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This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/newsGeneral Motors Gives 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Surprise Debut - Trucks.com

CBS Detroit

General Motors Gives 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Surprise Debut
Trucks.com
General Motors unveiled the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup truck at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. A helicopter carried the 2019 Silverado through the sky and gently lowered it onto the race track's infield. The reveal was a ...
Chevrolet forges sleeker, aerodynamic styling on 2019 SilveradoAutomotive News (blog)
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TruckTrend Network -Motor1.com -ET Auto -The Torque Report
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BREAKING! 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Breaks Cover In Texas
All-New Silverado Helicoptered In To Centennial Celebration At Texas Motor SpeedwayBREAKING! 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Breaks Cover In Texas
All-New Silverado Helicoptered In To Centennial Celebration At Texas Motor SpeedwayTesla: Let's Get Serious About Semis - Seeking Alpha

Seeking Alpha

Tesla: Let's Get Serious About Semis
Seeking Alpha
Operators normally subject new-hire drivers to test drives with an instructor or fleet manager. Reviewers like to be able to watch the driver's interactions with the truck and the outside environment from a vantage point beside the driver. A two-seat ...
Tesla Releases Prices for the Two Semi Versions and They Are Unbelievably Lowautoevolution

all 65 news articles »
Electric Utilities Send Teams to Puerto Rico

The electric power industry deployed a contingent of seven incident management teams (IMTs) to Puerto Rico to support ongoing power restoration efforts across the island. These IMTs, each comprising seven to 10 operations experts, will be assigned to seven key regions on the island and will coordinate with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), both of which already are working to restore power to the people of Puerto Rico.

As part of the industry’s response, several electric companies are entering into a memorandum of understanding with PREPA, developed by the American Public Power Association (APPA), the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), and will serve as a vehicle that allows electric companies that are members of APPA, EEI, or NRECA to enter into emergency agreements to provide resources and workers to PREPA on a not-for-profit basis. The first phase of the MOU will include the IMTs now being dispatched to the island.

The initial IMT deployment will consist of storm response experts from investor-owned electric companies and public power utilities, with additional experts from electric cooperatives joining in a second relief wave.

“Electric cooperatives are proud to support these additional resources to expedite restoration efforts in Puerto Rico,” NRECA CEO Jim Matheson said. “Co-ops have a unique understanding of the challenges involved in maintaining and restoring power in rural, rugged, and mountainous terrain. We look forward to bringing those skills to bear as part of this unified restoration effort.”

A team of electric company storm response experts has been in Puerto Rico since early November and is coordinating closely with local officials, PREPA, FEMA, USACE, and technical experts from New York, who have supported assessment and restoration efforts since Maria struck in September. The team is focused on assessing damages and putting into place a formal structure to support logistics, equipment needs, and supply chain issues and to ensure ongoing restoration efforts are safe, efficient, and effective.

In total, there are now more than 3,000 workers on the island who are dedicated to the power restoration mission, including PREPA’s own workers and crews mobilized under USACE contracts. This number will grow as full assessments are completed and the coordinated restoration plan is fully implemented.

 

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The Pickup Truck Wars Are About to Go Nuclear

Titan Wars-7 II

At a time when each of the big half-ton pickup truck makers (Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Nissan, Ram and Toyota) are finishing one of their biggest years in recent memory, it looks like the segment is going to get even hotter. According to a recent Bloomberg piece, both Ram and Chevrolet will likely introduce their latest and greatest versions of their new half-ton pickup trucks at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

That means things are about to get real.

It's no secret that pickup truck sales for Ford, Ram and GM have been providing each of their respective corporations with the lion's share of bottom-line-padding profits. In fact, for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, if you took out a few Jeeps and Ram, we doubt the company could survive more than a few weeks. Jeep and Ram are doing all of the heavy hauling from a sales and gross profit point of view. And although none of the automakers like to give us the exact amount of profit they make on each pickup, we're guessing those profits are the major reasons both Ford and GM are doing so well lately, too.

We've seen quite a few spy photos lately of both the next-generation Ram 1500 and Chevrolet/GMC twins in recent months, which is usually the dead giveaway that something is close to its reveal date. And it would make sense to see these important products revealed at the most important auto show of the year (although we're guessing we'll see more new products at the State Fair of Texas later in the fall).

With Ram and Chevrolet likely to make their big debuts in Detroit, that means Ford had better do something interesting as well, since both will be gunning for the top dog. No doubt, Ford is happy the 2018 Ford F-150 just won the Motor Trend Truck of the Year, but it will need more than that to get attention with two high-profile reveals scheduled at the same auto show.

We're hearing rumors about new powertrains and possible Super Duty information, so we're guessing this year's Detroit show will be more about real-world vehicles making their companies the biggest profits than esoteric discussions or concept models prognosticating about what type of autonomous vehicles we'll be driving by 2045.

We'll be sure to pass along more info as we get more intel or hear from our spy photographers. Stay tuned.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

 

Group Track Max Tow II

 

Pickup trucks to dominate 2018 Detroit auto show — and here's why - Detroit Free Press

Detroit Free Press

Pickup trucks to dominate 2018 Detroit auto show — and here's why
Detroit Free Press
A diesel likely will be available eventually. Regarding the new Ram pickup, spy photographers have captured images showing what appears to be a split, dual-function tailgate on some versions and a key fob that can remotely drop the tailgate, according ...

