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RCMP seize 50 kilograms of suspected cocaine at Sarnia border
Trucking News

A Markham transport truck driver faces drug smuggling charges after the RCMP seized 50 kilograms of suspected cocaine at the Blue Water Bridge near Sarnia earlier this month.

The driver was alone in the commercial vehicle crossing from the U.S. into Canada on Nov. 18 when he was directed by a Canada Border Services Agency officer for an inspection, the RCMP said Wednesday.

Border guards use mobile X-ray devices and sniffer dogs to check for any unusual cargo or modifications to trucks.

“During the examination, border services officers discovered an inconsistency in the weight of some of the boxes contained in the shipment,” an RCMP statement said.

“The boxes were examined and found to contain 50 packages of suspected cocaine, weighing approximately 50 kilograms total.”

In an interview, RCMP Sgt. Penny Herman said the suspected cocaine is being forensically tested.

Police had no estimate of the value of the cargo, where it originated or where it was destined.

Guo Bing Zhao, 52, has been charged with importation of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

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Local company designs solar system to keep tractor-trailer cargo cool
Trucking News

Loblaw is set to begin testing a local company's solar-powered system that keeps truck cargo cool.

In a system developed by Westhill Innovation Inc., solar panels fixed to the top of a trailer substitute for the energy supplied to the cooling units by the truck's diesel engine.

The process saves 21 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in a year — equivalent to that produced by seven cars, said Westhill president Gina Succi.

With Loblaw testing the trailer system on grocery deliveries around the province this winter, Succi expects to gather valuable performance data about the unit, which was built at Mohawk College's Stoney Creek campus with the help of McMaster University masters students from the W Booth School of Engineering.

Key to Westhill's patent-pending technology is a black box that integrates power from panels that can be safely and easily installed, Succi said.

Mohammad Alaisowi, Westhill's renewable energy engineer, describes the panels as photovoltaic cells and circuits fused into a metal composite material that is designed to withstand highway conditions typical of long-haul trucking.

The applications for the system are vast — from rail cars to architectural panels in building construction — but CEO and co-founder Emil Radoslav said they started with the trucking industry because it's "low-hanging fruit" with the amount of diesel fuel consumed.

Depending on the size of the container being shipped, an average of $10,000 in fuel cost can be saved per year, according to Radoslav, who estimates the technology would take two to three years to pay for itself. The system's lifespan is 20 years.

"We're only focusing on a little tiny market" within the larger market of companies looking to replace diesel truck engines, Succi said, estimating there are 200,000 trailers operated by the top 20 companies in North America that have already made investments into electric trucks.

Data from the Loblaw trial will be used to streamline the size of the units and improve capabilities. The group is in the midst of sourcing venture capital to scale up manufacturing and sales.

Westhill has a 40,000-square-foot building near Simcoe, but Succi said they are already looking for larger space to expand.

With solar panels on a trailer eliminating the truck engine as a power source, new characteristics open up to transform what was basically a box on wheels.

"Because it has power, it's got brains," said Vern Sherwood, Westhill's solar wind battery technology specialist.

Normally, truck diesel engines must remain running in order to power parked refrigeration units, but Westhill's trailers can be cooled silently on batteries that run-up to eight hours, he said.

And power generated from trailer roofs can be exported into the electrical grid if the trailers are standing idle, Sherwood said. "It's our own power centre."

In yards where trailers are often parked long-term, a lot with 300 solar-powered trailers would produce about $500,000 worth of electricity a year, Succi said.

Though there are sunnier places than Canada for tractor trailer solar systems, Radoslav said hotter climates actually have the effect of reducing the efficiency of photovoltaic panels.

"A cooler climate actually provides the perfect conditions for this technology," he said.

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How Wellington Motor Freight slashed insurance premiums
Trucking News

GUELPH, Ont. – With insurers reducing their risk exposure, and some exiting transportation altogether, many carriers have seen rising premiums and outright policy cancellations. But one Ontario carrier has bucked the trend, and slashed insurance premiums by high double digits this year.

