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Truck dealers form coalition with goal of repealing federal excise tax

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American Truck Dealer Chairwoman Jodie Teuton said a newly formed coalition has two goals: Repeal the federal excise tax on commercial trucks and find an acceptable replacement for the lost revenue from the FET that provides a long-term solution to help fund the highways and modernize America’s fleets. (Courtesy: AMERICAN TRUCK DEALERS

By CHARLES CYRILL

ATD/NADA Director of Public Relations

SAN FRANCISCO — The American Truck Dealers (ATD) has formed a new coalition of industry stakeholders who goal will be to repeal the federal excise tax (FET) on commercial truck sales.

ATD Chairwoman Jodie Teuton revealed the formation of the coalition during her keynote remarks at the recent ATD Show here.

“Repealing this 102-year-old tax remains our No. 1 priority. This tax discourages the deployment of today’s cleaner, safer and more fuel-efficient heavy-duty trucks,” said Teuton, vice president of Kenworth of Louisiana and Hino of Baton Rouge. “And this year, we won’t be alone in the fight. We now have some strong industry allies.”

The coalition, called Modernize the Truck Fleet, includes ATD; Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), whose members are Daimler Trucks North America, Navistar, PACCAR, Volvo Group North America and Cummins; NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry; and the Truck Renting & Leasing Association (TRALA).

“The truck industry is united, and we have two goals: Repeal the FET and find an acceptable replacement for the lost revenue from the FET that provides a long-term solution to help fund our highways and modernize America’s fleets,” Teuton said. “We’re joining our efforts this year to include the FET repeal in a comprehensive infrastructure bill.”

Teuton said the FET adds significant cost [$12,000 to $22,000] to a new truck and hurts dealership customers by preventing them from investing more in their businesses.

Enacted in 1917, the FET was meant to be a temporary measure to help pay for World War I. Today, it is the highest percentage tax that Congress levies on a product.

“This Congress, we have a unique opportunity to make FET repeal a reality,” Teuton said. “Both Congress and the administration are discussing a comprehensive infrastructure bill that would address funding. This is our best shot in decades to eliminate this tax.”

Teuton urged ATD member dealers to ramp up their grassroots efforts and get involved by contacting their members in Congress.

“We need each one of you in this fight,” she said. “Your senator or representative may be the one to make the difference.”

Teuton also discussed the critical shortage of service technicians at truck dealerships adding that a major disconnect exists between supply and demand, which is affecting the ability of dealerships to provide service to their customers.

“Every year our industry needs thousands of technicians—and the numbers are rising. In truck dealerships, we are seeing a shortage of 9,000 technicians per year,” she said. “Across the entire industry, including auto dealerships, there’s a shortage of almost 50,000 technicians per year.”

Teuton called on dealers to promote career opportunities at their dealerships in communities across the country.

“I’d like every truck dealer to help ATD get the word out now: Dealership jobs are rewarding, challenging and pay well,” she said. “Technician jobs at dealerships average $61,000 per year with benefits. Some of the best paid people in my dealerships are technicians.”

From industry disruptions to economic headwinds, Teuton added that commercial truck dealerships have remained resilient and are adapting to market challenges.

“U.S. retail sales of Class 8 trucks were at historic levels, and order boards are filled well into this year. Freight growth was robust and consistent. And dealers nationwide are selling some of the cleanest and most advanced trucks we’ve seen,” she said. “These numbers are proof of our industry’s hard work, and our ability to adapt to the technological changes all around us.”

ATD, a division of NADA, represents more than 1,800 heavy- and medium-duty truck dealerships.

 

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J.J. Keller offering new video monitoring platform

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Using artificial intelligence to detect and record dangerous driving behavior, the new video platform offers an end-to-end solution for fleets interested in improving driver behaviors that will result in better CSA scores and safer highways. (Courtesy: J.J. KELLER

NEENAH, Wis. — The new J.J. Keller Encompass Video Event Management and Dash Cam Pro are now available.

Using artificial intelligence to detect and record dangerous driving behavior in combination with the advanced reporting and diagnostic capabilities of J.J. Keller’s compliance dashboard, the platform offers an end-to-end solution for fleets interested in improving driver behaviors that will result in better CSA scores and safer highways, according to Tom Reader, senior director of marketing.

“This is one of many substantial new product and service releases for the Encompass® Fleet Management System in 2019,” Reader said. “We’re excited to continue offering technologies and advisory tools our customers depend on to improve performance and make informed safety decisions for their fleets.”

Beyond using dash cam technology to capture video footage of events and accidents, fleets can use the data provided to build better coaching programs, exonerate innocent drivers, and reward drivers for good behavior.

The compliance dashboard allows companies to perform queries by overall fleet performance and by driver, including:

  • Top drivers: Drivers with the lowest incident rates
  • Event rates and trends: Frequency of driving behaviors
  • Coaching required: Drivers with events

Find more information and videos of driving events captured by the dash cam by visiting .

J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc. is a well-known name in safety and regulatory compliance. Since its beginning as a one-man consulting firm in 1953, the company has grown to over 1,400 associates serving more than 600,000 customers — including over 90% of the Fortune 1000 companies.

The company’s subject-matter spans nearly 1,500 topics, and its diverse solutions include ELogs and mobile technology; training via online courses, streaming video or DVD; online management tools; managed services; consulting services; online and print publications; forms and supplies.

For more information, visit .

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Small difference, big impact: Keeping track of tire pressure

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According to the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council, running on a tire that’s underinflated by as little as 10 percent can reduce fuel economy by 1.5 percent. And 20 percent underinflation can shorten tire life by 30 percent. (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Often in trucking, it takes just a small change to make a big impact. This is especially true in tire pressure, where the difference of a few psi can directly affect mileage, maintenance, and safety.

