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WASHINGTON — The Americans for Modern Transportation Coalition is continuing its effort to allow twin 33-foot trailers on the nation’s highways.

The standard for tandems currently is twin 28-foot trailers.

In a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and ranking member Sam Graves, D-Mo., the coalition identified longer trailers as a way policymakers can leverage technologies and efficiencies developed by the private sector to create “the infrastructure system of the future.”

In the letter, coalition Executive Director Randy Mullett said years of underinvestment and a lack of attention to the nation’s infrastructure has left American families in harm’s way, spurred economic inefficiencies, and put undue stress on the environment.

“At no cost to taxpayers, Congress can act to modernize trucking equipment and increase the national twin trailer standard from 28 feet to 33 feet,” Mullett said.

He listed what he called “immediate and meaningful improvements,” such as:

  • Reduced congestion because gains from twin 33-foot trailers would mean fewer trucks on the road and 53.2 million hours saved due to less congestion
  • Improved safety because twin 33s “perform better than many other truck configurations on four critical safety measures, including stability and rollover.” Research shows that the adoption of twin 33-foot trailers would result in 4,500 fewer truck accidents annually, Mullett maintains.
  • Economic benefits because 33-foot trailers can move the same amount of freight with 18 percent fewer truck trips, allowing consumers and businesses to realize $2.6 billion annually in lower shipping costs and quicker delivery times
  • Longer life cycles for roads and bridges because use of the longer trailers would result in 3.1 billion fewer truck miles traveled each year, and
  • Environmental gains because these trailers would equate to 255 million fewer gallons of fuel and 2.9 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions.

“The private sector continues to make investments in our workforce, new technologies, and existing equipment to ensure that our fleets are as efficient, sustainable, and safe as possible,” Mullett wrote.

“We need the same forward-looking effort from our partners in federal, state and local governments so that all Americans have access to the full promise enabled by a modern transportation system. We look forward to working with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to seize this opportunity to usher the country into a new era of safety and infrastructure investment.”

Among the members of the coalition are FedEx and UPS, two companies that have vigorously fought to get Congressional approval of the longer trailers.

However, twin 33s continue to have their detractors, among the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) being among them.

“Advocating for a vehicle configuration that only benefits a small segment of the trucking industry would only exacerbate current industry problems such as truck parking, the driver shortage and overall vehicle safety,” said TCA vice president of government affairs David Heller in response to the coalition’s letter.

“Distracting from the much larger congressional conversation of infrastructure reform, which would correct the shortfall of funding to the Highway Trust Fund and repair our deteriorating roads and bridges, would be irresponsible of an industry that is clamoring for a fix.  Constructive conversations regarding productivity should center around the growing issue of detention time, that in a new world of ELDs, has proven itself to be a data-proven problem with a solution that may actually make a difference on many issues that impede the productive delivery of this nation’s freight.

“TCA will continue to support a position of no changes to truck size or weight,” Heller said.

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OOIDA expresses concern about development of AV regulations

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said it understood necessary changes must be made to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to accommodate automated vehicles, including training, licensing, and inspection standards, but that many of the proposals discussed within the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are hypothetical in nature. (Courtesy: TUSIMPLE)

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said in comments in response to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Safe Integration of Automated Driving Systems-Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicles that as autonomous technology develops OOIDA is concerned that federal regulators will put on blinders and push for more technology as the answer to the industry’s problems without considering the negative impacts of these technologies.

“Regardless of their potential, it is important to understand the implications that autonomous vehicles (AVs) will have on public roadways,” OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer said in comments sent to FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez. “Despite the various claims that AVs will lead to zero deaths, there have been real-world situations in which automation has devastatingly failed. While AVs might improve safety under certain conditions, they create new risks with dangerous outcomes. Beyond ensuring that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) provide appropriate standards for the safe operation of AVs, FMCSA must consider unforeseen concerns and practices that might offset the potential safety, mobility, and sustainability benefits from the technology.”

Spencer wrote that while FMCSA and most experts acknowledge automated trucks are years away from reality, the agency’s proposal may signal that the Department of Transportation does not value the human driver as a necessary operator in the transportation industry.

“Given the fact that 3.9 million commercial drivers deliver 70 percent of all freight worth $11.7 trillion annually while collecting $700.1 billion in gross revenue, DOT must more fully consider the practical implications that eliminating the human driver from the FMCSRs might have on the economy.”

Spencer said OOIDA understood necessary changes must be made to the FMCSRs to accommodate AVs, including training, licensing, and inspection standards, but that many of the proposals discussed within the ANPRM are hypothetical in nature.

