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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Department of Transportation says six companies have submitted bids to design, build and operate electronic tolls that will charge big-rig trucks for traveling along Interstate 95 and other highways.
The Providence Journal reported that the department said Tuesday that Raytheon and TransCore are among the companies that submitted bids.
A law signed last year by Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo allows the state to install truck-only tolls to help raise money to repair bridges and roads.
The toll network is expected to include gantries in 14 locations. The first tolls will be erected along I-95 in southwest Rhode Island near the Connecticut border.
The state plans to award a 10-year contract with two five-year options to the winning bidder in May. Construction is expected to begin by fall.
A turkey hit a truck's windshield on I-93 Tuesday (Image credit NH Fish & Game)
A rare instance of a turkey flying into a was reported in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
The New Hampshire Fish & Game Dept. said a driver headed south on I-93 in Londonderry couldn’t avoid a turkey that flew out right in front of him.
The turkey came right through the windshield was still moving inside the cab of the 18-wheeler. Wildlife officials came to take the turkey to an animal hospital but the 19-pound male died on the way there.
The was going about 50 to 60 mph when it struck the turkey. A Fish & Game officer who responded said he’d never heard of a case like this.
A flipped semi highlighted safety concerns with big trucks going through Hammond.
Truck traffic through Hammond will soon stop, as the operator that has caused concern in one of Maple Ridge's oldest neighbourhood is taking its business elsewhere.
"Chohan Trucking is getting out of Dodge," is how Hammond's Dan Mason termed it. "I'm thrilled."
City bylaws director Robin McNair confirmed the company, which had been operating without a business licence, said through its lawyer Chohan would not appeal council's decision to not allow the licence.
Mason and other Hammond residents complained to City Hall and to the press about truck traffic rumbling through the neighbourhood in January, after Chohan set up operations at 19966 Wharf St., underneath the Golden Ears Bridge.
Mason complained the streets are too narrow and the intersections too tight to allow semi trucks and trailers to navigate safely. He said the trucks took corners wide and hogged the road, and the loads caused his house to shake. Mason predicted there would be an accident.
That happened on March 3, when a truck loaded with pipe flipped onto its side in the ditch at the corner of Wharf and Princess.
"Luckily for everybody, nobody was hurt," said Mason.
The city responded by blocking Wharf Street to truck traffic, and council determined that the company which had been operating without a business licence would not be given one.
Sunny Chohan of the trucking company offered no comment.
In an earlier interview, he agreed the streets in the area are narrow, and there are no sidewalks, but called the accident preventable.
There had been at least two other incidents where trucks went off the road, but they were still on their wheels, and quickly pulled back onto the road.
McNair said Chohan needs to move equipment out of its Wharf Street location, and is being allowed to do so from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, in order to minimize the impact on the neighbourhood. He was given 60 days to move.
"It's a good news story," said McNair. "The neighbourhood has some relief. They have to be patient, and they'll get their quiet neighbourhood back."
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indiana State Police issued 11 citations for Twins Trucking, Inc. after a truck driver crashed into the Rockville Road bridge over I-465 on Jan. 10.
A semi truck struck the U.S. 36/Rockville Road bridge, leaving debris from the bridge all over the road. The truck was carrying a mobile car crusher, which inadvertently raised up during transit and struck the bridge. The armature on the car crusher raked along the underside of the bridge and punched up the pavement on Rockville Road above, raining concrete down on other vehicles.
One woman suffered non-life threatening injuries. Officials said they were surprised the injuries weren’t more severe. The driver of the truck was not ticketed or cited.
On Tuesday, the inspection report was released, showing the trucking company’s violations issued after the crash:
Outside of these citations, the company’s unsafe driving record for the last 24 months shows four total violations– three speeding violations and one for following too close to another vehicle.
INDOT spokesperson Nathan Riggs previously told FOX59 that INDOT is paying for repairs right now, but they’re documenting everything carefully.
“INDOT’s policy is to seek reimbursement for damages to state property on behalf of the taxpayers, we’re documenting and collecting all of the expenses associated with the crash — the demolition and the repairs, tracking all of that, so at the appropriate time we can seek reimbursement,” Riggs said.
Riggs noted May is a busy month on Indy’s west side, and INDOT is hoping to have the repairs finished by then.
