomass-based diesel and overall advanced biofuel requirement of the Renewable Fuel Standard, a federal program that requires transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuels.

One complaint about biodiesel is cold-weather performance. How well it performs in low temperatures depends on the blend of biodiesel, the feedstock, and the characteristics of the petroleum diesel used, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In general, the smaller the percentage of biodiesel in the blend, the better it performs in cold temperatures. “Typically, regular No. 2 diesel and B5 [a blend of 5% biodiesel] perform about the same in cold weather. Both biodiesel and No. 2 diesel have some compounds that crystallize in very cold temperatures. In winter weather, fuel blenders and suppliers combat crystallization by adding a cold flow improver. For the best cold weather performance, users should work with their fuel provider to ensure the blend is appropriate.”

Renewable diesel

There is confusion about terminology when it comes to biodiesel and renewable diesel. They are not interchangeable terms. Renewable diesel is fuel derived from biomass that meets registration requirements established by the Environmental Protection Agency under Section 211 of the Clean Air Act as well as those laid out in the American Society of Testing and Materials’ D6751D975 spec.

Hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel, aka “green diesel,” is the product of fats or vegetable oils — alone or blended with petroleum — refined by a hydrotreating process, according to the DOE. As opposed to biodiesel, green diesel meets the petroleum diesel ASTM specification. “This allows it to be legally used in existing diesel infrastructure and vehicles,” notes DOE. “Fuel producers are designing HDRD to substitute for or blend in any proportion with petroleum-based diesel without modifying vehicle engines or fueling infrastructure.”

Along with its green credentials, renewable diesel may be a draw for fleets largely because it meets quality standards for fueling new diesel engines and it’s compatible with the existing diesel distribution infrastructure. What’s more, DOE points out, “HDRD’s high combustion quality results in similar or better vehicle performance compared to conventional diesel.”

DME

Dimethyl ether (DME) was something of a hot topic back during the George W. Bush administration. At the time, with development going on primarily in Europe, it was seen as a “near future” alternative fuel for trucks. Then it largely faded from view, no doubt because such great strides have been made in the past decade to clean up diesel exhausts, and because diesel prices have dropped to a point where there is less of a push for alternatives. In addition, natural gas — and propane autogas, too, for that matter – in the U.S. proved a highly successful alternative, and efforts to advance electric-drive and fuel-cell technologies have begun to bear fruit.

A synthetic product, DME would be produced in the U.S. on a large scale by using natural gas as its feedstock (although it also can be made from biomass and many other materials). It would work as an alternative to diesel in specially designed compression-ignition diesel engines, according to DOE. As it needs to be pressurized to be liquefied, DME’s handling requirements are similar to those of propane; both must be kept in pressurized storage tanks at ambient temperature.

DME enjoys some advantages. It has a very high cetane number, which is a measure of the fuel’s ignitibility in compression-ignition engines. The energy efficiency and power ratings of DME and diesel engines are virtually the same. And because of its lack of carbon-to-carbon bonds, using DME can virtually eliminate particulate emissions and potentially negate the need for costly diesel particulate filters, says DOE. However, DME has half the energy density of diesel fuel — which means it needs a fuel tank twice as large.

DME vehicle demonstrations have been undertaken in Europe and North America, including one in which a customer operated 10 vehicles for 750,000 miles. However, DME is not commercially available in the U.S. at this time. One company, Oberon Fuels, is developing small-scale plants to produce DME from natural gas.

UPS’ Experience

Arguably the most diverse fleet of alternative-fueled trucks, running everything from natural gas to electrics and hybrids, UPS has a lot of experience with propane autogas, with some 2,000 propane-powered delivery trucks currently in the fleet, primarily in the U.S. and Canada.

UPS Director of Fleet Procurement Mike Casteel says propane autogas is easy to transition to. “The vehicles operate much the same as gasoline, and the fueling infrastructure is low cost and easy to install. Propane works best in our fleet in rural areas where the vehicles run fairly high miles and fleet concentration is fairly small. Our average propane deployment is about 20 to 30 trucks in any specific location.  

“Propane is a very low-cost fuel,” he continues. “However, with today’s low cost of gasoline, the business case to convert to propane and overcome the incremental cost of the propane truck can be difficult. Most of our most recent propane deployment was done in areas with some type of incentive to use non-traditional fuel, such as in California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Colorado.” 

