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Volvo Trucks celebrates 35 years of innovation and aerodynamic truck design in North America

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2018 marks the 35th anniversary of Volvo’s 1983 introduction of the Integral Sleeper, the first North American truck model to offer a modern, streamlined design and integrated sleeper compartment. With the 1983 introduction, Volvo set a new North American design standard since followed by all heavy-duty manufacturers. (Courtesy: VOLVO TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — This year marks the 35th anniversary of Volvo’s introduction of the Integral Sleeper, the first North American conventional truck model to offer a modern, streamlined design and a fully integrated sleeper compartment.

“Pioneering innovations in design, fuel efficiency, driver productivity and safety have defined Volvo Trucks throughout our 90-year history,” said Magnus Koeck, Volvo Trucks North America vice president, marketing and brand management. “We’re proud of our heritage and celebrate 35 years of aerodynamic design. With the Integral Sleeper model we truly introduced a new standard and all manufacturers quickly followed suit, a trend we continue to see today with automated manual transmissions, greater integration of connectivity services to help maximize uptime, and right-sizing of engines for improved fuel efficiency and weight savings.”

Koeck  said the Integral Sleeper was the first modern conventional model to unite the cab and sleeper compartments for improved aerodynamics with seamless body-in-white construction that also allowed easy pass-through from the driving environment to the living space.

The redefined truck design further defied industry-wide design conventions of the time, introducing a hood that was six inches narrower and six inches lower at the front than at the cowl, to help reduce wind resistance, he said, adding that the Integral Sleeper aerodynamics were further boosted through a full-height roof fairing, cab side extenders, chassis fairings and trim tabs that helped air flow smoothly from the tractor to the trailer.

“Over the past year we’ve introduced the new Volvo VNR regional haul, Volvo VNL long-haul, and Volvo VNL heavy-haul tractors under the theme ‘The Shape of Trucks to Come,’ which also would have been very appropriate during the 1983 introduction of the Integral Sleeper, a model that inspired a design revolution for conventional model trucks,” Koeck said. “Each of our on-highway models, the new VNR, VNL, and VNX, bring efficiency through their streamlined shapes. Even regional haul and heavy-haul trucks spend time at highway speeds when aerodynamics become increasingly important.”

Koeck sais to complement its legendary cabs, made with high strength steel, Volvo, inventors of the three-point safety belt, became the first Class 8 truck brand in North America to designate a steering wheel-mounted driver’s side airbag as standard equipment. As active safety technologies mature Volvo has maintained a leadership role, introducing Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST), an enhanced stability system, as standard equipment for its on-highway lineup in 2007.

“Volvo aspires to zero crashes and zero injuries, helping protect drivers and all road users,” said Johan Agebrand, director of product marketing for Volvo Trucks North America. “Our global Zero Accident Vision is about helping improve safety, and mitigating these events also presents a tremendous cost savings to truck owners.”

Volvo’s July 2017 introduction of the new VNL model also brought Volvo Active Driver Assist featuring Bendix Wingman Fusion as a standard offering, making Volvo Trucks the first heavy-duty truck OEM to offer the active safety system as standard equipment, a designation also applied to the new Volvo VNR series. The system is also integrated with VEST to help drivers avoid rollover, jackknife, and loss-of-control situations on dry, wet, snow- and ice-covered roadways.

Like the conventional model design change sparked by the Integral Sleeper, Volvo also ushered in a shift in transmission preference in North America, Agebrand said. First to market in North America with a proprietary automated manual transmission (AMT), Volvo paved the way for AMTs to receive wide acceptance. In just over a decade since its North American introduction the Volvo I-Shift is now spec’d in more than 90 percent of  all trucks built for the market and is standard across the Volvo VNR, VNL, VNX, VHD and VAH product range.

“While we still offer manual transmissions, it’s increasingly difficult to justify their use, even for the most demanding jobs,” said John Moore, Volvo Trucks North America product marketing manager – powertrain. “We truly have an I-Shift for every application, whether it’s regional, long-haul, or even heavy loads with our 14-speed I-Shift with Crawler Gears supporting gross weights up to 225,000 lbs. Regardless of the application, the I-Shift consistently performs at its best, whether it is two hours or ten hours into a job.”

An industry innovator in factory-installed connectivity, Volvo Trucks today includes its connectivity hardware as standard equipment across its entire North American product range. The connectivity hardware provides access to Remote Diagnostics, which provides proactive diagnostics and monitoring of critical engine, transmission and aftertreatment trouble codes. Volvo also uses the standard onboard connectivity hardware in partnership with best-in-class fleet management providers. Volvo’s standard, factory-installed hardware allows customers to perform software and parameter updates over-the-air with Remote Programming, which helps improve uptime and vehicle efficiency, while reducing downtime costs.

“We’re in an exciting period when it comes to truck technology, and the speed of change is only accelerating,” said Agebrand. “It’s easy to get caught up in the technology revolution, but we must keep in mind the industry’s journey and the transformative designs and innovations that will continue to sculpt the shape of trucks to come.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Price of gallon of on-highway diesel up one tenth of cent for week ending November 18

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The price of a gallon of on-highway diesel for the week ending November 18 was 20.8 cents a gallon lower than he same week last year. (The Trucker file phoo)

WASHINGTON — The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel rose one tenth of one cent to $3.074 for the week ending November 18, according to the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy.

