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Fleets, truck operators can bid online for Kenworth sale to benefit TAT

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KIRKLAND, Wash. — After a successful 2017 “Everyday Heroes” Kenworth T680 auction, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) anticipates even greater results when its second Everyday Heroes truck is auctioned at Ritchie Bros in Phoenix on Friday.

Proceeds from the sale go directly to TAT, a 501(c)3 non-profit devoted to stopping human trafficking by educating, mobilizing, and empowering the nation’s truck drivers and rest stop employees.

“Human trafficking is a terrible crime that affects millions in the United States each year, and the trucking industry can – and is – making a difference,” said Don Blake, new truck sales manager at Inland Kenworth – Phoenix and TAT board member. Blake is the driving force behind the Kenworth T680 auction. “The winning bidder for the Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 will help fund Truckers Against Trafficking and increase awareness of human trafficking and TAT’s mission to end it. We look forward to a successful auction,” he said.

“Fundraising events, such as the Everyday Heroes auction, truly brings the trucking industry together to achieve a common goal,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “The contributions Don Blake has made to make this auction happen is truly admirable. Because of Don, we are able to join forces with others in the trucking industry to fight against human trafficking through the auction of this special Kenworth T680. The money raised from this event will help Truckers Against Trafficking continue to bring justice to those being trafficked.”

The special Kenworth T680 is fully loaded with a 76-inch sleeper, 485-hp PACCAR MX-13 engine, and PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission.

“Many of the companies that helped make our 2017 Everyday Heroes truck possible stepped up to the plate again through monetary and equipment donations for this year’s truck,” Blake said. “This fundraising event for Truckers Against Trafficking wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors’ support.”

In 2017, Mike Jimenez, owner of Phoenix-based J&L Transportation submitted the winning bid for the Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 that was auctioned. The bid resulted in an $83,000 donation to TAT, the largest single donation to the organization.

“We were able to generate a significant donation through the auctioning of our last Everyday Heroes truck, and our hope is that we can surpass that mark this year,” Blake said. “Truckers Against Trafficking is an incredible organization, and we as a trucking industry can make a difference in bringing the crime of human trafficking to an end.”

Interested parties can bid on the truck online, by proxy or in person. Bidders can register in advance at (www.rbauction.com/heavy-equipment-auctions/phoenix-az-2019184). Interested parties also can obtain online buying information  (www.rbauction.com/buying/how-to-buy/online), or call Ritchie Bros. at (602) 269-5631 for assistance. For those able to attend the auction, Ritchie Bros. is located at 5410 W. Lower Buckeye Road in Phoenix.

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Fleet Focus: Fuel economy, maintenance must be considered for used trucks

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used truck with hood up
Equipment pricing must be weighed against fuel economy, anticipated maintenance costs and expected freight rates when considering the purchase of a used truck. (iStock Photo)

Small trucking businesses depend heavily on the used truck market but potential buyers trying to nail down the best choice are trying to hit a moving target. Prices fluctuate depending on economic conditions, freight availability and, increasingly, government mandates for emissions and fuel economy.

For much of 2019, the economy was expected to slow, possibly going into recession. New truck purchases added capacity to the market. Spot freight rates slowed and then began falling, followed by contract rates. Several large carriers shut their doors due to (take your pick) tightening markets, rising costs, mismanagement or malfeasance. In theory, the used truck market should have received an influx of trucks. It did.

According to a report from ACT Research, used truck sales declined by 15% in 2019 compared to 2018. Average prices declined too, by 7%, according to the same report.

“Dealers are reporting used truck sales have slowed and inventory levels are building, particularly with late-model aerodynamic sleepers,” said Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research. “The price depreciation is largely the result of inventories that have grown due to more trades coming to dealers, slowing freight, and the cyclical nature of truck sales.”

While lower used truck prices may be attractive to smaller trucking businesses, including independent contractors, there’s a catch. In an effort to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency, the rules keep changing.