Derek Koza, president and CEO of Wellington Group of Companies, operator of Wellington Motor Freight, told Today’s Trucking that his company took a strategic approach to reducing its insurance premiums. The company operates 85 vehicles, operating a regional fleet in the Toronto area, as well as serving the Toronto-Montreal corridor and Atlantic Canada. It also serves the U.S., but mostly by rail.

The company started as a broker about five years ago and ramped up its asset-based trucking operation last year when capacity was tough to secure. Wellington took a holistic approach to lowering its insurance costs, including some forward-thinking measures.

For one, drivers are all paid a salary.

“We are one of the few in the industry, where all our company drivers are salaried drivers,” Koza said. “The reason why we wanted to do that was to drive consistency for drivers, where there’s no message in the back of their head where it’s rush, rush, rush.”

Paying drivers a salary has resulted in a 95% retention rate, Koza said, and a waiting list of drivers looking to join the company.

“With retention and consistency, comes safety,” Koza said.

There are expectations for the drivers, of course. They must make themselves available five days a week for up to 60 hours. They’re paid overtime after 60 hours.

Whenever possible, Wellington offers dedicated lanes. Being familiar with the route allows for better trip planning and improved safety, the company found.

“We are getting into winter here and certain pockets in southwestern Ontario are going to be extremely windy, with lots of snow drifting. The drivers are anticipating that prior to entering into that zone,” said Koza.

Wellington is uncompromising when it comes to hiring standards. Koza said that’s because once you compromise your standards, it becomes habit-forming.

“You have to stay disciplined to the safety plan you put in place,” he said.

Wellington is up-front with its customers that drivers are expected to park when weather is bad.

“Every time there’s a snowstorm or heavy rain, we send out a message to our drivers reminding them that they and the general public are more important than any load they’re delivering,” said Koza.

Equipment is spec’d with active safety systems to support the driver and disc brakes. All reefers are seven years old or newer, dry vans are 10 years or newer, and trucks are five years or newer. Electronic logs are used, even by city drivers. All trailers are tracked by GPS, and telematics are used to identify incidents like hard braking and speeding violations.

Having developed a comprehensive safety plan, Wellington invited in its insurer to communicate the plan. It was already in the middle of the pack in terms of its premiums, not bad for a young fleet, but with room for improvement.

“We were nowhere near the highest and nowhere near the lowest,” said Koza. But even as a fledgling fleet, the company was granted a 21B fleet policy, allowing it to hire drivers without first having them vetted by the insurance company.

Koza didn’t want to publicly disclose the insurance premium savings the company now enjoys, but says the company was “rewarded handsomely” for its efforts.

“I’m not going to say it was an easy journey,” said Koza. “But it really is simple if you sit down, put together a plan, get the engagement of the team, and most importantly, stick with the plan.”

Even if new business is brought on or trucks are parked against the fence, Koza said it’s essential to not deviate from the plan. “You have to stay committed to the plan. You can’t take that sidestep and make that exception, because if you do, it’s going to continue to be a roller-coaster of exceptions going forward.”

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Government of Ontario Committed to Attracting Investment with Highway 401 Expans
Trucking News


The Ontario government is making a significant strategic economic investment in the province’s highway system by widening 18 kilometres of Highway 401 from Mississauga to Milton.

“This stretch of highway has over 20,000 trucks a day travelling on it – each carrying vital goods for all sectors of our economy,” said OTA Chair David Carruth. “As a fleet with a terminal in the region, this investment is an important need and will help make this province more competitive in attracting future customers for all trucking fleets across Ontario.”

Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation, announced today the province is investing $640 million to widen Highway 401 by 18 kilometres, from the Credit River in Mississauga to Regional Road 25 in Milton and includes reconstruction of bridges as well as upgrades to support facilities and features. Construction is underway and drivers can expect to use the expanded highway by 2022.

“Our government is committed to strengthening Ontario’s highway network and making Ontario open for business,” said Associate Minister Surma. “This crucial expansion of Highway 401 means that thousands of Ontarians will spend less time in traffic.”

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Ontario moves to restrict emissions tampering
Trucking News
Emissions Testing

Jeff Yurek makes the announcement in North York on Tuesday.


