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Comments Off on Achates Signs Development Contracts with 2 More Manufacturers

Achates Power Inc., the developer of modern two-stroke, opposed-piston engines, says it has secured another contract with a leading global original-equipment manufacturer. The company now has five customers  for whom it is developing variations of its designs. The customers represent five different engine applications: passenger vehicle, light commercial vehicle, heavy commercial vehicle, military, and marine and stationary power, according to David Johnson, president and CEO of Achates Power. Three of the customers require Achates to keep their identities confidential. Two whose contracts have been announced are Fairbanks Morse, which has built large OP diesels of earlier designs since the late 1930s; and the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive, Research, Development and Engineering Center, which is funding work on a light/medium-truck diesel. The designs will enable users to meet the world’s most stringent current and future fuel efficiency and emissions standards, which include EPA 2010, Euro 6 and Tier 3/LEV 3, among […]

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Comments Off on California TA First With Black Bear Diner Restaurant

TravelCenters of America opened a Black Bear Diner restaurant at the TA Wheeler Ridge in Arvin, Calif. The sit-down, full-service restaurant is the first of its kind in the TA and Petro network. Truck stop featuring the Black Bear Diner is located off of Interstate 5 on exit 219A/B, 5552 Wheeler Ridge Rd. “We know drivers welcome variety, quality food and a comfortable dining experience and Black Bear Diner provides just that,” said John Ponczoch, senior vice president of restaurant operations at TravelCenters of America. Black Bear Diner offers home-cooked style meals and features a wide selection of desserts. There are 65 Black Bear Diner restaurants located in Colorado and other western states. The restaurants have a log-cabin, bear-themed atmosphere. “Our goal is to always make sure professional drivers feel they can visit our locations, feel welcomed and find a wide variety of amenities to meet their needs,” said Tom […]

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Comments Off on Teamsters Withdraw Vote at FedEx Freight on Eve of Election

The Teamsters Union’s recent effort to organize drivers at FedEx Freight terminals is losing momentum, with it pulling another organizing election petition. The news was announced Wednesday by FedEx Freight for the service center in Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania, the day before the election was scheduled. As FedEx Freight has said in previous statements when the union withdrew election petitions at other locations in this recent drive, “The union would only take this action if it recognized that it would lose.” This marks the fifth election in a row, and seven out of the last eight, where the union has either withdrawn the petition or lost the vote, according to FedEx Freight. “We believe in our drivers and appreciate all they do for the company,” said Mike Ducker, incoming President and Chief Executive Officer, FedEx Freight. “We are pleased with the recent results and look forward to a bright future together.” […]

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Comments Off on Diesel Prices in 2015 Expected to be Far Less Expensive

A new U.S. Energy Department forecast is calling for far less expensive diesel prices in the new year. On-highway retail diesel are projected to average $3.07 per gallon in 2015, compared to this year’s expected average of $3.82 and 2013’s average of $3.92. The forecast for next year is 31 cents per gallon less than expectations a month ago, according to the DOE’s Short Term Energy Outlook. The fuel is expected to average $3.05 for the first quarter of 2015, falling to $2.98 in the second quarter before rising slowly with a fourth quarter 2015 average of $3.17. The average price for diesel fuel this week, according to the department is $3.535, down from a high for this year for the year of $4.021 hit in March. U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are projected to continue declining for the remainder of the year, averaging $2.61 per gallon in December. The […]

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Comments Off on Infrastructure Investment Creates Jobs, Improves Economy, says Report

Two-thirds of the economic benefits and jobs created by federal highway and transit investment occur in non-construction sectors according to a new IHS report. The report also found that every dollar invested through the federal Highway Trust Fund in state highway, bridge and public transit programs returns 74 cents in tax revenue. The report found that 70% of the economic benefits from infrastructure investment benefit non-construction sectors like business, education, health and leisure, and hospitality. Over 60% of jobs created by those investments are also non-construction. “The study shows that investment in transportation infrastructure has a positive impact on every major sector of the U.S. economy,” said Karen Campbell, senior consultant at IHS. “These far-reaching economic benefits contribute to economic growth by improving the nation’s capital stock.” By improving capital stock, it becomes possible to have an increase in economic activity, she added. The current federal highway and public transit […]