UPS also has experience with advanced renewable diesel, consuming more than 13 million gallons of it last year. “This advanced renewable fuel is chemically identical to diesel and can be used in high concentrations, mixed with traditional diesel, or used as a stand-alone fuel without any modifications to the truck,” Casteel says. “But the fuel supply is limited; we use it primarily in our fleet in California.”

He notes that UPS also leverages renewable natural gas, accessing it from the interstate natural gas pipeline system. “We used about 5 million gallon equivalents of RNG last year and we’re on track to use more this year.”

 

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Ford to Idle Transit Production for Two Weeks

<p><em>Photo of 2015-MY Transit courtesy of Ford.</em></p>

Ford Motor Co. will halt production of its Transit full-size van for two weeks to better align production with demand, the company said.

Work at the Kansas City Assembly Plant's Transit lines will be halted for the two weeks starting later this month. Ford will continue to build F-150 trucks on the plant's pickup line.

The move is part of a plan to implement down weeks at five of its assembly plants, a company spokeswoman said.

"We are continuing to match production with customer demand, as we always do, and we are on track for our dealer inventories to remain at planned levels by year-end," said Kelli Felker, Ford's manufacturing and labor spokesperson. "We are planning down weeks at some of our plants through the end of the year, including three weeks at Cuautitlan Assembly Plant, two weeks at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, two weeks at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, one week at Michigan Assembly Plant and two weeks at Kansas City Assembly Plant on the Transit side only."

Ford is dealing with a recall of 2015- to 2017-model-year Transit vans announced in late June to replace a driveshaft flexible coupling. Ford has recalled 370,630 Transit vans in the U.S. and more than 402,000 in North America. The recall will cost Ford approximately $142 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

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First Drive: 2018 Ford F-150 - TruckTrend Network

TruckTrend Network

First Drive: 2018 Ford F-150
TruckTrend Network
Now celebrating 100 years of pickup history hearkening back to the 1917 Model TT and leading through 70 years of F-Series trucks, Ford is facing stiffer competition than ever. Updating its pickup for a mid-cycle refresh, Ford says its legacy is to be ...

J.J. Keller Program Lets Fleets Reserve ELDs

<p><em>Photo: J.J. Keller</em></p>

With some industry observers worrying about whether the supply of electronic logging devices will meet the demand as we near the Dec. 17 deadline to install the mandatory devices, J.J. Keller & Associates announced it will make the transition earlier for fleets who want to wait until closer to the deadline.

The J.J. Keller ELD Reserve It Plan lets fleets reserve J.J. Keller ELDs with guaranteed shipment between November 1-10, 2017, and zero service fees until January 2018. The offer runs through October 31.

“Over 50% of the fleets we surveyed are waiting until November or December to switch to ELDs, or they're undecided,” said Tom Reader, director of marketing at J.J. Keller. “We created the J. J. Keller ELD Reserve It Plan to get fleets everything they need in time to make the switch and avoid violations from being out of compliance with the mandate. The fourth quarter is already a busy one for most fleets and it's easy for things to fall through the cracks.”

J.J. Keller ELDs, which are on the FMCSA’s ELD registry of self-certified compliant devices, are part of J.J. Keller's Encompass Fleet Management System with ELogs, which includes an online dashboard for HOS compliance, an ELog app that’s compatible with most smart devices, and service options ranging from stand-alone ELogs to full performance management. For more information visit JJKeller.com/ReserveELDs.

 

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2018 Toyota C-HR

<p><em>Photo by Vince Taroc</em></p>

Toyota’s new 2018 C-HR could be a good fit for a fleet that doesn’t require too much cargo space. Known as the Coupe High-Rider, this subcompact crossover enters the growing segment of compact SUVs. This all-new vehicle takes the place of the Scion xD and the Toyota Matrix. Its competition includes the Honda HR-V, Nissan Juke, and Mazda CX-3.

I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the XLE Premium model, the topline model. The C-HR is also available in the XLE trim.  

At first glance, I was impressed with the sleek, sporty look; I can see its appeal to the younger generation. The exterior design stands out and catches your eye — from the vibrant ruby red color that I drove to the various lines to the black trim that outlines the bottom of the vehicle. Toyota refers to it as precision-cut, diamond-like styling. Other available colors include blue eclipse metallic, black sand pearl, gray metallic, and radiant green mica.

Two rear spoilers complete the sporty look, but they also cut off some visibility through the back window. The top spoiler (above the back window) is aerodynamic and features a high-mount stop light and cantilevered design. A unique feature is the high-mounted rear door handles — similar to the Nissan Juke.

