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Competition Watch (July 01, 2009)

BISON TRANSPORT is reaching out to automobile drivers to share some tips on how to safely share the roads with trucks. The company has added a new component to its driver development program which foc...


BISON TRANSPORT is reaching out to automobile drivers to share some tips on how to safely share the roads with trucks. The company has added a new component to its driver development program which focuses on four-wheelers. The Let’s Bring Safety Home course is designed for the driving public, providing automobile drivers with information such as how to recognize tractor-trailer blind spots and the limitations of the equipment. Bison plans to use its simulator to give motorists a truck driver’s perspective in a safe environment. Bison rolled the course out to the family and friends of its employees and professional drivers at its Winnipeg, Mississauga and Calgary terminals in late June and early July.

CANADIAN SPRINGS has taken delivery of its first Class 7 hybrid delivery truck, which it used to deliver drinking water to 2,000 street hockey players at the recent Play On! National Street Hockey Tournament in Vancouver. Canadian Springs’ hybrid is a Kenworth leased through PacLease and was partially funded by the Fraser Basin Council and the B. C. Ministry of the Environment. The company says it expects to reduce its emissions by 37% when using hybrids to deliver bottled water. “Our goal is to be the most progressive beverage company in the world on many fronts,” said Mengo McCall, director of business development with Canadian Springs. “Pure, clean drinking water is our business, but we can’t also pollute our air while providing that water.” The company says it will continue to seek opportunities to reduce its environmental impact. “Today we’re happy to start using hybrids, tomorrow maybe the technology will be available for plug-in hybrids, all-electric or fuel cell vehicles,” said McCall. “We’re aiming to be carbon neutral while continuing to supply a healthy product that does not contain sugar like so many other beverages. Our customers know our value and we’re demonstrating our commitment to be progressive.”

The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada and 3M Canada have once again partnered to recognize the flashiest and most attention-grabbing commercial vehicle graphics. The competition, now in its 24th year, is open to both private and for-hire fleets. Awards in seven categories were presented during the PMTC’s annual convention June 19. This year’s winners were: BONDUELLE AMERIQUE DU NORD, Tractor-Trailer Combination; DISTRIBUTION BELLE BEAUCE, Straight Truck; MOLSON CANADA, Special Events/Promotion; Molson Canada, Night-Time Safety; BREADKO NATIONAL BAKING, Light-Duty Commercial Truck; OKANAGAN SPRING BAKERY, Identity Fleet Graphics; and LIONS GATE TRAILERS, Human Interest.

BISON TRANSPORT has added 50 new multi-temp trailers to its fleet, in addition to its existing dry van, heated and single-temp refrigerated trailers. The addition brings Bison’s temperature-controlled fleet of trailers to more than 1,300 units, including 900 heaters and 400 refrigerated trailers. Multi-temp trailers are equipped with multiple evaporator units and removable walls designed to divide the trailer space into different compartments, each with their own specific temperature. “Many perishables require a precise temperature for optimal food safety. A shipment of fresh meat, produce, dairy products, or frozen French fries all require different temperatures. These multi-temp units allow us to divide the trailer into sections and establish the unique temperature required for each compartment. We are then able to ship a variety of food products all in the same trailer,” says Don Streuber president and CEO. Bison says each of the units are air-ride tandem trailers, equipped with pintle hooks for long combination vehicle (LCV) operations. Bison operates the largest LCV operation in Canada, generating more than 1,000,000 miles every month.

TRANSFORCE suffered a decline in revenue and profit in the second quarter, consistent with the continuing economic downturn, the company has reported. Q2 revenue dropped 24% to $454.2 million and net income decreased from $19.3 million the year before to $18 million. Year-to-date, TransForce has experienced a 19% decline in revenues compared to the same period in ’08 while net income dropped to $21.1 million from $38.4 million in the first six months of 2008. “The economic environment continues to be challenging, with lagging demand,” said Alain Bedard, president and CEO of TransForce. “While we are cautiously optimistic that a bottom may have been reached, we cannot predict the speed of an overall economic recovery. TransForce is focused on what it can control and our people continue to decrease overhead costs and align our businesses with market conditions.” Bedard said debt reduction is the company’s priority and it has trimmed its debt by more than $50 million so far this year.

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