Trucking Biz Buzz

Daimler recalls thousands of Freightliner Cascadias with loose brake caliper mounts

Daimler Trucks North America has issued a recall for more than 18,000 Freightliner Cascadia trucks. Affected trucks have an issue with brake caliper mounting bolts.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall documents, certain model year 2018-19 Freightliner Cascadia trucks are affected. The brake caliper mounting bolts on these vehicles may not have been properly tightened, potentially resulting in the caliper detaching.

Daimler will notify owners of affected trucks. Dealers will check the brake caliper mounting bolts and tighten them if needed. Customers will not be charged for the service.

For questions, call Daimler’s customer service at 800-547-0712 with Daimler’s recall number FL-775. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-411.

Last December, Daimler recalled more than 3,000 model year 2018 Freightliner and Western Star trucks for the same issue. For more information on that recall, click here.

Michelin acquires off-the-road tire manufacturer Camso

Michelin says it will acquire Camso, a Canadian manufacturer of off-road tires. Both companies will combine their off-road operations into a new division based in Quebec, according to a July 12 press release.

Camso manufactures rubber tracks for farm equipment and snowmobiles and in solid and bias tires for material handling equipment. According to a news release, Camso is among the top three players in the construction market in tire solutions for small heavy equipment.

Camso reported net sales of $1 billion since it was founded in 1982. The off-road tire company has expanded at an average rate of 7 percent per year since 2012, according to the news release. The new division will more than double net sales with 26 plants and 12,000 employees.

“Michelin and Camso have many values in common,” Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard said in a statement. “This acquisition is a wonderful mutual opportunity. Michelin will benefit from all of Camso’s skills in the off-the-road mobility markets and Camso from the full range of Michelin’s expertise in the specialty markets.”

Michelin will acquire Camso for $1.45 billion and expects to unlock up to $55 million in synergies by 2021.

Off-the-road division decision-making will be at Camso’s headquarters. Employment at the headquarters, including one-third of which is in research and development, is expected to remain the same.

Paccar recalls more than 3,000 trucks for issues with anti-lock brake system

Paccar is recalling more than 3,000 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks with model years ranging from 2015 to 2018. Affected trucks have an issue with the anti-lock brake system.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall document, seven models of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks have an issue with the ABS warning light. If the ABS loses battery or ignition power to the controller, the dash warning light for the ABS may not illuminate to warn the driver of the loss of ABS.

All affected Kenworth trucks are model year 2015-18, while all Peterbilt trucks are model year 2017-18:

  • Kenworth T660
  • Kenworth T680
  • Kenworth T800
  • Kenworth T880
  • Kenworth W900
  • Peterbilt 567
  • Peterbilt 579

Paccar will notify owners of affected trucks. Dealers will update the software free of charge. Recalls are expected to begin July 24. For questions, call Peterbilt customer service at 918-259-3258 or Kenworth customer service at 425-828-5000. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-368.

Through the end of July, OOIDA membership costs only $25 per year

To celebrate Jim's Day, July 23, the birthday of longtime OOIDA president and CEO Jim Johnston, OOIDA is offering a special on membership dues for any new or renewing member through the end of July.

The special price is $25, which is $20 off regular annual membership dues. Add $10 for a spouse and/or for each additional driver.

All new and renewing memberships are eligible, and multiple years can be paid at this rate. Through the end of July, the cost for Lifetime Memberships is $25 multiplied by the member's years until 65 (minimum $100).

You may signup online here.

A form is also available in PDF format that you can download and fill in and either fax or mail to OOIDA.

Trucking jobs continue to grow in June; wages down in transport sector

For the 17th consecutive month, transportation jobs overall scored gains in June. The transport sector netted more than 15,000 jobs to the economy. Trucking jobs experienced a modest increase.

The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of 2,500 jobs in June after the industry gained 3,600 in May and lost 5,900 in April. Adjusted numbers reveal April’s loss to be the largest since October 2009, when 6,200 trucking jobs were lost. Numbers for June and May are preliminary and are likely to change in the coming months. So far, trucking jobs are up 17,100 for the year.

Transit and ground passenger transportation experienced the largest increase in the sector with 4,300 more jobs, followed by couriers/messengers at 4,100 additional jobs. Rail transportation and scenic/sightseeing transport experienced the only losses at 800 and 600, respectively.

