Trucking Biz Buzz

Another week of decline for average spot market freight rates

Spot rate averages failed to increase for all three freight modes for the week ending Saturday, April 25. This is compared with the previous week, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Van rates dropped two cents to $1.87. Los Angeles experienced rates as high as $2.10, 4 cents lower than last week. Rates for the month of March were up 2.7 percent from the previous month and declined 7.2 percent since March 2014. Load-to-truck ratios decreased 12 percent to 2.6 loads per truck. Seven states – six on the East Coast – have a ratio of 5.5 or greater, unchanged from the previous week.

Reefer rates remained stagnant at $2.12. Green Bay rates were as high as $2.71, a 1-cent decrease from the previous week. Lakeland, Fla., had the low rates of $1.72, unchanged from the previous week. Compared with March 2014, reefer rates are down 4.4 percent. Load-to-truck ratios were also unchanged from the previous week at 5.9. Fourteen states have ratios of 12 or more, with seven states west of the Mississippi River.

Flatbed rates went down a penny to $2.19. Harrisburg, Pa., had a high rate of $3.98. Phoenix marked a low rate of $1.77. Rates are up 2.8 percent for the month, but down 3.5 percent in the last 12 months. There were 20.7 loads per truck for flatbeds, a 1.5 percent decrease from the previous week. Twenty-one states across the country have a ratio of 18 or higher, unchanged from the previous week.


Truckers Against Trafficking receives award for public awareness

Truckers Against Trafficking has been awarded the Suzanne McDaniel Memorial Award for Public Awareness, the organization recently announced. The award was part of the annual Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus Awards at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Bill Brady, a trucker for Lodestar, accepted the award on behalf of TAT. With 18 years of experience, Brady has been working with TAT since 2012. Representatives from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the American Trucking Associations, the Truckload Carriers Association, and the National Association of Truck Stop Operators were in attendance.

Every year, the Caucus sponsors awards around National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to honor crime victims and those who serve them for outstanding efforts in victim advocacy, allied professional advocacy, public policy and public awareness.


Krista Sohm of Meritor becomes Trucker Buddy’s newest board member

Trucker Buddy International’s Board of Directors has recently announced Meritor’s Marketing and Communications Vice President Krista Sohm as its newest board member. Sohm was elected with a unanimous vote.

Sohm has 25 years of industry experience, according to a press release. Meritor has supported Trucker Buddy for more than 15 years. Contributions from the Meritor Trust have been made to the organization in addition to volunteer work from its employees.

“Krista is recognized for her ability to create and implement innovative ideas. We look forward to the contribution she will bring to our board in helping us advance Trucker Buddy’s mission of enabling schoolchildren to understand the importance of the trucking industry in our everyday lives,” Trucker Buddy International Executive Director Randy Schwartzenburg said in a press release.

Trucker Buddy International is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that helps educate schoolchildren and introduce educators to the trucking industry. Truckers sign up to become pen pals with children in grades K-8. The relationships allow truckers to become a mentors and educators to the children.


Commerce report from February: Truck and plane freight up from last year

The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that in February, trucks moved more than 60 percent of all the international freight, with trains, planes, ships and pipelines picking up the rest. 

The dollar value of freight hauled across the borders was the lowest February value since 2011. However, trucks managed to carry more freight when compared with February 2014.

Reduced value of mineral fuels led to a decrease in February 2015 U.S.-NAFTA trade flow as it has for previous months, according to the TransBorder Freight Data released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Freight totaled $85.7 billion, the fourth consecutive month of decreasing freight flows when compared with the previous month.

Two of five modes experienced an increase in commodity value when compared with February 2014. Air freight had the highest growth at a rate of 4.5 percent. Truck cargo increased 0.9 percent. Rail, pipeline and vessel freight decreased by 6.2, 22.8 and 29.0 percent, respectively, leading to the net value loss for the month.

Trucks were responsible for more than $54 billion of the $85.7 billion of imports and exports in February. Rail came in at second with a contribution of more than $12 billion.

