Today's Trucking
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Future glider kits will have more restrictions

August 14, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — Glider kit trucks have been around for decades, and by the look of the regulatory landscape, they will continue to be available to consumers in years to come. But with a few more restrictions than we have […]

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Switchin’ to Glide: Registering glider kits could be a problem

August 14, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — There are hundreds if not thousands of trucks rumbling across this land that aren’t really trucks at all. They are legally defined as “an assemblage of parts” that someone has bolted together and turned into a truck. Otherwise known as glider kits, these vehicles create headaches for regulators — and some may soon cause their owners a little grief as well.

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Volvo showcases an electric future

June 20, 2018 by John Smith

GOTHENBURG, Sweden – Volvo Trucks has revealed a vision of the future, and it involves plugging into the power of electricity – especially when it comes to electric trucks.

This spring the global manufacturer announced that it will produce electric versions of European FL and FE models beginning in 2019, initially focusing on refuse and urban distribution applications.

These are hardly Volvo’s first foray into electric vehicles, though. The company has already produced about 4,000 electric-hybrid and battery-electric buses, and the trucks and buses will share many underlying technologies such as electric motors and charging systems.

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Dirty Secrets: Carriers call for emissions crackdown

May 29, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — Clean air comes at a cost, and it involves the emissions-related changes to exhaust systems and engines, sometimes introducing added maintenance costs and reduced fuel economy in the process.

That’s led to one of the trucking industry’s worst-kept dirty secrets. Many truck owners are reprogramming electronic control modules to bypass SCR (selective catalytic reduction) systems, which reduce unwanted NOx by introducing diesel exhaust fluid to the combustion process.

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Bosch slashes NOx, without adding components

May 24, 2018 by John Smith

Flat Rock, Mich. – Bosch says it has pioneered an emissions reduction technology that can cut NOx emissions to 10% of levels seen with current diesel-powered cars, and without adding components. Not only that, the company says the technology can be scaled up for use in medium- and heavy-duty diesel engines.

The supplier based in Stuttgart, Germany, unveiled the technology in April and offered further details during a North American press event this week.

Alex Freitag, director of engineering with Bosch’s powertrain solutions group, said the new approach to NOx emissions will keep diesel engines in the game for years to come without adding significant costs to the vehicle.

“The value proposition of the diesel engine is maintained with a minimal impact on fuel economy,” he said.

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2021: The Medium-Duty Emissions Odyssey

May 8, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — The next round of greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations is due in 2021, but the model year of trucks affected by the rule will actually hit the road about two years from now. And while fleets that operate Class 7 and 8 heavy-duty trucks are already losing sleep over the rule, a significant share of the population operating medium-duty trucks doesn’t even know these rules exist.

They’re the kinds of trucks operated by businesspeople and contractors who sees vehicle as a tool for some other business. Think electricians, landscapers, bakers, and plumbers. Their passion is their business, not the truck they use.

“Back when the 2007 and 2010, soot and NOx emissions rules kicked in. We had to educate our customers on those changes, as dramatic as they were,” says Brian Tabel, executive director of marketing for Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “Most of them didn’t know the change was in place, but they sure noticed the price jump between 2006 and 2010 [Model Year] trucks. Customers that had bought pre-emissions 2006 trucks and were shopping for another one in 2010 were shocked. They were mostly utterly unaware of the changes that had occurred over the past 10 years.”

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Volvo electrifies in Europe … again

May 8, 2018 by John Smith

GOTHENBURG, Sweden – Volvo Trucks has unveiled another electric truck in the form of the Volvo FE, just three weeks after unveiling its first all-electric truck in the form of the Volvo FL.

The FE is designed for city distribution and refuse operations with gross weights up to 59,500 lb.

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UPS executive challenges fleets to ‘define excellence’

March 6, 2018 by John Smith

ATLANTA, Ga. — Carlton Rose, president, global fleet maintenance and engineering at UPS, is challenging the trucking industry to define the excellence needed to realize cleaner cities, safer vehicles, and underlying technical knowledge.
“If you’re the one who defines excellence, then you’re the one who shapes expertise to achieve it,” Rose said.

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Eaton taps into electric, connected expertise

March 4, 2018 by John Smith

ATLANTA, Ga. – Eaton’s commercial vehicle group is leveraging broader automotive and electric expertise as it prepares for a future that is increasingly electrified and connected. A newly launched e-mobility business segment – combining elements of the company’s vehicle group and electrical business – is one of the latest signs of that.

“There’s going to be a requirement for more power electronics on board,” observed Larry Bennett, director of vehicle technology and innovation, referring to the possibility of three-voltage systems on commercial vehicles. Eaton Electrical, currently responsible for 60% of company revenues, will help to apply lessons from buildings, leading to new smart power management tools and power distribution strategies, he said.

There’s already been an increase in electric powertrains for buses and lighter vehicles, of course. And Eaton expects fully electric valvetrain actuation to be a reality within a decade. Hydraulic lash adjustments, now used in passenger cars, could soon manage intakes and exhaust in heavy vehicles as well.

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Glider kit repeal facing opposition

January 10, 2018 by John Smith

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing growing pressure to restrict the use of glider kits under the second phase of rules to control Greenhouse Gas emissions. The EPA announced in November that it was repealing […]

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Tesla Class 8’s will hit Canadian roads

November 20, 2017 by elizabeth

MONTREAL, QC – More than 30 of Tesla’s new fully-electric Class 8’s could be on the road in Canada as soon as 2019.
Three companies – including Canadian grocery and pharmacy giant Loblaw Companies – have wasted no time in making the move to the newly launched trucks.
Tesla showcased the new Class 8 vehicles with an unveiling event in California last Thursday. Loblaw, J.B. Hunt, and Walmart announced Friday they each had secured pre-orders with the company.
Although a final price for the trucks hasn’t been listed yet, Loblaw put deposits of $5000 per truck on 25 of the vehicles, currently set to be released sometime in 2019.
Walmart is also reporting a buy-in of 15 trucks, 10 of which will go to its Canadian operations, while the others will go to operations in the United States.

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Daimler reports strong sales, eyes future

October 23, 2017 by John Smith

ORLANDO, FL – Against a backdrop of strong sales and the promise of a growing economy, Daimler Trucks North America continues to explore emerging technologies from electrification to platooning.

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First electric eCanters deliver this year

September 25, 2017 by John Smith

ATLANTA, GA – Fuso will deliver the first of its eCanter cabovers this year, passing a key milestone for the world’s first series-produced Class 4 electric work truck. Models will arrive in the U.S., Germany and Japan.

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Starship Initiative to launch in 2018

September 23, 2017 by John Smith

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Shell is on a mission to explore fuel economy improvements that might be realized in decades to come. And some of the ideas are now taking physical shape in the form of a prototype tractor-trailer known as the Starship Initiative.

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Three fleets hit with California emissions fines

May 4, 2017 by John Smith

LOS ANGELES, CA – CR England, Knight Transportation and Werner Enterprises will pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a combined US $201,000 in penalties for failing to install Diesel Particulate Filters or verifying that their trucks complied with California rules.