truck news

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Every big operator and personal owner is constantly checking statistics about fuel and other different trucking operation costs, but we don’t have the occasion to see too often an exact evidence of what is the average cost of keeping a truck rolling.

In a nearly 700 billion dollars industry such costs are reaching astronomical figures and there is no wonder why there are only a few personal owners which still survive in a sea of big truck operators.

Though, finding the average cost of today’s trucking is not an easy task, as there are different variations in the way companies account various costs and there are also a plethora of different truck models out there.

However, the guys at Easy Lift Equipment decided to go to work and they come up with a pretty detailed infographic were there are shown the biggest costs of operating a big rig.

Only buying a truck is not a cheap investment at all, as a new cab is priced over $100,000, while a trailer will take around $50,000 from your pocket.

The statistics shown in the infograph say that the average yearly cost of keeping a truck on road is $180.000. Most of the money is spent on fuel, as this cost can be found on top of the list with an average of 20.500 gallons of fuel burned by a single truck during a year. This means over $70.000 spent only on fuel alone. The second position is held by the driver’s salary which is an average of $0.36 per mile. Other significant amount of money is spent on maintenance and insurance. For a detailed presentation hit the jump to check the full graphic.

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After Volvo introduced its first ‘downspeeding’ concept with the XE13 powertrain package for the D13 engine, in September 2011, the company is launching two new XE efficiency packages for the 16-liter D16 engine which develops a maximum power of 500 hp with a peak torque of 780 Nm.

The first package was designed for the heavy long combination vehicle segment with GCWs (gross combination weights) of up to 143.000 pounds, while the second package is aimed at tractor semitrailer combinations with GCWs of up to 80.000 pounds.

Ed Saxman, Volvo Trucks drivetrain product manager said, “XE16 directly addresses the needs of two important market segments that historically have had very few fuel-efficient powertrain options. The beauty of Volvo’s XE powertrain is that it delivers the full power and low-end torque needed for higher weight applications while saving fuel by running at a lower rpm.”

For an improved efficiency, the XE16 packages ‘downspeed’ the engine at cruising speeds by 200 rpm or more than traditional specs. The XE16 provides the full torque while running as low as 1,000 rpm to improve low-rpm drivability.

The packages are combined with company’s I-Shift automated gearbox, specialised axle ratios, specific tyre sizes and proprietary software that facilitates communication between Volvo’s integrated powertrain components.

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Renault has announced that it will showcase its full lineup of commercial vehicles and the 2012 Commercial Vehicle Show. Besides the contemporary Renault vehicles we will also have the occasion to see the Estafette ‘Glacier’ ice cream van from 1963.

At the show, the French manufacturer will present three Kangoo Vans, including a long wheelbase version of the 100% electric version, Z.E. There will also be a long wheelbase Maxi and a new five seat Crew Van Cab model that will feature a multi-positional bulkhead. Thanks to its innovative bulkhead the van offers the possibility to completely fold forward the rear row of seats and the metal mesh screen. In this way, the lower section folds down into the floor offering a flat load area.

Besides these models, Renault will also showcase two versions of the Trafic equipped with a host of high tech features. Together with the Trafic, we will also see six different versions of Master vans tuned especially for the Show.

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Fiat’s Professional department will showcase at the 2012 Commercial Vehicle Show its entire range of commercial vehicles and new technologies. Sadly we won’t see the debut of any new models or technologies at the show, as everything was already reveled to the public with other occasions.

The company has officially announced that it will display eight vehicles which strengthened Fiat’s position in the commercial segment. Some models will be liveried in the design of the major companies with which Fiat Professional is currently collaborating.

At the Fiat stand we will also have the occasion to see the latest technologies developed by the Italian manufacturer which include new Euro 5 engines, Start&Stop systems, Traction+, Blue&Me TomTom Live and the eco:Drive Professional.

Moreover, Fiat will also showcase the new Comfort-Matic gearbox. For the moment the Comfort-Matic gearbox is available only for the new Ducato in combination with the 2.3-litre 130, 150 MultiJet II and the 3.0-litre 180 MultiJet Power engines.

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Good Year put its G394 SST wide base trailer tire with DuraSeal to the test at Mid America Trucking show and recently revealed its results. DuraSeal consists of a yellow, gel-like rubber compound that’s released when needed to instantly seal a puncture of up to a quarter-inch in diameter in the tread area of the tire.

The company declared that its tire resisted to 367 nail punctures without losing pressure. The tire was “damaged” by different visitors which used a special device to pierce the surface with a nail.

Tim Miller, marketing communications manager, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems said “The results were eye-popping. DuraSeal Technology is the industry’s first and only built-in tire sealant, and is designed for multiple punctures while maintaining tire pressure. If the nail is pulled out, DuraSeal can instantly fill the hole and keep air from escaping. People are amazed that a truck tire can seal itself.”