NORTH YORK, Ont. — The Ontario Government has officially launched plans to align the testing of emissions control systems with Periodic Mandatory Commercial Vehicle Inspection requirements, beginning June 2021.

The annual requirements will begin when a vehicle is first registered in Ontario, and will be completed through an electronic-based system that produces a single digital document.

The approach is meant to help eliminate the use of DPF “delete kits” and other forms of emissions tampering.

“By combining the emissions and safety inspection into one digital-based test, we are making life easier and more convenient for owners of heavy-duty diesel commercial trucks and buses,” said Kinga Surma, associate transportation minister.

The announcement was made earlier today at Carmen Transportation Group’s terminal in North York, including representatives of the Ontario Trucking Association; Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Jeff Yurek; Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria, and Surma.

The plans had already been announced as part of a Red Tape Reduction bill that was unveiled in October.

“The government of Ontario is introducing the most impactful enforcement measures in Canada with regards to reducing and targeting harmful emissions from non-compliant vehicles,” said Stephen Laskowski, president of the Ontario Trucking Association. “By introducing an on-road enforcement regime focused on tampering, along with the development of an integrated annual safety and environmental inspection program for heavy trucks, the province of Ontario is leading on the reduction of smog-causing pollution and reducing unnecessary red tape for all trucking companies in Ontario.”

“This program will reduce red tape on our business and effectively target non-compliant trucking companies that tamper with their emissions and ensure those who pollute in our province are held accountable for their actions,” added Carmen Transportation president Vince Tarantini.

The Ontario Trucking Association says it is working with the Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to ensure the annual inspections and anti-tampering checks are electronically connected. This is meant to help roadside inspectors determine the technician and facility that last inspected and passed a vehicle.

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has the power to pull plates off heavy-duty vehicles when emissions tampering is identified, no mater what jurisdiction plated the vehicle.

As of Jan. 1, Ontario will also make it illegal to produce, sell or install tampering devices.

While Ontario cancelled its Drive Clean emissions program for aging light-duty vehicles, annual emissions tests are still required to renew the registrations on equipment with gross vehicle weights above 4,500 kg and at least seven model years old.

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‘Black Coffee & White Lines’ music video released
Trucking News

Trucking is a common theme in Jayne Denham’s music.

The Australian country singer’s latest music video, “Black Coffee & White Lines” is no exception. The video, which premiered this week, was shot in Alaska and features three truck drivers from the History Channel’s TV series “Ice Road Truckers.”

VIDEO

 

“Filming in Alaska with three of the Ice Road Truckers was totally beyond my wildest dreams,” Denham said in a news release. “It is everything I wanted to share about the reality of truckin’ and the love of it.”

The “Black Coffee & White Lines” video opens with Lisa Kelly, Carey Hall, and Maya Sieber-Pyskaty talking about their love for trucking.

“I love the feeling I get when I’m on the road,” Sieber-Pyskaty said in the video. “Every day brings a new adventure. I don’t feel alive until I’m behind the wheel.”

The lyrics  for “Black Coffee & White Lines” echo that love for trucking.

Born with gypsy blood pumping through my veins

I’ve got a lot of friends who think this kind of life is insane

But I grew up a child of the wind

And every time I hear the freedom of the road call my again

It’s black coffee and white lines

Life’s all about what’s up ahead, not what you leave behind

Denham has never worked as a truck driver, but she said she grew up in Australia around family and friends who operated big rigs.

“I just love writing trucking songs to cheer on the truck drivers and an industry that we certainly can’t do without,” Denham told Land Line during a 2017 interview.

“I like to do my research. I want to make sure my lyrics are accurate. Truck drivers tell me the songs resonate.”

Denham has performed at numerous truck shows in recent years, including the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., and the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.

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Job readiness program offering truck driver training
Trucking News

YMCA Employment Services has teamed up with Northern Academy of Transportation Training & Safety Services

YMCA Employment Services has teamed up with Northern Academy of Transportation Training & Safety Services (NATT) for a Job Readiness Program.

The program will offer paid training and employment placements to eligible participants.  

Training is available for AZ/DZ driver training and specialized general labourer training, equipping each participant with all the necessary certifications and licensing to start their careers in the transportation and construction industries.

