Work Truck Review News

Tori Tellem
May 17, 2016
Photographers: Courtesy of the manufactures
Photo 2/9   |   001 Auto News 8 Lug Work Truck Goodyear Highway Hero 33rd Julian Kaczo New York Mark Cavanagh Dorian Cole Truckers Big Rigs
Goodyear’s 33rd Highway Hero
Goodyear has named its 33rd Highway Hero, an honor bestowed on heroic truck drivers. The winner named in 2016 was Julian Kaczo from Utica, New York, a truck driver who was going through Jacksonville, Florida, when a car sped past him, then crashed into a construction barrier and became engulfed in flames. Julian tried to put the fire out but ultimately had to pull the injured driver from inside to rescue him. Julian received a Highway Hero ring, $5,000, and other prizes. The runners-up were Mark Cavanagh, who was driving through Pennsylvania, when, according to Goodyear, “He saw another tractor-trailer drive off the road and roll down a hill. The truck’s driver was thrown from the rig and was hanging from its mirror bracket by a belt. Mark stopped his truck, descended down the hill, cut the injured driver’s belt, and pulled him away from the damaged truck.” The other was Dorian Cole, who saw a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle collide with another motorcycle, causing the officer to hit a concrete divider. Dorian protected the officer from oncoming traffic by positioning his tanker truck across several lanes.
Ford Donates Transit Van to The Salvation Army
A customized Transit cargo van is now in the hands of The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division Disaster Services canteen fleet. Ford is trying to help the org with responding to emergencies in Southeast Michigan. The ’16 model has custom items such as emergency LED strobes in the grille and roof, sirens, external speakers, a generator, and a ham radio antenna, for staying connected in a disaster. On that disaster note, other items include a custom-installed two-burner stovetop, microwave, coffeemaker, fridge/freezer, electric hot-water heater, and a custom window with a foldout stainless steel shelf for serving food. Kansas City will be the next recipient of a van.
Photo 5/9   |   004 Auto News 8 Lug Work Truck Texas Department Of Transportation Commission State Highway 130 Truck Toll Discount Program Congestion Gridlock
TxDOT Reduces Truck Tolls for Congestion
The Texas Department of Transportation’s Transportation Commission is giving trucks with four axles or more a break on tolls on State Highway 130 (from I-35 exit in Georgetown to U.S. 183 exit in Buda) and State Highway 45SE. It’s due to the Truck Toll Discount Program, which is happening in waves: The first lasts until October 31, and the second will be November 1 through August 31, 2017. “By getting some of these big rigs to use SH 130 during peak hours, we will help ease some of the gridlock we see on I-35 through Austin,” says Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director James Bass. “This will get drivers to their destinations quicker by saving them time that otherwise would be spent in traffic.” The last time the TxDOT did this was in 2013.
Photo 6/9   |   006 Auto News 8 Lug Work Truck Large Truck And Bus Crash Facts Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Trends Fatalities Injuries Stats
Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts
Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2014 has been released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which gives all the stats you could ever want or need about crashes involving large trucks and buses—everything from fatalities and injuries to damage. Among the trends? Well, 3,978 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2014. Injury crashes were down from 2004 to 2009 but increased from 2009 to 2014. From 2013 to 2014, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes was down 5 percent, and the large-truck involvement rate, as they call it, was also down. But involvement in injury crashes was up. And vehicle miles traveled by large trucks? It was up 1.5 percent from 2013 to 2014.
Photo 7/9   |   007 Auto News 8 Lug Work Truck Mercedes Benz Actros Trucks Platooning Challenge Autonomous Self Driving Caravan Connected
Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Trucks Do Platooning Challenge
Three WiFi-connected Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks did a cross-border convoy trip in Germany as part of the Platooning Challenge 2016 (platooning is similar to tailgating, since there is a shorter distance between the vehicles, allowing for them to take up less road space). But what made this more interesting than it sounds is they were autonomous. Truck platooning is said to lower fuel consumption and CO2, making for more efficient road transport of goods.
Lug Nuggets
•President Ronald Reagan’s work truck, a ’62 Jeep CJ-6, which he used on his California ranch, has been recognized by the National Historic Vehicle Register and the U.S. Department of Interior’s Historic American Engineering Record. The documents will be archived in the Library of Congress.
•Borla is going to make a line of aftermarket exhaust for commercial vehicles?
•One more question: Will there be two sizes of Wrangler pickup once Jeep starts making a Wrangler pickup? But will one be called a Ram?
•Spartan Motors, which will manufacture Isuzu F-Series trucks, has broken ground on its new 85,000-square-foot truck assembly plant in Charlotte, Michigan.
•Arizona Public Service Co. is switching to electric vehicles, even down to its bucket trucks. It won’t happen overnight, however; more than 2,100 cars, trucks, and SUVs are in the current fleet.
•The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in Illinois will be able to convert five ’16 Ford pickups to compressed natural gas, thanks to a $23,387 grant from the U.S. EPA.
•Mack Trucks is investing $70 million into its Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, assembly plant, which will equal an expansion, new tooling and equipment, and a new building for inspecting trucks.

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