More than 57 percent of U.S.-Canada freight was moved by trucks, followed by rail at 14.6 percent. U.S.-Mexico freight went down by 0.2 percent compared with February 2014. Of the $40.6 billion of freight moving in and out of Mexico, trucks carried nearly 70 percent of the loads.


Make-A-Wish Mother’s Day Convoy to be held May 10 in Lancaster, Pa.

Celebrating its 26th year of raising awareness and funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation, the Mother’s Day Truck Convoy is slated for Sunday, May 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Burle Industries at 1000 New Holland Avenue in Lancaster, Pa. will host the event.

Back in 1990, a 12-year-old named Matt wished to ride in a truck and speak with his sister on a CB radio. Approximately 40 trucks showed up to grant Matt his wish. This year, more than 250 trucks are expected to participate in the Mother’s Day Convoy.

Food and drinks, including chicken BBQ, will be served while patrons enjoy live music, games, Obie the Clown and a live auction. This year’s auction includes such items as hand-made quilts, a music box, paintings and items hand-carved by Carl Wade, one of the convoy drivers.

For drivers wishing to participate in the convoy or for more information, call the Lancaster office at 717-283-4872 or visit the website here.


Kenworth offers $1,000 rebate on Icon 900 for OOIDA members

Introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show, the new Kenworth Icon 900 is a customized limited edition truck recognizing the W900L’s timeless, classic style. Kenworth has announced that OOIDA members are now eligible for a $1,000 rebate on qualifying purchases of the Icon 900.

The truck will be available with a 72- or 86-inch sleeper and an engine with muscle up to 600 hp. Some other truck features include:

  • Unique chrome hood badge
  • Stainless steel fender guards
  • Upgraded headlights
  • Headlamp covers
  • LED panel lights mounted under cab and sleeper panels
  • High-back leather seats with limited edition embroidering
  • Leather sofa bed matching the seats
  • Chrome dash surrounds and door pads

Truckers wanting to purchase the Icon 900 and receive the rebate must show their OOIDA membership to their Kenworth dealer. There is a limit of three qualifying trucks for the rebate in one year. Contact a Kenworth dealer for more details.


Ritchie Bros. to hold largest Canadian auction April 28- May 1

Ritchie Bros. to hold largest Canadian auction April 28- May 1
Auctioneer company Ritchie Bros. will be holding its largest ever Canadian auction in Edmonton, Alberta, April 28 to May 1. The unreserved auction will feature more than 8,000 equipment items and trucks.

Items being auctioned off include 225-plus crawler tractors, 235-plus excavators, 210-plus compactors, 85-plus wheel loaders, 95-plus articulated dump trucks, 200-plus truck tractors, 560 trailers, 50-plus agricultural tractors, real estate and more. May 1 will feature oil and gas equipment. All items will go to the highest bidder regardless of closing price.

All items being auctioned off can be seen at

General auction schedule:

  • Day One (Tuesday, April 28) – 200-plus truck tractors, 120 flatbed trucks, 110 dump trucks, 50-plus service trucks, 60-plus boom trucks, 35-plus water trucks, 30-plus vacuum trucks, 340-plus pickup trucks and more. 
  • Day Two (Wednesday, April 29) – 95-plus articulated dump trucks, 85-plus wheel loaders, 65-plus motor graders, 70-plus multi-terrain loaders, 40-plus motor scrapers, 50-plus skid steer loaders, 25-plus loader backhoes, 125-plus dump trailers, 65-plus lowboys, 25-plus hiboys, 20-plus log trailers and more. 
  • Day Three (Thursday, April 30) – 225-plus crawler tractors, 285-plus boom lifts, 140-plus scissorlifts, 120-plus telescopic forklifts, 45-plus forklifts, 30-plus cranes and more. 
  • Day Four (Friday, May 1) – 235-plus excavators, 210-plus compactors, as well as oil and gas, drilling, forestry and other equipment. 