A memorandum of understanding will be signed between the two organizations on Nov. 27.

NATT Northern Academy Transportation Training is a registered private career college under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005. 

NATT Safety Services provides customized safety training throughout Northern Ontario and across Canada in all industry sectors, with specialization in the mining, construction, pulp and paper, and forestry industries. 

This story originally appeared on Sudbury.com.

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This truck apparently got stuck under a Metro Vancouver gas station
Trucking News


A delivery truck in a tight spot at the Petro-Canada gas station at 56th St. and 12th Ave. in Tsawwassen Friday.

A delivery truck appears to have got into a bit of a squeeze on Friday afternoon at the Petro-Canada gas station in Tsawwassen.

The video here, originally posted to the Tsawwassen Loop Facebook group by Bryan Grant, shows the truck idling with its four-way flashers on while seemingly wedged under the gas station’s canopy.

A bystander can be heard saying that they should perhaps let some air out of the tires so that they might free the thing.

How it got there – all the way under the canopy – was a mystery, so we reached out to the Petro-Canada hoping that they might shed some light on it for us.

Nobody who was working on Friday was available, nor was a manager.

We also reached out to Worta, the company whose name is on the van. They’re not around on weekends.

However we did find out one thing that everyone is certainly dying to know:

No, the truck is no longer under the canopy!

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Driver charged after trailer with missing wheels dragged down Highway 11
Trucking News

Police found semi and trailer on Grasswood Road south of Saskatoon

It was a sight rarely seen on Saskatchewan highways — a trailer with no wheels being dragged down the highway by a semi.

Corman Park Police and Saskatchewan Highway Patrol responded to a call about the incident Sunday around 8:30 p.m. CST.

Officers found a semi and a trailer in a parking lot at the intersection of Highway 11 and Grasswood Road, just south of Saskatoon.

 

Corman Park Police Chief Warren Gherasim said it is his understanding the driver had started out from Regina.

According to police, the driver had begun the trip with just four out of eight wheels on the trailer and then lost another set of wheels about 10 km south of Grasswood Road  on Highway 11. 

"The indication that we got from the officers at the scene was that part of that rear axle was still on the trailer until the trailer got to about Tamke Road, which is the southern border of Corman Park," Gherasim said.

"Two wheels and the axle were found in the ditch at that location so what he did have left on the truck at that point fell off ...  subsequently the vehicle would have been dragged from Tamke Road up to Grasswood Road before it came to a stop."

Gherasim said there appeared to be surface scratches and scrapes on the road, but no major damage to the highway.

David Horth, director of communications with the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, said crews were out Tuesday morning to assess the damage.

Horth said this is a first for him.

"This is pretty weird. I don't think I've ever heard of a vehicle being on the road being dragged before," he said. "It's kind of self-evident that vehicles should have wheels when they are on roads," he said.

 

Gherasim also said this is one of the more unusual calls his officers have responded to.

"More commonly we deal with with offences relating to overweight. But this is certainly one of the more heinous equipment violations that I can recall."

Gherasim said Saskatchewan Highways have charged the driver with operating with a major defect and displaying an unauthorized license plate.

The Corman Park officer at the scene charged the driver with unlawfully operating a vehicle without a valid Safety Inspection Service certificate.

The trailer was towed away. The semi was not in violation and was allowed to be driven away.

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ARW Truck Equipment expands in the west
Trucking News

CALGARY, Alta. – ARW Truck Equipment is expanding across Western Canada to cover Saskatchewan and the eastern section of B.C.

Launched in 1895, ARW Truck specializes in the sale and support of truck-mounted equipment, and has been a staple in Alberta since 1942 as the exclusive factory-authorized sales and service dealer for HIAB cranes, Moffett forklifts, and Multilift hooklifts.

The company will now bring its expertise across the province of Saskatchewan in partnership with Cervus Equipment to locations in Regina and Saskatoon. It will also stretch into areas in B.C., including Golden, Cranbrook, Fernie, Dawson Creek, and Fort St. John.

“It was time to roll out our operations,” said Trevor Steinke, general manager of ARW Edmonton. “There was a great demand for our products, in-depth knowledge, and unmatched expertise in truck-mounted equipment in other parts of the west, and we’re well-positioned to meet those needs.”