A Winnipeg manufacturer that builds specialty truck bodies is making new inroads into the potentially lucrative U.S. market after landing a key contract with one of that country's largest laundry-and-linens companies.
A senior official with International Truck Body (ITB) said Tuesday the company beat out some of the largest truck-body manufacturers in the United States for a contract to make specialty truck bodies for Minnesota-based G&K Services Inc.
The initial order is for 200 truck bodies. But Tim McQueen, ITB's vice-president of sales and marketing, said G&K has a fleet of about 2,500 trucks, and usually replaces the bodies on about 10 per cent of them per year.
"We've built two prototypes for them, and the second one is about to be delivered," he said, adding that if G&K likes them, it hopefully will order many more in the coming years.
He noted the floor in the truck bodies have an epoxy coating on them which was developed by another local firm — EcoPoxy — with the help of Winnipeg's Composite Innovation Centre.
"It essentially turns a truck floor into a concrete floor that is impervious to any type of damage they may inflict on it with their 700-pound laundry carts," he explained, adding the feature helped ITB win the contract.
McQueen said that having a product to show other potential U.S. customers has also helped ITB recently land a contract to provide 15 truck bodies to Old Dutch Foods' Minnesota operations.
ITB's product line includes trailers and refrigerated, dry freight and deck/platform truck bodies. Until it won the G&K contract, it was producing products solely for the Manitoba market. McQueen said its customers here include Manitoba Hydro, the City of Winnipeg, the City of Brandon, Manitoba Telecom Services, Gordon Food Services and Sysco Foods.
"But the problem when you have a long-lasting product in a smaller market is that at some point, everyone has got one, or is in the cycle," he said. "So in the last 18 months, we started to look into the U.S. and other markets. Because the Manitoba market is very consistent and very predictable, we've been able to take the excess capacity we had and start focusing on the U.S."
McQueen was speaking during a break in Wednesday's Dare to Compete Conference in Winnipeg. The one-day annual event is organized by the Manitoba Division of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME).
CME Manitoba vice-president Ron Koslowsky said 2017 is shaping up to be a good year for Manitoba's manufacturing industry, which employs more than 63,600 people and sold $17.4 billion worth of goods in 2016.
"The mood right now is actually pretty positive. Most companies are saying things are looking up, things are rebounding. The markets look like they're good and the people I talk to are talking about growth plans, by and large."
Koslowsky said recent developments — such as the new trade agreement between Canada and the European Union and Manitoba joining the New West Partnership Trade Agreement with the other three western provinces — should lead to new sales opportunities for local manufacturers.
"But it will only benefit us if we aggressively pursue the markets there (in Europe). If we sit back and wait for something to happen, it won't," he added. "So we really have got to grab the opportunity and run with it, using all of our innovation and using all of our talent and the good products we produce."
He said one cloud on the horizon is what happens in future trade talks between Canada and the new Trump administration, which wants to make changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"That (the United States) is our biggest market," he noted. "But there is a relative optimism that things will be reasonably dealt with between the two countries. Nevertheless, that is a concern."
ARLINGTON, VA – Chris Spear, president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American Trucking Associations, has submitted a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, Tom Price, calling on Washington to hastily provide guidelines and standards for the use of hair samples in mandatory drug testing of truck drivers.
The ATA, along with the industry, have been awaiting guidelines from the HHS. The HHS agency responsible for producing those standards, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will be holding its Drug Testing Advisory Board meetings this week to consider hair testing, leaving the HHS well behind its congressional mandated deadline.
"Many trucking companies are using urinalysis to meet federal requirements, while also paying the additional cost to conduct hair testing," Spear stated in his letter to the HHS. "We are frustrated that the previous administration failed to meet the statutory deadline and believe your leadership will finally see a resolution to this long-standing and important safety rule."
The ATA believes based on experience, hair testing is more effective at keeping habitual drug users from getting behind the wheel as professional drivers, subsequently improving road safety.
"Making sure America's truck drivers are safe and drug-free is among ATA's highest priorities," Spear said. "This commitment is why ATA led the charge for mandatory drug testing of commercial drivers, for the creation of a clearinghouse for drug and alcohol testing results and the use of hair testing."