Specific equipment highlights include:

  • 30-plus Kenworth T800 truck tractors 
  • 35 Caterpillar D6T LGP crawler tractors 
  • 25-plus Caterpillar D8T crawler tractors 
  • 15 Volvo A40F 6x6 articulated dump trucks 
  • 15 2014 Caterpillar 299D XPS multi-terrain loaders 
  • Seven Caterpillar 14M VHP motor graders 
  • Four 2011 Caterpillar 740B 6x6 articulated dump trucks 
  • Four 2015 Freightliner 122SD tri-drive truck tractors 
  • Three 2013 Caterpillar 627H motor scrapers 
  • Two unused Komatsu WA270-7 wheel loaders 
  • Two Link-Belt HTC86100 100-ton 8x4x4 hydraulic truck cranes 
  • An unused 2014 Caterpillar 320EL hydraulic excavator 
  • A 2011 Bauer BG20H foundation drill



Kenworth T880 is ATD Commercial Truck of Year

The Kenworth T880 vocational truck with the Paccar MX-13 engine has been named 2015 Commercial Truck of the Year by the American Truck Dealers.

This year’s ATD Truck of the Year competition focused on the vocational and heavy haul/severe duty truck category. During the competition, a panel of judges consisting of industry experts conducted test drives and evaluated each truck entry in key categories, which included innovation, design, safety, driver ergonomics and comfort.

The Kenworth T880 is for vocational customers who require a durable truck for demanding dump, mixer, heavy haul, oilfield, logging and refuse applications. KW says customers can expect longer service intervals, increased uptime, lower operating costs and high resale value. The T880 is available in daycab, 52-inch sleeper and the just announced 76-inch mid-roof sleeper configurations.

The T880 is standard with the Paccar MX-13 engine rated up to 500 hp and 1,850 lb-ft. of torque. The T880 can be ordered with a 116.5-inch BBC hood optimized for the Paccar MX-13 engine and providing enhanced visibility, or with the standard 122.5-inch BBC hood.

The T880 also includes an air-assisted hydraulic clutch, complex reflector headlamps, and lightweight, factory-installed lift axles.

The judges, a panel of select journalists, selected the winners. Land Line Magazine Field Editor Suzanne Stempinski was on the judging panel.


Con-way teams up with Truckers Against Trafficking

Another trucking company has joined the ranks of several government agencies, associations and companies to become part of Truckers Against Trafficking. Con-way Inc. has recently announced its partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking in an effort to curb human trafficking.

With a mission “to educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of the trucking and travel plaza industry to combat domestic sex trafficking,” TAT coordinates with government agencies and trucking companies by supplying them with the tools needed to put a stop to human trafficking.

Con-way’s announcement comes shortly after one of its drivers, Kevin Kimmel, received the Harriet Tubman Award from TAT for recognizing that a young woman was being held captive at a truck stop in Virginia. Kimmel’s vigilance and subsequent actions contacting authorities led to the woman’s freedom and the arrest of her captors.

“Something about the situation just didn’t feel right to me,” said Kimmel in a press release. “I called the police figuring that if I was wrong, I’d be putting a damper on someone’s vacation for 15 minutes, but if I was right, I’d maybe be making a big difference in that girl's life.”

Con-way joins the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and more than 100 companies registered with Truckers Against Trafficking, including 32 other state trucking associations and more than 100,000 individual trained employees. Individual drivers and companies can register by going to TAT’s website and clicking “TAT Trained.”

In a statement provided by Con-way, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said, “Human trafficking crimes cannot be solved without people like Mr. Kimmel providing critically important tips to law enforcement, and awareness programs like Truckers Against Trafficking are very beneficial in providing education to truck drivers and bringing awareness to this national issue.”


New Love’s along I-40 in Arizona includes 91 parking spaces

Love’s Travel Stop has opened a new location in Williams, Ariz, which includes 91 parking spaces for trucks.

Located off of Exit 163 on Interstate 40, the new Love’s location will include several amenities. The 12,000-square-foot facility will include gourmet coffee, electronics, gift merchandise, and Subway and Carl’s restaurants.

Some of the services provided at the 24/7 travel stop include seven showers, Love’s Truck Tire Care center, RFID cardless fueling, CAT scales and more. Later this year the new location will feature Fast-Fill compressed natural gas.

For a limited time, professional drivers can earn up to five points with their “My Love Rewards” loyalty cards at all Love’s locations. 



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