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Guelph police investigate fifth tire theft from dealerships in city's north
Trucking News

Police say latest theft involves $12K worth of tires stolen from transport truck

Police in Guelph are investigating the latest in a string of tire thefts to hit dealerships in the Woodlawn Road and Elmira Road area since August.

Police said $12,000 worth of tires were stolen from a transport truck in the yard of a dealership in the area sometime between 1 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 30. 

"Depending on the make of the tire, it can widely vary in price from used tires to new tires, but anytime we're talking about $12,000 of stolen property, in my mind that's a significant amount,"  Const. Kyle Grant said. "It's very concerning."

This latest theft is the fifth at dealerships in the city's north end since August, Grant said.

Those previous thefts were:

  • On Aug.4, multiple thefts of tires and rims were reported stolen off vehicles parked at two different lots.
  • On Oct.15, $21,000 worth of tires were reported stolen from a dealership in the area.
  • On Nov.4, $30,000 worth of truck tires were reported stolen from a dealership as well.
  • On Nov.10, two sets of tires and rims were reported stolen off new trucks in the lot. A suspect was seen driving a grey 2019 Dodge Ram truck, according to a release.

"It happens in the middle of the night when the dealerships are closed and you have someone enter a dealership yard and steal tires," Grant said.

 

"Sometimes it's from a storage area or a truck, like it was in this case. Other times it's directly from vehicles in the lot."

Police continue to investigate the latest theft.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Richard Maclean at 519-824-1212 ext. 7503 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-888-222-8477.

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AG exposes holes in Ontario's commercial trucking safety rules
Trucking News

Commercial truck drivers with a medical marijuana licence are allowed to operate their vehicles with the drug in their system in Ontario as long as they’re not legally impaired, the auditor general’s annual report says.

The United States has no such exemption, nor does Transport Canada for flight crews and controllers, nor Metrolinx for its train and bus operators, Bonnie Lysyk reports.

Ontario also has no mandatory drug and alcohol testing for commercial truck drivers, auditors say.

Commercial truck traffic has increased by 10% over the past decade in Ontario and large buses and trucks were involved in 182,000 collisions, the report says.

“Ontario maintained higher fatality and injury rates than Canada as a whole and the United States in the majority of years between 2008 and 2017 when evaluating only commercial vehicles,” the report says.

The use of an important road safety tool — commercial vehicle inspections — fell by 22% between 2014-18 in part because they could not fill enforcement officer vacancies, the report says.

And in one of the more scarier findings, given recent high-profile accidents involving large vehicles, auditors noted flaws in commercial driver licensing and training.

Ontario is the only province that allows private carriers to test their own drivers for commercial licences, and they have a pass rate of 95% compared to 69% at DriveTest centres, the report says.

Companies that passed drivers that later went on to have higher-than-normal rates of accidents were allowed to keep testing.

Some private Motor Vehicle Inspection Stations that issue certificates that commercial vehicles are road worthy have been found involved in fraudulent activity like issuing certificates without actually inspecting the vehicle, the report says.

“An MVIS garage employed only one mechanic and was sent 4,000 inspection certificates in 2018 alone which is 76 times the average per mechanic,” the report found.

When brought to the Ministry of Transportation’s attention, it turned out that the mechanic had ordered 2,000 certificates — still well above the per-mechanic average — and was sent an extra 2,000 for free without ministry staff noticing, the report says.

Lysyk said that had the ministry maintained its previous level of inspections, auditors calculate that as many as 10,000 unsafe commercial vehicles and drivers would have been removed from Ontario roads.

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Help Deliver Driver Inc. Warning to the Supply Chain
Trucking News
 

The expansion of drivers and carriers operating within the underground economy through Driver Inc is a growing concern for the trucking industry. The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) have been leading the charge in Ottawa and Queen’s Park to rid the industry of the illegal scheme known as Driver Inc.

While government enforcement is key to forcing non-compliant drivers and companies into obeying the law, OTA is asking the industry to educate members in the supply chain about the growing challenges and dangers Driver Inc companies pose.