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72 Hours With a TeslaBrown County authorities asking for help locating stolen pickup - WIBW

WIBW

Brown County authorities asking for help locating stolen pickup
WIBW
(WIBW)- The Brown County Sheriff's Office is asking for your help in locating a stolen pickup truck. Sheriff John Merchant says a 1999 Ford F-250 diesel truck was stolen in Fairview, sometime between Thursday night and 6 a.m. Friday morning. The truck ...

GM Squares Off with FCA, Ford in $90 Billion Pickup Fight - IndustryWeek

IndustryWeek

GM Squares Off with FCA, Ford in $90 Billion Pickup Fight
IndustryWeek
Detroit's real big-money grudge match is over pickup trucks — and it's about to get nasty. General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV are planning to show redesigned full-size models at the Detroit auto show in January and start selling them ...

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Laid Out for Life- Our 25 Favorite of SEMA 2017
Our 25 Favorite of SEMA 2017.Laid Out for Life- Our 25 Favorite of SEMA 2017
Our 25 Favorite of SEMA 2017.Nearly 1 in 5 Weber County diesel vehicles failing emissions tests - Standard-Examiner

Standard-Examiner

Nearly 1 in 5 Weber County diesel vehicles failing emissions tests
Standard-Examiner
With almost a year's worth of diesel emissions tests under their belts, Weber-Morgan health officials say they're surprised by the results. As of November, 18.8 percent of diesel vehicles inspected as part of new registration requirements have failed ...

Land of the Lifted- Our 25 Favorites of SEMA 2017
Our 25 Favorites of SEMA 2017Land of the Lifted- Our 25 Favorites of SEMA 2017
Our 25 Favorites of SEMA 2017Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Innovation Lab

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will launch in early 2018 as a more connected and versatile cargo van. The company gave automotive journalists a few early details at a Dec. 4 event in Stuttgart, Germany, called Sprinter Innovation Campus. Read the full story herePhotos by Paul Clinton and courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.

 

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Digger Derricks

The D105 and D115 digger derricks are part of Elliott Equipment Company's new ANSI 10.31 digger derrick product line. The models are specially designed for transmission and heavy-duty construction projects and mounted on a tandem axle chasses.

Both units are equipped with Elliott's high boom pin point geometry, allowing for maximum power out of the hole, a variable displacement piston pump, and a new ergonomic seated control console.

The four-section proportional steel boom offers a 107-foot sheave height on the D105 and 115-foot sheave height on the D115. Both models offer a 20,000 lb.-ft. of torque with auger spin speeds of 35 RPM (low) and 80 RPM (high). Digger derricks offer a digging radius of up to 41 feet on the D105 and 43 feet on the D115, and offer a digging depth of up to 16 feet.

Additional features include a heavy-duty tilting pole claw attachment and pole guide designed for gripping large poles, a new front-entry seated pedestal control station, and a 12,000-pound single-line pull main winch with synthetic rope and 30,000-pound maximum lift capacity at a 10-foot radius.

The models can handle augers up to 48 inches in diameter and offers radio remote control boom and digger operation.

 

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JLG Launches Site to Explain Changing ANSI Standards

JLG Industries, Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company and a global manufacturer of aerial work platforms and telehandlers, is equipping its customers with a variety of new resources to help them better understand and comply with the anticipated changes to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

ANSI A92 and CSA B354 standards govern the access equipment industry and address machine design, safe use, and training in North America. As these standards are updated, equipment dealers, operators, and owners will need to make changes in the areas of training, job site safety, and machine selection. The anticipated changes will move North American manufactured machines more towards a global model. 

Available at www.jlg.com/en/destination/ansi, these resource materials include:

  • A downloadable Essential Guide to Understanding ANSI A92 and & CSA B354 Standards, including information about why the standards are changing and who the changing standards will impact.
  • The opportunity to sign up for alerts from JLG regarding new developments that could affect equipment and training processes
  • New terminology and classifications for aerial work platforms, now called mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs)
  • List of JLG-compliant equipment and training options to help customers meet updated requirements

The new ANSI A92 standard is expected to be published in early 2018. One year from the date of publication any aerial machine manufactured in the United States must meet the new standard. Machines manufactured prior to that date will continue to be governed by the existing standard. The new CSA B354 standard was published in May 2017.

JLG is encouraging its customers to take advantage of these new resources to better understand and prepare for the upcoming changes.

 

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Utility Recognized for Fleet Greening Efforts

<p><em>Photo courtesy of Chicago Area Clean Cities</em></p>

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) in Illinois took home a Green Fleet Leadership Award at the Chicago Area Clean Cities’ end of year meeting.

The Green Fleet Leadership Awards are given annually to commercial and government fleets that take actions to locally reduce petroleum consumption and improve air quality, by using cleaner-burning alternative-fuel vehicles, electric vehicles, or other advanced technologies.

“The fleets we’re recognizing range from using compressed natural gas to propane to plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, all with the goals of saving fuel, reducing emissions and saving money,” John W. Walton, chair of Chicago Area Clean Cities, said in a statement. “The fleets that we have selected operate in the Chicagoland area and are terrific examples for others to follow to learn about the advantages of clean-vehicle technologies.”