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Comments Off on Spot Freight Rates Move Higher in Early December

Spot market freight rates have improved across the board, according to new weekly figures from the freight matching service provider DAT Solutions. Vans had the biggest increase, 2.4%, from Nov. 30 through Dec. 6 compared to the previous seven days, turning in an average of $2.10 per mile, 8 cents higher than three weeks earlier. Reefers were not far behind with a 1.7% improvement, hitting $2.41 per mile and 10 cents higher than three weeks ago. Flatbeds registered a 0.9% increase for an average of $2.33 per mile and its best showing out of the four-week period. This happened as the number of spot market loads available to haul surged 20% but truck capacity to move the freight increased only 11%. Load-truck-ratios also posted healthy gains with flatbeds and reefers each improving 8.9%. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio improved to 18.2 loads per truck as flatbed load availability increased 40% following […]

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Comments Off on 34-Hour Restart Likely to Be Suspended, Studied

Trucking interests are close to victory in their fight to suspend the current 34-hour restart provision of the hours of service rule. The appropriations bill negotiated by the Senate and House will cut off funding for enforcement of the restart while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration studies its impact. The 1,603-page bill, unveiled Tuesday evening, provides funding for federal programs through next September. It still must be voted on by both chambers and signed by the president. The suspension will last until the agency finishes the study or September 30 of next year, whichever comes later. Meanwhile, the earlier version of the restart will be in effect. At issue is the provision in the 2013 hours of service rule that requires drivers to take two periods off between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. during their 34-hour restart, and limits use of the restart to once a week. American Trucking […]

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Comments Off on Mack, Volvo Open Joint Uptime Center

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Mack Trucks and Volvo Trucks North America now share a brand new three-story building on outskirts of Greensboro dubbed The Uptime Center. The 123,000-square-foot facility co-locates personnel from every customer support function, and connects them, separately, to Mack and Volvo customers and dealers with the latest telematics, communications, and case management tools. The operational teams responsible for customer uptime at both companies had been in different locations in Greensboro. A key benefit of the Uptime Center is that uptime support employees now can frequently and easily interact with one another face-to-face, allowing increased flexibility and faster response times. “Bringing these professionals together under one roof allows them to collaborate and prioritize more quickly and effectively,” said Göran Nyberg, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. “We owe it to our customers to make our superior service and support even better. They don’t make money if their […]

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Comments Off on Con-way Opens IdleAir Facility at Texas Terminal

Photo via Con-way Truckload. Con-way Truckload opened a new IdleAir facility at its terminal in Laredo, Texas. The IdleAir facility will provide drivers with in-cab services including air conditioning, heat, internet connectivity, DIRECTV and 120-volt electricity, to eliminate the need for idling. The services will be provided at no cost to all company drivers and independent contractors. By reducing idling time, the facility will save fuel and maintenance costs and give drivers a cleaner and quieter place to rest. “Over the road drivers are out for weeks at a time,” said Bert Johnson, vice president of human resources at Con-way. “IdleAir allows our drivers to have the same in-cab amenities as idling but in a more sustainable and cost-effective way.” IdleAir developed the 19-space facility to fit the needs of Con-way Truckload and its Laredo terminal. The company expects use of the facility to eliminate as much as 500 metric […]

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Comments Off on Antares Trailers Acquired by Direct Trailer

Antares Trailers has been acquired by Direct Trailer, a Texas-based manufacturer of custom flatbeds and drop-deck trailers. The acquisition will expand Direct Trailers production capabilities and increase the business volume. “We’re excited about what this means for the Antares and Direct Trailer product offering, employees and customers,” said John Quaid, CFO of Direct Trailer. “Their expertise will be an invaluable part of our management team as we grow together.” Derrick Dilts, current operations partner at Antares will now serve as the president of Direct Trailer as part of the deal. Direct Trailer characterizes the product lineups of both companies as complementary. Antares is geared toward standard product lines while Direct Trailer produces custom options. “Direct Trailer’s Loadstar brand has cut its teeth making quality product for the oilfield and heavy haul markets,” said Jeff Hopper of Direct Trailer. “With Antares assembly technology, we’ll now be able to take that same […]

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