“In this sense, OOIDA questions why the agency has chosen to focus on regulations that may or may not be necessary depending how the technology performs,” Spencer wrote. “Most of the questions laid out in the ANPRM are based on assumptions, many of which are nothing more than marketing ploys from ADS developers, rather than actual safety performance. Currently, it is difficult to fully understand what role AVs will have on the trucking industry. Without more concrete data about how AVs will function and their impact on the industry, our feedback on the ANPRM is generally speculative. As the practical impacts of the technology evolve, so too will our recommendations.”

The ANPRM posed a series of questions that it asked respondents to answer.

OOIDA was pointed in answering the question “Do the FMCSRs Require a Human Driver?”

“OOIDA fundamentally disagrees with FMCSA’s interpretation that the FMCSRs should no longer assume that the CMV driver is always a human or that a human is present onboard a commercial vehicle during its operation, provided that the vehicle is equipped with a Level 4 or Level 5 ADS and is operating within its Operation Design Domain (ODD) (in the case of Level 4). While FMCSA and most experts acknowledge automated trucks are years away from reality, this proposal may signal that DOT does not value the human driver as a necessary operator in the transportation industry. Given the fact that 3.9 million commercial drivers deliver 70 percent of all freight worth $11.7 trillion annually while collecting $700.1 billion in gross revenue, DOT must more fully consider the practical implications that eliminating the human driver from the FMCSRs might have on the economy.”

Level 4 vehicles can intervene if things go wrong or there is a system failure. In this sense, they do not require human interaction in most circumstances. However, a human still has the option to manually override. Level 4 vehicles can operate in self-driving mode. But until legislation and infrastructure evolves, they can only do so within a limited area (usually an urban environment where top speeds reach an average of 30mph). This is known as geofencing. As such, most Level 4 vehicles in existence are geared toward ridesharing. For example:

Level 5 vehicles do not require human attention―the “dynamic driving task” is eliminated. Level 5 vehicles won’t even have steering wheels or acceleration/braking pedals. They will be free from geofencing, able to go anywhere and do anything that an experienced human driver can do.

 

 

 

 

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Chevron launches new customer-focused campaign ‘Engineered with Purpose’

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Launched in 1999, the Delo Truck was the first-of-its-kind, a mobile educational center bringing information to their customers. During the last 20 years, it has traveled nearly three-quarters of a million miles in the United States and Canada. (Courtesy: CHEVRON)

DALLAS  ––  Chevron Products Co., a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., maker of  technologically advanced engine oils, lubricants and coolants revealed at the Great American Trucking Show here its new customer-focused campaign “Engineered with Purpose,” re-affirming their commitment to moving their customer’s business forward through application of the most advanced technology.

As part of the reveal in Dallas at GATS, Chevron unveiled a new take on its mobile education center, the Delo Traveling Technology Lab, with interactive technologies, including virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality exhibits.

“Our new campaign is a recognition of our customers’ need for better education and solutions to drive their business forward,” said James Booth, commercial sector manager at Chevron. “The Delo Traveling Technology Lab is the latest step in our commitment to excellence for our customers; the type of commitment that has made Chevron Delo the No. 1 choice for fleets and on-highway OEM factory fill.”

A major milestone in Chevron strengthening its commitment to its customers is the expansion of their fully re-formulated Delo 400 product line re-engineered in 2016 to meet API CK-4 and FA-4 specs, Booth said, adding that Chevron continues to look to solve specific customer challenges in the ongoing development of Delo 400 product line with a goal to not only exceed API requirements, but solve customer issues not currently being addressed in the market.

Three years later, Booth said Delo is the No. 1 engine oil choice with small, medium and large fleets according to MacKay 2017 report. By the end of 2019, Delo will be the factory fill oil for 85% of North American OEMs.

Booth said Chevron had solidified its commitment to its customers, engineering products with purpose by building solutions that further their customers’ businesses through innovation and advanced technology.

Just this year, he said Chevron has launched a number of products including:

  • Greatest number of heavy-duty engine oil products with API SN PLUS – protecting both heavy duty vehicles and modern gasoline pick-up truck engines.
  • Delo 400 XSP-FA 5W-30 delivering “the best engine oil life and fuel efficiency in the Delo product line.”
  • Delo ELC Advanced Coolants solving recent issues with nitrited coolants and new aluminum radiators

As part of Chevron’s broader campaign, by year-end, it will be introducing a major breakthrough in oil technology engineered to solve after-treatment issues brought to light by its OEM partners and customers.