As I climbed into the vehicle, I was concerned with the small space. Would it be comfortable on my long work commute? Surprisingly, it does maximize the interior space, especially with storage features like pockets on the front door with bottle holders. At an overall length of 171.2 inches, 19 cubic feet is available for cargo volume. But if you fold down the second row of seats, the cargo space increases to 36.4 cubic feet. I especially liked the cargo area cover when storing luggage.

A leather-trimmed steering wheel provides controls for phone, voice, and cruise control. The fabric-trimmed front seats are comfortable and can be adjusted six ways. The center console features a 7-inch touch-screen displaying infotainment and communication options. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay aren’t an option. For me, a missing convenience feature is somewhere to place my smartphone.

<p><em>Photo by Vince Taroc</em></p>

When I put the vehicle in reverse, the backup camera doesn’t appear on the center touch-screen. For the premium model, the backup camera appears on the auto-dimming rearview mirror. I like the idea of it being on the mirror, but the camera screen is small.

The C-HR handled well on both city streets and on the highway. It features a 2.0L four-cylinder engine that gets 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. It’s only available as a front-wheel-drive. The manufacturer-estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined.

The Toyota Safety Sense System comes standard, providing a variety of driver assist features, including pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control. The Star Safety System is also featured, which includes vehicle stability control, brake assist, and smart stop technology. Blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert are available on the premium model.

The 2018 Toyota C-HR is in showrooms now. Pricing starts at $22,500 for the XLE and $24,350 for the XLE Premium.

Related Photos: Toyota's 2018 C-HR

 

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Thin Year for U.S., Canada Journos With 2018 Truck Award

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The semifinalists for the 2018 North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year Awards have been announced, and just as we expected, this was going to be a thin year on the pickup truck side of the equation. In fact, there are only three entries to the 2018 Truck of the Year Award: the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, 2018 Ford Expedition and 2018 Lincoln Navigator. Bet you can't guess which one we think should be chosen.

Normally, the Truck of the Year Award semifinalists are announced this time of year, with the three finalists announced later at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, but since there are only three vehicles that qualify this year, all three will pass right on through to the next round.

This particular award typically garners considerable attention in the auto industry because of the quality of scope of the automotive journalists that make up the jury, which constitutes around 60 jurors from both the U.S. and Canada.

As is usual with this particular award, the winners will be announced at the first press conference on the first day of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 14, 2018.

Cars.com photo above by Evan Sears; manufacturer images

 

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2018 Lincoln Navigator1 II

 

Fleet Lease Consignor Prices Climb Higher

<p><em>Screenshot of Tom Kontos via KAR Auction Services.</em></p>

Fleet lease consignor prices moved higher in August, increasing 1.4% over July and 2.3% through the first eight months of the year compared with 2016, according to the Sept. 20 Kontos Kommentary.

Average wholesale values were bolstered by a strong used truck market and the possible impact of Hurricane Harvey, which appeared to drive up prices at the end of the month, especially in Texas, according to Tom Kontos, executive vice president and chief economist of ADESA Analytical Services.

Overall wholesale prices increased 0.6% to $10,947 in August compared to July, and are 1.9% higher compared to August of 2016. Luxury cars saw significant average price increases on both a monthly and annual basis," Kontos said. 

"Price softening was less evident than in previous months when holding constant for sale type, model-year age, mileage, and model class segment," said Kontos. "In fact, midsize car prices were up on a year-basis."

Midsize cars increased 1% to $11,667 year over year, while midsize SUVs fell 0.7% to $19,723. 

Average wholesale prices for used vehicles remarketed by manufacturers were up 4.6% month-over-month and up 6.5% year-over-year. Average prices for dealer consignors were down 1.2% versus July and up 3.0% relative to August of 2016.

 

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Heavy-Duty Pickup Truck Fuel Economy - Consumer Reports - ConsumerReports.org

Heavy-Duty Pickup Truck Fuel Economy - Consumer Reports
ConsumerReports.org
Heavy-duty pickup trucks are sold without fuel economy numbers on the window sticker. CR tests show how these work-ready trucks compare with light-duty ...