During Newsal Tire Safety Week, May 20-27, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems stresses that with all that is riding on a truck’s tires — driver safety, operating performance, timely cargo delivery, and more — it’s vital to be sure of the right pressure in them.

Sponsored annually by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), Newsal Tire Safety Week is an initiative aimed at providing information on the essentials of proper tire care and maintenance.

“Proper tire inflation will substantially impact your tire and ultimately your vehicle’s performance,” said Jon Intagliata, Bendix product manager for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS). “Fuel consumption can increase, stopping distances can increase, and tread life can decrease if the tires run on significantly different psi than what is recommended by the manufacturer — all of which can dramatically affect a fleet’s total cost of ownership (TCO) over the long haul, too.”

According to the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council, running on a tire that’s underinflated by as little as 10 percent can reduce fuel economy by 1.5 percent. And 20 percent underinflation can shorten tire life by 30 percent. The more miles driven and the more wheel-ends in a fleet, the bigger the impact those few psi have on the bottom line. Underinflated tires also experience increased stress and generate higher running temperatures, compounding the risk of tire blowouts – about 90 percent of which are the result of underinflation, according to industry studies.

Real-Time Info on the Road

“Gradual tire pressure loss can be difficult to detect, and you could be quite a way down the road before you have a chance to notice it at the next spot check,” Intagliata said. “That’s why the best tool for tracking the proper psi on each tire is a technology like the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System by Bendix CVS – or the SmarTire Trailer-Link TPMS by Bendix CVS for trailers: When drivers get real-time information and pressure alerts, they’re better equipped for safer trucking. Early notification makes all the difference in addressing problems before they become hazards.”

It takes as little as a 5 psi difference between dual-mounted tires to create problems, including irregular or accelerated tire wear.

Bendix uses wheel-mounted sensors inside the tires on its SmarTire systems, allowing the TPMS to continuously monitor temperature inside the tire as well as pressure. This means the system can provide a deviation value showing the amount of overinflation or underinflation from the tire’s cold inflation pressure (CIP), automatically taking into account any increase in pressure due to temperature to provide early alerts of tire pressure issues. Reading temperature also helps the system alert the driver to potential wheel-end issues, such as dragging brakes, and may help the driver mitigate potential tire fires.

Fleets running TPMS-equipped vehicles can also use the system data to shape their tire strategy and maintenance plans by using a back-office system like SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS – a web portal that allows analysis of real-time information from TPMS and other connected safety technologies. Fleets can maximize uptime by planning vehicle service in advance and more effectively address issues such as frequent tire replacements and tire failures on the road.

High Tech, High Stakes

As vehicle safety technologies have advanced and higher regulatory standards have evolved – antilock brakes, Reduced Stopping Distance requirements, and the full-stability mandate, for instance – the importance of tires in good condition running at proper inflation has increased. Moving forward, collision mitigation and other advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) remain dependent upon precise and controlled interaction among the men and women behind the wheel, their vehicles, and the road itself – where tires are the sole point of contact.

“Today’s integrated vehicles mean you need to equip the best set of tools on your tractor and trailer to maximize performance,” Intagliata said. “TPMS can play a critical role to guarantee your advanced safety systems – including air disc brakes and advanced driver assistance technologies – are functioning at the optimal levels.”

According to Intagliata, “Like any safety system, a TPMS is meant to complement safe driving practices and is not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No technology can replace skilled, alert drivers exercising safe habits, or the support of proactive, comprehensive driver training – the safe operation of any vehicle remains with the driver at all times.”

Bendix® SmarTire and SafetyDirect are part of Bendix’s full suite of technologies delivering safety, vehicle performance, and efficiency, backed by unparalleled post-sales support: areas critical to the success of fleets and owner-operators. By strengthening return on investment in advanced equipment that puts drivers behind the wheels of safer trucks, Bendix lowers total cost of ownership and helps enhance highway safety across North America.

To learn more about Bendix TPMS, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit . For deeper insight on Bendix technology and the commercial vehicle landscape through podcasts, blogs, videos, and more, visit the Knowledge Dock at .

 

 

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Love’s offers free TirePass inspections, half-priced DOT inspections

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Love’s TirePass is an in-lane tire inflation and assessment service, available on the inside diesel lane at Love’s Travel Stops across the country. (The Trucker file photo)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Professional drivers can receive free TirePass inspections and half-priced DOT inspections from May 27-June 6 at Love’s Truck Tire Care and Speedco.

Officials at Love’s and Speedco said they wanted to help drivers prepare for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s 2019 International Roadcheck.

The CVSA International Roadcheck takes place June 4-6, and inspectors will be out across the U.S. conducting inspections of commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

It’s the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world

The focus of this year’s Roadcheck is on steering and suspension violations. Both components are examined during a DOT inspection at Love’s and Speedco. Preemptively repairing out-of-service conditions saves professional drivers money and time.

“Love’s and Speedco not only make sure drivers are safe and legal on the road, we realize how important time is to the driver, and we want to exceed their expectations,” said Tom Edwards, executive vice president of Tire Care for Love’s. “Love’s saves drivers time by having the TirePass inspection completed while they fuel up and it keeps them safe by offering DOT inspections to proactively repair any issues.”

Edwards said tire-related issues tend to be at the top of the list for placing drivers out of service. “Using Love’s TirePass ensures any potential tire-related compliance violations are identified and properly addressed before professional drivers roll up to an inspection,” he said.

Love’s TirePass is an in-lane tire inflation and assessment service, available on the inside diesel lane at Love’s Travel Stops across the country.

During the 2018 International Roadcheck, 11,910 vehicles were found to have out-of-service conditions. The top out-of-service conditions were brakes, tires and wheels and brake adjustment.

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