ComEd is the primary electric utility in the Chicago area, serving 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70% of the state population.

The utility operates more than 1,750 trucks fueled by biodiesel. In 2016, ComEd used nearly 600,000 gallons of biodiesel instead of regular diesel.

 

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European Customers Now Running Fuso eCanter Electric Trucks

<p><em>Photo: Daimler Trucks</em></p>

Daimler Trucks has begun delivering its Fuso eCanter, which it calls the first all-electric truck in regular production, to fleet customers in Europe, the company announced. The OEM said drivers will be specially trained to operate the electric trucks and each customer is obtaining their vehicles via a 24 month long-term rental from Mercedes-Benz CharterWay, a captive rental and leasing firm.

The first to receive the Class 4 trucks on the continent are global logistics firms Deutsche Post DHL, DB Schenker, Rhenus, and Dachser. However, Daimler noted these firms will be running the eCanters in diverse applications. For example, the six trucks for DHL will be used in two distinct operations. Two eCanters will provide inner-city deliveries of heavy cargo for DHL Freight’s Berlin branch while DHL Paket will use four trucks to deliver goods to businesses. For this role, the eCanters will replace trucks powered conventional drivetrains. Similarly, DB Schenker will run use its trucks to collect and deliver general cargo in the inner city of Berlin.

By contrast, Rhenus Group will deploy three eCanters to deliver furniture, consumer electronics, and home appliances from a central warehouse to residents of Berlin’s inner city while Dascher will use two electric trucks to collect goods and to complete last-mile deliveries.

The OEM stated that “after years of thorough development and testing,” the eCanter is now fully integrated in the conventional Fuso Canter production line. Production of the electric model began back in July in Tramagal, Portugal. All eCanters for the European and U.S. markets will be produced there.

Daimler added that, over the next few years, its Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation subsidiary plans to deliver 500 eCanters of this first production generation to select customers, with large-scale production slated to start in 2019. UPS announced in September that it will be putting three of the medium-duty electric trucks in service in North America for evaluation. And in Japan, convenience-store chain 7-Eleven and Yamato Transport each have committed to operate 25 eCanters.

The eCanter has a range of approximately 62 miles and a load capacity of two to three tons, depending on body and duty cycle, according to Daimler. Its electric powertrain uses six high-voltage lithium-ion battery packs, with 420 volts and 13.8 kWh each, and a permanent-magnet-engine that can produce 180 hp via a single-gear transmission in the rear axle. Daimler said its continuous output allows the truck “to accelerate almost like a passenger car and that’s available from the first second of driving.”

According to Marc Llistosella, CEO of Daimler Trucks Asia, the eCanter is the OEM’s answer to the need for a zero-emission, zero-noise truck designed for inner-city distribution. He added that “over 90,000 kilometers of testing in everyday operating conditions [makes us] secure that we are handing over a reliable and economical vehicle to our customers. With the eCanter, our customers now operate not only quietly and without locally emitted carbon-dioxide, they also save money on operating costs. This is the future of urban distribution transport.”

 

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ODYSSEY Group 31 Battery

EnerSys has upgraded its ODYSSEY Performance Series Group 31 battery from 800 cold cranking amps (CCA) to 925 CCA. The introduction of the ODYSSEY 31-925 battery is a direct result of increased market demand for greater performance.

The ODYSSEY 31-925 battery is designed to handle the increased use of onboard accessories in today’s commercial trucks and tractor trailers. Manufactured with Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology, the ODYSSEY 31-925 battery provides engine-cranking pulses up to 1,750 amps and 925 CCA, and can also handle 400 charge-discharge cycles at 80 percent depth of discharge. Additionally, dry cell Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) separators hold acid in place to prevent spills, even when the battery is installed on its side.

The ODYSSEY 31-925 battery measures 13.0” L x 6.78” W x 9.42” H and weighs 69 pounds. It is available with 3/8-16” stud or SAE posts.

TPPL technology is applied to the manufacturing of flat plates made of 99.99% pure lead, not lead alloy. These pure lead plates are made thinner, enabling more to fit in the battery for increased plate surface area. The additional surface area enables TPPL batteries to generate more power as well as provide longer service life, greater reliability, and deep-cycle capabilities.

ODYSSEY Performance Series batteries feature a three- to 10-year service life and two-year storage life at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. They are vibration resistant, classified as “non-spillable” by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and include a limited three-year full replacement warranty.

 

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PepsiCo Places Order for 100 Examples of Tesla Semi
PepsiCo Inc placed the largest public order for the all-electric Tesla Semi, earmarking 100 of them for use in the company’s logistics network.PepsiCo Places Order for 100 Examples of Tesla Semi
PepsiCo Inc placed the largest public order for the all-electric Tesla Semi, earmarking 100 of them for use in the company’s logistics network.How Can Pickups Break the 30 MPG Highway Rating?