In 2017, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 3 million jobs. In every month except January there was a job increase compared to the previous month. September accounted for the largest one-month increase, with more than 25,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 9,400 jobs in 2017.

Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector were $24.26 for June – a 5-cent decrease from May, the largest monthly decrease since June 2015, when wages fell by 10 cents. However, earnings were up 41 cents from June 2017. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees remained stagnant at $21.78 from the previous month but are up 46 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $26.98, a 5-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 2.7 percent, or 72 cents.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations dropped significantly to 5 percent, compared with 5.7 percent in June 2017, but up slightly from 4.9 percent in May. The overall unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 4 percent, the first increase since August 2017, when unemployment rose 0.1 percentage points to 4.4. The number of long-term unemployed increased by nearly 300,000 to 1.5 million, accounting for 23 percent of the unemployed. The spike in the long-term unemployed is the largest monthly increase since March 2010 when the number rose by more than 400,000 from the previous month.

NAFTA truck freight continued to grow year-to-year in April

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that in April trucks moved 64 percent of NAFTA freight – with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. Four of five modes experienced an increase in freight year to year.

The value of freight hauled across the borders decreased by 3 percent compared with March, when freight increased significantly by nearly 13 percent from the previous month. Compared to April 2017, freight was up nearly 13 percent. This marks the 18th consecutive month of year-to-year increases.

March 2017 had the largest month-to-month increase (16 percent) since March 2011, when NAFTA freight was up more than 22 percent compared to February 2011. NAFTA freight declined by nearly 11 percent in July 2017, the largest decline for the year.

In March 2017, the index reached more than $100 billion for the first time since October 2014 before going back below that mark in April. That landmark was revisited in October and maintained through November before dipping below the $100 billion mark again in December. March marked the first month in 2018 to reach beyond $100 million, with April maintaining that status, despite the month-to-month decrease.

Trucks carried nearly $66 billion of the nearly $103 billion of imports and exports in April.

Year-to-year, Canada truck freight increased by 10 percent and Mexico freight rose by 20 percent. Top truck commodities were computers and parts, motor vehicles and parts, electrical machinery, plastics, and measuring/testing instruments.

Freight totaled $102.7 billion, down more than $3 billion from the previous month but an increase of nearly $12 billion from April 2017.

Vessel freight accounted for the largest increase at 35 percent after an increase of 42 percent in March. Trucks accounted for an increase of 15.3 percent, the second largest increase. Truck freight experienced increases of 4.1 percent in March and 9 percent in February.

More than 57 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 17 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went up by nearly 15 percent compared with April 2017. Of the $50.519 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried more than 71 percent of the loads.

OOIDA members get 15 percent off on Xantrex inverters and installation

Xantrex is offering members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association a 15 percent discount on Xantrex inverters and installation.

OOIDA members can now get a 15 percent discount on aftermarket purchases of Xantrex inverters. In addition to the discounted product, OOIDA members can also receive a 15 percent discount on installation when using the Inverter Service Center located in Tennessee.

Xantrex’s newest inverters, the Freedom X sine wave and Freedom XC, are available through the program, along with four other Xantrex inverters. To receive the discount, OOIDA members must order through Xantrex’s authorized service center by clicking here.

The Freedom X is available in 1,000- and 2,000-watt units, with an optional built-in 3-stage battery charger (Freedom XC).

“This is a way to say thank you to owner-operators and OOIDA members for their continuous support,” said Mitul Chandrani, senior marketing manager for Xantrex business at Schneider Electric.

Volvo gears up for 2019 sales of electric commercial trucks in Europe

GOTHENBURG, Sweden – Volvo Trucks has begun production of two fully electric commercial vehicles for European markets in 2019, and dealers and media got a chance to see them and get behind the wheel of one of them June 20.

The Volvo FL Electric is designed for urban distribution and refuse operations. Two 16-ton FL trucks were available for test drives, one with a delivery truck body and the other with refuse collecting equipment.

Customers have been lined up for these first two trucks. Both are based in Gothenburg. Refuse collection and recycling company Renova will take delivery of the refuse hauling truck, and the delivery truck is going to transportation company TGM, which hauls for DB Schenker, a division of the German rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG that focuses on logistics.

Volvo also has begun production of the FE Electric for 2019 sales in Europe. It is a heavier truck designed for city distribution and refuse transport operations.

Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg, plans to start using the FE Electric refuse truck next year.

Volvo Trucks is initially focusing its electric commercial vehicle development on local delivery and shorter distance applications. In those cases, no public charging infrastructure is needed because the trucks can return to a central terminal to recharge.

Volvo Trucks has drawn on expertise of another division of Volvo Group, sister company Volvo Buses. The company reports Volvo Buses has sold more than 4,000 electric buses since 2010.

For now, Volvo’s focus is on Europe. There are many hurdles to clear before bringing their electric commercial vehicles to North America, although there seem to be opportunities on the West Coast, said Magnus Koeck, Volvo Trucks North America vice president of marketing and brand management.

Volvo does not think electric commercial vehicles are a passing fancy. Eventually, they will replace diesel vehicles, Koeck said. It is a matter of time.

Truckers for Troops gives shoes to homeless vets as part of Operation Stand Down

The Truckers for Troops campaign donated 120 pairs of shoes to homeless veterans as it continues its expanded mission of providing care packages to U.S. military veterans at home and abroad.

The shoe donations were made as part of the Heart of America Stand Down event on Friday, June 8, in Kansas City, Mo. Stand Down events take place throughout the United States and are part of the Veterans Administration’s efforts to provide supplies and services to homeless veterans.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association began the Truckers for Troops care package campaign in 2007. Since its founding, the effort has raised more than $595,000 and sent care packages serving more than 38,000 military personnel oversees in combat zones, to veterans homes and veterans assistance functions.

OOIDA sends care packages overseas throughout the year as part of the campaign.

“So far in 2018, we’ve been able to send care packages out to about 250 people oversees and to about 20 veterans’ homes or events,” said Norita Taylor, director of public relations. “We anticipate sending more this summer. Care packages include personal items, hygiene care, books, and snacks, whereas the veterans packages tend to be customized to the immediate needs of those homes or events including things like shoes or musical instruments.”

OOIDA members can support Truckers for Troops by signing up or renewing their membership during the week of Veteran’s Day.

A radio broadcast is planned for each day of that week on OOIDA’s Land Line Now satellite radio show on Sirius XM 146. During that week, truckers can join OOIDA or renew their membership for $35, with 10 percent of that money going toward care packages. OOIDA matches the 10 percent dollar for dollar. Any new or renewal memberships collected go toward the Truckers for Troops fund. Individual tax-deductible contributions to the Truckers for Troops fund are also welcome and can be paid to the OOIDA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Package addresses
Anyone who would like a family member or friend serving in a combat zone with the U.S. military to get a care package can send the name and complete address to  Be sure to include a projected stateside return date. Requests from veteran facilities with unmet needs also are welcome.

Cards and letters
If you would like us to include your hand-made cards or letters in care packages, please send them to us. Attention: Truckers for Troops; P.O. Box 1000; Grain Valley, MO 64029. Towns or school names can be included, but please do not include last names or other personal information.

Daimler plans facility devoted to automated truck research

Daimler Trucks is doubling down on its investment in automated truck research with plans to build a new, dedicated facility in Portland, Ore.

The company announced plans for its Automated Truck Research and Development Center at its Daimler Trucks Capital Market and Technology Day June 6.

Plans call for the facility to be built next to Daimler Trucks North America LLC’s headquarters in Portland.

Daimler Trucks plans to invest more than $2.9 billion in automated truck research and development in 2018-19, according to a news release. More than $589 million of that amount is earmarked for e-mobility, connectivity and automated commercial vehicle technology.

The center will be dedicated to further developing automated driving technology and understanding its impact on society and benefits for customers, according to a news release. Daimler engineers at the new facility will draw on Daimler resources in Stuttgart, Germany, and Bangalore, India.

While Daimler Trucks said it does not expect autonomous commercial trucks to be mass-produced soon. However, the technology has the potential “to create numerous advantages for the global logistics industry by helping fleets to keep up with ever-increasing freight demands as the pool of long-haul truck drivers continues to decrease,” according to a news release.

Daimler showed off its expertise with automated trucks and platooning at the event during an exhibition at Portland International Raceway. The company said it was preparing for the first real-world test of platooning. Daimler aims “to validate the practicality of hauling commercial freight with platooned vehicles,” according to a news release.