OTA has prepared a tip sheet for the supply chain that illustrates what Driver Inc is, how to identify potential Driver Inc participants, as well as possible associated business and liability risks of partnering with Driver Inc companies.

“This OTA document is intended to assist the supply chain in engaging an informed conversation about the impact of the illegal practice known as Driver Inc.,” said OTA President Stephen Laskowski. “Every member in the supply chain needs to understand how this practice is noncompliant from both a tax and labour perspective.”

To obtain a copy of the OTA document click here: OTA-DriverIncTipSheet_public.

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Alberta updates oversize and weight regulation to reduce red tape
Trucking News

EDMONTON, Alta. – The Alberta government has updated its Commercial Vehicle Dimension and Weight Regulation to reflect what it called “modern vehicle configurations and equipment.”

Having not been updated in nearly 20 years, the provincial government said commercial drivers in Alberta were forced to obtain permits for standard equipment that is allowed in other jurisdictions, including wildlife bumpers, aerodynamic devices, and wide-load signs. Alberta Transportation was granting permits for these pieces of equipment every time they were requested.

“Safety is always our top priority, but these outdated permits were not doing anything to improve safety,” said Minister of Transportation Ric McIver. “They were out of touch and unnecessary. Alberta Transportation has granted these permits every time they were asked for. If you grant a permit 100% of the time, it’s time to update the regulation.”

Updating the Commercial Vehicle Dimension and Weight Regulation is one aspect of the Alberta government’s overall commitment to reducing red tape.

“Modernization is an important part of reducing red tape as it allows Albertans to get ahead and be cost-efficient in a fast-paced world,” said Grant Hunter, associate minister of Red Tape Reduction. “These changes in trucking rules are an important step forward for our farmers and truckers and make their lives easier.”

The modernization of the regulation is expected to eliminate approximately 5,600 individual permits per year.

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Canadian developing electric landing gear
Trucking News


TORONTO, Ont. – A Canadian tech start-up is looking to electrify landing gear, and has developed a currently available adaptor to ease the job for drivers.

Omid Beik, founder of Enercs, first became aware of the demands of deploying landing gear when reading about the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, in which 16 people were killed following a collision with a semi.

“One person said these drivers, they work 14 hours a day, they’re exhausted. Then at the end of the day the have to crank landing gear. That was my first introduction to landing gear,” Beik said in an interview with Trucknews.com. Beik, who has a Ph.D and a masters in electric motors, felt “There has to be a better way to do it.”

He discovered it takes 100 lb.-ft. of torque to properly lower the landing gear.

“That is massive for any human being to operate,” he said.

Beik reached out to trucking fleets, which expressed support for a product that would make cranking the landing gear easier, as long as it was priced reasonably. Other products on the market cost US$675. So Beik invented an adaptor that fits on any electric impact wrench. The driver simply attaches the impact wrench (not included) to the adaptor and then can raise or lower the landing gear quickly at the press of a button.

It retails for $49.99 and is available today (orders currently must be placed via email, at sales@enercs.com).

But Beik has grander visions for the application and is currently working on an electric motor that will tap into the truck’s 12-volt power source. He has built a rare earth-free electric motor, which reduces cost significantly.

“Thirty to 50% of the price of the motor is the magnets, we eliminate that,” he explained.

The company now has five patents pending. Biek hopes to commercialize the electric system within a year, and is in talks with landing gear manufacturers to integrate. Eventually, as trucks become more automated, Biek feels autonomous landing gear will be required. But that brings challenges such as theft prevention, which the company addresses through use of an RFID tag assigned to a driver.

Work continues on the electric landing gear, with all the company’s manufacturing and development taking place in Concord, Ont.

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Someone just paid $12 million for a custom semi truck
Trucking News

The man who built the truck says that he put seven years and $7 million into it.

Thor24 Truck Sold

One of the most eye-catching custom trucks in the world just sold for millions at an overseas auction.

Thor24, a highly customized 1984 Peterbuilt 359, was sold for a whopping $12 million to an unnamed buyer at the Worldwide Auctioneers event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Fox News reports.