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FCA Issues Water Pump Recall for Cummins-Powered Ram Heavy Duty Trucks
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will recall just less than 444,000 Ram Heavy Duty pickups and medium-duty trucks to address a concern relating to the water pump.FCA Issues Water Pump Recall for Cummins-Powered Ram Heavy Duty Trucks
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Land Rover showed off the 2018 Discovery's towing prowess by hitching it to a massive road train semi, hauling it nearly 10 miles.2018 Land Rover Discovery Diesel Tows 121-Ton Semi in Australian Outback
Land Rover showed off the 2018 Discovery's towing prowess by hitching it to a massive road train semi, hauling it nearly 10 miles.Top-Selling Pickup Trucks by State

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Ever wonder which pickup truck is the top seller in your state? So has our team of data crunchers at PickupTrucks.com. That's why they sent us some of their most up-to-date new-vehicle sales information (meaning collected data from Jan. 1, 2017, to Aug. 21, 2017, from the majority of U.S. dealerships) for top-selling pickups in each state. We should clarify that these are not necessarily the top-selling vehicles[MP1] — although in some cases they are — but rather just a list of the top-selling pickups. (FYI: Our data showed that the No. 1-selling vehicle was a pickup truck in 26 states.)

Although this data is simply a ballpark estimation taken from our exclusive database, this should give us a rough idea of the top player in each state.

As you can see, the majority of the states in the country have the top-selling Ford F-150 in first place, while the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is close behind with only four fewer states. The other two top sellers on our list of four include the GMC Sierra 1500 and the only heavy-duty pickup, the Ram 2500. Interestingly, as some might expect, there are a few states that don't have a single pickup truck in their top 10 sellers; we've noted which states they are in the graphic.

For those Toyota fans out there, it should be noted that the Toyota Tacoma was on the top 10 best-selling vehicles list for 15 different states and in the top three for two; the Tundra only made it onto three of the top-10 lists and never onto a top-three list.

Cars.com graphic by Paul Dolan; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

 

Ford Action 1 II

Chevy Action 1 II

 

8 Lug and Work Truck News
Auto news for trucks, cars, diesels, work trucks, 8 lug, and more.8 Lug and Work Truck News
Auto news for trucks, cars, diesels, work trucks, 8 lug, and more.First Drive: 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport
The Smaller, Lighter, Less Expensive RogueFirst Drive: 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport
The Smaller, Lighter, Less Expensive RogueMedium-Duty Builds Slowed in August

<p><em>File graphic</em></p>

Manufacturers of medium-duty trucks lowered production levels in August amid a projected slow down heading toward the end of the year, according to an update from ACT Research.

Production of Classes 5-7 vehicles fell 7% compared to July. However, medium-duty production is up 23% compared to August of 2016, said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research's vice president and senior analyst.

"The North America medium duty build rate slowed again in August," Denoyer said. "This is ahead of the year-to-date production growth rate of 4%, but set to slow into year-end."

Meanwhile, the build rate for Class 8 trucks in August reached 59%, which was similar to historical averages, Denoyer said.

 

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Extreme Clean HD Premium Cabin Air Filters

Luber-finer’s Extreme Clean HD Premium Cabin Air Filters are designed to trap airborne particles ranging in size from five to 100 microns.

Luber-finer says that this allows the filter to prevent 98% of allergens from entering the cab of a commercial vehicle.

In addition to featuring a filter media that is fine enough to trap most airborne contaminants, the Extreme Clean Cabin Air Filter also combines Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and carbon in the media. This combination gives the Extreme Clean the ability to remove nuisance odors before they can reach the cabin.

The Extreme Clean Cabin Air Filter has been designed with application coverage for 16 popular truck and equipment manufacturers, including Freightliner, International, Volvo, Kenworth, Sterling, Western Star and John Deere. Recommended in-service time for the Extreme Clean is 12,000 to 15,000 miles, though the filter may need to be replaced sooner if the vehicle operates constantly in harsh conditions.

 

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Acela Truck to Introduce Extreme-Duty Truck Chassis

<p><em>Image of 4x4 chassis courtesy of Acela Trucks</em></p>

Acela Truck Company, a new extreme-duty commercial truck chassis manufacturer, will showcase its line of 4x4 and 6x6 chassis, utility, crane, and service trucks for the utility and construction markets at the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) in Louisville, Oct. 3-5, 2017.

Acela will be exhibiting its powerful line of on/off-highway, all-wheel drive vehicles during the show, that have successfully proven themselves in extreme environments like Alberta’s oil sands for more than seven years with a 96% documented uptime reliability rating. Show vehicles will showcase Brutus Truck Body service and crane bodies.