Eco-mode II

By Tim Esterdahl

It seems like only yesterday when the average pickup truck barely got 10 mpg on the highway, was made of heavy steel body panels and was about as aerodynamic as a brick. Now pickups are lighter, more aerodynamic and highway fuel economy hovers near 30 mpg highway. The two-wheel-drive crew-cab mid-size Chevrolet Colorado powered by the turbo-diesel 2.8-liter inline four-cylinder actually gets 30 mpg highway.

The rapid pace of fuel-economy improvements had us wondering just how far manufacturers will be able to push the three-box design — hood, cab and bed — to achieve better fuel economy. Is surpassing the 30 mpg highway threshold possible? The short answer is yes. Here's how.

1. Continue to Push Improvements

Automakers can push through the current barrier by simply continuing to do what they've been doing with structural design, smarter multispeed transmissions and engine development.

The move to aluminum and high-strength, lighter steel has resulted in hundreds of pounds of weight savings for the Ford F-150 and Super Duty. With the continued advancements in both new and traditional materials, we think its possible to find more weight savings.

2015-ford-f-150-aluminum-body-shell II

Multispeed transmissions also help improve fuel-economy ratings. While pickups used to sport "three-on-the-tree" or "four-on-the-floor" transmissions, they're now getting eight-, nine- and 10-speed transmissions. Also, pickups may see improved fuel economy with the addition of an Eco mode, automatic stop-start or cylinder deactivation on big engines (already found in the 2017 Ram 2500/3500 and GM half tons). GM expects a 15 percent fuel-economy increase through the Dynamic Skip Fire ignition system it's developing.

Finally, truckmakers can improve gas engines to achieve better fuel economy. Toyota's use of the D4S and the Atkinson cycle for the mid-size Tacoma is one example, and the growth of smaller displacement single- and turbo-charged engines are other examples.

 

2. Diesel and/or Electric Hybrid

Hino diesel electric hybrid II

Another way for pickup truck makers to improve fuel economy is to develop a diesel-electric hybrid. On paper, this system seems to combine the best of both worlds by pairing the low-end grunt and fuel economy of a diesel engine with a hybrid system for either acceleration assist or full driving motivation. The challenge of this system is the extra weight both power sources bring to the chassis.

Then there's the cost of these two systems. Sure, we now live in a world with a nearly $100,000 Ford F-450 luxury truck, but automakers seem resistant to charging premium prices for low-volume powertrains. Instead, the big truckmakers emphasize luxurious interiors that customers can touch every moment they're sitting in their truck. Powertrain complexity, in terms of maintenance fees, could also be a limiting factor.

 

3. Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Pickups

The last real possibility for big improvements in pickup fuel economy is a hydrogen fuel-cell system such as the one Toyota is testing in its cars and Project Portal semitruck. This system combines the low-end torque found in an electric hybrid with a relatively cheap and renewable energy source — hydrogen.

The benefits of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are many, the most significant being zero emissions (the vehicle emits only water vapor out the tailpipe) and a refillable fuel source similar to gas. Once fuel-cell infrastructure is in place, range anxiety will all but disappear. Fuel-cell systems also are lighter than diesels, hybrids or big V-8s. Depending on the chassis, that weight savings could be put right back into payload capacity. Toyota already is testing a fuel-cell Tundra.

Project Portal II

Then there's the fuel economy of a fuel-cell vehicle. The 2017 Mirai, Toyota's hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, is already on sale. Compare it to the similarly sized Toyota Camry, and the Mirai offers double the four-cylinder Camry's highway mpg: 67 mpg versus 33.

Of course, advances such as this carry a hefty price tag, so cost will be an issue. The 2018 Mirai has a starting price of more than $58,000, while gasoline, diesel or hybrid vehicles can be had for much less than that.

As hydrogen fuel-cell technology becomes more common, the price difference will likely shrink. Toyota has speculated that by 2025, a hydrogen fuel-cell car will cost the same as a hybrid or electric vehicle.

We're confident there are plenty of alternative powertrains to get us past the 30 mpg highway threshold. But the question is which one will achieve consumer acceptance? No doubt all the truckmakers want to offer their buyers better fuel economy, but which manufacturers will do it at a reasonable cost?

Manufacturer images

 

Hino diesel electric hybrid 2 II

 

Volvo Donates Trucks to Museum

<p><em>Volvo Trucks has donated two cab cutaways and an operating highway tractor to the museum. (Photo courtesy of Volvo Trucks)</em></p>

The Virginia Museum of Transportation formally took possession of donated items for its collection from Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley Plant, based in Dublin, Va., as part of the budding relationship between the two organizations.

Volvo Trucks has donated two cab cutaways and an operating highway tractor to the museum.

“This is a partnership I have nurtured since I first started my tenure as Executive Director,” Museum Executive Director Bev Fitzpatrick said. “I am thrilled to see it coming to life before I retire at the end of the year in the form of donations to the museum’s collection and offers of support from Volvo.”

The highway tractor, a Volvo VT 800 daycab, was introduced in the 2006 lineup and was manufactured for about three years at the Dublin plant before production ceased on that model. It will be on static display at the museum but will also be available for the museum’s use as a tractor.

The first cab cutaway is the Volvo VNL 780 and the second is a Volvo VNL 670. Both cutaways were on display at the Dublin plant and served as visual proof of product to clients and employees at the facility. Now, the cutaways will serve as more visual examples of transportation in Virginia. As an exhibit, museum visitors will be able to climb into the cab to experience just what it’s like in a big rig.