The auction was part of a five day automotive show featuring historic, rare, and custom vehicles from around the world.

The truck was built by entrepreneur Mike Harrah, who says that he put seven years of work and $7 million into the truck. The Thor24 truck features swords, battle axes, skulls, and graphics of Norse gods in battle.

Here are the truck specifications listed on the THOR24 website:

  • V24-71 Detroit Diesel
  • Original, one-of-a-kind 1979 Peterbilt 359 crew cab (custom-stretched)
  • 1933 custom-built Ford Grill Tribute
  • 12 x 871 superchargers
  • 3,974 horsepower
  • Maximum speed: 130 mph
  • 4 drag-chutes  (12-feet in diameter)
  • 7 years in the making
  • $7 million in actual hard costs
  • Completely chrome-plated and polished aluminum and stainless-steel undercarriage
  • Hawker jet-engine Auxiliary Power Unit (APU)
  • 44-feet long
  • 32,000 lbs.
  • 1,500-watt per channel, 110-volt world-class sound system
  • 7 movie screens, including a 40-inch movie screen

You can get a closer look at the Thor24 truck in the video below.

VIDEO

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Move-over law would include tow trucks, snowplows under new bill
Trucking News
Provincial government proposes higher fines and other Motor Vehicle Act changes

The law that requires drivers to move over and slow down when passing emergency vehicles stopped on the roadside could also apply to tow trucks and snowplows soon.

"I've talked to tow truck drivers and [drivers of] utility vehicles — we've all got a story," Carl Urquhart, the minister of public safety, told reporters Tuesday.

"It's almost one of the scariest places to work right now in New Brunswick is on the side of the road when you're trying to help people." 

The expanded move-over provision was just one of the Motor Vehicle Act amendments proposed by the provincial government.

 

The change would also set a maximum speed limit — to half the posted speed limit — for vehicles passing the crews of emergency vehicles, utility vehicles and tow trucks that have stopped on the road to work. 

Urquhart said New Brunswick would be the last Atlantic province to adopt the changes.

CAA Atlantic has been advocating an expansion of the move-over law for a couple of years.

"It's good to have tow trucks involved but we need to educate the public about whoever's on the side of the road, whether it's fire, police, ambulance or tow trucks now, that drivers need to slow down, move over and be safe," said Gary Howard, vice-president of communications at CAA Atlantic.

 

The amendments would also double the fine, to $280, for a distracted driving offence. which would also mean five demerit points.

Penalties would also increase for passing a school bus while its lights are flashing — to a $480 fine and six demerit points. 

Andy Aker, a driver with Capital Towing, said he appreciates the inclusion of tow trucks in the move-over, slow-down law. 

"It's mostly about education. Doubling the fines, it would be nice — we would know that this is working if there were no fines … it's just a method another tool to educate people to pull over," Aker said, who's been in the business since 1988.

"It's important that we just keep this message going until it becomes a reflex."

Urquhart said he's hoping the bill will be passed by Dec. 20.

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OPP investigate transport truck collision near Marathon
Trucking News

Driver suffers major injuries after truck strikes rock cut

OPP are investigating a transport truck collision near Marathon, Ont., that left one person with major injuries on Tuesday.

OPP said officers with the Marathon, Manitouwadge, and Schreiber detachments were dispatched to a location on Highway 17, about two kilometres west of Neys Provincial Park, at about 2 p.m. Tuesday with reports of a transport truck that had left the roadway.

Investigation revealed the truck was travelling eastbound, when it left the road as it rounded a corner. The truck came into contact with the guardrails, and then crossed the road and struck a rock cut in the westbound ditch head-on.

The truck jackknifed, coming to rest with the truck portion being pinned between the trailer and the rock cut.

The 38-year-old driver, who OPP said is from Mississauga, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extracted by firefighters. The driver was transferred to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for treatment of what police called "major injuries."

The highway was closed for about six hours, then opened to one lane for about one hour, OPP said. Due to weather conditions and the location of the vehicle, cleanup is expected to continue on Wednesday, and drivers are asked to use caution when travelling in the area.

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Trucker’s $500 donation spawns a popular charity
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont.  – The charity devoted to helping truckers is now accepting donations as well as nominations for aid this holiday season.