“We’re excited to introduce our superior line of extreme-duty trucks at to the utility and construction markets at ICUEE,” said David Ronsen, president of Acela Truck Company. “From its 46-inch tires up, the Acela Monterra line of trucks offer supreme maneuverability, durability, and customization. With a payload of up to 31,000 pounds, body-builder friendly configurations, and a price tag starting at $95,000 we feel the Monterra is the perfect all in one job site solution. There is simply no comparison in the North American market today.”

Acela’s core innovation is the development of a proprietary process of resetting the U.S. Army’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV’s) to a near zero-mile/zero-hour condition. These trucks are then sold into commercial markets including oil and gas, mining, pipeline, heavy civil and forestry, where currently available chassis simply do not perform or survive.

FMTV’s were originally developed for the Department of Defense to withstand the harshest conditions during combat. They continue to achieve the US Army’s coveted “ultra-reliable” status for 17 years running. Acela Truck Company’s proprietary reset process completely restores FMTV’s specifically for commercial use. The company’s first model of trucks, the Monterra, boasts the industry’s most robust and dependable design features, including drivetrains, frames, axles, suspensions, tires and other components designed to withstand the rigors of the most extreme work environments on the planet.

 

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Banfield Foundation Unveils American Humane Rescue Truck

<p><em>Image of the Banfield Foundation's new 50-foot truck unveiling courtesy of PR Newsire</em></p>

Banfield Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, unveiled a new, 50-foot American Humane rescue truck dedicated to helping safeguard animals on the West Coast.

The truck's launch comes at a crucial time as thousands of Americans and their pets continue to face emergency and rescue needs in the aftermath of recent disasters.

The foundation will cover the new vehicle's operational costs as part of its Disaster Relief Grant program, which is available to nonprofit animal organizations and local or state governments whose communities suffer the impact of disasters. Such grants have already made a positive difference, most recently funding care, supplies, and medication for pets impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

"The number of animals in need of rescue and rehabilitation following recent natural disasters reinforces the decision to expand rescue capabilities on the West Coast to provide care and support to those pets that need it most," said George Melillo, VMD, Banfield Foundation board member and Vice President of Veterinary Quality at Banfield Pet Hospital. "The Banfield Foundation is honored to be part of the amazing work American Humane is doing for pets – in the best and worst of times."

When called upon to support in disaster situations, the vehicle will enable pet rescues and delivery of food, supplies, and medication to impacted regions. Banfield Pet Hospital veterinarians and technicians will also partner with American Humane to provide veterinary care to pets in low-income communities.

When not deployed to a disaster area, the truck will be based in California, frequently ranked among the most at-risk states for natural disasters in the U.S., where it will aid in cruelty, dog-fighting and hoarding cases and be used as a traveling ambassador, bringing prevention and public education campaigns to school children and their communities.

 

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LED SuperLamp Lights

Optronics International’s SuperLamp technology is available on a variety of lamp products, including headlamps, back-up lamps, marker/clearance lamps, and work lamps, as well as interior cab and trailer lighting.

LED SuperLamp technology had previously only been available on the company’s stop/tail/turn lamps and is designed to protect lights and increase durability. SuperLamp lights are coated to resist specific chemical agents, including petroleum distillates such as coolant ethylene and coolant propylene, diesel fuel, battery fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, organic solvents, methanol, detergents, cleaners, and urea.

The coating is applied to the entire exterior of each SuperLamp, and lenses and housings have been engineered to accept and bond with the coating.

Lamps featuring LED SuperLamp technology are not damaged by transient voltage, EMI and ESD, and because they are also designed with solid-state, surface-mount device technology, their LEDs are able to continue to function even if a lamp’s circuit board is completely submerged in water.

LED SuperLamps have also been tested and have proven their ability to resist component degeneration as a result of UV exposure, flammability, vibration, temperature cycling, accelerated aging, high-velocity water spray, free-fall drops, humidity, salt fog corrosion, dust, thermal shock and gravel bombardment.

 

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Flex Suction ELD Mount

MyGoFlight’s Flex Suction Automotive Mount is designed for drivers to mount a tablet, ELD or other electronics in the cab.

The Flex Suction has been designed to meet the needs of drivers and attaches securely to any glass windshield, side window, or other smooth surface.

The mount can be customized with different holders to fit multiple devices, types of suction cups for the application, and anti-glare screen protection for better visibility.

 

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Electric Vehicle Interest Accelerated in Third Quarter, ACT Says

<p><em>Photo: Jim Park</em></p>

Several high-profile electric vehicle concepts have been introduced the third quarter of 2017, indicating increasing interest from the trucking industry, according to a report from ACT Research.