“Our 42-year history of building premier trucks in the Commonwealth of Virginia has led to where we are today including investments in the plant, hiring of more employees and a ramp-up of production,” Volvo Group Trucks Operations Vice President and General Manager Franky Marchand said. “We think there is no better time than now to honor our employees’ dedication and the rich tradition we’ve built here by partnering with the Virginia Museum of Transportation.”

The fully functioning truck will arrive Thursday morning, the cab cutaways will arrive the first of the year. Media wishing to attend should plan to arrive at 9:30 a.m. Once the cab cutaways arrive, they will be placed in the museum.

 

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Calif. Utility Equipment Investigated for Connection to Fires

<p>Photo of smoke from the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, Calif.<em>, via <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/caguard/38103764265/in/album-72157667331704819/" target="_blank">California National Guard</a>/Flickr</em></p>

Southern California Edison (SCE) equipment is under investigation for its connection to recent fires in the state. Six fires began earlier this month as seasonal Santa Ana winds picked up, affecting nearly 264,000 acres across five counties in the region. Although investigations into the fires may last for months, power lines downed by high winds have caused similar brush fires in the past, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Southern California Edison isn’t the only utility under investigation. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)was investigated earlier this year to determine whether power lines owned by the utility caused the wildfires in Northern California, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. PG&E was asked to preserve any equipment damaged by the flames, including power poles, to determine whether equipment was properly maintained.

It is unknown whether SCE was asked to do the same, but a representative from the Public Utilities Commission told the LA Times that all utilities are required to save some evidence under existing regulations.

According to a press release from the utility, restoration of SCE equipment damaged by one fire is complete, with restoration for two more fires to be completed soon. More than 600 SCE workers have been deployed in the wildfires to repair equipment, set poles, install electrical equipment, and string wire. As of December 11, crews replaced 300 of the more than 500 destroyed power poles.

 

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R8300 Rugged Laptop

The Duratech R8300 R3 Rugged laptop, available from GammaTech, features Intel 7th generation Core processors, improved graphics capabilities increased battery life, and the elevated security offered by Windows 10. The R8300 is used around the world by military forces, public safety agencies, and field service organizations in the oil  gas, utility, and telecommunications markets.

Key features include a 13.3-inch sunlight-readable LCD touchscreen, quick-release HDD, and a waterproof and backlit keyboard. With Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and optional Gobi 5000 mobile broadband and GPS, workers can enjoy reliable connectivity in the field.

The device meets military standards and has other critical certifications for drop, vibration, ingress, salt fog, hazardous environments, temperature, humidity, and altitude. The R8300 offers a hot-swappable, dual battery option, providing up to 21 hours of power, for multi-shift performance without the need to plug in and charge.

Windows 10, the most secure Windows ever, addresses safety concerns by offering users a layered defense to help protect, detect, and respond to security threats. The Department of Defense (DoD), for instance, is in the process of moving all branches of the military to this operating system. Optional security features include Absolute’s Computrace software, Intel vPro technology, an integrated smart card reader, fingerprint scanner, TPM2.0 and a Kensington lock slot.

 

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Pam Transport Sends Custom Trucks to Deliver Wreaths

<p><em>Photo via Pam Transport&nbsp;</em></p>

Pam Transport has revealed four new 2018 Peterbilt trucks in its fleet to honor the men and women of the United States military, past and present. Each truck has been wrapped with a custom branch-specific mural, and will be piloted by service members from the respective branches.

Following the unveiling ceremony at Pam Transport headquarters, the drivers departed to pick up four truckloads of wreaths from the Worcester Wreath Co. in Columbia Falls, Maine, to be delivered and placed on the headstones of fallen military members at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas, on Dec. 16.

“The place our military veterans hold in the history of America, their courage, and their sacrifices cannot be overstated,” said Dan Cushman, president and CEO of Pam Transport. “We’re proud of our troops, and we’re proud to have military veterans at the helm of these trucks.”

The project is a combined effort of The Larson Group/Peterbilt ,who provided the graphic wrap service, Pam Transport’s military veterans who created the mural designs, and Ryan Ritchie of Bravo3Zero.com, who provided the mural centerpieces for each truck. 

“We are our military’s and veterans’ biggest supporters,” said Glenn Larson, CEO of The Larson Group. “Our team is honored to have had the opportunity to take part in a project as powerful as this. These trucks are meaningful to us, and they are meaningful to the men and women who give and have given so much.”

 

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Which Half-Ton Pickup Has the Highest Median Price?

2016 GMC-Sierra-Elevation-Edition-018[6] II

Sister site Cars.com provides us with all kinds of auto sales data; recently we received data for pickup truck transaction prices for 2017, and it looked interesting to us. The chart below should give you a good idea of which truckmakers did the best sales job nationwide during the first half of 2017 (near the top) and which were more likely relying on incentives to make their deals.

The numbers below are for model-year 2017 crew-cab half-ton pickups (with the exception of the Nissan Titan XD, which we thought we'd throw in for comparison purposes) and are based on the last as-advertised price of the new vehicle before it is removed from a dealer's listings. As you can see, GM's premium brand, GMC, did the best job with the highest median transaction prices, providing the most profit for GM per pickup. The Ram half ton had the lowest median prices for the first half of 2017. We'll have more data to share soon. 