Electric trucks offer all the advantages of electric cars, namely, they’re greener. Trucks are a big source of the noxious emissions linked to smog and climate change. Minimizing the number of stinky, dirty diesels rumbling through town carries obvious public health benefits. But powering delivery trucks, let alone an 18-wheeler, with a big honkin’ battery simply isn’t practical. So engineers are taking another look at a century old solution: Stringing electrical cables over the road.
Siemens, best known in the transportation world for its trains, and the truck manufacturer Scania developed a hybrid electric truck that draws power from overhead cables like a bus or trolley. You can find some of the trucks undergoing testing on a 1.25-mile stretch of highway in Gävle, Sweden, and crews installing cables alongside a stretch of the 710 and 405 highways in Los Angeles.
Although the idea seems odd, it offers some advantages. Experts expect the amount of freight carried by road to climb 200 percent by 2050. That presents some challenges, not the least of which is rising fuel costs, and the environmental and health risks of all that CO2, NOx, and other pollutants. Electric propulsion addresses those issues (Yes, yes, electrical plant emissions. Still, cleaner.) But range? Recharge time? Forget about it.
“These trucks are pretty heavy, and need significant amounts of energy, which still isn’t available through battery technology,” says Stefan Goeller, head of railway electrification at Siemens.
And so, overhead cables. In the Scandinavian trial, an extendible power coupler called a pantograph on the roof links the truck to lines strung along the right lane, providing a solid connection. Should the driver want to pass a slowpoke ahead, activating the turn signal retracts the pantograph, and the truck moseys along on diesel power. The onboard battery is a wee little thing with just 5 kilowatt-hours, compared to the 60 kilowatt-hour pack in the Chevrolet Bolt, that’s good for less than 2 miles of range. The power regenerating during coasting and braking doesn’t go back to the battery, it goes back through the pantographs into the grid.
The benefits of this technology are most evident in trucking corridors through cities—around ports and such. That explains the trial runs near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Trucks rumbling through those areas make 35,000 schlepping stuff off the boats from China. That creates a lot of filth. “Emission rates from trucks can be 10 to 100 times higher than that from passenger vehicles,” says Max Zhang, an engineer at Cornell University. “This is a really good idea to alleviate hotspots.”
You’ll see even bigger benefits in areas, like California, with renewables in the electrical generation mix. As a bonus, the trucks are quieter. The obvious downside? It’s an eyesore. Stand at a busy intersection in, say, San Francisco, or any other city with electric trains and buses and you’ll an ugly web of wires overhead. You can see people making a stink. Beyond that is the time and expense of installing the lines. But Goeller still sees a place for overhead power. “What we see quite often in our industry is that one technology never covers it all,” he says.
He may be right. India and China in particular are eager to reduce urban air pollution, and more than 200 cities in 10 countries in Europe have all but banned older, dirtier truck engines from many parts of town. It may well be that the future of transportation lies in an idea from its past.
(Photo: Brian Hadden/Trucks.com)
The amount of freight hauled by the trucking industry dipped last month but the outlook for the rest of the year looks good, according the American Trucking Associations.
The ATA’s seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index dipped 0.1 percent in February compared with the previous month. The index was 2.6 percent below the same month a year earlier.
The size of the year-over-year decline was the result of an “abnormally strong” February a year ago, said Bob Costello, the ATA’s chief economist.
“Looking ahead, signs remain mostly positive for truck tonnage, including lower inventory levels, better manufacturing activity, solid housing starts, good consumer spending as well as an increase in the oil rig count – all of which are drivers of freight volumes,” Costello said.
ATA calculates its tonnage index based on surveys of its membership. In February, the index equaled 138.7, down from 138.9 in January. The all-time high was 142.7 in February 2016.
Compared with February 2016, the index decreased 2.8 percent. In January, the index rose 2.6 percent on a year-over-year basis. Year-to-date, compared with the same two months in 2016, the index is off 0.1 percent. For all of 2016, tonnage was up 2.5 percent.
Trucking hauls about 70 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation. The industry accounts for about $726.4 billion in freight business, or 81.2 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes, according to the ATA.
BLOOMINGTON, IN - FTR has released its Trucking Conditions Index for January, showing a nearly unchanged reading of 2.7 compared to December's 2.9.