Three different companies recently made significant announcements in the electric vehicle industry. Cummins suprised the industry by launching its own fully electric Class 7 daycab tractor dubbed the Urban Hauler EV, which is a prototype model only. However, the company plans to start producing electric powertrains for transit buses globally in 2019.

Motiv Power Systems announced that the City of Sacramento, California, will receive its first all-electric garbage truck in the early part of 2018. The technology powering the Electric Refuse Vehicle is an all-electric powertrain from Motiv.

“The Class 8 vehicle will be built on a Crane Carrier chassis, and the body will be built by Loadmaster,” noted Tom Rhein, president of Rhein Associates. “The Sacramento ERV will be one of only two all-electric refuse trucks in operation within North America, both powered by Motiv; the other is in Chicago.”

Chanje, a california electric vehicle company, is introducing a commercial all-electric medium-duty vehicle later this year that is expected to be available at mass scale by the end of the year. Its electric cargo cans are designed from the ground up as purpose-built, long-life EVs, according to ACT.

The analysis was from ACT’s recently released North American On-Highway Commercial Vehicle Engine Outlook, which was produced with Rhein Associates. The report presents historical trends, current activity and forecasts of engine demand in on-highway commercial vehicles. It identifies trends in engine displacement, type, captive and non-captive engines, and premium compared to non-premium power for Class 8 vehicles.

Rhein Associates is a supplier of powertrain information globally. RAI produces three major publications: The Rhein Report, The Future of Diesel Engines (5-year history and forecast book), and various engine databases, as well as various consulting projects.

 

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2013-2017 Ram Heavy-Duty Pickups & Chassis Cabs: Recall Alert

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 444,000 model-year 2013-17 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks, as well as model-year 2013-17 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis-cab trucks, all equipped with the Cummins turbo-diesel 6.7-liter inline six-cylinder engine

The Problem: A water-pump bearing on the engine may overheat after being exposed to certain conditions, potentially causing an engine-compartment fire and increasing the risk of injury.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect the water-pump bearing and replace if necessary.

What Owners Should Do: Ram manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles did not immediately announce an owner-notification schedule. Owners can call the automaker at 800-853-1403, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov to check their vehicle identification number and learn more.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

Cars.com images by Evan Sears

 

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Terex Hands-On Training Attracts Global Attendees

<p><em>Photo courtesy of Terex Utilities</em></p>

For 39 years, fleet managers, technicians, purchasing managers, and other office personnel have attended Terex Utilities’ annual Hands On Training Seminar. Described as “helpful, informative and detailed,” by one attendee, the event held August 21-23, 2017, provides customers and distributors with a better understanding of typical applications and proper use of Terex equipment.

“The intent is not to make participants qualified operators, but to provide people who don’t operate aerial devices or digger derricks on a day-to-day basis with a hands-on learning experience. We hope to make them more informed about the equipment,” said Ken Vlasman, customer service manager, Terex Utilities. “Whether it’s showing a purchasing manager the added value of optional equipment or giving a technician insight into how the equipment is used, Terex Utilities strives to be a strategic business partner for users; from the smallest municipality to the largest investor owned utility.” 

This year, 36 people from Australia, Chile, El Salvador, New Zealand, Trinidad, and the United States (including one from Hawaii), participated in equipment operation tasks at the company’s training headquarters. Those attending represented utility companies, utility co-ops, rental companies, and dealers.

“Instructors were knowledgeable and easy to learn from,” said one attendee.

Over the course of three days participants rotated through 10 stations where they operated 17 pieces of Terex Commander digger derricks and Hi-Ranger aerial devices. Equipment included Commander 4000 and 6000 models and TM Linesman, HRX Overcenter, and TCX Non-Overcenter models. In addition, the Hi-Ranger L17i, an articulating telescopic aerial device with swing arm was featured.

Activities supervised by Terex trainers represented actual job tasks, such as installing screw anchors, digging holes, and setting and tamping poles in place. To make the instruction fun, a friendly competition to demonstrate operator speed and accuracy involved moving a 5 gallon water-filled bucket through an obstacle course. The bucket was suspended from a line attached to the jib of an aerial device.

“Every station throughout the three days sets participants up for the line building exercise that concludes the event. It’s a favorite among participants,” said Vlasman.

For more information about Terex products and services, as well as the company’s training and certification schools, visit www.terex.com/utilities.

 

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