It is the highest price since the week ending September 23 when the price was $3.081.

Prices from the various regions of the country were mixed.

The largest increase was 2.9 cents a gallon in the Rocky Mountain region (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana).

The largest decrease was in California where the price fell 1.1 cents a gallon.

The price for the week ending November 18 was 20.8 cents a gallon lower than he same week last year.

For a complete list of prices by region for the past three weeks, click here.

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Schneider donates trucks to CDL schools to attract new drivers, update training fleets

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In addition to hiring many experienced drivers across the country for the many types of positions Schneider offers, the carrier also recruits graduates from CDL driver training programs. (Courtesy: SCHNEIDER)

GREEN BAY, Wis. — With the professional truck driver shortage continuing to exceed critical numbers, Schneider is helping the effort to curtail the scarcity by donating 10 gently used, late model trucks to select CDL driver training programs at community or technical colleges throughout the U.S.

Schneider, a provider of trucking, logistics and intermodal services, is providing Freightliner Cascadia units that include some of the trucking industry’s most advanced technologies and automated manual transmissions.

Driver training time is significantly more efficient when using an automated manual transmission because it allows trainers to focus on maneuverability and awareness, rather than gear changing, according to Rob Reich, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Schneider.

“In addition to hiring many experienced drivers across the country for the many types of positions we offer, Schneider also recruits graduates from CDL driver training programs,” Reich said. “We know that many driving training programs have limited resources, and we want the next generation of professional drivers to train in the best trucks in the business as they embark on new careers.”

Schneider has donated the 10 trucks to four CDL training programs:

  • Central Tech at Drumright, Oklahoma
  • Fox Valley Technical College at Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Hawkeye Community College at Waterloo, Iowa
  • Houston Community College at Houston

With these donations, Schneider also expects to attract more candidates among individuals who previously may not have considered a professional truck driving career.

“Women and younger adults are an emerging driver pool, and we believe technologies like automated manual transmissions, safety and connectivity will attract a more diverse audience to the trucking industry,” Reich said. “Learning on modern equipment spec’d with some of the latest technologies and creature comforts helps attract new candidates and allows them to adjust more quickly to the new trucks operating within our fleet.”

Information about driving careers with Schneider can be found at SchneiderJobs.com.

Reich said Schneider offers one of the broadest portfolios in the industry, noting that Schneider’s solutions include regional and long-haul truckload, expedited, dedicated, bulk, intermodal, brokerage, warehousing, supply chain management and port logistics.

For more information about Schneider, visit www.schneider.com or follow the company socially on LinkedIn and Twitter: @WeAreSchneider.  8

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Used truck group presents lifetime achievement award to Charles Cathey

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UTA Board Member Doug Shields presents UTA's Marvin F. Gordon Lifetime Achievement Award to Charles Cathey at the association’s annual convention last month. (Courtesy: USED TRUCK ASSOCIATION)

STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — The Used Truck Association has awarded its Marvin F. Gordon Lifetime Achievement Award to Charles Cathey for a career that has spanned more than 48 years.

Just recently retired, Cathey remains an active and vital part of the UTA membership, and he continues to support and mentor the group’s younger members.

He received this honor at the association’s annual convention held November 6-9 in Indian Wells, California.

Starting his career in 1971 when he joined Nalley Motor Trucks of Atlanta, Cathey admits he had a lot to learn.

“I had never driven a truck larger than a half-ton pickup,” he recalled. It was in this early position that Charles first developed his career-long habit of “basically working all the time.” He sold his first truck, a 1970 Chevrolet C65 for $6,900, including tax. “Today a new engine costs more than that,” he said.

Over the course of his long career, Cathey also worked for Vanguard Truck Center of Atlanta and sold Mercedes-Benz cars for a time.

In the early 1990s, he switched from truck sales to truck leasing, spending 11 years with Lease-Plan before he joined Black Book for the last 14 years of his career.

With such a long and varied working career, Cathey admits he’s had a lot of fun and many interesting experiences.

Among the most exciting of these was the time he spent working with Universal Studios on the production of their 1976 hit movie “Smokey and the Bandit.” His job was to round up most of the trucks used in the movie.

“Hanging out with Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, Jackie Gleason and Dom DeLuise was more than a blast,” Cathey said. He also worked with NASCAR and the PGA Tour to provide the trucks they needed for transporting equipment to their various tour locations and races.

These opportunities left him with several years of “pit passes” for the Daytona races and the chance to play one of the first rounds of golf at TPC Sawgrass.

Cathey has served on the UTA board of directors, and he continues to be active in the organization, serving as a mentor and role model for a younger generation of truck professionals. He looks forward to spending his retirement years devoted to his family and the association he helped to build.

The UTA’s Marvin F. Gordon Lifetime Achievement Award, presented annually since 1999, recognizes individuals who have made numerous and significant contributions to the used truck industry. Marvin F. Gordon originally conceived the idea for an organization designed solely to benefit and promote the used truck industry.

The Used Truck Association is the largest association of used truck professionals and associated businesses committed to strengthening the used truck industry. For more information visit uta.org.

 

 

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