Manufacturer image

 

Pickup Sales Data 2017 First Half Chart

 

 

Peterbilt Makes Rear Disc Brakes Standard on Model 579

Peterbilt Motors Company has announced that rear disc brakes are now available on its Model 579, completing the standardization of disc brakes for this truck.

Peterbilt introduced front disc brakes to the Model 579 back in 2012 to help increase driver safety and reduce stopping distances. The OEM said the addition of rear disc brakes will further reduce stopping distances.

Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes will come standard on all axles of the Peterbilt 579. 

“Safety is one of the driving forces in our industry and we are continually evaluating how we can improve the driver experience,” said Robert Woodall, assistant general manager – sales and marketing, Peterbilt. “Combining front and rear disc brakes is a testament to our commitment to providing the safest trucks on the road.”

Air disc brakes offer precise brake adjustment, better force distribution, even pad wear, and reduced brake fade, according to Peterbilt. Air disc brakes are also ideal for fleets that require lightweight fuel-efficient vehicles.

By including rear disc brakes, Peterbilt said it is staying committed to safety and driver performance through meeting customers’ various application needs.

In addition to the disc brake standardization, Peterbilt said it has made significant investments and commitments to safety, such as adding standard options that include electronic stability control, Bendix Wingman, and lighting systems that increase visibility and headlamp coverage.

 

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Cummins Westport Medium-Duty CNG Engines Gain Certification

<p><em>Photo of L9N engine courtesy of Cummins Westport.</em></p>

A pair of Cummins Westport, Inc. natural gas engines have gained approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board for medium-duty vehicles, the engine maker announced.

The 2018 L9N and B6.7N engines meet California's Low NOx standards and the 2017 EPA greenhouse gas emissions requirements for the engines, which are used in medium-duty trucks, including refuse haulers, school buses, and transit shuttles.

The L9N has been certified to Californial's optional Low NOx standard of 0.02 g/bhp-hr, which is a 90% reduction from engines operating at the current EPA NOx limit of 0.2 g/bhp-hr. The L9N offers ratings from 250 hp to 320 hp and 1,000 lb.-ft. peak torque.   

The B6.7N has been certified to California's optional Low NOx standard of 0.1 g/bhp-hr, which is a 50% reduction from current EPA levels. The engine is available with ratings from 200 hp to 240 hp and 560 lb.-ft. peak torque.

The company plans to introduce a third natural gas engine — the ISX12N — that's expected to meet the optional Low NOx emissions level of 0.02 g/bhp-hr. Production of the three engines will begin by April 1.

 

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1967 Ford F-100 - Project Speed Bump: Part 10
Part 10: Do-It-Yourself Steering1967 Ford F-100 - Project Speed Bump: Part 10
Part 10: Do-It-Yourself SteeringSPIED: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Gets Equinox-Like Bodyside Sculpting
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is being fully redesigned, with the cab redone with aluminum sheetmetal that gets surprisingly swoopy styling from front to rear.SPIED: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Gets Equinox-Like Bodyside Sculpting
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is being fully redesigned, with the cab redone with aluminum sheetmetal that gets surprisingly swoopy styling from front to rear.M588 On/Off Road Drive Tire

Toyo Tires's M588 on/off-road drive tire is built for severe service applications including oil, gas, mining, and logging operations.

A 33/32-inch tread depth and special cut and chip resistant compound combined with a competitive acquisition point make the M588 a solid alternative for severe-use vehicles, according to Toyo Tires.

Built to be durable, the M588 handles harsh elements such as scoria and caliche roads, snow, and mud.  Aggressive side protectors are molded into the sidewall of the tire protecting the tire from cut damage by rocks, and from the continued use of snow chains in severe winter regions.

The M588 unique tread block arrangement is a high-void design which provides improved mud and snow traction.  Aiding in the traction is special siping on top of the tread blocks.  Between the blocks and inside the grooves, several features such as stone ejectors and mud breakers add to the performance of this on/off-road drive tire. Angled inline lateral grooves, also between the tread blocks, help evacuate packed mud and prevent snow chains from dropping into the grooves. 

Toyo’s e-balance technology contributes to tire longevity, tread profile retention, and fuel efficiency, according to the company, while its durable casing design improves retreadability. Two 16-ply sizes are available with the new M588, an 11R22.5, and an 11R24.5.

 

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Omnitracs Honors Veterans with Wreaths

<p><em>In addition to its annual donation of $25,000, which purchases 2,500 wreaths for the graves of the nation&rsquo;s veterans, Omnitracs will have representatives taking part in ceremonies in Dallas; Arlington, Va.; Minneapolis; and San Diego. (Photo courtesy of Omnitracs)</em></p>

Omnitracs, LLC, will continue to participate in the national Wreaths Across America program. For the eighth consecutive year, Omnitracs has pledged $25,000 towards the purchase of 2,500 wreaths to be laid on the graves of our nation’s veterans.

