International Hype

Stolen trucks on the streets of Las Vegas, followed by TV News helicopters. Of course, it has to be a truck launch. This one is for the new International HX range for the US market which Diesel News reported a couple of weeks ago. This is part of the new trend to the spectacular which is happening within the truck manufacturing industry, it’s not just a launch event, it has to look good on YouTube. Read more

Cat’s latest stunt

Here is another of what is becoming a growing trend, truck manufacturers making stunt videos with their trucks and posting them up on YouTube. The videos rarely have any real relevance to the act of trying to sell the truck to the customer. They are often about engaging the viewer, upping awareness of the brand and, perhaps highlighting one of the features of the truck. Of course, this is followed by the obligatory behind the scenes video: Read more

Self driving truck premiered

In a launch at the Hoover Dam on the border of Nevada and Arizona in the US, Freightliner premiered its newest innovation. The spectacular dam was the scene of a massive projection display on the dam wall itself, powerful enough to get into the Guinness Book of Records.

The crowd, including TV crews from all over the USA, watched from the edge of the dam as the projection show lit up the night. Then the spotlights picked out the new autonomous truck as it crested the mountain in the distance and weaved its way towards the dam, through the desert landscape. Read more

Talking Turkey About Trucking

Who’s liable?

The release of the Freightliner Inspiration autonomous truck took place with a great deal of pizazz, here in the US, this week. Apart from the YouTube clips and TV news stories, there was also a great deal of comment on social media about just what the implications are of the introduction of such a truck onto our highways.

Of course, there is the usual rubbish about banning driverless trucks from the highway and drivers being deprived of their jobs. However, there is one issue which does need to be addressed, and that is just who or what is liable if there is an accident. Read more

Mid America, trucks on show

The Mid America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky took place last week and, as usual, had plenty of bling as well as new product on display. Reports from the show floor tell us there is optimism in the air among the trucking folk who attended. It would seem the industry over there is finally getting out of its post-2007 slump.

Here’s a beauty on its way to the Show and Shine at the MATS venue. It’s a 1980 Kenworth fitted with a Caterpillar 3408 V8, looking good!

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115% efficiency improvement

At the opening of the Mid America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, Freightliner is claiming its SuperTruck project has achieved a 115 per cent freight-efficiency improvement. The announcement was made as the SuperTruck was unveiled as the centrepiece of the Daimler stand at the show. Read more

New Freightliner boss

A new appointment to fill the vacancy left when Kristi Walker had to return to the US, for personal reasons, earlier this year, has been announced. Daimler has unveiled the appointment of Stephen Downes as General Manager, Freightliner Trucks, Australia and New Zealand. Read more

Penske buys major stake in truck dealer group

Amid speculation the Penske Automotive Group is planning to extend its reach in the commercial vehicle sector in Australia, by acquiring a number of truck dealers here, the company has made a major acquisition in the US.

The announcement was made this week Penske increased its stake in the Around the Clock Freightliner Group (ATC) to 91 per cent, taking over control of the operation. ATC is a heavy and medium duty truck dealership group located in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Read more

Cutting costs with Kenworth

In the USA, all the truck buyers are talking about is fuel economy. At the same time, the Obama Government has laid out regulations ensuring truck manufacturers reach specified fuel economy targets by a series of set dates. It’s all about fuel economy, and truck and trailer makers are going all out to offer genuine fuel consumption changes in their current product, with more fuel saving technologies to come. Read more

Truck sales still soft

After a period in which truck sales figures have been depressed, the latest sales numbers for May, published by the Truck Industry Council, are not giving us signs of recovery, and are still down on last year’s figures. After a period where heavy duty showed signs of recovery while medium and light duty remained in the doldrums, the situation now sees all segments staying around the same levels and slightly below where they were 12 months ago. Read more