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Daimler North America is recalling three models build in due to two small defects. According to the report the models that have been found with problems are the Freightliner Cascadia, Western Star 4900 and Freightliner Business Class M2. All the recalled vehicles will be serviced for free in Daimler facilities.

According to the press release, the Cascadia and 4900 models manufactured from Dec. 22, 2011, through Feb. 23 may be “equipped with driver’s seats with seat bases that could have out-of-specification welds that allow the seat to buckle unexpectedly”, hence affecting the driver’s position which could translate in losing control of the vehicle.

The 2012 Freightliner Business Class M2 and Cascadia vehicles manufactured from Jan. 20 through Feb. 17 may have been assembled with a steering wheel nut that may not provide the clamp load required to fully seat the steering wheel on the steering shaft.

The campaign starts this month and owners can contact the company at (800) 547-0712 and specify campaign number FL-624 for the seats problem or FL-623 for the steering wheel problem.

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Great Dane, the well known trailer manufacturer, opened a new production plant in Statesboro (US). The new facility is equipped with the latest technologies in the business (robotic welding, automated production processes, computer-controlled foaming operations and an optimized material handling systems) and covers an area of 450,000 sq ft.

The company said that the main product to be built at the new facility is the new line of Everest refrigerated trailers including the TL and CL models. Great Dane added that the plant is able to produce more than 5,000 trailers annually, when is running at full capacity.

Talking about the new facility, Great Dane’s president & CEO Bill Crown said: “This building reflects the diligence and focus of countless individuals over the past two years, working together toward this day in some of the most difficult economic times we can remember. Just as Great Dane has set the standard for excellence with our products over the past century, this plant sets a new standard for cutting-edge manufacturing and efficiency. We are proud that it will serve as a model of the most technologically advanced, environmentally sound production practices in the world.”

For the beginning, the new Great Dane Statesboro plant will work with only one production line which will be followed by a second line and a second shift later in 2012.

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Freightliner has made available the Eaton UltraShift PLUS Vocational series automated transmission for the 114SD and Coronado SD models. The UltraShift PLUS transmission was designed especially for vocational applications and features extended low and reverse gear rations which make it perfect even for the most demanding work situations.

TJ Reed, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks said, “With options like the UltraShift PLUS Vocational series of transmissions, we provide our customers spec choices to ensure they can meet the demands of the toughest jobs. Strength, driveability, durability, and flat out bottom line efficiency are the core of our SD Series of trucks. Freightliner Trucks continues to expand its SD Series of products to meet the demands of our vocational customers.”

For maximum performances, the transmission features smooth and fast gear changes and is combined with the company’s shift logic which constantly adapts the gear changes according to the payload, grade and power to offer maximum performances with low fuel consumption. The UltraShift PLUS Vocational transmission also comes with a series of useful features which include hill start aid, auto neutral and automatic, manual and low modes.

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Freightliner has announced that has made available the powerful Cummins ISX12 engine for its Cascadia day cab truck. The Cummins ISX12 has a capacity of 12 liters and was designed especially for heavy duty requirements and for long haul operations. The engine offers high power and torque ouptuts at relatively low rpms and pretty low fuel consumption.

Talking about the new addition, TJ Reed, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks said: “We want to give our customers the best tools to be as productive as possible, and the Cummins ISX12 is yet another option that benefits overall profitability. The engine’s impressive fuel economy improvements and powerful performance makes it a smart choice for the Cascadia.”

The common rail engine features an electronically activated VGT turbocharger and develops between 310-425 hp with a maximum torque of 1650 lb-ft.

The Freightliner Cascadia was already available with a range of four engines including the Detroit DD13, Detroit DD15, Detroit DD16 and the Cummins ISX15.

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Vauxhall (Opel) announced its lineup of models for the 2012 Commercial Vehicle Show (24-26th April). At the UK show, the company will showcase the Movano, Vivaro, Astravan, Corsavan and the new Combo.

A special place at Vauxhal’s stand will have the Movano range. The model will be presented in panel vans, passenger carriers Tipper and Dropside conversions. The Movano Tipper conversion are available with either a chassis or crew cab and features a five-stage under-floor ram and a 50-degree tipping angle, powered by a 2kW electro-hydraulic pack connected to a remote hand-held tipping control.

The Movano Dropside also is also available with both chassis or crew cabs and features a flat load platform with up to 4470mm in length. For more versatility, the Movano Dropside can be also fitted with an optional large toolbox behind the cab.

The New Combo is presented for the first time in UK and it will be available in a number of versions including three wheelbases and different roof heights. The New Combo has a maximum payload of up to 1000kg and a driving range of 777 miles. Vauxhall’s best sold model in UK was the Vivaro which will also be presented at the CV Show in a new version.

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