On Saturday, December 16, thousands of volunteers will participate in wreath-laying ceremonies all over the nation, as well as abroad, to remember the lives of fallen veterans and give thanks for their service to our country. In addition to funding the purchase of the wreaths, Omnitracs employees will take part in ceremonies in the following locations:

  • Dallas
  • Arlington, Va.
  • Minneapolis
  • San Diego

“Omnitracs is honored to support Wreaths Across America as we join them in honoring the lives of our fallen U.S. veterans,” said John Graham, CEO at Omnitracs. “The program’s mission to remember, honor and teach is one we are committed to furthering through monetary and volunteer support for many years to come.”

<p>On Saturday, each truck will carry approximately 4,700 wreaths. It takes 52 trucks to deliver 246,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery alone! (Photo courtesy of Omnitracs)</p>

The trucking and transportation industry plays a significant role in supporting Wreaths Across America. Trucking companies, including almost 100 of Omnitracs customers, donate their time and services to fill more than 300 trucks with wreaths that are then delivered to more than 1,200 participating cemeteries. 

“Wreaths Across America serves a cause that is close to our hearts – more than 10 percent of our drivers are veterans and several of my family members have served overseas,” said Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, president and CEO of Garner Trucking. “We’re honored to participate in the convoy and recognize those who have selflessly served our country.”

On National Wreaths Across America Day, each truck carries approximately 4,700 wreaths. It takes 52 trucks to deliver 246,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery alone.

“Our annual wreath-laying ceremonies are about gathering together to keep the memory of our nation’s veterans alive while teaching younger generations about the value of freedom,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “It’s a small act of kindness that we feel is so important, particularly during the holiday season, and we are grateful to companies like Omnitracs and Garner Trucking that make it possible.”

To learn more about Wreaths Across America, or how to support the program, visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.

 

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First Drive: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
There's a lot to say about the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, codename JL, so let's dive right in, shall we?First Drive: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
There's a lot to say about the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, codename JL, so let's dive right in, shall we?TRALA Scores 90-Day ELD Waiver for Short-Term Truck Rentals

<p><strong>FMCSA has granted a TRALA request to provide a 90-day waiver of the ELD rule to trucks rented for 30 days or less</strong>.</p>

A 90-day waiver from the electronic logging device mandate will soon be issued for carriers operating short-term rental trucks (defined as 30 days or less) by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The upshot is that these trucking operations will be exempt from the new rule until March 18, 2018 and firms that rent or trucks will have three more months in which to get their trucks in compliance with the ELD mandate. 

The Truck Renting and Leasing Association announced on Dec. 12— less than a week before the ELD rule takes effect-- that FMCSA had agreed to grant the special 90-day exemption in a Dec. 8 letter to the association by Deputy Administrator Cathy Gautreaux. In her message, she noted that official notice of the waiver will be published in the Federal Register “as soon as practicable and will include the complete list of terms and conditions applicable to the waiver.” 

In a news release, TRALA called the agency’s action “welcome news to truck rental companies that have been spending the past few months trying to put together strategies and plans to address the fact that FMCSA only granted part of TRALA's original request for a five-year exemption for short-term rental trucks.” 

Back on Oct. 24, FMCSA granted a waiver only for rentals of eight days or less— rather than the 30-day period sought by TRALA. The association said that left most of its members with “very little time to respond to ensure their customers continued to receive the best possible equipment and service designed to comply with the ELD rule set to take effect on December 18, 2017.” 

TRALA said that in the wake of that earlier decision, it “continued to discuss further options with FMCSA to help ease the burden on the rental industry as TRALA members worked toward becoming fully compliant with the mandate. After multiple calls and face-to-face discussions, TRALA requested a 90-day waiver, which the FMCSA has the ability to grant without a public comment period.” 

"I want to thank FMCSA for granting a waiver for short-term rental trucks,” said TRALA President and CEO Jake Jacoby. “Having an open, honest, and productive dialogue the past few months has really helped our membership and I know our members appreciate the agency's understanding of the unique challenges this rule presents to rental trucks." 

Also applauding the 90-day waiver from FMCSA was Penske Truck Leasing. In a statement, Michael Duff, senior vice president of Government Relations and Chief Compliance Officer, said that “while Penske has released and developed an ELD compliant solution of its own for its rental vehicles and is already equipped for customers to bring their own onboard devices, the additional allotted time will be beneficial to the industry and in further helping our full-service truck leasing and commercial truck rental customers transition successfully with the new regulation.” 

TRALA also pointed out that many of the issues [around the mandate] that are unique to its members “stem from the fact that ELD platforms are not interoperable among themselves. For most trucking fleets this is not a problem, but for situations such as breakdowns, seasonal overages and peak times, most fleets and small businesses turn to the truck rental industry for relief.

"If a fleet has one ELD system but the rental company has another," TRALA continued, "it is impossible to combine them without building out new systems, which are both costly and time-consuming. As technology stands today, for small businesses the interoperability issue could cause a financial hardship and for fleets it could cost significant time for drivers to manually combine their hours-of-service data from two different ELD systems.”

Related: The ELD Rule-- Time to Comply 

 

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PepsiCo Orders 100 Tesla Semis

<p><em>Photo: Tesla</em></p>

PepsiCo is the latest large fleet to make a significant investment in the recently announced Tesla Semi electric heavy-duty truck, reportedly ordering 100 vehicles.