The year 2007 brought a huge change. Drivers and owners of new trucks complained of lost time and expense due to an issue older trucks didn’t have, regeneration of the particulate filter that replaced the muffler. Drivers of older trucks smiled as they passed new equipment sitting on the shoulder for a “regen” or waiting for a tow. 2006 models sold in record numbers as carriers “pre-bought” trucks during the last year the “old” technology would be available. When those trucks hit the used truck market, an event hastened by the recession of 2008, prices dropped due to the large number available.

Then 2010 brought a new set of standards and a product that drivers must have thought was a mechanic’s joke like “blinker fluid” or “muffler bearings.” New trucks were built with Selective Catalytic Reduction technology, necessitating the use of the now-familiar Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). New trucks were more expensive but there was a tradeoff — fuel mileage was expected to improve, and it did.

However, the first phase of EPA standards continued until 2017. Manufacturers achieved more power from smaller engines, made better use of aerodynamic technology and increased use of auto-shift transmissions to get top performance from each vehicle.

While all this was happening, other technological advances increased safety levels. Collision mitigation systems that automatically apply brakes, lane departure warning systems, stability control and other safety features became standard equipment.

Trucks became safer as they became cleaner and more fuel efficient. Purchase prices rose, but increased fuel economy offset the price, according to the non-profit Transport & Environment, an international group that promotes moving to an emissions-free transportation network. According to a January 2018 report from the group, a truck purchased in 2017 cost $2,400 more than one bought in 2011 but provided $8,200 in fuel cost savings over the older model.

That was Phase 1 of the EPA’s plan. Phase 2 started in 2017 and ends in 2027. Another 10% improvement in fuel economy has been mandated, with improvements in emissions also required. In the meantime, advances in alternative fuel vehicles, including electric, will undoubtedly bring further changes to the industry, perhaps making diesel engines
obsolete in the not-so-distant future.

For the used truck shopper, the choices can be overwhelming. Buyers must consider more than simply price and mileage. Purchase price savings for a truck just a year or two older can be swallowed up in increased fuel costs. Plus, some states and metropolitan areas have restrictions on the type of equipment they allow to operate within their jurisdictions.

Large carriers with newer equipment can offer lower freight rates, making competition more difficult for an independent owner with an older truck. Insurers may offer lower rates for trucks equipped with modern safety equipment.

For drivers contemplating a used tractor purchase, research is more important than ever. The best deal available may not be the best decision. Before discussing price with a dealer, it may help to talk to carrier representatives, potential customers or other truckers with similar businesses.

Equipment pricing must be weighed against fuel economy, anticipated maintenance costs and expected freight rates. The advantageous choice could be the newer, more expensive model.

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ATA truck tonnage index rose 0.1% in January, 0.8% higher than January 2019

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Ata truck tonnage index rose 0.1% in january, 0.8% higher than january 2019
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 71.4% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. (iStock photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. – American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.1% in January after rising 0.5% in December. In January the index equaled 117.4 (2015=100), compared with 117.3 in December.

ATA recently revised the seasonally adjusted index back five years as part of its annual revision.

“Over the last two months the tonnage index has increased 0.6%, which is obviously good news,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist.

“However, after our annual revision, it is clear that tonnage peaked in July 2019 and, even with the recent gains, is down 1.8% since then,” he continued. “Softness in manufacturing and elevated inventories continue to weigh in on the truck-freight tonnage.”

Compared with January 2019, the SA index rose 0.8%, which was preceded by a 3.1% year-over-year gain in December. In 2019 the index was 3.3% above 2018.

The not-seasonally adjusted index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by the fleets before any seasonal adjustment, equaled 114.6 in January, 1.1% above the December level (113.3). In calculating the index, 100 represents 2015. (Note: ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight.)

Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing 71.4% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 11.49 billion tons of freight in 2018. Motor carriers collected $796.7 billion, or 80.3%, of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

ATA calculates the tonnage index based on surveys from its membership, and has been doing so since the 1970s. This is a preliminary figure and is subject to change in the final report issued around the fifth day of each month. The report includes month-to-month and year-over-year results, relevant economic comparisons and key financial indicators.

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The Trucker Newspaper – February 15, 2020 – Digital Edition

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