The Truckers Christmas Group is hoping to raise $20,000, which will benefit 40 trucking families in the U.S. and Canada.

Based in Wichita, Kan., TCGO has raised $90,000 since it was formed by a group of truckers in 2008.

It all started with one driver wanting to donate an extra $500 he had to a family during Christmas.

“He didn’t know how to do it. So, a bunch of us stepped in, and said ‘Hey, we might as well help you out’. And then other people started to donate,” said Greg Manchester, director of public relations, and one of the five founders of the group.

It wasn’t until a few years later the organization was registered as a charity, he said.

Manchester, who has been working for Purolator for 34 years, is the only Canadian on the board of TCGO. Another Canadian, Shelley Uvanile-Hesch of Sharp Transportation, works as a volunteer.

The organization has so far helped 154 families ease the financial burden associated with the holiday season. In 2018, it delivered $8,000 to 16 families.

Manchester said the group has set the aid at a minimum of $500 per family because “we don’t want to give a thousand people one dollar”.

Since TCGO announced its 2019 campaign, people have been calling to donate and nominate, he said.

The group also accepts corporate donations in the form of gifts, which are then sold online.

This year, trucking’s top musicians are also helping the group raise funds.

The participants include Bill Weaver, Paul Marhoeffer, Taylor Barker, Mandi Jo Pinhierio, Jason Henley, Tony Justice, Ken Freeman and Keith Sampson.

“We are always hearing stories of drivers and their families who have fallen on hard times,” said country singer Justice.

“I am proud to be able to do my small part to help my brothers and sisters of the highway — and their families — to have a better and more blessed Christmas.”

The 2019 campaign started Nov. 21 and runs through Dec. 11. Funds will be dispersed to qualifying families a week before Christmas.

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Banner year so far for 18 Wheels of Christmas
Trucking News
18 Wheels of Christmas


DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The response this past weekend in Dawson Creek, B.C., in support of the 18 Wheels of Christmas campaign was amazing.

That’s according to Chris Richards of Rosenau Transport, who organizes the yearly Christmas charitable event in the area. Richards said this year they were contacted by more agencies and groups looking for their assistance, so the campaign “stepped things up a few notches.”

Normally, 18 Wheels uses a single trailer and runs its event over a weekend with the goal of supporting one of the local food banks. But this year, with three food banks in Dawson Creek, the organization decided to up its game to three trailers, each in their own location and supporting each food bank.

“In total, with the help of dozens of community volunteers, we collected 63 pallets of food and over $4,300 in cash and corporate donations,” said Richards. “This is well over double our usual collection efforts from previous years.”

With a population of just over 12,000, Richards was overwhelmed by the generosity of his community, saying they “gave like a city of a million.”

“I cannot thank all of our volunteers enough,” he said, highlighting the assistance they received from the local Rotary Clubs, Air Cadets, as well as his colleague from Rosenau, Karen Brisebois. “The efforts put forth by everyone will ensure that our community will not need to go without this holiday season and beyond.”

The efforts of 18 Wheels was equally successful in Alberta, with events so far being held in Okotoks Nov. 15 and Calgary this past weekend.

It was the campaign’s 10th year at Okotoks Light Up, and with weather cooperating, donations flooded in more than expected.

“Everything we collected that evening in Okotoks goes to the Okotoks Food Bank,” said Colleen Nickel, who also works for Rosenau Transport and organizes 18 Wheels in the Calgary area.
Donations included pre-packaged food hampers, three full food collection boxes, and cash for additional items.

On Nov. 23, 18 Wheels was in Calgary at the Lake Bonavista Promenade, where the community has helped the cause since 2002.

“We are never disappointed with the involvement of the businesses and residents of this community,” said Nickel. “We gathered 12 full food bank collection boxes and will be delivering this to the Calgary Food Bank on Dec. 23.”

The campaign still has its weekend blitz Dec. 6-8, when 18 Wheels can be found at all seven Save-on-Foods stores in Calgary. All donations collected at that time will also be delivered to the Calgary Food Bank Dec. 23.


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Old Articles

Wednesday, November 20
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