FTR expected January to be the low point of the year for trucking conditions as it projects an uptick in 2017 as the year progresses. Productivity and capacity are projected to take a hit as a result of the upcoming ELD mandate but FTR said that early adopters will be ahead of the curve.
A big issue for the upcoming year is the longstanding driver shortage, which could cause companies to struggle to meet overall demand for new drivers. If capacity fails to meet demand, truckers would be able to raise prices, but the full impact will likely not be felt until late 2017 or into early next year.
“It’s looking like 2017 will be a better year for the trucking industry. This late recovery is consumer-driven, which is relatively light on increasing freight demand, but we will see modest growth,” said Jonathan Starks, FTR chief operating officer. “More importantly, the industry is really beginning to face up to the costs and changes from ELD implementation.”
While the trucking industry is feeling optimistic with the new Trump Administration in power, FTR cautioned that there are some risks associated with the economic proposals being considered by the president and by Congress.
“We are also closely tracking government policies and actions,” said Starks. “The main concern continues to be the possibility of trade wars, which could have immediate and detrimental impacts on freight transportation.”
(Photo: Brian Hadden/Trucks.com)
The North American market for used trucks recovered last month from a dip in January, according to Price Digests, a trucking information services company.
Price Digests’ Price Stability Index, a measure of used truck values and the strength of the resale market in the U.S. and Canada, rose to 99 in February from 95.8 in January. A measure of 99 to 100 represents a stable market.
Price Digests, which collects data from used truck dealers and vehicle auctions, said the inventory of used trucks increased slightly in February from January. Inventory held steady at used truck dealers, but increased significantly at vehicle auctions, jumping from just 20 trucks in January to more than 400 in February.
Analysts at Price Digests expect a similarly high inventory of used trucks at auctions this month, but retail activity at used trucks dealers is expected to remain at about the same level before increasing later this year.
Used truck values averaged $38,520 in February, a 6.5 percent decline from the same period a year earlier. Price Digests attributes much of the decline to an abundance of older trucks reaching the used market.
The strongest pricing in February in the retail channel was for heavy-duty conventional sleeper tractors. Used truck values rose 10.2 percent to an average $46,824 from the same month a year earlier. Pricing for used sleeper tractors also was strong in January.
Auction prices tend to be a little lower and vary widely by vehicle and model year.
According to a separate truck pricing analysis, auction companies recorded an average price of $34,000 for model year 2013 sleeper trucks in February, an increase of $7,500 over January, said Bobby Williams, used truck manager for East Texas Mack in Longview, Texas.
Trucks typically depreciate after five years when their warranties come off and new model year trucks come to market in January. That caused 2012 model year trucks to take a bigger drop in value from January to February, Williams said.
The value of trucks from the 2011 model year decreased 5 percent from January to February, he said.
Throughout 2016 prices for sleeper cabs dropped continuously because of higher availability, said Jessica Carr, senior analyst for Price Digests.?These trucks enter the market at a faster pace because of their shorter lifespan, which creates an influx of volume.
Resale prices for medium-duty day cab chassis trucks medium-duty day cabs had the biggest decline, falling 14.3 percent from the same month a year earlier to $17,559.
The number of Volvo trucks on the resale market had the biggest gain in February, rising 148 percent to 6,533.
Volvo’s used truck inventory in January was unusually low and the large increase in February brought it back to its expected level, Carr said.
Navistar’s International brand had the most used trucks on the market with 10,718, narrowly beating Freightliner’s 10,032. Peterbilt had the biggest used inventory decline. The number of used Peterbilt trucks on the market fell 17.7 percent to 4,757.
Used truck prices were stable in most of the U.S., according to Price Digests. However, used truck values in Canada saw declines from January.
Crime Stoppers needs your help in solving a theft and a hit and run that occurred at the intersection of Hwy 14-16 and Hwy 59. Unknown persons took a Black Peterbuild semi-truck from the area of Edwards Street and Jasper Street. The truck then left the roadway at the intersection of Hwy 14/16 and Hwy 59, causing significant damage to the traffic lights and to the truck.
If you have information that can solve this or any other crime, please call or text Crime Stoppers at 307-228-4276. You can remain anonymous and may earn up to $1,000 in reward.
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