Volvo Trucks N.A. partners with FedEx to test platooning vehicles in live conditions
RALEIGH, NC -- Volvo Trucks North America drove a long-held secret down North Carolina Highway 540 today. In the first successful on-highway demonstration of platooning technology between a major truck manufacturer and a transportation company, Volvo and FedEx working closely with the North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA) took three trucks on the road to showcase their advanced driver assisted technology. Volvo has kept its partnership with FedEx under wraps for about a year, using Volvo VNL 300 day cabs and a Volvo VNL 670 sleeper cab first on closed tracks in South Carolina and then for the last three months on the North Carolina Triangle Expressway -- an area designated by the NCTA as a testing place for autonomous vehicles -- to adapt its platooning technology developed in Europe for the North American market.
Border, marijuana, employment law among 2018 challenges: Devine
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- You know the trucking industry faces a challenging landscape when a lawyer presents a business update against a framework of lessons learned through Sun Tzu’s Art of War. “It’s not really a friendly environment for us this year,” said Heather Devine of Isaacs and Co., as she stood at the podium to open the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada’s annual meeting. She offered the potential demise of NAFTA and the thickening of the border as proof of the challenges to come.
Daimler rolls out electric trucks for North America
PORTLAND, Ore. – Daimler Trucks North America has unveiled electric Class 8 and medium-duty trucks today, with plans to have a 30-truck “innovation fleet” working in selected applications before the end of the year. “It is our target at Daimler to have the broadest – the absolute broadest – e-truck fleet in North America by 2021,” said president and CEO Roger Nielsen, as an electrified version of the Class 8 Cascadia rolled by.
Bosch unveils emerging safety, self-driving tech
FLAT ROCK, Mich. -- With technology about to transform transportation as we know it, global automotive technology supplier Bosch is right in the thick of things. The company has an extensive list of partnerships with new and established "mobility" manufacturers extending across automation, connectivity and electrification ...
Video: The promise and challenge of electric vehicles
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- Julie Furber, the executive director of electrification at Cummins, sees promise and limitations when it comes to the electrification of commercial vehicles. "We do believe in the future," she told a crowd at the recent Canadian Fleet Maintenance Summit. But technologies like batteries will need to continue to evolve.
Video: Find the right spec’ing balance
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- One of the biggest challenges for any fleet manager is a spec'ing decision, looking to strike the balance between initial purchase prices and performance. Maintenance leaders from Challenger Motor Freight, Bison Transport, and Titanium Transport shared their approaches with peers at the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Summit.
Autocar to get first Cummins X12 engines
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. -- Autocar Trucks will be the first North American truck manufacturer to offer the new Cummins X12 engine. The 11.8-liter X12 diesel engine will be offered in ACX refuse trucks beginning in October, when Cummins starts full production of the X12 at its Jamestown, N.Y. facility. Autocar will begin accepting orders for X12-powered trucks in June. According to Autocar, the X12 will net customers an additional 733 pounds of payload compared to the previous engine, the ISX12. The weight saving is achieved through an innovative sculpted block design, as well as weight reduction in the after-treatment system, power take-off, and other components. The X12 also offers improved low-speed torque, even with similar horsepower ratings. At 2,050 pounds dry weight, the X12 is the lightest engine in the market compared to existing 11-, 13-, and 15-liter engines.
Here Comes the Sun: Does solar have a role as an alternative fuel?
TORONTO, Ont. -- In some corners of North America, the idea of adding solar power to a truck or trailer is a no-brainer. You'd be forgiven for thinking that none of those corners are in Canada. That's mostly true, but it doesn't necessarily mean that solar has no place here. Just that you must be careful in assessing manufacturer claims about what their solar gizmo can actually do. Almost all of Canada gets an average of 4.2 hours of solar sunlight a day. Two areas -- a small stretch of the southern prairies and a little ribbon of central B.C. -- crank that number up to 4.5 hours. Compare that to as many six hours in Arizona, New Mexico, and a patch of southeast California. Doesn't sound like much of a difference, but it's a big deal. A 300-watt solar setup that can help to run a tractor's electric APU in that part of the U.S. would probably have to be a 600- or 800-watt setup for a rig running, say, a Toronto-Montreal-Halifax route. It also means that manufacturer claims can be rather idealistic if calculations were based on experience in warm and sunny parts of our world. There's no subterfuge involved here, but “your mileage may vary,” as they say.