There is no substitute for experience in the engine manufacturing game

By now you’ve all heard that Cummins has released a concept fully-electric heavy-duty truck, beating Tesla past the finish line in this market.

I was down in Columbus, Ind. for the unveiling in August – so if you haven’t heard the news, turn to pages 12-13 for the full story – and though there was a lot of excitement over the electric truck, Cummins made a point that it was not transitioning to electric trucks, but rather adding the option to its list of offerings, which will continue to include diesel and natural gas.

Cummins has been doing this for a long time, and even though the company is not a truck manufacturer but rather the engines that power those vehicles, it knows a thing or two about getting a product to market.

The event certainly focused around its Aeos electric truck, but because the company made a point of highlighting that diesel and natural gas was going nowhere anytime soon, some of the grandiose that would normally surround such an announcement seemed missing.

This is not a bad thing, but quite the opposite. I believe the reason I got this feeling during the event – which included a tour of the company’s technical center – is a compliment to Cummins and the work the company has done for nearly a century. Unlike Tesla, there was no hype surrounding the Cummins release of a fully-electric heavy-duty truck, in fact, most people hadn’t heard anything about such an announcement.

This is not to say that Tesla will not produce a fantastic product when all is said and done – I’d be willing to bet that it will. But what it does show is that the old saying “actions speak louder than words” remains to be true today. Cummins went out and did its job, which is to meet the demand of the marketplace and offer a product it wants. No hype, no talk, just action.

Though Tesla has done well creating a stir around what it plans to create, fact is, it hasn’t shown us anything yet with the exception of speculation and some well-planned media coverage.

And I’d also be willing to bet that the folks over at Tesla are a little miffed that the wily veterans over at Cummins beat them to the punch.

B.C. wildfires
Media coverage of the B.C. wildfires has lessened of late, but that doesn’t mean help is no longer needed.

In addition to those who have been displaced from their homes, or worse, have lost their homes or have sustained significant damage, the Canadian Red Cross through funding from the Province of B.C. is offering a $1,500 emergency grant to eligible small businesses and organizations impacted by the wildfires.

Those that qualify include sole proprietors, partnerships, and franchises, not-for-profit organizations, and First Nations and cultural livelihoods on reserves. Among other criteria, the business must have 50 employees or less, have been in operation on or before July 7, 2017, and have a net income of less than $250,000.

Local groups and community organizations can also receive funding through the Community Partnerships Program, which will initially allocate $5 million to support community-driven efforts for recovery and resiliency. Call the small business helpline at 1-855-999-3345 or visit for more information.

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A university graduate with a degree in English, I have worked in the media and trucking industries as a writer, editor, and now as western bureau chief of Today's Trucking and I have several years of management experience in journalism, as well as hospitality, but am first and foremost a writer, both professionally and in my personal life, having completed two fiction novels.

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