Launched in 1999, the Delo Truck was the first-of-its-kind, a mobile educational center bringing information to their customers. During the last 20 years, it has traveled nearly three-quarters of a million miles in the United States and Canada, visiting thousands of people in the process. The Delo Truck has had a direct impact on customer business, and development of their operations, and maintenance professionals.

Chevron has been a pioneer of using digital technology to help the trucking industry understand the latest trends and delivering business insights in a timely manner, Booth said.  Today’s launch of the travelling technology lab is a further leap in understanding and addressing customers’ needs.

Following 15 months of work with top agencies, Chevron’s Delo Traveling Technology Lab includes:

  • Eleven exhibits including state-of-the-art VR and AR equipment to allow customers an interactive experience to learn more about Chevron’s offerings from engine maintenance to proper lubrication practices

The Delo Traveling Technology Lab will be traveling throughout the United States and Canada, making scheduled stops at various trade shows and customer events in the coming years.

 

 

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DTNA delivers first Freightliner eCascadia models to Penske, NFI

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NFI and Penske Truck Leasing were the recipients of the first two Freightliner eCascadia models built by Daimler Trucks North America. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Nine days after Daimler Trucks North America said it was getting ready to deliver to customers the first Freightliner aCascadia models, they said they had done it.

On August 12, the company reported in a news release that it had produced two eCascadias that were to be shipped soon.

On Wednesday, August 21, DTNA said the fete had been accomplished.

The customers were Penske Truck Leasing of Reading, Pennsylvania, and NFI of Camden, New Jersey, were the customers.

The trucks are part of Freightliner’s Electric Innovation Fleet and both customers will use their vehicles to test the integration of battery electric trucks into large-scale fleet operations.

“Co-creation is the cornerstone of DTNA’s strategy to rapidly develop and deploy battery electric trucks. DTNA’s partnerships with customers like Penske and NFI provide valuable feedback for the final design of our trucks, as well as the design of the surrounding e-mobility ecosystem,” said Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of DTNA. “DTNA’s holistic approach is vital to advancing viable transportation solutions from which society as a whole will benefit.”

Nielsen said the Freightliner Innovation Fleet is supported by a partnership between DTNA and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) which focuses on improving air quality in the South Coast Basin and partially funded the Innovation Fleet with a nearly $16M grant. Freightliner eCascadias and medium-duty electric Freightliner eM2s from the Innovation Fleet are operated within the South Coast AQMD jurisdiction.

“We are excited to be a part of this groundbreaking project that will directly impact local Southern California communities, especially those disproportionately impacted by air pollution,” said Wayne Nastri, South Coast AQMD’s Executive Officer. “We hope to see large scale deployments of similar zero emission trucks that will have significant environmental and health benefits across the entire state.”

Penske and NFI are the first to deploy battery-electric commercial vehicles from Freightliner to their operations. Penske Truck Leasing will run eCascadias in daily delivery operations within California’s Inland Empire while NFI will employ eCascadias in drayage operations at both the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

“We’re pleased to continue our collaboration with Freightliner and be among the first companies putting the eCascadia to work,” said Brian Hard, president and CEO of Penske Truck Leasing. “Our first eCascadia will be used by our subsidiary Penske Logistics to make multiple, daily store deliveries on a dedicated route. Our in-house maintenance technicians are trained and well prepared, and our recent investments in charging infrastructure in the South Coast Air Basin will play an important role as we operate these cutting-edge vehicles on their delivery routes.”

“NFI’s partnership with Daimler is a testament to our commitment to social responsibility, supporting the California ports, and driving innovation within our industry,” said Sid Brown, CEO of NFI. “As the premier drayage provider in Southern California, we are excited to be one of first to deploy the eCascadia into our operations, accompanied by the installation of electric charging stations. We look forward to continuing to invest in new technology and equipment to operate more efficiently, and to do our part in creating cleaner communities.”

Nielsen said the Freightliner eCascadia is built on the proven foundation of the Cascadia, the best-selling Class 8 on the market and was first revealed in June 2018 along with the medium-duty eM2. The planned start of series production for both models is late 2021. In preparation for their introduction, Freightliner has established multiple avenues for co-creating with customers. Freightliner’s Electric Vehicle Council, a collective of 38 customer companies works to address the total e-mobility ecosystem. Freightliner’s Innovation Fleet provides customers with the opportunity to fully test the eM2 and the eCascadia in real world use. In total, Penske and NFI will receive 30 battery electric trucks.

The Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 are part of Daimler Trucks’ global electrified truck initiative, joining the company’s Thomas Built Buses all-electric Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley school bus, the FUSO eCanter, and the Mercedes-Benz eActros and eCitaro. To date, there are more than 100 electrified trucks and buses from Daimler Trucks & Buses on the road globally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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