This tops the 40-truck order from Anheuser-Busch, which had been the most substantial pre-order of the yet-to-be-released electric truck. Other high profile pre-orders have coem from such well-known companies as J.B. Hunt and Walmart.

It will be awhile before PepsiCo receives the Teslas -- the trucks are expected to go into production in 2019 – and the final price will depend on the model and spec of the trucks received by the beverage maker.

The base model Tesla Semi is priced at $150,000 while a version with advertised 500-mile range begins at $180,000. It costs $20,000 to pre-order either model of Tesla Semi --- unless a buyer opts to splurge on a special edition Founders Series Tesla Semi, which costs $200,000 to reserve and buy.

In a Reuters report, PepsiCo executives said they were evaluating which routes would be best suited for the Tesla’s maximum range of 500 miles, but declined to say how much it paid for the pre-orders or if the company would be buying or leasing the trucks.

 

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Mississippi man drives truck down the railroad tracks to flee police - Northwest Georgia News

Mississippi man drives truck down the railroad tracks to flee police
Northwest Georgia News
SUMMERVILLE — A 25-year-old man tried driving his white diesel truck down the railroad tracks to flee cops on Nov. 30, according to Summerville Police reports. A driver at a crash on Highland Avenue at the Cruz Through Convenience Street around 9:24 p ...

Mercedes-Benz Reveals Interior of Redesigned 2019 G-Class
For the first time ever, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class (or Geländewagen, if you will) is getting a redesign, which the company is teasing with these interior pics.Mercedes-Benz Reveals Interior of Redesigned 2019 G-Class
For the first time ever, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class (or Geländewagen, if you will) is getting a redesign, which the company is teasing with these interior pics.Don't Underutilize the Expertise of Your Suppliers

For many managers responsible for vehicle operations, fleet management is often one of several job responsibilities. These managers acknowledge that it is difficult to stay on top of changes in vehicle design, powertrains, onboard safety technology, telematics capabilities, and regulatory changes that impact fleet operations.

Despite this recognition, a common mistake made by many of these managers is underutilizing the subject-matter expertise of current and/or prospective suppliers. In my discussions with suppliers, especially truck dealers, they tell me many fleet managers, in particular those operating vocational fleets, don’t reach out to seek their advice. This is a mistake since suppliers can offer insights they don’t know nor have the time to learn.

Based on my experience, the overwhelming majority of suppliers are willing to share their product knowledge to ensure a vehicle is spec’ed to maximize productivity and safety, while minimizing its total cost of ownership. It takes in-depth product knowledge and subject-matter expertise to balance these contradictory goals, which is often a skillset that many vocational fleet managers do not possess.

It is important to remember that good ideas can come from any number of sources. One important source is your supplier network. Being receptive to supplier input creates a team atmosphere that fosters supplier involvement as stakeholders working together toward a common goal. This collaborative approach is far more efficient and effective than doing it by yourself.

Not only do suppliers know their product frontward and backward, they are also exposed to many customers who operate fleets comparable to your own. Through these interactions, suppliers learn the best practices that can be transferable to other fleet customers, such as yourself. By not utilizing this expertise, fleet managers are denying themselves access to a resource that can help improve their fleet operations and prevent costly mistakes.

An Invaluable Resource

How you choose to run your fleet is your business. But, by not working collaboratively with your supplier, you impose unnecessary constraints that can inhibit the success of your business.  Working collaboratively will motivate your supplier to identify ways to better serve you. It is important for you to be a proactive versus reactionary manager. Your fleet supplier needs to know that you want a relationship focused on making your operation more efficient, productive, and cost-effective. This should be part of your up-front and ongoing communication designed to make your supplier partnership a true win-win situation for both parties.

Increasingly, successful fleet management is dependent on outsourced programs. More than ever fleet managers need to utilize the expertise of their suppliers in a collaborative relationship. Establishing open lines of communication with your fleet supplier is crucial. Communicate what is most important to your company and solicit their implementation strategies to achieve these goals. Ask them for recommendations on how you can increase fleet operation efficiencies. It is a good test to see how creative and flexible they can be with their programs to meet your fleet needs.

Next, identify measurable goals that both parties can agree on and can be verified. Don’t limit your focus to just saving “hard” dollars; saving “soft” dollars is also important, which can involve reducing vehicle downtime, response time, etc. These discussions should occur prior to bringing a new fleet supplier on board. Performance requirements should be specified in a supplier contract. Benchmarks based upon performance ensure success to you and the supplier, creating the foundation of a collaborative partnership.

Leveraging Supplier Expertise

Suppliers are an extension of your own organization. They interact with your customers, both internal and external, and are a reflection of your brand. Make them partners in strategic planning and turn them into stakeholders with a vested interest in achieving these goals. You need to inspire a “above and beyond” performance mindset from you suppliers. This mindset will allow you to leverage your suppliers’ expertise and creative energy to meet user needs and exceed user expectations, while achieving corporate strategic goals.

Let me know what you think.

mike.antich@bobit.com

 

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The 2017 SEMA Show Roll-Out Remembered
Reflecting on the 2017 SEMA Show Our Favorite Way: The Roll-Out